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The “4 C’s” Guide

The 4 "C's" Guide

What you should know when shopping for a diamond

Color

Diamonds are graded on a scale of D through Z following the grading system used by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The highest grade, D, is the purest white color, with each subsequent letter corresponding to a slightly darker shade, down to Z, the lowest color grade on the scale. Color in a diamond refers to the body tone of the diamond.

Clarity

Diamonds are graded on a scale of D through Z following the grading system used by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The highest grade, D, is the purest white color, with each subsequent letter corresponding to a slightly darker shade, down to Z, the lowest color grade on the scale. Color in a diamond refers to the body tone of the diamond.

Cut

Diamonds are cut to an exact mathematical formula. In grading, cut evaluates the cutters skill in the fashioning of the diamond. Diamonds have a unique ability to manipulate light efficiently. This unique ability can be released and maximized only by cutting and polishing the diamond to an extremely high level of accuracy.

Carat

The carat refers to the weight of the diamond. Historically, it represented the weight of a carob seed; thus, the term carat. In more exact measurements, 5 carats is equal to 1 gram. Therefore, two diamonds of the same weight can appear quite different in appearance.

Learn more: Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

The GIA developed the “4 Cs.” If you’re interested in more in depth graphic information, we’ve included their 4 minute video on How to Choose a Diamond. Click on the “Play Video” icon below.

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