Diamond Color Vs Clarity

After knowing of the science of sparkle and why you should never compromise on the diamond cut, you probably wonder if the other 4Cs can be flexed to suit your taste and budget. If the diamond cut requires only Excellent/Ideal grades by the top labs, is it the same for all the other diamond factors?

save money with IF Diamonds


Good news is, diamond color and diamond clarity can be easily compromised to get the biggest bang for your buck. There are tips and tricks where you wouldn’t even notice the difference with your bare eyes, and thus, save yourself a lot of money!

Now, I often get asked by readers about diamond color vs. clarity, and which one is more adjustable to get the best price for the best diamond. Which is more important?

Diamond Color vs Diamond Clarity

In this post, I will look into this issue from all angles. We’ll start with a rough guide on how to compromise on color and clarity. Then, I will draw a conclusion and explain which one will give you the best deal for your money. Sounds good? Read on!

How to Compromise on Diamond Clarity

I think we can all agree that opting for an eye-clean diamond (no inclusions seen with the naked eye) is one of the best industry secrets that you can discover before purchasing an engagement ring.

Browsing through diamonds at James Allen

In my experience, GIA diamonds with a clarity grade of VS1 or better are always eye-clean. This is why VS2, SI1, and SI2 grades are the perfect clarity range to browse for low-cost eye-clean stones.

The VS2 – SI2 range is comparably cheap, and there are quite some “gems” that can be found within that scope. You will also see “not eye-clean” diamonds in these grades, and this is why it is super important to have a close look at each diamond beforehand.

The pictures below are examples of eye-clean and not eye-clean diamonds within the VS2 – SI2 clarity range:

eye-clean and not eye-clean real life diamond examples within the VS2 - SI2 clarity range

You want to make sure you get an eye-clean diamond that has the lowest possible clarity grade like SI1 or SI2. These diamonds will be cheaper and can save you a lot of money.

The best place to examine diamonds up-close is James Allen with its magnified high definition 360° videos and Super Zoom! Currently, there is no other online diamond vendor that can offer a deeper look for every diamond in its inventory like James Allen.

A Word to the Wise:

However, you would have to take into consideration that you get to see 20x magnification of all the diamonds in James Allen. And its Super Zoom function lets you view up to 40x!

The thing is, diamonds are always graded with a 10x magnification loupe. With James Allen’s Super Zoom, you’ll even be able to make out small inclusions in IF-graded (internally flawless) diamonds!

James Allen Zoom

Thus, to truly know whether a diamond is eye-clean or not, I would only have a look at the standard 20x magnification. If there is an inclusion that is starkly noticeable, then it’s NOT eye-clean. But if the inclusion is hard to make out in 20x zoom (or only from a certain angle), then it’s probably eye-clean.

The more time you take, the more likely you will find eye-clean diamonds within the magic range. The bottom line in compromising on clarity is to make sure your diamond is eye-clean. Everything else wouldn’t make sense as noticeable inclusions immensely distract from the beauty of the gem.

 How to Compromise on Diamond Color



Compromising is far easier with diamond color than with diamond clarity. Basically, you can just pick the color grade that you want. You have to be aware though that the lower the clarity grade, the lower the price will be. In the table below, you can see how diamond prices go down together with the color grade (with all the other parameters remaining the same):

Diamond color vs. clarity? Price table showing the correlation of diamond color and price

As I have described in my post about diamond color, choosing any color grade higher than G is not the best idea if you are out there to get the best cost/performance ratio. Plus, it is highly unlikely for you to notice a hint of color from a top grade. Please check out this amazing diamond color simulator for a glimpse of what each color grade should look like:

James Allen diamond color simulator

If you want to make the best deal for your money, my recommendations for diamond color grades are as follows:

Color grades recommendations for your diamond

Just have a look at this color chart, and you will see why you don’t have to go for the best clarity grades:


Colorless Diamonds (D-F):

        • D colored diamond
        • E colored diamond
        • F colored diamond

Near Colorless Diamonds (G-J):

      • G colored diamond
      • H colored diamond
      • I colored diamond
      • J colored diamond

Faint Color Diamonds (K):

      • K colored diamond


As you can see, the variance between color grades is pretty evident when viewed from the side of the diamond. You might see a difference between a D and a G if they are held next to each other.

Furthermore, it’s exhibited so well in the examples above because you are looking at loose diamonds. But once your gem is set on a ring setting, it will pick up some of the metal's color and won't seem as tinted as it is.

Diamond Color vs. Clarity – So, Which One Should You Prioritize More?


Now, the thing you need to understand in this context is the following:

Once you have an eye-clean diamond and you cannot see any inclusions with your naked eye, a better clarity grade won’t be necessary. You could be lucky and have found an eye clean SI1 or SI2 stone. Because if you compared it to an IF  diamond, both would appear the same to the naked eye!

With the diamond color, however, it is different!

I do have to admit that I find it difficult to distinguish a D and an F diamond! On the other hand, setting a D and a G diamond apart is quite accomplishable. Thus, the diamond color is something that you would appreciate with your bare eyes if you make an effort to go for a better color grade.

The Bottom Line



I think that it is wiser to prioritize the diamond color, BUT only after you have made sure that your gem is eye-clean! Thus, if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, I would begin by filtering for diamonds within the VS1 – SI2 clarity range and try to look out for an eye-clean stone. The money you save on clarity can then be reinvested in color – or better yet – a bigger carat size!

If you aren’t sure if your diamond is eye-clean or not, please don’t hesitate to contact me via mail or drop a comment below. I usually answer within 24 hours! 🙂



Sebastian Naturski loves to write about diamonds and share his knowledge with his readers.
When he is not working on his website he is studying law at Humboldt University of Berlin.
He has taken part in several international law competitions and likes to broaden his horizons.
His other big passion are languages. He is fluent in German, English, Polish and Japanese and got basic skills in French and Spanish as well.


