Discover the 4 C’s of Diamonds and Become Your Own Expert

Discover the 4 C’s of Diamonds and Become Your Own Expert

    Millions of years old, a result of a volcanic eruption and the hardest substance on earth? Look at that little diamond on your finger – crystalized carbon from miles deep into the core of our planet – and you might feel like you’re staring at your own little piece of natural history. But how much do we really know about all the important characteristics that make up a diamond? This next post aims to simplify just that, so read on!

    Diamonds are Forever

    Rooted from the Greek word “Adamas”, which means unconquerable, diamonds are a rare and natural wonder that has managed to capture people’s hearts for centuries – ever since Austrian Archduke Maximilian gifted the first diamond engagement ring to his betrothed in the late 15th century and turned diamonds to the ultimate symbol of love and devotion. Just like your fingerprints, each diamond has its individual personality and character, reliant on four major variables – Carat, Cut, Color and Clarity. Combined, the 4 C’s create the diamond’s unique makeup and appearance. Now we can dive deeper into each variable to help you get started.


    The word carat derives from the word carob, a Mediterranean seed, which has an extremely consistent weight for measuring. The greater the carat weight, the rarer and more valuable the diamond becomes, with five metric carats weighing exactly 1 gram.

    Carat weight can also be interpreted in points, as illustrated below:



    1 carat                  =

    100 points

    0.75 carat            =

    75 points

    0.50 carat            =

    50 points

    0.25 carat            =

    25 points

    Melee                    =

    Less than 15 points


    By learning the carat weight of a round brilliant diamond, you can usually determine the approximate size of a diamond. 

    The table below gives an estimation of a diamond’s size vs. its carat weights:

    Carat Size Chart


    The true definition of cut is the quality of the proportions and symmetry, which can have a huge effect on the luminosity and appearance of any given diamond. An 'ideal cut' diamond is one that allows the maximum amount of light to enter through the top, by taking into consideration the depth, table size, crown height and angle, girdle thickness and more.

    After a rough diamond is mined, it is evaluated to determine its best possible cut, in order to maintain the maximum clarity, color, and carat weight. The term 'cut' is often confused with diamond shape, such as round brilliant.


    Diamond Cuts


    Diamonds range from colorless to yellow or light brown, and are sometimes found in a spectrum of fancy colors, including yellow, blue, green, pink and even red. In regular/colorless diamonds, the less color, the rarer and more valuable the diamond; in fancy color diamonds – the opposite. After 'Z' on the color scale, diamonds become fancy yellow, which boosts their cost as they are rarer.

    D - Colorless

    E-F - Colorless

    G-J - Near Colorless

    K-M - Faint Yellow

    N-R - Very Light Yellow

    S-Z - Light Yellow

    Diamond Colors


    Diamonds are composed of mostly carbon. During the heating process, other elements become trapped inside, giving each diamond its unique fingerprint. These inclusions help identify the clarity of your diamond.

    FL - Completely Flawless.

    IF – Internally Flawless. No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.

    VVS1-VVS2 - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see.

    VS1-VS2 - Inclusions are visible only with 10x loupe, but can be characterized as minor.

    SI1-SI2 - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader with 10x loupe.

    I1-I3 - Inclusions might be noticeable with the naked eye.

    Diamond Clarity

    Now that we have a better understanding of each variable, it’s important to note that the optimal diamond will have a balanced combination of characteristics to match your personal wants, needs and budget. Not sure which C to focus on?

    Can’t decide between a higher color grading, a larger stone or a better cut? We’re here to simplify the process and guide you step by step to finding that one-of-a-kind gem. Contact us now and we’ll help you get started.

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