A diamond is more than a piece of jewelry, it's an investment. Many people feel intimidated by the idea of buying a diamond on their own. Fear not. There is an easy way to understand how to determine a diamond's characteristics and value — the 4C's.

A diamond’s beauty, rarity, and price depend on the interplay of the 4C's—carat, color, clarity, and cut. The 4C's are recognized worldwide as a way to classify the rarity and value of diamonds. Diamonds with a combination of the highest ratings in one or more categories are more rare and more expensive. Keep in mind no one characteristic is more important than another in terms of beauty. A diamonds beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but a smart buyer knows how to judge a diamonds characteristics.

Learn more about each of the C's and become a diamond expert yourself:

Carat - the measure of the weight of a diamond

Color - the measure of the hue of a diamond

Clarity - the measure of the presence of inclusions within the diamond

Cut - the measure of the skill in shaping the diamond