The 4 C's Of Diaminds

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This is about shape AND Brilliance. It is mostly about the interrelationship of proportions for big flash and sparkle from the diamond. Loose diamonds should be gorgeous without a setting!

Devices like the Brilliance Scope, and others, have proven that there is no direct correlation between light return (brilliance) and the outdated beliefs on “ideal” proportions and symmetry. In fact, GIA has now proven there are many variations beyond the “ideal” cut that are very beautiful and bright and they are now basing their new cut grades to reflect all related parameters.When you shop with us, whether you decide to come in a see them yourself, or you ask us to pick for you, always remember that the diamond you get will WOW everyone who sees it.


Loose diamonds are graded for color from the side (according to GIA standards) and in a white tray under prescribed lighting conditions.

D, E, F colors are known as the colorless range. These are generally the most desired and the most expensive.

G, H, I, J colors are the range of color known as near colorless, or “face up colorless”. They generally look colorless when mounted and viewed from the face. They do show a slight tint of color from the side view. The difference is great brilliance making the diamond appear whiter than it is. (Another reason why cut is so important.)

K, L, M colors are a less expensive and very affordable range of color. This range is called faint yellow. If your diamond is very well cut round or even an antique cut or emerald cut, it can look wonderful in this range.

The lower colors “N” through “Z” have an increasing amount of yellow tint. Beyond Z, diamonds are considered to be “Fancy Yellow”.


Clarity of loose diamonds is graded with a 10X loop to rate how easy they are to find, how large they are and where they are located. This totals into a grade listed below. These are all subjective to a degree.
Flawless–No inclusions visible using 10x magnification.

  • VVS1—One tiny inclusion on the very upper outer edge of the diamond. (Smaller than a speck of dust!)
  • VVS2—Additional pinpoint inclusion but still on outer perimeter of diamond.
  • VS1—Small pinpoint and small feather on outer edge of diamond. (Difficult to locate quickly with a 10x loupe)
  • VS2—Small cloud of pinpoints and small feather, all on outer edge.
  • SI1—Larger cloud of pinpoint inclusions and feather on outer edge. (Easily found with a 10x loupe)
  • SI2—Cloud of inclusions, feather, and small feather located in the table of stone. (Easily seen with a 10x loupe, sometimes visible to the eye from the side view and occasionally visible from the face up view.)
  • I1—The above listed features and large fissure that is visible to the unaided eye.
  • I2–Large fissure that breaks surface of diamond and caused minor surface chips.
  • I3—Large fissure that breaks surface in multiple areas with more possible.


Larger diamonds are found relatively infrequently in nature, which makes them among the rarest. A loose diamond’s size is measured in carat weight, and each carat is equal to 100 points. A .75 carat loose diamond is the same as a 75-point diamond or a 3/4 carat stone.

While larger diamonds are highly prized, loose diamonds of equal size may vary widely in value and brilliance, depending on their qualities of clarity, cut, and color.

Carat is a measurement of weight not size. A diamond could, for example, measure 6mm and weigh anywhere from .75 to 1.1 carats.

There are price increases (exponentially) at 1/4 carats, 1/2 carats, .70 carats, .90 carats, 1.00 carats, 1.50carats, 2 carats, etc.

Carat weight is the only factor that has no bearing on the beauty. Loose diamonds of all sizes can be beautiful or not. The weight is a very substantial factor in the cost—along with the other 4C’s.

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