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How to Pick Out a Diamond


Picking out a diamond is an important skill. Today, we’re explaining the most important things you need to know about picking out a diamond.

When shopping for diamonds, the 4 Cs are crucial: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. Virtually the entire value of the diamond is based on those four attributes.

The better the cut, color, clarity, and carat are, the more expensive the diamond will be. Of course, unless you work in the jewelry industry, you probably have no idea about how to judge any of these qualities – so what’s the next step?

The next step is to educate yourself. Below, you’ll find a brief guide on how to pick out a diamond by knowing more about cut, color, clarity, and carat.

Editor’s Note: Before you buy, find an online jeweler you trust—preferably one that specialized in engagement rings, like James Allen.



The “color” of the diamond, awkwardly enough, is assessed based on its lack of color. Ideally, your diamond has no color, which means it’s a very high-quality diamond. The less color a diamond has, the more you’re going to spend.

Diamonds with a “D” grade have the best possible color rating. This is the best color rating a diamond can have.

Diamonds with a “Z” grade, on the other hand, have the worst possible rating. These diamonds will have a noticeably yellow hue.



Clarity can be confusing for diamond newbies. Clarity is a measure of the number and size of microscopic imperfections in the diamond.

It’s rare to find a diamond without imperfections. However, you will find diamonds with imperfections that are less visible than other diamonds.

There’s a grading scale to help you determine the clarity. VVS1, for example, means that the imperfections are “Very Very Slightly Included”, which means they’re tough to see even with a microscope.

Editor’s Note: Before you buy, find an online jeweler you trust—preferably one that specialized in engagement rings, like James Allen.

SI2, on the other hand, means the inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and they might be visible to thenaked eye.

I1, I2, and I3 mean the imperfections are “Included”, which typically means a poorer quality diamond because the imperfections are highly visible.



Carat is a standard unit of measurement for a diamond’s weight. Larger diamonds have more carats, and larger diamonds are much rarer than smaller diamonds.

Each carat is made up of 100 pounds. A carat with 65 points weighs .65 carats.

Carats aren’t everything, as you’ll soon learn while diamond shopping. 1 carat diamonds can be more expensive than 2 carat diamonds. That’s because the 1 carat diamond could have better clarity and color – which means it’s going to be more expensive than the 2 carat diamond.



Cut is a straightforward measurement. It’s the shape or design into which the diamond has been cut.

Some of the most popular cuts you’ll find in diamond stores today include round, princess, pear, cushion, heart, asscher, oval, emerald, marquise, and radiant.

Cut preferences have varied over the years according to fashion trends. This might be a good one to ask your fiancée, however. Cut has the biggest impact on the outward visual appearance of the diamond, so it’s important you choose the right cut to line up with your fiancée’s preferences.

Cut has a big impact on the color of a diamond as well as its brilliance. A diamond that has been cut too shallow will allow light to escape through the bottom. A diamond cut too deep will allow light to escape through the sides. And a diamond that’s perfectly cut will have more light and more brilliance up top.

The best way to use this data is to approach your fiancée (subtly or not) and decide which of the 4 Cs is most important. Do you value a perfectly clear diamond with no color? Or would you rather have a larger diamond for the same price – with all its flaws included?

Shop now: Visit James Allen, our recommended diamond jeweler.

About Johnson Hur

After having graduated with a degree in Finance and working for a Fortune 500 company for several years, Johnson decided to follow his passion by embarking on a path to the digital world. He has over 8 years of experience with large companies setting marketing strategy.

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