THE 4 Cs of Diamond

Diamond Jewelry
5 min readMar 23, 2022

When buying a diamond, you’ll want to take certain factors into consideration, such as the stone’s cut, colour, clarity and carat, which define the true quality of the diamond.

These elements are commonly called the 4 Cs and will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the value and price of these precious gems.

Throughout the history, the diamond has been an enduring symbol of the powerful bond of love. Its strength, brilliance and value are as unique as the individuals who wear them. A diamond’s worth is evaluated on four levels. We call these criteria the 4 C’s — cut, carat weight, color and clarity.


The cut of a diamond has a direct impact on the way a diamond sparkles. This characteristic doesn’t refer to the shape of the stone, but to the proportion and arrangement of each facet; the cut will determine the brilliance and fire of the gem, with a well-cut diamond bringing out the stone’s true shine.

Diamond Cut

This feature has a lot of influence when it comes to the aesthetic of the diamond. Even if a diamond possesses beautiful clarity and a large carat weight, a poor cut will make it appear lifeless. Cutting a diamond is a precise and highly technical process which requires extraordinary workmanship so the splendour of the stone shines through.

For this reason, the cut is considered the most important of the 4 Cs.

Perfectly proportioned and offering the highest grade of
polish and symmetry, these stones reflect virtually all light.
These diamonds are the most brilliant, rare and finest money
can buy.

Very Good
Usualy cut to maximize the size of the diamond, a Very
Good Cut stone falls a little short of the ideal diamond
proportions. A Very Good Cut Diamond reflects most of the
light that enters the stone to provide a high level of brilliance.

When a cutter chooses to create the largest possible
diamond from a rough crystal, the proportions of the stone
are beyond the ideal range. Much of the light that enters the
stone is reflected back to deliver a good sparkde. This type of
cut grade is an ideal choice for shoppers who want to stay in
budget without sacrificing quality or beauty.

Fair and Poor
These stones are cut to maximize carat weight over other
considerations. A diamond in this grade will reflect only a
small proportion of the light that enters into it.


Carats describe the stone’s weight, not size. This is a common misconception, as many people believe that the carat is a unit of size.

Carat Weight

This measurement unit has been used to determine the weight of a diamond since 1913, with one carat being divided into 100 points (each point equals 0.01 carats); a carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams.

Diamonds with a bigger carat weight tend to be more valuable than diamonds that weigh less.

However, a poorly cut diamond will be less valuable, since it will appear smaller and duller when compared with a well-cut stone; this means that two gems with the same carat weight can be of different quality and, therefore, price range.


While these precious stones are most famous for being colourless, they also come in several different colours. From yellow and pink to red and green- and anything else in-between — diamonds can also have a faint colour or a bright, vivid tone. The more saturated the hue, the more valuable the diamond is. According to the Gemmological Institute of America, a colourless diamond is graded from D

(truly colourless) to Z (light yellow) — the closer it is to D, the more valuable it is, since colour can inhibit the stone’s ability to reflect light. However,a D-colour diamond is truly rare.

D (Colorless)
Highest-quality color
grade a diamond can
receive. A D-color
diamond is extremely
rare and emits
unrivaled brilliance.

E (Colorless)
Contains very minute
traces of color. Also a
rarity, an E-color rated
diamond emits a high
level of brilliance and

F (Colorless)
Minute traces of
color can only be
detected by a trained
gemologist. This is a
high-quality color

G,H (Near Colorless)
Contains noticeable color only
when compared to higher color
grades. Appearing colorless to
the untrained eye, a G or H
color diamond provides an
excellent value.

I,J (Near Colorless)
Contains slightly
detectable color. An
I-color or J-color
diamond is an excellent
value, as it typically
appears colorless to
the untrained eye.

K,L,M (Faint Yellow)
Contains noticeable color
only when compared to
higher color grades.
Appearing colorless to
the untrained eye, a G or
H color diamond provides
an excellent value.


Often considered the least important characteristic when choosing a diamond, clarity refers to imperfections in the stone, which are often microscopic and unable to be seen with an untrained eye.

Diamond Clarity

Diamonds are exposed to a lot of pressure and heat under the earth, which leads to inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external), and their size, number and placement will determine the clarity grading of the diamond. The scale has 11 grades and ranges from IF (internally flawless) to I3 (or included grade 3).

Diamond Clarity Scale
(10x magnification assumed)

F / Flawless Diamond
The diamond shows no inclusions or blemishes of any sort
under 10X magnification when observed by an experienced

IF / Internally Flawless Diamond
The diamond has no inclusions when examined by an
experienced grader using 10X magnification, but will have
some minor blemishes.

VVS1, WS2 / Very, Very Slightly Included Diamond
The diamond contains minute inclusions that are
difficult even for experienced graders to see under 10X

VS1, VS2 / Very Slightly Included Diamond
The diamond contains minute inclusions such as small
crystals, clouds or feathers when observed with effort under
10X magnification.

S1, S2 / Slightly Included Diamond
The diamond contains inclusions (clouds, included crystals,
knots, cavities, and feathers) that are noticeable to an
experienced grader under 10X magnification.

I1, I2, I3 / Included Diamond
The diamond contains inclusions (possibly large feathers or
large included crystals) that are obvious under 10X
magnification and many affect transparency and brilliance.

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