What are the 4C's of the Diamond?

The brilliance of a diamond has few equals in nature, and its great durability makes it a beautiful choice for a jewel that represents the eternity of a feeling.

The quality of a diamond is traditionally measured in the “4C's”: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat (Carat). We will explain what each one is about and how this knowledge will help you make a correct investment decision:

Ring Alexandria with diamonds.

1. CUT

The cut is what will make a natural gem bring out its full potential and shine, so it must be done by a professional. Although the cut can be a matter of taste (there are even people who like rough stones), what is considered a good cut in the industry is one that allows the diamond to reflect as much light as possible. Sometimes stones are cut to make the most of the material possible, but cutting too deep or too thin can cause light to be lost.

Symmetry, and a correct proportion, will be a great determinant in the final quality. If the cut is too shallow, or too deep, the light escapes unnoticed and results in a less brilliant diamond.

Besides the cut, there is the shape of the carving: that is, the general shape of the stone. There are many different sizes and even some unique and artistic ones. The most common cuts are: round, oval, pear, cushion, princess, baguette, trillion, emerald, and marquise.

It must be considered that the cut of the stone will make the value of the diamond increase or decrease according to its complexity. For example, a round cut is more traditional and common than a princess cut, which means that you can get a larger round diamond at a better price than what you will find in a square cut.


Diamonds, like any natural stone, have inclusions - tiny traces of minerals in the stone. The fewer inclusions, the lighter the diamond is considered and the more valued it is.

However, it is also a matter of taste, as diamonds with many inclusions (called "salt pepper diamond") have a lot of personality.

Ring Roma with Diamond Salt & Pepper

The salt pepper diamond is also a real diamond, with many carbon inclusions that make it appear from white with some spots to completely black, passing through a whole spectrum of shades. Salt and pepper diamonds are great because each of them is unique, as their carbon pattern is like your fingerprint, plus they are much more accessible than a white diamond!

These diamonds are all salt pepper; the first with little carbon, the next with a little more, until the last one, which is practically black.


The most sought after diamond for engagement rings is totally white, but they can come in shades from pale yellow to totally colorless, being more expensive the more colorless they are.

Color is measured from Z to D, with Z being a pale yellow diamond, passing through all the letters getting lighter and lighter, with D being a perfectly white diamond. However, even to the expert eye, a diamond in the D to J range is of excellent quality.

What many don't know is that diamonds come in many colors; depending on its exact chemical composition. These diamonds are very rare and exclusive varieties, and their quality is measured with the same parameters as a normal diamond: Cut, Carat, Color and Clarity.The difference is that in colored diamonds, it is worth more the more vibrant the color, unlike white diamond, which is worth more the more colorless it is


There are 2 types of Carat: weight and purity. In stones, carat is a measure of weight, abbreviated as "ct" and equivalent to one fifth of a gram.

The weight of a stone is related to the price, which is why it is an important quality to ask. However, we recommend choosing your gemstones by the millimeter, rather than by the carat; since factors such as size (square, round, oval, etc.) and the density of the stone can give misleading results in which a stone with more carats looks small in person.

If for any reason you cannot see the stone in person, or you are ordering your stone online, don't forget to ask for the dimensions in millimeters! This way you can draw it to its real scale and really know what to expect.

If you click click in the following table, you can download a pdf with the proportions in real size of the most common cuts so that you can compare and know exactly what awaits you. (Print it in real scale for correct results).

And the other stones? You have to consider that they have different densities, so a carat of diamond is not the same size as a carat of opal, or zircon, or emerald. In the following image we can buy 4 stones of different densities, with what they would measure if all were in a round cut of one carat. The denser the stone, the smaller it will be per carat, which is why zircon looks so small next to opal, despite being the same weight!

Now is it worth choosing a Diamond?

If we are honest, the price of the diamond is really determined by its demand in the market, rather than by its rarity or scarcity. After all, the diamond became the icon of engagement since the 1930s thanks to an incredible marketing campaign by the DeBeers Company.

Regardless of that, it has the quality of being the hardest stone in nature (having a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale that measures how difficult it is to scratch a mineral). In addition, its incredible shine has become part of the marriage dream of many women around the world. Which makes diamond one of the most ideal and safe options when choosing a center stone for an engagement ring.

How can I use the 4C's to choose the ideal Diamond for my partner?

The 4C’s are only a guide to know how valuable a diamond is in the industry, but with higher quality, the price rises considerably. For this reason, we recommend that you carefully observe your partner: there are women who value the size of the stone, although the stone may not be perfect; and there are women who prefer to sacrifice Carat to favor color or clarity. Observing and knowing the tastes of your partner will help you obtain a diamond that dazzles her, without having to go out of your budget.

Custom Design Engagement Ring with Vintage Diamond.

Ask yourself: what size is her jewelry? If you generally wear small, delicate jewelry, you probably prefer quality over size. If you tend to wear large jewelry instead, even if it is fantasy, you may want to sacrifice a little in color or clarity for a larger stone. Of course, in general, it is advisable to invest in a good cut, since it is what will give the diamond shine.

So does size matter? It depends on tastes ... It could be that even what dazzles your partner is more in other types of precious stones.If you want to know other options, visit our Guide "How to Choose a Stone for an Engagement Ring"

4c's Anillo de Compromiso Diamante

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