A lot of care and attention needs to go into selecting the best diamonds. When shopping around, you need to remember the 4 C’s of diamonds-carat, color, clarity, and cut. Depending on personal preferences and any limitations or special requirements you may have, the combination of the 4 C’s can have an impact on the final decision. For some people, the carat is the most important feature of the stone, while others would prefer a smaller stone if it meant getting the best color or clarity possible. Only you can decide what combination of these graded criteria mean the most in your diamond selection.
Carat is the term used for the universally accepted standard method for measuring a diamond’s weight. The higher the carat number, the larger the diamond, and the more valuable it is. Carat alone is just a basis for the value of the stone and the other criteria can either raise or lower the value. So this means it is possible to get a stone of two carats that is worth less than a one carat stone because of the color, clarity, and cut differences between the two.
In nature, the typical diamond we think of – clear and colorless – is very rare. Other colors are commonly found, some of the most common being yellow, brown, and grey shades. Other colors can occur in nature but are very rare and therefore very valuable, such as diamonds that may be red, blue, green, yellow, orange, or even black. Selecting a diamond color is a matter of preference. The brilliant and rare colors are often called fancy diamonds or fancy colors, and can be very expensive. Likewise, a typical crystal clear diamond can be very expensive, too. However, it may be easier to find an affordable stone that has a slight yellow or brown coloration but is still mostly clear.
Most diamonds are not flawless because, in nature, few things are 100% perfect. Many diamonds have small flaws and impurities in them that are called inclusions. The size, frequency and placement of these inclusions can impact the value and price of a diamond. The more inclusions there are, the less the diamond is worth and very valuable diamonds will have a near perfect clarity to them with no specks, strands, or flaws visible to the naked eye.
How a diamond ends up being cut and shaped is extremely important. Many diamond experts actually consider it to be the most important and influential of the 4 C’s. The cut establishes the diamond’s ability to reflect light, thus impacting the luster and shine, which is one of the main things people look for when selecting a diamond. The way a diamond is cut affects its brilliance and therefore its value, so the better the cut grade the diamond has, the more the valuable the diamond.