What are the 4 C's Of Diamonds?
The use of diamonds as gemstones of decorative value is the most familiar use to most people today, and is also the earliest use, with decorative use of diamonds stretching back into antiquity. Over time, especially since around 1900, experts in the field of gemology have developed methods of characterizing diamonds and other gemstones based on the characteristics most important to their value as a gem. Four characteristics, known informally as the four Cs, are now commonly used as the basic descriptors of diamonds: these are carat, clarity, color, and cut.
Other characteristics not described by the four Cs can and do influence the value or appearance of a gem diamond. These characteristics include physical characteristics such as the presence of fluorescence, as well as data on a diamond's history including its source and which gemological institute performed evaluation services on the diamond. Cleanliness also dramatically affects a diamond's beauty
The cut of a diamond describes the manner in which a diamond has been shaped and polished from its beginning form as a rough stone to its final gem proportions. The cut of a diamond describes both the shape a diamond is formed into, as well as the quality of workmanship. Diamond cutting is the art and science of creating a gem-quality diamond out of mined rough.
A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality almost no gem-sized natural diamonds are absolutely perfect. The color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price as more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds (such as the Hope Diamond) can be dramatically more valuable.
Clarity is a measure of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and others have developed systems to grade clarity, which are generally based on those inclusions which are visible to a trained professional when a diamond is viewed from above under 10x magnification
The carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is defined as exactly 200 milligrams (about 0.007 ounce). The point unit — equal to one one-hundredth of a carat (0.01 carat, or 2 mg) — is commonly used for diamonds of less than one carat. All else being equal, the value of a diamond increases exponentially in relation to carat weight, since larger diamonds are both rarer and more desirable for use as gemstones.