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The 4 C's

Rare Diamond Investor (RDI) believes that educating our clients is just one part of the process. Based on decades of experience dealing with buyers; the more that you as a customer learn about these precious gems, the better the client you will be become.

The subtle differences in the quality of a gemstone can greatly influence it’s value so it is important to properly educate yourself by exploring our website and by speaking with one of our diamond experts here at Rare Diamond Investor (RDI).

First and most important is to have your diamond loose and not set in jewelry before it’s evaluated!

Consider the 4c’s: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat when evaluating a transparent or colorless diamond. The grading system for Cut, Color, and Clarity is subjective. The 4C’s provide industry-wide standards to evaluating a diamond’s quality and value.

All of our diamonds are graded by gemological laboratories recognized and respected throughout the industry. These laboratories ensure that every diamond is examined and graded accurately. Certification is also known as the 5th “C”


A diamond’s cut should not be mistaken by it’s shape. Cut refers to the reflective qualities of the diamond. Diamonds are like prisms. Light reflects easily into a well-cut stone. The light will bounce around and produce fire, brilliance and scintillation. A skilled diamond cutter can bring out the most sought after intensities of a diamond by determining it’s proportion, shape, and the best cut that reflects that sparkle back to the viewer. Cuts also have a series of grades to determine their quality:


cut to maximize reflection from the most possible facets.

Very Good

cut may be slightly less than ideal to allow for a larger finished stone.


most common cut on the market, balancing beauty and cost.

Fair & Poor

lesser cuts may indicate a sacrifice in cut to maximize carat weight or poor workmanship by the gem cutter.


Carat is a measurement of a diamond’s weight and not it’s size, and is not to be confused with Karat which is used to determine the purity of gold. Carat is a simple measurement of weight unit used for the evaluation of all gemstones. One carat equals 0.2 grams and is divided into 100 points, whereas one carat equals 100 points. Each point weighs 2 milligrams. You will find that a diamond’s price per carat is significantly higher when it weighs over one carat.

The term carat originates from the Greek keration for “fruit of the carob”. Carob seeds were used for precision weighing of gold and gemstones, since it was thought that carob seeds had a uniform weight.

The modern carat, known as the metric carat, was adopted in 1907, defined as a weight of 200 mg.


A diamond’s color is affected by carbon atoms within the crystal’s structure. Traces of nitrogen and other elements are almost always present in diamonds. The ideal diamond is completely colorless, although diamonds of vivid color, called Fancy Colored Diamonds, are extremely valuable. The color in Transparent diamonds is graded on a scale by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).

D to F - Colorless or white

G to J - Nearly colorless

K to M - Slightly tinted or faint yellow

N to R - Very light yellow

S-Z - light yellow to yellow


Inclusions found in white diamonds have the greatest affect on the value of a diamond’s clarity grading. This is not as important when considering colored diamonds unless they’re directly affecting the look or sparkle of the diamond. The clarity of a diamond should always be determined when the diamond is loose because a jewelry setting may hide inclusions in the stone. A diamond’s clarity is measured on a scale ranging from pure (flawless) to heavily included (I-3) by viewing the diamond at ten times magnification. What we would be looking for are any internal or external blemishes that retract from the value of the stone.

The clarity of a transparent or colorless diamond is categorized as:

F or FL (Flawless)

No flaws at all and are extremely rare.

IF (Internally Flawless)

No internal inclusions, although may show some sign of flaws on the surface.

VVS1 – VVS2 (Very Very Small Inclusions or Very Very Slightly Included)

Very minor inclusions in these diamonds.

VS1 – VS2 (Very Small Inclusions or Very Slightly Included)

Very small crystals, clouds, cracks or pinpoints at 10 times magnification. No impact the sparkle of the diamond.

SI1 – SI2 (Small Inclusions or Slightly Included)

Impurities can be seen with a 10 times magnification, not visible to the naked eye.

I1 – I2 – I3 (GIA terminology) or P1 – P2 – P3 (HRD terminology)

Impurities are visible to the naked eye.

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