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Raw Diamond

The Complete Buyer's Guide to Diamonds

Learn All About the 4 Cs of Buying a Diamond and More. Find answers to all your questions about everything from the importance of a diamond cut, to colour, clarity, carats and more. Learn about different diamond shapes, prices, and how you can save money without compromising on quality.

diamond guide


Diamond Colour Actually Means Lack of Colour

Understanding what diamond colour means helps in choosing the right diamond. Interestingly, the diamond colour evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of colour. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value. D-to-Z diamond colour-grading system measures the degree of colourlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to masterstones of established colour value.

Many of these diamond colour distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price. 


diamond guide

To put it simply, diamond carat weight measures how much a diamond weighs. 

A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat is subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats.’


All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. Two half carat diamonds will typically cost less together than a single one carat diamond. A four carat diamond will cost more than four times the price of one carat diamond of the same quality. However, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors of the diamond 4CsColourClarity, and Cut.


While now you know what carat means, it’s also important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined using all of the 4Cs, and not just carat weight.

diamond guide


Diamond Clarity Refers to the Absence of Inclusions and Blemishes

Clarity indicates how “clean” the diamond is, or how many inclusions (i.e. scratches, trace minerals or other tiny characteristics) the diamond has.

To understand diamond clarity, we must first understand how diamonds are created. Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’ and external characteristics called ‘blemishes.’

Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. If you are trying to determine what is the best clarity for a diamond, remember that no diamond is perfectly pure. But the closer it comes to purity, the better its clarity.


The Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.

  • Flawless (FL) No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification

  • Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions visible under 10x magnification

  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification

  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor

  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification

  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance


The clarity of a diamond is determined by inspecting it with the naked eye and under a jeweller's loupe (at 10x magnification). However, a magnification greater than 10x is usually required to recognize all of the inclusions that may be present.

The clarity grades are allocated based on the size, number, location, character, and relief of the inclusions. Inclusions that are larger and more numerous usually result in a poorer diamond clarity grade. Because the placement of inclusions influences their visibility, inclusions closer to the center of the table will have a greater impact on a diamond's clarity than inclusions closer to the girdle. The depth of an inclusion determines its character; a superficial flaw will not damage the clarity of a diamond as much as a deeper, more prominent inclusion. Finally, the alleviation of inclusion refers to how obvious it is. Inclusions with high relief seem darker, which can have a detrimental impact on diamond grading.




While diamond clarity is one of the most significant aspects to consider when purchasing a diamond, purchasers may be tempted to overpay for a diamond with a clarity grade that is too high to appreciate.

In actuality, most VS1 / VS2 grade diamonds will appear as good as a FL diamond when inspected with the naked eye - but at a much lower cost. The money you save can then be used to purchase a high-quality cut, which has a significantly greater impact on a diamond's overall attractiveness.

Also, keep in mind that the clarity grade you require ultimately depends on the form of your diamond when shopping for diamonds.

For Round Cut diamonds under 1 Carat, the best clarity grading are usually VS2 or SI1. If you want a 1 carat or larger Round Cut diamond, you should aim for VS1 or VS2. Overall, the larger the size of your diamond, the more visible any imperfections or defects are.

Step-cut diamonds, such as Baguettes, Emerald Cuts, and Asscher Cuts, are more prone to flaws. As a result, VS2 is likely to perform well with these shapes.

Heart-shaped diamonds can be VS2 or SI1 clarity graded because they hide inclusions better than Round Cuts.

Princess cut, oval cut, and other shapes are more forgiving and can conceal imperfections better, making SI1 and even SI2 clarity diamonds suitable for these cuts.

Last but not least, when choosing a diamond, don't only look at its certificate and clarity plot; instead, carefully study the diamond to determine whether there are any flaws or imperfections. Finally, you want to select a diamond that is eye-clean, won't break the budget, and has the ideal 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight) combination for your dream jewelry item.

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Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely.

We often think of a diamond’s cut as shape (round, heart, oval, marquise, pear), but what diamond cut actually does mean how well a diamond’s facets interact with light.

Precise artistry and workmanship are required to fashion a stone so its proportions, symmetry and polish deliver the magnificent return of light only possible in a diamond.

