The quality of a diamond is defined by means of the 4 C’s: Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut. These characteristics do not only determine the stone’s quality, they can also be very useful in identifying the diamond, since every stone is unique.
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat equals 0.2 grams. A carat is further subdivided in to 100 points. A stone of 1.50 carats thus means it weighs 1 carat and 50 points.
The clarity of a diamond is determined by the number, size, brightness and location of the internal and external characteristics, important structure phenomena and transparency. Generally speaking, mainly the inclusions in the stone affect the clarity. The fewer inclusions or structure phenomena the stone displays, the higher the quality of the diamond.
Color intensity can vary from almost colorless, which is preferable, to decidedly yellow. The value of a white stone is higher than that of a yellowish stone.
Diamonds can have cut grades of Ideal, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. The cut, or proportions and angles of a diamond, determine how it reflects light. A diamond’s reflective properties are referred to as fire or brilliance. Too shallow a cut will let light escape through the sides of the diamond before it has a chance to reflect, making it appear watery or dull, while too deep a cut will allow light to be lost through the bottom of the diamond, making it appear dark, especially in the center.