A diamond's cut is perhaps the most important of the four C’s, so it is critical to understand how this quality affects the properties and values of a diamond.
Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond. An exquisite and rare cut.
VERY GOOD CUT:Reflects nearly as much light as the ideal cut, but for a lower price.
GOOD CUT:Reflects most of the light that enters. Much less expensive than a very good cut.
FAIR CUT:Still a quality diamond, but a fair cut will not be as brilliant as a good cut.
Diamonds that are generally so deep and narrow or shallow and wide that they lose most of the light out the sides and bottom.
Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow. This is why a diamond's color grade is based on its lack of color. The less color a diamond has, the higher its color grade.
To grade 'whiteness' or colorlessness, most jewelers refer to GIA's professional color scale that begins with the highest rating of D for colorless, and travels down the alphabet to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish color. The color scale continues all the way to Z.
Clarity simply refers to the tiny, natural imperfections that occur in all but the finest diamonds. Gemologists refer to these imperfections by a variety of technical names, including blemishes and inclusions, among others. Diamonds with the least and smallest imperfections receive the highest clarity grades. Because these imperfections tend to be microscopic, they do not generally affect a diamond's beauty in any discernible way.
A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. The process that forms a diamond happens only in very rare circumstances, and typically the natural materials required are found only in small amounts. That means that larger diamonds are uncovered less often than smaller ones. Thus, large diamonds are rare and have a greater value per carat. For that reason, the price of a diamond rises exponentially to its size. If a ½ carat diamond is priced at$1,000, a 1 carat diamond of the same quality will not be $2,000. Because the larger stone is rarer to find, the price will be exponentially larger.