4C's of Diamonds : Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat-Weight

Posted: March 24, 2016


When searching for the perfect diamonds there are four things you need to consider. To make things easier for you, the industry has broken them down into the four C’s – color, clarity, cut, and carat-weight. Doing your research on all four of these qualities will lead you to a flawless diamond for that special someone in your life.

When it comes to color, diamonds come in every hue imaginable, literally every color of the rainbow. Yet, most people are looking for white diamonds or colorless diamonds. The highest quality is certainly the diamond with no color at all. A completely colorless diamond is a shiny diamond. Light passes through these diamonds effortlessly which gives off the colors of the rainbow. These colored diamonds are graded from complete colorless to a light yellow. The subtitles of each grade are extremely similar and it takes a fine eye to grade a diamond accurately.

Clarity is the determining factor when it comes to imperfections, smudges, blemishes and overall flaws. Many diamonds contain a “birthmark” which is referred to as an inclusion. This impedes the ability for light to pass through the diamond. When you have very few inclusions the brilliance of the diamond truly comes through and shines quite brightly. Inclusions appear while the diamond is being formed and often look like microscopic crystals and can also give an area a cloudy appearance, but they are almost impossible to see with an untrained eye.

Cut refers to the way the diamond is cut and its faceting pattern. There are several very popular shapes when it comes to diamonds; round diamonds, princess cut, oval, marquise, pear shaped, cushion cut, emerald cut, asscher, radiant cut, and heart shaped diamonds. There is a plethora of diamond shapes to choose from.

Considering the shapes of the diamond, clarity options, color and carat-weight there is an infinite amount of diamond styles and features one can choose from when looking for the perfect diamond. If a diamond is cut correctly the light will be separated evenly throughout the diamond. If the diamond is cut too deep or shallow the light will not maximize the diamonds potential shine.

Lastly, carat-weight is a large factor when it comes to diamonds. A diamonds weight is measured in carats and a diamond has a 75-point weight. The carat weight is the simplest unit to measure out of the four C’s. It is very common to have two diamonds with exact carat weight and be valued very differently because of the color, clarity and cut. When picking out a unique diamond for that special someone remember the 4 C's to ensure a brilliant shine.

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For over 140 years, the Van Dyke Family has served the jewelry needs of Sonoma County. So when you need assistance selecting a one-of-a kind engagement ring, repairing a family heirloom, or choosing a new time piece, turn to the experienced E.R. Sawyer Jewelers team for help.

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