Your guide to learning about the 4C's of Diamonds

In Material Science, there are several ways of classifying metals. Today, the 4Cs is the universal method for checking the quality of any diamond. To standardize diamond grading, even Greenleaf Diamonds uses the method to avoid unnecessary confusion. 

At Greenleaf Diamonds, the diamonds we have are more vibrant and brighter because of the expert craftsmanship that focuses on quality during service delivery. The company has a large group of the world’s most experienced and talented artisans craft diamonds to meet the highest standards. To be better at what we do and cut a niche known for superiority, our team ensures that only the most expertly-crafted diamonds earn the right to be placed in the company’s legendary catalogue. 

The 4Cs

Similar to human fingerprints and retina blood vessels for ocular-based technologies or iris recognition, every piece of diamond possesses particular distinguishing characteristics. The 4Cs—color, clarity, cut and carat weight—are the universally acknowledged standards for evaluating the quality of a diamond. At Greenleaf Diamonds we only accept unique gem-grade diamonds from different regions in the world.


What Is Diamond Cut?

In all organizations, cut is the most important of the 4Cs. It denotes how the facets of a diamond interact with light because of the shape. Analogous to all other organizations, at Greenleaf Diamonds we determine cut by polish, proportion, and symmetry. More significant than any other of the 4Cs, the cut determines the stone’s beauty. Greenleaf Diamonds stones possess a unique cut that sets them apart. 

Why Is Diamond Cut Important?

Poor diamond cuts yield dull appearances even if the stone has a high clarity grade and color. Well or perfectly cut diamonds reflect and refract light for maximum sparkle and brightness. At Greenleaf Diamonds, our commitment is deeply entrenched in crafting skillfully and proficiently proportioned diamonds. In all our workshops, the teams of the world’s most talented artisans craft diamonds to meet and rival the highest standards. This quest for precision is what continues to set our diamonds apart.

Factors that Impact Diamond Cut Quality

Among the 4Cs, cut is the only characteristic that human hands have an effect on during the whole process that focuses on quality. Two diamonds may have similar carat weight, clarity, and color, but the cut is what determines the superiority. Put simply, the cut has a sturdy relationship to the degree and quality of a diamond’s sparkle. Three factors govern a diamond’s cut:

  • Precision of cut
    It relates to how the angles and size connect to the different parts of the stone. 
  • Symmetry
    How precisely do the various facets of a diamond intersect and align?
  •  Polish
    Connects to the outside finish of the diamond as well as the details and placement of the facet shapes. 

In industry, the highest cut grade diamond, triple excellent, is a piece of diamond with an “excellent” rating in the precision of the cut, polish, and symmetry.

All Greenleaf Diamond’s individually registered, white round brilliant engagement diamonds and other pieces of diamonds have a triple excellent cut.

Diamond-Cut Chart

Whereas most jewellers accept “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “fair” and “poor” cuts, Greenleaf Diamonds refuses to find the middle ground by cutting all diamonds to meet incomparable standards. Diamonds that are not from us are every so often cut too deep or too shallow, permitting light to escape through the bottom and sides. They can as well have misaligned facets that interrupt the movement of light.

More exceptional than sections in other organizations, the gemological standards in this section denote only individually registered engagement diamonds set in certain ring styles.

Categories of Diamond Cuts

All Greenleaf Diamonds stones are perfectly cut to make the most of brilliance. There are three diamond cuts used to craft every diamond shape. They include brilliant cut, step cut, and mixed cut.

  • Brilliant Cut
  • This is the most popular facet arrangement. It is made of triangular and kite-shaped facets, all set to enhance or improve brilliance, or light return. The round brilliant diamond, which has 57 to 58 facets, is the most brilliant of the diamond cuts. Oval, cushion, pear and heart-shaped, and marquise diamonds are also cut using the brilliant faceting style and are similar to the round brilliant in the degree of sparkle.

  • Step Cut
  • Step-cut diamonds have trapezoidal facets that run parallel to the diamond’s girdle, resembling a set of stairs. This faceting style accentuates a diamond’s color and clarity. The most well-known step cut is the emerald cut.

  • Mixed Cut
  • Mixed cuts have a blend of brilliant and step-cut facets. The diamonds we have are a mixed cut with a crown made entirely of step cuts and a brilliant-cut pavilion.


    Meaning of Diamond Clarity

    Diamond clarity is a standard used for evaluating the rarity and the purity and the stone. Grading for clarity typically happens by the visibility of particular characteristics under 10-power magnification. A stone is graded as flawless if, under 10-power magnification, no inclusions (internal flaws) and no blemishes (external imperfections) are visible. At our organization, we do all we can to only accept gem-grade diamonds from around the world that meet our high-quality standards.

