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How to assess a diamond

Shopping for an diamond can seem very daunting --especially if it's’ the first time. The first thing you want to do is educate yourself a little bit about what makes a diamond valuable. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) created the 4C’s to help us do just that by reviewing the diamond Carats, Color, Clarity and Cut. 



The term carats refers to the weight of the diamond, and not its size. Diamonds are actually very light; 1 gram = 6 carats.


Diamond carat weight GIA


Color actually refers to the diamonds lack of color. The less color, the higher the grade. Color grades vary from D-Z. Color differences (especially between D-H) are very subtle as to be nearly invisible to the human eye --however they make a big difference in diamond value and price.


GIA color scale for diamond grading


Clarity refers to how clear the diamond appears and is an assessment of small blemishes and inclusions. Clarity grades vary from F (Flawless, meaning the diamond has no blemishes and/or inclusions) to I3 (Included, meaning inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance).


GIA grading scale for diamond clarity

4. CUT 

The cut refers to the way the diamond is cut, which has a big impact on the diamond’s sparkle and the way it unleashes light. It is not the same thing as shape (round, cushion, pear, etc). Some cuts, such as the brilliant cut, maximize the diamonds brilliant sparkle (the light is unleashed outwards), while others, such as the rose cut diamond, offer the possibility to see the inside of the diamond and hold some of the light (the light glows from within the diamond).

Assessing the cut of a diamond can be very subjective. GIA usually refers to the popular brilliant cut when grading diamonds. However there are many other beautiful cuts, such as the old european, old mine or rose cut diamonds, which are not included in the GIA grading. The key is to assess each rough diamond and then cut it in the best way to optimize its beauty and light.


Once you understand the 4C’s you can then start making decisions on what is most important to you. Is it the size? The clarity? The color? The cut?

In the end every diamond and every ring is totally unique. All diamonds can be beautiful and there is a different diamond for each kind of person.

Looking to purchase a custom diamond ring? Visit our bridal page or contact our team: