CUT: The cut grade indicates how much a diamond will sparkle.
COLOR: This grade refers to the "whiteness" of a diamond, or its lack of color.
CLARITY: The clarity grade is based on any natural identifiers found within a diamond.
CARAT WEIGHT: This is a measure of a diamond's weight and a reflection of its size.
Cut refers to the quality of a diamond's proportions and symmetry. These angles allow the diamond to capture light and reflect it, producing sparkle. If a diamond's pavilion is too deep, for example, the center will be noticeably dark. If you want a truly brilliant sparkle, consider those with cut grades of VERY GOOD or EXELLENT.
EXELLENT: Tremendous sparkle. Excellent polish and symmetry.
VERY GOOD: Lots of sparkle. Great polish and symmetry.
GOOD: A good amount of sparkle. Sufficient polish and symmetry.
POOR: Will not sparkle very much. Unsatisfactory polish and symmetry.
The clarity grade is based on any tiny natural identifiers found within a diamond.
Flawless = FL: No imperfections on the surface, or inclusions within. These are the most rare of all clarity grades, and therefore extremely valuable.
Internally Flawless = IF: No inclusions within the diamond, but may have very minor blemishes on the surface. If so, they will not be visible without magnification.
Very Very Slightly Included:
VVS1: Likely to have minute inclusions that can only be seen under 10x magnification by an expert eye. These inclusions can only be seen through viewing the bottom of the diamond.
VVS2: Likely to have minute inclusions that can only be seen by experts under 10x magnification. These may be visible when viewing from the top of the diamond.
Very Slightly Included:
VS1: The untrained eye may detect inclusions within diamonds of this grade, under 10x magnification. It can take a long time to see them.
VS2: Slightly more inclusions than diamonds with VS1 grade, 10x magnification is still needed to detect any flaws.
SI1: More noticeable inclusions that experts can see clearly with 10x magnification. They may or may not be visible to the naked eye, depending on where they are in the diamond.
SI2: May have noticeable inclusions that are easy to see under 10x magnification. Sometimes, the unaided eye can detect them.
I1: Obvious imperfections under 10x magnification. The durability of the diamond may also be compromised depending on the specific inclusions.
I2: Obvious imperfections under 10x magnification. There may also be eye visible inclusions, both within the diamond and on the surface. The durability of diamonds synthesis may be compromised.
I3: Large and obvious imperfections that can be clearly seen with the unaided eye. These may be within the diamond and at the surface level. The durability of these diamonds is likely compromised.
DIAMOND CARAT WEIGHT
Carat weight is a measure of a diamond's weight and a reflection of its size.
1 carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. Because carat is a record of a diamond's weight - not its size - two diamonds of slightly different sizes may have the same carat weight. A diamond's size is so dependent on how evenly its weight is distributed, and the quality of its cut. Some diamonds are cut to maximize carat weight, resulting in less sparkle. A balance of quality in carat and cut is therefore recommended.
This grade Refers to the 'whiteness' of a diamond, or its lack of color.
The less color within the diamond, the more rare and valuable it is likely to be. While D to F color grades are considered Colorless, an untrained eye could not easily spot color within G to I grades. If you are concerned about visible color, consider a yellow gold setting. This metal will neutralize warm tones. Opting for a diamond with more color could allow you to invest more in a larger carat weight or quality cut grade.
D: No color. Appears completely clear under 10x magnification. Recommended paired with platinum or white gold. These metals emphasize the lack of color.
E: No visible color. Can only be discerned from a D graded diamond by a gemologist in side-by-side comparison. Set in platinum or white gold to emphasize the lack of color.
F: No visible color. Can only be discerned from D and E graded diamonds by a gemologist in side-by-side comparison. Set in platinum or white gold to emphasize the lack of color.
G: Very subtle traces of color, typically visible only in side-by-side comparison. Will look stunning in a variety of metals, although yellow gold will neutralize any color in the diamond.
H: Subtle traces of color, typically visible only in side-by-side comparison. Suitable for both white and yellow metal settings. Yellow gold will neutralize any visible color in the diamond.
I / J: Subtle traces of color, sometimes detected by the unaided eye. Suitable for both white and yellow metal settings. Yellow gold will neutralize any visible color in the diamond.
K: A yellow tint may be detectable without magnification. A warm colored diamond may appeal, so be sure to consider your personal taste. A yellow gold setting may help to neutralize the hue.
L: A yellow tint may be detectable without magnification. These slightly colored diamonds may appeal, so be sure to consider your personal taste. A yellow gold setting may help to neutralize the hue.
M-R: A yellow or brown tint is clear to the unaided eye. Their visible color makes these diamonds much more affordable. Set them in yellow gold for a warm, colorful look.
Very Noticeable Color:
S-Z: While still considered a 'white' diamond, a such graded diamond has visibly yellow or brown tones. You may find that the color in these diamonds is too much for your taste.