Interactive Diamond Tool

The Simple Anatomy of a Diamond

There are 5 things any diamond buyer should look for:

  • A diamond that has sparkle; an excellent cut diamond, is always the better diamond before carat, color, and clarity
  • A diamond that is large and not small, within realistic expectations
  • A diamond that is 100% eye clean and not milky or hazy
  • A diamond that is white and not yellow/brown, unless that's what you are looking for
  • A diamond that is certified, preferably by GIA to ensure you are buying something that is authenticated and inspected by unbiased gemologists

Cut Grade - Priority #1

  • Cut is by far the most important factor when purchasing a diamond; after all you are purchasing a prism so sparkle is the most important thing.
  • Cut grade is explicitly stated for round brilliant shape diamonds; it is extrapolated for fancy shape stones (i.e. princess, cushion, oval, emerald, etc.).

Carat Weight - Priority #2

  • Like cut (i.e. sparkle), you can appreciate and see the size of a stone; not even an expert can tell you a color or clarity from 1-2 feet away.
  • You cannot "see" a carat weight unless the stone is placed on a scale, but your eye can see the size (i.e. measurements) of a circle, square, oval, etc.
  • The measurements of a stone are one of the most overlooked and underappreciated line items on any diamond's certificate - pay attention to them!

Color - Priority #3

  • Any color you pick is fine, so long as you are ok with it.
  • It is not wise to consider what "other people" will think about your stone, it's your money!
  • For most stone shapes, I (eye) color or better will do the trick in any setting
  • If you are going for size in a white metal setting with a round stone, there's no harm in considering a J-K color with medium blue fluorescence.
  • For yellow and rose gold setting with a round stone there is also no harm in considering a K color, again if you're chasing size.

Clarity - Priority #4

  • As long as your stone is 100% eye clean and not cloudy then, in our opinion, clarity is the last priority because it is not discernable to the naked eye.
  • Remember diamond plotting on a certificate is performed under microscopic analysis.
  • Diamond grading, however, is performed under 10x loupe inspection that means several markings on a certificate is not always a bad thing.
  • Look for plotting that show imperfections on the perimeter (preferable) of the stone and/or towards the bottom of the stone.