The 4 C's of Diamond Buying
Of the four C's, cut is the most important factor affecting a diamond's quality and beauty. A diamond's brilliance is determined by how much light is reflected back to your eyes. A well cut, well proportioned diamond evenly reflects and refracts light within a stone. A poorly cut diamond will lose light and appear dull. Because cut is so important, gemologists have developed grading methods to assist consumers in determining a diamond's cut. In general, they are: Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good and Fair.
Cut is also used to describe the shape of a diamond, such as round, princess and marquise.
The Excellent Ideal Cut Diamond describes a round brilliant diamond that has been cut to exact and mathematically proven proportions. When a diamond is cut to the Excellent Ideal proportions, all of the light entering from any direction is totally reflected through the top and is dispersed into a display of sparkling flashes and rainbow colors. The Hearts & Arrows Effect can best be seen by viewing a diamond through our viewing scope at an in-store presentation.
Most diamonds, although appearing colorless, actually have slight tones of yellow or brown. As these tones become more apparent, the rarity and cost decrease. Diamonds are graded on a color scale with the most recognized being the scale implemented by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) which ranges from D (colorless) to Z.
Most diamonds contain naturally occurring internal characteristics called inclusions. The size, nature, location and amount of inclusions determine a diamond's clarity grade and affect its cost. No two diamonds are the same. Jewelers use magnification to view diamonds at 10X their actual size so these tiny inclusions are more easily seen. Inclusions are measured on a scale of perfection, known as clarity, which was established by the GIA. The greater a diamond's clarity, the more rare and valuable it is. If an inclusion is present, it can be a very attractive point of the stone and truly make the stone a one of a kind diamond.
Carat is a diamond's weight, not size. One carat is equal to 100 points. A half carat diamond would be 50 points. Each point is going to affect the price of the diamond. Larger diamonds are rare and demand a higher value. The cut and mounting can make a diamond appear larger than its actual weight.