  1. Hi Sebastian, Thank you for the good information
    how can I calculate the price for gemstone in USD with the following data :
    Shape ….. Round Brilliant
    Meas ….. 4.59 – 4.63 x 2.96 mm
    Carat Weight …… 0.40 carat
    Color ……. G
    Cut ………. Very Good
    Clarity ….. VS2
    Polish …… Excellent
    Symmetry … Very Good
    Fluorescence …. None
    Thank you in advance

  2. Hi there…. please help me decide on which would be the better option. Am looking at 2 diamonds….
    G, VS2, 1.7
    H, VS1, 1.86
    Price for both is the same. What would you suggest?

    • Hi Sim,

      I would recommend the one with better cut proportions. And it’s also important to see if they’re eye clean or doesn’t contain any visible flaws. Color and size are subjective. Although I would always go for a G-VS2 for the best bang for the buck.

  3. Hello,

    I cannot decide between these 3ct stones:
    G-SI1 (if eye clean)

    I feel like G and H are told apart as G is whiter to some. So a GSI1 might be a better investment if the SI1 is truly eye clean. What do you think about this and also about a price tag of about 43K?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Matt,

      You’re right, G is usually preferred and if it is indeed eye clean, you can go for as low as SI1. The price will also depend on the cut, but I searched at James Allen and found more affordable diamonds with your preferred specs. Check them out here.

  4. Hello,

    Please advise on below 🙂 TY The diamond in pretty eye clean

    Carat 1.010
    Shape CU
    Color D
    Clarity SI3
    Depth 72.3%
    Table 59.7%
    Culet NONE
    Polish EXCELLENT
    Symmetry EXCELLENT
    Fluorescence FAINT

  5. Trying to decide between the following:
    Old Mine Brilliant Cut – 1.59 carat, M, VVS2
    Old European Cut – 1.56 carat, K, SI1
    Price about same $6 K

    • Hi Brian,

      These are both beautiful antique cuts, and as long as they’re eye clean, you may choose what looks good to you. 🙂

  6. I see a diamond thats 1.9 Carats, E color, but SI2 clarity. Cut is very good. Polish and Sym are very good but a strong blue fluresence. Thoughts?
    Comments say twinning wisps

    • Hi Eric,

      I would always recommend an Excellent or Ideal Cut. Polish and Symmetry can be Very Good. Color and Fluorescence are subjective. For Clarity, just make sure it’s eye clean. 🙂

  7. Hi Sebastian,
    18ct old band. 3 round brilliant cuts, total carat weight of stones is 1.52ct – 0.87 centre stone and 0.65 between the two side stones. Colour H, clarity SI. Unfortunately I have no other information. Is it a good buy at €6.5k?

    • Hi Lind,

      I can best determine if it’s a good buy with the exact cut proportions since the diamond cut is the most important factor. But you can get a guesstimate of the price with the specs available to you by trying out James Allen’s filter tool.

    • Hi Laura,

      I would always recommend an excellent/ideal cut for optimal sparkle. The diamond on the link has a “very good” cut grade, and it’s cut proportions are outside my recommended proportions for round cut and super ideal cut. It also has a deep pavilion that will make it appear smaller than it is. Please refer to the standard proportions of a round diamond in this post to assure you’ll have a brilliant diamond.

  8. Hi Sebastian. What do you think about these two which is better?
    0.7, J, VSI, GOOD CUT
    0.75, J, SI2, VERY GOOD CUT.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Edd,

      Since we should always prioritize the diamond cut, I would choose the second one that has a Very Good Cut. But I urge you to look for an Excellent Cut and make sure it’s eye clean or there are no visible inclusions to the naked eye since SI2 and sometimes VS1 may still have diamonds that aren’t eye clean.

    • Hi Jo,

      Thanks, glad to be of help! It’s a tough choice as both diamonds are excellent and within super ideal cut proportions. At this point, you may choose the one that looks good to you or the one where you can save more.

  9. I am looking into 2 diamonds can you please suggest which one to go for

    Carat weight 1.50
    Shape Round
    Cut  Ideal
    Color  H
    Clarity  VS2
    Length/width ratio  1.01
    Depth %  62.8%
    Table %  58.0%
    Polish  Excellent
    Symmetry  Very Good
    Fluorescence None
    Measurement 7.32 x 7.23 x 4.57 mm

    Carat weight 1.30
    Shape Round
    Cut  Ideal
    Color  F
    Clarity  VS2
    Length/width ratio  1.00
    Depth %  63.0%
    Table %  55.0%
    Polish  Excellent
    Symmetry  Excellent
    Girdle  Medium to Slightly Thick
    Measurements 6.93 x 6.95 x 4.37 mm

    • Hi Amuh,

      Can you please provide the crown angle and pavilion angle? They’re the most important proportions in the diamond cut. Thanks!

  10. Hi, my fiancé just upgraded my diamond from Jared’s. Can you please inform if this was a good buy. Its a 2.03 princess cut, ideal, E, Si2 with following proportions: Depth 71.6, Table 68%girdle thick, polish excellent and symmetry very good. He paid about 12,000 with a discount. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!! Thanks,

    • Hi Natasha,

      Your diamond is within my suggested cut proportions. It also has a nice color and is fairly priced. I just hope it’s eye clean or there’s no visible inclusions/flaws. If it is, then it’s a good buy!

  11. I have 3 round diamonds to choose: a) 1.50 Carat, Excellence Cut, E color, SI2 clarity b) 1.70 carat, Excellence Cut, H color, SI2 clarity – same price as a); c) 2.00 carat, Excellence Cut, H color, SI1 clarity $6k more. I like the whiteness of a, the price of b, and overall stats on c (except price). What is your assessment? I do not have more specific measurements. They are from a reputable jeweler and not man-made.

