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Selecting The Right Diamond

The Four C's

Every diamond’s strength, brilliance and value are as unique as the individuals wearing them.  Since each diamond is distinct, the four Cs were created by jewelers and gemologists to compare diamonds on an objective level.  A good starting point for choosing a diamond is an understanding and decision based on the Four Cs.


The first criteria for evaluating diamonds is color, or lack thereof. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue and consequently, a higher value. Diamonds are rated on a scale of D to Z. Where D is completely colorless and Z has a faint color. Many of the distinctions on the color scale or so subtle that they are indecipherable to the untrained eye. It should be noted that naturally colored diamonds outside the normal color range are called “fancy-colored” diamonds and a diamond with a Z rating is not considered a yellow fancy-colored diamond.


Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. A diamond’s cut refers to the quality of the tiny surfaces, or facets, polished onto its surface.  A well-cut diamond reflects light internally from one mirror-like facet to another and disperses it through the top of the gem.



Clarity refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond. These are naturally occurring features – wisps of minerals, uncrystallized carbon, tiny fractures – formed deep within the diamond when it was first created. Though usually invisible to the naked eye, they can influence the way light is reflected and refracted. Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.

There are a total of six specific grades of diamond clarity:

  1. Flawless (FL)
    No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
  2. Internally Flawless (IF)
    No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
  3.  Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
    Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnifications
  4. Very Slightly Included (VS1 and Vs2)
    Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
  5. Slightly Included (Sl1 and Sl2)
    Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
  6. Included (I1, I2, and I3)
    Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance

Carat Weight

Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams.

Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats.’

For more information contact us and we’ll be happy to help.