Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat: What Do They All Mean?

If you are planning on proposing to your girlfriend in the near future, you’ll be faced with a mix of excitement, stress and nerves. You’ll want to think about where you want to pop the question, how you will do it and even whether or not to hire a photographer to catch the moment as it happens.

However, there’s one other big thing to consider when you are looking to pop the question: the ring. An engagement ring is the second most important piece of jewellery your future wife will ever wear. It will be worn for the entirety of her life, which is why it’s so important to get it right. Choosing your engagement ring can be made simple if you visit a store such as 77 Diamonds, where you can choose from pre-made rings for your fiancée to be.

The issue comes when the jeweller starts to talk about the 4 C’s. If you don’t know what those are, they are Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. These are the building blocks of the perfect engagement ring, but what do they mean?


The cut is the most important of the 4C’s because it affects the way the right sparkles. It doesn’t matter if you nail the clarity and colour, if the cut isn’t right, your ring can look dull. If you pick a good cut for your diamond, the light will reflect off the top of the diamond and shine more. If you are on a budget, choose the highest cut you can afford and skimp on the clarity if needed.


Colour is a hugely important part of choosing the right ring, because it is the first thing anyone will notice when they look at it. Contrary to what you might believe, the highest grade of colour is the diamond with the LEAST colour. You want to choose a diamond with grade H or higher to avoid any yellow undertones. It will make the diamond look more pure and beautiful to the naked eye.


Diamond clarity describes the absence of imperfections called inclusions on the diamond. Most inclusions are tiny and invisible to the naked eye, but the few inclusions present, the higher the clarity grade of the diamond. If you are on a budget, consider opting for ‘Eye-Clean’, which is usually graded VS1 or higher, and it will ensure that any imperfections are invisible to the naked eye

Finally, is the word most of us associate with rings without really knowing what it means. Carat doesn’t measure the size of the diamond, it measures the weight. If you take cut and carat together- a larger carat with a poor cut will appear smaller than the opposite. If you are on a little bit of a budget, you can save yourself a little cash by buying a carat slightly below a whole number. So rather than buying a 4.0 carat, you buy a 3.8 carat. It is a difference which will save you a considerable amount and won’t be noticed by anyone.