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The Four Cs of Diamond Characteristics


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There are many characteristics that control a diamond's appearance and durability. The four most important factors are called the Four Cs and they are diamond color, clarity, cut and carat weight. Each of these characteristics is important. It's up to the buyer to consider them in order to find a diamond that suits his/her style, needs and budget. Let’s take a careful look at these diamond characteristics.

Diamond Color

A diamond's color can be natural but it can also be altered by various treatments. The color of a diamond can be affected by fluorescence, a characteristic that makes diamonds shift color in different lights.

The commonest color is yellow, which is caused by tiny amounts of nitrogen being present in the crystal structure. Other colors include gray, light brown or greenish. A diamond can be almost any color, although strongly color attractive specimens are very rare. The colors can be artificially produced or modified. Some fancy colored diamonds are produced by irradiation and heat treatment. Natural fancy colored diamonds command very high prices, especially the more popular colors.

Fancy colored diamonds, where the color is artificially produced, are no less beautiful, but sell for more normal prices. Occasionally, diamonds are available in blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, brown and even black.

Diamond Clarity

A perfect diamond with perfect clarity-or clearness-is rare. Most flaws in jewelry grade diamonds cannot be seen without looking through a jeweler's magnifying loupe. Become familiar with diamond clarity and the terms associated with it to ask the right questions-and understand the answers.

Diamond Cut

Did you know that a diamond's cut does not refer to its shape? When gemologists say “cut" they are talking about a gemstone's proportions, it’s depth and width and the uniformity of its facets. All characteristics that control brilliance, durability and other qualities sought after in a diamond are related to the “cut” of the diamond.

Diamond Width and Depth

The proportions of width and depth have a big impact on a diamond’s brilliance. The reflection of white light seen when looking at a diamond and the light traveling through a shallow cut diamond is lost out of the bottom of the stone and does not come back into sight. The lack of light makes shallow cut diamonds appear lifeless. If light travels through a diamond that's cut too deep it escapes out the sides darkening all or portions of the stone. Light traveling through an ideally cut diamond bounces back out the top of the stone, bringing its brilliance into view.

Diamond Carat Weight

Carat is the term used to express the weight of a diamond. One carat equals 200 milligrams of actual weight. Carat weight affects a diamond's appearance and its price, and this makes it a characteristic that you should definitely understand before you buy a diamond.

The abbreviation ct is a shortened way to write carat, and refers to the weight of a single diamond. The abbreviation ct TW means carat total weight, and is used to express the total weight of multiple diamonds used in a piece of jewelry.

Carat is also used as a measure for other gemstones. But different gems of the same weight aren't same size, because some are denser than others. The weight of smaller diamonds is often expressed as points, not carats.

So, there you have it. These are the four characteristics or Four Cs that you should consider when buying diamonds.

Ghost Writer is a jewelry expert with Lewis Jewelers. Lewis Jewelers is proud to carry the full line of Pandora Jewelry. For more information, contact Lewis Jewelers at 877-88-LEWIS or visit

Authorized distributed of beautiful pandora bracelets and beads.


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