Carat Weight, Color, Clarity, Cut
How to determine the true value of a diamond.
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats, making it the easiest of the four C's to determine. Each carat is divided into 100 parts, called points.
So if a one-carat diamond = 0.75 carats or 75 points and so on. Remember, the value of a diamond can vary greatly from one of equal carat weight depending on the color, clarity, and most importantly, the cut.
Although most diamonds may appear colorless, they actually have subtle shades of yellow or brown. The closer a diamond is to having no color, the rarer and more expensive it is. The chart below is the industry standard for grading the color of diamonds:
Thanks to Mother Nature, every diamond is unique. But, practically all diamonds contain natural internal characteristics or "birthmarks." The size, location, and number of these characteristics determine the rarity of the diamond and influence its value. This chart should help when evaluating a diamond:
The cut of a diamond is the only factor that man can control, and it is unquestionably the single most important factor in determining the beauty and value of a diamond. Because what's unique about a diamond is how it plays with light, creating the sparkle, fire and brilliance. It's all about light: how much is taken in, how it's refracted around inside, and how much is reflected back to the eye of the beholder. The more perfect the cut, the more light a diamond captures, and more beautiful it looks.