A Diamond‘s 4C’s Combine
to create stunning effects
DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING: CREATION PAUL H. (MONTREAL)
Written by: Let’s Get Married Editor
Updated on 02/04/23
It’s important to be familiar with the “Four Cs” when looking to purchase a diamond for an engagement ring. The Four Cs refer to the official diamond grading system and stand for Cut, Carat, Clarity, and Color. Understanding each of these characteristics can help you find a diamond your partner will love within your budget.
The cut is where skill and artistry combine to create a sparkling gemstone.
It involves not only the shape of the finished diamond, but also how many light-reflecting facets it contains. Getting this step wrong can mean an otherwise flawless diamond will appear dull and lifeless; getting it right will bring out its inner fire. Cuts are graded from excellent to poor, and they are graded against a round brilliant diamond’s ideal and exact proportions.
The carat refers to a diamond’s weight.
It can be deceptive, because a diamond may be cut in such a way that it looks larger than its true weight may indicate. As you shop, you’ll find a point system is used in which one carat is equal to 100 points, a 50-point diamond weighs half a carat, and so forth. The average size of a diamond in an engagement ring is one carat, which is about the size of an Advil tablet.
Clarity relates to grading a diamond based on how many flaws, which jewelers call inclusions, it has.
The diamond naturally develops over millions of years in the earth and during this process, small black or white spots or lines, will appear in the diamond. The GIA diamond clarity scale ranges from Flawless (FL) to Included (I) and a diamond’s clarity is determined by the number, size, position, and nature of its inclusions.
The good news is that although all diamonds have some inclusions, most won’t be visible to the naked eye. Diamonds don’t have to be at the very top of the scale—Flawless or Very Very Slightly Included (VVS)—to look perfect and inclusion-free. Many SI1 and SI2 stones look just as beautiful as higher-clarity diamonds and can offer great value for money.
The colour is the most obvious of the four Cs to the eye – but not always.
In general, a crystal-clear diamond with no colour is the most prized and costly. Most will have a touch of yellow, though it may hard to tell with your naked eye. In general, the less yellow there is in a diamond, the more valuable it will be. The color of diamonds is measured on a scale that goes from D, which signifies no color to Z, which has a noticeable yellow tint. In recent times, fancy coloured diamonds such as pink, yellow, or chocolate have gained popularity.