The Beginners Guide to the ‘Four C’s’ of Diamond Shopping

Diamond shopping is in contrast to ‘impulse’ buying. Buyers need to do their research and when they do they’ll find themselves faced with four new terms; clarity, cut, carat and colour. If these words don’t mean much to you, read on for a simple guide to the four C’s.

UntitledDiamond shopping is not as easy as it seems, rarely do buyers walk into a shop, see a diamond and choose it straight away. First you need to decide what your budget is and thus what sort of carat, colour and clarity you are going for and then you need to choose a cut. If you are shopping for diamond rings in the UK you will need to understand what these Four C’s mean.


The cut is the way a diamond has been modified and relates to the proportions and angles of the cut. Cut is one of the most beguiling aspects of buying diamond rings in the UK as there are many cuts, some old, some new and some incredibly rare. If you are new to diamond buying then just familiarise yourself with the main ones:

Round Brilliant Cut

Round Brilliant Cut diamonds account for the largest proportion of sales of diamond rings in the UK. Timeless, classy and attractive a round cut is suitable for most women.

Princess Cut

It may sound like a medieval style but the princess cut is actually one of the newest styles. Over thirty years old, it quickly became one of the most popular shapes for diamond rings in the UK. The Princess cut is a square and brilliant cut.

Emerald Cut

The emerald cut has vintage appeal, reminiscent of the Art Deco period it is rectangular in shape with long ‘step cuts’. The Emerald Cut may have less brilliance than say a Round Cut but its subtlety is part of its appeal.


The carat is quite simply a measure of weight. In relation to diamonds it represents the weight of the stone, but this is not always in correlation with its apparent size; the way a diamond is cut and set can dramatically affect the appearance of its size. As a general rule, the larger your budget the more carats you can afford.


Colour refers to the closeness of the diamond to pure transparency. Pure brilliant is the most desired and thus costly although some buyers choose ‘fancy coloured’ diamonds which may also be rare and thus desirable.


The higher the clarity of a diamond, the fewer the natural inclusions (or marks), a diamond has. However if your budget means you can’t afford a high clarity diamond, do remember that many of these natural inclusions are not actually visible to the naked eye so wont’ affect enjoyment of the diamond, you just need to understand what it means.

There you have it, the beginners guide to the Four C’s. Hopefully you are now armed to begin researching diamond rings in the UK from British sellers such as Marlows Diamonds.


Mary Yohanan is a fashion writer who contributes many online articles to websites regarding fashion and jewellery. Her personal favorite online UK seller for diamonds is Marlows Diamonds.

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