Picking the perfect diamond: An expert is helping us go beyond the 4Cs

MILWAUKEE -- Thinking of surprising your significant other with a stunning diamond? Kristi Widmar with Rasmussen Jewelers joins Real Milwaukee to show us what to look for when shopping.

Rasmussen Diamonds is a small town business in Racine that is turning 120 years old this year. Now led by 3rd Generation owners, the family has been a consistent part of customer's most special moments for generations.

The 4C's of Diamond Quality - and that is Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight

• Color: When I say color, we`re actually looking for 'lack of color.' A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value. There is a D-to-Z diamond color-grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to masterstones of established color value.

• Clarity refers to the Absence of Inclusions and Blemishes. Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. If you are trying to determine what is the best clarity for a diamond, remember that no diamond is perfectly pure. But the closer it comes to purity, the better its clarity. There is a Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.

• Cut - A diamond`s cut is crucial to the stone`s final beauty and value. And of all the diamond 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze.

• Carat Weight measures how much a diamond weighs. All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are more rare and more desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors of the diamond 4Cs: Color, Clarity, and Cut. It`s important to remember that a diamond`s value is determined using all of the 4Cs, not just carat weight.