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Diamonds 101

Diamonds dazzle and delight and are the most sought after gemstones in the world. The Four C’s are the start of your diamond education. Stop in to James Douglas Jewelers to continue your “diamond education” and find just the right diamond for you.


When a diamond is cut with the ideal proportions for its shape, it reflects more light, producing incredible fire and brilliance. A poorly cut diamond looks dull because light escapes out the bottom and sides. Simply said, a well-cut diamond sparkles a lot because it reflects and refracts light better than one not cut as well. A good cut increases the value and price of the diamond.


White diamonds are not all colorless. The color spectrum ranges from light yellow to totally colorless. A lettering system from D to Z is used to identify the amount of color present in each diamond, with D awarded only rarely to totally colorless diamonds. A colorless diamond can be graded D, E or F (which are near colorless) or G, H, I or J (which may have some noticeable color.) In addition, there are fancy colored diamonds that span the color spectrum.


Natural diamonds are formed by tremendous heat and pressure deep within the earth which can result in “inclusions,” a fancy word for imperfections. Inclusions seldom affect a diamond’s beauty, but they do affect price. Closer to perfect = higher value.

Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to the size and mass of the diamond. Larger diamonds are scarce, and therefore more valuable. However, two diamonds with the same carat weight can vary greatly in value, depending on other factors. For example, a half-carat diamond with high color and clarity ratings may cost more than a three-quarter carat diamond with lower color and clarity ratings, but an identical cut.