When looking at gemstones, we base our choices on the 4Cs – Cut, Carat, Clarity and Colour. These are the objective and widely-recognised standards of diamond quality.

colour

There is a colour classification scale for every gem, grading the hue and intensity. Diamonds are unusually graded on their lack of colour, as a clear and bright stone is generally preferred. However, coloured diamonds are much rarer.

clarity

All precious stones have individual ‘birthmarks’ that form naturally. The majority are microscopic and have a minimal effect on the jewel’s appearance. Where these birthmarks are invisible to the naked eye and can’t even be seen under 10x magnification, internally or externally, the gem is considered ‘flawless’.

carat

The weight of each stone is measured in carats. This grading may not reflect the gem’s actual size but their weight – ‘heavier’ jewels are rarer.

cut

The cut of a gem affects how the light reflects off each facet. Stones are cut to precise mathematical proportions, allowing as much light as possible to reflect on the inside of the stone and shine from the top. A well-cut stone will flash and sparkle.

Although each is independently evaluated and classified, we always advise that you keep the 4Cs in mind when selecting a gem. If you’d prefer a larger stone, you may consider the carat weight to be most important, while those seeking the most beautiful jewellery within their budget might focus on the colour or clarity. Deciding on your own preferences before searching for a new piece may help you to choose