The cut of a diamond refers to how well the diamond’s facets interact with light, the proportions of the diamond, and the overall finish of the diamond.
It is not to be confused with the shape, (such as emerald or round) or facet arrangement (such as brilliant or step cut), but is instead a reference to the craftsmanship of the diamond and how it factors into the diamond’s brilliance.
The color of a diamond refers to the lack of color in a diamond, with perfectly colorless diamonds considered the highest quality with the highest value, and brown or yellow diamonds being the lowest quality.
How Color is Graded
Using a master set of diamonds specifically chosen based on their range of color, a grader picks up the diamond with tweezers and places it next to the individual diamonds in the master set. The diamond grader then skillfully decides the color grade based on the saturation of the color compared to the master set. This step requires good eyes and extensive experience.
Clarity is the state of being clear or transparent. Diamond clarity is the presence or absence of characteristics called inclusions in the diamond.
When grading the clarity of a diamond, the lab determines the relative visibility of the inclusions in a diamond and their impact on the overall visual appearance.
So, what are these inclusions that affect clarity? In short, inclusions are the internal or external flaws of the diamond. The size and severity of these flaws determines the grade.
Carat is the unit of measurement for the physical weight of diamonds. One carat equals 0.200 grams or 1/5 gram and is subdivided into 100 points. For comparison, in units more familiar in the United States, one carat equals 0.007-ounce avoirdupois.
How Carat Weight Factors Into the 4 Cs & Diamond Value
Carat weight is the most objective of the diamond’s 4 Cs – color, cut, clarity, carat. All that is required is a precisely balanced scale capable of measuring extremely small weights. In the AGS Laboratories, carat weight is measured using a highly accurate, and calibrated digital scale.
Here are some facts about a diamond’s weight and price that are important to understand before purchasing.