4Cs of Diamonds

The 4Cs of Diamonds

If you’re planning to shop for a diamond engagement ring, there are four key factors you should consider: Color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Determining which of the 4Cs is most important, however, is subjective. It depends on your and your significant other’s taste and budget. The goal is to get the best quality diamond at a price you can afford.

Discover what each of the 4Cs of diamonds mean below.


Diamonds are valued by how closely they appear colorless. According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the classification of diamond color begins with the letter D (colorless), and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z (light yellow). A diamond in the D-F range will ultimately cost the most. It’s a good idea to look at different color grades before making a final purchasing decision.


A stone is graded flawless if, under 10-power magnification, no internal flaws or external imperfections are visible. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare. At the other end of the diamond clarity scale are diamonds with internal flaws and/or external imperfections that can be easily by the unaided eye. Between the two extremities are diamonds with flaws and/or imperfections that can only be seen under magnification.


This quality factor refers to how skillfully the diamond was shaped (cut). If you’re looking for exceptional fire and brilliance, consider a cut grade of excellent or very good for round diamonds, and good or better for fancy shaped diamonds (i.e., marquise, pear, princess, heart, oval, emerald, baguette, and square). If possible, look at diamonds in three light settings before making a final decision: diffused, spot, and combination.

Carat Weight

Carat denotes the weight of a diamond. If the appearance of size is important, you can create the illusion of a bigger stone by selecting a fancy diamond, which generally looks bigger. A diamond engagement ring with a narrow band – in your choice of metal – and a halo setting can also make the center stone look larger. You may also want to consider a design with a cluster of smaller diamonds for a unique and eye-catching look.

Ready to start looking at diamond engagement rings? Schedule a consultation with Cornelis Hollander. Our jewelry designs are manufactured in our Scottsdale based studio. At Cornelis Hollander, we work with the highest skilled craftsmen to produce the finest quality, custom designed jewelry.

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