DIAMOND 101: Understanding Carats, Cuts, Colour and Clarity

Author: Anushka Aurora
IG Link: https://www.instagram.com/asaurora/


Diamonds are everyone’s beloved gem. They are also the only gems that are made of a single element - Carbon. Diamonds form under high temperature and pressure conditions that exist only deep beneath the earth’s surface. 

Wondering what makes diamonds so unique? The crystal structure of a diamond is isometric, which means the carbon atoms are bonded in the same way in all directions. 

Diamonds marks the 65th and 70th wedding anniversaries. Another interesting fact about diamonds is that they are so hard that you can only scratch them with another diamond. Among birthstones, Diamond is recognized as the birthstone for April.

Every diamond has its own unique distinguishing characteristics. The globally accepted standards for assessing a diamond’s quality are the 4Cs - Carats, Cuts, Colour and Clarity.


Carat denotes the weight of a diamond, not the size. Carat weight can appear differently across different diamond shapes such as round brilliant, princess, pear, oval, cushion, marquise, emerald, radiant, or heart. 

A diamond may have a higher carat weight without appearing larger and two diamonds of the same carat weight can vary in size if one is cut deeper than the other. In other words, it is important to note that carat weight does not necessarily denote size.


Cuts refer to how a diamond’s facets interact with light. It is determined by symmetry, proportion, and polish. More than any other factor, the cut determines the beauty of the stone. The cut of a diamond is crucial because if a diamond is cut poorly, it will appear dull even if it has a high colour and clarity grade. 

On the other hand, if a diamond is cut well, it will reflect and refract light for maximum brightness and sparkle. Two diamonds may have the same clarity, colour, and carat weight, but the cut is what determines whether one is superior to the other. The cut is responsible for the quality and degree of a diamond’s sparkle. 

The highest cut grade in the industry, triple excellent, is given to a diamond with an “excellent” rating in the precision of cut, symmetry, and polish. These days, people are leaning towards triple x cut, which is in high demand but 25% more expensive than the grade below.


Colour refers to the natural tint inherent in white diamonds. In nature, most white diamonds have a slight tint of yellow. The closer to being “colourless” a diamond is, the rarer it is. The industry standard for grading colour is to evaluate each stone against a master set and assign a letter grade from “D” (colourless) to “Z” (light yellow).

  • DEF - Colourless
  • GHIJ - Near Colourless
  • KLM - Faint Yellow
  • NOPQR - Very Light Yellow
  • STUVWXYZ - Light Yellow

Does the colour of a diamond matter? 

Yes, colour is the second most important of the 4Cs because the colour grade directly affects the stone’s appearance. Diamonds with a poor colour grade can appear slightly yellow instead of the desired brilliant white.


Diamond clarity is a measure of the purity and rarity of the stone, graded by the visibility of these characteristics under 10-power magnification. A stone is graded as flawless if, under 10-power magnification, no inclusions (internal flaws) and no blemishes (external imperfections) are visible. A diamond with a poor clarity grade has multiple inclusions, which directly affects sparkle. Because inclusions hinder the refraction and return of light, the lower the clarity grade, the cloudier the diamond will appear.

The 4Cs are the most important factors that set the diamond's characteristics. Diamond grading charts are very helpful and ease the process of purchasing.

We, at Jaipore Jewels, recommend FL to VS2 diamond clarity and above H grade colour. It is better to have premium quality colour and clarity over size. We won’t compromise on quality for size. Remember, do not buy any diamond without a certificate of authenticity.

Knowing your ring size is very important, choose the perfect ring for you or your loved one using our easy size guide