Reading the 4c’s: How to Choose a Diamond

By Page on July 13, 2010 at 8:21 am

Carat Size Chart:



The Cut actually refers to two separate aspects of a diamond’s appearance:  shape, and the quality of workmanship.

Shape :

Popular diamond shapes include Round, Marquise, Princess, Radiant, Pear, Oval,  and Emerald.

Quality of the Cut:

Excellent or very good: If you want quality and beauty- go for very good to excellent make.

Good: If you want a larger stone for your money- go for good make.

Fair or Poor: If you want the lowest grades- we do not recommend fair to poor makes for engagement rings due to a noticeable lack of brilliance and fire (even when color and clarity are very high).


The color of diamonds varies from colorless (most rare and precious) to many shades of yellow (less rare). Slight tints of yellow make a diamond less rare, but some people prefer the personality it gives a stone of good make and clarity.

D: If you want perfection regardless of cost, go for D Color.

E,F: If you want excellent quality and beauty- go for E of F colors (still colorless to any eye).

G,H,I: If you want a larger stone for your money without sacrificing appearance- go for G, H or I colors (near colorless, esp. in a gold setting).

J,K,L,M: If you like very faint yellow tints, go for colors like J, K, L or M (you can see the slight tint when next to a more colorless diamond or set in a white metal).


Every diamond has some internal or external “flaws,” but you should decide based on how much they are visible and how much that means to you. Usually, flawless to the naked eye (SI-1 or better) is quite sufficient for anyone concerned about beauty but not wanting to pay extra for rarity you can’t see.

Flawless and Internally Flawless: If you want perfection regardless of cost, go for flawless or internally flawless.

VVS1, VVS2: If you want it to look flawless under a loupe but not pay for flawless- go for VVS1 or VVS2 (still flawless to an untrained eye under a 10x loupe).

VS1, VS2: If you want to see very little with a loupe and nothing to the naked eye- go for VS1 or VS2.

SI1, SI2: If you just want it flawless to the naked eye- many people really only want this degree of flawlessness.

I1: If you don’t mind some small inclusions that might be visible to the naked eye and want a larger stone that still sparkles- go for I1.

I2, I3: If you’re interested in the lowest grades- we do not recommend them for engagement rings because they lack brilliance and crack or chip more easily due to larger structural flaws.


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