How To Choose A Diamond – The Four C’s

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If you’ve read our previous posts on engagement rings, you’ll know that diamonds are still the most popular choice for the stone. Today we’re giving you some pointers on how to choose a diamond, and the four c’s.

The Four C’s

We’ve all heard of carat, but did you know there are another three c’s to consider?
The globally accepted standard for describing a diamond includes the four c’s: Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat. This standard was created by GIA in the middle of the twentieth century. Every diamond is unique, so two diamonds priced at £500 may be complete opposites when it comes to the clarity and carat. Knowing what to look for in the description is essential to understanding what you’re buying.

Choose A Diamond – The Four C’s


The cut of a diamond is the most visual of the four c’s. The cut refers to the quality of the diamonds proportions. It takes into consideration the symmetry, angles, brightness and finished details along with the scintillation (the sparkles!). This is different to the shape of the diamond. A diamond may be any shape (round, pear, princess etc.) and still be graded on the cut.
The diamond cut scale has 5 grades, from Excellent to Poor. An excellent grade cut diamond will be much more durable than a poor grade cut diamond.


The clarity of a diamond refers to how many markings can be found on and within it. When a diamond is created naturally, it is the result of carbon combining with pressure and heat. This natural process creates markings on the inside of the diamond, known as ‘inclusions’ and markings on the outside known as ‘blemishes’.
By the GIA standard, there are 6 categories for diamond clarity; Flawless, Internally Flawless, Very Very Slightly Included, Very Slightly Included, Slightly Included, Included.
A diamond with a clarity grade of ‘Included’ means the diamond may have markings that are visible to the eye, and the overall transparency may be impacted. However, beyond ‘Very Slightly Included’ the markings will not be visible to the naked eye.


The colour of a diamond is measured on a scale from D to Z. D is the clearest, with Z having a yellow or brown tint to the stone.
The actual colour of the diamond is not as important as how it looks in its setting. If your diamond is set in yellow gold, you may be able to choose a slightly more tinted stone than if it is set in platinum.
Unless you’re looking to choose the perfect diamond, the overall look is more important than the colour grade.


The last of the four c’s is the carat. This is simply how much the diamond weighs. This has an impact on the overall size of the diamond and generally, the bigger the diamond the bigger the price tag.
The carat should be the last thing you look at when you choose a diamond, because it has the least impact on the overall quality of the stone.

Looking for more wedding inspiration? Take a look at our next post: What Are Bridesmaid Duties?