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    Let’s face it: to the naked, untrained eye, all diamonds look the same. It’s only when you learn a little about them that you realise, in fact, that no two diamonds are the same. But how are you supposed to tell the difference between these beguiling gemstones? To help your knowledge sparkle on the matter, here is a simple but helpful guide to understanding diamonds

    To assess the quality of a diamond, we focus on the four main characteristics of the diamond: its cut, its colour, its clarity, and its carat. This method—known as the 4 C’s—is the universally accepted method for grading and communicating the quality of a diamond. 


    The most important characteristic of a diamond—and the one determined by human hand—is the cut. The cut refers to a diamond’s brilliance, and is decided by its symmetry, its proportions, and its finish. When a diamond is well-cut, light enters the stone before being reflected to the viewer’s eye. 


    As the title suggests, colour refers to how much colour a diamond holds. Diamonds are graded on an alphabet scale from D (colourless) to Z (strong yellow or brown). The less colour a diamond has the more valuable and sought-after it is. 


    When we speak of a diamond’s clarity, we’re referring to how pure that diamond is. A diamond’s purity is decided on whether it has blemishes or impurities—called inclusions—either within the diamond or on its surface. As with colour, a diamond’s clarity is graded from flawless (FL), which means it has no inclusions, to Included 3 (I3), which means that a diamond has inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. 


    When we talk about a diamond’s weight we are talking about its carat. This is the standard unit of measure when figuring out a diamond’s weight. It’s important to note, though, that two diamonds with the same carat are not necessarily equal; again, the cut of each diamond will decide which is superior.     

    Other characteristics

    Aside from the 4 C’s, there are lesser-known diamond characteristics to consider, such as its shape, its fluorescence (the visible emission of light when a diamond is exposed to UV light), its certificate (its exact weight, measurements, and quality), and whether it is a coloured diamond.