A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the 4Cs of Diamond Quality

4cs of diamonds

Shopping for diamonds for the first time can be confusing. Color, clarity, cut, and carats are different on each one. What do they even mean?

In a $4.1 billion dollar market, there are a lot of diamonds to choose from. Deciding which one is right for you comes down to 4 main qualities and your budget.

We’ll explain the 4Cs of diamond quality and what they mean to you. Once you know what to look for, you can find the right diamond for your budget.


A pure diamond color will actually have no color. Traditionally the clearer a diamond, the more valuable it becomes.

Diamonds get rated on a scale of D to Z. A D rating means the diamond is colorless. The closer you get to Z, the more color is present.

Colors like pink, canary, and chocolate have experienced increased popularity as birthday gifts. This company offers a selection of diamonds in both colorless and colored diamonds.


Appraisers will look at a diamond under a powerful microscope to find imperfections. These could be a blemish on the outside or an inclusion within the diamond.

There are 6 main categories and up to 11 grades within each category. The best diamond clarity grades are flawless and internally flawless.

Then in descending order, very very slightly included, very slightly included, slightly included, and included. The closer the diamond rates to flawless, the more valuable it becomes.


Diamond cuts are often referred to as the shape. This isn’t a correct description of the cut though.

The cut is the artistry and precision of the diamond’s facets. There are seven different factors used to judge a round cut diamond.

There are ten different shapes that you will find diamonds in. Their individual cuts can vary.

Generally, a diamond’s brightness, fire, and scintillation contribute to the cut evaluation. These are all factors in how the diamond directs the light shown through it.

Carat Weight

The carat weight is a metric “carat”, or 200 milligrams. Each carat can then divide into a 100 points.

You will see the weight of a diamond described down to the hundredth decimal place. For example, a .25 carat diamonds will have a designation such as a 25 point diamond.

Diamonds over one carat use the carat distinction in the weight. For example, if the diamond weight is 1.10, the reference is one point ten carats.

Assuming everything else is equal, the price of the diamond increases with the weight. With the other Cs considered, two diamonds of the same weight can be worth different amounts.

4Cs of Diamond Quality

Look for the 4Cs of diamond quality when shopping for your next diamond. Remember to consider all four features together to determine value.

The color grades on a scale from colorless to very colored. The clarity determines the number of imperfections.

The cut judges how well the diamond refracts the light. The carat is the weight of the diamond.

Decide which features you find important and which ones you are willing to comprise on. Knowing this will help you find the right diamond in your budget.

Read about the 5 most expensive handbags, many featuring hundreds of diamonds.

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