A Guide To Diamond Clarity – Ingle & Rhode

Once you’ve taken inspiration from your partner’s saved images on their social media and sought input from friends and family, you’ve successfully identified the ideal ring design for your future spouse. Whether you collaborated together or pursued this endeavour individually, the next step involves understanding the renowned 4Cs of engagement rings. Mastering these components will allow you to optimise the sparkle and value when purchasing a diamond engagement ring. The 4Cs refer to colour, clarity, carat weight, and cut, forming a grading system that assesses the diamond’s quality and price. In this article, we will go through them in order for you to fully understand each one. 

Table of Contents


Carat signifies the measurement of a diamond’s weight. According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), one carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams, approximately the weight of a paper clip. Naturally, as the carat size increases, the diamond becomes more expensive. However, it’s important to note that no two diamonds are identical, so the carat should be considered as a general guideline, primarily indicating the weight of the stone rather than its actual size. To illustrate this, imagine five oval-shaped diamonds, all weighing exactly 2.00 carats, possessing the same colour, clarity, and cut. Despite their identical carat weight, they will exhibit slight variations in size and shape. If you opt for vintage engagement rings, you will be able to get a larger carat than you would if purchasing brand-new ones. 


Colour represents the degree of colourlessness in a white diamond. The colour-grading scale ranges from D (indicating complete colourlessness) to Z (reflecting a light colour tint). In order to assess a diamond’s colour, experts place it in a standardised viewing environment and compare it to “colour masters,” which are reference samples representing each colour grade.

Since colour grading is a subjective evaluation that requires human observation, certain organisations, such as the GIA, employ multiple graders to independently assess each diamond. Only when these individual graders reach a consensus, a colour grade is assigned to the diamond. This meticulous process ensures an accurate and reliable assessment of the diamond’s colour. 


Clarity denotes the extent to which a diamond is free from internal and external flaws. Internal flaws are referred to as inclusions, while external flaws are known as blemishes. It is exceedingly rare for diamonds to be completely flawless; however, many diamonds possess flaws that are only visible under magnification.

To assess a diamond’s clarity, grading organisations examine them under magnification, carefully inspecting them for inclusions, exclusions, and any indications of clarity treatments. These diamonds are then ranked on a scale that includes the following categories:

  • FL (Flawless)
  • IF (Internally Flawless)
  • VVS1 to VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)
  • VS1 to VS2 (Very Slightly Included)
  • SI1 to SI2 (Slightly Included)
  • I1 to I2 to I3 (Included)

Similar to colour grading, clarity is a subjective evaluation. Therefore, some diamond grading organisations, like the GIA, involve multiple graders in the assessment process. These graders must reach a consensus regarding the diamond’s clarity. This approach ensures reliability and accuracy in determining the diamond’s clarity grade.


The cut is simply the grading of how a diamond is cut, which has a significant impact on how the diamond catches the light. Cut is graded from excellent to poor. The cut is graded by analysing the proportions of each facet and its ability to capture light. It’s worth noting that if you opt for an antique diamond ring, the cut will not be as good as a modern one due to modern technology being able to do this much better. 

By Rehan

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