Understanding The 4 Cs Of Buying Diamonds

When purchasing an engagement ring, one of the most important decisions is deciding on the gemstone. Of course, the timeless decision is a diamond. However, you need to be aware of many different types of diamonds and details.

The diamond has four Cs: cut, carat, clarity, and color. These are the traditional characteristics that determine its quality and retail value. Next, each diamond is graded and categorized. Afterward, a certificate of authenticity is issued to all quality diamonds graded by an expert.

An engagement ring is a huge expense, so before making that investment, learn about the 4 Cs to choose the best diamond for you or your loved one.

1. Cut

A diamond's cut and facets make it sparkle and shine. 

Popular shapes include:

  • Round Cut: This shape is the most loved and popular. It is known for its simplicity and unmistakable sparkle.
  • Oval Cut: While it is similar to the round, an oval cut is more elongated.
  • Princess Cut: The classic square shape of a princess diamond cut stands out. They look stunning in many styles and ring settings.
  • Asscher Cut: These asscher cut diamonds are sophisticated and elegant. These are great for brides-to-be who enjoy vintage-inspired looks.
  • Cushion Cut: Cushion cut diamonds are instantly identifiable by their unique rounded shape and carefully crafted lines.
  • Pear Cut: Also called "teardrop" shaped, these pear cut diamonds are stunning whether they're set in a simple solitaire or elegant halo.

Every shape sparkles in its own unique way. The "perfect" shape all depends on the person.

2. Carat

Carats are used to measure a diamond's weight or mass. 

Each metric carat weighs 200 milligrams. Furthermore, a carat can also be subdivided into 100 parts. A diamond with more than one carat is expressed in decimals—for example, a 1.25-carat Diamond. Because large stones are rare, the price per carat will increase.

It's important to note that not every diamond in the same carat weight will look identical. The way a diamond looks depends on the cut. For example, let's say there's a round and a princess cut diamond that are both 1 carat; however, a round diamond might look "bigger" because princess cuts carry more weight in the body than the top.

3. Clarity

Clarity measures the presence or absence of small flaws within a diamond. Therefore, the clearer and "pure" a diamond is, the more valuable and brilliant the diamond is.

The internal flaws of a diamond are called inclusions, while blemishes refer to external flaws. To rate clarity, jewelers and gemologists use a scale ranging from FL (flawless), to VVS (very, very slightly included), to SI (slightly involved), to I (included).

Most natural diamonds will have some inclusions; however, most inclusions aren't visible to the naked eye.

4. Color

There are many color options for diamonds. They can be classified as white—which is essentially colorless—or fancy.

It is difficult to distinguish between colors within stones. This is why it takes experience and training to color-grade diamonds. Because even the slightest variation can significantly affect the quality and cost of diamonds. 

White diamonds are evaluated for their color based on their lack of color. The industry's most accepted color grading system is the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It categorizes diamonds according to a D-Z scale. All D-Z diamonds can be considered white, even with varying degrees of yellow.

D is the most colorless diamond, while Z diamonds are yellow/brown tones. Fancy diamonds are stones with other colors—more intense yellows, pink, blue, red, and green.

Why Choose Us?

Here at Farr's Jewelry, we have an extensive selection of diamonds for you to choose from. So come in today and let us help you choose the perfect diamond!