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Diamonds 101: The Four Cs and More

  |   By Nicole Keen

You've already heard diamonds are a girl's best friend (thanks, Marilyn!), but what else do you need to know about these precious stones? Here's our easy-to-understand guide to diamonds, including the four C's (cut, colour, clarity and carat), shape and origin.

CUT The cut of a diamond is what makes it sparkle. A good cut is precise and geometrically perfect; thereby making the most of the stone's brilliance. Of all the Cs, this is the most important factor to consider when choosing a diamond.

COLOUR Diamonds are actually graded according to lack of colour, with completely colourless diamonds being the most desirable (fancy diamonds, i.e. canary yellow or pink are in a separate category). Grades range from D (no colour) to Z (yellow tinge). A slight yellow tinge (which is present in I and J diamonds, for instance) is undetectable to the untrained eye.

CLARITY Clarity refers to the number and size of imperfections, otherwise known as inclusions. Truly "flawless" diamonds are extremely rare. Indeed, most inclusions are microscopic and do not impact the diamond's appearance. Inclusions are what make each stone unique, like a fingerprint!

CARAT The carat refers to a diamond's weight. A one-carat diamond is divided into 1oo points, a half-carat diamond has 50 points and so on. Tip: a diamond with an exceptional cut (see point #1) will look larger than it actually is!

SHAPE Diamonds can be cut in a variety of shapes. Some of the most popular are as follows: round, emerald (a rectangular shape), princess (a square shape), oval and pear. Shapes come in and out of fashion, and ultimately this is a personal preference.

ORIGIN Where your diamond comes from can be just as important as what it looks like. Choosing a Canadian diamond is a great way to ensure your money goes to a reputable and environmentally sound mine.

This article was originally published on Jul 25, 2016

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