The Diamond 4Cs and How They Affect Global Prices

Jewelry production. Diamonds in the plate

Every diamond has unique features and characteristics, and it can sometimes be difficult to communicate these variables. Because of this, early diamond merchants used various, typically broad, phrases to describe different qualities of the faceted gem. As a result, the “4Cs” was created by Robert M. Shipley (a founding GIA pioneer).

The 4Cs are an organised shorthand system that merchants and consumers use to examine the essential characteristics of various diamond variants, especially during business dealings.

In 1953, this system was formally adopted by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as the worldwide standard by which diamonds are analysed and priced to this day. Over the years, the term has been revised and expanded to accommodate other parameters by which a diamond can be considered standard.

This article will engage you in detail about the Diamond 4Cs and how they affect the price of diamonds globally.

“CUT” (The First of The 4Cs)

This “C” refers to a diamond’s facets, angle quality, finishing details and proportion. It also comprises scintillation, fire stamina, and brilliance.

A diamond’s cut also determines its shape, and there are numerous brilliant cuts of diamonds.

The shiny characteristics of a diamond are also affected by its cut factors.

Some of the most popular cuts of diamond include:

  • Round brilliant cuts
  • Princess cuts
  • Cushion cuts and several others

A diamond’s “cut” is a crucial characteristic that significantly influences its beauty and quality.

“COLOUR” (The Second of The 4Cs)

Colour, in this context, refers to how colourless a diamond appears. According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), diamonds are graded from “D” to “Z.”

The grade “D” diamond is considered the most colourless. The colour shades continue to darken with other diamond variants until grade “Z.” Grade “Z” diamonds are typically coloured in yellow tint or brown.

“CLARITY” (The Third of The 4Cs)

A Diamond’s clarity refers to the pristine (clean) state of the diamond, excluding blemishes and inclusions.

The diamond clarity chart published by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) provides more detail on the differences in diamond clarity.

Blemish and inclusions usually diminish the brilliance and beauty of a diamond. So, it would be best to look at your options individually before making your choice.

If a diamond is in its unclean state, those flaws can distract refractive light from passing through the diamond.

“CARAT WEIGHT” (The Fourth of The 4Cs)

Often, people link the term “carat weight” to the actual size of a diamond.

However, this is not entirely correct.

The weight of a diamond is its carat. A diamond’s “carat weight” is another vital factor when selecting diamonds.

Another point to prove how carats do not imply a diamond’s size is an example where the dimensions of three distinct pieces of 4-carat diamonds are not the same.

Other Notable Diamond Cs

There are other notable Cs of diamonds to consider when selecting your masterpiece. Apart from the 4Cs, you can further scrutinise these other parameters as well:


Certification helps to ensure that what you’re paying for is what you get and not something substandard. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the most popular diamond certification organisation. However, there are other organisations, such as the IGI and HRD.


It’s important to ensure that you’re not buying a diamond that is linked with conflict (blood diamonds). Therefore, it would be best to buy from a trusted vendor with conflict-free assurances, such as ourselves.


You must ensure that the amount you’re paying is commensurate with the value of the diamond(s) you’re getting (using the 4Cs). If you find that the piece you want to purchase doesn’t align fully with the 4Cs, there are some ways to go around it. For example, you can tweak your mounting style, choose a different cut, or go for a halo piece.

How the 4C’s Influence Diamond Prices Globally

One would naturally expect that the globally adopted Diamond 4Cs system would also influence the gem’s grading and pricing. Unsurprisingly, it does.

Virtually every merchant across the world considers the 4Cs of a diamond before setting a price. Customers also reexamine its features and characteristics in relation to the 4Cs system when making a purchase.

If a diamond appears too blemished and dull, this can automatically reduce its market value and price and vice versa.