The 4C's

UPDATED:

Learn about the criteria that make up for the quality and price of a diamond. Those famous attributes, also known as the 4Cs, are: Carat, cut, clarity and color.

Overview of the 4C's

The 4C

Description

Scale

Carat

Weight and size

ct

Cut

Shape und cut quality

Excellent - Poor

Clarity

Absence of carbon inclusions

F (flawless) - I (included)

Color

Absence of a yellow tint

D - Z

1. Carat

“Carat” stands for the weight of a diamond. A one carat stone weighs 0,2 grams.


  • Carat vs diamond size

People tend to believe that “carat” actually has to do with size and not with weight. Of course, this assertion is not totally wrong - the heavier the stone, the bigger will the stone be.

Have a look below at our table to see how the carat weight impacts the diameter of a diamond and how different carat weights actually look on hand.

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  • Which carat weight should you go for?

For some wonen, the bigger the stone, the better. For others , the overall quality of the stone is what matters the most.

Deciding which carat weight is entirely up to you and your budget. Discover how to maximize your budget and find the best diamond fit for you.

  • How to make your diamond look bigger?

You can make your diamond look much bigger by choosing a ring model with a halo. To give you a good idea, the image below shows you what a 1 carat diamond looks like with and without a halo:

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2. Cut

The “cut” of a diamond greatly affects a diamond's brillance and fire.

  • Cut vs Shape?

The diamond cut has nothing to do with the diamond shape.

The shape refers to the actual form a diamond was cut into (round, emerald, pear, oval, etc...) while the cut refers to how well a diamond was cut. Learn more about the different diamond shapes, which shape is the cheapest and which diamond shape will compliment your hand best!

  • How is the cut measured?

To evaluate the cut GIA looks at:

- How much brightness fire and scintillation to stone offers

- How well the diamond was designed to ensure durability and optimal weight

- How well aligned and polished the diamon's facets are

Based on their observations GIA will attribute a cut grade to each diamond.

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  • Which cut should you go for?

Cut is an important criteria which you should not overlook. While excellent is obviously the best cut grade you can go for, “excellent cut” diamonds are obviously way more expensive than poorly cut diamonds.

We recommend going for an excellent, very good or good cut diamond. But try avoiding fair and poorly cut diamonds as this will greatly affect the brilliance and shine of your diamond.


3. Clarity

The “clarity” of a diamond refers to the imperfections a diamond bears.

  • Why does a diamond have imperfections?

Diamonds consist of only a single element, which is carbon. Intense heat and pressure over a long time turn the carbon molecules into a diamond. However, every diamond contains unique internal or external “birthmarks”, called inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external).

It is the inclusions and blemishes that make a diamond truly unique and unmistakable. Some diamonds come close to perfect, but most jewellers have never seen one.

  • The GIA clarity scale

The diamond's clarity, which measures the absence of inclusions and blemishes, is described by terms like FL (Flawless) for diamonds with no visible inclusions under 10x magnification, VVS for very slightly included or I for inclusions that are visible under the magnifying glass and may affect transparency and brilliance. Learn more about the GIA certificate and how to read a GIA certificate.

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  • Which clarity grade should you go for?

While FL (Flawless) is the least included, purest diamond, it is also the most expensive. We recommend VS1 or higher to have a perfectly pure looking diamond to the naked eye. VS2 is also fine, but we do not suggest going lower, or inclusions will start becoming visible.


4. Color

The “color” of a diamond measures how white a diamond is.

  • What is the GIA color scale?

The color scale of a diamond ranges from the letter D to Z. D colored stones are absolutely colorless, and therefore very white, while Z colored diamonds have a light yellow or brown tint.

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  • Which color should you go for?

While D is definitely the most sought after color for a diamond, they are also the more expensive. We suggest choosing G, H, or I diamonds as they will look just as white to the naked eye.

  • How can you make your diamond appear whiter?

A diamond with a slight yellow tint will appear much whiter, by way of contrast, if set in a pink or yellow gold ring. Remember this tip if you ever decide to go for a J to Z colored diamond!

You can discover more about gold color and discover which gold color will suit you best.

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