What are the Four C’s?

When it comes to valuing a loose diamond or diamond jewellery, you may have heard someone refer to the Four Cs. The Four Cs stand for carat, cut, colour and clarity. These four factors along with the maker, brand and certificate determine a diamond’s value. Our highly trained specialists can provide you with an accurate and up to date valuation.


Diamonds are valuable gemstones and have their own weight system. Carat is the measure used for diamond weight and can vary from 0.1ct to 4ct for engagement rings. However, world famous diamond like the Hope Diamond was 45.52ct.

The word “Carat” comes from “Carob seeds” which ancient diamond traders used to measure diamond weight and now a carat is classed as 0.2 grams. It is important to remember not to confuse “Carat” with “Karat” which is the measurement used for gold purity.


Many people assume cut refers to the diamond shape (round, oval etc.) but it also refers to the proportions of the diamond. When the diamond is cut from the rough stone, the cutter must aim to balance his/her cut against the maximum yield. Diamond cutting technology has also advanced in recent years and some diamonds cut with less precious have a larger top (old cut), showing they from the Victorian era. The cut of your diamond and the size will reveal the carat.


When it comes to colourless or white diamonds, they are graded from D to Z. This is from almost clear to coloured with a yellow tint. The best diamonds sparkle, shine and reflect the light and this happens most when the diamond is clear. Colour is separate from clarity which can also impact the value. Most jewellers can assess a diamond colour by looking at it. E and F colours are quite common and still look fantastic.


The final C which determines a diamond value is clarity. Clarity refers to inclusions (or a lack of them). Flaws in gemstones can be seen with the naked eye or only with a jeweller’s magnifier. Clarity ranges from the exceedingly rare FL (Flawless) to I3 (heavily included).

The internet can be a good tool for diamond value research however, a 2.0 carat round, brilliant diamond can be worth £40,860 if it is E Flawless but it could only be worth £10,360 if it is a K VS2. This emphasises the importance of getting a specialist appraisal.  

There are many reasons why someone might want pawn their diamonds.  They may want to fund a property transaction, purchase something today or buy shares in Tesla. Whatever the reason, Suttons and Robertson’s specialists can provide you with a free, accurate and up to date diamond valuation.