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The Four C's of Diamonds

There are many factors and details that go into selecting a diamond and there are four main components to consider. Cut, Color, Carat, and Clarity, also known as the Four C’s, are the most common characteristics for grading diamonds. Slight changes in one of these categories on a diamond can dramatically affect both its price and appearance. Find out more below.


The cut is a measure of a diamond’s appearance and is arguably the most important of the Four C’s, as it has the largest impact of a diamond’s sparkle. Cut not only refers to the shape of a diamond, but its proportions, symmetry and polish. The higher a diamond’s cut grade, the greater the stone’s brilliance.


The color of a diamond measures the whiteness, essentially the lack of color, of a stone. The less color in a diamond, the higher its value. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness.


The carat weight of a diamond is the total weight, regardless of how it’s distributed. Carat is a measurement of weight, not size. One carat equals 200 milligrams, or 0.2 of a gram in weight. For diamonds under one carat, each carat is divided into 100 points; similar to pennies in a dollar.


Diamonds are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure and often contain unique imperfections, either internal (inclusions) or external on their surface (blemishes). Diamonds without inclusions or blemishes are rare, and most that contain them can only be viewed under magnification. These characteristics are unique to each stone and are a byproduct of its formation. They help gemologists separate natural diamonds from synthetics and simulants.

Now that you have this information in your arsenal, feel free to stop by Pawn America to buy or sell your diamond jewelry. For more information on diamonds in general, please visit our Diamond Education page.