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4 C's of Diamonds

Diamonds are so valuable that it is essential to have a universal grading system for comparing their quality.

All types of diamonds may it be Single Cut Diamonds, Full cut diamonds, Treated Diamonds or Fancy Cut Diamonds are valued on the basis of it quality. In the 1940s and 50s, GIA developed the 4Cs of Diamond to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds.

Carat
The carat is used for measuring all gemstones and pearls including Full Cut Diamonds.

Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other members of the Four C's: clarity, color and cut. The majority of diamonds used in fine jewelry weigh one carat or less.

Clarity
Fancy Cut Diamonds with higher clarity grades are more valued.

Because diamonds formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure, they often contain unique birthmarks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes). Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond's value. Diamonds are assigned a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3).

Color
Treated Diamonds are pure and structurally perfect and it is transparent with no hue.

Diamond color is all about what you can't see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness. Less the color, the higher their value. (The exception to this is fancy-color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this color range.) GIA's color-grading scale for diamonds is the industry standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, or near-colorless. Each letter grade has a clearly defined range of color appearance. Diamonds are color-graded by comparing them to stones of known color under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.

Cut
Single Cut Diamonds are most popular of diamond cuts in the modern times.

Cut is the factor that fuels a diamond's fire, sparkle and brilliance. The traditional 58 facets in a round brilliant diamond, each precisely cut and defined, are as small as two millimeters in diameter. But without this precision, a diamond wouldn't be nearly as beautiful. The allure of a particular diamond depends more on cut than anything else. Though extremely difficult to analyze or quantify, the cut of any diamond has three attributes: brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond is moved).