If you're getting ready to pick out an engagement ring, but don't know anything about diamonds, then this article is designed for you. It will help you understand the 4 C's. This is a term that is tossed around a lot in the diamond world. It refers to 4 basic attributes that are used to judge the value of a diamond. You should understand these concepts when it comes time to look at the stone because it will help you select the perfect diamond and know if you are being hustled.
Diamonds have varying degree of color. The color is the result of certain elements being involved in the formation of the diamond. Some examples include boron or nitrogen, which provide a bluish or yellow tint, respectively. Most diamonds will have some color. A truly colorless diamond will be completely clear.
The less color, the more the diamond will cost. However, there are exceptions, such as the exceptionally beautiful red diamond from Argyle. It exhibits a deep red color. But as a rule, the more color a diamond exhibits, the lower the price.
Remember, some people actually prefer a diamond with hints of a certain color. In this respect, it is a personal choice.
The next C is one of the most important, and also one of the most difficult to assess with the naked (untrained) eye. Clarity refers to any visual impurities. There are two types of visual impurities: inclusions and blemishes. Blemishes occur on the surface of the stone, and inclusions occur inside the stone.
When judging a diamonds clarity you must use a jeweler's loop. This will magnify the diamond by 10x. This is what the judging scale is based on.
The best grade of diamond is flawless. This is a diamond that has no inclusions or blemishes visible under the jewelers loop. From there, the more inclusions and blemishes, the lower the scale.
An inclusion or blemish is not just a minor scratch that you might not notice with the naked eye, it's something that can detract from the brilliance (shine) of the diamond. If the inclusion or blemish is large enough, it can cloud the light and cause the diamond to appear dull.
This is definitely not something you want to miss. You should spend a great deal of time examining the diamond and try and get the clearest one you can afford.
Diamonds come out of the earth in rough shape. They need to be cut and polished before they look like the beautiful stones you are accustomed to seeing. This is where the cuts come in. There are different designs(shapes), but the "cut" refers to the quality of the cuts and angles that were made when the rough stone was turned into the final polished shape. For instance, two diamonds with an emerald cut might have much different cut grades. The quality of the cut will determine how well the light refracts in the diamond and how beautiful the resulting shine is. If the cuts are too shallow, or too deep, or misaligned, the light might not refract properly.
Finally you come down to carat. This refers to the weight of the diamond. A carat is .2 grams. There is no bad carat size, just a smaller and larger size. A smaller carat might be of better clarity, color and cut than one with a larger carat size. It is up to you to decide if you want to sacrifice either clarity, color, or cut to get a larger carat size.
Talk to a company like The Jackels Collection of Beverly Hills to learn more.