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Mae West once said, I never worry
about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a
. The lady had a point. But there's more than just carats
; there 4Cys
word criteria that you should pay attention to when buying a diamond: cut,
color, clarity, and carat.
A facet is a flat, polished
on a fashioned gemstone
, and cut
refers to the facet proportions on the
surface of a diamond
According to dharamhk
, the shape
, placement and angle of each facet determines a diamond's
brilliance, a quality
which describes the intensity of the internal and external
reflections of white light through the crown of a diamond. The ideal cut creates
of perfect proportions, angles and finish, which cause it to reflect
light like a mirror.
In addition to brilliance,
dispersion of light, and scintillation (the
flashes of reflective light that emanate from a diamond when the diamond is
moved, also called "sparkle") are also determined by a diamond's cut
When a diamond
is cut to maximize
brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation, it usually loses size since more of
the stone must be cut away. Likewise, when cut for maximum size, the diamond
usually loses some of these beautiful qualities. The experts at
insist that it is best to choose a diamond for its beauty, not size, and that
additional facets will not necessarily create a more brilliant diamond
A diamond's cut
is considered the
most important of the four C's
, since this quality gives the diamond
irresistible shimmer and brightness that makes diamonds the king of all bling.
Cut, therefore, has a major impact on the overall value of a diamond
The ideal diamond
is colorless (white) or nearly colorless, the rarest of all
. The closer a diamond
is to being colorless, the more
valuable it will be.
The Gemological Institute of
grades color alphabetically from D (totally colorless) to Z
(yellow). For a diamond to be considered colorless, the G.I.A.
it be a D, E, or F - the average grade of diamond
engagement rings in
North America is G to H.
The colored tint of most diamonds
is the result of minute impurities within the stone; most of these tints are
imperceptible to the untrained eye, however these invisible differences can
affect the value of a diamond
by thousands of dollars.
While most diamonds
have a tint of
color, a select few exhibit a strong, pure hue. Diamonds come in almost every
color imaginable but the most popular colors are yellow, blue, green and pink.
These colored diamonds
are sometimes called fancies and are extremely rare,
making them all the more sought-after.
Even the most beautiful and
have natural imperfections called inclusions and blemishes.
All gem-grade diamonds
receive a clarity
rating based on standardized industry
scale: FL (flawless) to I3 (heavily included).
Dharamhk say that a diamond is
categorized as truly flawless if under the 10x power magnification of a
loupe (a strong jewelry magnifying glass) no external imperfections and no
internal flaws are visible. These unique specimens are exceptionally rare and
therefore extremely expensive.
Likewise, for those majority of
which are not deemed flawless, the smaller and fewer the blemishes, the
more valuable the stone. Many of the blemishes that reduce a diamond's value
invisible to the naked eye.
is the standard unit of
weight, not size, used for gemstones
. One carat is equal to 0.200 grams. Large
are very rare, and two diamonds of equal weight can have very different
values depending on their clarity, color and cut
While the diamond
bring essential jobs to hundreds of thousands of paid citizens and enormous
economic value to many countries, the sale of blood or conflict diamonds has
also funded brutal civil wars responsible for violence, slavery and atrocities
in many African nations including Democratic Republic of Congo (formerZaire Sierra Leone and elsewhere.
More consumers and retailers are
exercising their political and ethical beliefs by choosing to purchase diamonds
only from suppliers who certify that they are not endorsing bloodshed.