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Which of the 4 Cs in Diamond Grading is the Most Important?



4 Cs in diamond grading

As you probably know, grading diamonds involves the 4 Cs, namely Cut, Clarity, Carat and Colour, which are used to determine the specific properties of any given stone. They all have a role to play in correctly assessing a diamond, and should you want to know which of the 4Cs is the most important, the answer depends on several factors, which include your personal taste and of course, budget.

Carat (Weight)

A slightly heavier stone could cost a lot more, and it does depend on the size and weight of the diamond. Some people would say that the weight must be the most important factor of all, yet what if the stone has little clarity? Or the cut is not attractive? The ideal diamond to buy is one that has a good rating with all the Cs.


The cut of a diamond should be such that light reflects through the stone as it only does with a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a 5-level cut grading scale from Excellent to Poor and there is a range within each grade.

If a diamond has an Excellent cut rating, then it would fetch a higher price than one of the same weight with a Poor cut rating. For more detailed information on the 4Cs of diamond grading, there is an informative article online that goes into more detail with each category that you can refer to.


A flawless diamond is so rare, a dealer might never encounter one in his entire career, and almost all stones have some inclusions and with stones of poor clarity, these inclusions can be seen with the naked eye. For many diamond experts, clarity is perhaps the one they are interested in the most, and with mid-range clarity stones, the inclusions only be seen under a microscope.


Slight differences in a diamond’s colour can make a big difference to the price, while two stones of identical cut and carat can vary in price due to colour. The GIA’s colour grading scale starts with D, which indicates a colourless stone, right up to Z, which is the highest colour grading.

The categories are divided into 5 subcategories, with D-F being colourless, G-J is near colourless, K-M is faint and N-R is very light, while light is considered S-Z. The D rated stone would be the most expensive, as colourless diamonds are very rare, and when set into a piece of jewellery, you would not be able to tell the difference between a D and a G, at least not with the naked eye.

It is very much down to personal taste as to which of the 4Cs is the most important, and by combining all 4, you can accurately assess a stone’s overall quality. If you would like to buy or sell diamonds, all it takes to source a reputable dealer is an online search.

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