The 5 C’s of Diamonds

» The 5 C’s of Diamonds

When measuring the qualities of a diamond, there are 4 major things that diamond evaluators look at. They consider a diamond’s cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. These 4 C’s determine the 5th C of diamonds … cost.

These are the 5 C’s of diamonds.

In general, the 4 C’s are evaluated like this:

Cut is evaluated based on the number of facets on the diamond and the angle to each other at which they are cut. There is a strict mathematical proportion involved in the cutting process that, when adhered to perfectly, creates a near-total reflection of light from the inside of the diamond into the eye.

Clarity is simpler to evaluate. The clearer a diamond is, the more it is worth.

Color is similar. The closer a diamond is to colorless, the more valuable it is.

Carat weight is simply how much the diamond weighs. Since diamond is a uniformly dense substance, the more a diamond weighs, the bigger it is and the more it is worth.

It is common among diamond shoppers to consider only 2 C’s: carat weight and cost. There is a perception that the bigger a diamond is, the more valuable it is. This is true to an extent, but it’s not the whole story of diamonds. A small diamond that is cut well and is nearly colorless can cost significantly more than a large diamond that has visible flaws and is discolored. Similarly, an exceptionally clear diamond will cost more than a large diamond.

When shopping for a diamond, you should try to strike a balance between the 4 C’s while keeping your budgeted 5th C in mind. It’s also important to keep in mind the preferences of the person you are buying for. If your future wife likes things big, you might want to sacrifice a little bit in cut or color to find a ring that has a high carat weight. Alternately, if she’s not concerned with competing with her friends in the race for the biggest ring, she might prefer a smaller diamond that is clear, and cut to reflect as much light as possible.

As far as that all-important 5th of the 5 C’s of diamonds, you should have that decided upon before you get to the store. Consider what your possible budget is for a ring, and then see what you can find within that range.

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