Private consultants on the 4 C's of diamonds - color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.


By the beginning of this century, the art of cutting diamonds had been so refined that a precise mathematical formula was developed. It called for most diamonds to be cut with 58 facets, each placed at a precise angle to the other. It is the work of a master cutter that allows the diamond to be cut in such a way as to permit the maximum amount of light to be reflected through the diamond. And a good cut, or make, has more scintillation, more sparkle.


Totally colorless diamonds are very rare and represent the highest color grade. Because it is totally colorless diamond that acts as a prism, allowing light to pass effortlessly through the diamond and be transformed into rainbows of color. Diamonds are occasionally recovered with a strong, bright color - green, red, blue, amber. These Fancy Color diamonds, when large, are collector's items - fetching commensurate prices.


Refers to the degree to which a diamond is free of interior or exterior blemishes, or inclusions. Diamonds, more than any other gemstone, have the capability to produce the maximum amount of brilliance. And a diamond that is virtually free of the passage of light through the diamond. To determine a diamond's clarity, it is viewed under a 10-power magnification by a trained eye. Minute inclusions neither mar its beauty nor endanger its durability.


As with all precious stones, the weight - and therefore the size - of a diamond is expressed in carats. The carat originated in a natural unit of weight: the seeds of the carob tree (keration). Diamonds were traditionally weighted against these seeds until the system was standardized and one carat was fixed at 200 milligrams (1/5 of a gram). One carat is divided into 100 "points" so that a diamond of 150 points weights 1.5 carats. Size is the most obvious factor in determining the value of a diamond. But two diamonds of equal size can have very unequal values, depending on their quality. And diamonds of high quality can be found in all size ranges.