Beyond just the four C’s, browse our comprehensive diamond research and educational articles. Our diamond experts have collectively spent decades in the diamond industry to provide you with free and unbiased advice.

Each of the 4 Cs play a role in a diamond’s beauty, though it is difficult to decipher one component by itself.

Read our complete guide to 4Cs of diamonds

  • The Four C'sDiamond Color Chart & Buying Guide: Understand Grade ScaleBottom Line Recommendation: As long as you follow our guidelines below, there is no reason to overpay for color. Take a look at this I color diamond from Blue Nile compared to this G color. Once mounted, these diamonds willNov 05, 2019
  • The Four C'sD Color Diamonds: Are They Worth the Premium Price?Thinking of buying a D color diamond? I think it would cross anybody's mind. After all, looking at a diamond like this that is incredibly clear is enticing. While D color diamonds look absolutely stunning in any cut and setting,Nov 08, 2019
  • The Four C'sE Color Diamonds: Beautiful, But Are They a Good Buy?Are you thinking of buying an E color diamond for your fiancé-to-be’s engagement ring or other diamond jewelry? Does a diamond like this seem like an absolute perfect choice for you? As the second highest grade on the diamond color scale,Nov 01, 2019
  • The Four C'sF Color Diamonds: Are They Worth It?If you’re looking to buy an engagement ring, you’re probably aware of the importance of color and how it can affect a diamond’s appearance.  All diamonds are graded for color on a scale that ranges from D (colorless) all theNov 07, 2019
  • The Four C'sG Color Diamonds: Are They a Good Choice?If you’re thinking of buying a diamond, choosing the right color is one of several decisions you’ll need to make.  Diamonds come in a range of colors, from D (colorless) to Z (visibly yellow). As the highest color grade inNov 08, 2019
  • The Four C'sH Color Diamonds: Near Colorless and Great Value for MoneyIf you are considering an H color diamond, you are right in the wheelhouse of our favorite color to recommend. After all, who wouldn't want a stunning diamond like this?  Can you really tell the difference between that diamond andNov 07, 2019
  • The Four C'sI Color Diamonds: When Are They a Good Choice?Thinking of buying an I color diamond? An I color diamond can look absolutely gorgeous, all while offering better value for money than a more expensive diamond with a higher GIA color grade. Just today I recommended this stunner ofNov 07, 2019
  • The Four C'sJ Color Diamonds: When Are They Worth Buying?Considering a J color diamond? J color diamonds can be a great choice in certain situations For example a diamond like this is absolutely stunning and will look perfect in certain engagement rings. Many people may gravitate towards a diamondNov 07, 2019
  • The Four C'sA Shocking Fact about Diamond Clarity They Don't Want You to KnowBottom Line Recommendation: A low clarity eye-clean diamond will look identical to a flawless diamond assuming all else is equal (yet will cost far far less). At present the only vendors offering sufficiently high quality images of their diamonds forNov 14, 2016
  • The Four C'sEye-Clean Diamonds: Everything You Need to KnowWhen it comes to diamond clarity, the main goal is to find an eye-clean diamond. This means that no blemishes or inclusions are visible when you look at the diamond yourself. With eye-clean diamonds, it doesn't matter what imperfections youOct 30, 2019
  • The Four C'sIF & FL Diamonds: Not Smart InvestmentsFlawless and internally flawless diamonds represent less than half a percent of all diamonds in the world. Without any visible inclusions even under 10x magnification, these diamonds are pristine, incredibly rare—and incredibly expensive. When you see a diamond labeled asOct 03, 2019
  • The Four C'sVVS Diamond Buying GuideBottom Line Recommendation An eye-clean diamond (of any grade) will look identical to VVS Diamonds assuming all else is equal (yet will cost far far less). Because inclusions and blemishes in both VVS and VS Diamonds are only visible atApr 18, 2017
  • The Four C'sVS1 Clarity: Everything You Need to KnowBottom Line Recommendation: Generally, we recommend seeking a diamond with a Clarity grade of VS1 to SI2. With a beautiful VS1 or VS2 diamond, your stone will look identical to a Flawless Clarity diamond assuming all else is equal (yetMar 20, 2018
  • The Four C'sVS2 Clarity: Our Expert GuideBottom Line Recommendation: We recommend searching for a diamond with a VS1 to SI2 Clarity grade. A beautiful VS2 or VS1 diamond will look identical to a Flawless graded diamond, assuming all else is equal (yet will cost significantly less).  AsMar 20, 2018
