Diamond Basics

The 4C’s – Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat are used extensively in assessing the quality of a diamond. These characteristics also determine the value of a diamond and provide the basis for comparing one diamond to another.


When we speak of a diamond's color, we are usually referring to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. Diamonds are found in almost every color of the rainbow, but white-colored diamonds remain the most popular. Color is the result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time.

Because a colorless diamond allows more light to pass through colorless diamonds emit more sparkle and fire. The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) professional color scale that begins with the highest rating of D for colorless and travels the alphabet to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish color.



Many people confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. Cut refers to the angles and proportion of a diamond. Diamonds are cut with a full 58 facets. A precisely cut diamond with the appropriate proportion and angles is designed to give the maximum light reflection, refraction and sparkle.

Generally, there are seven principle diamond shapes for jewelry: Round, Marquise, Emerald, Princess, Pear, Oval and Heart. Side stone options include these seven shapes as well as Baguette and Trillion. The most popular shapes of diamonds are:




Clarity refers to the presence of flaws on the surface of the diamond or inside the diamond. The flaws inside the diamond are referred to as "Inclusions"; those on the surface are referred to as "Blemishes". The degree to which these flaws are present in a diamond affects the clarity grading of the gem. Clarity grading ranges from Flawless (completely free of flaws) to Included 3 (diamond with large, heavy blemishes and inclusions which are visible to the eye).




Carat is often confused with size even though it is actually a measure of weight. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 "points". A .75 carat diamond is the same as a 75 point or 3/4 carat diamond.

What are Conflict Diamonds?

The often-cited definition of conflict diamonds is the United Nations definition:  “Diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the UN Security Council.”

Are your Diamonds Conflict-Free?

E.A. Dion deals only with countries and suppliers actively complying with the standards of the United Nations Kimberley Process (www.KimberleyProcess.com) regulating the importing/exporting of government validated diamonds from a source free of conflict.  You can read more about our commitment to conflict-free-diamonds by clicking here - Conflict-Free Diamonds.








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