A Guide to the Diamond's 4Cs

7th November 2021

Wishing a diamond ring for your engagement? Yes, but which one?

Looking for the right ring can become a struggle: so many designs available and such a wide range of diamond quality.
We are here to guide you in choosing the perfect diamond for such a big step in your life.

A diamond is defined by 4 characteristics which contribute to determine its value.The famous “4Cs” are describing the Cut, Carat, Color and Clarity. These indications are present on the gemological certificate that must accompany your diamond. This certificate is a proof of authenticity and provides the identity and description of the stone. The Gemological Institute of Diamonds (GIA) is the most popular laboratory issuing diamond certificates, however there are many others providing this service such as Gubelin and SSEF.

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Titled 4.52-carat Pear Diamond

Button Back Ring,

Jessica McCormack

Cut

The cut of a diamond reflects the shape given to the stone, its cutting style and its facets. The facets are the tiny surfaces of the diamond that allow the light to be reflected and refracted which contribute to the stone’s brilliance, scintillation and fire.
The most popular cut is “brilliant” which describes a round-shape diamond counting 57-58 facets. However, it exists a numerous number of cuts that are called “fancy-cuts” such as: oval, emerald, cushion, pear, heart, marquise and princess.
The shape does not have a real impact on the stone’s value, what should be considered is the cutting precision with the proportions, symmetry and polish of the stone, which are graded on the diamond certificate from "Excellent" to "Poor".

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The Most Popular Diamond Cuts

Carat

The weight of a diamond is measured in “carats”, 1 carat is equal to 0.200 gr. Larger diamonds are rare, in consequence, the value isn’t linear, it is exponential. This is why a 2-carat stone will cost more than the double of a 1-carat diamond.
Be careful, don’t confuse “carat” with “karat”, the latter is the measure for the gold purity which you might have to consider for the mounting of the ring!

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Brilliant-Cut Diamond ranging from 0.25 to 3 carats

Color
Most diamonds are colored even if it isn’t necessarily obvious to the naked-eye. Indeed, they tend to present a light to strong yellow-color. The grading is referred with alphabet letters, starting from “D” being colorless or white, to “Z” which displays a strong yellow hue. We would suggest to consider diamonds up to “I” to maintain high-quality standards.

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Diamond Color Grading from D to Z

Clarity
This criteria indicates the purity of the stone. The great majority of diamonds present small imperfections which can be internal, called “inclusions”, or on the surface, called “blemishes”. The less there are, the rarer is the diamond and so, the more valuable. We qualify the clarity on a range from “Flawless” (Fl), meaning without any impurities, to “Included” (I), for which the inclusions are visible to the naked-eye.

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Diamond Clarity Grading from "Flawless" to "Included"

Because all four criteria are considered to define the value of a diamond, a 3-carat stone is not necessarily more expensive than a 2.50-carat one. It depends on its clarity and color grade as well as the quality of its cut. With this in mind, it could be preferable to choose a smaller diamond with a higher quality, according to your taste.

 

You will find here some diamond rings inspirations.

Selection of Diamond Rings