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The 4 C’s of Diamonds

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Learn about the diamond 4 C’S and money-saving diamond buying tips!

The first question I asked was which of the diamonds 4c (Carat, Cut, Clarity and Color) was more important. The answer I got every time when asking about these qualities was that they were equally important while the most important factor not included in the the 4 C ‘s of Diamonds was cost.

Everyone has a budget and bigger is not necessarily better either. Color and cut were my deciding factors as long as the imperfections in clarity were naked to the unaided eye. I was also lucky that my fiancée had small hands and the engagement ring tips I found at the time were great.

#1 of Diamond 4C – Carat Weight

“Carat Weight” is simply the diamond’s weight. Diamonds do not all appear the same size even with the same carat weight. More on this later.

Because most brides would like a 1 ct. diamond, prices are also not proportionate to its carat size. You find that on websites like www.bluenile.ca , prices jump when they approach 1 ct.

#2 of Diamond 4C – Clarity

FL: Completely flawless (No internal or external characteristics)

IF: Internally flawless; only external characteristics are present, which can be removed by further polishing the stone

VVS1 – VVS2: Only an expert can detect the internal characteristics with a 10X microscope.

VS1 – VS2: You can see the internal characteristics with a 10X microscope, but it takes a long time (more than about 10 seconds).

SI1 – SI2: You can see the internal characteristics with a 10X microscope

I1 – I3: You can see the internal characteristics with the naked eye. I would avoide I2-I3 diamonds.

For a detailed explanation on clarity, visit this url: http://beyond4cs.com/clarity/

Diamond Clarity Buying Tip

Clarity ratings like other ratings are subjective and depending on the agency giving the ratings there could be a huge difference when it comes to the rating description and the actual diamond.
Some SI1 diamonds will actually look nicer than a VS2 because of where the imperfections appear on diamond’s face.

You want to avoid diamonds with feathering (hairline cracks shown in red on the I1 image) and inclusions on the diamond’s face or table. A good jeweller can hide some imperfections under the claw of the setting whereinclusions at the bottom of a diamond are nearly unseen.

diamond jewelry

#3 of Diamond 4C – Colour

The diamond’s “color” refers to its degree of “yellow.” The ideal diamond is completely colorless, and therefore it will be the most expensive.

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Unless diamonds are placed side by side with a piece of white paper or a D colour diamond, you cannot really tell between diamonds that are G, H or I in colour. They would all appear colourless if nothing was placed beside it.

Even a trained professional would find it difficult to differentiate between an D, E and F coloured diamond.

#4 of Diamond 4C – Cut

In an ideally-proportioned diamond, all of the light entering a diamond from the top will bounce within a diamond and be reflected back through the top, giving the stone maximum brilliance and fire.

If the stone is too shallow or too deep, some light will escape through the bottom part of a diamond, giving the appearance of shadows when viewed from the opposite side.

It’s easy to see that the deep-cut diamond shown above will have a higher carat, but is clearly the less desirable stone! Many jewelers will not discuss cut proportions unless the customer specifically asks; a stone rich in carat weight but poorly proportioned can be deeply “discounted,” giving the buyer a false impression of a great deal.

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