Browse Our Collection of Laboratory Diamonds – A Beautiful Affordable Alternative to Traditional

The Thomas James & Bechtold Jewelry Logo. The symbol contains an octagonal border with a gemstone outline enclosed. The text reads "Thomas James & Bechtold Jewelry".

The 4 C’s

Carat · Clarity · Color · Cut

Many people are confused about how diamonds are priced. The best explanation is that asking for the price of a diamond is like asking for the price of a house. A real estate agent can’t quote you a price for a house without knowing its size, condition, location, etc. This process is the same one used when buying a diamond.

A diamond’s beauty, rarity, and price depend on the interplay of all the 4Cs—cut, clarity, carat, and color.

The 4Cs are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest 4C ratings are more rare and, consequently, more valuable. No one C is more important than another in terms of beauty and it is important to note that each of the 4Cs will not diminish in value over time.

Once you have established those 4C characteristics that are most important to you, a jeweler can then begin to show you various options with quoted prices.

The Diamond Quality Pyramid

A Tool to Help Understand a Diamond's Value

Cut

Refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond.

A diagram explaining the different ways a gemstone can be cut, and how light reflects through the stone afterwards.

Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, value.

Cut also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart for example. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. Ask a jeweler to find out more about these guidelines.

Non-round shapes, also known as “fancy shapes,” will have their own guidelines to be considered well-cut.

Clarity

Refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond.

A diagram explaining the different ways a gemstone can be cut, and how light reflects through the stone afterwards.

Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, value.

Cut also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart for example. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. Ask a jeweler to find out more about these guidelines.

Non-round shapes, also known as “fancy shapes,” will have their own guidelines to be considered well-cut.

Carat

Refers to the weight of a diamond.

A diagram explaining the different ways a gemstone can be cut, and how light reflects through the stone afterwards.

Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, value.

Cut also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart for example. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. Ask a jeweler to find out more about these guidelines.

Non-round shapes, also known as “fancy shapes,” will have their own guidelines to be considered well-cut.

Color

Refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless.

A diagram explaining the different ways a gemstone can be cut, and how light reflects through the stone afterwards.

Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, value.

Cut also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart for example. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. Ask a jeweler to find out more about these guidelines.

Non-round shapes, also known as “fancy shapes,” will have their own guidelines to be considered well-cut.

Diamond Buyer's Guide

The Rule of Thumb

When you start to think about buying a diamond—and the love it will symbolize—you naturally want the best you can afford and a beautiful stone you will treasure forever.

Diamonds can be found in a range of price—and you’re certain to find one within the Diamond Quality Pyramid that suits your taste and what you plan to spend. If you’re about to buy a Diamond Engagement Ring, you may want to consider spending the commonly accepted guideline of two months’ salary. But it’s up to you to settle on a diamond that will truly represent your deepest emotions and the promise for the future you will share.

Labratory diamonds are also an affordable option, with many advantages. We offer all that is available in the created diamond sphere, and can assist you in making a decision that makes sense to you, both financially, and logically.

Finding a Quality Jeweler

The 5th C: Confidence

A good jeweler is the first step to a smart diamond purchase. To find a jeweler you can trust, ask your family and friends for recommendations. Your jeweler should be knowledgeable about diamonds and help you feel comfortable making this important purchase.

Have a Question?

Use the form below to send us an email or feel free to call (605) 332-7151.