The Most Important of the 4 Cs is the 5th C!

I'm handing this Diamond Month blog over to my partner in marriage and business, Bill, as he is our diamond expert. Take it Bill!


When a client comes in for a diamond ring, I sit them down and we go over what is known in the jewelry industry as the 4 Cs - cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. These are the factors that come together to determine a diamond’s overall quality.

But here at Ferdinand Jewelers, we add a 5th C… cost. Because a ring’s 4 Cs cannot be determined without careful attention to the budget! We want you to be “over the moon” when you put that ring on your finger or your partner’s finger, not “over your budget.”


So, what are the 4 Cs?



Cut gives the stone its life. The better the cut, the more brilliant the diamond. The cut should be not too shallow and not too deep. The cut refers to the shape, facets, proportions, dimensions and the reflective qualities that make a diamond sparkle. A round cut hides the color best and is the most popular of the cuts. Other cuts include cushion, oval, princess, emerald, marquise, pear, radiant, heart… hmm, I think we’ve found a topic for a whole separate blog!



With color, less is more. The less color, the clearer and whiter in appearance, and the rarer and higher the value of the diamond. All diamonds have traces of color which are not visible to the naked eye. Color is measured by a GIA color scale using the letters DEFGHIJKLM and N-Z. Grades D-F are the highest, representing the most colorless. G-J is near colorless with traces of blue and gray. K-M are faintly colored with traces of brown or yellow. We do not recommend purchasing a diamond beyond an M color grade.


Clarity runs from flawless to imperfect. When forming, inclusions get trapped inside and blemishes occur on the surface. The fewer the imperfections, the clearer the diamond and the higher the clarity grade. Imperfections are ranked in accordance with their visibility to the naked eye and by location. We will show you under a state-of-the-art microscope the differences in clarity of GIA certified diamonds.


Carat refers to weight not volume. The full term is actually Carat Weight. Two stones of equal carat can vary in size due to density, formulation and shape. When it comes to carats, “bigger” is not necessarily “better” as its cut can “hide” some of the carat weight. A visually bigger diamond may actually be of lower carat. To add to the confusion, carats are not priced intuitively. The price per carat increases as it moves into greater weight categories.



Which brings us back to the 5th C!

Diamond pricing is complicated. It is dependent on an intricate mix of the 4 C’s AND even more dependent on an expert, reliable, caring dealer who can guide you through the selection of YOUR perfect diamond. At Ferdinand Jewelers, it means as much to us as it does to you to have an “over the moon” diamond experience. By looking at ALL FIVE Cs, we can assure you of a diamond experience you can afford.