So, what exactly is a diamond, anyway? A diamond is actually an extremely hard, usually clear type of crystalline carbon which is formed over millions of years. The process begins up to 120 miles beneath the earth's surface when, with the right conditions, carbon atoms in melting rocks bond together to form diamond gemstones.
Traditionally, the overall quality and value of a diamond is reflected in four characteristics, known as the 4 Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.
Diamonds are available in a variety of hues, from rare, completely clear diamonds, to those which have an obvious yellow or brown tint.
Find out more about diamond color.
Almost all diamonds have some internal inclusions (imperfections) or external blemishes. Most diamonds have flaws which cannot be seen except using 10x magnification. These flaws cannot be seen by the naked eye and do not affect the splendor of the diamond.
Read more about diamond clarity grading.
The cut of a diamond is the most important element in choosing a diamond. The cut includes the diamond's proportions and symmetry as well as the overall finish. The better the cut, the more brilliance the diamond will have.
Read more about diamond cut.
Carats are the units of measurement used to weight diamonds. A diamond carat weighs 200 milligrams. Smaller diamonds are measured using the point system, with 100 points being equal to one carat.
Learn more about diamond carat weight .