The four Cs are the fundamental characteristics to gauge a diamond in today’s market. Of these, the color and the clarity bear special to the appearance of a stone. When buying a diamond, especially the first time, of course, it should be big enough to dazzle the beholder, but you should also focus on getting something that’s eye-clean, which means it has good clarity and no visible inclusions, and also no tint, which means it scored a better color grade.
Diamond clarity grades run from IF (internally flawless) to I (included), with higher grades meaning the diamond is clearer. You shouldn’t overpay for clarity though – a simple eye-clean diamond should suffice, and going with something on that level means you’re left with enough of a budget to aim high on the other Cs. The main point to glean here is that you shouldn’t let yourself pay for unnoticeable traits; instead, go for a more affordable stone that simply looks clear, which is to say eye-clean.
Diamond color grades fall between D (colorless) and Z (brown color to noticeable yellow). Most diamonds that are used for jewelry fall between D and M, and lower grade stones are typically allotted to industrial use.
Regarding color, if a diamond falls close to the D end, it is less likely to show a visible color tint such as yellow or brown. And while color present in a diamond does matter to some extent, what matters even more is purchasing a stone that looks colorless in comparison to its setting.
Like with clarity, overpaying for color can be a big mistake. You could easily get a similar-looking stone in the G to I range when compared to the D to F range, and consequently, have enough money left to consider higher-landing characteristics among the other Cs.
Clarity vs Color
Any diamond expert would tell you that it’s all about balancing the 4 Cs at optimal levels when buying a stone. Clarity and color are best understood if you consider them as “negative features”. The color and inclusions are basically features you do not want to appear in a diamond – the stone always looks better if these two things aren’t visible.
The above information assumes that you aren’t looking for, say, a baby blue diamond ring, or a pair of blue green diamond engagement rings – only follow the advice if you want a colorless or nearly colorless diamond.
The best way forward if you’re still considering buying, is to go with something certified by GIA or AGS. These are the most reliable grading entities in the world today, and the information they provide is something you can trust completely.