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How To Judge the Quality of Diamonds

Diamond Yellow Gold Engagement Ring

Diamond Quality Knowing diamond qualities is extremely important for you. Buying a diamond is one of the most expensive personal purchases you’ll make. Hence you, like many of us, may not know which diamond qualities to look for. As a result, you could end up with an inferior diamond at a high price.

Seems like you have a sense of what you want. But, you probably want one that sparkles. Is a nice size (or even bigger). In the shape you prefer. That’s how we look at it from our  perspective. (To see the shape options available check out our recent blog on the shape of diamonds )

In contrast to our priorities, experts tell us there are four important criteria used to evaluate diamond qualities.

The 4C’s of buying a diamond

Most noteworthy, there are four (4) diamond qualities that are considered standard. They include: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight. More about them.

Diamond quality:  Cut

Above all, you need to consider the cut of the diamond. It is the biggest factor in creating sparkle and fire. And without a high cut grade even a high-quality diamond  can appear dull and lifeless. A diamond cut poorly and too deep can face-up smaller than it actually is. Like the three bears: Not too shallow. Not too deep. Just right.Diamond Cut

To maximize your budget, you should choose the highest diamond cut grade your budget allows. We suggest a cut grade of Very Good or better.

Diamond quality: Color

After diamond cut, diamond color is the second most important characteristic to consider. The highest quality diamonds are colorless. Those of lower quality have noticeable color, such as pale yellow. Here is a guide to preferred color ratings. For your convenience, the GIA table these and other criteria are obtained from is shown at the end of this blog.

Colorless Diamonds

D-F Color Diamonds (Highest Quality)

  Near Colorless Diamonds

G-H Color Diamonds (Best Value)

I-J Color Diamonds (Great with Yellow Gold)

Diamond quality: Clarity

Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and internally. The surface flaws are called blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. These tiny, natural blemishes and inclusions are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any way. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.

Flawless (FL) Diamonds

Inclusions and blemishes aren’t visible on flawless diamonds, even under 10x magnification. Less than 1% of all diamonds are FL clarity. A flawless diamond is incredibly rare because it’s nearly impossible to find a diamond 100% free of inclusions. Six percent of customers buy FL diamonds.

Diamond quality: Carat

Diamond carat is often misunderstood and refers to a diamond’s weight, not necessarily its size. When comparing diamond carat sizes, take a diamond’s cut into consideration as well: a high-carat diamond with a poor cut grade may look smaller, often cut deeper, than a diamond with smaller carat weight and a better cut.

You can also check these out

We think you’ll agree all of the above make sense. To help make it even clearer for you,  just check out the GIA chart below. The chart  was created to help you judge diamond qualities. If you want to learn more about diamonds, including certification and appraisals, go to Gemological Institute of America. You’ll find a detailed discussion of diamonds.

The chart below was created by GIA so you can understand the ratings of diamonds. Hence, when you see a string of letters in the description of the diamond, just check out the chart below to figure out the meaning. Better yet, make sure you have an expert help you select the best diamond for your budget.

All  our jewelry categories are on our home page.

The collection of diamond earrings, click earring collection. 

To learn about the origin of earrings, click on history of earrings.