    • Hi Deanne,

      Are they all eye clean (no visible inclusions or flaws)? I’m sure the diamonds have a grading report since they’re from a reputable jeweler. Can you look into those and get back to me with the diamond cut proportions (table, depth, crown, & pavilion %) so I could give you a detailed feedback? Thanks. 🙂

  12. Hi Sebastian. Wow, all the information you provide is amazing- thank you!
    Would it be possible to get your opinion on the following stone:


    CARAT WEIGHT 2.00 Carat
    Measurements 8.18 – 8.25 x 4.87 mm
    Table Size 60.5%
    Crown Height – Angle 12.5% – 32.2°
    Pavilion Depth – Angle 43.5% – 40.9°
    Culet POINTED
    Total Depth 59.2%
    Thank you in advance!!

  13. Hello,
    Can you give me your professional opinion on which diamond you believe is the best value for the money. Each carry the same price tag- $2,850. Both are Leo Diamonds:
    1) .99 ctw- 5.05 x 5.01 x 3.99 (has original GSI & GEMEX Report, original receipt, warranty, extended service plan); Near Colorless G, Clarity of SI1 (eye clean) and Polish Symmetry: very good/good (no treatments). In person this is a beautiful stone. Not sure if it means much but this one scored off the charts for very high in all three categories (brilliance, fire, sparkle) on the GEMEX Light Performance report
    2) .97 ctw- 5.57 x 5.33 x 3.98 (has copies of GSI & Gemex Report); Near Colorless I, Clarity of VS1 and Polish Symmetry: good/good (no treatments). I have not seen this stone in person but it looks good in pictures. It scored very high in 2 out of 3 categories (fire & sparkle) on the GEMEX Light Performance report.
    Which one do you believe would be the better option?


  14. Hi I am currently debating between 2 round diamonds
    1.02 Ct, ideal cut , E colour, vs2
    1.24 CT, very good cut, E colour , Vs2
    the 1.24 CT diamond costs 1.5 k more , which would you go with? is it better to with the larger diamond at a worst cut?

    • Hi Philip,

      It’s always best to opt for the best possible cut. That said, I would choose the 1.02 carat-diamond. Hopefully it’s also eye clean. 🙂

  15. I am interested in purchasing a princess cut -1.01 5.27-5.28×4.03mm M Colour ,S11 Clarity , Diamond is laser inscibed . It is cast in 18ct gold measures appox 2.55mm and spreads to 6.02mm , 4 claws set. IWould this be be woth $4000.00

    • Hi Maureen,

      Can you provide the diamond cut specifics so I can give a better analysis? By the way, I would always recommend an Excellent/Ideal Cut.

  16. I found two one diamond necklace.
    1. F color, Good cut, SI2 clarity and 0.3 carat. (1100 USD, platinum chain)
    2. D color, H&C cut, VVS1 clarity, 0.185 carat. (2000 USD, platinum chain)
    But the price is almost double up with D color one. I am not sure it is worth to buy D color one?

    • Hi Khin,

      The price almost doubled not just because of the color, but mainly because of the H&C or H&A Cut. It’s the highest of all cut grades and exhibits a distinct pattern. I would always recommend going for an excellent or ideal cut. H&A is even better, but of course, pricier. And to be honest, you won’t really see the difference in color between F and D with those carat sizes. So it’s best to opt for the best cut grade, opt for a G color, then go bigger on carat size.

      • Many thanks Sebastian for your helpful advice. I will look for more option as you suggested.

    • Hi Nick,

      I would recommend opting for an excellent or ideal cut as the diamond cut determines your stone’s sparkle. Diamond pricing differs depending on the 4Cs and other factors. But take a look at these diamonds from James Allen. They’re set according to your diamond’s proportions but with excellent cut.

  17. Hi Sebastian,
    I was hoping to get your opinion on the diamond below. We have purchased it for $4100 to go along with a simple rose gold solitaire setting. Initially, I was uncertain about the L color grade, but the diamond was so brilliant, flawless and just beautiful in person and I couldn’t see a difference between other J/K diamonds we viewed. Would love to get your opinion on our choice. Thank you in advance!

    6.87 – 6.89 x 4.27 mm
    Carat Weight
    1.24 carat
    Color Grade: L
    Clarity Grade: Internally Flawless
    Cut Grade: Excellent
    Depth: 62.0 %
    Table: 59 %
    Crown Angle: 35.0°
    Crown Height: 14.5%
    Pavilion Angle: 41.2°
    Pavilion Depth: 43.5%
    Star Length: 50%
    Lower Half: 80%
    Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted, 4.0%
    Culet: None
    Polish: Excellent
    Symmetry: Excellent
    Fluorescence: None


    • Hi Liz,

      The Rose Gold setting is a great choice as it makes the L-colored diamond appear whiter than it is. As for the measurements, the table is a bit off by almost 2% since the standard round cut proportion is 52.4-57.5, but all the other specs are within the standard proportions. I would usually recommend an eye clean VS2 clarity as any grade beyond VS2 is unnoticeable by the naked eye. Your diamond will appear brighter with the right table and you’ll save money with a lower clarity grade. However, your diamond is still excellent and if it looks good to you, then you’ve made the right choice.

  18. which would you choose (pricing is around the same):
    1 ct, good cut, F color, VS2, excellent polish, symmetry good, depth 73.2 and 70.0, table 77 each, l/w ration 1.03
    1.20 ct, very good cut, E color, SI2, excellent polish, symmetry very good, depth 72.1 and 73, table 69.0 and 68.0, l/w ration 1.02 and 1.01

    these are earrings.


    • Hi Honey Rock,

      I would only recommend an excellent or ideal cut and the proportions above are way off. Please refer to this diamond cut guide – cut is the most important factor in the diamond 4Cs.

