diamond buying guide

Diamond Grading

Certified diamonds are graded on a minimum of four quality criteria: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Learn all about diamond grading, rating, quality, and certificates or "reports."

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Diamond Grading, Grades

When purchasing certified diamonds it is important to understand the diamond grading criteria used by the laboratories performing the certification.

Diamond grading covers numerous aspects of each individual diamond's qualities, but there are four grades which are critical to understand:

  • cut;
  • clarity;
  • color; and
  • carat weight

There are additional ratings and measurements noted on a diamond certificate, but they generally fall under one of these four categories (the "Four Cs"). For example, measurements such as "depth" and "table" are part of the description of the diamond's cut.

You can learn more about how diamonds are graded by reading the articles listed below.

Diamond Cut

Cut is probably the most important quality factor, and the most challenging of the four Cs to understand. The brilliance of a diamond depends heavily on its cut. More info...

Diamond Clarity

Most diamonds contain some inner flaws, or inclusions, that occur during the formation process. The visibility, number and size of these inclusions determine what is called the clarity of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear create more brilliance, and thus are more highly prized and priced. More info...

Diamond Color

Colorless diamonds are the most desirable since they allow the most refraction of light (sparkle). Off white diamonds absorb light, inhibiting brilliance. More info...

Carat Weight

A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises exponentionaly to its size. Read this guide to get a better understanding of what a carat is and how it affects the appearance of a diamond. More info...

The Fifth C: Certificates

The diamond certificate, which is sometimes called a grading report, is a complete evaluation of your diamond and those certificates from respected lavoratories have been performed by a qualified professional with the help of special gemological instruments. Each stone bears its own recognizable and individual characteristics, which is listed on the certificate. More info...

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