  • The Four C'sSI1 Clarity: The Best Value - Only SometimesWhen buying a diamond, you'll need to consider its Clarity—one of the 4 C's of diamonds. Clarity refers to the blemishes and inclusions a diamond has. Most diamonds on the market are included, meaning there are small blemishes or imperfectionsSep 30, 2019
  • The Four C'sSI2 Diamonds: Proceed with CautionBuying an SI2 clarity diamond is an opportunity to find some incredible value. As we will discuss below as long as a diamond is eye clean, there is no need to spend more on a diamond's clarity. Here is aOct 01, 2019
  • The Four C'sSI3 Clarity: The Reasons You Should Avoid It CompletelyBottom Line Recommendation: We strongly encourage all readers to steer clear of diamonds with a Clarity grade of SI3. The SI3 grade is used by lab entities that are not reliable—and you'll likely get a diamond with less beauty andMar 20, 2018
  • The Four C'sI1 Clarity Diamonds: Don't Be FooledI1 diamonds fall on the low end of the Clarity scale. Clarity refers to the blemishes and inclusions present in the stone. Third-party labs, like the GIA, give out clarity grades when they issue a report for a diamond. ForOct 11, 2019
  • The Four C'sI2 Diamonds: Not a Smart BuyDue to the intense heat and pressure that diamonds face during their formation, they all have imperfections. Some imperfections are visible, while others are not. With I2 diamonds, inclusions and blemishes are easily visible under magnification and by the nakedOct 11, 2019
  • The Four C'sCloudy Diamonds: What to Watch ForAs you may have read elsewhere on our website, its best to find an "eye-clean" diamond of lower clarity grade (like we discuss in our SI2 article). There is one "hidden" flaw that is disastrous. Not only will it sapOct 30, 2019
  • The Four C'sDiamond Feather Inclusions: What to Watch ForDiamonds have all sorts of inclusions. A feather inclusion is one type of internal inclusion. It's a crack within the diamond that has a feathery look when viewed from a right angle. Depending on the color, size and location ofOct 30, 2019
  • The Four C'sDiamond Cuts Guide: Overview, Grades, Quality and PriceBottom Line Recommendation Cut is possibly the most important of the 4Cs. If you ignore it, you can make an enormous mistake. For example, this diamond seems like a great find, as it is 5% cheaper than this diamond. InJun 22, 2009
  • The Four C'sHearts & Arrows Diamonds - Are they worth it?Bottom Line For the majority of our readers, following our basic cut guidelines will help you find a diamond that has fire and brilliance while maximizing size for ultimate value. There are some readers who really want to focus onDec 15, 2016
  • The Four C'sHow to Choose the Right Diamond Depth and Table for Your CutBottom Line Recommendation: The depth and table of a diamond have a huge impact on its appearance and value. There’s no “best” depth and table for every diamond -- instead, the ideal depth and table depend on the cut you’reFeb 07, 2019
  • The Four C'sDiamond Culet: Everything You Need to KnowBottom Line Recommendation: For most diamonds, you should limit your search only to diamonds with no culet (this is also referred to as a pointed culet). A diamond with a large culet grade won’t have the same brilliance, and theAug 16, 2019
  • The Four C'sDiamond SymmetryWhat is Diamond Symmetry? Diamond Symmetry refers to how well aligned the facets of a diamond are.  i.e., do the edges of the facets on the top and bottom of the diamond line up along the girdle?  Are the facetsJun 21, 2009
  • The Four C'sDiamond Fluorescence: Good or Bad? [Buying Tips Included]Bottom Line Recommendation When purchasing a diamond, its important to take fluorescence into account. When flourescence is utilized correctly, you can find a superb diamond like this one.  If you ignore flourescence, you can make a huge mistake like thisJun 22, 2009
  • The Four C'sDiamond Polish: Grades & Impact on PriceWhat is Diamond Polish? Diamond polish is the quality and condition of the facet surfaces. If the facets—which act like tiny mirrors—are clear and smooth, they reflect light well. If a diamond's facets aren't smooth, they can inhibit or alterJun 22, 2009
  • The Four C'sWhat are Spready (Spread) Diamonds?Many people envision a big diamond for their engagement ring. Whether it's a 1 Carat or 3 Carat diamond, they have their eyes set on a large stone. But a diamond's size isn't the only thing that matters. In fact,Aug 07, 2019
  • The Four C'sDiamond Size Chart: Carat Weight Buying Guide (MM to Carat)Bottom Line Recommendation: Choose the lowest color and clarity that still look great to the naked eye, and then choose the largest diamond carat weight that still fits within your budget. Some salesperson might try to push "only the best"Jun 22, 2009

From round to cushion cut, the shape of diamond that you choose will have a huge impact on the look of your fiancé-to-be’s ring. It could also have a surprisingly large impact on the engagement ring’s price.

