The Four C's

Carat Weight

Carat or carat-weight refers to the size and weight of the diamond. The word carat originated from times when the seeds of the crab tree were used on a balance scale to measure weight. Today, the standard weight of one carat is 0.2 grams or 1/5 of a gram. One carat is divided into 100 points; a diamond of 75 points weighs 0.75 carats.

A large diamond is not necessarily a better or more valuable diamond. Two diamonds of equal weight can have very unequal value, depending on their cut, color and clarity.


Color Grades

Refers to color, or, more accurately, the absence of color. Most diamonds have color. Those without color are rare and so premium priced. A tinge of color is evident in most diamonds with some having a body color slightly more visible. It is important to note that these types of diamonds cost less than totally colorless diamonds because they are less rare, not because colorless is better. In fact, a diamond with a tinge of color can hold greater appeal than icy white diamonds. To help determine the differences, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created a scale with colorless diamonds starting at 'D'. D, E, and F considered colorless. G, H, J and I are near colorless which still considered white. With the descending letters (K, L, etc.) the color becomes more intense.


Clarity Grade

Clarity refers to minute traces of non-crystallized carbon, called inclusions. Almost all diamonds have inclusions, though most are not discernable to the eye without aid of magnification. The fewer inclusions there are, the stone will be. As with color, we use the GIA scale for grading clarity. There are eleven clarity grades used by a skilled grader at 10X magnification to evaluate and determine the various clarity characteristics.



Refers to how the proportions and finish of the diamond affect its overall appearance and quality. Cut graded is on a scale from excellent to poor and incorporates the diamonds brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry.

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