You may have heard that the four C’s determine the value of each individual diamond. These are the measures that assist us in assessing the variations in these stunning natural wonders – each and every one with its own unique attributes. 

Carat: The carat weight measures the mass or size of a diamond. One carat is defined as exactly 200 milligrams (about 0.007 ounce). The value of a diamond increases exponentially in relation to carat weight, since diamonds of larger sizes in gem qualities are most rare.

Colour: Diamonds are graded for colour on a scale from “D” or colourless, to “Z” or dark yellow. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is completely transparent with no hue or colour. Almost no gem-sized natural diamonds are absolutely perfect. The colour of the diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and structural defects in the crystal lattice. A “D” colour diamond is considered colourless – and the standard for a “white” diamond. Deeper tones, up to H, are often considered “near colourless”. Generally, the hue and intensity of a diamond’s colouration can enhance or detract from its value. Rare in nature, diamonds with deep yellow, pink or other significant colour have become especially prized, as well.

Clarity: Flaws inside a diamond are commonly referred to as inclusions. These imperfections may be crystals of a foreign material, another diamond crystal or structural imperfections (tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy). The number, size, colour, relative location, orientation and visibility of the inclusions can all influence the clarity of a diamond. Diamonds are graded from a “flawless” diamond of an FL grade into grades of VVS, VS, SI and to “imperfect” diamonds of I grades in clarity.

Cut: The cut of a diamond describes the manner in which a diamond has been shaped and polished from its beginning form as a rough stone to its final gem proportions. We often use the term cut to describe the shape of a diamond as well as the quality of workmanship. A Round shape is a favourite for engagement rings. Princess, Emerald, Pear, Marquise and Ovals are among the many shapes available. However, cut is also a measure of proportions, symmetry and polish. These measures together give a diamond a rating for the quality of the cutting of the facets into the stone from “Excellent” to “Poor”, regardless of its shape.

Looking for the perfect engagement ring? Consult our directory to find the jeweller closest to you! 


Since 1918, we have provided a single source for information on this vibrant and diverse industry to consumers, government, media and businesses. 

The CJA is the national trade association for the Canadian jewellery industry, comprised  of retailers, suppliers, appraisers, designers and providers of goods and services.



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