Cut Grades<br />Ideal cut<br />The top 3% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond. An exquisite and rare cut.<br />Very good cut<br />The top 15% of diamond quality based on cut.<br />Good cut<br />The top 25% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects most light that enters.<br />Fair cut<br />The top 35% of diamond quality based on cut. <br />Poor cut<br />Diamonds that are generally so deep and narrow or shallow and wide that they lose most of the light out the sides and bottom.<br />
What Cut Grade is Right for You?<br />For the best possible cut, look at custom made cuts.<br />Diamonds with a cut grade of good or very good represent an excellent combination of beauty and value.<br />Recommended to select the highest cut grade within your budget. Of the Four C’s, no other characteristic has a greater influence on a diamond’s appearance.<br />
Color<br />Color refers to a diamond’s lack of color, grading the whiteness of a diamond.<br />A color grade of D is the highest possible, while Z is the lowest.<br />Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow. That’s why the color grade is based on its lack of color.<br />Second most important characteristic when selecting a diamond.<br />
Color<br />Z-N: Noticeable color.<br />M-K: Noticeable color.<br />J-l: Near-colorless. Slightly detectable warmth or tone.<br />H-G: Near-colorless. An excellent value.<br />F-E: Colorless. Minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.<br />D: Absolutely colorless. The highest color grade and is extremely rare.<br />
What Color is Right for You?<br />For the purist, look for a colorless diamond with a grade of D-F for a diamond with no discernible color.<br />For an excellent value in a diamond with little or no noticeable color to the unaided eye, look for a near-colorless grade of G-l.<br />
Clarity<br />Almost all diamonds have tiny imperfections. Diamonds with few or no imperfections receive the highest clarity grades.<br />Clarity is a measure of the number and size of the tiny imperfections that occur in almost all diamonds.<br />Many of these imperfections are microscopic, and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any discernible way.<br />Generally has the least impact on a diamond’s appearance out of the Four C’s.<br />
Clarity<br />FL, IF: Flawless, internally flawless, no internal or external imperfections. Very rare.<br />VVS1, VVS2: Very, very slightly included. Very difficult to see imperfections under 10x magnification.<br />VS1, VS2: Very slightly included. Imperfections are not typically visible to the unaided eye.<br />SI1, SI2: Slightly included. Imperfections are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with the unaided eye. A good diamond value.<br />I1, I2, I3: Included. Imperfections clearly visible under 10x magnification.<br />
What Clarity Grade is Right for You?<br />Select an “eye-clean” diamond – one that has no imperfections visible to the unaided eye. An excellent value, diamonds of this clarity are much less expensive than flawless or internally flawless diamonds.<br />Frequently, imperfections in diamonds graded slightly included (SI) are not visible to the unaided eye, making them an excellent value.<br />
Carat Weight<br />This is the term with which people are most familiar, but bear in mind that carat is specifically a measure of a diamond’s weight.<br />We tend to evaluate diamond size by viewing it from the top because that is how diamonds are presented to us when set into a ring.<br />To understand diamond size, carat weight should be considered in conjunction with two other criteria:<br />Distance in millimeters across the top of the diamond.<br />Diamond’s cut grade.<br />
Carat Weight<br />A diamond’s cut grade should also be considered because, as we noted in the cut grade section, when a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, the maximum amount of light (or sparkle) is returned out of the top of the diamond. When a diamond is well cut, the light reflected out of the top makes it appear larger.<br />It is possible to have a diamond of a lower carat weight, but higher cut grade that appears larger than a diamond with a larger carat weight, but poor cut.<br />A one-carat diamond is comprised of 100 points.<br />
What Carat Weight is Right for You?<br />Consider the size of the finger, the size of your setting, and your budget.<br />If a large carat weight is important to you, yet you’re within a strict budget, consider a diamond with a good cut, and an I or J color grade.<br />Diamond prices jump at the full and half-carat weights. Diamonds just below these weights cost significantly less.<br />Keep in mind that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1.5-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger than a size 8.<br />
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