For most people, buying a diamond is a fairly rare experience. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

This post introduces the four C’s that measure a diamond’s quality….and impact its price.


Cut refers to the stone’s proportions, symmetry & polish. These determine how much your diamond will sparkle.  There are 5 cut grades that range from excellent to poor.  The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) website has more info on cut.


Clarity refers to the visibility of flaws — called inclusions — in the stone.  The clarity scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VSI (very slight inclusions) or SI (slight inclusions) categories. I often recommend SI quality. It’s a good balance between price & quality; with flaws that aren’t noticeable to the naked eye. However, I may make other recommendations based on the shape of the diamond, its size & other factors. Read more on diamond clarity.


The closer a diamond is to colourless, the more expensive. The scale begins with the letter D (colourless) to  Z (light yellow or brown). My typical recommendation is to choose a stone with colour  in the G-H range. This range is still considered near-colourless & is a good balance of quality & price. Learn more about diamond colour.


Carat refers to the weight of the stone. Because large diamonds are rare, price increases fairly significantly with size. A single 2-carat diamond will cost much more than two 1-carat diamonds. See the relationship between carat weight and the size of the stones.

When I price out diamonds I give you the carat weight of the stones as well as their dimensions.