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What Are The 4 C’s Of A Diamond And Why Are They Important?

November 20th, 2023

Learning The Four C's Of A Diamond.

A crucial part of selecting a diamond for an engagement ring is learning the basics of the "Four C's":  cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. It is very important to engage in hands on education about the difference that these four elements make in a diamond, by examining real diamonds side by side. Regardless of budget, every engagement ring buyer will be balancing how fine a grade (clarity & color) is with how big (carat weight) their diamond will be. To simplify things a bit we’ve broken down the “Four C’s” in detail.


When it comes to the cut of a diamond, we are determining how skillfully the diamond cutter did his job, how perfect the angles and polish are, and ultimately how the diamond sparkles. We list cut first because it is so important not to compromise on it. Even the highest clarity and color diamond will not be beautiful if the diamond is poorly cut. The more perfectly cut a diamond, the better it reflects light and shimmers.


When it comes to color we are judging how much color, usually a slight yellow or brown tint, a diamond has in it. The more colorless the diamond, the more rare and valuable it is. Each letter on the scale represents how much color or lack of color a diamond may have. 


Diamond clarity refers to internal characteristics or flaws. The flaw's size, color, location, and quality are all factored into its final grade. This scale helps to visualize what it means when we are told a diamond has a certain clarity. 

Carat Weight

Carat weight is the precise unit of measurement used to weigh gemstones. Carat weight is listed with a decimal point. A half-carat diamond is .50, one carat 1.00, and so on. Diamond values go up exponentially as diamonds get larger, with a two-carat diamond being much more valuable than two one-carat diamonds.   

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all this there’s no need to stress. We don't sell any diamonds that are not beautiful and we are experts at helping you select the perfect diamond! Stop by any one of our James & Sons jewelry stores and we will help you get started. We are located in Chicago, Naperville, Orland Park, and Schererville.