If you’re like most people ready to get engaged, you probably don’t know all that much about diamonds. In fact, unless you’re getting ready to propose, the 4C’s of diamonds is probably something that doesn’t cross your mind very often. You might ask yourself “What are the 4C’s and why should I even care?”.
Well, as it turns out, the 4C’s of diamonds are actually pretty important – especially if you’re looking to buy one. In this blog post, we’ll break down what the 4C’s stand for and why they matter when looking for your engagement ring. So, if you’re curious about diamond rings and want to learn more, look no further.
Table of Contents
First up is cut. This refers to how well the diamond has been fashioned to maximize its sparkle and shine. This is not to be confused with shape, though they often go hand in hand.
One of the most important aspects of a diamond’s appearance is its cut. A well-cut diamond will reflect light beautifully, giving it that signature sparkle. On the other hand, a poorly cut diamond may appear dull and lack luster no matter how large or flawless it may be.
There are several different types of cuts to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics. When it comes to the cut grade for your diamond engagement ring, there are 4 main cuts to choose from:
As you can tell, excellent cuts are the best possible cuts a diamond can have. This also means the diamond’s cut is directly correlated to its price. In other words, better cut equals higher price tag.
When choosing a diamond cut, it’s important to consider both personal preference and the specific characteristics of the individual stone. The cut of a diamond can also have an impact on its overall carat weight – for example, an ideal cut may appear larger than a very good cut of the same carat weight.
No matter which cut you choose, be sure to select one that has been expertly crafted by a skilled cutter. This will ensure that your diamond shines and accentuates the diamond quality.
We talk about James Allen frequently on this blog. But are they any good? Check out our brutally honest review of them here.
When it comes to diamond clarity, a gemologist will assess the visibility of any characteristics on the diamond known as inclusions. Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics such as miniscule crystals or traces of non-diamond minerals.
The fewer and less noticeable the inclusions, the higher the diamond’s clarity grade will be. The grading scale is as follows in order from most inclusions to least:
Included 1 (I1)
Slightly Included 2 (SI2)
Slightly Included 1 (SI1)
Very Small 2 (VS2)
Very Small 1 (VS1)
Very Very Slightly Included 2 (VVS2)
Very Very Slightly Included 1 (VVS1)
Internally Flawless (IF)
When most people think of the quality of a diamond, they’re more than likely referring to the clarity and carats within the diamond.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that some inclusions may not be visible to the naked eye and can only be seen under 10x magnification. So, while a higher clarity grade certainly signifies a more flawless diamond, don’t discount a slightly lower grade if it looks beautiful to you.
It’s also worth mentioning that no two diamonds are exactly alike – even if they have the same clarity grade. So, when selecting a diamond for your jewelry, be sure to look at the specific characteristics and inclusions of the stone rather than relying solely on the clarity. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding a diamond that you love and that speaks to you.
Next, we have carat, also known as carat weight. This is perhaps the most straightforward of the four factors. Carat is simply how much a diamond weighs. The heavier the diamond, the rarer it is, and therefore the more expensive it will be.
Did you know that a diamond’s weight is measured in carats? One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, and a diamond can be divided into 100 “points,” meaning that a 50-point diamond would be half a carat. But did you also know that two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values?
Diamond carats can range from as little as 0.05 carats all the way to 30 carats.
When shopping for a diamond ring, keep in mind that carat weight is not necessarily an indicator of quality—a one-carat diamond ring could be of lower quality than a half-carat diamond ring.
However, all else being equal, a higher carat will generally result in a more expensive ring.
Looking for the best engagement rings on a budget? We got you covered!
Next is color. For most shoppers, color and clarity can mean the same thing but they’re two different factors of the diamond. Diamonds are graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (a light yellow tint). While many people desire a completely colorless stone, some prefer the unique look of a slightly tinted diamond.
Did you know that the color of a diamond is actually determined by various factors including trace elements present during its formation and any treatments it may have undergone?
The diamond color grading system is as follows:
M (most yellowish tint)
D (most colorless)
While diamonds can come in a range of colors, the most coveted and valuable ones are those that appear completely colorless and eye-clean. This is because these diamonds allow more light to pass through, resulting in a brilliant sparkle.
On the other end of the spectrum, diamonds with a yellow or brown tint are less rare and typically less expensive. However, a fancy colored diamond such as pink or blue can fetch high prices due to their rarity.
Most diamonds fall somewhere in the M-I range, which means they have a slight yellow tint. However, a “fancy yellow” diamond s actually quite rare and therefore can be quite expensive.
If you’re shopping on a budget and looking to buy a diamond, you may want to consider a J- or K-graded diamond, which will still be quite colorless and eye-clean but won’t come with as hefty a price tag.
Looking for the best places to buy engagement rings online? Look no further.
Why Are The 4Cs Important?
So now you have a clear understanding of the 4C’s of a diamond and how they affect the diamond’s quality. But why are they so important?
Well, if you’re in the market for a new engagement ring or other piece of jewelry containing diamonds, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the 4C’s. These four factors—carat weight, cut, color, and clarity—determine both how much a diamond is worth and how sparkly it appears to the naked eye.
So if you’re on a budget, knowing where to allocate more of your budget towards can help drive up the value of your diamond and the overall beauty.
For instance, you can save a good chunk of money by opting for a near-colorless (not perfect) diamond, an excellent cut, a VVS2 clarity, and 1 carat diamond. Although this may not sound good on paper because it’s not perfectly colorless, it still looks amazing to the naked eye and most people are not able to tell the difference.
Wondering if you need both an engagement ring and a wedding ring? Check out our guide here to see if you actually need both.
Now that you’re an expert on the 4C’s of diamonds, you’re ready to start shopping for your perfect ring! Keep these factors in mind as you browse a wide selection of diamond engagement rings online. Not sure where to start? Check out our other articles on choosing the perfect ring or finding the best deal on a diamond engagement ring.
Join thousands of happy couples when you sign up for our newsletter. Get wedding tips, tricks, and hacks straight to your inbox.