Diamond and other gemstone weights are measured in carats.

  • When you’re looking at a diamond engagement ring, what is most visible is the size of the surface area on the top of the diamond. It is not easy to measure a diamond’s carat weight simply by looking at it. Ultimately, it is best to focus on diamond cut and diameter.
  • The idea that bigger is better is not necessarily true for everyone, as quality and budget need to be considered.

A diamond size is measured by weight, it is expressed in carats divided into points. One carat is equivalent to 100 points, so every point is 1/100th of a carat. Diamonds of equal carat weight may vary greatly in value because they differ in the quality of their cut, color and clarity. Therefore, weight alone is a poor guide for evaluating a diamond since it is a complex combination of factors that determines a diamond’s beauty and quality. Also, diamond prices increase exponentially with carat weight because the larger the carat, the more rare the diamond.


Color is all about what you don’t see. White Diamonds, commonly tinted yellow, are valued by their lack of color.

  • When comparing color between two diamonds, the diamonds need to be at least two color grades apart to even begin to see a difference.
  • When viewing the diamond from the side profile, you may detect some color. However, diamonds are admired for their beauty from the face up position and not the side.

Although diamonds are transparent, almost all diamonds display some slight hint of color. A diamond’s color is assessed against a scale from D through Z —based on a standardized color grading system that has been internationally accepted for decades. The Virgin Diamond selects diamonds from colorless (D, E & F) to near colorless grades (G,H,I and J) and these color diamonds assure that any natural color present is generally undetectable to the naked eye.

D – Colorless

E-F – Colorless

G-J – Near Colorless

K-M – Faint Yellow

N-R – Very Light Yellow

S-Z – Light Yellow


Natural Diamonds will trap microscopic imperfections called inclusions and blemishes. The clarity of a Diamond is the grade of how few inclusions and blemishes it has.

  • Generally, it’s good idea to balance the clarity grade of your diamond with the color. If you are looking at diamonds in the D-F color range, focus on clarity grades of VS2 or higher. Diamonds in the G-J color range combined with SI clarity are excellent values.
  • Consider an “Eye-Clean” diamond of grades VS1 or higher. Those inclusions are generally invisible to the naked eye.

Clarity of a diamond is generally considered the least important of the C’s, and that’s because almost all natural diamonds have slight internal and surface characteristics, most of them too small to be seen by the naked eye. When viewed using a magnification of 10X, they can take various forms such as tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. Diamonds possessing no such characteristics are categorized as Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF). In general, the greater the imperfections are in number and size, the lower the clarity grade. The Virgin Diamond diamonds are selected from the clarity grades of Flawless through SI2. And we go to great lengths to insure all SI1 and SI2 diamonds from The Virgin Diamond are ‘Eye Clean’.

F – No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.

IF – No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.

VVS1-VVS2 – Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see.

VS1-VS2 – Inclusions are clearly visible but can be characterized as minor.

SI1-SI2 – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader.

I1-I3 – Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.


Shape refers to a Diamond’s silhouette.

  • Cut is considered the most important of the 4Cs, so choose wisely. 
  • The Virgin Diamond only offers cuts grades from Very Good to Ideal.

Unique characteristics determine the quality of a diamond shape. A diamond’s sparkle is the result of how well it has been cut. Generally, the cut is considered the most important of the 4Cs. Aspects of cut are what determine the diamond’s beauty. Plus, symmetry and polish are key indicators. When a diamond is cut to exacting proportions—neither too deep nor too shallow—light will reflect inside the stone and appear to the eye in a flash of spectral colors. The Virgin Diamond standards are cut and polished to maximize their beauty.