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The 4 C's Guide - Quick guide to the four c's 
diamond buyers guide 4 c's four cs guide

How To Buy A Diamond: 
What to look for in a diamond.  It all starts with The Four C's.  The 4 C's are Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut.  Each of these factors has an affect on the price as well as the appearance of a diamond.  For more factors that affect the appearance, price and value of a diamond check out the diamond price factors Links to the left. 

Carat Weight:
The Larger the diamond, the more rare and valuable it becomes. Diamonds are measured in carat weight. One carat is 100 points. Ex: A 75 point diamond = 3/4 carat or 0.75ct. carat is expressed as "carat" or "ct". Do not confuse carat with Karat, which refers to the purity of gold.  Generally the carat weight will be a big factor in the overall size of a diamond although the Depth % will also make a big difference in the size of the diamond.  click here for more on diamond carat weight

The highest, rarest and most expensive color is D and goes down in alphabetical order.

D,E and F are considered colorless. G, H and I are considered Near colorless. J is in between near colorless and faint yellow.  K, L and M are faint yellow and N, O and P are light yellow.

The color and the price keeps going down until you reach fancy yellow and then it starts to go up again. 

Click here for more on diamond color. 

diamond color scale guide


The better the diamonds clarity, the more rare and valuable it is.

All Diamonds have inclusions, even Internally Flawless diamonds.  You just need more magnification to see them. Diamonds are graded with a 10x magnification Loupe.

There are several grades of clarity which we will get into but they all fit into one of two catagories. Ones with eye visible inclusions and ones with no eye visible inclusioins.

Diamonds that show eye visible inclusioins are I Clarity, either I1, I2 or I3.  I1 diamonds have one or two very tiny eye visible inclusions.  I2 have more and I3 are heavily included.

Those that are completely eye clean are most desirable.  SI2 and better diamonds are completely Eye Clean.  SI2 and better Diamonds require a 10x loupe to see the difference.  An SI2 will look exactly like an IF to the naked eye.  SI3 Diamonds are between I1 and SI2 and usually appear to be eye clean until you find the inclusion with a loupe and then you may be able to see it with the naked eye once you know where to look. 

Flawless "FL" and Internally Flawless "IF" are the rarest and most expensive diamonds.  The next grade is VVS1 and VVS2.  This stands for "Very Very Small" Inclusions.  Then Very Small inclusions, VS1 and VS2 and Small Inclusions SI1, SI2 and SI3 and then Included I1, I2 and I3. 

Click here for more on diamond clarity. 

diamond buyers guide - diamond clarity scale guide

Diamond Cut: 

The Better the proportions of a diamond are the more Fire, Sparkle, Scintillation, and Brilliance it will have. This also directly affects the price of the diamond.

Ideal cut diamonds are more rare and cost more.  Ideal cut diamonds have a table % between 52 and 57%.  There is no dimension on depth but most people prefer the depth to be between 59 and 62.5%. 

There is also another train of thought that believes that the perfect diamond has a 60-60 make.  This means that the depth should be as close to 60% as possible with a few degrees varience either way and the table should be as close to 60% with a couple of degrees varience either way being acceptable. 

Our take on it is this, While there is nothing more breathtaking than a textbook "Ideal cut", you can save some money by going with a slightly off make. We suggest:

Depth: 58-63%

Table: 52-61%

If you stay within these parameters, you should end up with a very beautiful diamond.  You can stray one or two degrees outside of these parameters, but the farther away from ideal you go, the more it starts to affect the beauty of the diamond. 

Below is a diagram of what happens when a diamond is out of shape.  If the diamond is too deep or two shallow, the light will leak out of the diamond through the bottom instead of shining brightly back up into your eyes.  Click here for more on diamond cut. 

diamond buyers guide - diamond cut guide

There is actually one more diamond price factor that makes more difference in how bright and sparkly a diamond is that the cut does and it is referred to as the quality of the rough that was used to make the diamond.  No matter how well the diamond is cut, it cannot shine bright if the material the light is travelling through is milky or cloudy.  Click here for more diamond price factors. 


Some people consider Cost to be the fifth C.  We can help you with this C by educating you about diamonds, so that you can make an informed decision about which diamond to buy. 

The more you know about diamonds, the more you can save on a diamond, since the seller will not be able to take advantage of you. 

We can also help you save money by suggesting a wholesale diamond dealer that we have had previous experience with and we know will provide a pleasant buying experience for you as well as saving you some money. 

Click here for more diamond price factors. 

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