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The Four C’s of Diamonds

Every diamond is a miracle of time and place and chance. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Learning and understand the 4Cs, which essentially outlines a diamond's quality, is paramount in the purchase of a diamond.


The cut grade determines how much light is returned out of the top of a diamond, essentially a measure of a diamond's sparkle or brilliance.


The color grade refers to the whiteness of a diamond, or the lack of color in a diamond.


The clarity grade is defined by the type and size of natural occurring inclusions found within a diamond.

Carat Weight

The carat weight is the actual weight or size of a diamond.

What is Diamond Cut?

Of all the 4 Cs, cut has the greatest effect on a diamond's beauty. In grading, cut evaluates the cutters skill in the fashioning of the diamond. Diamonds have a unique ability to manipulate light efficiently. This unique ability can be released and maximized only by cutting and polishing the diamond to an extremely high level of accuracy. An ideal cut diamond will return light from every angle and sparkle like no other diamond can.

Our Recommendation: Since1910.com recommends a cut grade of at least very good to ensure great sparkle and brilliance, which will garner attention from all angles.

What is Diamond Color?

Diamonds are graded on a scale of D through Z following the grading system used by the Gemological Institute of America. The highest grade, D, is the purest white color, with each subsequent letter corresponding to a slightly darker shade, down to Z, the lowest color grade on the scale. Color in a diamond refers to the body tone of the diamond.

At Since1910.com we only sell diamonds graded between D and J.

GIA Diamond Color Scale

Our Recommendation: If purchasing a brilliant cut diamond (round, princess, cushion, etc) we recommend a color grade of G or better. With a step cut diamond (emerald cut, asscher) you can get away with an H or I color.

What is Diamond Clarity?

The clarity grade is a subjective determination of the visibility of a diamond's natural incurring inclusion(s). The fewer number of inclusions or blemishes a diamond has, the more desirable and the higher the grade. We only sell diamonds with a clarity grade between Flawless and SI2. A flawless diamond, one with no inclusions visible under ten-power magnification, is the most rare and therefore most costly.

GIA Diamond Clarity Scale

Our Recommendation: If purchasing a step cut diamond (emerald cut, asscher) we recommend a clarity grade of VS1 or VS2. With a brilliant cut diamond (round, princess, cushion, etc) you can get away with a VS2 or SI1.

What is Carat Weight?

One of the first questions usually asked is: "How many carats is it?" Most think that carats represent the size of the diamond; however, this is only partially correct. The carat refers to the weight of the diamond. Some diamonds are cut deeper than others so it is often times possible to find a diamond with larger dimensions than another diamond that has a slightly lesser carat weight.

Therefore, two diamonds of the same weight can appear quite different in appearance.

GIA Estimated Carat Weight Chart

Our Recommendation: Often times you can save substantially by purchasing a diamond that is just under a certain break point. (ex: .90-.99ct, 1.40-1.49ct, 1.90-1.99). The visual difference is hardly noticeable though your wallet will thank you.