Learning the 4 C’s of a Diamond¬†

The International Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society established universal standards on which to evaluate and grade diamonds. The 4 C’s… cut, clarity, color and carats. Before buying a diamond, you should be sure it has been evaluated by an independent, certified gemologist.¬†


The facts, of a diamond are the flat faces on the gem, and way these facets are cut into patterns on the diamond determine its light performance, or brilliance, sparkle and fire. There are well-known types of cuts, such as the round brilliant cut, princess cut, or marquise cit. Ideal or very good are the best cut grades.


The absence of blemishes and inclusions on a gem gives it a higher quality. Flawless gems have absolutely none of these when magnified 10 times. The clarity scale, which evaluates the number, size, location and nature of blemishes or inclusions, begins at flawless and runs down through several categories of included to imperfect.


Diamonds come in many colors, not just colorless. While colorless have been deemed the most valued over time, fancy color diamonds, like pinks and yellows are growing in popularity. Lab-grown pinks are proving to be a great value because of the scarcity of mined pinks.


The weight or size of the diamond is measured in carats. One carat weighs 1/5 of a gram. While carat is one indicator of value, some diamonds that weigh the same may not look alike because of how they are cut.