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Diamond Quality: What are the Four C's of Diamonds?

Diamond quality is arguably the most important aspect to consider before purchasing a specific stone. However, there is much more than meets the eye in determining diamond value. Professional jewellers will categorise a diamond based on four metrics, often referred to as the "Diamond Four C's", that serve as a diamond quality chart. Main considerations are:

  • The colour
  • The cut
  • The clarity
  • The carat weight


In order to appreciate how these stones are classified, and to best inform your purchase, it is worth looking into each aspect in detail.


Colour

 



One of the most interesting (and beautiful) aspects of diamonds is that it can be found in a number of different hues. This natural colouration is caused by other minerals which may have dissolved into the matrix during the stone’s natural formation process. Some examples are yellow, green, purple, blue and even pink.

Certain colours (such as a deep violet or a rich yellow) are much rarer and thus, the diamond value of these colours is significantly more.

 

For engagement rings, a pure “white” or colourless hue is favoured, and rank along their own diamond quality chart from D – Z, with D being the most valuable and clearest of colour, and Z featuring visible yellow colouring.

The Cut

Diamonds can be cut into various shapes. Although it is commonly thought that this is up to the discretion of the buyer, the innate characteristics of the stone will sometimes dictate the final stone style. Some common shapes include:

  • Princess cuts
  • Cushion cuts
  • Pear cuts
  • Oval cuts
  • Emerald cuts


One of the most common cuts for use in wedding rings is the traditional round cut. The image below brilliantly displays such radiance.



Other factors such as diamond flaws may also be taken into account by the professional who is performing the work, selecting a style which helps the stone display at its best. As such, allowing for cut style to be based on what best complements your selected stone will often result in a far more pleasing result.

Clarity

Perhaps the most commonly known, and highest valued of the “Diamond 4 C’s” is clarity. Stones can range from the highly sought flawless (FL) to featuring slight internal flaws (known as “inclusions), to stones with visually notable surface flaws, also known as “blemishes”. Imperfections may include cracks, pits, or other embedded crystals or naturally occurring materials appearing inside the stone.

 

A jeweller will be able to discern diamond value based upon these factors. The highest rated, flawless stones will also reflect the most light, giving the diamond its characteristic sparkle.


Carat Weight

Finally in the Diamond 4 C’s, the carat will be factored into the equation. One carat is defined as one-fifth of a gram. It should be mentioned here that, contrary to popular belief, the carat does not refer to the size of the stone in question, but rather its exact weight.

 

 

Stones that have a larger carat tend to be more expensive and a scale of “magic weights” defines the points at which price increases:

  • 1/2ct
  • 3/4ct
  • 1ct
  • 5cts
  • 2cts


These are the four considerations which should be taken into account when choosing a diamond. Whether you are looking for bespoke wedding rings or you simply wish to learn more about these amazing stones, we encourage you to browse through our site in greater detail to help you make the best decision.