The 4 C’s of Diamonds Explained

Cut, clarity, color and carat weight all play a role in a diamond’s beauty, with cut being the most important. We’ve explained the different components below, so you can feel empowered walking into any showroom when picking out your engagement ring. 

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Cut: Refers to the quality of a diamond’s angles, proportions, symmetrical facets, brilliance, and finishing details. This is the most important aspect of a diamond. Consider this more of a stylistic choice.

Color: The second most important factor of a diamond is the color. Diamond color is graded in terms of how white or colorless the diamond is. D to Z is the range of how color is defined, with D being the most colorless and Z containing the most noticeable brown or yellow tint. The pricing of diamonds definitely reflects these color grades.

Clarity: The third factor of a diamond is a the stone's clarity, which is to say how clean a diamond is from blemishes. Most of these blemishes cannot be seen with the naked eye, but some can. The more clarify, the higher the price of the diamond is.

Carats: Refers to the total weight and not its size, and is not related to the sparkle. As the weight increases, so will the price. Sparkle is the result of a well-crafted cut.

The 4 C's of a diamond will often be documented through certification by the two main gemological institutes, and those are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and EGL (which is European based). Both are a nonprofit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology and the jewelry arts.