Characteristics that create a truly beautiful diamond

Over the last 30 years, we've established a global presence that gives us access to the world's best diamonds. At Emkay Diamonds, our highly trained GIA diamond specialists will help you find the perfect, conflict-free diamond. We carry an extensive inventory in our store, but our goal is to find the perfect diamond for you. 

The 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat size) are helpful when learning about a diamond, but in reality, they are only four of the many different criteria that we use to properly assess a diamond. We take the assessment process one step further by focusing on the factors that create an incredible sparkle and 'wow' factor such as fire, life, and brilliance. Using this approach, all of our diamonds are worthy of the emotion you want to express.

The Basics - the 4C's of diamonds

Everything you need to know about cut, clarity, color and carat weight. Learn how to find the perfect balance.


Diamond cut

We think that Cut is the most important diamond characteristic. We typically only work with diamonds that have an Excellent or Very Good cut grade as we believe the precision of a diamond's proportions and symmetry is the defining mark of an incredible diamond. We feel that a diamond with a cut grade lower than a Very Good will result in a loss of sparkle and visual impact. A beautifully cut diamond will perfectly balance fire and brilliance...and it will be incredible.  


Diamond color

Diamonds come in a range of colors, from completely colorless to every shade of the rainbow. However, the color range above focuses specifically on the amount of visible yellow tint in a diamond. 

While Colorless diamonds are extremely rare and valuable, we feel that a Near Colorless diamond is a perfect balance of investment and quality. The almost invisible yellow tint does not hinder the beauty of the diamond in any way; as such, most of our clients choose from the Near Colorless range for an engagement ring or another piece of jewelry. However, we understand that every client's budget and priorities are different and we will work to make any diamond fit your vision.

Fancy colored diamonds are also incredibly beautiful, and can be found in shades of yellow, blue, green, orange, and red. For these diamonds, the scale is based on the intensity of the visible color in the diamond - the more intense the color, the more valuable the diamond.  


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Diamonds have internal features, called inclusions, and surface irregularities, called blemishes. The clarity grade of a diamond is determined by the degree to which the natural features of a diamond are visible at ten times magnification. More specifically, clarity grades are based on the placement, nature, color, and size of these natural features. 

We generally prefer diamonds with clarity grades from VVS2 to SI1. These diamonds are a great balance of value and beauty as the inclusions typically do not affect the beauty stone in any way. Sometimes we look for diamonds that are slightly lower on the clarity scale for clients wanting to prioritize another of the 4Cs.


It's helpful to have a diamond carat size in mind, but do remember that no diamond should be valued by carat weight alone – two diamonds of equal carat weight may have very different values depending on cut, clarity and color. A diamond can appear larger or smaller than its weight, depending on cut. Different designs and mountings also affect the appearance of size. We do not want to compromise any of the other 4Cs in order to reach a specific carat weight.