The 4 C’s

The 4 C’s of Diamonds

At White’s Jewelers, we strive to educate our customers so they are prepared for all aspects of the jewelry buying experience. This includes knowledge of the 4 C’s of Diamonds, or the four most important guidelines used to evaluate diamonds across the globe. These criteria allow us to determine the rarity and beauty of each diamond.

When it comes to buying diamonds, knowing what you are looking at is just as important as knowing what you are looking for. Take a chance to familiarize yourself with the 4 C’s so you will know exactly what you are getting with your next diamond purchase.


The cut of a diamond is measured by its physical shape and proportions. Diamonds can be cut into a wide variety of shapes, the most popular being:

While trends are always evolving, there are also many specialty shapes available for the cut of a diamond.

The size of the diamond before it is cut plays a major role in the end result. The proportion of the diamond works in accordance with the number of reflective surfaces after it is cut to alter the way light is reflected and captured by the diamond.


Generally, the less color a diamond has, the more valuable it is considered, with the exception of incredibly rare, fancy diamonds. The highest color rating a diamond can carry is “D”, meaning it is virtually colorless. At the opposite end of the color scale, “Z” is assigned to diamonds that are considered to be light yellow.

A full breakdown of the color scale for diamonds looks like this:

D – F: Colorless

G – J: Near Colorless

K – L: Faint Yellow

Z – Z+: Light Yellow


The clarity of a diamond is measured by the presence of visible flaws. Even the smallest blemish or scratch can alter the brilliance and appearance of a diamond. Diamonds are inspected under a high-power magnifying lens to make sure every imperfection is noted.

Clarity is rated on a scale that deems diamonds from Flawless down to Imperfect. Look over the full clarity scale below to get a better idea of how diamonds’ clarity is rated:

FL: Flawless

IF: Internally Flawless

VVS: Very, Very Small Inclusions

VS: Very Small Inclusions

SI: Small Inclusions

I: Imperfect


The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. Dimensions are not taken into account when determining how the size of a diamond translates to its value. One carat is the equivalent of 0.2 grams, with a “point” weighing in at 1/100th of a carat for finer measurements. Differing depths will cause diamonds of the same dimensions to weigh different amounts and diamonds of different proportions to weigh the same. The higher the carat weight of a diamond, the more valuable is attached to it.

Let Us Teach You About the 4 C’s of Diamonds

Come by our store and speak with our team of diamond professionals and learn how to determine the value of a diamond like an expert!

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