There are four factors that are considered when determining the value, or worth, of a diamond. The four criteria that a particular gem is judged on are the cut, color, clarity and carat, or weight. The first item to be looked at is the cut of the gemstone. An uncut diamond does not have the sparkle and fire of a diamond set into jewelry. There are several different shapes that diamonds can be formed into, but the “cut” of the diamond refers to how well the cutter has maximized the amount of light reflected. Often a cutter will need to sacrifice some of the overall carat, or size of the diamond, to achieve the best cut.
The color of the diamond is entirely due to the way nature formed it, and is graded on a letter scale. Letters D-F refers to colorless, or near colorless diamonds, whereas those closer to the letter Z will have a more yellowish or brownish color. The higher on the scale, the more value the diamond has. There are also diamonds that are pronounced colors, such as blue, brown, pink, ect. Clarity in a diamond refers to the purity of diamond. Some diamonds have blemishes on the stone, or inclusions within the stone, which reduce their value. The cut of a diamond can often hide or remove a small imperfection in the clarity of a diamond.
The final factor to take into consideration when valuing a diamond is the carat of the stone. Often this is thought of as size, but it truly refers to the weight of the diamond. A carat is equal to .2 of a gram. Again, the cut of the diamond may make the stone appear larger or smaller, but it is carat weight that is actually used to value the diamond.