All About Diamonds | Tiny Jewel Box | Washington, D.C.



All About Diamonds

The 4 C's


Before you get to the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color and carat – decide what shape your partner may prefer. The shape refers to the actual geometry of the stone, which is different from the cut.

After deciding on the shape, here are the important things you should look for in a diamond, known as the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color and carat. These four characteristics are the main criteria to use when choosing your engagement ring. Now, let’s take a closer look.

1. Cut

A diamond cut refers to the angles and proportions a diamond craftsman uses to unleash the potential brilliance of a diamond. Cut is graded from “Excellent” to “Poor.” The better the cut, the more brilliant the diamond will appear. Cut is the only characteristic of a diamond that is not determined by nature.


2. Clarity

Clarity depends on the presence or absence of tiny inclusions, or birthmarks, which occurred when the diamond was forming. The size, quantity, type, location, and color of the inclusions will determine the grade. Generally, inclusions are only visible to the unaided eye when the diamond is graded I1 or lower.


3. Color

Color refers to the presence of any color in the diamond. The closer the diamond is to colorless, the higher the grade and the more valuable. A change of one or two color grades is unnoticeable but can have a profound effect upon the price. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed an alphabetical scale to represent a diamond’s color. The top of the scale is “D” and it continues down to “Z,” where the diamond displays obvious color.


4. Carat

This is a unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones. Since larger diamonds occur less often in nature, value increases witth carat weight. For example, two half-carat diamonds will cost significantly less than a single one-carat diamond of similar quality.


Let us show you in person

Our diamond experts will walk you through the subtle differences in each category that can dramatically affect how far your budget will go. Stop in our store or you can make an appointment.