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What Are The Four C's?

The "4 Cs" are four distinct characteristics that determine the quality of a diamond. Like a finger print, no two diamonds are exactly alike. Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first accepted standard for describing diamonds: Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight.

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Colour is the most obvious characteristic of a diamond. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of water. Diamond colour is measured on GIA's D-to-Z diamond colour-grading system. When choosing a diamond, it is important to choose a colour grade that will appear colourless. H-I colour grade and lower will start to show a hint of yellow that is obvious to the naked eye.


Like colour, it is important to choose a clarity that will show no obvious inclusions or blemishes to the naked eye. Inclusions blemishes are internal and external characteristics of a diamond, naturally created as a result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. Very few diamonds will be completely free of inclusion, however, the closer it comes, the rarer and more valuable they will be.

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A diamond's cut is what brings out their ability to transmit light and sparkle. A diamond's cut is not only focused on its shape, but rather, how well its facets interact with light. GIA's cut scale ranges from Poor to Excellent and is reliant on precise artistry and workmanship.


Carats are the unit of measurement used to determine the weight of a diamond. Anything less than 1 carat is described in "points". 100 points equals 1 carat, similar to pennies to a dollar.

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Fully Interactive Slide

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