Diamond jewelry is chic and fabulous. But before buying it, you need to know a little bit about the diamond quality. After all, a diamond is an expensive gem and you need to know what you are buying. The good news is that you don’t have to be a jeweler to be able to assess a diamond’s quality. You only need to pay attention to this blog post and learn how to buy precious & semi precious stones jewelry the smart way. So read further to find out more about the diamond quality and how to assess it.

Diamond Quality 101: The 4Cs

When trying to assess the diamond quality, you need to pay attention to the 4 Cs – color, clarity, cut and carat weight. All these factors contribute to establishing the value of a diamond and, therefore, its quality. With attention and a little bit of help from us, you can learn to assess the diamond quality like an expert. So let’s get started.

Diamond Quality Indicator No. 1 – The Carat Weight

First of all, don’t confuse carats with karats. The first term refers to the weights of a diamond while the second one refers to gold purity. And we are here to talk about diamonds, so just remember that the carat equals the weight. The carat is a quality indicator because diamonds with high clarity that are also large are hard to find. However, carats are not the only indicator of the quality. A 1-carat diamond with no inclusions can cost more than a 2-carat one that doesn’t have good clarity.

Still, it’s important to remember this indicator because some jewelry shops approximate a diamond’s carat. For example, they may sell a 1-carat diamond that is actually 0.85 carats. It may not sound like a big deal, but considering that the price per carat for a high-quality diamond is $3000, you will end up paying more than you should. Pay attention to the diamond’s certificate and see its exact weight before buying it to make sure that you aren’t paying more than you should.

Quality Indicator No. 2 – The Color of the Diamond

Another important factor when it comes to assessing the diamond quality, is its color or, better said, the lack of it. A perfect quality diamond is colorless and, if you can notice hints of other colors inside it, then it means that the diamond is of lower quality. But what about colored diamonds? We’ll get to that as well.

There are no less than 23 letters used to grade a diamond’s color. You shouldn’t remember all of them, of course, just remember the main categories. A diamond with a letter between D and F is the highest quality and considered colorless. Diamonds graded with letters between G and J are near colorless. If you see a diamond that has a letter between K and M, then you have a “faint” diamond. Next, there are very light diamonds (between N and R) and the light ones (between S and Z) which are the lowest quality when it comes to color.

The exceptions here are colored diamonds like canary diamonds, red diamonds, and other similar colors. Those are not low-quality. In fact, they can be even more expensive than a colorless diamond because of their beautiful and rare colors.

Diamond Quality Indicator No. 3 – The Clarity of the Diamond

When assessing the quality of a diamond, its clarity is essential. In other words, if the diamond has no inclusions, its clarity will be perfect. The more inclusions it has, the poorer the clarity. This is important to remember as a diamond with poor clarity will not reflect light as well and, therefore, it will be less brilliant. So when assessing the quality, check out its clarity grade. A flawless diamond (FL) has no inclusions and is the highest clarity possible. On the other hand, an included diamond (whether I1, I2 or I3) is low-quality and its inclusions can be seen with the naked eye. The in-between grades for assessing the diamond quality in terms of clarity are:

  • IF – internally flawless, but with slight surface blemishes
  • VVS1 & VVS2 – very, very slightly included, still a fantastic diamond quality
  • VS1 & VS2 – very slightly included, but the inclusions are invisible to the naked eye
  • SI1 &SI2 – slightly included, the inclusions are minor, but visible to the naked eye

If you want to get a top quality diamond, then look for FL, IF, VVS1 & VVS2. However, even diamonds with a lower clarity grade can be fabulous in a cluster or pave setting.

Quality Indicator No. 4 – The Cut of the Diamond

Last, but not least, there is also the cut of the diamond that can let you assess its quality. A fantastic cut for a diamond will enhance its brilliance, offer it a sharp appearance and create the perfect contrast between the dark and the light areas of your diamond.

As with every other quality indicator, there is also a grading system for the cut. A diamond with an ideal cut will have the grading 0, while an excellent cut is 1. Next, a very good cut is 2 and a good cut can be either 3 or 4. A diamond with a fair cut ranges from 5 to 7 and a poor cut receive a grade between 8 and 10.

This is everything you need to know about diamond quality. If you want to access more jewelry buying guides, check out the rest of our articles as well. To buy unique fine jewelry, visit Ana Luisa online jewelry shop and fall in love with our designer collections.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.