What are the 4Cs of a Diamond?

Selecting a diamond is often associated with a joyful occasion. We feel so fortunate at NYCWD because we offer a service that involves celebrating love! It is our pleasure to help you during this exciting time in your life.

To make the process simpler, we would like to educate you on the 4 Cs:

Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight.

At NYC Wholesale Diamonds, we believe in reducing stress and adding more joy to the diamond engagement ring process. The 4 Cs are necessary to know when you are purchasing a diamond. Each of the 4 Cs play a significant role in the quality and price of a diamond. All of the 4 Cs=the 5th C, cost.

Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight all play a role with the light performance of the diamond. 


The best diamonds are colorless. Diamonds that are white, with slight or no color, are graded higher in quality. As shown, diamonds graded J or higher, are colorless or near colorless to the naked eye.

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GIA’s Diamond D-to-Z Color-Grading Scale

GIA’s Diamond D-to-Z Color-Grading Scale As you can see from the color grading scale, “D” is the best grade for a color of a diamond and “Z” is the lowest grade. Keith Saxe, who has been in the jewelry business for 26 years, will help you understand the color distinctions.

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The “I” Grade on the Diamond Color Grading Scale


Clarity is the amount and location of blemishes on the diamond. Blemishes are usually seen under 10X magnification. The fewer the inclusions/blemishes, the more beautiful the diamond. Below is the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale:

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GIA Clarity Scale

The highest grade for diamond clarity is Flawless- no inclusions and no blemishes under 10X magnification.

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Flawless (FL): No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification on the GIA Clarity Scale

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Slightly Included (SI1): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification on the GIA Clarity Scale



Cut includes the proportions, symmetry and polish of the diamond- it doesn’t necessarily mean the shape, but how well the diamond’s facets interact with light. Cut is the factor that plays a big role in a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance.

A wide range of proportion combinations are possible and these ultimately affect the stone’s interaction with light. If the cut of the diamond is too shallow, the light leaks out of the bottom. If the diamond is cut too deep, the light doesn’t reflect back out of the top (the table), but from the side. Light performance is optimal when a diamond is cut with the proper proportions.

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Different Cuts of a Diamond and How It Affects The Flow of Light

Now you can see why it is essential to have an Ideal cut diamond. Below is an image of the “Excellent” diamond cut grade from the GIA Cut Scale.

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Most diamonds at NYC Wholesale Diamonds are rated “Excellent” on the GIA Cut Scale. At NYC Wholesale Diamonds, the “Poor” and “Fair” grades are unacceptable… ensuring you a high quality diamond. Keith Saxe’s most important advice to clients is always:

“You can have the largest, whitest D color, Flawless Diamond and if it is not well cut, you just bought an incredibly expensive piece of glass.” 

Carat Weight

Carat weight is the weight of the diamond measured in carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. If a diamond has 50 points, it would equal .50 carats.

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GIA 4Cs Carat Weight Scale

The carat measurement impacts the value of the diamond, so it is measured VERY precisely. Two diamonds with the same carat weight can have extremely different values because of the cut, clarity and color gradings of the diamonds. This is why it is essential to keep all 4 Cs in mind when purchasing a diamond.   At NYC Wholesale Diamonds, it would be a privilege and pleasure to be of service to you. With wishes for brilliant light, beautiful symmetry and much clarity- we welcome you!

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