Diamond Size & Clarity

Diamond Color

Color refers to the natural body color of a diamond and not to the reflection of spectral colors that flash when a diamond moves. Most diamonds naturally exhibit slight hints of yellow, brown, or gray. This color is caused by natural trace elements of nitrogen that were present when the diamond formed under the Earth’s crust. The less color a diamond exhibits, the higher the rarity, and therefore the higher the value.

Diamonds with less color allow more light to pass, releasing more brilliance and fire. A diamond acts as a prism by dividing light into a spectrum of colors and reflecting this light as colorful flashes called dispersion or fire. Similar to looking through colored glass, color in a diamond will diminish the spectrum of color, or fire, emitted by acting as a filter. A diamond with a higher color grade, i.e., one with less color, demonstrates more colorful fire.

International Color Scale

The international gemological coloir scale begins with the highest rating of D for colorless,and travels own the alphabet to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish color.

Diamond Carat Weigth

Learn about diamond carat weight, the unique unit of weight measurement used to weigh gems & diamonds.

Definition Of Carat

Carat (ct.) refers to the unique unit of weight measurement used exclusively to weigh gems and diamonds. Carat weight is often confused with visual size even though it is actually a measurement of weight. Depending on the shape and type of gemstone being weighed, the weight will visually show itself differently. For example, a 1.00 ct. round diamond will measure around 6.5mm, and a 1.00 ct. round sapphire will measure around 6.0mm.This is due to the varying density of different gemstones.

Total carat weight (t.c.w.) is a phrase that represents the total weight of all diamonds or other gemstones in a piece of jewelry, when more than one gemstone is used. Diamond solitaire earrings, for example, are usually quoted in t.c.w., indicating the combined weight of the diamonds in both earrings.

Impact Of Carat Weight On Price

Once cut, color, and clarity grade have been determined, the carat weight of a diamond can be easily established to fit within a budget. Larger diamonds are much more valuable because they are discovered in nature much less frequently than small ones. Diamond prices actually rise exponentially with carat weight rather than linearly. For example, a 1.00 ct. diamond of a given quality is always valued higher than two 0.50 ct. diamonds of the same quality. In fact, a general rule of thumb is that a diamond of double the weight costs around four times more.

“Under-sizes” are diamonds that weigh just below a cutoff weight. While fewer exist, they may represent an enhanced value. They are more difficult to find as a diamond cutter will choose to sacrifice beauty in order to cut a diamond with a weight that reaches one of the cutoff weights, or “magic numbers” as they are known in the industry. The cutoff weights are 0.50 ct., 0.75 ct., 0.90 ct., 1.00 ct., 1.50 ct., and 2.00 ct.

Approximate Carat Weight Size

This diagram illustrates the typical size relationship between diamonds of increasing carat weights. While measurements below are typical, every diamond is unique.

Diamond Carat Size Chart

Our Diamond Size Chart demonstrates how diamonds of various carat weights appear when viewed from the top down. Since carat is a unit of weight, not all diamonds of equal carat weight will appear to be the same size due to their differing measurements. In order to view this guide, you will need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Diamond Color

Inclusions found on a diamond can be considered nature's birthmarks, the distinguishing characteristics that make the stone unique. When grading a diamond, the amount of inclusions and blemishes has a direct impact on its clarity and value. Flawless diamonds containing no inclusions are extremely rare and very expensive. A majority of the commercially sold diamonds contains inclusions that are undetectable to the unaided eye.

Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF)

Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds may contain external characteristics (also known as blemishes) that are extremely difficult to view at 10x magnification on the stone's surface, if at all, whereas Flawless (FL) is the best clarity of a diamond as it does not contain any inclusions or blemishes, under the scrutiny of 10x magnification.

Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)

Although the name is seemingly redundant, Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2) diamonds earn this grading because, unlike their Flawless or Internally Flawless bretherin, they do contain inclusions that are so minute that they're extremely difficult to locate under 10x magnification used by expert gemologist to determine a stones clarity.

Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)

Like their higher graded counterparts, VS1 and VS2 diamonds also contain minute inclusions, such as clouds, crystals, or feathers, but, unlike Very Very Slightly Included diamonds, Very Slightly Inlcuded stones' inclusions, though miniscule are only just difficult to locate with 10x magnification, rather than being extremely difficult.

Slightly Included (SI1, SI2, SI3)

Even without 10x magnification, Slightly Included diamonds (SI1, SI2, SI3) contain inclusions that are noticiable to the human eye such as clouds, knots, crystals, cavities, and feathers. However pronounced and numerous there are without magnification, thought, is what determines a diamond is either Slightly Included or fully Included.

Included (I1, I2, I3)

Diamonds that are graded as Included (I1, I2, I3) contain very obvious inclusions that can usually be seen with the naked eye, and even more underneath 10x magnification. Included diamonds sometimes display poor transparency and lack of brilliance due to excessive clouds, feathers, knots, cavities and crystals large and deep enough to be confused for smudges or cracks. Inspite of these blemishes, Included diamonds are still able to sell well enough, inspite of being considered undesirable as compared to a higher clarity graded stone.

Slightly Included (SI)

Considered by many to be a great value, SI1-SI2 diamonds will contain inclusions that can be detected with magnification, yet are typically undetectable to the unaided eye and do not detract from the beauty of the diamond. If you are considering a diamond with an SI rating, contact a Brilliance diamond and jewelry expert to ensure the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye.

Choosing Very Slight Inclusions (VS)

While still considered high quality, diamonds rated in the VS clarity range will not cost as much as more premium clarities. VS diamonds will contain inclusions that are undetectable to the unaided eye.

Flawless Diamonds

Those who prefer a diamond with little or no inclusions will likely choose a clarity rating of FL-IF or VVS. Although they are priced higher, these high-quality diamonds boast a near-perfect appearance.

Location, Location, Location

The location of a diamond's inclusions significantly impacts the stone's clarity rating. External and internal characteristics hidden near the side facets of a diamond detract from its beauty less than inclusions and blemishes located in the center of the diamond.

Going With a Large Diamond

Those who desire large carat weights at lower prices may choose diamonds in the SI3-I1 clarity range. Inclusions in these stones are usually noticeable without magnification.