In many ways, a diamond engagement ring is the
essence of your lifelong love and commitment to
that special someone. It's also a very
important purchase. Your chances of buying
smarter - and getting maximum value for your
money - are far greater of you understand the
"Four C's" of diamond quality...Cut, Color,
Clarity, and Carat. They are the worldwide
standard for classifying the quality and value
of every diamond.
Cut refers to the way a rough diamond is
transformed into one of extraordinary
brilliance. This is done by polishing tiny
surfaces, or facets, into the diamond. The
angles and proportions of the facets are major
factors in how a cut diamond reflects light.
A well-cut diamond reflects and disperses light
directly through the top - in a display of
sparkling scintillation. If diamonds are
cu too deep or too shallow, they might "leak"
light through the side or bottom - thus causing
them to lose some of their brilliance.
It may appear to the naked eye that a diamond is
colorless. In fact, almost all diamonds
have "color" that ranges from "icy white" to a
warm, slightly "yellowish" tint. While
these color differences are so subtle, there is
enough of a difference for diamonds to be graded
on a color scale established by the Gemological
Institute of America (GIA). The range runs
from D (colorless) to Z (yellow or brown).
Each diamond is distinctive in its
characteristics, these characters are called
inclusions, blemishes or birthmark, which gives
each diamond it's individuality. These
tiny inclusions, originate in nature, affect the
value of the diamond. The GIA use a
detailed scale to measure clarity of a diamond
ranging from Flawless (FL), to Included (I3).
Subscript numerals indicate the valuation within
each grade, with 1 indicating higher clarity and
3 indicating less clarity.
Carats are units of measure that register the
weight not the size of the diamond. The
weight of the diamond goes a long way towards
determining its dollar value. That's
because larger diamonds are found far less
frequently in nature. A carat can also be
divided into 100 "points", so a .75 carat
diamond is exactly the same as a 3/4 carat
diamond or a 75 points diamond.