The 4c’s of diamond grading

The one thing almost everybody will hear when looking for a diamond ring is to consider the 4c’s of the stone. The 4c’s refer to the diamonds: 

  • Clarity
  • Cut
  • Colour
  • Carat

These four attributes are considered when a diamond is graded.



Diamond clarity refers to the visual appearance of the internal characteristics of the diamond often called inclusions or blemishes. It is rare for a diamond to be formed with the absence of inclusions. A perfectly formed diamond is so rare it would be likely the average diamond buyer would not be able to obtain such a rare stone.

However, this does not mean that you will not be able to purchase a magnificent diamond with exceptional clarity.

Diamond clarity ranges from IF-Internally flawless through to PK1-2-3, which means you can see blemishes and inclusions with the naked eye.



Diamond cut defines the shape of the diamond. Diamond cutting is a delicate process and involves an intricate balance between fashioning the diamond for reflective qualities and preserving the diamond size. Preferably, you would want to invest in a very good or excellent cut diamond to maximise the value of your stone. A well cut diamond enhances the stones reflective properties and makes your diamond sparle 



Diamond grading begins at D and goes through to Z. If you are curious to know why it starts with D, find out here. It is preferable to purchase a ring graded D-H to ensure you have a ‘white’ stone. Lesser-graded diamonds can be tinged yellow. The intensity of tinge is more pronounced as you move down the grading scale. 



Diamond Carat refers to a diamonds weight. If you are wondering, yes the 1-carat diamond is the most popularly purchased diamond for engagement rings. A 1-carat stone is the perfect size to show off the diamonds sparkle, stand out as a centre stone and catch the eye of your fiancé’s friend.

However, it is very important to make sure that you do not simply limit your diamond selection to carat size only. It must be taken into consideration with the other 3c’s. A 3-carat diamond that is poorly cut and on the lower end of the colour chart will not be as valuable as a 1-carat IF D colour diamond.

Also, consider the difference in appearance between diamond cuts when considering carat weight. An emerald or pear shape diamond can often look larger than a princess cut as more of the carat weight is evident in the surface of the diamond.


Our advise to you is to consider the 4c’s in their totality. A combination of good qualities will often trump the selection of a large carat size coupled with poor clarity and lower range colour.

Enquire about our range of diamonds here.