One Diamond Ring. 4Cs to Consider.

At E.B. Horn, we know how important it is to find the perfect diamond ring, as we’ve been helping customers, for more than 180 years, choose the right one for them. 

While each result is different, the process begins at the same point: with a personal explanation of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond quality factors to ensure that every customer makes an informed decision. We call these factors the 4 Cs: a diamond’s cut, color, clarity and carat. 

Each of the 4 Cs plays an important role in the beauty of a diamond. By developing basic knowledge of the 4 Cs, browsing a selection of diamonds with one of our jewelers, and applying your own preferences along the way, we can pretty much guarantee you’ll walk away with the perfect ring.


Here we’re referring to the physical cut of the stone and not the diamond’s overall shape. When light enters a diamond, it’s refracted between small, flat, polished surfaces called facets. Based on the facets’ proportions and angles, light is able to reflect back through the top of the stone creating the diamond’s overall sparkle and brilliance.

The GIA has simplified this process by giving each round diamond a cut grade. At E.B. Horn we recommend round diamonds that fall into the excellent or very good grades. GIA cut grades are only assigned to round diamonds, but rest assured that if you’re considering a fancy shape engagement ring, we hand-select the best cut diamonds to ensure maximum brilliance and beauty.


Color is critical when it comes to overall diamond quality. Generally speaking, the less color a diamond has, the better. The GIA color scale for white diamonds ranges from D to Z. DEF are called colorless and GHIJ are called near colorless. The majority of diamond engagement rings today fall in the colorless and near colorless categories. Grade “I” diamonds are most popular because they allow customers to maximize size while still getting great color quality.



The majority of diamonds on the market today contain natural, microscopic imperfections called “inclusions” that are largely undetectable to the naked eye.

The GIA clarity scale ranges from Flawless to I3. The most popular diamonds used in engagement rings are “eye clean” which means grades SI2 or better (the white section above). If quality is of utmost importance to you, we recommend VS2 or better. If you would like a larger diamond the SI grades offer exceptional value and most are eye clean.


Carats (ct.) are used to convey the weight of diamonds and other gemstones. One carat is divided into 100 points, making a 50 point stone a half carat, and so on. The key to choosing carat size is figuring out which of the 4 Cs carries the most weight for you and your budget.

So there you have it – the 4 Cs of a diamond! Cut, color, clarity and carat all play an instrumental role in a diamond’s true value. We hope that by knowing these 4 factors you are better able to find the perfect diamond for you!



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