Diamond Education | The 4 Cs

Cut

Cut is what gives a diamond its brilliance, scintillation, and fire.

Brilliance is a measure of how much light a diamond reflects. Scintillation describes how much the diamond sparkles when moved. Fire refers to the flash of colors that occur when light is refracted through the diamond. Cut is also important in how big the diamond looks. When a diamond is cut perfectly, it reflects a greater amount of light and can look bigger and more brilliant.

Facets – the angled sides of the diamond – reflect the light, and give the diamond its shine, sparkle and fire. The facets need to be cut symmetrically in order for the light to bounce from facet to facet and shine properly. If they are cut too deep or too shallow, the diamond will not reflect the light and will look dull, no matter the clarity or color. Learn more about cut »


Color

Color is the whiteness of a diamond.

The majority of diamonds have some color in them. Almost all diamond engagement rings use white diamonds as the center stone and usually have white diamonds surrounding and going down the shank of the ring. Diamonds also come in other colors, like blue, yellow, brown, green, red and pink, but they are rare and therefore cost more than the near colorless, white, or clear, diamonds.

The color in near-colorless diamonds is very hard to detect once the diamond has been mounted in the engagement ring. Near-colorless diamonds are also less expensive than the completely colorless diamonds, which makes them a great alternative for engagement rings. Learn more about color »


Clarity

Clarity refers to any natural identifiers within the diamond.

Diamond clarity is a rating based on the number of the diamond's blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions are flaws that are inside the diamonds. Blemishes are flaws found on the surface of the diamond. A flawless diamond has no inclusions or blemishes. Imperfect diamonds means there are inclusions or blemishes that are visible to the naked eye. There are many grades in between flawless and imperfect.

There are also different diamond ratings based on what organization is doing the diamond grading. The diamond grading agencies are:

  • GIA – Gemology Institute of America
  • CIBJO – Confederation Internationale de la Bijouterie
  • AGS – American Gem Society
  • IDC – International Diamond Council
  • EGL – European Gemological Laboratory

Learn more about clarity »


Carat

Caret a standard unit of weight used for diamonds and other gemstones.

Depending on the cut, a diamond can seem larger or smaller than it actually is. Diamonds with same weight can be different sizes, so you can choose the best diamond for your engagement ring. Carat size is not the most important aspect of a diamond – don’t forget about quality! Some larger diamonds have less light and sparkle, while some smaller ones are more fiery. Learn more about carats »