Diamond Buyer’s Guide



Many people confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. Diamonds are cut into a number of shapes, depending on the nature of the rough diamond. The most popular are round, marquise, oval, pear, heart and emerald, and the choice is largely a matter of personal preference. Whatever the shape, however, a well-cut diamond is the work of a master diamond cutter. When cut to good proportions, the diamond is better able to handle light, creating more brilliance.

It is the cut that enables a diamond to make the best use of light.

  1. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispensed through the top of the diamond
  2. If the cut of the diamond is too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion
  3. If the cut is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected.


FL – No internal or external marks or blemishes when examined under the 10x Gem Microscope when examined by a skilled person.

VVS1 – Internal characteristics are very, very difficult to locate or see under 10x Gem Microscope by a skilled person.

VVS2 – Internal characteristics are very difficult to locate or see under 10x Gem Microscope by a skilled person.

VS1 – Internal characteristics are moderately difficult to locate or see under 10x Gem Microscope by a skilled person.

VS2 – Internal characteristics are slightly difficult to locate or see under 10x Gem Microscope by a skilled person.

SI1 – Readily seen at 10x. Invisible to the naked eye.

SI2 – Readily seen at 10x. Invisible to the naked eye from face up position, possibly visible from pavilion up position.

SI3 – Readily seen at 10x, slightly visible to the naked eye from the face up position.

I1 – One or more internal characteristics can be seen with unaided eye face up.

I2 – Internal characteristics likely to be seen with unaided eye. Obvious Internal characteristics affect brilliance and beauty.

I3 – Shattered appearance, disfiguring marks or diamonds that are in danger of breaking easily.


D through F – Colorless

F through J – Near Colorless, not distinguishable from colorless when mounted except with special procedures

K through M – Faint Yellow – Warm looking diamonds when mounted. Color distinguishable to trained eye.

N through Q – Very light to intense yellow color.

R through Z


Prices for diamonds do not increase in proportion to their size. If the size of a diamond doubles, its price is more than double. If it triples, its price is much much greater than triple. This is due to the rarity of larger gemstones.

The larger they are, the rarer they are.


diamond shapes

The six most popular shapes of a diamond:

  • marquise
  • heart
  • round
  • oval
  • emerald
  • pear

Proportions of Diamonds


Shallow – If the diamond is too shallow, part of the light leaks out the bottom.

Ideal – In a properly cut diamond, light entering the table and bezel facets is reflected back through the top.

Deep – If the diamond is cut too deep, much of the light leaks out the sides.


If you have any questions, please contact us.