Shape & The Four C's

Most gem diamonds are traded on the wholesale market based on single values for four different qualities, knows as the four Cs: Cut, Color, Carat, and Clarity. For example, knowing that a diamond is rated as 1.5 carats (300 mg), VS2 clarity, F color, excellent cut round brilliant, is enough to reasonably establish an expected price range. More detailed information from within each characteristic is used to determine the actual market value for individual stones. Consumers who purchase individual diamonds are often advised to use the four C's to pick the diamond that is right for them. Click one of the C's below or scroll to learn more. 


Jump To:      Shape   |   Cut   |   Color   |   Carat   |   Clarity




In your search for the perfect diamond ring, shape is a great starting point. Why? Because most women have some preference about the shape of the diamond they want in their engagement ring.

The shape of the diamond is the very first thing people notice when looking at diamonds. There are several diamond shapes, each with their own unique characteristics.

Round: The round diamond is far and away the most popular choice for engagement rings. Diamond cutters have been cutting to the specific proportioning of a round diamond for nearly 100 years. And for good reason: the round shape maximizes a diamond's natural brilliance and fire. For our premiere round diamond, choose Jensen Jeweler's exclusive Athenian Diamond.

Princess: The princess diamond is a square shape that is second in popularity only to the round. It features exquisite brilliance and fire. The princess diamond looks outstanding in a solitaire or complemented by other diamonds in one of our Love Story engagement ring masterpieces.

Marquise: The marquise diamond's unique double-pointed shape displays beautiful fire. Additionally, when compared to other shapes, a marquise of the same carat weight will appear larger. The shape of the marquise diamond tends to elongate the finger and make it appear more slender.

Emerald: The emerald shape gets its name because gem cutters would frequently cut emeralds to this shape. The corners were trimmed due to emeralds' brittle nature. This rectangular-shaped diamond displays its clarity more than its brilliance.

Asscher: The asscher cut is nearly identical to the emerald except for the square shape.

Oval: The oval is similar in faceting and brilliance to the round diamond, but with an elongated shape.

Pear: The pear is a truly unique brilliant cut diamond. The pear's single point gives it a beautiful teardrop appearance.

Heart: Combine the time-honored symbolism of a diamond with the classic heart shape and you have a brilliant symbol of love that is unmistakable.




Of all the four C's, the cut has the greatest effect on a diamond's beauty. In determining the quality of the cut, the grader evaluates the cutter's skill in the fashioning of the diamond technology. The more precise the cut, the more captivating the diamond is to the eye.




Gem-quality diamonds occur in many hues, ranging from colorless to light yellow or light brown. Colorless diamonds are the rarest. Other natural colors (Blue, Red, and Pink) are known as fancy -- their color grading is different than of white diamonds.




The carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is defined as 200 milligrams. The point unit—equal to one one-hundredth of a carat—is commonly used for diamonds of less than one carat. All else being equal, the price per carat increases with carat weight, since larger diamonds are both rarer and more desirable for use as gemstones.




Clarity is a measure of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond.