The 4Cs

Every diamond is unique, but all diamonds share certain features helpful for comparison and quality assessment. These features are Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight, also known as the 4Cs, developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

diamond cuts

Cut refers to the arrangement of the stone's facets and the precision of the cuts, which affect its interaction with light. A well-cut diamond optimizes brightness (white light reflecting from the surface and interior), fire (flares of color) and scintillation (flashes of light seen when the diamond moves).


Color does not refer to what color a diamond is, but to the amount of color in the stone. The closer to colorless a diamond is, the more desirable and valuable it is. Truly colorless stones are extremely rare; most diamonds used in jewelry are nearly colorless with faint yellow or brown tints.

diamond color scale

diamond clarity scale

Clarity measures the number and size of a diamond's inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external). The fewer of these characteristics that exist in a diamond, the better its clarity grade on GIA's eleven-grade scale.

Diamond Clarity Scale

carat weight

Carat weight is the unit of measurement for diamond weight. A greater carat weight will generally mean a more expensive diamond. However, carat weight alone does not determine price or size; the stone's cut and shape affect how large the stone appears and, in addition to color and clarity, help determine value.


Some diamonds on may include a diamond certification issued by an independent and impartial gemological laboratory. The certification reports the quality and characteristics of the stone, ensures a diamond is natural and clearly discloses any treatments used to enhance color or clarity. It also includes a diagram of the diamond clearly showing the locations and types of flaws (inclusions) it has.

Conflict-Free Diamonds

Conflict diamonds are illegally sourced rough diamonds sold by rebel groups to fund military action against recognized governments. Also known as blood diamonds, conflict diamonds are most often from central and western Africa.

Pursuant to Kohl's Social Responsible Product Sourcing Policy, Kohl's requires our suppliers of diamonds and jewelry to ensure that the merchandise they sell to Kohl's meets the requirements of the Clean Diamonds Trade Act and the Kimberly Process Certification and that this merchandise does not contain conflict diamonds.

Care and Maintenance

Preserve the stunning state of your diamonds with proper care and maintenance.

Clean your diamonds at home every 2-3 weeks and professionally every 6-9 months. Exposure to skin oils, lotions, hairspray, household chemicals and other products causes buildup that dulls your diamond's brilliance. To clean at home:

  • Soak in a solution of warm water and ammonia overnight.
  • In the morning, scrub gently with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. Pay special attention to the back of the diamond as this will collect the most buildup.
  • Rinse and dry with a clean, soft and lint-free cloth.
  • An ultrasonic cleaner also may be used.

Inspect your jewelry frequently for loose or damaged settings. If you notice either, bring your piece to a professional jeweler immediately for tightening or repair.

Remove your diamond jewelry when doing rough work or playing sports; though diamonds are the hardest known substance, they can crack, chip or break with sufficient force. Also, remove your diamonds if you will come in contact with harsh or abrasive chemicals such as chlorine bleach, as these chemicals can erode or dissolve the metals used in settings.

Store each piece of diamond jewelry alone, as the jewelry can chip and scratch other pieces. A fabric-lined jewelry case with separate compartments or individual jewelry pouches are best.

Follow any instructions included with your jewelry.

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