Diamond Quality Guide

Navigating the intricate world of diamonds may feel overwhelming at first. It all comes down to getting acquainted with what is often referred to as the '4 C's of diamonds: Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color.

Every diamond is a natural masterpiece, possessing its own unique qualities that are carefully evaluated and sorted by the diamond industry. These key characteristics are integral to the diamond's allure, authenticity, and value. Once you understand these aspects, you're on your way to selecting a diamond that perfectly matches your standards of beauty, quality, and investment potential.

Join us as we delve into the world of diamonds, equipping you with the knowledge needed to choose a gem that speaks to your heart and fits your budget.

The ‘’4 C's’’ of Diamonds:

  1. Cut: Quality of the cutting angles, proportions, and finishing details.
  2. Color: How colorless/clear the diamond is.
  3. Clarity: How clean the diamond is.
  4. Carat: The weight of the diamond.

Those are the most important criteria standards that Jewelers focus when grading diamonds.

 GIA 4 C's of Diamonds

Diamond Cut:

Quality of the cutting angles is the most important and challenging part of the ‘four Cs’ to understand. The sparkle and finishing details of a diamond heavily depends on its cutting quality.

 Institutes like G.I.A are valuable resources to learn more about the 4Cs of Diamond Quality

Factors of Diamond's Cut Quality:

  • Polish: The Purity and Sparkle of the diamond's detail. An extreme polish Which will make it no scratches.
  • Proportions: All the parts like angles sizes and faces of a diamond . For the light and reflect it back, a diamond must have to have the exact angles and depth otherwise light will leak out, creating dark and dull.
  • Symmetry: The accuracy of the cut design.


There are Four Types of Diamond Cut: Ideal, Very Good, Good and Poor.

  • Ideal: Extreme Sparkle, Top Class Polish and Symmetry.
  • Very Good: Lots of Sparkle. Great Polish and Symmetry.
  • Good: A Little Amount of Sparkle. Just Enough Polish and Symmetry.
  • Poor: Will Not Sparkle Enough. Unsatisfactory Polish and Symmetry.

 Diamond Cut Grades


Diamond Color:

Colorless diamond is the second most important part of the 4C's, this is what the eye will notice next after sparkle.


There are Four Grades of Diamond Color:

  • D (Colorless): Highest-Quality color grade a diamond can receive. D-Color Diamonds are rare and emits unique brilliance.
  • E (Colorless): Possess very minute effect of color. It is also a rare diamond, an E-color diamond emits an excellent level of brilliance and sparkle.
  • F (Colorless): This is a High-Quality color grade. Minute effect of color can Only be detected only by a trained Gemologist.
  • H (Near Colorless): Contains noticeable color only when compared to D E F color grades.
  • I, J (Near Colorless): Contains slightly detectable color. Could be valuable when appears to the non professional eye.
  • K, L, M (Faint Yellow): Faint color is also noticeable. Even with the presence of color, these grades of diamonds can make a difference to beauty and personality.

 4C's Diamond Color

Diamond Clarity:

Diamond clarity indicates the presence or absence of inclusions and blemishes within a diamond.

The scale ranges from flawless to heavily included:

  • F (flawless inside and out)
  • IF (internally flawless, which means there are blemishes on the surface but not inside the diamond)
  • VVS1 and VVS2 (very, very slightly included – two levels)
  • VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included – two levels)
  • SI1 and SI2 (slightly included – two levels)
  • I1, I2 and I3 (included – three levels)

Diamond Clarity Chart

Diamond Carat:

The diamond carat is the unit of measurement of a diamond's weight; larger diamonds being the rarest.

Carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, one carat is equal to 200 milligrams.

The origin of the word carat lies in the Mediterranean region, where carob trees have flourished since ancient times. Ancient civilizations planted and ate carob for centuries, but how exactly are they related to diamonds? Traders quickly realized that carob seeds were uniform in size and weight, which made them perfect for measuring the weight of gemstones.

Very small differences in carat weight can sometimes result in a disproportionate spread in cost. The difference between a 1.1-carat and 1.2-carat diamond might be impossible to discern, but the cost difference between those carat weights can be thousands of dollars.


Diamond Carat Chart

Discover Madison, WI's Finest Diamonds at Prairie Jewelers

At Prairie Jewelers, we take pride in providing the finest diamonds in Madison, WI. Our team, enriched with decades of experience in the jewelry industry, is dedicated to guiding you in making the most informed decisions when it comes to purchasing diamonds. We're not just a jewelry store; we're your trusted partner in all things diamond, committed to ensuring your buying experience is unparalleled in Madison, WI.