What are the 4 C’s

‘THE 4 C’S’

One of the most exciting parts about making a bespoke piece of jewellery is getting to choose your own gemstone. The 4 C’s – Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat- is a universal grading system created by the GIA (Gemmological Association of America) to protect gemstone and Jewellery buyers. Here is our simple guide of what to look for when buying diamonds and coloured stones.

Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat


The cut of the stone refers to the arrangement of the facets as apposed to the shape of the stone. There are three basic cuts which are commonly used, brilliant, stepped and mixed cut.


The clarity of a stone describes how clear the stone is, its grades the number of inclusions (material trapped within the stone) and blemishes which can all affect the appearance and structural integrity of the stone. The grades are Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very, Very Slightly Included (VVSI), Very Slightly Included (VSI), Slightly Included (SI), Included (I).


The colour of a diamond is measured in degrees of whiteness or lack of colour. The grading system is alphabetised and starts with the letter D for a colourless diamond and goes to Z for a yellow diamond. Coloured stones are simply described by there colour.


The Carat is a measurement of the weight of a stone and not just the size. The carat is often what buyers are most interested but it is worth noting that a larger carat doesn’t nessarily mean it is a nicer or more valuable stone.


Gemstones can be cut into lots of different shapes, below is a selection of the some of the most popular shapes and their names.

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