Understanding the 4Cs to find your perfect diamond.

At Diamond Design, we’re devoted to beautiful diamonds and we love sharing our expertise. Finding the right ring in the right price range can be challenging. And since diamonds with the same criteria can vary in price, the ‘4 Cs’ of diamond certification – Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut – may not offer as much guidance as you might like or need.

Keep reading to learn what you need to consider about the 4Cs and diamond ring shopping to make a perfect choice.

Diamonds have personalities that can’t be measured in grades.

The 5th C – Context

To start, the 4Cs are an important tool, but let’s be clear: using the 4Cs as the sole determinant of value would simply be incorrect. To illustrate our point, diamonds with the same grading criteria can vary in price by as much as 30%.

Before we discuss the well known 4Cs we need to consider a 5th C, which is context. Think of it this way – if you compared four people, all with the same height, eye colour, weight and hair length, on paper they’d be the same. But in person, they’d be quite different, right?

It’s the same with diamonds – they all have their own unique personalities and a gem lab certificate will not tell you the whole story. So where do you begin?

The Role of a Well Informed Diamond Consultant

To start, you really need to experience a diamond in person to make the perfect choice. Bridal specialists are your key resource here. They will illustrate why diamonds which are graded the same, may actually be different – maybe they have different diameters, for example, or one is appreciably brighter or less clear. 

Nothing can replace speaking directly with an expert and seeing your choices laid out. Our bridal specialists are extremely knowledgeable diamond and ring experts, but they’re more than that. Their primary focus is learning about you.

Your first meeting with one of our specialists is always simply a consultation. They’ll educate you, help you navigate your options, be your partner, and add value to your ring shopping experience.  The one thing that a bridal specialist at Diamond Design will never do is a push a sale, because ultimately they’re not salespeople – they’re guides.

Carat – Weight vs. Size

Carat is a method of weight for gem stones, nothing more. Carat weight does not speak to the brilliance of a diamond, nor does it mean that all 1-carat diamonds will look the same or have the same diameter.

In fact two diamonds, both weighing one carat, could measure differently if one of them is cut more deeply. This means you could purchase a 1.00 carat diamond that has the diameter of a 0.80 carat diamond, having a significant impact on sparkle.  Like they say – you get what you pay for, and that’s why it can be so helpful to let us guide you through this process.

The Most Important C – Cut

Without getting too technical, a ‘Cut’ grading refers to the proportions of a diamond and the physics of light refraction. A diamond’s cut dramatically affects its brilliance and fire.

How light tracks through a diamond is extremely important to its personality. Unfortunately, diamonds cut with an eye to ‘yield’ often have poor proportions and are therefore much less pretty.

Interestingly enough, a poor cut does not alter the colour or clarity grading of a diamond, so one needs to be very aware of what they’re purchasing. 

Get Clear on Clarity

Clarity is a great example of why context is important when looking at a ring. It measures how significant the internal ‘characteristics’ of a diamond are. Most characteristics are microscopic, but when they are visible to the naked eye the diamond can be less than appealing.

The opposite can also be true – when characteristics are insignificant and located to the side of a diamond, they may have little or no affect at all on a diamond’s presentation and attractiveness.

Clarity grading criteria is so often misunderstood – having a specialist provide context here can be very helpful.

Seeing is Believing

Nothing can replace seeing a diamond in person. Diamonds can look great on paper or in pictures, but may not live up to expectations in reality. All professional diamond buyers insist on seeing a diamond in person before purchasing.

All the diamonds in our store are hand-chosen, and we travel throughout the year to international brokers to find them.



We appreciate how significant and symbolic this purchase is. That’s why we take extra time to educate you on all the features to consider when purchasing your diamond.

Let our consultants help you navigate the world of diamonds and bring context to your purchase to ensure you get exactly what you want.

We guide and help couples find their perfect engagement and wedding rings, through one-on-one consultations with our bridal specialists. To ensure we have enough time to focus on you, we recommend appointments for bridal showings, which are always pressure-free.

To book yours, please call (709) 754-9497, email info@diamondesign.com, or simply fill out the form below.

10 + 12 =

Terrace on the Square
Churchill Square, St. John’s,  NL

Tuesday – Saturday | 9:00am – 5:30pm
(709) 754-9497 | info@diamonddesign.com

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