How to find the right diamond: The right trade-off between the 4C | My Diamond Ring

How to find the right diamond: The right trade-off between the 4C's


Find out how to select the diamond that matches your purpose.

When buying a diamond, most people have a budget in mind and have to select their diamond accordingly. As soon as budget and diamond shape have been decided, the further steps of decision-making are based on a trade-off between the famous 4C that describe the quality of a diamond.

Before we start:

  • Finding the right budget for your diamond ring
  • Characteristics of a diamond: The 4C

Important characteristics of a diamond

The four main criteria for assessing a diamond’s quality and thereby value are the “4C” carat, cut, color and clarity.


Carat stands for the weight of a diamond: A one-carat diamond weighs 0.2 grams. Of course, the higher the carat weight of a diamond, the larger it is. Most diamonds used in jewelry weigh one carat or less. Bigger diamonds are even rarer – and therefore more expensive. Consequently, carat weight directly affects the price of a diamond.

If you have certain measurements or a certain carat weight in mind, you’ll probably have to adjust your demands when it comes to the other three Cs accordingly in order to match your budget. To give you an understanding of diamond measurements depending on their shape and carat-weight, we have created an overview for you.

Cut and shape

The shape and cut grade of a diamond are largely responsible for its sparkle. Selecting a diamond shape is a question of taste. Our Style Guide will help you to select a setting and diamond shape.

The steps of the cut grade scale on a GIA certificate correspond to specific groups of characteristics:

  • Excellent: Even pattern of bright and dark areas, top scores in all grade-setting determinants.
  • Very good: Less well-balanced relation of dark and bright areas, increased darkness in the pavilion mains.
  • Good: The diamond’s scintillation limits its grade. Relatively shallow pavilion angle, dark pavilion mains.
  • Fair: Relatively shallow pavilion and crown angle. Face-up appearance lacks contrast, general darkness.
  • Poor: Poor proportions and weight ratio.

Again, the diamond certificate and a macro view of the diamond itself can help to assess if a diamond fulfils one’s criteria. As a rule of thumb, a “good” cut grade is sufficient. However, it is the cut grade that determines a diamond’s sparkle. Therefore, it can be worth it to go for a better cut grade at the expense of carat-weight.

You can find a more detailed explanation of a diamond’s shape and cut grade here.


Let’s be honest, what clarity grade is really necessary? Once more: The steps of the clarity scale are:

  • FL – Flawless
  • IF – Internally Flawless
  • VVS ¬– Very slightly included
  • VS – Very slightly included
  • SI – Slightly included
  • I – Included

The clarity of diamonds is assessed under 10x magnification. Consequently, “VS” means that a skilled expert can detect blemishes and inclusions only under 10x magnification. For the unaided eye of a layman, such flaws are often not detectable. Depending on the exact location of inclusions and blemishes, but also the size of the diamond, it is possible that SI clarity is totally sufficient. When looking at a quite small diamond, for example, flaws are even harder to detect. To examine this, a macro view of the diamond as offered by My Diamond Ring and the diamond certificate are helpful. We recommend to consider diamonds with VS clarity or better.


A light tint of white diamonds – or the absence of it, respectively – is measured on a 23-tier color scale ranging from D to Z. The differences between those tiers are often not recognizable for non-professionals. However, they account for big differences in price.

To give an overview:

  • Colorless: D – F
  • Near colorless: G – J
  • Faint: K – M
  • Very light: N – R
  • Light: S – Z

Naturally, a colorless diamond looks a lot nicer than one with a brownish or yellowish tint. Thus, we recommend, particularly when it comes to bigger stones, to go for diamonds with J color or better. Again, the macro view of a diamond can helps to examine the color grade for oneself.

More help for decision-making

It is the aim of My Diamond Ring to support customers in the process of buying a diamond ring. This is why we offer a virtual tool for all of our designs that displays what a particular setting looks like in various diamond sizes. Additionally, we offer extensive help and advice concerning topics like finding the right budget, the perfect ring size and more. Our mission is to assist in finding the perfect engagement ring. Our Style Guide offers a lot of support with finding the right design that matches a woman’s unique style and taste.

If you’re not sure about which diamond matches which setting or if you’d like personal advice in general, we are happy to answer all of your questions. Contact us via or our Facebook and Instagram channel. We are looking forward to hearing from you!