    Diamond Clarity Chart

    Diamond inclusions are internal flaws. Our company rejects any diamond with clear or perceptible imperfections to the naked eye.


    FL diamonds are Flawless



    IF diamonds are Internally Flawless

    VVS1 VVS2

    VVS diamonds (1 and 2) are Very, Very Slightly Included 

    VS1 VS2

    VS diamonds (1 and 2) are Very Slightly Included

     SI1 SI2

    SI diamonds (1 and 2) are Slightly Included

     I1 I2 I3

    I diamonds (1, 2 and 3) are Imperfect
    The gemological standards (related to the quality of gemstones) in this section denote only exclusively listed engagement diamonds that meet the standards for certain ring styles.

    The execution of our strict diamond grading standards happens successfully because of unique expertise, accuracy, and integrity. At Greenleaf Diamonds, when we believe that a diamond’s clarity is on the borderline between two grades, the team will always assign the stone a lower grade—never falsely inflating a diamond clarity grade.

    The Importance of Diamond Clarity

    Diamonds with poor clarity grades have multiple inclusions that have a direct impact on their sparkle. For the reason that inclusions encumber the refraction and return of light, the lower the clarity grade, the cloudier the diamond will appear.


    Meaning of Diamond Color

    When checking diamonds, color is the natural tint inherent in white diamonds. Naturally, most white diamonds hold a slight tint of yellow. The closer a diamond is to have a “colorless” state, the rarer it is. In industry, the standard for grading color is evaluating every stone against a master set and assign a letter grade from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (light yellow).

    Diamond Color Chart

    Greenleaf Diamonds only accepts quality diamonds through the aid of experts by selecting those that are “colorless” or those within the “near-colorless” range after carefully checking them against the diamond color scale. In other words, at all times, the company only accepts D color diamonds, E color diamonds, F color diamonds, G color diamonds, H color diamonds and I color diamonds. Consequently, all diamonds that hold borderline diamond color classifications are inevitably given the more conservative grade.



    Near Colorless


    Faint Yellow


    Very Light Yellow


    Light Yellow
    The gemological standards in this category denote only exclusively registered pieces of diamond set in particular styles.

    Importance of Diamond Color

    When evaluating the 4Cs, color is the second most vital since the color grade directly affects the appearance of the stone. Diamonds with a poor color grade may look slightly yellow as opposed to having the desired brilliant white. In addition, most laboratories in the world will not accept stones having strong or excessive fluorescence, which, in natural lighting, may offer diamonds a milky appearance.


    Meaning of Diamond Carat

    A carat denotes the actual weight of a diamond and not the size. Every company has a standard for measuring diamonds. For example, some organizations measure diamonds to 1/1000th of a carat. Typically, one carat equals .20 grams. Companies must always cut their diamonds to make the most of the stone’s beauty and not its carat weight.

    Diamond Carat Charts

    Carat weight can look different across diverse diamond shapes like round brilliant, princess, pear, oval, cushion, marquise, emerald, radiant or heart. A diamond can possess a higher carat weight short of appearing bigger and two diamonds having identical carat weight may well vary in size if one is cut deeper than the other. In other words, it is imperative to note that carat weight does not essentially symbolize size.

    Globally, companies show sizes for proportionality. However, it is important to note that the images that they display do not reflect the actual carat size.

    Carat Weight in Diamonds

    Taken by itself, carat weight does not determine the value of a diamond. For instance, two one-carat stones can differ widely in price when clarity, color and cut are taken into consideration. When that is understood, it is clear that large diamonds of peerless quality are rare.

    Size of a one-carat diamond

    Carat weight can look different across diverse diamond shapes like round brilliant, princess, pear, oval, cushion, marquise, emerald, radiant or heart. A diamond can possess a higher carat weight short of appearing bigger and two diamonds having identical carat weight may well vary in size if one is cut deeper than the other. In other words, it is imperative to note that carat weight does not essentially symbolize size.

    Meaning of "tw" 

    "Tw" is an abbreviation for total weight in association with diamond carats. Online, "tw" might be used to describe the total carat weight of all diamonds included in a piece of jewelry. 

    Hunting for that perfect diamond can seem rather daunting. The best way to simplify the process and limit the number of problems you encounter is to think about the 4Cs. These are the 4 most important aspects to a diamond: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight.