Woman holding her hand, wearing a diamond ring, up to her chin

Discover the Four Characteristics of Diamonds

Just like your individuality, personality and appearance, no two diamonds in the world are the same. Every gemstone is born with distinctive characteristics, traits and their own set of quirks. So, when you’re setting out on your search, it’s important to understand what these qualities mean.

To grade a diamond, the Gemological Institute of America uses a universal set of standards, otherwise known as the 4 C’s. The cut, carat, clarity and color of a diamond will describe its appearance and reveal overall value. To better understand each category, our team at David Scott has put together a simple guide. Learn all about the characteristics of dazzling diamonds below!


The cut of a diamond evaluates the symmetry of each facet and how light shines through. To grade this quality, the GIA uses a scale from Excellent to Poor. Gemstones that receive a Poor grade appear to be dull, while diamonds that are considered Excellent sparkle brilliantly.


To grade color, the GIA measures the absence of color in a diamond. So, the clearer the stone, the rarer. Diamonds are graded on a scale from D to Z, where D is colorless and Z has hints of color.


Carat is often confused with size, but it actually measures the weight of a diamond. This unit originally originated from the carob seed during the 1500's. Today, a carat equals 200 milligrams and is about the same weight as a paperclip. Diamonds with the same carat weight may not appear to be the same size due to differences in cut and shape.


Because diamonds are created under extreme conditions deep below Earth, it’s normal for them to have imperfections. When grading clarity, gemologists evaluate the internal inclusions and external blemishes. Next, a diamond will be graded from Flawless (FL) to Included (I). Flawless diamonds are rare and therefore more expensive.

Find Your Perfect Diamond at Our Fall Bridal Event

Ready to discover your dream diamond and the 4 C’s for yourself? Come to David Scott Jewelers to explore our world-class selection of loose diamonds and engagement rings. Plus, during the entire month of October, you’ll receive 20% off your mounting when you purchase a diamond. If you’re active in the military or a veteran, you’ll also receive 10% off your purchase! Questions about the characteristics of diamonds or anything else? Our team would love to help! Stop by one of our locations in Panama City today.

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