Your Simple Guide To The 4Cs of Diamond Quality


Written by James


The Quick And Dirty -  There are 4Cs when it comes to Diamonds: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. Cut and color are the key components to how much it costs. Higher end diamonds are very clear.

When selecting your dream engagement ring, make sure you never settle for mediocrity! This is one of the most meaningful purchases you will ever make. Try on various rings to become familiar with fine craftsmanship and ensure that side diamonds sparkle and prongs hug your center diamond impeccably. Take some time to get acquainted with the 4 Cs of diamonds (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat) so that you can be an educated shopper in finding your perfect engagement ring.


The first of the 4 Cs to consider when purchasing a diamond is its cut. An ideal cut will ensure that light reflects through the crown and does not escape out from either side or bottom. Conversely, if the depth of your chosen gemstone has been miscalculated, it may cause too much or too little light to be dispersed throughout.

The ‘Cut’ of a diamond is possibly the most essential feature of its quality that also influences its attractiveness. These characteristics have a direct impact on a diamond’s capacity to sparkle as well as its overall appearance.

Diamond Cut is graded on a scale of poor, fair, good, very good, excellent and ideal by the GIA. Based on the shape of the diamond, the Ideal and Excellent ratings denote ratios and angles cut for optimum brightness and fire.

Diamond Cut vs. Diamond Shape

The shape of the diamond can also be referred to as the “cut” but does not refer to the 4Cs.

The geometric structure of a diamond should be referred to as the diamond shape, not the cut. The most classic and traditional diamond shape is round diamonds, commonly known as round brilliant cuts. Any diamond that isn’t round brilliant is referred to as a fancy shape diamond. Things become more complicated with fancy cut diamonds. Since there are so many different shapes and cutting styles, each of which has its own length-to-width ratios as well as standards, fancy cut diamonds do not get cut grades from GIA.

Personal taste is also important when it comes to choosing your diamond shape. Here are some the the popular diamond shapes:


Clarity is an integral component of the 4 Cs when it comes to diamonds. Not only does clarity influence its scarcity, but also its price tag – after all, one diamond’s worth can be thousands more than another due to slight differences in their tiny markings.

To determine these distinctions and make sure every shopper knows exactly what they are buying, GIA crafted a grading scale based on rarity. The GIA uses these grades for clarity:

  • I2 (Inclusions 2)
  • I1 (Inclusions 1)
  • SI2 (Slightly Included 2)
  • SI1 (Slightly Included 1)
  • VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)
  • VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)
  • VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)
  • VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)
  • IF (Internally Flawless)
  • FL (Flawless)

“Flawless” and “Internally Flawless” mean that diamonds with these classifications do not have any internal or external imperfections. These kinds of diamonds are extremely rare to find and, as a result, tend to be very expensive.

Inclusions and blemishes can disrupt light as it flows through the diamond based on size, placement, and darkness. A diamond’s sparkle and beauty are dimmed, detracting from the high-quality cut.

Bottom Line on Clarity

When it comes to clarity, make sure that your diamond has eye-clean clarity and that no imperfections are hindering the proper reflection of light.

Examine the diamond stone for cleanliness and seek additional confirmation from a professional if needed. A certificate on its own cannot depict to you how flaws on a diamond may affect its beauty and brightness.


The color of a diamond is the next important element of the four Cs. The diamond’s color ranges from an icy, white, colorless hue to a light yellow. It is very difficult to tell the difference between one color grade and another. That is why it is important to compare diamonds side by side. Colorless is the most rare and therefore the most expensive, while yellow is the least rare and least expensive.

The hue of a diamond is measured in terms of just how colorless or white it is. Diamonds are graded from D to Z by the Gemological Institute of America. D is the most colorless grade and Z has a notable yellow or brown tint. While there is a diamond color chart that depicts how each color grade appears, it’s crucial to examine each diamond separately. The hue of a diamond can change depending on the carat weight, cut, and shape of the stone. The grade of a diamond is frequently reflected in its price, which can cause a significant price difference. 

Although the cost variance between two neighboring color grade diamonds may be large, the human eye cannot identify the difference in many circumstances.

Bottom Line on Color

The most important feature of color will be to see if the stone seems colorless compared to the setting it is on. You would also like to make sure that the diamond is free of tint that reduces the reflection of colored and white light.


The final and arguably most popular of the 4 Cs when it comes to diamonds is carat weight. A 1 carat diamond will weigh the same as approximately a quarter of a raisin, at about 200 milligrams. Yet despite this emphasis on magnitude, the cut, hue, and clarity are still as essential in evaluating one’s worth.

When most people use the word “carat weight,” they assume it relates to a diamond’s size. Carat, on the other hand, refers to the diamond’s weight rather than its size. For example. two 1-carat diamonds can be fairly varied in size based on their shape and how they are cut.

That being said, here is an approximate size comparison of round diamonds by carat size:

Bottom Line on Carat Size

Although carat weight is important when purchasing a diamond, the general beauty and sparkle of the stone should be prioritized. Select a diamond that has an Excellent or Ideal cut in the form you like rather than clinging to a certain figure for the diamond carat weight. Carat weight does not have a direct impact on how attractive your ring will look. 

Summing It Up: Choosing a Quality Diamond

Each of the four Cs contributes to a diamond’s entire attractiveness and uniqueness. A diamond, on the other hand, should be considered as a whole. Since the eye has trouble distinguishing one diamond quality from another, like color or clarity, it’s crucial to consider how the four Cs interact with each other on a stone and how that diamond will look on a ring band.

The cut is by far the most significant of all diamond qualities since it has the greatest influence on how beautiful the diamond will be. To guarantee a great cut, go for elevated amounts of sparkle, and be willing to lower your investment in some other categories such as color and clarity. 

Color is the next most crucial factor to consider. To the naked eye, a diamond should appear colorless or white. Make sure that the color does not detract from or disrupt the reflection of light. Clarity is the third most significant attribute on this list. Go for a diamond which is free of blemishes. Inclusions as well as blemishes should not detract from a diamond’s shimmer.

Finally, take a look at the carat weight. Evaluate what is essential for you as well as your partner, but keep in mind that sparkle and beauty will always triumph over mere weight. To ensure that you get a gorgeous diamond, you may need to forego your carat weight. 

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