Understanding the Four Cs: How to Choose the Best Diamond

     When you're in the market for a diamond, getting to know the 4 Cs—Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat—is key. These four factors are what determine a diamond's overall quality and value. At Sarah Elise, we're all about empowering you with the knowledge you need to make confident choices. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through each of the 4 Cs, explaining why they matter and how they influence your diamond's look and worth.

  1. Cut: The Sparkle Factor

Definition: The cut of a diamond refers to how well the diamond has been shaped and faceted from its raw form. It directly influences the diamond's brilliance, sparkle, and overall visual appeal.


  • Light Performance: A well-cut diamond reflects light internally from one facet to another, then disperses it through the top of the diamond, creating a brilliant sparkle.
  • Grading: Cut is graded from Excellent to Poor. An Excellent cut grade ensures maximum brilliance and fire, while a Poor cut grade means the diamond will appear dull.


  • Proportions: The angles and dimensions of the diamond.
  • Symmetry: The precision of the diamond’s shape and the alignment of its facets.
  • Polish: The quality of the diamond’s surface.
  1. Clarity: The Purity of the Stone

Definition: Clarity refers to the presence of internal or external imperfections, known as inclusions and blemishes, respectively. The fewer the imperfections, the higher the clarity grade.


  • Visual Impact: High clarity means fewer imperfections, which can affect the diamond's appearance and sparkle.
  • Value: Diamonds with fewer inclusions are rarer and more valuable.

Grading Scale:

  • FL (Flawless): No inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
  • IF (Internally Flawless): No inclusions and only minor blemishes under 10x magnification.
  • VVS1, VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included): Inclusions are difficult to see under 10x magnification.
  • VS1, VS2 (Very Slightly Included): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification but not to the naked eye.
  • SI1, SI2 (Slightly Included): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification and may be visible to the naked eye.
  • I1, I2, I3 (Included): Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.
  1. Color: The Hue of the Diamond

Definition: Color in diamonds actually refers to the lack of color. The most valuable diamonds are those with the least amount of color.


  • Visual Appeal: Less color enhances a diamond’s brilliance and fire.
  • Value: Colorless diamonds are rare and, therefore, more valuable.

Grading Scale:

  • D-F: Colorless. The highest grade with no detectable color.
  • G-J: Near Colorless. Slight color detectable by an expert gemologist but still appears colorless to the naked eye.
  • K-M: Faint Color. Noticeable color that can affect the diamond's brilliance.
  • N-Z: Very Light to Light Color. Obvious color that affects the overall appearance.
  1. Carat: The Size of the Diamond

Definition: Carat is the measure of a diamond's weight. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.


  • Perceived Size: Carat weight affects how large the diamond appears.
  • Value: Larger diamonds are rarer and more valuable, but size should be balanced with cut, clarity, and color.


  • Carat vs. Size: Two diamonds of equal carat weight can appear different in size based on their cut proportions.
  • Budget: While larger diamonds are desirable, prioritize a balance among the 4 Cs to find the best quality within your budget.


     Understanding the 4 Cs—Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat—is crucial when selecting the perfect diamond. Each C contributes to the diamond's overall beauty, quality, and value. At Sarah Elise, we are committed to helping you find a diamond that meets your standards and fits your budget. Explore our collection today and discover the brilliance and elegance of our expertly handcrafted diamond jewelry.