THE 4 C's (But what do they really mean?)
Color - With the best color grade being "D" and then working down the alphabet (E,F,G, etc.), this grade represents not what color your diamond is, but rather how much color is in it. Most often the color they are measuing in a diamond is yellow. And the less, the better.
Cut - This is generally the biggest factor in determining how much "life" your diamond has, or how much it sparkles. Although there can be more to it, how well a diamond is cut usually comes down to angles and proportions. The arrows on the images here show how the angles can affect light flow. You can have a diamond with the best color and best clartiy, but if the cut is lacking, your diamond probably will be too.
Clarity - The saying goes that "clarity is rarity". The higher the clarity is, the more rare it is. While this is true, if you show me two diamonds - one at the top of the scale and one at the middle - there may not be any visual difference between the two. Put them under a microscope and you'll see the difference, but not just looking with the naked eye. If you want rare, go VVS1; If you just want one that looks great, you may be ok with a VS2 to SI2.
Carat - This one doesn't take too much explaining. Jewelers often talk in terms of "points". We'll say, "This is an 84 pointer," which means it is 84% of a carat (0.84 ct). We all understand that if it weighs more it is bigger.
While each of these is important, the trick is in finding the right blend of each. That's why we're here for you. When you buy diamonds as often as we do, you learn what you need to do to get a great looking diamond AND stay within a budget when necessary. We make sure to maximize each of these and know where and how to sacrfice grades without sacrificing beauty. We will find the right diamond for you.