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The Four C's of Diamonds


This refers to the weight of the diamond in carats. One carat weighs one-fifth of a gram, and each carat is further divided into 100 points. The larger the stone, the more valuable it is. A 0.25 point stone is commonly referred to as a quarter carat, a 0.50 point stone is referred to as a half carat, and so on.


The clarity of a diamond refers to the presence of inclusions, which are natural imperfections in a stone. Inclusions appear as dark spots, coal, feathers, crystals, or clouds within the diamond. When diamonds are formed in the Earth, these imperfections are created like serial numbers or fingerprints for the stone making it unique and one of a kind.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades stones on the following scale ranging from flawless (F) to included (I) by examining the stone under 10x magnification:

  • Flawless (FL) - No inclusions visible to a skilled grader.
  • Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions, but some slight blemishes are visible.
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are present, but very difficult to see.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are minor, and are somewhat easier to see.
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious and may affect the transparency of the stone.


The color refers to the degree of which the stone is colorless. The GIA grades stones on a color scale ranging from colorless (D) to light yellow or brown (Z). Warm colors range from K to Z and cool colors from G to K, while nearly colorless or clearer white diamonds range from D to G.


The cut refers to the proportions of the diamond. A well cut diamond reflects the light from one facet to another and disperses the light throughout. Cut refers to the shape of the stone such as round, emerald, marquise, pear, etc.

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