Diamond jewelry has always been a popular choice for holiday shoppers all around the world. Now, when it comes to diamond-shopping, it pays to know at least the very basics of diamond quality standards: the 4Cs. Of course, we have already covered Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat several times before, but perhaps a short refresher course might be useful for anybody looking to look for a new set of earrings, a diamond ring, etc., etc. So, let’s read, shall we?

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Color...
The nearer a diamond is to being truly colorless, the more valuable it is. The global standard for diamond color is the GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) D-to-Z color scale. Diamonds graded D through F are basically colorless, those rated G through J are nearly colorless (any coloration usually go unnoticed by the untrained eye), and starting from K we’ll start seeing a slight yellowish or brownish tint.

Clarity...
The value of a diamond is also determined by the presence of inclusions and blemishes—or in other words, the existence (and more importantly: the visual appearance) of flaws on the diamond. And yes, we also have a grading system for clarity, courtesy of the GIA, which starts from FL (Flawless), followed by IF (Internally Flawless), VVS1 and VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included), VS1 and VS2 (Very Slightly Included), SI1 and SI2 (Slightly Included), and finally I1, I2, and I3 (Included). For a more comprehensive explanation of these ratings, click here.

Carat...
There is obviously a correlation between a diamond’s weight (measured in carats) and its value. However, bigger doesn’t always mean better. So, while a large carat number will definitely look impressive, we need to take all the 4Cs into account. To learn more about carat weight, click here.

Cut...
And finally we come to the most crucial aspect of a diamond: its cut. On the one hand, the GIA’s grading system for diamond cuts looks a lot more simple than Color and Clarity, with the scale starting at Excellent, followed by Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor; on the other hand, Cut is also the most complex of the 4Cs. So, take a look here for a more in depth explanation... ;)

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