The 4C’s and Beyond

What are the 4C's of Diamond Grading?

Buying a diamond is one of the most important decisions a couple will make. This 4C diamond guide will help to inform your personal choices, and help you understand the characteristics that influence the brilliance, beauty and value of diamonds.

Knowing a bit about the 4Cs of diamonds can help to make your buying experience more enjoyable and more fulfilling.

Diamonds are like people—no two are ever exactly alike. Very subtle differences in the internal and external characteristics of each stone, along with subtle variations in color and cutting proportions, have a measurable effect on the value of two diamonds which may appear to be similar.

The diamond 4Cs are cut, color, clarity and carat weight. 


Cut means the shape of the diamond (round, marquise, pear, oval, heart, emerald, princess, radiant, etc.), as well as the proportions of the stone.

When a stone is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from facet to facet, then dispersed through the top. The better the cut, the greater the sparkle, brilliance and fire of the stone.


Most diamonds look colorless. But there are subtle shade differences that range from colorless to yellow/brown.

Diamonds are graded on a color scale that ranges from D (colorless) to Z (yellow/brown).

Diamonds with no hint of color at all are extremely rare and are therefore, most valuable. Most quality diamonds used in fine jewelry creation appear to be colorless, although they usually have at least a hint of color.

Colour 4C Diamond Chart:


Diamonds contain a combination of internal and external characteristics called inclusions and blemishes. Normally, they are too minute to be visible without powerful magnification.

Some blemishes are so small they require great skill and time to locate. The number, type, location, visibility and color of inclusions determines a diamond’s clarity and may influence its value. Please see this chart below for further illustration:

Carat Weight

Like all precious stones, the weight or size of a diamond is measured in carats. A one carat stone is equal in weight to one hundred smaller units called “points.”

Therefore, a fifty-point diamond, for example, is the same as a half carat. Carat weight is the most obvious factor in determining a diamond’s value. The value is also influenced depending on the quality of its cut, clarity and color as explained above.


Diamond 4Cs

We hope that this 4C diamond guide will help you to understand the language of diamonds and put you more at ease in making your selection. The next step should be obtaining a diamond certificate from a reputable independent gemological laboratory. The certificate identifies and evaluates specific characteristics that determine the value of the stone you select.