In 1939, De Beers introduced the 4Cs as parameters used to judge a diamond's characteristics and value.
The 4Cs are as follows:
Variations To The Cliche
Over the years, the 4Cs have become more or less a cliche when describing diamonds. Consequently, many merchants, laboratories and others have expanded on the 4Cs, devising up to two extra 'Cs'. These two extra 'Cs' are most commonly:
- Confidence (or Company) - used to emphasise that consumers should buy from a vendor that they have confidence in.
- Certificate - used to denote the fact that diamond grading reports or certificates can be used as an assurance to the consumer. Also used to describe the supposed value of a certificate issued by a specific laboratory.
The Most Important Of The 4Cs
No one can say which of the 4Cs are the most important for every consumer. For example, one consumer may be looking for a diamond with the largest carat weight possible, whilst another may be looking for an ideal cut diamond.
However, most merchants agree that consumers with a specific budget should sacrifice carat weight, colour and clarity in order to get the best cut diamond. This is reflected by the price of a well cut diamond.