The 4 C’s of Diamond Grading and How it Impacts Cost

 Without pressure, there would be no diamonds, but you shouldn't be feeling under pressure when shopping for a diamond. When it comes to grading and purchasing any diamond or diamond jewelry, it is crucial to know the 4 C's of diamond grading and how the grading of each one affects the cost. The 4 C's are Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color.

The 4 C's are a quick, easy-to-remember guide that you can follow when making any diamond jewelry purchase. Each diamond is precious and rare in its own unique light, even with tiny flaws and slight imperfections. It doesn't change that diamonds are really everyone's best friend.

Related: Popular 80’s Jewelry Trends

The 4 C's of Diamond Grading


When referring to diamonds and gold, the term carat is probably the most well-known of the Cs. Carat specifically refers to the diamond's actual weight and not as much in its size. Carat isn't truly as much about how big the stone is, though we all know how much we all want that "stunner" to show around town. 

The gem's total weight determines the carat of a diamond, and carat price can also be affected by the availability of the type of crystal. When the diamond is cut, rarity, color, and clarity also play a significant role in finding its carat value. 

Related: The Average Size Carat Size for an Engagement Ring


No single diamond is precisely the same, and no one cut of a diamond is perfect for every person. A diamond's cut might be the most important 'C' of all. A diamond's cut is in reference to how well-proportioned its surface is. The angles and dimensions work together to create a brilliant sparkle and shine. 

If a diamond is cut too deep or not enough, this can affect the gemstone's appearance and clarity. The Round Brilliant Diamond Cut is the most popularly purchased cut of diamonds, and this style has over 50 perfectly executed facets that shine and reflect brilliantly in the light. The cleaner and brighter the cut of a diamond, the more valuable it becomes. 

Related: The Differences Between a Round Brilliant Cut and The Old European Cut


The clarity in a diamond is the least significant of all the C's sometimes, and this is only because tiny flaws and imperfections may not even be visible by the naked eye. Diamond clarity involves the assessment of imperfections by a 10x microscope on the stone's surface and inside its core. These minimal imperfections are referred to as "blemishes ."At Least two professionals will then examine the diamond thoroughly under magnification, identifying clarity or if it has had any previous treatments such as laser drilling or filled fractures. 


Your color creates a background for your diamond, almost working harmoniously with the light. The difference in color grades can impact how a diamond looks and its cost. Color masters grade each diamond in a typical viewing environment. Each Independently evaluated, a minimum of two experts will identify the diamond's unique color and finish. 

A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond would look absolutely transparent to the human eye. In reality, almost all diamonds are not completely flawless in color in one way or another. 

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 A ring with a diamond.

Cost and how to get the best value for your money

When choosing a carat size, always go for the maximum amount of bling for your buck. First, it is quintessential to understand the 4 C's of diamond grading. Knowing color and clarity are hardly noticeable without being magnified now that we can save some money. VS2 clarity or H color diamonds are a perfect pick, plus they are visually pleasing diamonds at a reasonable middle-of-the-road price range.

It's really all about the price leveling up with the diamonds' own quality and beauty. The industry prices are constantly fluctuating based on quality (the 4 C's), certification fees, and where you purchase your jewelry. An average-sized diamond is around 1 carat. Furthermore, a diamond in this range can cost anywhere between 2,000 to 25,000 depending upon the cut

A general price list is available that is sort of a short guide for pricing diamonds around the world. Each month, the Rapaport Research Report reviews the global diamond market, and this report includes pricing information. They also help report inventory data back to the consumers and use transactional data to aid in tracking diamond availability.

Diamonds that are very similar in carat also might vary in expense depending on packaging options, brand, and what the label says. Online shopping for diamonds can save you up to 40 percent compared to shopping in-store. 

Let's imagine you are trying to decide between two diamonds that share similar color, clarity, and cut. Both of them are around the same size. You would want to make sure you are getting the best quality you can for the carat because diamonds are priced per carat. Here's a quick tip on how to figure out pricing based on whatever the current market is per carat. 

  • A 0.82-carat diamond that would cost five grand breaks down to the per-carat price would work out to $5,853 ($4,800/0.82)
  • Let's say you are looking at a 1.55 ct H color SI1 clarity diamond. The "RAP PRICE" would be around $7,600 per carat.

Don't overpay for your diamonds, no matter how pretty they are! Don't be afraid to explore the market research data. Feel free to shop around even though it's probably worth it no matter which diamond you decide because it truly is a timeless gemstone that shares a crystalline shine with no other natural stone in it the world. 

 A diamond in front of a magnifying glass.

What Contributes To a Diamond’s Appearance?

You might think that the 4Cs are all you need to look for in a diamond. Behind these factors, there are other things to consider. The beauty of a diamond is very complex, and you should know about other contributing factors to a diamond’s beauty.

Dispersion or Fire

Many people are drawn to the sparkle of a diamond. Fire or dispersion refers to the spectrum of colors reflected to the eye from the surface of the diamond. Many diamonds will have a “fire” to them, displaying all the colors of a rainbow. When the light enters the diamond, the entire stone will shine throughout from the interior. That light will also bounce off the facet, leaving through the crown of the diamond. With that, you will have an exceptional dispersion of light. In some cases, the beams of light will separate, creating brilliant flashes of color in the stone. Fire is not just an unknown concept but a prized feature of a well-cut diamond. 


Brightness is another term associated with diamonds. It refers to how much white light exists from the top of the diamond to the table, reflecting to the eyes. In some circles, this term is also called brilliance, but that word can have several meanings in the diamond industry.


When a light source or the diamond is moved, you should have flashes of light and contrasting dark areas. That is known as scintillation. The sparkling effect of the surface represents the refraction and reflection of light. When there is a balance to these types of light reflections, that is a sign of a top-quality diamond. Some of the best-cut diamonds will have proportions that maximize light dispersion, brightness, and scintillation. With that in mind, the grading scale of the diamond issues that delicate equation for these gems. 

What Else To Consider?

Along with the 4Cs, diamond buyers should look at the other Cs - certifications and conflict-free diamonds

Certified Diamonds

A certified diamond will come with an official report called the diamond certificate from the IGI or GIA. The report confirms the value of the diamond by verifying the 4Cs and other characteristics. Along with that, the information will confirm your ownership of the diamond. These reports contain security features, such as security screens, micro print lines, or a hologram. With those features, the document cannot be forged or duplicated. These certificates can be used to identify stolen or lost diamonds. Many appraisers and insurance companies will use these reports to verify the proof of the stone’s quality. To have the diamond insured, you will need one of these certificates. 

Conflict-Free Diamonds

Today, many people are aware of the issues of diamond mining in the world. For that reason, they want to choose conflict-free, ethically sourced diamonds. You want to ensure your diamond does not come from a war-torn country or the black market. Some of those sources commit unspeakable acts to mine and sell diamonds. If you want to have some peace of mind, make sure to purchase a conflict-free diamond. 


Beautiful varieties of natural stones have been thought to hold healing powers. The diamond has been a symbol of good health, wealth, love, and purity for centuries. You can beautifully pair it with other natural stones, and its jewelry potential has no limit. 

By following the four C's rule of diamond grading, you can easily find a diamond that was meant to be your best friend without it breaking the bank!

Find your next favorite dazzling jewelry piece at LaCkore Couture. Shop now.