The 4 Cs Explored


So you’ve planned the proposal and now you need to choose the actual ring. But where do you begin? Once you start your research you’ll quickly come across ‘The 4 Cs’. But what are they and what do they mean?


The 4 Cs are a way to determine the quality of a diamond. You may have seen a diamond in our window and then noticed another that appears quite similar but the price difference could be tens of thousands of pounds. This all comes down to the clarity, colour, cut and carat of the stone. Let’s start with clarity.

Billions of years in the making

Here at Harrington & Hallworth our teams have over 300 years of combined jewellery experience spread across our showrooms. However, the diamonds we sell are actually anything from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years old – which is actually 25%-75% of Earth’s age.

Nature’s birthmarks

Formed in the earth’s mantle around 100 miles deep, diamonds are found in volcanic rocks that are bought closer to the surface and mined. Diamonds naturally take on the elements surrounding them whilst they were being formed. When looking into diamonds, any imperfections are known as inclusions. This is what makes every diamond completely unique. You could say they are nature’s birthmarks.

All shapes and sizes

Inclusions come in many different shapes and sizes. They could look like black specks, bubbles, feathers or clouds. The clarity of a diamond is determined by how many of these inclusions there are and how prominent they are within the diamond. These inclusions, or birthmarks, will affect the way light bounces out of the stone and ultimately how sparkly the diamond will be. The more inclusions there are, the more the light is deflected.

Just ask

So when you are choosing your diamond it’s a good idea to ask about the clarity and compare stones so you can see the difference yourself.

Next time we will talk about the second ‘C’ – colour – and getting the right balance for your budget.

Written by Kate Tranter

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