Understanding the four c’s of diamond jewelry will help ensure you pick the perfect diamond for your budget. Each of the characteristics is important in your diamond’s overall appearance and value. In the four c’s of diamonds, carat weight refers to the actual weight of the stone.
Diamonds are measured in carat weight, a standard of measure used only in jewelry today. One carat weighs 0.2 grams. The carat weight of a diamond is often the most discussed aspect, though it is not the most important.
A diamond’s carat weight can be larger, but the diamond actually appear smaller than another diamond of a smaller weight, because the surface area of the diamond determines how big a diamond looks, not the carat weight.
Many people want to own a diamond of at least 1 carat, as this is seen as a symbol of status. However, when shopping, it’s a good idea to look at diamonds without asking the carat weight. Choose based on the surface area and brilliance of the diamond, rather than how much it weighs, since so much of that weight may be in parts of the diamond you can’t see.
Consider the Cut
Cut is far more important than carat weight, in terms of fire and brilliance, but carat weight greatly affects the price of a diamond. In fact, diamond cutters often cut diamonds in a way that increases weight, simply because they know that consumers value carat weight.
Choosing a diamond with a good cut, and by how it appears in size, will save you money and give you a more beautiful diamond than choosing based on weight.
Another feature often overlooked in favor of carat weight is shape. Choosing a smaller diamond in a shape that makes the most of the surface area gives you a larger looking diamond without the extra cost. The following shapes appear particularly large:
- Oval – Oval diamonds are elongated, making them look larger and have more surface area.
- Emerald – Emerald shaped diamonds are rectangular, so these look quite large.
- Marquis – Marquis diamonds are similar to oval, but with a point at the top and bottom.
Don’t be fooled into choosing a diamond based solely on carat weight. There are so many other features that make a diamond beautiful. Work with your jeweler to pick a stone that will look large and sparkle when it is set into your diamond jewelry.