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Diamonds are generally evaluated, graded, and priced according the "4 C's". Keep in mind that each of the four factors
play important roles in how a diamond looks and is priced. We recommend that you don't become fixed on one factor, such as
size - you may be surprised by how a smaller diamond looks due to a better cut or color!
All things being equal, a larger diamond will be more expensive because of the rarity of larger stones. Don't
focus too much on size, however. Although many people think that a bigger stone is automatically better, that's not
always, or even usually, the case. There are many times when a smaller stone may be more valuable because of
the other three characteristics (cut, color, and clarity) and actually be more valuable overall.
Cut refers to the shape of the diamond and how the facets are placed on the stone relative to an
exact mathematical formula. When the facets are accurately proportioned, the diamond will reflect
the maximum amount of light and give that "sparkle" that is so characteristic of a beautiful diamond.
When a diamond is cut to "Ideal Proportions" it typically retains only about 40% of it's original weight.
The actual quality of the cut is one of the most important features of a finished diamond and can
account for as much as 50% or more of the diamonds value.
Color refers to the "body" color and can vary in intensity. The Gemological Institute of America has
devised a color standard based upon a diamond master color set. The master set is arranged as the
chart below indicates with the letter "D" corresponding to a stone totally devoid of color.
Clarity refers to the degree of internal and/or external identifying characteristics. For example, almost
all diamonds have an inclusion of some sort after cutting and are then judged on various factors like
1) crystals, 2) feathers, 3) cleavages, 4) naturals, 5) abraided facets, 6) laser drill holes, etc. Keeping
these factors in mind, one must be very careful before pronouncing any diamond "perfect." Clarity
grades are based on the size, type, color and location of any inclusions and are graded under
magnification to the 10th power.
Carat weight refers to the actual weight of the diamond in carats. 100 points = 1 Carat; 50 points =
½ Carat; 25 points = ¼ Carat etc.