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The Four C’s of Diamonds

One of the things you’ve no doubt come across in your search for the perfect diamond is something called the Four C’s. These are characteristics of a diamond that are evaluated to determine the stone’s overall worth.

The Four C’s stand for: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat.

While each of "The Four C's" is an important factor in selecting your diamond, we find that some are worth more consideration than as they can significantly increase the final "C" — the COST of your diamond.

The challenge is to balance the Four C’s in order to create the perfect engagement ring. Our philosophy is that some of the C’s are more important than others. We have a whole video series dedicated to this topic which you can watch by clicking here, or you can keep reading our guide below. While it is in-depth, it was created to make you as educated as possible about the topic of the Four C’s, so you can come away confident in your knowledge and be able to purchase the exact diamond YOU want.

The Concierge Diamonds Guide to the Four C’s


How important is color in a diamond? And what does this mean for the other 4 C’s? Diamonds are graded on color from D - Z, with D being perfectly clear and having no color whatsoever. The further down you get on the scale, the more yellow, brownish, or grayish a diamond can look. Because diamonds are a product of nature, each one is formed differently and sometimes another element has become trapped in the carbon as the diamond is forming. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.This is how we get blue diamonds, pink diamonds and the ultra rare red diamonds. But most commonly, the color changes on a diamond will go from white to yellow. Typically, going up one grade in color can result in about a 15% increase in cost on the stone. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but a general rule of thumb.

Do you need an absolutely clear stone? Not necessarily. Sometimes a stone with a slight golden overtone can pair perfectly with that yellow gold mounting you’ve had your eye on!


A diamond is a product of nature. When a diamond forms deep underground, it never forms perfectly; there are always flaws because it is a natural product of the earth. The industry term for these flaws is inclusions.

Our philosophy is that as long as the diamond has no inclusions that bother your naked eye, you’ve reached a good level of clarity, and it’s a waste of money to buy a stone with gemologically perfect clarity.

This is why it’s so hard to buy diamonds online; you simply can’t see what you’re evaluating.

While online stores try to get around this by providing a certificate which includes the clarity grading of the stone, that clarity grading can still be unreliable. That’s because two different gemologists who evaluate the same diamond can come up with two different clarity grades for that stone. So, clarity grading is not always entirely objective.

Since it can be subjective when it comes to buying stones online, it’s critical to know your jeweler. There’s nothing better than a pair of human eyes that you trust looking over your diamond for you!


First off, “cut” is often confused with “shape”. Shape is how the diamond is formed on the outside and includes categories like round, oval, princess, marquise, pear and etc. If you want to learn more about the different diamond shapes, click here.

Now, about the cut itself. The cut is how a diamond is precisely and mathematically faceted and proportioned to reflect as much light as possible, giving it maximum brilliance and shine. The cut is what ultimately unlocks the beauty of the stone.

But you cannot cut every diamond the same, even if it is done with modern technology and mathematical precision. Diamonds, being products of nature, are imperfect creations. When a diamond cutter cuts a stone, they have to facet and proportion that diamond according to its natural shape and size. Also, when you cut a stone, material is removed from the diamond, decreasing its carat weight and value. So the cutter has to balance the quality of the cut against the carat weight.

Thus, cutting a diamond and making it sparkle to its maximum potential is a true art. Take a so-so rough diamond and cut it perfectly, and it will look gorgeous. Take a top-of-the-line rough diamond and cut it poorly, and it will look like garbage.

Plus, you can tell if a diamond has a poorer cut overall. There will be dark spots in the stone that don’t appear in diamonds with a higher quality cut. That’s why it’s worth spending money on a higher quality cut, because the stone will be all the more dazzling.

But if you’re considering buying a poorly cut diamond just because it’s cheaper, just save yourself the trouble and buy a $15 piece of glass. Yet something tells me your bride-to-be probably won’t appreciate that as much.


Of the 4 C’s of diamonds, carat weight can be the easiest to explain. The carat weight of a stone is a direct indicator of its size. That is, the more a diamond weighs, the larger it will be. Of course, the price of a diamond will increase as the carat weight increases. It’s important to understand it’s not a linear price increase: a 5-carat diamond won’t cost five times more than a 1-carat diamond. It could, in fact, cost 100 times as much or more. When you’re shopping for a diamond you need to think about the curve of size versus price. Also factor in the other 4 C’s. That way, you won’t bust your budget.


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