How Diamonds are Classified

Diamonds, as most people know, are a woman’s best friends, and there is a very good reason for that. The hardest substance known to mankind, and the stone with the ability to shine more than any other gem makes the diamond an all-time favorite among the ladies, as well as the gentlemen. Though diamonds are simply nature’s gifts, there are several aspects that contribute to their value. These aspects are better known as the 4 Cs, which stands for Clarity, Cut, Color, and Carat. These are the four main ways in which diamonds are classified.


One way in which a diamond is classified is its clarity. This of course refers to how clear the stone is and how void it is of color and inclusions. In order to shine as brilliantly as possible and to display the “fire” that most people look for in a diamond, a stone must not have apparent blemishes and flaws. The clarity grade scale ranges from FL – flawless to I1/I2/I3 (P1/P2/P3) – inclusions or pique. This means that the top diamonds in terms of clarity are flawless and the bottom diamonds contain inclusions that are usually visible to the naked eye.


The cut of a diamond does not refer to its shape, though there is usually a correlation. The cut is the way the diamond cutter cuts the diamond from the rough stone. There are several cutting styles including the most common and popular brilliant cut, which often leads to the brilliant round shape, the step cut, the mixed cut, and the modified cut. Each diamond shape works best with certain cuts and so the cut does determine the shape to some extent, but the shape of the diamond is not its cut.


The color category can seem like a strange category for diamonds for those unfamiliar with the true nature of the stones. Though many people see diamonds as being transparent, most diamonds actually contain some color. Since the common colorless or white diamonds are preferred as color-free as possible, diamonds are classified based on their lack of color. The color grading scale runs from the letter D to the letter Z. D indicates that a diamond has no trace of color whereas a Z diamond will have a fairly noticeable trace of a yellow color.


The carat weight of a diamond is one of the first things that speak to a person looking for a diamond. This is because it is the way in which a diamond’s size is classified. Diamonds over a carat in size are considered average and those larger than two carats are already on the larger side. However, it very much depends on the other factors such as cut, shape, clarity, and color.

All of these aspects are equally important but some are more important than others to certain people. It all depends on one’s budget and personal preferences.

Posted in Workmanship.

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