Four C's

The 4 Cs of diamond quality are the four characteristics that you should look at when you purchase a diamond. These are Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. The 4 Cs were developed by the Gemological Institute of America, who have developed great educational tools for customers interested in diamond buying.



Diamond color refers to the shade of the diamond. The GIA uses a scale from D to Z, with D being near colorless and Z having yellow tones. To see the difference in diamond colors, visit the GIA’s color selector here:


Clarity of a diamond refers to the inclusions and blemishes that the stone has. The GIA clarity scale includes Flawless (FL),?Internally Flawless (IF), Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2),Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2), Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) and Included (I1, I2, and I3). To see the differences in clarity, visit the GIA’s clarity slider:


Contrary to popular belief, the cut of the diamond refers to the facets and how they reflect light. GIA's Cut Scale grades a diamond a Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor. To see how cut affects the look of a diamond, try the GIA's slider:

Carat Weight

The most commonly discussed of the four qualities, Carat Weight is the size of the diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Jewelers will also refer to diamond size in points. One point is equal to .01 carats. You may hear Chris refer to a 15point  diamond, which means that it is a .15 carat diamond. To see how diamond sizes compare, visit the GIA’s diamond comparison chart here:

Do you know where your diamond ranks on the GIA’s scale? Our certified diamond graders can appraise your diamond, which includes a full report on the Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Diamond appraisals are $50.