four C's

The globally accepted standard for describing diamonds are: color, clarity, cut and carat. Today, the 4C's of diamond quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. Thre creation of the Diamond 4C's meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.


Cut refers to the shape of the finished diamond. While nature determines the colour, carat-weight and clarity of a diamond, only a skilled craftsman can determine the cut, displaying the fire, sparkle and beauty of the diamond. When a diamond is cut to perfect proportions – thus not too deep nor too shallow – light will reflect inside the stone and disperse through the top of the stone, making it seem to radiate from within. A badly proportioned or badly cut diamond can appear watery and dull. There are various different diamond cuts, catering to almost any taste and preference.


The clarity of a diamond is one of the most important factors in determining its value. Virtually all natural diamonds contain identifying characteristics, many of them to small to be seen by the naked eye. These “inclusions” are nature’s birthmarks and when viewed under ten-times magnification (called a Loupe) they may display like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. Generally the greater the number and size of inclusions the lower the clarity grade and the less rare the diamond. A diamond revealing no such inclusions is known as flawless and treasured for its rarity.


Colour is one of the most important aspects to consider when classifying a diamond. Diamonds are found in many different colours, graded on a scale of D through Z based on the degree to which the diamond approaches colourlessness. Diamonds graded D to F are considered extremely white to colourless. They are most rare and therefore the most valuable. As the colour approaches more yellow, a diamond’s price decreases. Fancy colours are much sought after due to their extreme rarity, particularly pinks and blues. Their quality is graded by the intensity of the hue, and other than with white diamonds, the more colour the rarer.


The weight of a diamond is measured in carat. One carat is equal to 0.2 gram, and there is a system of 100 points in 1 carat. Thus a 0.75ct is the same as a 75 pointer or a 3/4 carat stone. It is important to carefully select a diamond suitable to individual preferences, styles and the size of the chosen setting for the unique stone. Diamonds of equal carat-weight may vary greatly in brilliance depending on their symmetry and cut, so carat-weight on its own is an unreliable guide for value.