THE DIAMOND GUIDE
The 4Cs—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are the international standards for evaluating the quality of a diamond.
Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. We often think of a diamond's cut as shape (round, emerald, pear), but a diamond's cut grade is also about how well a diamond's facets interact with light.
There are seven components to evaluate a diamond's cut: Brightness (the total light reflected from a diamond), Fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), Scintillation (the pattern of light and dark areas when a diamond is moved), Weight Ratio, Durability, Polish, and Symmetry.
The color evaluation of diamonds is based on the absence of color. The D-to-Z color-grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone to a set of "master stones" of established color value under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.
The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues, with increasing presence of color, to the letter Z.
Diamonds are formed deep within the earth under extreme heat and pressure. As a result, they often contain unique birthmarks called blemishes and inclusions.
A diamond's clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. In fact, diamonds without these birthmarks are extremely rare. The industry's standard assigned a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with prominent inclusions (I3).
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat equals 0.2 grams - not to be confused with karat, as in “18K gold,” which refers to the gold purity.
The sizes are shown for proportionality purposes. Images do not reflect the actual carat size.