The Four Cs

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It probably doesn’t occur to most people that buying something as simple as an engagement ring could be a tedious chore. More so that it requires doing your homework.

The most care anyone is expected to take when buying a diamond is to do so from a trusted and reputable source. However, there’s more to it than being as simple as that.

Diamonds at even the most reputable outlet can differ in more ways than just the number of carats.

It’s better to educate yourself about the factors that affect the quality of a diamond so you can make the best decision. These are the 4 Cs of a diamond:


It’s problematic when sellers often use the terms ‘shape’ and ‘cut’ interchangeably since they’re completely different physical properties of a diamond.

The shape is the outline that can be round or heart-shaped, whereas the cut refers to the proportions of the facets.

The cut of a diamond and its relation to quality is that a better cut diamond will reflect the most light.

The dimensions on the facets can make the diamond itself appear bigger in size. Hence, you get enhancements in other categories such as color and clarity.


When it comes to the color of a diamond, the highest tier masterstones are colorless since these are the rarest.

Diamonds that have a pure chemical composition will have no color. Naturally colored diamonds are termed as ‘fancy’.

Colorless stones are precious because they allow more light to pass through them. The dispersed light gives the diamond a rainbow-colored effect. However, the differences in color are difficult to detect through a layman’s eye.

Be careful about buying a diamond with a low grade on the color scale if it’s a high tier gem you’re aiming for.


No two diamonds are the same, they’re all an embodiment of beauty that is a result of change over time. This is because each stone has internal properties called ‘inclusions’ and external ones that are referred to as ‘blemishes’. These can only be evaluated through magnification.

The value is therefore judged based on the nature, size, and position of these characteristics.

The clarity ranges from flawless to imperfect. While no diamond is completely perfect, the value increases the closer it gets to this standard. While it’s understandable for the nature to affect value, many have difficulty in comprehending how the position can make a difference.

The positions of an inclusion are paramount in determining value due to its importance in setting the stone. Stones with inclusions in more critical areas such as the center can be more prone to stress during setting.


This refers to the weight of the diamond. A standard carat is 200 milligrams, and each carat is subdivided into 100 points.

Carat is the only factor that can be precisely and objectively measured.

Since high carat diamonds are even rarer, they are more expensive for that reason rather than just weighing more. However, as mentioned above carat is not the most important factor and lowering the standard for other characteristics like the cut just to get a bigger diamond is never a good idea.


I have pages explain each of the four Cs in detailed should you wish to find out more - Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat