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"Angels are like diamonds. They can't be made,
you have to find them. Each one is unique."
​- Jaclyn Smith

Diamond Education - Become an Expert

At Kingdom Gems, we want you to make the best educated buying decision by giving you all the tools you need to become a jewelry expert. Let us be your resource for discovering everything you need to learn about jewelry. Dig deeper into diamonds by learning about DeBeers 4Cs grading system, diamond certifications, lab created diamonds, etc.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Four C's

If you’re unsure about how to shop for a diamond, this page will give you a better understanding of how to choose that perfect diamond for your style. The 4 C’s of diamonds are: Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut.

The carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is defined as a fifth of a gram, or exactly 200 milligrams. The point unit--equal to one one-hundredth of a carat (0.01 carat, or 2 mg) - is commonly used for diamonds of less than a carat.

All else being equal, the value of a diamond increases exponentially in a relation to carat weight, since larger diamonds are both more rare and more desirable for use as gemstones.


Clarity is a measure of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative locations, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and other organizations have developed systems to grade clarity, which are based on those inclusions which are visible to a trained professional when a diamond is viewed under 10x magnification. Diamonds become increasingly rare when considering higher clarity gradings. Only about 20 percent of all diamonds mined have a clarity rating high enough for the diamond to be considered appropriate for use as a gemstone; the other 80 percent are relegated to industrial use. Of that top 20 percent, a significant portion contains one or more visible inclusions. Those that do not have a visible inclusion are known as “eye-clean” and are preferred by most buyers, although visible inclusions can sometimes be hidden under the setting in a piece of jewelry. Most inclusions present in gem-quality diamonds do not affect the diamond's performance or structural integrity. However, large clouds can affect a diamond's ability to transmit and scatter light. Large cracks close to or breaking the surface may reduce a diamond’s resistance to fracture.


A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality almost no gem-sized natural diamonds are absolutely perfect. The color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond’s coloration, a diamond’s color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price as more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds (such as the Hope Diamond) can be dramatically more valuable. Most diamonds used as gemstones are basically transparent with little tint, or white diamonds.


The most common impurity, nitrogen, replaces a small proportion of carbon atoms in a diamond’s structure and causes yellowish to brownish tint. This effect is present in almost all white diamonds; from “D” to “Z” (with D being “colorless” and Z having a bright yellow coloration), which has been widely adopted in the industry and is universally recognized. The GIA system uses a benchmark set of natural diamonds of known color grade, along with standardized and carefully controlled lighting conditions. Diamonds with higher color grades are more rare, in high demand, and therefore more expensive than lower color grades. Oddly enough, diamonds graded Z are also rare, and the bright yellow color is also highly valued. Diamonds graded D-F are considered “colorless”, G-J are considered “near-colorless”, K-M are “slightly colored”, while N-Y usually appear light yellow or brown.

In contrast to yellow or brown hues, diamonds of other colors are more rare and valuable. While even a pale pink or blue hue may increase the value of a diamond, more intense coloration usually considered more desirable and commands the highest prices. A variety of impurities and structural imperfections cause different colors in diamonds, including yellow, pink, blue, red, green, brown, and other hues. Diamonds with unusual or intense coloration are sometimes labeled “fancy” by the diamond industry. Intense yellow coloration is considered one of the fancy colors, and is separate from the color grades of white diamonds. Gemologist have developed rating systems for fancy colored diamonds, but they are not in common use because of the relative rarity of colored diamonds.


Diamond cutting is the art and science of creating a gem-quality diamond out of mined rough. The cut of a diamond describes the manner in which a diamond has been shaped and polished from its beginning form as a rough stone to its final gem proportions. The cut of a diamond describes the quality of workmanship and the angles to which a diamond is cut. Diamond cut if often confused with “shape”.

Polish and Symmetry
Polish and symmetry are two important aspects of the cut. The polish describes the smoothness of the diamond’s facets, and the symmetry refers to alignment of the facets. With poor polish, the surface of a facet can be dulled, and may create blurred or dulled sparkle. It may constantly look like it needs to be cleaned. With poor symmetry, light can be misdirected as it enters and exits the diamond.

Round Brilliant
The most popular of diamond cuts is the modern round brilliant, whose facet arrangements and proportions have been perfected by both mathematical and empirical analysis. T
he top of the diamond is cut in a round circle and the bottom forms a point like a cone. Also popular are the fancy cuts which come in a variety of shapes - many of which are derived from a round brilliant.

Princess Cut

The Princess Cut diamond shape is the second most popular shape for diamonds and accentuates the diamond’s fire rather than its luster. The top of the diamond is cut in a square and the overall shape is similar to that of a pyramid. The princess cut is a relatively new diamond cut, having been created in the 1970’s.

It has gained in popularity in recent ​years as a more unique alternative to the more popular round brilliant cut. The diameter of the princess cut is usually smaller and the height is usually longer than that of a round cut. The princess cut is sometimes referred to as a “square modified brilliant”, as it combines the brilliance of a round cut with all overall square or rectangular appearance.

Facet Proportions and Names
The modern round brilliant (Figure 1 and 2) consists of 58 facets (or 57 if the culet is excluded); 33on the crown (the top half above the middle or girdle of the stone) and 25 on the pavilion (the lower half below the girdle). The girdle may be frosted, polished smooth, or faceted. In recent decades, most girdles are faceted; many have 32, 64, or 96 facets; these facets are excluded from the total facet count. Likewise, some diamonds may have small extra facets on the crown or pavilion that were created to remove surface imperfections during the diamond cutting process. Depending on their size and location, they may hurt the symmetry of the cut and are therefore considered during cut and grading.
Figure 1 assumes that the “thick part of the girdle” is the same thickness at all 16 “thick parts”. It does not consider the effects of indexed upper girdle facets.
Other characteristics not described by the Four C’s influence the value or appearance of a gem diamond. These characteristics include physical characteristics such as the presence of fluorescence, as well as data on a diamond’s history including its source and which gemological institute performed evaluation services on the diamond. Cleanliness also affects a diamond’s beauty.

If you have any questions about the Four C’s of a diamond, please feel free to contact Kingdom Gems and we would be happy to answer any questions.

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