Diamonds are one of the most popular gemstones. They are often associated with a style, status, and romance. Many eyes and hearts have been captured by the undeniable beauty of a diamond. The quality of each stone depends on the carat, color, clarity and cut; the famous “4 C’s of diamonds”.
Cut is the factor that fuels a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance. If a diamond is cut to shallow, light entering the face of the diamond passes through and out the bottom.
A diamond cut too deep causes light entering the diamond to reflect out the sides of the stone. A perfectly cut diamond allows the light entering to reflect off the inner angles of the diamond and reflect back to the top of the diamond. This causes a perfect cut diamond to have a brilliance to its appearance. Diamonds are cut in many popular shapes such as round, princess, oval, marquise and other unique shapes.
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip. (Don’t confuse carat with karat, as in “18 karat gold,” which refers to gold purity.)
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.
Diamond color is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher their value. (The exception to this is fancy-color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this color range.)
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.
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