  19. Could you give any advice on purchasing a lab created diamond like from Brillant Earth?

    • Hi Alex, just like any other online purchase, you must first do your research. Make sure the diamond you’re looking at has excellent 4Cs and is backed by a legit diamond grading certificate from credible labs such as GIA. Brilliant Earth is a reputable company, so you can expect high quality and accurate information. Avoid misleading brands by doing your homework. 🙂

  20. Hi! Thank you so much for this article! What do you think of this diamond (dimensions below): 1.50 carat/I color/VS1 clarity.
    I have chosen to make cut and clarity the most important factors, however I am worried about the color in a platinum solitaire ring setting. The 360 video and image online looks extremely white face up, but I am not sure if I can trust that. Should I worry so much about color? I do not want to go up significantly in price and I think I have selected well in the other aspects.
    The HCA says Very Good, worth buying if price is right.
    Dimensions are as follows:
    Ideal Cut
    Depth – 60.6%
    Table – 59.0%
    Crown Angle – 34.5
    Pavilion Angle – 41.2
    Girdle – Thin-Slightly Thick
    Symmetry – Very Good
    Polish – Very Good
    Fluorescence- None

    • Hi Sarah, please refer to my recommended cut proportions below:
      Standard Round Cut
      Depth – 56.88-63.92
      Table – 52.4-57.5
      Crown Angle – 33.7-35.8
      Pavilion Angle – 40.2-41.25
      Girdle – Thin-Medium

      Super Ideal Cut
      Depth – 61-62.5
      Table – 54-57
      Crown Angle – 34-35
      Pavilion Angle – 40.6-41
      Girdle – Thin-Medium

      As for color, I would recommend a G color for your chosen carat weight. You may go as low as SI1 or VS2 in clarity as long as it’s eye clean or there aren’t any visible inclusions.

  21. Hi Sebastian, which would you choose? a 2.05 D SI2 triple X
    TBL: 57% Girdle…..MED to STK(3.5%)
    CA: 35.0 degrees Culet …………..NON
    ST: 50% Fluorescence….. Medium Blue
    TD:62.2% Eye clean
    PA:41.2 degrees
    LH: 80 %
    OR 2.47 carat I SI2 triple X eyeclean
    table: 57% Depth: 62.3%
    crown angle: 36.0degrees
    crown height :15.5 %
    Pavilion angle 40.6 degrees pavilion depth 43.0%
    star length :50 % lower half : 80 %
    culet; none fluorescence None
    OR 1.23 carat F VVS all hand cut tiffany diamond
    All of these diamonds are around the same price.
    waiting to hear.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Since there are no cut proportions indicated for the third diamond, I chose between diamond 1 and 2. Both have excellent dimensions, but the crown angle and pavilion angle of diamond 2 are more balanced. Thus, I would recommend diamond 2.

      • Hi Sebastian . I have the dimensions for the third diamond 1.23
        total depth percentage: 62.1% table size: 57%
        crown height: 15.5% crown angle: 35.5 degrees
        pavilion depth percentage: 43.0% pavilion angle: 40.7 degrees
        girdle thickness: medium to slight thick girdle finish: faceted
        cutlet : none lower half percentage: 80% star length percentage: 50%
        Also the second diamond is NOT eye clean but hard to see the carbon is hidden. could you give me your recommendation noting from these details as to which diamond is the best investment from the three? waiting to hear, Barbara Thank you for your time ! This has been very informative for me.

        • Hi Barbara,

          If the third diamond is eye clean, then it’s definitely the best choice for cut and light performance as it bears a more balanced crown angle and pavilion angle. But if you can’t make out the inclusion in Diamond 2 and it looks good to you, or you prefer a bigger diamond, then it’s all a matter of personal taste. Good luck!

  22. Hi Sebastian,
    Which is the better diamond to choose?
    1) 2.06 carat g vs1
    2) 2.22 carat j vvs2
    Assuming the cut is the same.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Karen,

      Check which one has better cut proportions and is eye clean. Those are the two most important factors. 🙂

  23. Hi Sebastian,

    This was a really informative article. Thank you so much for sharing. I am ordering a diamond with 1.01carat/I/VVS2 soon since this was the only one available in HK at the moment. It also says square modified brilliant since my gf wants a princess cut. Shape and cutting style – square modified brilliant, 5.54 x 5.51 x 3.93mm for measurement. What do you think of this ring? I would really appreciate your help in this. Thank you!

    • Hi Ed,

      Glad you liked it! Can you please provide the cut proportions of your diamond (found in the grading report) so I can give a detailed feedback? Thanks!

        • Hi Ed,

          Kindly refer to these cut proportions when choosing a round diamond:

          Standard Round Cut
          Depth – 56.88-63.92
          Table – 52.4-57.5
          Crown Angle – 33.7-35.8
          Pavilion Angle – 40.2-41.25
          Girdle – Thin-Medium

          Super Ideal Cut
          Depth – 61-62.5
          Table – 54-57
          Crown Angle – 34-35
          Pavilion Angle – 40.6-41
          Girdle – Thin-Medium

          • I see. Got it. Thank you so much for your help, Sebastian!

  24. Hi Sebastian,
    I am looking at these diamonds and cant seem to make up my mind. It will be placed on a paved setting with platinum ring. All diamond round with Ideal / Excellent cut:

    1) 0.92 ct / I / VVS1 / Fluorescence – None – $4164
    2) 0.92 ct / I / IF / Fluorescence None – $4436
    3) 0.90 ct / H / VVS2 / Fluorescence – medium blue – $4292
    4) 0.90 ct/ H / VVS2 / Fluorescence – None – $4521

    Thank you for all your help.

