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About the 4Cs

The concept of 4 Cs is used internationally to group specific characteristics of diamonds to determine the quality of a gemstone.

  • Carat
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Cut
CARAT
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip. (Don’t confuse carat with karat, as in “18K gold,” which refers to gold purity.)

The weight or size of a diamond is measured in carats (ct.). A carat is 0.2 grams and there are 100 points (or 200 milligrams) per carat. With an accuracy of 1/100,000 ct.

How did the carat system start?

The carat, the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones, takes its name from the carob seed. Because these small seeds had a fairly uniform weight, early gem traders used them as counterweights in their balance scales. The modern metric carat, equal to 0.2 grams, was adopted by the United States in 1913 and other countries soon after. Today, a carat weighs exactly the same in every corner of the world.

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