The 4 c's are cut, color, clarity and carat. You should look at the various cuts and eliminate the ones you don't want. For instance some people hate the heart-shaped diamond and would never wear it. Others never want anything else. The major cuts are round, emerald-cut, princess-cut, and marquise. There are other fancy cuts but for the most part these are the most popular. If you want a princess cut diamond with the look but not necessarily the cost then look for 'princessa' rings. These are 4 smaller princess cut diamonds put together to look like one larger one. They are usually much cheaper than a single diamond.
Color is a major factor to some people but not to everyone. Some people would rather have a larger stone with inclusions or flaws in it. In my personal opinion a diamond with lots of fire or light is much more valuable than a bigger diamond with no fire in it. I have seen a 4 carat diamond that was horrible and then I have seen a 4 carat diamond that was very clear. The difference in price is just $100,000. lol
Clarity is the cloudiness of the diamond. Like I said a larger diamond with less clarity is not worth as much as a clearer diamond with better color and clarity.
Carat is the size of the diamond.
I worked in a jewelry store for 10 years. If you would like to ask anything I can answer and if I can't I'll find the answer.