4Cs of Diamond Quality



A diamond, like the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with, should be carefully chosen. More than just a stone in a setting, a diamond is a lasting symbol of your commitment. To make sure your love shines forth in the most brilliant way possible for years to come, Leeds & Son offers a wide selection of GIA graded diamonds and settings.

As a premier jeweler of the United States, Leeds & Son works to answer all of the important questions that arise when choosing the perfect diamond. To make an educated selection, consider the four characteristics that determine the quality of a diamond.


Insist on a GIA Lab Report

When shopping for a diamonds of 1ct or greater, our simple advice is this, insist on a GIA Lab Report. While there are many diamond grading laboratories in the world, GIA has demonstrated the strongest level of consistency in their grading standards. To avoid confusion and being mislead with deceitful advertising, just keep it simple, buy GIA graded diamonds.

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the world’s formost authority on diamonds, colored stones and pearls. They set the bar high on grading to ensure that you, the consumer, are able to buy with true knowledge and at fare-market price. For this reason, Leeds & Son specializes in GIA graded diamonds and has the largest selection of GIA graded diamonds in the Coachella Valley.

GIA Lab Report


Understanding the 4Cs of Diamond Grading


The way a diamond is cut determines how the stone will display light. Cut is the critical factor contributing to the brilliance and fire of a diamond, in addition to the diamond’s final appearance in the setting.

A brilliant-cut or fancy-shaped diamond usually boasts 58 reflective surfaces known as facets. Each of these facets, no matter how large or how small, has an effect on the overall brilliance of the diamond. If a diamond is cut to correct proportions, light is refracted off each facet in the pavilion of the stone and eventually dispersed in a prismatic effect through its crown. The light is also reflected off the surface of the facets, producing brilliant flashes of white light.

If a diamond is not cut deeply enough, light can escape from the stone’s pavilion without any reflection. Similarly, if the stone is cut too deeply, light escapes from the opposite side of the pavilion. If either of these two situations is present, the stone may look dull and its color will not be accurately displayed.



The body color of a diamond in its purest form is colorless. A colorless diamond is very rare, as traces of yellow or brown are usually present. The color of a diamond is evaluated by the unaided eye using a 23 letter grade scale, starting at D, the highest grade, and continuing through to Z, the lowest grade. The less color a diamond has, the more valuable it becomes.

While colorless gems are the most sought after, other diamonds with colors of red, pink, blue, green, and amber, often referred to as fancies, are options as well.




Unlike the seemingly deceptive term “colorless”, the word “flawless” is truly the most accurate way of describing a diamond’s clarity.

A flawless diamond, classified as FL, has no surface markings or inclusions and allows light to pass through it cleanly. Such diamonds are, in truth, both exceptionally rare and highly expensive.


Many diamonds, however, have inclusions so minute that they are not visible to the naked eye. These are classified as IF diamonds. Other classifications include VVS1VVS2 for stones with very small inclusions, SI1-SI2 for those with small inclusions, and finally I1-I2-I3 for stones bearing inclusions visible to the naked eye. The greater the visibility of a diamond’s surface markings and inclusions, the more its value decreases.

In order to grade a diamond’s clarity, highly trained experts carefully study it under 10x magnification. This ensures a complete understanding of a stone’s quality.


The clarity grade of a diamond is determined by the number, size and location of internal characters called inclusions. Inclusions can be external, as in the case of cavities and chips, or internal such as feathers and smaller crystals trapped within the main diamond crystal. The clarity grade is derived from an 11 grade scale from FL to I3. The fewer the inclusions, the higher the grade and the greater the value.


Carat Weight

All diamonds (and all other precious gems) are weighed in carats. A carat is comprised of 100 points. For example, a diamond weighing 50 points can be accurately described as being a half-carat, or .50 cts.

Carat weight plays an important role in determining a stone’s value, and larger diamonds are difficult to find. However, size does not equate to quality, as the three other factors of cut, clarity and color grades must also be considered.