Wedding Ring Ideas

{GB} What To Look For In A Diamond

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levifamilyjewelers.comYou would never walk on to a car lot without researching the type of car you want, and the same should hold true when you are looking to buy diamonds. Buying diamond jewelry should not be taken lightly because diamonds are all different. They are graded based on cut, clarity, color and carat weight – otherwise known as the “four Cs.” Knowing the four Cs before visiting a jewelry store will improve your diamond buying experience and will allow you to make the perfect purchase.


The cut of a diamond does not refer it its shape, but rather its proportion, symmetry and polish. A diamond’s cut determines its brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum) and scintillation (the sparkle of a diamond when it moves). Because the cut has such an important role in a diamond’s reflective properties it often greatly affects the price – a better cut costs more but it creates a more desirable and beautiful diamond.


A diamond’s clarity is based upon the number of blemishes (surface flaws) and inclusions (internal flaws) found in the stone. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rates clarity with 11 grades ranging from flawless to Imperfect 3 and is based on viewing the diamond under 10 power (10x) magnification.

Flawless – No inclusions or blemishes are visible.

Internally Flawless (IF) – Only blemishes are visible.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see.
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are clearly visible under magnification but can be characterized as minor
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable under 10× magnification.
Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.

If you are shopping for an engagement ring, start by looking in the VVS and VS range because they look beautiful and will not break the bank. If you are trying to save money and don’t mind a few minor flaws, consider slightly included diamonds. It is not recommended to look at diamonds in the I1 to I3 range because of their noticeable flaws.


To rate the color in a diamond, the GIA created a color grading scale from D to Z. Diamonds graded from D to F are called colorless and are the most valuable. Purchasing near colorless (G through I) diamonds is a great way to great money because these diamonds show virtually no color to an untrained eye. From here, diamonds will start to fade from to yellow/brown as the grading scale nears Z.

Carat Weight

The weight of a diamond is measured in carats and one carat equals 0.2 grams. A carat is divided into 100 points, meaning a 50-point diamond weighs 0.5 carats.

Putting it All Together

Mixing and matching the four Cs will determine the size and beauty of your diamond. Now that you know more about the four Cs, hopefully during your next visit to a jewelry store you will have a few discussion points and will not need an introduction to diamond buying.

{GB – Guest Blogger} Erick D. Smith lives in Southern California and occasionally blogs for a jewelry store in San Diego. Buying or receiving an engagement ring should be an enjoyable event and to maximize the amount of time and money you put into finding the right diamond, it’s helpful to have some background knowledge of the four Cs. Armed with your knowledge of the four Cs and taking it with you to one of the many San Diego custom jewelry stores will speed up your ring buying process.

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