What Are The 4 Cs And What Do They Have To Do With The Diamond You're Buying Your Fiance

When it comes time to buy a diamond engagement ring for your fiance, it can be very confusing, especially when confronted with the many terms jewelers use. However, it need not be. And as someone who is planning on buying a diamond, you really should feel comfortable. In regards to diamonds, there are 4 terms that will come up over and over in conversations. These terms are referred to as the 4cs. They are constantly used when discussing diamonds, so it's important to know what they generally mean. Here's a brief overview of the 4cs.


Diamonds will all have a slight color. Yellow is the primary color that you will need to know about. Other colors fall under fancy.

The colors begin at D, not A. D is a virtually colorless diamond, one where there is no perception of yellow even under magnification. Z will be a diamond that looks yellow to the naked eye. While less color tends to correlate to a higher price, it's not necessarily a bad diamond. Some women like a slight tint of yellow.


This refers to the design that the rough diamond was cut into. There are pillow, princess, asscher, cushion, and oval (among many others). The choice of cut is totally up to you (and what your fiance would like). However, it is important to make sure that the diamond is cut well. If a diamond is cut too deep, or too shallow, it is a bad cut. Determining this is very difficult for a novice. The best way to make sure you are getting a good cut is to ask the jeweler to see the grading papers. Diamonds are certified and graded by large agencies. Part of this rating will include a rating on the cut.  You can choose any type of cut you like, but it is important to get a well cut diamond.


The clarity of a diamond refers to the presence of visual disturbances such as inclusions. These imperfections might be completely imperceptible to the human eye, but visible under a jewelers loop. These sort of diamonds will be the highest rated (and most expensive). The more imperfections and the more visible they are, the lower the diamond will be rated. Unlike color, where it's more of a personal choice, clarity is something that marks a better diamond. The imperfections are not desirable, so try and get the highest grade you can afford.


The carat refers to the weight. It's the most straight forward of all the Cs. The bigger the diamond, the more carats it has. However,a diamond with more carats is not necessarily a better diamond. For instance, a diamond with no visible flaws, perfect cut, and virtually colorless, will be considered a better diamond than a large diamond with a pitted surface, interior inclusions, and too shallow of a cut.