  25. Thank you for an informative article. My question is about small calibrated stones. Is it better to go for clarity or colour? My proposal is to use six small (about .15ct each according to a recent valuation, by eye about 2mm or so) matched dark blue sapphires removed from a vintage piece, alternating with white diamonds in a yellow gold anniversary band. I may set the stones in white gold. I’m aware that the yellow gold may lend its colour to the diamonds. I seem to recall too that sapphires are heavier than diamonds, so the .15 sapphire may equal a much smaller diamond. Your thoughts most appreciated.

    • Hi Cecile,

      Clarity would be irrelevant given the sapphire stones’ small size and dark hue. Thus, you may go for a better color and cut, even for your white diamonds.

  26. Dear Sebastian,
    Thank you for your essay I learnt a lot reading from it. I am planning to buy a ring but I am having a really hard time deciding which one to buy.

    The first one is 3.01ct E/SI1, US$49,487
    The second one is 3.07ct I/VS1, US$46,153

    I also have the GIA report if you would like to take a look. Thank you so much for your time and expertise I really appreciate it if you could give me some advice.

    • Thanks, Justin!

      Please let me know of the diamonds’ GIA reports so I can give you a detailed feedback. 🙂

  27. Hi Sebastian,
    What a FANTASTIC site! Super informative!!
    My son has an engagement ring setting that he’s purchased (halo with diamonds down the shank) and he’s now on the hunt for a loose diamond on the James Allen site that will be within his budget but he’s not sure where to spend the money. The setting is 14K white gold, .71 carats, G SI1. He’s got about 2500 (ish) to spend and isn’t sure if he should go a bit bigger in the diamond, or what to focus on with cut/color/clarity given the setting. He would like at least a .7 to .8. Any help you could provide would be very appreciated!!! 🙂

  28. Today, we just purchased an e ring from Rogers jewelry for a 1.21 carat, F color, SI2, ideal cut – fire and ice for $10759 include mount and ring. Do you think this was a good buy? As it’s an SI2. From the naked eye I was not able to see anything but when I loop it, I can see a little bit of inclusions, however this diamond was really bright and bling so much more than the one I looked at Kenny g jewelry at 1.52 carat, g color, vs2 triple x cut at 15.251. What are your thoughts ? Thank you ,

      • Hi , sorry it took awhile to respond as I just received the ring. However. The cut grade is AGS ideal 0 for light performance, polish and symmetry. As for the measurement is shows 6.96 – 6.99 x 4.16mm, not sure if that’s what you’re asking me? 59.6% across, 12.8% thin to medium, 43.9% faceted , then left side says 59.7% down. I am now debating on exchanging for a better diamond? Please let me know your thoughts, thank you.

        • Hi Mary,

          Kindly refer to these proportions:

          Standard Round Cut
          Depth – 56.88-63.92
          Table – 52.4-57.5
          Crown Angle – 33.7-35.8
          Pavilion Angle – 40.2-41.25
          Girdle – Thin-Medium

          And read this post on Diamond Cut to give you a better idea. 🙂

  29. hello sebastion.

    aI am looking for a engagement ring but am still not exactly sure what is a nice stone…. i am looking between 2-2.5 carat diamond … not sure if i should go with si1 or si2 – color d-h…. if you can recommened going with higher color or clarity…. also should it have no flouresence or strong flouresence thank you

    • Hi Frank,

      You can actually go as low as SI2, just make sure your diamond is eye clean. By eye clean, I mean you shouldn’t be seeing any inclusions. G-F is a good color for 2-2.5 carats. And fluorescence is actually up to you. If you don’t want to see a blue tint, then you should go with no fluorescence, but if you enjoy the blue glow, then you may opt for a diamond with fluorescence.

    • Hi Cathy,

      Yes, you can get away with the color as yellow gold is complimentary to J-K colors. The diamonds may be small, but a higher clarity grade will boost their brilliance as there will be less inclusions to block the light. However, if you’re okay with less sparkle and you cannot make out any flaw in the diamonds, then the I1 clarity should be fine. It’s still up to you. 🙂

  30. Hi Sebastian! I am looking to replace my mom’s engagement for her (after a family member pawned it!!) I am thinking yellow 14k gold and 1 carat marquise. I found a diamond, G color, SI2, 10 x 4.84 x 3.75mm. Does it sound like a decent diamond and approximately how much would it go for? This diamond is a bit over my set budget right now, but if it is decent, I will get the money somehow. Thanks

    • Hi there, Selena!

      I would usually go for higher color and clarity for 1 carat marquise cuts as the body color and inclusions are more evident. But if your diamond is eye clean (no visible inclusions) and you’re okay with a hint of color then G-SI2 should be fine. Take a look at these diamonds with your parameters to have an idea of the pricing.

  31. Thank you, Sebastian, for this detailed article. I’m currently looking for an engagement ring and found the following two options for a diamond through an online website.

    Can you please let me know which of the following option should I go with? They are almost identical except for their color and clarity.
    Color: J, Clarity: VVS2

    Color: H, Clarity: SI2

    Also, please let me know if Bluenile is a reliable website. I’ve never bought any jewelry in my life and have no idea if this is the best deal I can find.

    Thank you in advance. Looking forward to your reply. 🙂

    • Hi Bkhan,

      Between the two stones, the first one seems like a better choice simply because the second gem isn’t eye clean. As you can see, a dark inclusion is pretty evident at the center of the table of the diamond. The first gem should be fine if you’re not too picky about color.

      Blue Nile is a reputable online diamond shop, but there are other shops like James Allen and Brian Gavin that could give you a wider selection and a more in-depth view of each diamond. Goodluck! 🙂

  32. I’m after a diamond around 1.8ct. There’s one that’s J SI1 very good cut & eye clean. I’m after a bigger stone but am I aiming too low in the color & cut? I used the Halloway Cut Advisor & it came up as excellent and 1.5. Table 58%, depth 61.8%. Crown 34.5•, pavilion 40.7•,
    Nil flouroscence. $15k AUD including platinum setting.

