The four C’s provide a standard for evaluation of diamonds, the “King of gemstones”.


Color  Diamonds can cover the entire spectrum of colors. The majority ranges from a perceptible yellow or brownish tint, up to the very rare diamonds described as colorless.  Colorless diamonds are the most desirable since they allow the most reflection of light.

Cut  A round brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets.  When well proportioned, this shape best shows the stone’s brilliance because it allows the most light to be reflected back to the eye of the observer.  Stones that appear lifeless or seem dark in the center are probably poorly cut. When the angle relationship between the crown and the pavillion facets are correct, rays of light entering the diamond, are reflected back to the eye of the observer.  When the angle proportions are not correct the stone looks dull and lifeless.

Clarity  Most diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon and internal stress fractures. Called inclusions, most of these are not apparent to the naked eye, but can be seen in loose stones under magnification.  Perfect clarity means that no inclusions are discernible when the diamond is examined under a 10x lens.  Inclusions greatly affect the beauty and value of a diamond because they absorb the light rather than allowing it to be reflected back through thefront of the stone.  How much they reduce the value of the stone depends on their size, number, and position within the stone.  An inclusion in the center of a diamond beneath the table is more visible than one near the edge. It also may be mirrored many times by adjoining facets.

Carat Weight   The term carat comes from the ancient practice of weighing diamonds against the seeds of the carob tree. The system was eventually standardized, and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams.  One carat is devided into 100 points, so a quarter-carat diamond is 25 points or 0.25 carat. Although carat is a unit of weight, not size, the carat weight of a diamond has come to refer to particular sizes.  If properly cut, diamonds of the same weight should be about the same size.




D  E  F     G  H  I  J     K  L  M     N  O  P  Q  R     S  T  U  V  W   X  Y  Z


colorless         near               faint              very light                       light

                   colorless          yellow               yellow                        yellow





FL:                                      No blemishes or inclusions when viewed under

Flawless                            10x magnification.


IF:                                       No inclusions and only insignificant surface blemishes under

Internally flawless            10x magnification.


VVS1 and VVS2:               Minute inclusions that are difficult to see under 10x 

Very very slight inclusion   magnification


VS1 and VS2:                    Minor inclusions ranging from difficult to somewhat

Very slight inclusions       easy to see, face up under 10x


SI1 and SI2:                        Noticeable inclusions that are easy (SI1) to very

Slight inclusions               easy (SI2) to see under 10x.


I1,I2, and I3:                       Obvious inclusions that are usually visible, face up

Imperfect                           to the naked eye