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How to Select the Perfect Diamond Using the 4Cs

How to Select the Perfect Diamond Using the 4Cs


For anyone out there looking to purchase either a diamond within a set or as a loose diamond, the amount of information online can be overwhelming, not to mention conflicting.  If you’re looking to purchase a diamond in person, there is always the concern of whether or not you’re being hustled, if you're asking the right questions, and if you will end up with what you truly want. Before you start your diamond shopping process, there are a few principles to keep in mind, and the rest is personal choice. So let’s get you caught up so you can feel confident about your next diamond purchase.


 The Four C's to Selecting the Perfect Diamond


If you remember anything from this guide, let it be the 4’Cs:

  • Cut
  • Clarity
  • Color
  • Carat


The Diamond Cut 


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This cut refers to a diamond’s angle, brilliance, symmetry, proportions, and any unique finishing details. This is basically the sparkle factor, which is why it should be the absolute focal point when it comes to choosing a diamond. There often tends to be too much emphasis on size, but you can have a 4 carat diamond that’s cloudy or dull.


The Diamond Clarity 


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There are two camps when it comes to diamond clarity. The purists accept and appreciate that every diamond is wholly unique, a brilliant gift from the earth, complete with some blemishes which are referred to as "natural inclusions". Then, there are those that of course acknowledge these blemishes, but they prefer absolute perfection. The market favors the latter. Diamonds that have the fewest inclusions grade much higher on the clarity charts and therefore are more expensive to the diamond buyer. These flaws are not generally visible to the naked eye and require magnification, but they are still imperfections nonetheless and affect the worth of your diamond.


The Diamond Color


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Aesthetically speaking, this is likely the second most important factor when choosing a diamond. A diamond’s color sets the tone for the setting in which it is placed.  A fun fact for your next dinner’s quite uncommon to mine a diamond that is colorless! Most diamonds are in fact found in grey, white, green, brown, pink or yellow.


The Diamond Carat



Most folks think of size when they hear the term "carat". What the term actually refers to is the weight of a diamond. The weight of a diamond has absolutely no bearing on a diamond's clarity, so if you’re out to impress don’t focus on the weightiest diamond you see in the display case. It’s also important to note that an oversized diamond, while it does indeed catch the eye (provided its clarity is top notch), it may look clumsy in the wrong setting or on a petite hand.


The Diamond Shape


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Now that you have the 4Cs down, it’s time to choose the shape of your diamond, and this is where things can feel a bit overwhelming because shape can be such a personal choice. It’s also a matter of how much elasticity you have in your budget. Round shaped diamonds are produced to give off that megawatt sparkle factor. They’re also the most popular, which you would think would drive the price down because of excess supply, but they are in fact the most expensive. Pear shaped, Asscher, heart shaped, radiant cut, emerald shaped, rosecut, and just about every other shape of diamond are considered less opulent and are therefore less expensive.


Diamond buyers spend a great deal of time getting hung up on details like shape and carat, when clarity is hands down the most essential factor to any diamond purchase. Once you have a handle on how brilliant you want your diamond to be (cut and clarity), you can move on to things like shape and color. Buying a diamond can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing these few principles will help you confidently choose the perfect diamond.


Are you looking for a custom piece of jewelry?  You can choose from some of the gemstones for sale here, or let me source that perfect stone for you as part of the custom jewelry process!  Click here for more information.