Read our guide on Diamond shapes

  • Diamond ShapesRound Cut Diamond Buying GuideBottom Line Recommendation: For an exquisite Round Cut Diamond, pay close attention to the diamond’s Cut quality. Review the GIA report and ask an expert for assistance. When it comes to Clarity, we recommend looking for a diamond that isMay 15, 2017
  • Diamond ShapesPrincess Cut Diamond: Cut Quality & Engagement Ring SettingsWhat is a Princess Cut Diamond? A Princess Cut diamond is traditionally a square diamond that offers excellent fire and brilliance. This fancy shape diamond is designed from the inverted pyramid of the rough diamond stone. Princess Cuts are amongAug 17, 2009
  • Diamond ShapesCushion Cut Diamond: Tips for Brilliant Engagement Ring BuyBottom Line Recommendation: A cushion cut diamond is a fantastic choice that has gained in popularity the last decade. They are especially popular for halo settings, like this stunner from Blue Nile orthis one from James Allen. Color, Clarity and Cut:May 15, 2011
  • Diamond ShapesOval Cut Diamond GuideBottom Line Recommendation An Oval Cut Diamond provides excellent brilliance, durability and style. We recommend an H Color or better and an SI1 or SI2 for Clarity for this diamond shape. Unlike a round diamond, a certificate for an OvalMar 21, 2017
  • Diamond ShapesPear Shaped Diamonds: What's the Best Engagement Ring Ratio?Buying a Pear Shape Diamond Ring? Bottom Line Recommendation: The best settings for pear shaped diamonds (sometimes referred to as tear-drop diamonds) are tapered solitaire setting like this or an intricate halo setting like this. The setting should protect theNov 03, 2011
  • Diamond ShapesAsscher Cut Diamond GuideWhat is an Asscher Cut Diamond? An Asscher Cut diamond is an octagonal diamond with a square shape and layered facets. The Asscher Cut features a deep pavilion and high crown—offering brilliance and its signature appeal. There are two types ofSep 07, 2009
  • Diamond ShapesEmerald Cut Diamond: Shape, Quality, Color, and ClarityBottom Line Recommendation It’s often tricky to decipher the Cut quality of an Emerald Diamond—and preference of a more square vs. elongated shape is largely based on personal style. Because of these unique factors, the range of acceptable depth %Mar 21, 2017
  • Diamond ShapesMarquise Diamond Buying GuideBottom Line Recommendation Due to their fancy, elongated shape, it’s tricky to determine Cut quality of a Marquise Diamond. Depth % and table % vary from diamond to diamond, and length to width ratio preference is dependent on personal appeal.Apr 15, 2017
  • Diamond ShapesHeart Shaped Diamond Guide: Quality, Clarity, Color and CostBottom Line Recommendation: Unique and instantly recognizable, a well-cut heart shaped diamond can look fantastic in a ring, pendant or other piece of jewelry, all while offering better value for money than a similarly sized round diamond.  Like with otherAug 22, 2019
  • Diamond ShapesRadiant Cut Diamond Guide: Quality, Clarity, Color and CostBottom Line Recommendation A Radiant Cut Diamond offers outstanding brilliance and durability. For Color, we recommend an H or better, like this stunning H graded Radiant Cut in a 14K white gold setting. For Clarity, we suggest an SI1 orApr 18, 2017
  • Diamond ShapesRadiant Cut vs. Princess Cut Diamonds: Which Are Best?Radiant cut and princess cut diamonds can both look absolutely stunning, whether set in an engagement ring or in a pair of earrings, a pendant or other diamond jewelry. Highly brilliant, both the radiant and princess cuts are popular alternativesNov 06, 2019
  • Diamond ShapesRadiant Cut vs. Cushion Cut: Key Differences To Be Aware OfCan't decide between a radiant cut and cushion cut diamond? At first glance, these two diamond shapes can look quite similar. However, there are several key differences between them that can often make one shape a better choice than theNov 06, 2019
  • Diamond CertificatesWhy GIA Certification is the Best in Evaluating DiamondsBottom Line Recommendation: We recommend every buyer purchase a diamond with a GIA or AGS Certificate only. The GIA is the most respected and most consistent of all of the grading entities. In addition to a GIA or AGS certificate,Jun 22, 2009
  • Diamond CertificatesAGS Certification: Everything to Know Before Buying a DiamondBottom Line Recommendation: The AGS has established itself as a top-tier diamond grading organization. As one of the most reliable and reputable lab grading entities, we recommend buyers seek an AGS certified diamond (or a GIA certified diamond). When choosingJun 22, 2009
