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The 4 C’s of Diamond Buying

  • CUT
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Carat
The cut refers to the proportions and angles of a diamond. A "well-cut" diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone (table). The more finely proportioned or cut the diamond, the more brilliance or fire is dispersed.
The majority of diamonds have some color in them, but diamond color is viewed based on the absence of color or natural color, based on the GIA grading system. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, or light yellow or brown. Diamonds are color-graded by comparing them to stones of known color under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.
Clarity is a component of diamond grading that indicates the absence of inclusions or blemishes. The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. To determine clarity, GIA takes into account size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics.
Carat is the unit of measurement used to describe the weight of a diamond, and often the most discernable quality in a diamond. A single carat equals one-fifth of a gram.

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