The Four C’s of a Diamond - A Quick Reference Guide


When it comes to buying a diamond, the quality can be determined by four major factors; the four Cs. These are cut, colour, clarity, and carat. Before you start looking to purchase your diamond, it is useful to have a basic understanding of these aspects. This way, you’ll find a diamond with the structure and beauty that you desire. There are two institutions that are used to grade diamonds: the GIA and the AGS. We know this can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a guide that will tell you everything you need to know about the four Cs:


The cut is potentially the most important aspect of a diamond, as it has a direct impact on its appearance. More specifically, the cut of a diamond references its brilliance, fire, scintillation, symmetrical facets, proportions, and finishing details. Some of these things may seem unimportant but trust us, they are integral to create a stunning diamond.

The combination of these factors affects how much the diamond will sparkle and will change its overall look. If you get the chance to compare a well-cut diamond with a badly cut one, you’ll immediately see the difference.


The colour of a diamond basically refers to how colourless or white the diamond is. The GIA will grade a diamond from D to Z, with Z containing a yellow or brown tint and D being completely colourless.


The clarity of a diamond is a way of measuring how clean the diamond is, in reference to any blemishes or inclusions. This can be evaluated using GIA’s scale, which varies from FL – meaning the diamond is flawless – right down to I2 – meaning there are many inclusions.

The more blemishes on a diamond, the more they will interfere with light when it is passing through the diamond. Even if you’ve chosen a high-quality cut, a low clarity will cancel this out and diminish the diamond’s brilliance.


Many people assume carat refers to the size of the diamond. In actual fact, it refers to the weight – not how large the stone may be. This means that the shape and cut of a diamond can largely affect the carat, and you may well find two of the same carat diamonds to be very different in size.

Carat is something to bear in mind, but we wouldn’t recommend it being too important when you’re choosing your diamond. Whatever it may weigh, a diamond that shines brighter and has greater brilliance will always be more impressive.

Here at Silk Road Diamonds, we sell top-quality diamonds and engagement rings and are more than happy to assist you when making your purchase.