  • Diamond CertificatesIGI vs GIA Diamond Certification Process Guide with TipsBottom Line Recommendation The best diamond certifications are GIA and AGS. We recommend sticking with these two types of certified diamonds at Blue Nile or James Allen. IGI bills itself as a top-of-the-line laboratory, but in our opinion sadly that isJun 22, 2009
  • Diamond CertificatesHRD Certification: What You Need to Know Before Purchasing a DiamondBottom Line Recommendation: If you’re located in Europe and are considering buying a diamond that is certified by HRD, we suggest reconsidering. In almost every case, you’ll receive more value by purchasing a diamond certified by GIA or AGS fromJun 22, 2009
  • Diamond CertificatesEGLEGL Diamond Certification You can read the longer breakdown below. In short, EGL vastly (and inconsistently) inflates their quality claims. You may stumble across something like this on Amazon, and think you're getting a good deal. After all, it comesJun 22, 2009
  • Diamond CertificatesGSI Certification: What You Should Know Before Purchasing a DiamondBottom Line Recommendation: We do not recommend buying a diamond with a GSI certificate. We’ve found that GSI grading is not only looser than the gold standards (GIA and AGS labs), but weaker than the next level down (IGI andAug 10, 2016
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsFancy Color Diamonds: Guide to 4 C's, Quality, Grade and PriceTable of Contents Introduction Natural vs. Treated Color The Four Cs of Fancy Color Fancy Color Grading How to Buy Fancy Color Diamonds Or read more on a specific color diamond: Pink Canary Yellow Argyle Red Chameleon Purple Orange GreenApr 08, 2010
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsPink Diamond Buying Guide: Shapes, Shades, Rarity and PriceBottom Line Recommendation: It’s essential that you buy a pink diamond from a vendor with high-quality photos like James Allen. Color can vary greatly even within a specific GIA color grade. In our experience, Leibish & Co. has the bestApr 12, 2010
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsFancy Yellow (Canary) DiamondsBottom Line Recommendation: It’s critical that you buy a yellow diamond from a vendor with high-quality photos like James Allen. Color can vary greatly even within a specific GIA color grade. In our experience, Leibish & Co. has the bestApr 19, 2010
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsArgyle Diamonds: Where They're From and What You Should KnowBottom Line Recommendation: It’s essential to buy an argyle diamond from a vendor with high-quality photos. Color, and therefore value, can vary greatly even within a specific color grade. In our experience, Leibish & Co. offers the best prices andDec 22, 2016
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsFancy Red Diamond Shapes, Shades, Rarity and PricesBottom Line Recommendation: A red diamond should be purchased from a vendor with high-quality photos like James Allen. You want to ensure you’re getting the most beautiful red stone for your budget. In our years of experience, Leibish & Co.May 28, 2015
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsPurple Diamond Buying GuideBottom Line Recommendation Look for purple diamonds from a vendor with high-quality photos, like James Allen or Leibish & Co. Color can vary significantly even within a specific color grade, and you want to make sure you’re getting top qualityJan 22, 2017
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsNatural Blue Diamonds: Price, Rarity and Everything you need to know before BuyingBottom Line Recommendation: We strongly recommend buying a blue diamond from a vendor who provides high-quality photos, like Leibish & Co. or James Allen. Color can vary significantly even within a specific color grade, and we want to make sureJan 04, 2017
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsOrange Color Diamond: Everything You NeedBottom Line Recommendation: We recommend only buying an orange diamond from a vendor with high-quality photos, like James Allen or Leibish & Co. Color varies even within a specific color grade, and you want to make sure you’re getting whatJan 19, 2017
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsGreen Diamonds: Pricing Guide for Shapes, Shades and RarityBottom Line Recommendation: We strongly recommend buying a green diamond from a vendor who offers high-quality photos, like James Allen or Leibish & Co. Color varies significantly within a specific color grade, and you want to ensure you’re getting whatJan 04, 2017
