The 4 C's of Diamond

December 13, 2023
Share this article

If you’re in the market for a diamond, chances are you have heard of “The 4 C’s”. But what are they? What do they mean? And why should you care?

Buying a diamond is different to buying other jewellery, when buying a diamond, you want to be sure you’re getting the best piece at the best price! It’s worth doing a bit of research before heading in store.

The 4 C’s are basically how diamonds are ranked. It’s a universal system so whatever jeweller you go to, you can easily compare and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

With diamonds, the 4 C’s stand for Cut, Carat, Colour and Clarity.

Each is super important so it's good to get to know what these mean and how you can use the info.

Cut

First up let’s look at the diamond Cut. The Cut is basically what gives the diamond the best sparkle! Crafting diamonds requires some serious skill, if a diamond isn’t cut well, it will appear dull – even if it has a high score in the other C’s. Without getting too technical here, what we’re looking for is symmetry, a diamond that is too deep or too shallow will “leak” light out the back, a well-cut diamond will make sure all that sparkle shines right back at the wearer (or jealous onlookers).

A diamond’s cut will be rated Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor.

Diamond Cut

Carat

Number of Carats is often what people assume makes the biggest and best-looking diamond. Carat actually refers to the stone’s weight, not its size. One carat equals a fifth of a gram. It’s important to know that stones with the same carat weight can actually look different in size, depending on the cut. (link to diff blog here).

While the carat weight of a diamond contributes to the $$ of the piece, it’s not everything! Two one-carat stones can vary hugely in price when clarity, colour and cut are taken into consideration. That’s why we have the 4 C’s. 

 

Carat of Diamond

Colour

Diamonds come in a variety of colours. White diamonds are the most common and the most popular, especially for engagement rings. A perfectly white diamond should be crystal clear.

In nature, most diamonds have a slight tint of yellow or brown - the lighter the tint, the more valuable and rare the stone will be.

Colour is rated with a letter, from D-Z.

DEF - Colourless

GHIJ - Near Colourless

KLM - Faint Yellow

NOPQR - Very Light Yellow

STUVWXYZ - Light Yellow

Clarity

Diamond clarity refers to the appearance of the inside of the stone. The lower the number, the higher the grading. Nearly all diamonds contain some blemishes (external flaws) or inclusions (internal flaws) that effect the clarity. Graders assess each diamond under 10x magnification and rate the stone based on any visible issues. The highest clarity grading is referred to as a "loupe clean" and is completely free of inclusions, the lowest clarity grades will have imperfections that are visible to the naked eye.

Every diamond is unique, the four 4 c’s can help you make the best choice when picking out an engagement ring! Checkout our “Things to Know Before Buying An Engagement Ring” blog for more.

Links to:

Shop engagement rings

How to measure ring size

Jewellery and Diamond Care

Shop