    • Hi Rosie,

      The Holloway Cut Adviser isn’t really a selection tool, but a tool for weeding out diamonds with a bad light performance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take all the facets that have impact on the light performance into consideration. So, I wouldn’t recommend using it if you’re looking for the best cut. And since cut is the most important factor in the 4Cs, I would advise opting for an excellent/ideal as it’s much needed especially for bigger gems.

      The color grade depends on your preferences. If you can live with the subtle yellow tint of J color, then all you have to think about is the cut. Check out these diamonds on James Allen that has your parameters. They’re actually more affordable. Goodluck!

  33. Your comments are excellent and highly informative.
    Will u please tell the approximate cost of following diamond ring.
    0.33 carats round
    D.E color. vvs Clarity
    Good cut

    • Hi Ranganayaki,

      Thanks for your feedback! Diamonds are priced depending on their manufacturer/vendor, so I couldn’t give you an estimate. But if you’ll look at James Allen’s filter tool here, you can get an idea of your 4Cs’ price range. Although I wouldn’t recommend a good cut, so if you can, please opt for an Ideal/Excellent cut to assure optimal light performance. Goodluck!

  34. Hi Sebastian. I am purchasing a rectangular radiant shape diamond 1 carat (or slightly under) on a white gold halo setting and I’m wondering if you can give me feedback as to what cut to choose, color, and clarity for the best bang for my buck? Your articles were extremely helpful. Last diamond I saw was E color and SI3 with an inclusion that was visible to the eye. Even my partner was discouraged. Any feedback would help. Thank you!

    • Hi Saida,

      Thanks for your feedback! Radiants’ large facets would require high color and clarity grading as they can easily display imperfections. I would always recommend the best cut possible and an eye clean stone. So, opt for an excellent/ideal cut and you may go lower in clarity as long there’s no visible inclusions. The sweet spot is between SI1-VS1. For color, I suggest F-G color.

      Hope that helps, cheers!

  35. Hi Sebastian

    Please can you help me… I have recently lost the diamond out of my engagement ring. Very Sad 🙁
    I have apprx $3200 US to spend on a diamond. I’m looking for a round cut and around 0.74. The ring is yellow gold but setting is platinum
    What is the best color, clarity to go for?
    It’s so overwhelming…

    • Hi Laura,

      So sorry to hear that. I’m sure you’ll find one that’s just as special. 🙂 Now, I would recommend VS1-VS2 for clarity and an H color if it will be set on a platinum setting. Actually, you may still upgrade carat-wise or opt for the best cut/proportions possible because diamonds in your preferred specs are usually priced lower than the budget you mentioned. Take a look at these diamonds filtered with your 4Cs on James Allen.

      Hope that helps, cheers!

  36. I am looking for diamond stud earrings mounted on white gold for a valentines gift. I have it narrowed to two choices and would like your input as to what would look better on her ear in terms of sparkle vs size etc.:
    1. 1.0 TCW Color = F Clarity = VS2 ($900.00)
    2. 1.21 TCW Color= H Clarity = VS1 ($1,040)

  37. hi how about a round diamond .90ct VVS1 G
    6.19-6.24 x 3.79 mm
    table is 56%
    depth is 61%
    crown is 34%

    paid for 7,084.51 cad for everything (setting,duties and tax). Do you think its a worth it price? Thanks

  38. I am about to purchase a 18 Ct White Gold Setting
    1 Ct Round Brilliant Cut Diamond
    Si1/H Clarity and Colour GIA Certified for 7000 dollars is it a good price? Help please.

    • Hi Yazmin,

      Can you please provide the cut grade? I won’t be able to say much if there’s no cut grade as it’s the most important factor when evaluating a diamond. I would recommend an excellent of ideal cut. Although very good cuts are sometimes okay if the gem is within ideal proportions. Other than that, make sure it’s eye clean since it’s in the SI1 clarity range.

      Maybe you can provide the exact proportions and image/video of the diamond, so we can better know if it’s a good deal. Cheers! 🙂

  39. Hi –
    I looked at a round brilliant 2.20 carat diamond today. The clarity was SI2, color was K and it was a triple excellent in polish, symmetry and cut grade. I’m not sure whether I should proceed with the process. I’m extremely hesitant about the color grade but the triple excellence really makes the diamond shine especially since the cut grade is perfect. It is also GIA certified. I do see a black carbon with my naked eye if I focus enough on the spot it is on which is around 6 o’clock. What is your opinion on this diamond and how much do you think I should spend on it?

    • Hi Abigail,

      A Triple Excellent doesn’t mean much if the cut is not really perfect. GIA gives an Excellent cut grade to diamonds that are outside of super ideal cut proportions (34.0° – 35.0° crown angle and 40.6° – 41.0° pavilion angle). Also, if you can see an inclusion with your naked eyes, then it should be avoided. This is all I can say without seeing the diamond and knowing more about the exact proportions.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  40. Hello,
    I am currently looking at a 6.55 pear shaped diamond with 2 GIA certificates. it measures 16.60X11.49X5.11 proportions: table 45% table and depth 43.7%.

    The GIA describes it as a type IIa diamond. It is a VVS1 However, the color grade is L faint brown and has a faint fluorescence. Should I even consider this stone with the L color?

    • Hello Jasmine,

      L colored diamonds should only be considered for yellow gold rings. Even then, J or K color might be better. Also, the excellent cut proportions for pear shapes are:
      Table %: 53-63
      Depth %: 58-62

      This means the proportions you’ve provided are way off. To achieve optimal brilliance, you might want to consider better options out there. Goodluck! 🙂

  41. Hi sebastian. Your page is awesome! I am having difficulty in choosing between these two:
    1. 0.9 crt, F color, vvs2, excellent cut, flourence none; or
    2. 1.17 crt, I color, vvs2, excellent cut, flourencr none.

