The time has come and you are ready to pop the big question. You've found the woman, now how do you choose the best diamond? Four main factors affect the price when you buy diamonds. They are known as the 4C’s and are: Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut. Using the 4C's to find a balance of what she likes and what you want to spend is the key when you buy diamonds.
It is up to the diamond buying customer to decide for him/herself which factors are the most important, since the price is affected by the combination of these 4 determinants.
1) Carat (weight)- refers to the weight of a stone but usually it also relates to the “size” of the stone. One Carat (1.00 ct.) weighs 200 milligrams and is divided into “100 points” (like $1= 100 pennies). A round 1.00 ct. diamond is about 6.5mm in diameter while a 1.50 ct. diamond is about 8mm. All other factors being equal- the higher the carat weight the more expensive.
2) Color- is graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light brown/yellow). A truly colorless diamond is very rare. Most diamonds used in jewelry are nearly colorless with tints of yellow or brown. All other factors being equal- the less color the more expensive.
3) Clarity- due to the way diamonds are formed (under tremendous underground pressure and heat) a diamond with no internal inclusions and/or external characteristics is very rare. Clarity (a stone’s “clearness”) is graded from Internally Flawless to Highly Included. All other factors being equal- the fewer inclusions the more expensive.
4) Cut- the proportions of a diamond affect its performance when light enters the stone. Cut is graded from Excellent to Poor. The better the cut the more Brightness, Fire and Scintillation a diamond will be emitted by a diamond. It will be more “sparkly.” All other factors being equal- the better the cut the more expensive.
When you buy diamonds, let your own tastes, preferences and budget guide you in your purchase. No two diamonds will be identical so your choices are endless!