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsChameleon Diamonds: Color Changes You Need to Look ForBottom Line Recommendation: Unlike any other diamond that exists, the Chameleon variety changes color temporarily, hence the name. While the base color is an olive tone like this 1.07 Carat cushion cut, there are multiple hues. Needless to say, it’sDec 21, 2016
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsWhat are Black Diamonds? Detailed GuideBottom Line Recommendation: We highly recommend buying a black diamond, or any Fancy Color Diamond, from a vendor who provides high-quality photos, like Leibish & Co. or James Allen. You want to make sure you’re getting the best-looking black diamondJan 18, 2017
  • Fancy Colored DiamondsChampagne Diamonds: What You Actually Need to KnowBottom Line Recommendation: Champagne diamonds are a stunning choice if you desire a unique, beautifully colored stone. The brown and yellow tint offers an engagement ring a distinct and appealing look. While some prefer a darker stone like this fancyOct 10, 2018
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsWhere is the Best Place to Buy an Engagement Ring in 2020?Bottom Line Recommendation Let's get the obvious out of the way. We think you are far better served shopping online than buying in a store. We explain the fundamental advantages of buying online in this article. Here we will break downDec 18, 2016
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsEthical diamonds: What Conscientious Consumers Need to KnowBottom Line Recommendation We will get into the specifics about whether you need to truly be concerned about ethical practices in diamonds or whether Leo's movie blew it out of proportion. There definitely are concerns, but there are also majorApr 21, 2017
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsLearn How to Calculate Diamond Prices So You Don't Get Ripped Off & OverpayBuying a nice diamond is confusing. On the surface, it seems like nothing makes sense. Take a look at this diamond from Amazon and then take a look this diamond from Blue Nile. They’re both one carat diamonds. Does itNov 14, 2016
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsRecycled Diamonds: Nearly Zero Impact Environmentally and SociallyBottom Line Recommendation: If you're looking for an environmentally-friendly and socially conscious choice, we recommend a recycled diamond. Because they're repurposed instead of newly mined, there's nearly zero impact on the environment and surrounding communities. In other words, recycled diamondsSep 24, 2018
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsDiamond Accents: What You Need to KnowBottom Line Recommendation: Choose your Diamond Accent shape based on personal preference, your center stone shape and the type of setting desired. For Color, consider accent diamonds that are 1-3 Color grades lower than the main stone, as long asMay 15, 2017
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsDiamond vs. Moissanite: Why Diamonds Are Worth the MoneyBottom Line Recommendation: Consider the lasting value and beauty of a gemstone before purchase. diamonds and moissanites are distinctly different in brilliance, hardness, composition and color. For a high-quality, excellently priced diamond, contact us today for a complementary search andFeb 17, 2017
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsClarity Enhancement - Treated DiamondsBottom Line Recommendation:  If you are able to fully adsorb the fact that a diamond is not an investment, but a retail product that you buy to look nice when placed on your loved one's body, then clarity enhanced diamondsJun 22, 2009
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsConflict-Free Diamonds: What Are They And Where to Get ThemBottom Line Recommendation: Choosing a conflict-free diamond certified by the Kimberley Process ensures that the stone isn’t connected with rebel groups. We recommend going a step further, though, to ensure your diamond is mined and shipped in the most ethicalJan 31, 2019
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsWhat is CTTW for Diamonds?If you’ve spent time looking at engagement rings and other diamond jewelry online, you may have noticed the acronym “CTTW” alongside other important details such as cut, clarity, color and carat weight.  What Does CTTW Mean in a Diamond Ring?Aug 06, 2019
  • Miscellaneous DiamondsCubic Zirconia vs Diamond: The Differences in Quality, Appearance and ValueBottom Line Recommendation: Cubic zirconia and diamonds may look similar at a distance, but differ drastically in beauty, quality and value. For a stunning engagement ring that will last a lifetime, we recommend choosing a real diamond over cubic zirconia.Feb 02, 2019

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