Shopping For Diamonds: The Four C’s Cut, Clarity Color and Carat Weight

What a momentous occasion buying a diamond is! Not only is there a significant financial expense involved but often shopping for diamonds is done in celebration of an emotionally significant event such as an engagement, a birthday or any number other happy occasions.

Buying a diamond is often done after a lot of serious thought but with very little personal experience actually buying a precious gem. Nevertheless, with a basic understanding of the major aspects that give a diamond its value, the process of buying a diamond can be simplified, removing some of the mystery surrounding diamonds in general.

We’ll be discussing what those in the diamond business refer to as the “4 C’s”. These are the four most important factors to consider when ascertaining the quality and value of a diamond.


The first C is for Cut. This is not talking about the shape of the stone, but the various angles and proportions of the facets used to cut the natural stone into the attractive presentation you see at the jewelers and what gives a diamond that special twinkle.

While the other C’s are determined by what Mother Nature gave the diamond, the Cut is determined by the skill of the cutter. This is also the most important of the 4 C’s. Poor cutting jobs do not hold the lighting like a well-cut diamond will, this results in a duller appearance.


Did you know that diamonds come in a wide variety of colors? The structurally perfect diamond has no color at all and for this reason white diamonds are more costly than all but the rarest colored diamonds. Like deep red “blood diamond” and green diamonds.

Diamond color is graded from the colorless diamond, with a rank of D, to the pale yellow diamond, with a grade of Z. The final choice here is all about preference, although white diamonds have consistently proven to be the most popular choice throughout history.


As you can probably imagine, diamonds with few or no imperfections have a higher value. When discussing the clarity of a diamond, you may hear a jeweler refer to the “inclusions” in the diamond. Inclusions are little bits of foreign matter or fractures within the diamond and are measured on a scale.

SI1 and SI2 are a good choice, slight inclusions of this grade are not visible to the naked eye and keep the stone at a fair price.

Carat Weight

This refers to the weight of the diamond, and the heavier the stone the larger the price tag you can expect. There is a temptation to get caught up on this “C,” but the right setting performed by a master jeweler can often make a stone seem much larger than its weight may suggest.

The size of the stone is a factor, but it is often best to look for the most convenient way of giving a stone the “illusion” of size. Stones cut into the oval or pear shape can provide just such an illusion. Smaller stones set in a halo presentation also appear much larger than expected.

Jack Miller Jewelry Designers in Colorado Springs is a diamond expert! Let an expert gemologist show you what makes a great diamond. Give them a call now at 719-232-8122 or stop by the store today!

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