The 4 Cs of Diamonds – What You Need To Look For

When it comes to diamonds, there are various factors that need to be considered. We at Cape Diamonds believe that the 4 Cs of Diamonds are very important characteristics that should not be ignored when choosing your diamond.


The cut refers to the quality factors of the diamond such as the brilliance, facet symmetry, fire, angles, proportions, scintillation and finishing details, which has a direct impact on a diamond’s ability to sparkle as well as the aesthetic appeal of the diamond.

There are significant differences between the cuts of diamonds and the diamond cutters. Cutters may sometimes focus on the maximum Carat weight of the diamond, which could result in the diamond being too deep or too shallow for optimum light reflection, while other diamonds may be cut with the focus on minimizing the number of inclusions, which improves Clarity, yet affects maximum sparkle.

A diamond’s cut is graded by GIA on a scale of Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. The proportions and angles of a diamond that is cut for maximum brilliance and fire, depending on the diamond shape, is signified by the Ideal and Excellent grade.

It is therefore essential to ensure that the Cut of your diamond is the focal point when selecting your diamond.


Diamonds receive a GIA grade from D to Z, with D resembling the most colourless diamond, and Z containing yellow or brown hints. Grades given to diamonds usually reflect on the cost of the diamond.

The most important aspect when it comes to the colour of a diamond is the appearance of colourlessness in relation to its setting. It is also important to ensure that the diamond is free of any tinting that could interfere with white and coloured light reflections. The Colour K GIA grade represents a distraction from the sparkle of the diamond, where the Colour I GIA grade is more radiant.

The Sparkle or Brilliance of the diamond is created from the way of the cut of the diamond, which is why it is essential to purchasing a diamond that does not distract from this principal characteristic.


 Clarity represents the evaluation of how clean a diamond is from inclusions as well as blemishes. The following is the scale in which clarity is graded by GIA:

  • FL (Flawless)
  • IF (Internally Flawless)
  • VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)
  • VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)
  • VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)
  • VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)
  • SI1 (Slightly Included 1)
  • SI2 (Slightly Included 2)
  • I1 (Inclusions 1)
  • I2 (Inclusions 2)

These imperfections can interfere with the light that passes through the diamonds, which is dependant of three factors, namely the size, location and darkness of the blemishes and inclusions. This will cause the diamond’s brilliance and beauty to be dulled, which will take away from its high-quality cut.

It is recommended that you ensure that the diamond is eye clean and that inclusions do not interfere with light reflection.

Carat Weight

Carat weight does not necessarily refer to the size of the diamond, yet many people think that it does. Carat weight actually refers to the weight of the diamond, and not the size of the stone. Two 1 Carat diamonds could be of significantly different sizes, depending on the shape and cut of the diamond.

The brilliance and overall appearance of a diamond should carry more weight than the Carat Weight when it comes to purchasing a diamond, although Carat Weight is an element that should be considered.

When choosing your diamond, it is important to take all 4 Cs into consideration, and not just one of the 4 Cs, as they work together and contribute to the overall beauty of a diamond.

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