The cut of a diamond has a direct impact on its brightness and overall appearance. A good cut provides a diamond a lot of radiance since it helps the stone to reflect light well. The inverse is also true: a diamond with a poor cut appears dull rather than brilliant.

As a result, Diamond Cut has a significant impact on both the beauty and the value of each diamond.

Achieving the best cut for a diamond reflects in the stone’s final beauty and value. And of all the diamond 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze. To determine the cut grade of the standard round brilliant diamond – the shape that dominates the majority of diamond jewelry – we calculates the proportions of those facets that influence the diamond’s face-up appearance. These proportions allow us to evaluate what the best cut for a diamond is, by studying how successfully a diamond interacts with light to create desirable visual effects, such as:

  • Brightness: Internal and external white light reflected from a diamond

  • Fire: The scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow

  • Scintillation: The amount of sparkle a diamond produces, and the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections within the diamond


The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A pavilion depth that’s too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape from the side of the stone or leak out of the bottom. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown.



The cut of a diamond has a major impact on its price, partly because the quality and precision of the cut have a large impact on the beauty of the stone.

Proportions and symmetry are crucial in creating a better cut. When a diamond is cut precisely, its facets (flat surfaces), as well as its table, depth, and a few other critical features, are proportional. As a result, a well-cut diamond reflects light in a dazzling way back to the eye.

An Excellent Cut diamond is more expensive due to its beauty, fire, and brilliance. That is why, if you are on a tight budget, it is usually better to aim for a higher GIA Cut grade - even if it means sacrificing some Color or Clarity.



The brightness, fire, and sparkle of a diamond are highly dependent on the following characteristics:

• Proportions. The dimensions of a diamond's table, breadth, and depth influence its look as well as its GIA Cut grading. These proportions are crucial because they influence how well a diamond reflects light.


For example, if the diamond's table is too wide in relation to its width, light will not be reflected well off all of the angles and facets of the crown. And, if the diamond's table is too small, the light will be trapped inside the diamond rather than reflected back to your eyes. A disproportionate table detracts greatly from the overall attractiveness of a diamond in both circumstances.


The depth and width of a diamond both influence the quality of its cut. Because the depth of the incision immediately impacts the angle of the entering light, it is critical that the cut not be too deep or too shallow. The breadth of a diamond in relation to its length is also very essential and must be compatible with the diamond's shape.

• Facets Symmetry. The facets of a diamond, which are its many flat glossy surfaces, operate as mirrors, reflecting the entering light back to the eye. A diamond's capacity to reflect light is affected by the number, symmetry, size, and position of its facets.

• Polish. The quality of a diamond's facet surfaces is referred to by this phrase. A well-polished diamond generates a clean mirror that can effectively reflect incoming light.



If you're buying a GIA-certified diamond, it's always better to go with an Excellent Cut - even if it means obtaining a lesser stone. In terms of overall beauty, a well-cut diamond clearly outperforms a larger but badly cut diamond.

Excellent Cut diamonds are perfectly proportioned and feature facet angles that are optimally cut. As a result, such diamonds reflect light well through their table and have a lot of brilliance and fire.


diamond guide

Before purchasing a diamond, you should expect to review a copy of its certificate as proof that it has undergone an unbiased, professional examination.


A diamond certificate, also called a diamond grading report or diamond quality document, is a report created by a team of gemologists. The diamond is evaluated, measured, and scrutinized using trained eyes, a jeweler’s loupe, a microscope, and other industry tools. A completed certificate includes an analysis of the diamond’s dimensions, clarity, colour, polish, symmetry, and other characteristics. Many round diamonds will also include a cut grade on the report. There are many laboratories issuing diamond grading reports, some reputable and reliable and others not so. The reputable laboratories we use are:

  1. GIA     – Gemmological Institute of America

  2. HRD    – Hoge Raad Voor Diamant, Diamond High Council – Antwerp Belgium

  3. DCLA  – Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia

  4. GSL    – Gem Studies Laboratory of Australia

diamond guide


Once you’ve purchased the right diamond, have it appraised and insured.

Appraisers and insurers rely on diamond grading reports to accurately evaluate the value of gems.


As an additional measure, consider having your diamond laser-inscribed with its report number, to provide verification if it is ever lost or stolen.

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