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What are the 4 c's?

The 4Cs are a system for grading the quality of a diamond introduced initially by the Gemological Institute of America and now adopted across the entire jewellery industry.

The 4Cs are Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat weight.

Colour: Unless you are specifically buying a coloured diamond, you should choose the whitest diamond you can afford – but do not overpay. If you cannot see the difference under normal lighting between two grades, select the least expensive!

Cut: The cut is quality is about the quality of the work of the diamond cutter. Is the diamond symmetrical, is the girdle even around the entire diamond, are the facets cut symmetrically and is the facet count correct for the cut of the diamond? A poorly cut diamond will reflect light badly and so sparkle less than a better cut example.

Clarity: The number and size of any imperfections in the diamond. A perfect diamond is exceedingly rare and very costly. A low-grade diamond is not pleasant to look at, may be dull and have internal flaws such as cracks or black impurities visible to the naked eye.

In general, choose a diamond with a grade where you cannot see any imperfections under normal lighting at about 20cm distance and without magnification. As with colour, there is no reason to pay extra for something that you cannot see.

Carat weight: This is the size of the diamond in carats. A carat is 0.2 grams. The larger a diamond is, the more costly it becomes. Usually, the carat weight associated with a piece of finished jewellery is the weight of all the diamonds in the piece. Sometimes the weight of the main diamond will be given separately.


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