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The 4 C’s method is globally and universally accepted as a way to categorize and specify between diamonds. The 4 C's stand for color, cut, clarity, and color weight. This helps both customers and consumers in identifying what they will buy, which is especially useful when you go engagement ring shopping for your fiancé. Before you pop the big question and purchase your ring, make sure you check out the basics of the 4 C’s and what you should look for. We break it down for you right here:

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1. Color
The distinction of diamond colors are so subtle and hard to detect to the naked eye that they range from colorless to very light. There are five different color categories, starting with colorless, near colorless, faint, very light, and ending with light. Colorless diamonds are quite literal as they are colorless, and the light tint is a light yellow or gold color. There are 23 different types of colors, the most being in the “light” categories with eight:

  • Colorless: Grade D - F
  • Near colorless: Grade G - J
  • Faint: Grade K - M
  • Very light: Grade N - R
  • Light: Grade S - Z

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2. Cut
It is the most difficult C to understand, but it is crucial in determining the final value and look. There are three separate determinates in the cut. The brightness is the internal and external light that is reflected from the actual diamond, the fire is how the light scatters and projects the colors of the rainbows, and the scintillation is the amount of sparkle that the diamond has and the pattern of light that is caused by the diamonds reflection. People normally associate a diamond cut by its shape, but it is really about the way it reflects the light. There are 5 different grades and the lowest is poor, then fair, good, very good, and ending with excellent.

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3. Clarity
Clarity refers to the overall absence of inclusions and blemishes in diamonds. Diamonds are a natural element that is taken from deep in the earth, and the amount of the heat and pressure can result in blemishes and inclusions. Clarity gets an overall rating depending on the number and total size of these blemishes and inclusions, and they affect the diamond’s overall appearance. There are four categories, starting with included at the lowest level (I1, I2, I3), then slightly included (SI1, SI2), very slightly included (VS1, VS2), and very very slightly included (VVS1, VVS2) being the second to top category, with flawless (FL & IF) being the overall best. It is not possible to have a stone without any visible imperfections, but the more clear that it is the higher the value.

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4. Carat Weight
A carat is the weight of a diamond and is 200 milligrams per carat. This may be the most well-known but not necessarily most important. We all hear about celebrities that have outrageous rings based on the carat weight, but that should not be your end all be all. Prices will ultimately depend on the total of the four C’s but carat weight can make a diamond much more affordable or expensive, depending on how heavy it is.

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Last words: It is very important to find out what matters to your future wife, because you do not want to spend a large amount of money on something that she might not like. As much as you might want to, it is important to not overindulge to the point of going in debt because you want to really spoil your fiancé. It is perfectly alright to start with something more affordable and work for a more expensive ring later in your relationship.