Quality: Beautiful Diamonds


In this previous post we looked at Carats (size).

In this post we will cover the quality of the diamond. The quality breaks down into 3 factors. Each factor describes a different aspect of quality and is measured on a scale.

Factor What is it? Scale Highest Lowest
Cut How well it reflects light Excellent - Poor ‘Glitter’ Dull
Clarity Blemishes IF - SI1 Flawless to the microscope Visible flaws to the eye
Color How white D-K White Brown/Yellow

#1 Cut: Reflecting light

Cut is the most important of Cut, Clarity and Color. Cut is the angles of the diamond which determines how light bounces within the diamond and is reflected back. When you think of a glittering diamond you are actually seeing light hitting the diamond and being reflected back.

Diamonds with excellent cut reflect a lot of light from different angles and have the ‘glitter’ or ‘shimmering’ effect we think of in diamonds. Diamonds with poor cut reflect less light and appear duller to the human eye.

Cut = Glittering

#2 Clarity: Blemishes

The next factor of diamond is Clarity. Natural diamonds are formed from carbon subjected to intense pressure. However, diamonds may not form perfectly and there can be flaws/blemishes either within or on the surface of the diamond.

Clarity = Blemishes

#3 Color: How White

The final factor in quality is the color. This one is pretty easy. We prize whiter looking diamonds over greyer/browner diamonds.

Color = How ‘White’

Cost and Quality

The below chart shows how quality changes cost.

  • ‘Perfect’ diamonds are those on the highest end of the scale for cut, color and clarity
  • ‘Great Quality’ diamonds are those which look good to the human eye but not to the microscope and are not always the highest on each of Cut, Color and Clarity
  • ‘Poor’ diamonds are on the lower end of the scale for cut, color and clarity.