Various characteristics of diamonds are graded and categorised by the diamond industry. In learning about diamonds, the first aspect you need to know is about the “four cs” cut; clarity; color and carat weight.


Firstly, “cut” should not be confused with “shape.” Shape refers to the general outward appearance of the diamond, (such as round, emerald, or pear). When referring to “cut,” it is a reference to the diamond’s reflective qualities, not the shape. Diamond cut is arguably the most important of the four cs, so it is important to understand how this quality affects the properties and values of a diamond. A good cut gives a diamond its brilliance, which is that brightness that seems to come from the very heart of a diamond. The angles and finish of any diamond are what determine its ability to handle light, which leads to its brilliance.


Most diamonds contain some inner flaws, or inclusions, that occur during the formation process. The visibility, number and size of these inclusions determine what is called the clarity of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear create more brilliance, and thus are more highly prized, and priced. When we speak of a diamond’s clarity, we are referring to the presence of identifying characteristics on (blemishes) and within (inclusions) the stone. Inclusions include flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals found in the diamond. Blemishes include scratches, pits, and chips. Some blemishes occur during the cutting processes. Diamonds with no or few inclusions and blemishes are more highly valued than those with less clarity because they are rarer. Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. Grades range from flawless (diamonds which are completely freeof blemishes and inclusions), to included (diamonds which possess large, heavy blemishes and inclusions that are visible to the naked eye). F = flawless (rare and expensive). Vs1-vs2 = very slight inclusions. Si1-si2 = slight inclusions. P1-p4 = imperfect.


When we refer to a diamond’s color, we are referring to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. Color is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time. Ideally you try to achieve the whitest (or colourless) diamond affordable. Because a colourless diamond, like a clear window, allows more light to pass through it than a colored diamond, colorless diamonds emit more sparkle and fire. The formation process of a diamond ensures that only a few, rare diamonds are truly colorless. Thus the whiter a diamond’s color, the greater its value. To grade ‘whiteness’ or colorlessness, we refer to gia’s professional color scale that begins with the highest rating of d for colorless, and travels down the alphabet to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish color. The color scale continues all the way to z. At lili, we would generally recommend not going lower than g colour.


Carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises exponentionaly to its size. A carat is a unit of measurement, it’s the unit used to weigh a diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. More commonly, a carat is made up of points. A one carat stone 1.00ct has 100 points. A half carat diamond 0.50ct has 50 points. A one carat diamond ring is a benchmark for diamond jewellery.