The four C’s are what determines the quality and value of a diamond. They are cut, colour, clarity and carat. This system of grading was developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In order to get the best value for money when choosing your diamond you must educate yourself and learn about the 4C’s. To make it easier for you I have summarised how you can get the best diamond and at the same time make your dollar go further. In my opinion the most important of the 4C’s is the ‘cut’. Cut is the very precise angles and proportions of the diamond’s facets and how they affect the light play or fire, brilliance and scintillation of the diamond. I recommend choosing an Excellent or Very Good cut as it is money well spent and makes your diamond really sparkle. The ‘Excellent Cut’ creates the WOW factor and will be the reason why your fiancée’s engagement ring will stand out in a crowd. The next focus is ‘colour’. Colour grading is defined by the GIA and is classified by the letters of the alphabet from D to Z. Choosing a white diamond is most desirable and this can be achieved in the colour range of D to I. You will pay more for a ‘D’ colour diamond however an ‘I’ colour diamond is still nice and white and will save you a considerable amount of money. For a colour rated J or lower you may notice a yellow tint in the diamond. ‘Carat’ represents the weight of a diamond. Remember bigger is always better in most women’s eyes but if you want a big diamond do not sacrifice the cut grade for the size. A large poorly cut diamond looks lifeless and has no personality. ‘Clarity’ is a measure of the inclusions (or natural birthmarks) in a diamond. Selecting the right clarity grade is your best opportunity to save money. I recommend clarities between VS1 and SI2 with ‘no black inclusions’. Clarity grades above VS1 incur much greater costs with little or no difference in perceived beauty. Most inclusions in the VS-SI range cannot be seen by the untrained eye. There is one more C I would like to mention; ‘certification’. Make sure your diamond comes with an international certificate, I recommend GIA. This is a guarantee that your diamond has been graded by the leading gem laboratory in the world and allows you to assess and compare diamonds on a level playing field. Although it is not one of the 4 C’s you will see Fluorescence on a GIA certificate. Fluorescence is the visible light that a diamond emits when exposed to ultraviolet light. I recommend you purchase a diamond with no Fluorescence as graded by the GIA. To learn more about the 4C’s please visit here.