The 4 C's of Diamonds

By: Nikki Riela | February 13, 2019

Everything you need to know before making the big purchase

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Do you know your diamond C’s? Have you ever heard of the 4 C’s of diamonds? Well if you answered no to either one of those questions you are in for a treat.

 The 4 C’s of diamonds are as follows; and we will be going over each one in depth in this order:

1.    Cut

2.    Color

3.    Clarity

4.    Carat


This is the number one most important part to consider when purchasing a diamond. The cut of a diamond is what creates that sparkle and fire that we all look for in a diamond. Without a high cut grade, even high-quality diamonds may look dull and there will be no reflection of light. Diamonds that have the proper proportions will return light out of the top of the diamond; meanwhile, diamonds that are cut too shallow will leak light out of the bottom and diamonds that are cut too deep will leak light out of the side.

There are many different shapes that you can choose from when diamond shopping and these are all the different diamond cuts available. All of these are beautiful in their own way and feature unique bits. There are three main categories: brilliant cuts, step cuts, and mixed cuts.

·      Round – the most popular and classic diamond shape. This shape features multiple facets that allows for enhanced brilliance. This shape is also very popular because it is very durable and less likely to crack or chip as it has no corners to catch on.

·      Princess – this is the second most popular shape of diamond. Princess cut diamonds look larger than say round cut diamonds due the size of the of the top of the diamond.

·      Emerald – this specific style highlights the clarity of the diamond and shows off the beautiful step cut of the diamond.

·      Ascher – has a unique shape that highlights the clarity just like the Emerald cut does.

·      Marquise – this is a beautiful cut that not only maximizes carat weight (meaning a bigger looking diamond) but also elongates and make fingers look more slender.

·      Oval – these show off their beautiful brilliance and just like marquise maximize carat weight.

·      Radiant – this beautiful cut is known for its trimmed edges and their 70 facets, making these diamonds very unique.

·      Pear – this unique cut is a hybrid between the round and the marquise cut and just like the round cut it is known for the high sparkle.

·      Heart – a distinctive choice and a very unique one, however with this style of diamond may show the color of the diamond in the corners more than any other cut so you should choose a higher color grade when working with a heart shaped diamond.

·      Cushion – its rounded corners make it unique in its own, this cut has larger facets that increase brilliance and highlight clarity.

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The second most important part to consider when making such an important purchase is color. The highest quality diamonds will be considered colorless meanwhile, lower quality diamonds will have a noticeable color (pale yellow). The GIA or Gemological Institute of America uses a color grading scale that goes from D-Z. D being colorless and Z being a naturally yellow or brown diamond. Since D rated diamonds have no color they are also very rare and therefore much more expensive than say an I or a J. The most popular color grades are G and H as they are both near colorless making their price be lower but still an excellent value. As you can imagine, the further down you move on the color chart the more noticeable the color is.


The clarity of a diamond is the assessment of the small imperfections whether they are on the surface of the diamond or internal. If these imperfections are located on the surface of a diamond they are called blemishes and internal imperfections are called inclusions; these are all natural and all diamonds have some type of imperfection in it that makes each diamond unique. Of course, there is a grading system for these imperfections and the least amount/smallest inclusions will give you the highest clarity grade. There are 11 clarity grades and they are as follows (in highest to lowest grade):

1.    FL (flawless)

2.    IF (internally flawless)

3.    VVS1 (very very slightly included 1)

4.    VVS2 (very very slight included 2)

5.    VS1 (very slightly included 1)

6.    VS2 (very slight included 2)

7.    SI1 (slightly included 1)

8.    SI2 (slightly included 2)

9.    I1 (included 1)

10. I2 (included 2)

11. I3 (included 3)

Keep in mind inclusions are tiny carbons that are inside the diamond and cannot be removed nor added.

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This refers to weight and not necessarily size. Keep in mind that a high carat diamond with a poor cut will look smaller than a well-cut diamond. In order to maximize your budget you can select a carat weight slightly below the whole and half marks (i.e. 1.90ct or 1.40ct).

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All of these pointers should make your diamond buying endeavors much easier and enjoyable. Should you need any assistance purchasing a diamond/engagement ring please feel free to call Jay’s Fine Jewelry at 772-878-8134 or stop by the store at 1625 NW St Lucie Blvd, PSL 34986.

Jay Garcia