Diamonds are graded on their Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight. These four factors are known as the 4c's, and it is these attributes that affect the value and quality of a diamond. Understanding the Four Cs is the first step in your journey to choosing your perfect diamond engagement ring.

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At John Titcombe Fine Jewellery we go a bit further than just the 4c's, we like to add on a 5th - Confidence, in us, your jewellers, to help and guide you with our expertise and experience.

We are here to help you choose your perfect engagement ring, to help make your choice easier all of our diamonds are certificated by the worlds leading laboratories. GIA, HRD and IGI.

  • THE FOUR Cs: Cut

    The cut of a diamond describes the symmetry, proportions and finish of a polished diamond. There is an art and science to diamond cutting, which requires the skills and workmanship of a master cutter to bring a diamond from a rough mined stoned, to a finished, polished diamond. Cut is not to be confused with the shape of the diamond, but rather refers to the quality of workmanship and angles that return the maximum amount of light and create the best refraction(sparkle!!)

    4cs: Cut

    The above sketches illustrate how light reflects and returns, depending on the cut of the diamond. It is important not to confuse the cut of a diamond with it's shape. However, there are a number of shapes that a diamond can be cut to, depending on the nature of the original stone.

    The traditional shapes which diamonds are cut to are as follows:

    The round brilliant and princess cut (faceted square shape) diamonds are the most popular shapes. Out of 100 diamond shapes produced, round brilliants make up around 80%, whereas approximately 5% will be princess cut diamonds. The remainder will be a variety of all the other shapes, including: oval, marquise, heart, emerald, pear, asscher, cushion, trilliant, baguette and radiant diamonds, as well as other, more unusual cuts, such as jubilee.

    The aptly named round brilliant, reflects the maximum light and sparkles more than any other shape. Also upon polishing of the rough, 50% of the diamond is lost. Due to this, they are slightly more expensive than other shapes.

  • THE FOUR Cs: Colour

    4cs: Colour

    Although diamonds are essentially colourless, the term 'colour' refers to white diamonds, which are graded on a scale using the letters of the alphabet from D to Z. The letters are based on the level of colour in the diamond, the rarest being in the 'colourless' D-F range. The further along the scale you get towards Z, the more traces of yellow and brown is found in the diamond. With only the naked eye, it can be difficult, although not impossible, to make out the difference between a diamond that is in the D-F colourless range and the G-J near colourless range, particularly after the diamond has been set within the ring.

  • THE FOUR Cs: Clarity

    Clarity corresponds to the purity of a diamond. Most diamonds have tiny "birthmarks" known as inclusions. A diamond that has minimal inclusions and surface blemishes, is rare and more valuable. This is because the smaller and fewer the inclusions, the more light can pass through the diamond, which contributes to its rare beauty.

    4cs: Clarity

    Clarity Grading:

    A gemologist classifies a diamond using a magnification level of 10 times the naked eye. Diamond clarity ratings are based on the type, position, size and number of inclusions in the diamond. Flawless(FL) and Internally Flawless(IF) diamonds are extremely rare and therefore the most expensive.

  • THE FOUR Cs: Carat

    A diamond's weight is measured in carats and points. One carat equals one hundred points ( 0.01 carat = l point ). One carat is equal to 0.20 grams.

    The higher the carat weight, the more expensive the diamond. The carat weight of a diamond refers to the actual weight of the stone, not as some stores will tell you the size, The size of the diamond is determined by the cut/symmetry of the stone. Too wide(flat) for its weight, then it won't sparkle. Too heavy(deep) for its weight, it will appear lifeless and dark in the middle.

The 4c's Diamond Buying Guide

Choosing the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring

Choosing a diamond engagement ring is usually a new experience for most people, but with the right information and tools at hand, it shouldn’t be stressful or overwhelming.

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