What do the 4C's of a diamond refer to?

When it comes to buying a loose diamond or pre-owned diamond jewellery, you may have heard someone refer to the 4C's. The 4C's stand for the carat, cut, colour and clarity of a diamond. These four factors, along with the certificate, determine a diamond’s value. Read more to learn about each of the 4C's of a diamond. This is an important factor to consider before buying a pre-owned diamond engagement ring!

Diamond Carat 

Diamonds are valuable gemstones that have their own weight system. Carat is the measure used for diamond weight, and can vary from 0.1ct - 4ct for engagement rings. However, world famous diamond's, like the Hope Diamond, can even be 45.52ct!

The word “Carat” comes from 'Carob seeds' which ancient diamond traders used to measure diamond weight, and now a carat is classed as 0.2 grams. It is important to remember not to confuse 'Carat' with 'Karat', which is the measurement used for gold purity.

Diamond Cut

Many people assume that diamond cut refers to the diamond shape, such round, oval, princess or marquise diamonds. However, instead, it refers to the proportions of the diamond. When the diamond is cut from the rough stone, the cutter must aim to balance the cut against the maximum yield. Diamond cutting technology has also advanced in recent years. Some diamonds cut with less precious have a larger top, which is called an old cut, showing they from the Victorian era. The cut of your diamond the size will reveal the carat.

Diamond Colour 

When it comes to colourless or white diamonds, they are graded from D to Z. This ranges from almost clear, to coloured with a yellow tint. The best diamonds sparkle, shine, and reflect the light. This happens most when the diamond is clear. Colour is separate from clarity, which can also impact the value. Most jewellers can assess a diamond's colour just by looking at it! E - F colours are quite common still look fantastic.

Diamond Clarity

The final 4C, which determines a diamond value, is clarity. Clarity refers to the inclusions, or a lack of them. Flaws in gemstones can hardly ever be seen with the naked eye, and mostly, or only with a jeweller’s magnifier. Clarity ranges from the exceedingly rare FL (Flawless) to I3 (heavily included).

The internet can be a good tool for diamond value research, however, a 2.0 carat round brilliant diamond can be worth £40,860 if it is E Flawless, but it could only be worth £10,360 if it is a K VS2. This emphasises the importance of getting a specialist help on deciding which diamond engagement ring to choose.

Pre-owned diamond engagement rings at Suttons & Robertsons

We hope that our guide to the diamond 4C's has given you a better understanding of what sort of diamond engagement ring you may be looking for. If you feel that you would like some more personal guidance, then you can get in touch with a member of or team, or visit us in store. Browse our selection of pre-owned diamond engagement rings at S&R London Jewellers today!

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