The 4 C’s – Your Guide to the Ideal Diamond

The 4 “C” characteristics that determine the quality and value of a diamond, standardized by the Gemological Institute of America and honored by Ararat Jewelers, are Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight.


The cut of a stone determines its brilliance. A fine diamond is cut to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond into its ideal brilliance cut. The value of a stone is determined on how light is reflected by the cut. Too deep or too shallow will cause less brilliance.


Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which ranges from D (colorless) to Z. The lack of color determines the grade. Ideally colorless or near-colorless are all we use for custom settings. 


An inclusion is anything disrupting the flow of light in a diamond. When light enters a diamond it is reflected and refracted out. The number of inclusions determines the degree of brilliance lost.


Carat is a measure of weight (one carat = .20 milligrams or 100 points). While two stones may have equal weight they can vary widely in price because of differences in Cut, Color, and Clarity.