    People are telling me to better get the F color diamond but for of course the I color diamond is bigger.

    Your input would really really help me 🙂


    • Hi there, Gaby!

      Thanks for your feedback. 🙂 Now, let’s get to your query. F color is usually an overkill and an I-color diamond will still look great on any white gold or platinum engagement ring. Know more about The Best Diamond Color for White Gold Rings here. And if you can get more carat this way and the price is about the same, then the second option seems like a better deal.

      Hope that helps, cheers!

    • Hi there, Howie! I would go for the latter because the grades better than VS1 won’t give you the maximum value for your money. Opt for an Eye Clean SI1-VS1 instead as they’re cheaper, but still bear superb quality in terms of clarity.

  42. Which one of these diamonds suppose to have more sparkle? h-vvs2 or the d-si1? They r both ideal cut an they r both over a carat!

    • Hello Mikey,

      Cut determines the sparkle of the diamond. So, what you can do is to take a look at the grading report (preferably GIA or AGS) of the gem and check which one has better proportions. Here’s a reference of the ideal cut proportions: https://yourdiamondteacher.com/diamond-4cs/cut/

      Also, make sure that they are eye clean, the gem that shows no visible inclusions especially on the table facet is the better choice. Cheers! 🙂

  43. Hello Sebastian I just purchased a 1.3 ct. D color Si2 oval diamond set in a Platinum ring. I paid $9200. Just wanted to know if you think my purchase is a good, fair, or bad deal. Thank you Dave

    • Hi Dave,

      There are other factors that determine the quality of the diamond than just the 4Cs. Is your diamond eye clean or does it show no visible inclusions? Is it GIA or AGS certified? Maybe you can show me the exact picture or 360-degree video, so I can better assess your gem. 🙂

  44. Hi Sebastian,
    I need your help, which is between this diamond do I have to choose
    F VS1, G VS and G SI1
    And does the size important

    I would appreciate if you would answer my question

    • Hi Lita,

      I would prefer G VS and G SI1 if they’re eye clean. And the importance of carat size depends on your liking. If you have a big budget, why not go bigger. But bigger isn’t always better as it’s all about the cut.

      Hope that helps, cheers! 🙂

  45. I was able to find a E & F color at SI1 clarity at a local outlet mall for $4499 ea. It’s a $9,000 diamond and I got it for a steal. Guys out there, the ring is going to come in 3 parts: the Diamond, the band, and the head/labor…be sure to leave wiggle room in your budget. ie, if your budget is $6,000 try to keep the diamond around $4,000…the band and workmanship could cost another $2,000 depending if it has a halo or other smaller diamonds associated with it; or if it is platinum expect to pay extra.

    • Hi J,

      That’s a great deal especially if the diamonds bear excellent cuts. And you’re right about leaving a wiggle room in the budget, however, for online diamond shops, you will have to filter loose diamonds first, then the setting and the band, and that’s it. You can find complete rings for less than the added value of $2,000. Today’s reputable online shops have advanced filter tools to make the search way easier for you. 🙂

  46. Hi Sebastian,
    Can you please let me know which one is better for me to purchase,
    0.74 princess cut G-I2 polished good 14white gold $5.999
    0.73 princess cut H-I1 polished, good 18c white gold $6.699
    Thank you

  47. What is the fluorescence of a diamond?
    I see none; faint; med blue & strong blue.
    Which is the most desirable?
    Thank you:)

    • Hi Jean,

      Desirability actually depends on your liking. Diamond fluorescence describes a diamond’s response to UV light. And the most common color is blue which applies to around 98% of all diamonds with fluorescence. There are however diamonds with white, yellow, green, and even pink fluorescence.

      The thing is, they can look impressive and be around 10% – 15% cheaper, but sometimes, they can also cause haziness in a diamond. In cases where the fluorescence does not cause any haziness, then there would only be pros. Take a look at this post to know more: https://yourdiamondteacher.com/diamond-4cs/color/diamond-fluorescence-good-bad/

    • Hi Jessie,

      There are a few factors to consider a diamond good. First is the cut. Does it have a great cut? Always opt for an excellent or ideal cut. Although, in some cases, very good cuts will do. Next, do you like this color? Then, for SI2, is it eye clean or is there no visible dark inclusions? The only way to know – if not in person – is to see its photo or video in 20x magnification like what James Allen offers. If you’ve said yes to all three and the gem is backed by GIA or AGS, then that diamond has good quality indeed.

      Hope this answers your question, cheers!

    • Hey Aaron,

      Since all of them have the same cut, except for the last one, I would exclude the worst cut of the bunch. Given the same carat weight and color range, it then all boils down to the first three diamonds in terms of clarity. And upon seeing the gems in 20x magnification, it’s apparent that the first two contain dark, visible inclusions on the table facet and near the corner of the gem. So, since the golden rule is to consider eye clean diamonds, I would recommend the thrid one for you to pick.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  48. Hi Sebastian,
    I would like to take your opinion in which of these two tennis bracelet would you choose:
    1. I-J color / VVS-VS clarity / pieces is Round Cut on a white cold metal
    2. F-G color / SI clarity / pieces is Round Cut on a white cold metal

    • Hi there Dana,

      The choice depends on one’s preference. Would you like to see a more icy-white color (F-G) or would a hint of yellow (I-J) be okay? For the clarity, I usually recommend VS2 because it’s virtually eye clean and is much affordable. Although there are also eye clean SI1s as well. For VVS, you won’t really notice the difference when it’s compared to a VS clarity gem.

