Complete guide to the 4 C's of diamonds available at

Henry B. Ball Co. in Canton, OH and Akron, OH
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5254 Dressler RD NW
Canton, OH - 44718
Phone:(330) 499-3000
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Buying a DiamondJewelry CareDiamond Comparison Information

There are four C's that determine the value of a diamond. To establish a diamond's quality, jewelers examine each of the four C's: Cut, color Clarity & Carat Weight. The combination of the 4C's determines the value of a particular diamond.

The cut of a diamond is often times confused with the shape of the diamond. While there are many different shapes of diamonds, each shape will have a different set of standards for maximizing the light return and brilliancy. Of all the four C's that make up the quality of a diamond the cut is the most important and often times the least understood of the four C's. When we are discussing the cut of a diamond we are referring to the proportions, symmetry and finish of a diamond. The proportions of a diamond basically refer to the arrangement, size and angle of each facet in relation to one another. The symmetry of a diamond refers to the arraignment and alignment of the facets on a diamond and the finish of a diamond refers to how well the diamond is finished and polished. The facets of a diamond can be likened to a series of windows and mirrors. The top half of the diamond, referred to as the crown, when properly fashioned will let the light in and then the light is reflected off the facets on the bottom half of the diamond, referred to as the pavilion of the diamond. When a diamond is cut properly the maximum amount of light will be reflect back to the viewer in the form of brilliancy, dispersion and scintillation.

How does pavilion depth affect a diamond's cut? The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A pavilion depth that's too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through the sides or the bottom of the stone. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown. Of all the four C's, cut has the greatest effect on a diamond's beauty and brilliancy. When we grade a diamond for cut we are grading the cutters skill in the fashioning of the diamond.

Every loose diamond that we sell at Henry B. Ball Jewelers undergoes a complete computer analysis of its proportions using a MEGAScope® proportion analyzer. One of the most sophisticated proportion measuring devices in the world.

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Henry B. Ball Jewelers specializes in selling Ideal Cut diamonds. An Ideal cut diamond represents the pinnacle in the cutting of a diamond and less than 5% of all polished diamonds in the world are cut to the standards of an Ideal Cut diamond.

The color of a diamond refers to the physical body color of a diamond. A truly colorless diamond is extremely rare. Most diamonds possess varying degrees of yellow or brown and small, subtle differences in color can make a substantial difference in value. If a diamond is well cut, the diamond's refraction and dispersion often will disguise certain degrees of coloration. We use the GIA International Diamond Grading System, the most universally accepted grading system for color grading diamonds developed by the Gemological Institute of America. The best color grade or colorless starts with the letter D and with each slight increase in tint or body color from a colorless to light yellow or brown the letter grade decreases according all the way to the letter Z. To accurately and consistently grade color, a trained gemologist or experienced grader will utilize special lighting to compare the diamond being graded to a set of calibrated Master Color Comparison Diamonds, which have met exacting standards of cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Every loose diamond that we sell at Henry B. Ball Jewelers is accurately color graded by our trained Certified Gemologist® using a master color grading set of diamonds, calibrated by the American Gem Society®

Clarity is the evaluation of a diamond's internal and sometimes external characteristics. The fewer inclusions or blemishes, the more desirable the diamond. Inclusions are internal, that is, inside the diamond. Crystals are merely minerals trapped inside the diamond; feathers are breaks in the diamond. Blemishes are usually very small and are only on the surface of diamonds. To locate these tiny characteristics, a trained gemologist will use a binocular microscope that magnifies the diamond ten times. Then, evaluating the size, location, nature, number, and color of all the inclusions and blemishes, a clarity grade will be assigned utilizing the GIA International Diamond Grading System®, clarity grading scale from flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) to I3 (obviously included).

The standard used to measure diamond weight is the carat. A carat equals 1/5 of a gram (or 1/142 of an ounce). Each carat is further divided into points, each point representing 1/100th of a carat. While weight may be the least important of the four Cs in determining value, it may be the easiest of the four Cs to gauge accurately and is the most objective. As diamonds increase in size, their cost tends to increase geometrically. Thus, a one-carat diamond may cost more than twice as much as a one-half carat stone of equal quality. Also, as previously stated, weight does not always enhance the value of a diamond. In fact, when a diamond is improperly cut, added weight may serve only to reduce its brilliance. For these reasons, you should consult with one of our trained Certified Gemologist® regarding the question of carat weight.

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Diamond Education  - The 4 C's Of Buying A Diamond