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The Four C's


Fine diamonds are among the most desired gemstones. The value of each diamond varies from one to the other. Each diamond is inspected and evaluated for it's allure and uncommonness. There are four primary guidelines that are used when evaluating diamonds. These four guidelines are known as the four C's – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight.




Many people assume that when talking about the cut of a diamond, they are referring to the shape of the diamond. That is only part of the cut however. While the cut does in fact refer to the shape, it also refers to the measurements or proportions of how the diamond is genuinely cut.


Diamonds are commonly cut into many different shapes and sizes. These different cuts reveal not only popular taste and style, but also the quality of the rough diamond. The most favored shapes include Round , Oval , Square , Princess , Emerald , baguette , and Marquise cuts. Many other custom shapes are also available.


Another large part of the “cut” is the overall proportions of the diamond, as well as the size and placement of the facets or the shiny reflective surfaces. The texture and balance of these can also greatly influence how the stone captures the light and reflects it back into your eye.




For the most part with a few exceptions, the most valuable diamonds are those with the least amount of color. The color scale for transparent diamonds is pretty simple. It runs from D-F (colorless), G-J (almost colorless), K-L (a little yellow), to

Z (very light yellow) Diamonds that are colorless are completely colorless are very rare.


Rare and beautiful colors can appear in diamonds when the diamonds are formed with small traces of other minerals. These extravagant colors range from blue, to bright yellow, to red, brown, light green, pink, and violet. These colored diamonds are very desirable and quite valuable due to their rarity.




The clarity of a diamond is measured by the existence or absence of visible flaws. For example, small blemishes on the surface of the diamond, or internal inclusions. Even tiny blemishes or inclusions that can only be seen using a jeweler's loupe can still affect the brilliance of a diamond, therefore directly influencing the value. Clarity levels start with F & IF (flawless) and moves down to VVS1 & 2 (very very slight), VS1 &2 (very slight), SL1 & 2 (slightly included) and I1, 2, 3. (included)



FL, IF Diamond                                         Flawless: No internal or external flaws.
                                        Internally Flawless: No internal flaws


VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds

                                        Very, Very Slightly Included: Extremely difficult
                                        to see inclusions with 10x magnification.


VS1, VS2 Diamonds


                                         Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are Not usually visible                                          to the naked eye.


SI1, SI2 Diamonds


                                        Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x                                                   magnification, and may bevisible to the naked eye.


I1, I2, I3 Diamonds


                                        Included: Inclusions are visible with the naked eye.



Carat Weight


The clarity size of diamond is measured by its weight versus its dimensions. One

Carat is equal to approximately 0.2 grams. The weight of a diamond may also be expressed in points. A point is equal to 1/100 of a carat. Therefore a 75 point diamond is the equivalent to a .75 carat diamond. Even though two diamonds weigh the same, they may still differ in size, depending on their depth and proportions. Larger gem quality diamonds tend to be much more valuable.


Rarity & Beauty


All gem quality diamonds are considered rare because they take billions of years to form in nature. The stops it takes from the mine to you, is long and burdensome. While the four C's will help you to identify the quality of the diamond, it is a combination of the characteristics that determines the rarity of the diamond. If you think of it in terms of a pyramid, each of the four sides is a diamond characteristic. The more commonly available diamonds form the base of the pyramid, while the rarest diamonds form the top. When selecting a diamond to buy, keep this pyramid in mind. Your selection of characteristics will directly determine the diamond's rarity and value. Remember this; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because a diamond doesn't have perfect characteristics, doesn't mean it wont be perfect for you.