the 4 C's


The Gemological Institute of America established a linear scale to grade white diamonds from D to Z. The letter D means it is colorless. And Z means the stone is unmistakably colored. Although the scale starts at D, only around the letter M, an untrained eye can perceive a stone's warmth.

Sometimes, the absence of color makes a stone more desirable (letters D, E, and F). The see-through appearance or ice cube look can be very appealing. On the other hand, subtle internal graining can also impart a beautiful pink or brown hue to a diamond. And those warm and romantic tones, when paired with an accentuating metal color (such as rose gold), can take a piece to a whole new level. Other colors with descriptors like "chocolate or cognac" can also exude a warm caramel appeal. 

Overall, we base our approach to color on the individuality of the stone and the wearer. It is also fundamental to highlight the unique qualities of a given diamond with a design aesthetic. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The same could be said about a diamond's color.


Cut refers to a diamond's relative angles and proportions, not the actual shape outline. A Very Good-Excellent Cut stone will have a maximum light return, which results in scintillation (the rainbow colors you see when a diamond sparkles) and brightness (the amount of light or dark you see within a diamond). A poorly cut stone will leak light, thus putting out its fire. It only makes sense to acquire a stone with the ideal proportions, as the primary allure of a diamond is its sparkle.


Clarity considers a stone's clarity characteristics, both internally and externally. These range from Flawless, Internally Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, and I1.

A lab report provides a loose guideline for these characteristics but does not necessarily factor in the overall appearance. 

For example, picture an SI diamond with tiny black graphite inclusions peppered throughout the stone and an SI2 diamond with a white feather inclusion off to the side. According to the scale, the SI1 would be a better choice. But in reality, while the SI2' stone inclusion is more pronounced, a prong could easily hide it. Laboratory reports help jewelers immensely. But numbers can never accurately depict a diamond's beauty like a good, hard look in person.


Lastly, Carat refers to the diamond's weight. Poorly cut stones can hide weight in the middle (which, in the industry, is called being overweight). That carat weight does not reflect in the face-up position. Different jewelry brands may have different takes, but for Cimelio, a stone's dimensions are the most crucial aspect of carat data, as it is based on visual information. But a diamond's relative angles and proportions can fool an untrained eye. Only an experienced professional can determine whether it will be a good light performer.


Beauty is subjective, but the price is not. So, how can these four metrics guide your purchase? A lot will depend on what is most important and valuable to you, the purchaser. A bigger stone can increase the final price, but you might lower it if you sacrifice clarity or color. Diamonds are as unique as people. So when all is said and done, what truly matters is your preference and what works for your budget.



A diamond or gem's value is placed in the eye of the beholder or wearer.

The 4C's help consumers and dealers categorize and synthesize a stone's given value factors.

However, what matters most is the viewer's initial reaction to a stone. But what you see is what matters.

A certificate can only convey so much love.

Every diamond or gemstone is unique.

The sum of all these different parts makes each stone individual and unique.

Our job is to help educate and guide our clients to make the best possible decision for them and their budgets.

Put your knowledge to practice and discover more about our jewelry.