Your Diamond Quality Guide

In selecting a diamond for purchase, there are four characteristics that one must consider to assure high quality: carat weight, cut, color, and clarity.

Carat Weight

This is the weight of the diamond measured in carats. One Carat is divided into 100 Points. So for example, a diamond of 75 Points weighs .75 Carats. A greater carat weight does not automatically mean a higher value. Likewise, two diamonds of equal weight may have different values. Fine quality can be found in diamonds of all shapes and sizes, as the remaining characteristics must also be considered.


The most popular cuts are round, marquise, oval, pear, heart, and emerald. This choice is largely a matter of personal preference. Regardess of the shape, however, one will want a diamond that has been expertly cut to good proportions. Such a diamond is better able to handle light, enabling maximum prism effect and creating more scintillation and sparkle.


Although diamonds are found in a wide range of colors, higher quality diamonds have no color. It is a totally colorless diamond that allows white light to pass effortlessly through it and be dispersed as a rainbow of color.


Most diamonds contain very small, natural inclusions. The fewer and smaller they are, the less likely it is that they will interfere with the passage of light through the diamond and the more beautiful the diamond will be.

A diamond that is free of interior and exterior inclusions is very rare and therefore more valuable.

To determine the clarity of a diamond, it is carefully inspected under 10 power magnification by a trained professional. The clarity is then graded on the following scale:


FL Flawless Free from all inclusions or blemishes
IF Internally flawless No inclusions; insignificant surface blemishes only
VVS1   Minute inclusions extremely difficult to see
VVS2   Minute inclusions very difficult to see
VS1   Minor inclusions difficult to see
VS2   Minor inclusions somewhat easy to see face up
SI1   Noticeable inclusions easy to see
SI2   Noticeable inclusions easy to see; may be visible to unaided eye through the pavilion (bottom of the diamond)
I1   Obvious inclusions visible to unaided eye
I2   Obvious inclusions easily visible to unaided eye
I3   Prominent inclusions extremely easy to see with unaided eye