What Are The 4 C’s of Diamonds?

You may have heard of the “4 C’s of Diamonds” but how many people know what they stand for? Have you ever wondered why some diamonds cost thousands of dollars while some only cost hundreds? What makes a diamond worth a lot of money? Let’s take a look at the 4 C’s and find out.


A lot of people would say that a diamond is clear and has no color. While it’s true that some diamonds are classified as colorless or white, others can range from pale yellow to red. There are also diamonds that come in browns, blues, greens and pinks. Because these colors are so rare they are considered more valuable. Colors are graded on a scale of D to Z with D being the highest quality and Z being the lowest. But color is only one of four standards that determines the value.


The next standard is clarity and this relates to the purity of the carbon that makes up a diamond. The purity is determined by any imperfections that might be in the diamond. Imperfections on the inside are called inclusions while those on the outside are called blemishes. Diamonds are graded on a scale from Flawless to Included #3. Flawless is, of course, what the name implies. Then any flaws that show up under a microscope are graded from slight to S12. After that are the diamonds that have flaws that can be seen with the unaided eye.


The fire and sparkle in a diamond comes from the way it’s cut. The flat side of a cut is called the facet. The quality of the way the facet is cut is what determines the diamond’s beauty. For example, a round, brilliant cut has 58 facets. The way these facets are arranged is most important since it determines the amount of light that’s reflected back to the eye. This reflection is called brilliance. This is also why flawless, well-cut diamonds sell at high prices while blemished, poorly-cut ones sell at a discount.

Carat Weight

This is a unit of weight for a diamond. The value increases with each carat size because larger rough diamonds don’t appear as often as smaller ones do. What that means is that if you had two half-carat diamonds, together they wouldn’t cost as much as one full-carat diamond would.

These 4 C’s added together are what determines how much a diamond will cost. Obviously a colorless, flawless diamond will cost much more than a colored, blemished one. It all comes down to how much you plan to spend.

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