Diamonds are a girl's best friend. And once that diamond is put on that ring finger, there is no other piece of gemstone jewelry that means as much as our diamond does. The diamond represents our proposal, our love, our relationship, and our everlasting partnership with that one special someone. When it comes to choosing the right diamond, there are some rules to go by. The 3 C's, cut, clarity, and carat weight, make a huge difference when purchasing a diamond.

[caption id="attachment_555" align="aligncenter" width="346"] Photo by Stephen Durham (Flickr) Photo by Stephen Durham (Flickr)[/caption]

Cut

Of all of the C's, the cut is the most important one when it comes to technically analyzing the stone. The diamond transmits light, and the cut determines how much of that light interacts with the facets in the stone. The shapes of diamonds can include the round, emerald, pear, marquis, and several others, but the cut of that shape makes all the difference. The beauty of the stone depends on the cut, while the workmanship and artistry come into play when it comes to the stone's polish, symmetry, and proportion.

For instance, for a standard round brilliant stone, the proportions of the facets are calculated to determine how much light will shine through the stone. These will define the fire, brightness, and scintillation of the stone. The fire is the white light that is scattered into all the colors of the rainbow. The brightness is the white light, both internal and external, that is reflected from the stone. The scintillation is pattern of the dark areas and light areas in the reflection of light and the amount of sparkle the stone produces.

Also included in the cut grade are the weight vs. diameter of the stone, its thickness, and the symmetry and polish of the facets. The cut will also determine the durability of the stone.

Clarity

When the natural diamond is exposed to pressure and heat while still buried deep in the earth, blemishes and inclusions may result. Inclusions are on the inside of the stone, while blemishes are on the outside. These inclusions and blemishes are sometimes seen with the naked eye, while sometimes they are not. Evaluating the diamond for these imperfections will determine the clarity of the stone.

It is difficult to find a perfect diamond, but there are some that come close to it. The higher the clarity rating, the more valuable the stone will be. The evaluation of the number of imperfections, the size of them, and the relief and the position of them will indeed prove the clarity rating of the stone. There are six main ratings for the clarity of a diamond. These ratings may be difficult to determine with the naked eye, so it takes a skilled professional to look at and define the clarity rating of a stone.

  • Included (I1, I2 and I3): The brilliance of the stone will be affected by the inclusions that are easily seen under 10x magnification.
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): The inclusions are easy to see with 10x magnification, but the brilliance may not necessarily be affected.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): You have to take a good look in order to see the inclusions under 10x magnification. These inclusions are usually determined to be minor.
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions are difficult to see under 10x magnification.
  • Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions are seen with 10x magnification.
  • Flawless (FL): No blemishes or inclusions are visible under 10x magnification.

Carat Weight

The carat is a metric weight that is equal to 200 milligrams. The carat weight of a diamond is precisely the weight of the stone itself. Each carat is divided into 100 points so that it can be measured to the 100th decimal place. The heavier the diamond is in carat weight, the more expensive it will be. The only exception to this is that two diamonds that may be the same carat weight can differ in price if one of the stones' clarity and cut are higher or lower.

All diamonds are beautiful because the meaning behind each one is wonderful and sentimental. When purchasing a diamond, keep these 3 C's in mind as you choose the perfect diamond for your special someone.