4Cs of Diamond: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat

So, what exactly is a diamond, anyway? A diamond is actually an extremely hard, usually clear type of crystalline carbon which is formed over millions of years. The process begins up to 120 miles beneath the earth's surface when, with the right conditions, carbon atoms in melting rocks bond together to form diamond gemstones.


Traditionally, the overall quality and value of a diamond is reflected in four characteristics, known as the 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.


Diamond Color

Diamonds are available in a variety of hues, from rare, completely clear diamonds, to those which have an obvious yellow or brown tint.

Find out more about diamond color


Diamond Clarity

Almost all diamonds have some internal inclusions (imperfections) or external blemishes. Most diamonds have flaws which cannot be seen except using 10x magnification. These flaws cannot be seen by the naked eye and do not affect the splendor of the diamond.

Read more about diamond clarity grading


Diamond Cut

The cut of a diamond is the most important element in choosing a diamond. The cut includes the diamond's proportions and symmetry as well as the overall finish. The better the cut, the more brilliance the diamond will have.

Read more about diamond cut


Diamond Carat Weight

Carats are the units of measurement used to weight diamonds. 

A diamond carat weighs 200 milligrams. Smaller diamonds are measured using the point system, with 100 points being equal to one carat.


For more information please watch the educational video of GIA:


Diamond Certificates

Diamond certificates, also known as diamond grading reports, are offered by independent gemological laboratories such as GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and EGL (European Gemological Institute).

A gemology laboratory grades a particular loose diamond on various quality factors such as color, clarity, polish, symmetry and florescence.

Certificates offer consumers an extra layer of confidence that the diamond is authentic and as described on the website. In most cases no mention is made about the value of the diamond.


 GIA certificate


How GIA Grades Your Diamond

Independent and nonprofit, GIA is considered the final word on a diamond’s authenticity and quality. GIA developed the 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System™, the grading standard adopted by jewelry professionals around the globe.

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