While there are other attributes to consider when selecting your diamond, the Four C’s—Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight are the principal characteristics examined for classification.
Both art and science, a diamond’s cut (not to be confused with its shape) is the manner in which it has been cut and polished using techniques and formulae designed to maximize its brilliance. The top half of a diamond is known as the crown and is cut to refract light into colors. The bottom half is called the pavilion, and is cut to reflect light back through the crown.
Or rather, lack of it; the highest grade of diamond color in white diamonds is D (there being no A, B or C) which connotes a totally colorless stone. The grades E through Z connote the presence of yellow coloration in increasing degrees, with Z-graded bright yellow diamonds as rare and desirable as pure white. While a high-graded white diamond is traditional in the engagement solitaire, diamonds occur in every color of the rainbow.
D E F
G H I J
K L M
N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
Inclusiveness is generally held to be a good thing. Inclusions, in diamonds, are not. That is the name given to any internal defects in a diamonds, from crystals of a foreign material to cracks and clouds. Diamonds without visible inclusions are known in the trade as “eye-clean.”
The diamond’s mass, measured in units of 200 milligrams; 1 carat, and subdivided into 100 points for diamonds of less than one carat.