Learn about the 4 Cs
If you and your partner are set on a diamond engagement ring it is important to know how diamonds are classified. Diamonds are graded according the four Cs: carat, cut, clarity, and color. Striking a balance between these characteristics can help ensure you get the best diamond for your engagement ring.
A diamond’s cut is directly related to the its overall beauty. When a diamond has been correctly cut, the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light is greatly enhanced. By understanding the way that light moves through diamond crystals, modern diamond cutters have established a specific set of proportions and angles that are known to harness the diamond’s internal brilliance and to show it in its best light.
A diamond’s color is caused by natural trace elements of nitrogen that were present when the diamond formed under the Earth’s crust. A diamond with less color will exhibit greater brilliance and fire, be considered rarer, and therefore be of more value.
With most diamonds, there is more than meets the eye! The presence of natural inclusions and blemishes on and within a diamond impacts its appearance and value. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks, known as feathers, which can appear whitish or cloudy. Often times the inclusions are microscopic diamonds that were absorbed by the larger crystal before the diamond was carried to the surface of the Earth. The quantity, size, color, location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions all affect the final clarity grade of a diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are considered particularly rare and highly valued.
Carat is the most visually apparent factor when comparing diamonds. Learn how carat weight is used to measure gemstones.