4 C's of diamond shopping

DiamondsDiamond shopping can be intimidating, overwhelming, and exciting. We want to make your experience, when buying a diamond, a pleasant one. Whether you are buying a diamond for a ring, earrings, necklace or bracelet, 4 things never change. So here is what you need to know when buying a diamond! 

The 4 C's

  • Cut
  • Clarity
  • Color 
  • Carat

Lets start with cut. Most people when they hear the "cut of the diamond" they automatically think of the shape. Shape does play an importance to cut, but there is more to the cut of a diamond than just the shape. The way a diamond is cut can affect the clarity and the color as well. Cut governs the interaction between the light and the diamond. The sparkle, or brilliance & fire, that you are wanting from the diamond depends on the cut, the proportions of dimensions, and the finish. When you hear that a diamond has a good "make" that means that the diamond's proportions and finish are both in good shape. The quality of a diamond's make is critical to the diamonds beauty and attractiveness because it creates a stunning display of light. Bottom line: a good cut means lots of sparkle! 

Clarity involves the characteristics of a diamond that include internal aspects called inclusions and surface irregularities called blemishes. Clarity is parallel to the absence of blemishes and inclusions. No two diamonds have the same clarity characteristics and it can be called the diamond's finger print. Each diamond is graded on a scale that is the following:

  • Flawless
  • Internally Flawless
  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) 
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3)

Flawless diamonds show no inclusions or blemishes of any kind, when examined under 10X magnification and are very rare. Internally flawless has not inclusions under the 10X magnification but does have minor blemishes. VVS diamonds contain minute inclusions that range from extremely difficult (VVS1) to very difficult (VVS2) to see at 10X magnification. VS diamonds contain minor inclusions that range from difficult (VS1) to somewhat easy (VS2) to see at 10X magnification. SI diamonds contain noticeable inclusions that are easy (SI1) or very easy (SI2) to see at 10X magnification. Diamonds that are included are very obvious to see at 10X magnification. Clarity makes your diamond unique.

Color seems to be very straightforward but it deals with more than most people think. Many people think that most diamonds are "colorless" when in reality colorless diamonds are rare. Most diamonds that are used in jewelry have yellow or brown tint to them, and mostly with a light yellow. There are other colored diamonds besides yellow and brown in the world with the rarest being red, purple, and green. The scale used for grading diamonds ranges from D-Z and the closer the diamond is to grading as a D, the rarer the diamond. The scale for diamond grades is the following:


Many things are sold based upon their weight. Diamond are no different and they are measured in metric carats (cts). Metic carat is divided into 100 points. 1 point is 100th of a carat. It helps to compare carats as dollars and points as pennies. They are written the same: 1.67$ means 1 dollar and 67 pennies. 1.67 carats means 1 carat and 67 points. Larger diamonds are more rare than smaller diamonds. 
Diamond Chart Summary
Each diamond's value is based on the each diamond's unique combination of the 4 C's. The more rare the diamond, the more value the diamond has. Diamonds continue to be a gift of love, and finding the right jeweler to help you is important. Make sure when you choose a jeweler, that they are one that you trust and feel comfortable with.