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The Major Components of Diamond Quality

A diamond
Who doesn't love a gorgeous, sparkling diamond? Especially when the diamond is attached to a ring, bracelet, necklace, or other type of jewelry? Because of their brilliance and beauty, it's no wonder that diamonds are the most popular gemstone.

Because of their popularity and amazing qualities, it's surprising how very little the general public knows about diamonds. If you want to know more about this gem, the best place to start is to learn about the major components of diamond quality.

Often referred to as the 4 C's, each of the following components makes it clear that not all diamonds are created equal. While some consider certain components more important than others, it is often one of these components that a person looks for when finding the perfect diamond for them or as a gift. 

1. Cut

Considered the most important component by many, the cut of the diamond has the greatest influence over the three main parts of a diamonds appearance, which include its brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Only a highly-skilled craftsman can create a well cut diamond. A master cutter will have to spend many years learning the trade before cutting a diamond.

There are two different scales that are used to determine the quality of the cut. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) provides a rating of either excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor, while the American Gem Society (AGS) rates the cut according to a 10-point scale with 0 being ideal and 10 being poor.

2. Carat

With a diamond, the weight — which is measured in carat — is what matters. One carat equals 200 milligrams or .20 grams. Carats are divided into 100 points, which is why a diamond that weighs .50 grams is referred to as a half-carat. The point system enables a diamonds weight to be measured as precisely as possible.

Keep in mind that diamonds that have the same weight won’t always cost the same, as the other components of diamond quality also affect the price.

3. Color

You might think a diamond does not have any color at all. However, the GIA has created a scale to rate diamonds between D to Z. A D rating means absolutely colorless and a Z rating means light yellow or brown. Diamonds on this scale are called white diamonds — even though many diamonds have some degree of color.

4. Clarity

Diamonds are formed in places called diamond stability zones that are located deep within the upper mantle of the Earth. Heat and pressure is necessary to create a diamond.

During this formation process, diamonds get blemishes, which makes them imperfect, but it's also what makes each diamond unique. A diamond's clarity is dependent upon how many blemishes it has. Diamond clarity is broken down into the following categories:
  • Included
  • Slightly included
  • Very slightly included
  • Very, very slightly included
  • Internally flawless
  • Flawless
Usually, most imperfections found on a diamond can only be seen while being examined under a microscope, and because of this fact, clarity is often considered the least important component.

5. Shape

Most people think of a diamond as being shaped like a rhombus, or something that has four equal sides with opposite angles being equal. That is not always the case, however, and even though shape is not considered one of the four major components of diamond quality, some consumers prefer a certain shape of diamond over others.

Some of the most popular shapes for diamonds include round, princess, oval, pear, and heart.

Are you looking for the perfect diamond for yourself or as a gift? If so, contact Lang’s C & L Jewelry, Inc. We have diamonds of various cuts, carats, colors, clarity, and shape available for purchase.