The Four C's
Before you go looking at diamonds it is handy to do a little research before hand so you don't get all confused with the sales persons technical talk. In the jewellery industry we teach our staff the four C's. Cut, colour, clarity, carat.
The cut of the diamonds does not refer to the shape but how the diamond has been cut by the diamond cutter. A diamond that is perfectly cut will give you the most light or sparkle. If a diamond has not been cut it doesn't matter about its colour it will still appear dull and lifeless.
People often use the words cut and shape interchangeably. They think of cut as the shape or outline of the diamond, rather than the arrangement of facets needed to create an attractive face-up appearance.
Round is the shape used in most diamond jewelry. All other outlines are known as fancy shapes. Examples of traditional fancy shapes include the marquise, pear and oval. Hearts, triangles and a variety of others are also gaining popularity in diamond jewelry.
A diamonds colour is determined on a colour scale from the D (colourless) to Z (yellow/brown). The most sought after diamonds have no colour. Whilst most diamonds appear to have no colour, in actual fact they have tints of colour as shown on the colour scale
Clarity refers to the amount and size of natural imperfections in the diamond. This may be internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes). The fewer inclusions in a diamond, the rarer and more valuable the gem. No two diamonds are alike and these inclusions are sometimes like their fingerprint.
Carat - A diamonds weight is measured in carats, abbreviated ct. One carat can be divided into 100 points. Therefore, a diamond weighing one quarter of a carat can also be referred to as being 25 points. Or if it weighs half a carat it is refered to as .50points.