Choosing the right diamond is a matter that takes specialized care. A good diamond is an investment that continues to grow in value over the years. Before you make a purchase, learn about the characteristics of diamonds, commonly referred to as the Four C’s.

First C: Cut

The first and most important characteristic of a diamond is its cut. Though all four C’s are important, a diamond’s cut has the most influence on its appearance, or sparkle. A perfectly cut diamond is neither too deep nor too shallow. You can determine the depth of a diamond’s cut by observing the way that light is returned. If light returns from the flat top of the gem, known as the table, it has been cut at the perfect depth.

Second C: Color

The color of a diamond is actually a misnomer. When jewelers refer to the color of a diamond, they actually mean the lack of color. Diamonds are graded from D to Z. Those ranked D, E, or F are colorless. These rare diamonds are of the highest quality. Diamonds graded G through J are near colorless. The rest have noticeable color.

Third C: Clarity

Most diamonds have small, imperceptible imperfections. The fewer imperfections a diamond has, the higher its clarity rating will be. The highest clarity rating is flawless, which is indicated by a rating of FL. This is extremely rare. Other clarity ratings of VVS1, VVS2, VS1, and VS2 refer to very or very, very slightly included diamonds. These diamonds have imperfections that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Slightly included and included diamonds have imperfections that may be visible. However, except for the lowest rated diamonds, clarity has a very small impact on the appearance of the gem.

Fourth C: Carat

Weight and size are not necessarily the same when it comes to diamonds. The carat refers specifically to the diamond’s weight rather than its length or circumference. For instance, an oval cut diamond may be much larger in size than a princess cut at the same carat weight. Likewise, a diamond that is has a better cut grade can appear larger due to the sparkle.


Even though it not part of the 4 C’s, certification can be an important deciding factor when buying a diamond. Certified diamonds have been inspected and assessed by professionals. They should come with paperwork that is vital when determining their value.

Ready To Obtain A Diamond?

When you are ready to make a bid on a diamond, visit U.S. Auction Online. Or you can register to view winning bids to get an idea of the value of diamonds that you already possess.