Pricing The 4 C's of Diamonds $850,000 an Ounce Compare. We Dare You  
The 4 C's of Diamonds


When speaking of gold, Karat is spelled with a K.

When speaking of diamonds, Carat is spelled with a C.

Karat and Carat have no relationship.

Confusing, huh?

24-Karat gold is pure gold. Much too soft for jewelry.
14-Karat gold 14/24ths gold and 10/24ths alloy.
18-Karat gold is 18/24ths gold and 6/24ths alloy.

Carat is a unit of weight used exclusively for weighing diamonds.

There are 141.747616 carats in an ounce.

Now that we've got that cleared up, let's talk about diamonds.

The ‘4-Cs’ of a diamond are – Carat weight, Cut, Color and Clarity.

Carat Weight

There are five carats in a gram, and a "point" is 1/100th of a carat. For example, a 50-point diamond is half a carat. As a general rule, larger diamonds are more rare and therefore more valuable. But size does not determine beauty and brilliance. Two stones of the same carat weight can have very different values. Color and Clarity are also measurements of rarity, and Cut is extremely important when it comes to beauty. Note: Image size may vary depending on your browser and computer display and thus, may not reflect actual carat size.



The brilliance of your diamond will be determined by its Cut. The science is amazing: light is gathered through the table, then bounced from facet to facet within the diamond as though it were in a house of mirrors. Then, when all the light converges in the heart of the stone, it radiates outward through the crown facets in a silent explosion of scintillation. Twinkle. Sparkle. Glitter. Cut. Cut. Cut. Every diamond cutter knows how to do this. The geometry isn't a secret, so don't be misled by all the hyperbole about "master cutters" and other such nonsense. The simple reason that 99.71 percent of all diamonds are cut incorrectly is because diamonds are sold by weight and at $850,000 an ounce, there is powerful temptation to fudge the alignment of the facets so that the finished diamond will be heavier. The diamonds that are cut properly are the ones whose natural shape makes it possible for the diamond cutter to maximize their weight without misaligning any facets. And now you understand why Doug Spence and Sean Jones made it their life's work to achieve "first look" position. The buyer who gets "first look" at the freshly-cut diamonds will always choose the ones whose natural shape made it possible for them to be cut for maximum brilliance. And that, gentle reader, is the pedigree of every Spence diamond.


Diamonds are graded on the GIA color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). The most expensive diamonds are found at either end of the scale, due to their rarity. But don't confuse rarity with beauty. Colorless is rare. Highly colored is more rare, and consequently, more valuable. Diamonds with a trace amount of color are just as beautiful, but less rare, making them a better value. Most people, when shown a series of diamonds from D to Z, choose the G-H-I-J range.


Under 10x magnification, most diamonds contain natural "inclusions," microscopic crystals within the diamond. These are the birthmarks that make each stone unique. The number, size and position of these inclusions affects the value of the diamond. The clarity scale of the Gemological Institute of America ranges from Fl (flawless) to I3 (many inclusions visible without magnification.) Here's where it gets interesting: Under 40x magnification, these microscopic crystals can be seen within every so-called "flawless" diamond. And without magnification, not even a jeweler can detect the clarity difference between a "flawless" diamond and the much-less-expensive SI1. Clarity, like color, is a measurement of rarity, not beauty. And in the absence of magnification, the less rare SI1 is visually identical to the higher clarity grades, but significantly less expensive, so...


To most people, the word ‘diamond’ conjures images of the ever-popular and always classic round stone. Going this route is almost guaranteed to get you the reaction you’re looking for, but you can also choose one of the more unique shapes collectively referred to as ‘fancy cuts’.

Shape does not affect the quality of the diamond. If your diamond is cut properly, its brilliance and value will be there. The shape of the rough diamond dictates the shape of the finished diamond. The diamond cutter's job is to maximize the weight, remember? So buy the shape you like best. Buy the shape that works with your favorite mounting. Or buy the mounting that works with your favorite diamond shape. Regardless of the criteria you use in making your choice, you can be absolutely certain that your Spence "first look" diamond is cut for maximum impact. Because Colorful Doug and Uptight Sean set out to find "the headwaters of the Nile" in 1986. And 11 years later, they got their "first look." And they've kept it ever since.