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The more you know

The 4Cs of Diamond Quality

The diamond industry has established four basic criteria for judging the quality and value of precious stones, commonly known as the “Four Cs:” cut, color, clarity, and carat. However, to ensure identical across-the-board diamond grading and appraisal, the GIA similarly created grading systems for each category.

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The cut refers not to the shape of a diamond, but the balance of proportion, symmetry, and polish achieved by the diamond cutter. The extent of how well the diamond is cut is directly correlated to the diamond’s overall beauty. The better a diamond has been cut, the greater the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light.


The GIA grading scale for color ranges from D-Z, classifying a stone based on its translucency and amount of natural pigmentation. A D diamond, for instance, is at the apex of transparence, while a Z diamond is almost entirely yellow in coloration.

Although visible color is a matter of personal preference, the ideal diamond falls within the D-M range. 

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Diamond clarity refers to the purity and rarity of the stone, and the degree to which it presents blemishes and inclusions.

The lower the number of imperfections and flaws in a diamond’s aesthetic appearance, the higher the clarity grade. When determining the optimum clarity for a diamond, keep in mind that no diamond is entirely pure. However, the closer it gets to purity, the clearer it becomes.


Carat (ct.) refers to the unique unit of weight measurement used exclusively to weigh gemstones and diamonds. Carat weight is often confused with visual size even though it is a measurement of weight. You cannot actually see carat weight with the naked eye. Several factors affect the weight of a stone, such as density, the formulation of the jewel, and the shape.

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