Diamond Basics

The Cut

Cut is typically listed as the first of the “Four C’s” because it is a diamond’s most important feature. It has the most influence on the diamond’s overall beauty and determines the brilliance of a diamond.

With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, diamond cutting has come a long way over the years. The result is a magnificent display of three attributes: brightness, fire and scintillation.

What does all this mean for you? It means that when selecting a diamond, you should look for the finest cut that you can afford. Because cut is measured by the diamond’s light performance, the more perfect the faceting and proportions, the more sparkle everyone will see.

When a diamond is cut properly, light is returned from the top of the diamond to the viewers eye– giving that signature brilliance. If the diamond is cut too shallow, light leaks from the bottom and when it is cut too deep, the light escapes from the sides, both reducing the glitter that makes diamonds so special.

Did You Know? There are a number of grading labs used to certify cut. Here at Calvin’s we sell only US certified diamonds – nothing from a grading lab outside of the United States. Click here to learn more.


The Clarity

Diamond clarity describes the absence or presence of imperfections inside (inclusions) or on the surface (blemishes) of a diamond. A flawless diamond is very rare, and most inclusions found in jewelry grade diamonds cannot be seen without viewing the stone through a jeweler’s loupe or powerful microscope.

Because diamonds form under tremendous heat and pressure in the Earth, it is not surprising that most have some type of birthmark. These characteristics are a by-product of the formation and help gemologists separate natural diamond from synthetics and simulants and identify individual stones. They also help assign the clarity grade by the quantity, placement and size of the impurity.

Did You Know?
Some diamond sellers will try to reduce the visual imperfections of a diamond through synthetic treatments such as laser drilling and fracture filling. Not Calvin’s. We guarantee every diamond we sell is free of any treatment.

The Color

Diamond color references the lack or presence of color in a diamond. The grading scale starts at D (the highest grade) and ends with Z, based on the color grading scale of the Gemological Institute of America.

While many diamonds may appear colorless, or white, they might actually have subtle hints of yellow, grey or brown that can be detected when comparing diamonds side by side. Colorless diamonds are incredibly rare and therefore very valuable.

Did You Know?
Most men are more concerned with the internal clarity of a diamond and most women are more critical of the color. Calvin’s sales professionals can help you select the best diamond value and quality for your special purchase.



The Carat

Carat is the measurement of weight used by jewelry professionals for diamonds and colored gemstones. One carat equals 200 milligrams in weight. One hundred “points” is 1.00 carat similar to pennies in a dollar.

Carat is the last of the “Four C’s” because you should select the cut, color and clarity grade of the diamond you wish you to purchase first. Once you have decided these three things, in addition to your budget, it will be easy to determine the carat weight of the right diamond for you.

Did You Know?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The 4C’s provide a way to objectively compare and evaluate a diamond, but numbers alone cannot describe the captivating beauty of a diamond. Visit Calvin’s and we will show you that nothing beats seeing a diamond sparkle in person.

Learn More about the Kimberly Process Here > & Our Diamond Certificates Here >

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