The 4 Cs, known as the four characteristics of diamonds, are cut, color, clarity and carat. These characteristics are the basis for grading diamonds and determining price. Here is what you need to know about each characteristic so you can find a diamond that’s right for you:
Cut refers to how well a diamond is proportioned and polished. A well-cut diamond will reflect light and sparkle. Diamonds that are cut too shallow or too deep will lose light through the side or bottom of the diamond.
Color refers to how much color a diamond reflects and ranges from D (colorless) to Z (tinted yellow or brown). Most diamonds sold in jewelry stores are near colorless (D-J on the color scale), but if you want an especially white diamond, you can look for one that is D-F in color. Some people prefer a warmer, more yellow tone in their diamonds, which may be available with a lower color grade.
Color can also refer to fancy colored diamonds such as pink, blue, yellow or green. Fancy colored diamonds are graded differently than white (or near colorless) diamonds using letters ranging from Faint to Fancy Vivid.
You've probably heard the term "carat" thrown around before, whether in movies or in passing conversation. In fact, you might believe that carat weight is the most important factor when choosing your diamond—after all, don't we all want to be able to say "my diamond weighs five carats!"? Unfortunately, this simply isn't true.
There are two main reasons why bigger doesn't always mean better: size can often make a diamond appear cloudy or gray, and it can also make small flaws much more noticeable than they would be on a smaller stone. Even worse, because a large diamond is so rare and valuable, the price increase per carat is exponential as the weight increases—which means that a two-carat diamond is much more expensive than two one-carat diamonds put together.
We know that most jewelry websites talk about clarity like it's a thing to be avoided at all costs—but we have a different opinion. Sure, if you want the perfect diamond, no defects and absolutely clear from end to end, then this isn't the website for you. But really, who wants that? Let's celebrate the flaws of your soon-to-be fiancé (and your diamond)!
If there's one thing that should be perfect, it's your engagement ring. If you want something truly special—something that will be a family heirloom for generations to come—then it has to have some flaws. It has to have a story behind it. And I'm sure you can think of plenty of reasons why your significant other has some things they could work on!
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