A diamond’s 4 C’s represent the four main components of its beauty and structure: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. When looking at a diamond, the eye perceives a balance of its characteristics and components, including, but not limited to, the 4 C’s.
Each of the C’s are graded on a scale, and can be evaluated for quality. Though some universal terminology and standard grading exists, it does vary by lab entity. The most consistent entities—and the ones we recommend gaining a certificate from—are the GIA and the AGS. Gradings of the 4 C’s help determine the value of a diamond and indicate its quality.
Diamond sellers often set their prices based on grading reports. Knowing the basics of these gradings is helpful when comparing two similar diamonds, but what remains most important is how the diamond appears to the naked eye—and how attractive the diamond is overall. In this sense, having a foundational understanding of the 4 C’s is imperative as a buyer, so that you can avoid spending your budget on a component that will go unnoticed.
How the 4 C's work together
Each of the 4 C’s contribute to the overall beauty of a diamond and make each stone unique. A Diamond, however, should be viewed as an organic whole. Because the eye has difficulty differentiating one component by itself, such as Clarity or Color, it is important to consider how the 4 C’s impact each other.
To evaluate a diamond using the 4 C’s, consider the following:
Cut: Make Cut a primary focus during your search, as it is the “C” which most readily impacts a diamond’s beauty. Look for high levels of brilliance and fire, and be willing to reduce your spending in other areas like Clarity or Color to ensure an exceptional Cut.
Color: A diamond should look white or colorless to the naked eye. Ensure the Color does not distract or interfere with white and colored light reflection.
Clarity: Choose a diamond that is eye clean. Blemishes and inclusions should not distract from the brilliance or fire of a diamond.
Carat: Consider what is important for you and the one you love, but remember that brilliance and beauty will outshine mere weight each and every time. Be open to lowering your Carat weight to ensure you purchase a stunning diamond.
With these fundamentals in mind, remember that a diamond is a precious whole, and should be looked at in totality.
If you’re unsure how to evaluate a diamond, and want to purchase an exceptional diamond that’s within your budget,
contact one of our experts for assistance.
What is diamond fluorescence?
Fluorescence in diamonds refers to how a diamond responds when subjected to ultra-violet light. Ultra-violet light is what makes your whites look whiter, your teeth bright white, and your black-light posters glow. Some diamonds, when they are exposed to ultra-violet light and other lighting conditions, glow different colors. I’m not going to even try to explain why this is. If you’re interested, google “diamond fluorescence,” and I’m sure you’ll find more than enough information about the science behind the glow.
99% of the time, the glow is blue, but on rare occasions, the diamonds can glow white, yellow, green, or even red in color. The story, however, doesn’t end here.
Hight fluorescence means hazy diamonds
we can tell you with absolute certainty, that their research is bunk. we have seen tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of diamonds in my career and I can tell you without question the following:
Strong/Very Strong Blue Fluorescent diamonds usually appear hazy
Medium Blue Fluorescent diamonds rarely appear hazy
Slight/Faint Blue Fluorescent diamonds never appear hazy
If the diamonds you are looking at have a strong or very strong blue fluorescence, then they will most likely appear hazy, oily, or cloudy and this will also cause the diamonds to appear less transparent. When comparing diamonds back to back, you will definitely see a difference between a diamond with strong fluorescence and one with little or none. It is also important to note that this extreme level of haziness for a fluorescent diamond is also not typical and is not as common as you may think when you are discussing diamonds that are H and lower.
What is diamond certificat?
Diamond Certification (most commonly from labs GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL, GSI, and HRD) is a document you receive from an objective 3rd party lab that describes a diamond in all of its characteristics.
Along with each diamond you’re considering, you should receive and review its lab certification. This lab report or certificate will be issued by a grading entity and describes various elements of the diamond, such as Color, Clarity, length and width. Trained professionals evaluate, scrutinize and measure the diamonds using professional tools, such as a loupe or microscope.
Each entity grades and describes diamonds differently—and sometimes the difference is significant. Several lab entities exist and it’s important to know which ones are trustworthy and reliable, and which ones are not.
Because diamond certificates are not created equal, the price and value of diamonds are not comparable across varying certifications. Ensure that you purchase a diamond with a certificate from a highly reputable grading entity—and that you review the diamond closely before purchase.
Often when people hear the term “Carat Weight,” they think it refers to the size of the diamond. In actuality, Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, not how large the stone is. A 1 Carat Diamond equals 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams—and weighs about the same as a quarter of a raisin. Depending on the Diamond’s Shape and how it is cut, two 1 Carat Diamonds might be quite different in size. While Carat weight is an element to consider when buying a diamond, the overall appearance and brilliance should carry more importance. For example, a mediocre 1.5 Carat diamond will not shine as brightly—or draw as much attention—as a stunning 1.0 Carat diamond, no matter how much more it weighs.
A Diamond’s Clarity grade evaluates how clean a diamond is from both inclusions and blemishes.
Clarity is graded by the GIA on the following scale:
IF (Internally Flawless)
VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)
VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)
VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)
VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)
SI1 (Slightly Included 1)
SI2 (Slightly Included 2)
I1 (Inclusions 1)
I2 (Inclusions 2)
Depending on the size, location and darkness of blemishes and inclusions, these imperfections can interfere with light as it passes through the diamond. When this happens, the brilliance and beauty of the diamond is dulled, taking away from the high-quality Cut.
