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Diamond Grading & 4Cs Guide

The diamond 4Cs is a universal method used to access and grade the quality of a diamond. The 4Cs of diamond include Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. All of the diamond 4Cs contribute to the overall appearance of a diamond and its final value.

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Among the 4Cs of diamond characteristics, cut is the most important as it impacts the overall beauty of a diamond and also the only attribute that can be crafted by man. A diamond’s cut does not refer to its shape, it refers to the diamond’s proportion, symmetrical facets and polish achieved by the diamond cutter. When a diamond has been cut correctly, its facets’ ability to reflect and refract light is greatly enhanced to produce strong light performance (Brilliance, Fire, Sparkle, Light Symmetry).

The Key to Light Performance


Intense white light radiating out of the diamond.


Vivid flares of rainbow colour seen as light twists and turns within the diamond.


Dramatic luminous flashes of light bursting out from a diamond as it moves.

Light Symmetry

Light distribution throughout a diamond, affected by cut and birthmarks and expressed by the hearts and arrows representation.

GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and IGI (International Gemological Institute),
two of the world’s biggest diamond laboratories, grade diamond cut into five categories:

Reflects nearly all of the light with strong brilliance and fire. Represents roughly top 3% of fine diamond cut quality.
Properly reflects most of the light. Very similar to Excellent Cut but at a lower price. Represents roughly top 15% of fine diamond cut quality.
Offers outstanding brilliance and sparkle at a cost-effective price. Represents roughly top 25% of fine diamond cut quality.
Generates a decent amount of brilliance and fire.
Light escapes from the sides or bottom.

At Diamond & Platinum, we do not carry ‘Fair’ or ‘Poor’ diamond cuts as they are often unappealing, looking dull and small.

You may also read more about our super ideal cut diamond brand, Estrella Diamond, where it goes beyond the standard excellent cut and offers diamonds with maximum light performance. All Estrella Diamond achieves only the highest ultimate 3-star grading for light performance, proven with Sarine certificate, making it the crème de la crème of all diamonds.

Read about Estrella Diamond


Clarity is the least important of the 4Cs because the tiny imperfections are often too small to see with naked eye. Diamond clarity is based on the absence of inclusions and blemishes. Surface flaws are considered as “blemishes” and internal defects are considered as “inclusions.” The location of blemishes and inclusions can interfere with the diamond’s play with light. When this happens, the sparkle and brilliance of the diamond is dulled.

GIA and IGI grade diamond clarity on the Diamond Clarity Scale ranging in order:

At Diamond & Platinum, we do not carry diamonds under the ‘Included’ category. We recommend diamonds with clarity SI1 and above as inclusions and blemishes are not obvious to the naked eye. Inclusions and blemishes on diamonds with clarity SI1 and above also hardly interrupt with the diamonds’ ability to reflect and refract light, making your diamond sparkle. Sometimes, we do recommend diamonds with SI2 clarity, provided that the cut and colour are good enough to compensate for the low clarity.


The second most important of the 4Cs is colour. Diamond colour evaluation is based on the absence of colour. GIA and IGI grade diamonds from D to Z, with D being the most colourless, and Z containing noticeable brown or yellow tint.

In most cases, diamond colour distinctions between D to J are very subtle that they are invisible to the naked and untrained eye. However, these distinctions in colour can make a big difference in diamond quality and price.

At Diamond & Platinum, we only carry diamonds with ‘Colourless’ (D-F) and ‘Near Colourless’ (G-J) grade. Sometimes, we do carry K colour diamonds, provided that the cut and clarity are good enough to compensate for the low colour, providing good value for money diamond to our customers.


Diamond carat weight measures how much a diamond weigh. If all other characteristics of a diamond being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. However, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values and prices depending on the other three characteristics of the diamond 4Cs, Cut, Colour and Clarity.

The Diamond & Platinum Quality

Through our experience of over two decades in the industry, we have developed the ability to identify the best combinations of 4Cs that will bring great quality and value to our customers. While the unchosen diamond grades are usually much lower in price, they often lack the brilliance and sparkle that we look for in a diamond. Over the years, this emphasis on quality has brought trust and confidence to many of our customers as well as setting the standards for many of our peers in the industry.