The Essential Guide to Purchasing the Right Diamond

The Essential Guide to Purchasing the Right Diamond


Choosing the perfect diamond can be an exhilarating yet overwhelming experience, especially for first-time buyers. With a wide variety of shapes, cuts, colors, and clarities available, it's crucial to understand what to look for when purchasing a diamond.

In this guide, we will walk you through the essential factors to consider, enabling you to make an informed decision and find the diamond that truly captures your taste.

The 4Cs

The 4Cs: Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity: The 4Cs are the main universal grading standards that assess a diamond's quality. Understanding these factors will help you determine a diamond's overall beauty and value.

  • Carat: Carat refers to a diamond's weight, not its size. In general, the higher the carat weight, the larger the diamond appears, and the price of the diamond increases with carat weight. Consider your budget and personal preferences when deciding on the carat weight that suits you best.
Tip: As carat weight increases, the price of the diamond goes up exponentially. Magic Sizes are sizes of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, etc with perfect rounding of the weight value. Buying a diamond at 0.95 instead of 1.0 is much more budget friendly with minimal visual difference. 
  • Cut: The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance and sparkle. This is not for the shape of the diamond, but rather the level of excellence with which the diamond is cut. Look for diamonds with excellent or very good cut grades to ensure maximum beauty. A diamond with 'Excellent' cut will have significantly more brilliance and sparkle versus a diamond with a 'Poor' grade cut. The cut can be viewed as the most important grade when looking at a diamond.
Diamond Cut Chart
  • Color: Diamonds come in a range of colors, from colorless to light yellow or brown. The color scale starts from D (colorless) to Z (light color). D is the highest and best on the scale; the less color in the diamond, the more valuable it is. Opt for diamonds in the near-colorless range (D-F) for exceptional brilliance.

Diamond Color Chart

Tip: When choosing a specific color grade, note that a difference of one to three colors (for example from D to F) are not easily detectable without a trained eye. When looking for a diamond within your budget, consider picking a lower color and looking at varying grade levels for minimal visual differences.
  • Clarity: Clarity refers to the presence of internal or external imperfections, called inclusions and blemishes. Grades range from 'Flawless,' meaning the diamond doesn't have visible imperfections at 10x magnification, to 'Included,' meaning the diamond contains a large number of imperfections. Diamonds for the best value usually range between VS2 (very slightly included) to SI2 (slightly included) because they generally do not have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.


Certification and Grading Reports: When purchasing a natural diamond, always insist on a reputable grading report from a well-established gemological laboratory such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). When buying lab diamonds, we recommend both IGI and GIA.

These reports provide extremely detailed information about a diamond's 4Cs, including its authenticity, quality, and any enhancements or treatments it may have undergone.

We recommend purchasing diamonds that are GIA certified because of their reputation in the industry. They are highly recognized for their strict grading standards and proven consistency. There are many other certifiers such as IGI, AGS, and HRD, but these certifiers are significantly more lenient with their grading process.

For example, a diamond certified from IGI as D color, VS1 clarity, excellent cut, can be taken to GIA and they will certify it at F color, SI2, very good cut, which affects the value of the diamond. Going with GIA certified diamonds will give you peace of mind knowing that what is graded on their certificate is what you are getting.

Diamond Shape

Choose a diamond shape that resonates with your personal style. From classic round brilliants to fancy shapes like princess, emerald, or pear, each shape possesses a unique character and appearance. Consider trying on different shapes to see which one appeals to you the most or what looks best on your hand.


Purchasing a diamond is an investment that goes beyond the monetary value. By understanding the 4Cs, certification and grading reports, diamond shape, you can make an informed decision when choosing the perfect diamond. Take your time, ask questions, and work with Raad Jewelers so we can guide you through the process. With the right knowledge and guidance, you'll be well-equipped to find a diamond that will bring joy and beauty into your life for years to come.

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