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The 4 C’s – Clarity, Colour, Cut and Carat

Diamonds are rated according to these “4 C’s”, and are priced accordingly. A diamonds beauty, rarity and price depend on the interplay of these ratings. Diamonds with the highest rating in each of these categories are increasingly rare and more expensive.

Clarity describes the clearness and purity of a diamond. A diamond that is absolutely clear without inclusions-fractures, scratches, or trace minerals are referred to as flawless and are very rare. Most diamonds have imperfections, and their rating is determined by the number, size, nature, and location of the imperfections.

Colour describes the amount of colour the diamond contains. This can range from colourless to diamonds with tints of yellow, gray or brown. Most people aim to buy a colourless or near colourless diamond. Some diamonds have colour including blue, green, yellow, pink and red. These “fancy” colours are rare and very valuable.

Cut refers to the angles, proportion and symmetry of a diamond. The cut of a diamond can help determine the fire and brilliance of a diamond. A well cut diamond will be symmetrically round with proper depth and width. All of the facets will be uniform. These diamonds will sell at a premium. A poorly cut diamond will sell at bargain basement prices.

Carat is the unit of weight for the diamond. Value per carat increases with carat size, because larger rough diamonds occur less frequently. So, 2 half-carat diamonds taken together will not cost as much as 1 one-carat diamond, since the one-carat stone is more rare. The carat is not the most important aspect of buying a diamond. It is important to also take into consideration the style of the diamond, the setting, and the finger size.