The 4 C:s of Diamond Quality

Each diamond is unique, with specific characteristics that dictate the value of the stone. To obtain a diamond’s value, we use various value factors, also known as the “4 Cs” – Carat Weight, Clarity, Color and Cut. These value factors are universal and serve as an effective means of communication for the diamond industry. However, to determine the most accurate value of diamonds, additional value factors must be kept in mind.


What does carat mean?

The weight of gemstones and thus diamonds is expressed in carats. One carat is divided into 100 points. The weight of stones above one carat is typically expressed in carat, but stones under one carat are usually expressed in points. The value of a diamond increases with carat size and rarity. It comes as no surprise that a one-carat diamond is generally more valuable than four 0.25 carat diamonds of the same quality.


The color of a diamond

Diamonds come in all shades but most gem-quality diamonds range from nearly colorless to a very light yellow, brown or grey. For a long time, the perfect diamond was considered one that is colorless. Diamonds are also found in other colors, including pink, red, orange, blue and green. Intensely colored diamonds are extremely rare and enormous sums of money have been paid for them merely because of the human fascination with the unusual.


What is diamond clarity?

Diamonds most often maintain internal inclusions. external inclusions, or both. Typical inclusions in diamonds are graphite, crystals, cleavages and small pinpoints. There are many diamond inclusion types, but the most important inclusions will determine a diamond’s clarity. There are four factors to take into account: size, position, contrast and number of visible images of the inclusions. A diamond containing many inclusions is naturally more sensitive than a flawless stone. The more inclusions a diamond has, the harder it will be for the light to bounce through the gem and reflect back to the eye the desired brilliance and sparkle.

Picture form GIA (Gemological Insititute of America)


What does diamond cut mean?

The color and clarity of a diamond refer to the characteristics of the diamond. In contrast, when grading the cut, the diamond cutter’s craftsmanship is under evaluation. Only a combination of perfect proportions, symmetry and polish achieves maximum brilliance in gemstones. As such, the cut is more important for the diamond’s appearance than the other Cs. A top quality diamond (D/Flawless) – but with inferior proportions – will be less attractive than a diamond with worse color and clarity but with a perfect cut. The standard grade for a diamond from A.P. Shaps is Excellent in cut, polish and symmetry, the highest and most sought-after grade.


Excellent – Very Good – Good – Fair – Poor

Our Promise

When buying a diamond from A.P. Shaps, our ultimate goal is to make it an intimate and special experience. The business model we visualize is simple: The customer’s individual needs and preferences always come first, and we strive to make your purchase a smooth and successful process. All our diamonds are genuine, untreated and conflict-free. If the diamond weighs 0.3 carats or more, it comes with a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate certifying the diamond’s quality characteristics.

If you have any concerns about your diamond choice, you are always welcome to contact us. Having quality services, high-quality products and satisfied customers are our highest priority.

Schedule an appointment in our showroom on Strandvägen 11 in Stockholm.