Why are diamonds expensive? Well, mainly because they’re super rare. Not only that, only a small fraction of diamonds are fit for jewelry; the rest are used for various industrial applications. Of those, an even smaller percentage makes their way to top-tier jewelers.

So, how are diamonds evaluated and graded? More importantly, how can you be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth? Well, ladies, let me introduce you to the 4Cs:

First up is color: As a general rule, the more colorless a stone is, the higher its value. Truly colorless stones are rare, and most have a slight yellow or brown tint. The standard color scale used for diamonds is devised by GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) and spans from D for completely colorless to Z for yellow or brown stones.

C number two is clarity: Practically all diamonds have natural flaws within them. How many and how big these flaws are, plus how visible they are determines a stone’s clarity.

The third C is carat: I guess this one is pretty clear, right? Carat is a unit of weight used for precious stones, and is equal to 200 milligrams. Naturally, the heavier the stone, the more zeroes on the price tag.

Finally, there’s the cut: A stone’s cut is not the same as its shape—there are oval diamonds, pear-shaped, heart-shaped, and so on. Anyway, the cut refers more to the way light is reflected from within the diamond. This is basically the most important aspect that determines a diamond’s worth. It’s so important, in fact, that I think I’ll dedicate a whole post just for this one. Stay tuned… ^^

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