Diamonds 101: Our Ultimate Guide to the 4 C’s of Diamonds

Finding the right diamond can be intimidating–especially when you’re not sure what to look for. This guide to the 4 C’s –cut, color, clarity, and carat–will provide the education you need to make an informed, confident decision when selecting your diamond.

hands holding diamond in tweezers, showing diamond cut color clarity

What are the 4 C’s of Diamonds

There are four things to consider when searching for the perfect diamond: cut, color, clarity, and carat. These categories, commonly called the 4 C’s, provide a consistent, universal, objective framework for assessing the quality of each diamond. At Taylor Custom Rings, each of our mine-free, lab-grown diamonds is graded professionally and thoroughly with these four industry standards. Using the 4 C’s, we choose the most beautiful diamonds with the highest quality grades for our clientele. Below, you will learn about each of the 4 C’s in detail.

Diamond Cut

Diamond cut is less about shape and more about how the cut allows the stone’s facets to interact with light. The better the cut, the better the diamond can disperse light and create a stunning, prominent sparkle.

The surfaces of a diamond harness and enhance light–they slow it down, change its color, scatter it into different parts, and refract it in every direction. When looking into a well-cut diamond, you might see glints of such colors as purple, yellow, green, orange, and blue, giving the stone a life and personality of its own. The 4 C’s of diamonds–cut, color, clarity, and carat–exist to ensure that precise, measured cuts optimize the brilliance of a diamond, thus encouraging the white light that enters the stone to scatter into a delightful round of colorful refractions. All of this light, contained in your very own hand!

Of all the 4 C’s of diamonds, the cut is the most technical evaluation. It requires professional artistry to achieve accurate proportions, polish, and symmetry. The cut then receives an assessment ranging from “poor” to “ideal.”

cut grades of diamonds

Diamond Color

Did you know that diamonds vary in color? Diamond color variation can be very difficult for the naked and untrained eye to see and differentiate; experts use electric colorimeters to separate the subtle grades of diamond color. Colorless diamonds are the rarest and tend to have an icy, white clearness to them, resembling a drop of clean water.

The GIA D-to-Z color scale is the worldwide standard when it comes to grading diamond color. In the 4 C’s of diamonds–cut, color, clarity, and carat–diamond color actually refers to the lack of color; the less color a diamond has, the purer it is. Most lab-grown diamonds range from H-K color, falling under the “nearly colorless” category. All Taylor Custom Rings’ diamonds are guaranteed to be at least G color, ensuring a bright, clear diamond.

color grades of diamonds

Diamond Clarity

In the 4 C’s of diamonds, diamond clarity refers to the visible lack of blemishes and inclusions in a stone. Think of inclusions as a birthmark within a diamond’s makeup; they are a result of the pressure and heat that is necessary for a diamond’s creation. These blemishes are often cloudy or look like small pinpoints within the stone. Inclusions and blemishes are nearly impossible to see without magnification and knowledge of what to look for. Experts require a microscope to make an accurate diamond clarity assessment.

Know that no diamond is perfectly pure, but because our lab-grown diamonds are not formed in the earth, they are more likely to receive a higher clarity grade and have fewer mineral inclusions and blemishes. When grading diamond clarity, an expert on the 4 C’s of diamonds will look at the size, position, and number of blemishes in a diamond; the fewer inclusions and blemishes there are, the higher the diamond clarity grade. Diamond clarity grades range from “flawless” to “included.”

clarity grades of diamonds

Diamond Carat

Diamond carat refers to how much a diamond weighs; this measurement accounts for the density, shape, and formulation of the diamond. Typically, diamond price increases with diamond weight. A common misconception is that carats are a visible measurement, but this is not necessarily true. The weight can differ from diamond to diamond, even if they are similar in size. A diamond’s value is determined using all of the 4 C’s of diamonds, cut, color, and clarity, not just carat weight.

One carat weight is not superior to another; size and weight are subjective and left up to personal preference. When selecting a diamond, determine what is most important to you. Are the sparkle and shine most important? Then focus on cut and clarity as your top priorities. Is the weight and size of a diamond more important to you? Then the carat weight should take precedence.

carat weight of diamonds

Why do the 4 C’s of Diamonds Matter?

At Taylor Custom Rings, we want you to feel at ease when selecting your diamond ring. Peace of mind is often accompanied by knowledge, which is why we provide you this guide to the 4 C’s of diamonds–cut, color, clarity, and carat. All Taylor Custom Rings’ diamonds are hand-picked by experts who consider these 4 C’s along with additional optical factors that are not included in the grading report. When you choose a diamond through Taylor Custom Rings, rest easy knowing that you have selected an ethically made, expertly-chosen diamond that is bigger, brighter, and better. Start your custom design with us today.