the four c's of diamonds - cut, colour, clarity and carat

The 4 C's of Diamonds

The 4 C’s

Everyone who have started their engagement ring search will have noticed that there is a whole world of terminology in the jewellery world that at first can be very confusing. You will hear about the 4 C’s, metals and realise that there are loads more gemstones available than you ever thought existed! 

The 4 C’s was introduced in the 1940’s to standardise how we talk about diamonds. It’s a universal language that puts everyone on the same page and gives customers the reassurance that the stone has been accurately described. 


This refers to the shape and how well the stone has been cut. Diamonds are known for their brilliance and fire and the cut of the stone greatly influences this. 


Diamonds are graded on a colour scale from D through to Z. D being the whitest and Z being pale yellow. Pricing can vary greatly between colours and it is recommended to get at least 2 or 3 colour options to compare. Most stones up to colour J will still appear very white to the human eye in various lighting environments. 


A category that comes with its own series of acronyms. Get ready to see Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS), Very Slightly Included (VS), Slightly Included (SI) and Included (I). 

And as the category name suggests this refers to the inclusions or blemishes that a stone contains. Most stones will be VVS or VS, with flawless and internally flawless stones carrying a high premium. 


One that most are familiar with. Carat describes the actual weight of the stone, with one carat being 200 milligrams. A carat is further divided into 100 points to give a very accurate weight of a stone. You will often hear jewellers speak of diamonds in points, usually in stones under 1 carat. A 35 pointer, would be 0.35ct and so on. 

It is important to know that two stones of the same carat weight can have different prices as it is all four factors above that influence the price of a stone. 

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