Your Guide to the 4Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat
The Ideal Cut
The Ideal Cut Diamond describes a round brilliant diamond that has been cut to exact and mathematically proven proportions.
Its symmetry, with 58 exactly placed facets, produces luster and beauty.
Light entering the diamond reflects internally from facet to facet and is reflected back through the top ONLY, creating maximum brilliance.
The Inferior Cut
Most diamonds are “spread” in their cutting to retain maximum weight from the original rough. A heavier diamond will result, but at a dramatic sacrifice of potential fire and brilliance.
When a diamond is cut too deep, light leaks out of the bottom. Brilliance is lost, and the center of the diamond will appear to be dark.
When a diamond is cut too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom. Brilliance is lost, and the diamond appears watery, glassy, and dark.
Most diamonds, although appearing colorless, actually have slight tones of yellow and brown. As these tones become more easily apparent, the rarity and cost decrease. Ideal cutting dramatizes the sparkle of a diamond because it produces increased brilliance.
Most diamonds contain naturally occurring internal characteristics called inclusions. The size, nature, location, and amount of inclusions determine a diamond’s clarity grade and affect its cost.
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat is divided into 100 parts called “points.” 1 ct. = 1.00; ½ ct. = 0.50. The value of two diamonds of the same weight can vary greatly depending on the color, clarity, and especially the cut.
Information provided by J. Landau, Inc.
Diagrams courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society.