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The 4 Cs of Diamonds
The Four C’s stand for Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat and together they determine the quality of the stone you are buying so each of these factors should be taken into account when making your selection.
The cut is the shape of the diamond and how it is “cut”.  There are a number of different types of diamond cuts.
The color of a diamond relates to the “whiteness” of the stone. The less color a diamond has in its material the better quality it is.   Color is graded from D to Z with grade D being the clearest, whitest possible stone and Z being noticeably yellow, almost brown.  Diamonds should be as clear as possible because the clearer the diamond the more it will sparkle. Generally grades D, E, F, G and H are the best quality as they are near colorless.  Those graded E, F, G and H will have the slightest hint of color which cannot be seen by the human eye without using a special set of master stones. Grades J and I are virtually colorless but some color will be detectable if the diamond is looked at very closely.  Grades M to Z have noticeable color and the color becomes more detectable the lower the grade. We only use Grades D to G, unless you expressly request a different color.
Clarity refers to how flawless the stone is.  For example, VS stands for very slight inclusions (sometimes referred to as blemishes or imperfections) and rather like color, there are different ratings (or grades). FL stands for flawless, VVS stands for very, very slight inclusions, SI stands for slight inclusions and so on.
The clarity of a diamond is important because the clearer it is the more it will sparkle.  The imperfections found in diamonds are tiny, generally only detectable under a microscope but this doesn’t affect the diamond too much when viewed with the naked eye.  A higher valued diamond will have less inclusions (or imperfections).  
Carat relates to the weight of the stone in question.  Weight is not always reflected by size so you can have a smaller diamond which weighs more than another larger stone.  However, the weight is the most important factor. While cut grade and color are the most important factors in lab grown or natural diamonds, the carat weight determines the overall size and is subjective to the individual needs of the piece in question.
A good cut grade (cut to show off the diamond to its maximum shimmering sparkle) combined with weight, color and clarity will give you the best possible quality stone.