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The Four C’s

A Brief History

Watch this video to get a brief history of the 4 C’s. You’ll be able to understand why it was so important to come up with a universal system to define diamond quality. It’s necessary for everyone to speak the same language when it comes to diamonds. You’ll be surprised at how much time and effort goes into grading diamonds and how important it is to the industry as a whole.

Different factors change the price of a diamond. Use the following information to find a diamond that offers the best value for your budget.


The Four Cs Color - Diamonds West

White diamonds are not all colorless. The spectrum ranges from light yellow to totally colorless. A lettering system from D to Z identifies the amount of color present, with D awarded only to rare, totally colorless diamonds. If you invest in the lowest color grade that looks appealing this will allow you to purchase a larger diamond in the same budget. Diamonds rated D, E and F are considered colorless. G, H, I and J are nearly colorless and can be bought at a lower price. Note that diamonds may also be pink, blue, brown or bright yellow, but these fancy colored diamonds are rated on a different scale than white diamonds.


The Four Cs Cut - Diamonds West

The overall length and width of a diamond determine the quality of its cut. When it is cut with the ideal proportions for its shape, it will reflect more light out of the top, resulting in higher levels of fire and brilliance. A poorly cut diamond with incongruous proportions will allow light to escape out the bottom and sides, resulting in a dull, dark appearance. A good cut increases a diamond’s sparkle – and its price.


The Four Cs Clarity - Diamonds West

Natural diamonds are formed by tremendous heat and pressure deep within the earth. This process can result in imperfections. A diamond’s clarity is determined by the number, size, nature and position of these characteristics. No diamond is perfect, but the closer it comes, the higher its value. Most diamonds have inclusions, so it’s important to check with the naked eye. If a diamond looks clean, purchasing one with a higher clarity grade will only add to the expense – not necessarily the beauty.

Carat Weight

The Four Cs Carat - Diamonds West

Carat refers to a diamond’s size and weight. Larger diamonds are scarce, and therefore more valuable.

However, two diamonds with the same carat weight can vary greatly in value, depending on the color, clarity and most importantly, the cut. A half-carat diamond with high color and clarity ratings may cost more than a three-quarter carat diamond with lower color and clarity ratings, but identical cut. It’s simply a matter of deciding what matters most to you, then finding the best combination to suit your budget.

Want the impact of size without paying for size? Smaller diamonds cost less to purchase when compared to a single diamond with the same carat weight. Buying three diamonds at a weight of 0.50 will cost a fraction of what you will have to pay for one diamond weighing 1.50 carats. Note, too, that a pave or bezel setting will make a diamond appear larger than it is. So it is possible to get everything you want – size and dazzle – on a conservative budget.

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