Diamond Articles

How to Choose a Diamond

May 29, 2018 - Diamond Articles
Whether you are thinking about buying an engagement ring, loose diamonds or diamond jewelry, it’s no secret that diamonds are a major purchase. However, buying a diamond does not need to be a stressful experience. We are here to guide you through the process of how to choose a diamond that perfectly suits you and your budget.  From the 4 C’s to diamond certifications, we will cover everything you need to know to making diamond buying easy.


How to choose a high quality diamond:

  1. 4 C’s
  2. Shape
  3. Polish
  4. Symmetry
  5. Fluorescence
  6. Treatment
  7. Certification
  8. Setting

4 C’s

When you ask yourself “how to choose a diamond?”, one of the most important things you need to know are a diamond’s 4 C’s. The 4 C’s are a universal method for evaluating a diamond’s quality. These are:

  • Cut Grade: This refers to the cut quality and proportions of a diamond that are graded from Excellent to Poor. Diamonds with excellent cuts are desirable because they can best reflect light, which creates diamond’s signature sparkling appearance. Cut grades are only given to round diamonds, while fancy cut diamonds, like emeralds and cushions, do not have official cut grades.
  • Clarity Grade: This grade denotes the amount of internal and external marks a diamond has, known as inclusions and blemishes respectively. Clarity grades range from FL to I3, with FL attributed to flawless diamonds and I3 to denote a visibly flawed diamond. These imperfections may not be visible to the naked eye, but when a diamond is examined under a loop imperfections can be seen.
  • Carat Weight: This indicates how much a diamond weighs in carats, abbreviated to ct. A single carat weighs 0.2 grams.
  • Color Grade: This refers to how much color a diamond displays on a scale from D to Z with D being colorless and Z a light yellow. The less color a white diamond displays, the greater its value. Keep in mind that fancy colored diamonds, such as fancy yellow and fancy blue, do not have letter grades, instead they are graded from Fancy Light to Fancy Vivid depending on the intensity of the diamond’s color

choose a diamond

Much like any purchase, buying a diamond will require some level of compromise depending on how much you are looking to spend. You may choose, for example, to opt for a higher carat weight and a lower clarity grade in order to stay on budget. Or you may decide to opt for a better color grade and a lesser cut grade. Understanding what each of the 4 C’s means will help you establish your priorities, what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not.



Diamonds can be cut into various shapes with round brilliant as the most popular shape and therefore typically more expensive. Any other diamond shape is known as a fancy shape, this includes as heart shaped diamonds, ovals and pears. The value of fancy cut diamonds fluctuates depending on market trends and popularity. Consider all diamond shapes in the image below and choose a diamond cut that best suits you or the person you are buying it for.

what are diamonds worth


Which diamond shape is best for you?

  • Round diamonds: a classic and timeless diamond shape and currently the most popular on the market. If you are looking for maximum sparkle in the stone, round diamonds are the best choice.
  • Princess cut diamonds: the second most popular diamond shape, princess cuts are stylish and sophisticated.
  • Oval cut diamonds: currently a very popular choice, oval diamonds are a soft, elegant shape.
  • Emerald cut diamonds: this modern, geometric diamond shape is favored by many celebrities. It is important to choose an emerald cut with a strong clarity grade, as any imperfections in the stone are very apparent in this shape.
  • Pear diamonds: this shape is great for anyone looking for a more individual, statement stone.
  • Heart shaped diamonds: cut into the shape of a love heart, this cut is popular amongst those looking for a unique diamond.
  • Radiant diamonds: this shape combines the modern elegance of the emerald cut with the brilliance and sparkle of the round diamond.



When a raw diamond is cut and polished, microscopic abrasions may occur. Polish refers to the smoothness of a diamond’s facets on a scale from Excellent to Poor.



This denotes how well aligned the facets of a diamond are, such as the diamond’s crown, girdle, culet and table. Symmetry grades range from Excellent to Poor.



This refers to how greatly a diamond glows blue under ultraviolet light. These grades range from None to Very Strong fluorescence. Typically, the more fluorescence a diamond displays, the lower its value. The reason for this is that strong fluorescence can create a milky appearance to the stone.



Diamonds may receive artificial treatments to improve its clarity or color, such as HPHT or fracture filling. However, treated diamonds are considered to be less valuable than natural diamonds. This is because they have been artificially improved and are therefore not as rare as naturally occurring diamonds of the same quality.



It is well worth trying to buy GIA certified diamonds as this will give you an honest and unbiased overview of the stone.

Diamond certificates are grading reports that detail a diamond’s quality, such as the 4 C’s, polish, symmetry and more. When a diamond certificate is issued from a reputable diamond-grading laboratory, such as the GIA, they are a great resource for understanding all of the characteristics of your diamond. A certificate is not the same thing as a jeweler’s appraisal or an insurance appraisal. These are typically a jeweler’s opinion rather than official grading’s issued by a diamond grading laboratory.



If you are planning on buying diamond jewelry such as an engagement ring, the setting can affect the appearance of the stone. For example, if your diamond has a bezel setting, only the table of the diamond will be visible, making it easier to hide imperfections on the stone. With the right setting you can mask imperfections on a diamond or illustrate its brilliance. A prong setting on the other hand, elevates the diamond and allows more light to pass through, perfect for emphasizing the beauty of your diamond.

How to Finance Your Diamond

Now that you know how to choose a diamond, you may be wondering how to finance it?

WP Diamonds is a leading online buyer of diamonds, designer jewelry, handbags and luxury watches. Our team of experts can evaluate your pieces and provide you with a competitive offer in accordance with the second-hand market. We are proud of our free, safe and fast service, which has earned us an A+ rating from the BBB and hundreds of positive customer reviews.

choose a diamond

How it works:

  1. Price Quote: Complete our simple online form and receive your bespoke price quote.
  2. Expert Evaluation: Mail-in your pieces through our free, secure, fully insured and overnight mailing service. Or schedule an appointment at one of our modern and comfortable offices in New York, Tokyo, the UK or Hong Kong.
  3. Payment: Receive a firm offer and accept payment by wire, check or cash (in-person appointments only). Or have your pieces mailed back to you for free with our secure, insured and overnight mailing service.


Upgrade Program:

We also offer a trade-in program where you can receive up to 10% more on your offer in the form of store credit. This way, you can choose a diamond and enjoy even greater savings. If you have any questions, call or text our experts at 646-758-0270 today.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

What To Do Next

Related Articles

Whether you are a diamond enthusiast or lover of interesting facts, we have curated a list of the most interesting and fun facts about diamonds. With billions of years of history, there is no shortage of fun fa...


Determining how much a diamonds worth can feel daunting because of all of the conflicting information online and misleading diamond calculators. According to Forbes, “Unlike gold, which has a quantifiable me...

We guarantee the safety, security, and privacy of your valuables

We're Proudly Accredited By

Better Business Bureau Logo
  • NPA Logo
  • JVC Logo
  • Better Business Bureau Logo
  • Jewelers Board of Trade Logo