      So, before I choose, I would have to view them in 20x magnification or 360° HD videos like the one on James Allen to guarantee that it’s eye clean. And if both diamonds are eye clean, then the only choice left is the color to your liking. 🙂

  49. Thank you so much for the James Allen recommendation. I was literally about to buy a diamond based on sample photos/GIA report renderings. Was about to buy a VS2 with a big gash the middle, just because of the clarity rating and not understanding what that would look like. Now I can actually see what those inclusions mean! Can’t believe other sites don’t have actual photos…

    • Hi Mike,

      Glad to hear that! That’s why James Allen is currently the best. Their website technology attracts modern shoppers and smart consumers. People have been buying blindly for years, so it’s nice to get a professional upgrade in online diamond shopping. 🙂


  50. Hi, I’ve been reading your guides and I must say I would recommend this to anyone. The images and explanations are amazing…

    Anyway, I’m having a tough time because of either declining site or just being overwhelmed by what you call Brick Store sales. We have a very well known Jewelry store here in Omaha called Borsheims but they seem to more for the Rich and Famous.

    I guess I’m looking for the perfect setup for my future wife. I’d like to get her something that our children would admire years from now after were gone but on a limited budget ($4 – $5K) with 2 – 3 Years of payments.

    Anyway, we came upon something called Canadian Rocks and they seem to provide allot of detail in regards to their diamonds and ideal cuts with their own grading system. I seem to be able to pickup the color is a bit more yellow for a clear diamond and they have SI1’s but I don’t seem to be able to pick out eye clean for a princes cut or is it even possible? I’m guessing with princess we need to go to much higher quality diamond?

    Anyway, through all of this turmoil I’ve learned that I need reading glasses and will have them in the next few days and so maybe the search will get easier.

    With my goals of getting the best diamond for my buck would you recommend against a princess or Canadian Rocks? They don’t seem to provide loose diamonds at all from the store we visited…

    Thanks In Advance

    • Hi Don,

      Thanks for your feedback! Canadian Rocks is a reputable company and Eye Clean SI1 princess cuts do exist. But, if you would like to see more choices and actually see the diamonds through 360-degree HD videos and up to 40x magnification, I’d recommend visiting the James Allen website. Virtually all their diamonds are graded by top US labs – GIA and AGS.

      Even if you don’t buy from James Allen, skimming through their collection and cuztomizing your search through their filter tool will give you an idea if the 4Cs you had in mind or Canadian Rocks is still worth it. 🙂

      Best of luck to your search!

    • Hi Carnell,

      It all depends on the cut. If what you have is an excellent/ideal cut, then you should definitely ask more. Even more if it is Eye Clean or there’s no visible dark inclusions. Here’s the price range of your diamond’s specs in James Allen to give you an idea.

      Goodluck! 🙂

  51. Hey James,

    Which would you choose between these 3?
    First one is $800 more than the last two.
    1) 2ct, I color, SI1, Good Cut, Medium Blue Fluorescence
    2) 2ct, I color, SI2, Good Cut, No Fluorescence
    3) 2.01ct, I color, SI2, Very Good Cut, No Fluorescence

    • Hi Jack,

      I would recommend an excellent/ideal cut, but if these are your only choices, I’d definitely pick the one with a better cut which is #3.


  52. Hi Sebastian,
    Thanks for the info. Why is cut important? I am looking to upgrade my ring and was offered a diamond the following diamond D SI3 $5700. Because I don’t know much about diamonds, its hard for me to determine of this is a good buy. The diamond is certified but not GIA certified. Any help would be great.

    • Hi Kk,

      Cut is the most important characteristic of a diamond because it determines its light and visual performance. If your gem is cut in excellent proportions, then the light that will pass through in and out of it will be unobstructed, and thus, will give your diamond a superb sparkle!

      I would recommend a GIA or AGS certified diamond, but if not, make sure it’s Eye Clean. Meaning, you can’t see inclusions/flaws in 10x magnification. It’s best to see the diamond before buying because no two diamonds are alike even if they’re in the same grade. Why don’t you check out James Allen’s website for starters.

      Use the filter tool to find a diamond to your liking, then view it with their 360-degree HD video. They’re currently the best diamond shop because of this technology. This will show you how various grades differ and eventually give you an idea if the gem you’re being offered is indeed a good buy.

      Goodluck! 🙂

  53. My daughter and her boyfriend are looking for an engagement ring. She wants 14kt or 18kt yellow gold. Would it be okay to go with an eye clean (meaning nothing visible to the naked eye) in an SI1 and be fine b/c it is in a yellow gold setting? Also because it is in the yellow gold setting it would be fine to get anything in a GH color? Thank you! Enjoy your day!

    • Hi Molly,
      Absolutely! The diamond with eye clean SI1 clarity and G/H color would appear whiter against the yellow gold setting. So it’s totally fine to compromise with color and clarity. As long as you opt for the best cut and it’s eye clean, you got yourself a great deal. 🙂

  54. 0.43 / D / 3ex / si1 (comes wid mini diamonds on d side of the ring)
    0.43/ E / 3ex / vs1 (simple ring)…
    Which is best…??

    Having a dilemma… Price 30usd difference (si1 cheaper)

    • Hi Vishal,

      I suggest having a look at the diamond in 20x magnification like the one in James Allen. By viewing the diamond up close, you can actually see if the SI1 is eye clean. And if it is, then that’s the better choice, given that you also prefer a more stylish setting.

      Hope this helps, goodluck! 🙂

  55. I was faced with choosing an I-VS2 diamond and another G-SI1 diamond. Both are completely eye-clean. After reading this post I decided to go for the G-SI1 diamond. It really makes more sense.

    • Hi Rob,
      to be honest I would choose none of these diamonds because I would only choose a diamond with the best cut grade.
      It seems to me as though you badly want to have a diamond with at least 1 carat. This is perfectly legit. But I would rather compromise on the color than on the diamond cut. You can easily tone down the color of your diamonds without having anyone notice. You can reference this table to pick a color that will look completely colorless depending on the diamond and ring setting.
      If you have any more questions, just contact me.
      contact me


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