Learning About the 4 C’s – Part II

“C” is for CUT

GIA Diamond AnatomyOf the 4 “Cs,” cut may be the most important visually. When a diamond is not cut or manufactured correctly, color and clarity suffer greatly.

The Cut actually refers to two different qualities: Shape (or Silhouette) and quality of proportions and dimensions. There is a wide range of shapes in which diamonds are cut: Round, Pear Shape, Emerald Cut, Princess Cut and Cushion to name a few. Each shape can be cut in different carat sizes. Most people will lean towards a certain shape, but I always recommend exploring several shapes before settling on the diamond of your choice.

Cut also refers to the quality of the proportions and shapes of the diamond’s facets. A diamond with uneven or poorly proportioned facets won’t be given the same grade of cut as an ideally proportioned and masterfully cut stone.

A well-proportioned Cut is the most important quality in a diamond because it is what allows the maximum amount of light into the stone, to reflect perfectly against opposite facets, and make its way out through the top of the stone creating the most sparkle and scintillation.

Though Shape is a matter of preference, the quality of a good cut will make a difference on the brilliance of your diamond.

“C” is for COLOR

GIA Diamond ColorMost people think diamonds are colorless; however, in reality, diamonds come in every color of the rainbow from yellows and browns to green, blue, purple, red, pink, grey and even black. The “C” for color refers to the presence or absence of tinges of color in any particular stone. The closer a diamond comes to colorless, the more valuable it is.

The color element of a diamond is created by chemicals or minerals captured in the diamond crystals as they grew in the earth’s surface over millions of years. For example the presence of boron would naturally give a diamond a blue tint and so on.

Most diamonds are graded using the GIA color scale that begins with “D” for most colorless and continue up to “Z”. As the tints become more visible, the grade moves up the alphabet. However, the less presence of color noticeable in a diamond the rarer it is to find, therefore making it more desirable and valuable.

Though GIA’s color scale grades diamonds between D (colorless) to Z (noticeable tint), there are also diamonds that exceed the diamond grading charts. These diamonds are much rarer to come by and are considered “fancy” in color. Fancy color diamonds are highly desirable and command higher value than diamonds which are on the charts.

Color is a tricky “C” to consider when purchasing a diamond. Some people prefer their diamond be as “colorless” as possible, and so pay a premium for that luxury. Then there are those who would rather sacrifice a grade or two in color to fall within budget, and yet maintain a fairly “whitish” stone. Both preferences are ok.

One last note to consider is the color of the metal in which the stone will be set will affect the final look of the diamond. A near colorless stone will look amazing in a white metal such as white gold or platinum, whereas a stone with slight tints of brown or yellow will face up white in yellow mountings.

to be continued…


Previously in the series: C Is For Carat

Next time: Clarity and Summary



Photo credit: GIA (Gemological Institute of America) & Rony Tennenbaum 

In his 25 years experience in designing and creating engagement rings and wedding bands, Rony has dedicated more than a decade of service toward helping same-sex couples translate their sentiments of commitment into meaninful custom rings, symbolizing their unique love.