Shopping for a Diamond: The Four C’s

Does shopping for a diamond feel like a daunting task? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! At Diamond Castle Jewelers, we have Metro Detroit’s best selection of GIA loose certified diamonds, along with a staff with the experience and expertise to help you find the perfect diamond to fit your desires and budget.

When it comes to shopping for a diamond, you’ll want to look at the “Four C’s”: cut, color, clarity, and carat. These four factors determine the quality (and cost) of a diamond.

So what exactly do these terms mean, and how to they impact a diamond’s quality and cost? Here is a quick primer on the Four Cs of diamonds.


A diamond’s cut, unlike the other three C’s, is not a natural variance, but is determined by a cutter. This isn’t the shape of the diamond, but refers to the different angles and proportions of the stone. A well-cut diamond will reflect light from one facet to another, projecting light through the top of the stone and giving the diamond its sparkle. If a diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, light will leak through the bottom or side of the stone, and the diamond will appear to be lackluster and less brilliant.

Of the four C’s, cut is arguably the most important. A diamond can have near-perfect color, clarity, and carat, but if the cut isn’t fantastic, the stone will lack the fiery, sparkling brilliance that will make your fiance so eager to show off her ring to her friends. Likewise, you can sacrifice a bit on the other C’s to keep a stone in your budget, because a well-cut diamond will still have the characteristic sparkle that makes a big impact.


Did you know that diamonds come in a variety of colors? Diamonds that are truly colorless are the most rare (and expensive), while white diamonds are the most popular. Diamond color is graded on a scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (pale yellow). A colored diamond is an unexpected choice, which could make your engagement ring unique and perfect for your fiance, or a traditional white diamond could be accented by colored diamonds to add a surprising bit of flair.


The clarity of a diamond refers to how many imperfections and inclusions the stone has. The fewer imperfections a diamond has, the more clear it will be. Inclusions are other minerals or tiny fractures in the stone, and these are determined by nature. Like color, clarity is measured on a scale, to maximize your budget, SI1 and SI2 include minor imperfections, but these are invisible to the naked eye, so you will get a diamond that still looks impressive (while remaining more budget-friendly). Try to avoid stones that have inclusions on the top or in the middle, if possible, as these sorts of inclusions can impact the brilliance of the diamond.

Carat Weight

The carat of a diamond refers to the stone’s weight. In general, the heavier the stone, the more it will tend to cost. In general, diamonds of a higher carat will be bigger, but while carat weight is a common measure of a diamond’s size, a diamond that is well-cut and mounted properly can appear to be bigger and more sparkly that the carat weight alone would suggest.

See? Not as confusing or scary as you thought! Diamond Castle Jewelers of Novi, MI is Metro Detroit’s home for the largest selection of diamond engagement rings, and we have an incredible selection of GIA loose certified diamonds. If you are shopping for a diamond, visit our showroom today, and let our expert staff help you select or design the perfect diamond ring for your soon-to-be fiance.

If you can dream it, we can help you design it

From engagement rings to new settings for heirloom jewels, we can turn your custom jewelry vision into a reality.

Contact Us

Check out our other blogs