For Clarity, our primary recommendation is to ensure the diamond is eye clean, and that inclusions are not interfering with light reflection. Review the stone to see if it is eye clean and ask for confirmation from an expert. A certificate alone won’t tell you how a diamond’s blemishes will impact the stone’s appearance and brilliance.
Diamond Color is graded in terms of how white or colorless a diamond is. The GIA grades diamonds from D to Z, with D being the most colorless, and Z containing noticeable brown or yellow tint. The pricing of diamonds usually reflects these grades—sometimes significantly. In most cases, the naked eye cannot tell the difference between two adjacent color graded diamonds, though the price difference may be significant. The most critical aspect with Color is to determine if it appears colorless in relation to its setting. You also want to be certain that a diamond is clear of any tinting that takes away or interferes with white and colored light reflections
Brilliance, or sparkle, is created from the way the diamond is cut. It is not advantageous to purchase a diamond that distracts from this important principal characteristic.
As a general recommendation, review each diamond closely and ask for the assistance of an expert. This is the best way to ensure you’re not paying for a feature (i.e. too high of Color grade) that will go unnoticed, or purchasing a diamond that distracts or interferes with light reflection. Note: Certain colored diamonds are valued stones, like a fancy pink or green diamond. Color grades for these diamonds are distinctly different than traditional “white” diamonds.
Diamond Cut specifically refers to the quality of a diamond’s angles, proportions, symmetrical facets, brilliance, fire, scintillation and finishing details. These factors directly impact a diamond’s ability to sparkle, along with its overall aesthetic appeal.The GIA grades Diamond Cut on the scale of Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. The Ideal and Excellent grades, depending on Diamond Shape, signify proportions and angles cut for maximum brilliance and fire. Cuts vary significantly among diamonds and diamond cutters. At times, a cutter may aim for maximum Carat weight, leaving the diamond too deep or too shallow for optimal light reflection. Other times a diamond may be cut to minimize the number of inclusions, improving its Clarity, but forgoing maximum sparkle. Even an Ideal cut diamond may have a yellow tint that is too noticeable and detracts from the gem’s beauty.
More importantly, though, is ensuring Cut is a focal point of your diamond selection. Even a pristine 2 Carat Diamond with no blemishes or color tinting can be dull if it’s not cut exceptionally well. Cut is the biggest indicator of beauty, and should be made priority over the other C’s.
The 10 most common diamond shapes:
Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds
As the leading diamond shape in terms of popularity, the Round Brilliant Cut represents over two thirds of the diamonds sold.
In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky published, “Diamond Design: A Study of the Reflection and Refraction of Light in Diamond,” which explained the ideal angles for a diamond to produce the highest level of brilliance and fire. His work created a surge in the Round Brilliant Cut’s popularity, which remains consistent today.
The Round Brilliant’s refined shape allows for maximum reflection of light, contributing to its incredible brilliance. Round Brilliant Cuts have 58 facets (including the culet).
This fancy cut shape is second in diamond popularity after the Round Brilliant Cut. It’s created from the inverted pyramid of the rough diamond stone. Traditionally square, the Princess Cut achieves greater brilliance and fire than other similarly shaped diamonds. Rectangular Princess Cuts are also available.
Using the technique originally designed to cut emeralds, this diamond shape comes rightly by its name. With its large table surface, the Emerald Cut Diamond offers abundant reflections through its long, straight lines or ‘steps.’ Emerald Cuts are prominent in both square and rectangle.
The Cushion Cut Diamond gets its name from the combination of a square shape with rounded edges, making it look like a pillow or cushion. Due to its precise bending and dispersion of light, the Cushion Cut beams with fire.
Guy Tsur Online Private Jeweler
First produced by the Asscher Brothers of Holland in 1902, the Asscher Cut Diamond regained popularity in 2002 after its one hundredth anniversary and a slight modification to the cut technique.
As a dazzling alternative to the Emerald Cut, the Asscher Cut Diamond hosts a smaller table and more layered facets. Brilliance is achieved through light reflection among the square facets seen underneath the table. The Asscher Cut’s trimmed corners give it extra style and stability.
With a rounded side that narrows to a distinct point, the Pear Shaped Diamond is an elegant, timeless choice. If purchasing for a ring, the pointed end will point toward the heart of the wearer. Symmetry is critical to the appearance of a Pear Shaped Diamond so it shimmers evenly.
Showcasing similar brilliance and fire to the Round Cut, the Oval Diamond is an exquisite choice for those who wish to wear a unique shape. The Oval’s elongated silhouette offers a large appearance compared to other shapes of the same carat.
A prominent symbol of love, the Heart Shaped Diamond boasts an exquisite figure that can be set in a ring, pendant or other jewelry piece. Heart Shaped diamonds range in slenderness and width, selected primarily on personal preference. A well-cut Heart Shaped Diamond should be symmetrical, so it appears balanced and full. The point or cleft of the diamond should be distinct.
Radiant Cut Diamonds gained their popularity in the 1980s due to their dazzling brilliance which is only exceeded by the Round Brilliant.
The Radiant Cut is an enchanting choice due to its numerous facets found in the pavilion and crown. These features provide a high level of both brilliance and fire. Its cropped corners also make it a delightful match for pairing with rounded or square diamonds.
Originally requested by King Louis XIV to mimic the shape of his mistress’ mouth, the Marquise Diamond has remained a flattering and delightful choice for several centuries.
The narrow body of the Marquise Diamond resembles the shape of an elongated eye. Its stunning large crown is complementary to wearers as it makes the finger appear longer and more slender.