Before you purchase a diamond, you should understand the 4 C’s which are Color, Cut, Carat, and Clarity. Though these shouldn’t be your ONLY deciding factors when making a purchase, knowing about them will certainly help you.
The question to ask nowadays is not quite “what are the four C’s”, but more about “which C is more important to you”. Out of all the consumers in the world, it is rare to find one who can actually afford a stone that ranks top notch for clarity, color, cut, and be of a large carat weight, therefore, it’s important to know your personal preferences and be able to sacrifice one quality for the other.
You might want to refer to this guide for a step by step process in selecting a diamond.
Color – The color grading of a diamond is usually used only for white diamonds, so don’t try to put this system onto a fancy pink diamond. A color of D is the best you can find and it is completely colorless.
From then on, E, F, G…etc. measures slightly more yellow hues inside the stone. In today’s market, people generally prefer a color of at least an I, even if it means smaller stones. Color is relatively easy to distinguish with the naked eye. Place an H diamond next to an F, you will easily see the difference.
In terms, gradings D through F are considered colorless, G through J are near colorless, K through R are very light yellow, and S through Z are light yellow. If it’s even yellower than a Z, then the diamond will be considered a fancy yellow diamond.
Cut – The cut of a diamond isn’t the shape, but the quality of the cut. Good cuts result in more beautiful diamonds with lots of fire, brilliance, and scintillation (how much sparkle is let out when in motion). Typically, you don’t want a diamond to be cut too deep or too shallow.
Light leaks out in both, resulting in stones that appear too dark. There is no one cut that is said to create the most beautiful diamond. For example, one set of numbers and angles might produce more scintillation, while another one produces more brilliance. So basically, it all comes down to your individual definition of “beauty”.
Carat – Carat measures the weight of a diamond. If you don’t know that by now then you’ve got some serious problems. The more carat a diamond measures, the BIGGER it looks! Though skilled diamond cutters may create the illusion of a bigger diamond than its actual weight, light and sparkle will be lost.
So whether you want to go for the bigger diamond with less brilliance, or the smaller, brighter one depends solely on your personal taste. Some diamonds dealers measure their weight with points. Remember that one caract contains 100 points, so don’t be tricked into buying a .25 point diamond thinking it’s a quarter of a carat, which would actually be 25 points.