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Breaking Down the Diamond: The 4 Cs of Choosing This Precious Stone

Breaking Down the Diamond: The 4 Cs of Choosing This Precious Stone

While boasting plenty of nicknames (a girl's best friend, ice, a rock), there's only one way to honestly describe a diamond - a showstopper gem with glamour and elegance second to none. Just because it's the Earth's most complex naturally occurring substance, picking the right one shouldn't be equally as hard. To help in the search, we break down how to navigate the task. There are four elements, lovingly known as the 4Cs, considered the global standard of assessing a diamond's value. Through Color, Carat, Clarity, and Cut, you can decide whether it's right for you. Consider this your lesson in mind over matter.

Color

 A diamond's color rating indicates the degree of yellowness in the stone and is graded on an alphabetical scale from the most valuable D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). It's infrequent to find a colorless diamond, making it the most valuable. 

Carat

Carat is the unit of measurement of a diamond's physical weight. Big isn't always better, as you must also factor in the clarity and color when determining a stone's actual value. 

Clarity

Diamond clarity indicates the presence or absence of blemishes or inclusions the stone possesses, ranging from visible to the naked eye to microscopic. The graded scale runs from the highest clarity being "flawless" to the lowest being "included."

Cut

This is where true magic happens. Because it determines the stone's shape, the cut is how your diamond reflects both the light and your personality. It's the most significant influence on your gem and refers to its surfaces or facets and their positioning to create its twinkle. While you can undoubtedly custom cut a diamond into any shape you desire, here are the ten most recognized ones for your sparkler. 

Round

Thanks to its 58 perfectly aligned facets, light bounces throughout this true classic for remarkable sparkle. Its versatility also makes it a winner – it goes well in every setting, from modern to elaborate. With a look that lasts through the ages, this is the most popular diamond, accounting for more than 75 percent sold. 

Emerald 

This glamorous diamond is an exercise of tremendous confidence. Exuding refinement and understated elegance, it has won the hearts of A-listers, including Beyonce and Grace Kelly. Its rectangular shape and large table (the flat top) make for true transparency. Translation: perfection potential is front and center, so it's best suited for high color and clarity.

Asscher 

Nearly identical to the emerald cut, except square, this beauty was created around the turn of the 20th century. Its popularity through the 1930s attracts modern-day vintage-style chasers. The unusual angles make it truly unique and mimic the vibe of the art deco era. 

Oval 

With quite the reputation of being an illusionist, the oval's elongated shape can often appear more prominent to the eye than other soft-shaped stones of similar weight. When worn in a ring, it can even "lengthen" and slenderize shorter fingers. Whether flying solo or flanked by side stones, it has a similar brilliance to the round cut.

Princess 

The newest rock on the block, this style was first developed in 1980. It boasts a modern square cut with straight edges and 90-degree corners that produce sparkle fit for royalty. The Princess holds court as the second most popular diamond cut sold today. 

Cushion

Somewhere between the round cut and a princess, this romantic sparkler shows off curved corners reminiscent of a pillow cushion. Better executed on larger stones (though probably not as big as its most famous example - the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond), it's an elegant cut to showcase excellent clarity. 

Marquise 

Whether the version is slender or plump, this almond-shaped diamond is a statement piece. Designed in the 1700s and reaching sweetheart status in the 1980s, the unexpected shape, and elegant length assist its ability to look more significant than others of the same carat. 

Pear

The Pear-shaped diamond is one of the oldest cuts first designed in the 1400s and ripe with old-school glamour. The asymmetrical nature of this elegant raindrop offers up an artsy look when either worn as a solitaire or surrounded by other stones. 

Baguette

Commonly used as accent stones or for eternity rings, baguette diamonds are long and rectangular and have only 14 facets. Because they aren't as brilliant as other cuts, they gladly sit sidecar to allow another stone to shine. 

Radiant

A fascinating combo of clean lines and brilliance, these long, lesser-known rectangular diamonds offer dazzling sparkles similar to the round cut. Popular among the active set, its beveled corners make chipping highly unlikely.

Contact Us Today

When buying this precious stone, once you understand how to maximize its beauty and brilliance through the four Cs, you can expect a fifth to emerge – Confidence. To get you started on this journey, work alongside one of our experts here at Date and Time. Located in Sudbury, MA we are more than happy to assist. Contact us today by calling (978) 579-3002, or send us an email at info@dateandtimema.com.