Diamond Education

The 4 C's

Diamond Anatomy & Cut Quality

Many people focus on the colour and clarity diamond but a poorly cut diamond will not have the sparkle and life that you would expect. 

When a diamond cut is too shallow, light hits the pavillion at a low angle. The light travels through the diamond and exits through the sides, instead of reflecting through the table and to your eyes.

If a diamond  is cut too deep, light hits the pavilion at a sharper angle, causing it to immediately reflect to another pavilion. The light is forced to retract and pass through the bottom of the diamond. As this happens, light is dulled and the diamond becomes less vibrant and radiant. A diamond cut that is too deep also tends to look smaller than those of an ideal cut.

Simply put, a well cut diamond maximizes the light that strikes each pavilion. Instead of escaping through other parts of the diamond, light reflects back through the crown and table.

Understanding the 4 C’s of Diamonds Shopping

Buying a diamond is a big investment so it is important to understand as much as you can about how your diamond has been graded to understand its value.


Nearly all diamonds will feature small inclusions.  They are natural markings that individually identify the diamond in the same way that the lines in your fingerprint identify you.  Although diamonds become much more valuable the fewer the inclusions there are, it is not necessarily bad to have inclusions present.  It usually means that you are looking at a natural diamond that has not been clarity enhanced and most small white inclusions are not visible to the naked eye.    


Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, the most common being the Round Brilliant Cut.  Other shapes are known as fancy cuts.  There is a selection of some of the popular cuts shown below but there are many more cuts available and new cuts of diamonds are always being experimented with and appearing on the market.  It is important when chosing your preferred cut to keep in mind the type of setting you will want as well as how you will wear the diamond.  For example marquise, pear and princess cut diamonds have sharp corners that if left exposed can be at risk.


The colour of a diamond is very important.  Grading starts from D being the colourless to M – Z being yellowish brown.  It is important not to confuse a fancy brown or yellow with a poorly graded white diamond.  Fancy coloured diamonds are graded all together differently.  Diamonds graded D to G fall in the rare white category which means a brighter and more radiant looking stone.  Most people find it almost impossible to tell the difference from one color grade to another. The difference in price, however, can be significant.

Carat (Size)

Carat is a measurement of weight which is used to determine a diamond’s size.   Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams.  Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. 


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