When shopping for an engagement ring with diamonds, it’s easy to get confused by all of the different options out there. It’s not too tough to spot the differences in prices, but what do all of the different ratings really mean? To help you navigate your way through the world of diamonds, here is an explanation of 3 of the 4 C’s: carat, colour, and clarity.
If you are curious about the weight of a diamond, then carat is the right place to look. The carat rating of a diamond translates directly into a measurement of weight, with one carat being the same as 200 milligrams. A 10-carat diamond is going to weigh 2 grams, although most diamonds that you see will probably weigh a lot less.
However, measuring diamonds is an extremely specific process due to their high value, so diamonds are generally measured down to the hundredth of a carat, which is referred to as a point. In other words, a diamond that weighs a quarter of a carat can be called a 25 point diamond.
As the name suggests, colour just refers to the colouration of the diamond. Unintuitively, colour actually refers to the lack of colour, rather than the presence of colour. A white diamond with an excellent colour rating really has no discolouration at all, whereas a diamond that has a poor colour rating might be shaded with brown or yellow.
As far as ratings go, the best colour rating is D, while the worst is Z. However, it’s pretty hard to actually spot the difference between diamonds at the very high end of the spectrum, which means that D, E, and F diamonds might all look pretty similar to you. You might need to get all the way down to J or K before you actually spot obvious differences from the cream of the crop.
Lastly, clarity is a comprehensive rating of how perfect a diamond is. In other words, it’s an examination of the imperfections of the diamond, both internally and externally. Those on the surface of the diamond are called blemishes and those on the inside are called inclusions.
When judging the clarity of a diamond, experts will need to weigh a wide variety of different attributes. The number of imperfections matters, as well as where they are, how deep they are, and how they affect the overall appearance of the gem. This all comes together to form the clarity rating, which ranges from flawless to included (having inclusions).
Bringing All the Factors Together
Understanding each of the above ratings can help you get a better idea of what kind of diamond you want to get. After looking at the facts, you might decide that colour is a lot more important than carat to you or your loved one, which means that you can save a bit of money by getting a smaller rock. The key is to find a diamond that you will be happy with, both in terms of price and appearance.