| These basic 4 qualities of diamonds, known as the "4 C's", are pretty much all you need to know to pick a winner. If you're a girl, you've probably already gotten these tatooed on your body somewhere. If you're a guy, you're going to have to know this stuff sometime, no matter how hard you fight it. After reading all this nifty diamond info, at least you won't look like a complete moron when the salesman starts throwing these terms around... and you'll run less risk of getting screwed over.|
The 4 C's are: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat.
When a diamond is cut to good proportion, light is reflected internally from one facet to another and dispersed through the top of the diamond. Diamonds can be cut to many different shapes, but it is the precise proportions to which the facets are cut that allow it to capture light and release its brilliance and flaw. Cut is often considered the most important aspect, since this is what gives the diamond it's sparkle and 'fire.'
Most diamonds used in jewelry appear white. There are, however, subtle differences in color, and the closer a diamond is to being colorless, the more valuable it will be. So you may get a great deal on that 'Champagne' colored diamond, but she'll probably be pissed.
Most diamonds contain inclusions such as mineral traces formed during the crystalization process. This is part of what makes each diamond unique. The number, size and position of the inclusions determine the clarity of a diamond and affect its value.
This is the unit of weight for diamonds. A carat is divided into 100 smaller units called "points." So, for example, 3/4 of a carat is 0.75 points. Either way, don't be a cheapskate... but she doesn't need a bowling-ball, either.