The ‘4+’ C’s of Diamonds

Does the thought of purchasing a diamond ring overwhelm you?

Don’t think you know enough about certificates, inclusions, grading scales and colours?

Do you know the basics, but need a refresher course?

A good understanding of diamonds is necessary before you begin shopping.

These are the criteria jewellers use when grading Diamonds, and they’re the ones you’ll need to understand to buy the right diamond for you.

Here are some tips on choosing the perfect diamond from Diamond Expert, George Agopian.


Cut is probably the most important, and most challenging, of the four C’s to understand and the one element that is directly affected by human skill and expertise. The brilliance of a diamond depends heavily on its cut. The cut describes the way in which a diamond has been shaped and polished from the rough stone to the final gem.

In order to capitalize on the fire and brilliance, the diamond cutter must position each of the stone’s facets in precise geometric relation to one another. A classic round brilliant well cut diamond has fifty-seven or fifty-eight facets that are exactly aligned.

When a diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom or the side of the diamond instead of reflecting back to you. This explains why some diamonds are so much more brilliant than others.

Too Shallow: Light will be lost through the bottom of the stone, causing the diamond to lose its brilliance.

Too Deep: Light will escape out the side of the stone, causing the diamond to appear dark and lose its brilliance.

Just Right: Light reflects back to you providing optimal brilliance.

The cut also determines the shape of a diamond. The most common diamond shapes are the round brilliant, the princess, the marquise, the pear, the oval, and the emerald.

New technology allowed the industry to develop new, and in many cases, superior Diamond cuts.

The Canadian Love Diamond™ is the most brilliant ideal cut diamond in the market.

Less than 1% of the diamonds that are mined, cut and polished in Canada qualify for “The Canadian Love Diamond” status. Every single Canadian Love Diamond™ is precisely cut to expose a passionate sparkling work of art. When viewing a Canadian Love Diamond™ through a Hearts & Arrows loop, it will reveal a striking pattern of eight symmetrical Hearts and eight symmetrical Arrows, the dimension of excellence™.

Princess of Hearts™ is the most brilliant square cut diamond that exhibits the Hearts & Arrows pattern. Moreover, as the Princess of Hearts Diamond is cut to “ideal” proportions, it generates scintillation that is beyond any existing standard square cut diamond.


Most diamonds contain some inner flaws, or inclusions, that occur during the formation process.
The visibility, number and size of these inclusions determine diamond’s clarity. Diamonds that are clear create more brilliance, and thus are more highly appreciated, and priced.

FL-IF Flawless or Internally Flawless. This diamond has no internal inclusions. Very rare.

VVS1-VVS2 – Very Very Slightly included. Very difficult to detect under 10x magnification.

VS1-VS2 Very Slightly included. Tiny inclusions are invisible to the naked eye and seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.

SI1-SI2-SI3 Slightly Included. Tiny inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification and in some cases, in SI3, inclusions are visible to the naked eye.

I1-I2-I3 Included. Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification as well as to the human eye.


When jewellers speak of a diamond’s colour, they are usually referring to the existence or absence of colour in white diamonds.

Colour is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time. Because a colourless diamond, like a clear glass, allows more light to pass through it than a coloured diamond, colourless diamonds produce more sparkle and fire. Thus, the whiter a diamond’s colour, the greater is its value. Diamond graded D through F are absolutely colourless. Diamonds graded G through I show virtually no colour that is visible to the untrained eye.

Carat Weight

A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises exponentially to its size.

The ‘Fifth C’: Canadian

The diamonds are mined from Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake, and Victor Mines in the Northwest Territories and Ontario and cut and polished in around Canada.

The designation of these Diamonds as a product of Canada conforms to the guidelines established by the Ministry of Industry, Government of Canada. A Maple Leaf has been laser inscribed on the diamonds to proudly identify it as Canadian. By registering a laser inscribed serial # of your Canadian diamond, you can view the “Birth Certificate” of your Diamond. You will learn details such as rough diamond weight and when it was mined!

View Canadian Diamond Classics™ brochure


The diamond certificate, which is sometimes called a grading report, is a complete evaluation of your diamond that has been performed by a qualified professional with the help of special gemological instruments. Each stone bears its own recognizable, individual characteristics, which is listed on the certificate.

There are three major international laboratories in North America that grade, certify and most of them estimate market value of diamonds.

They are:

IGI – International Gemological Institute

GIA – Gemological Institute of America

AGS – American Gem Society

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