Alliance Diamonds

Diamond Quality & Brilliance - The Four C's

Learn about differences in color, cut, carat, and clarity. Then search our inventory for the right diamond for your occasion.

When it comes to diamond brilliance, all of the various letters and numbers used for grading can be over-whelming. We've tried to simplify things with this page.

In the end, what really matters is how the ring looks on your finger. We trust that if you follow the guidelines below, you will have a diamond that you will be proud to show-off to everyone you see.


The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. A typical engagement diamond can range from 0.40 carats to 1.0 carats. Some people place a higher value on the size/weight of the diamond, while others agree that the brilliance (how it shines and looks on you) is more important than the physical appearence. You don't want to have a diamond with a high carat weight that is low in color, clarity, or cut quality.



Although we carry a wide variety of diamonds with different color, we recommend that you choose a diamond with a color H or higher. If you choose a color grade below H you will begin to compromise on the color quality and the diamond will not look as white to the naked eye.

D is the highest rating and the whitest white. If you are most concerned about quality, then you may want to consider a diamond with D color. If you are looking for a diamond with the best value, any diamond with the colour of E - H will do just fine as this is in the colorless to near colorless range.



We recommend that you choose a diamond that is SI-1 or better. SI1 Clarity is the grade where inclusions are usually not visible with the naked eye. A lot of the stores carry this quality as their top quality for set engagement rings.

As you choose SI2, I1 Clarity's inclusions may be visible. A lot of people will choose these grades if they would rather have a large diamond for a the same cost.

I2 and I3: the beauty and or durability of the stone is effected and inclusions are definitely visible. These grades are often used in earring and pendants that don't get looked at too closely and one only wants a large size. 

As you increase the Clarity to VS2 and VS1 the inclusion are harder to see even if magnified.

The VVS1 and VVS2 Clarity grades are difficult to see even with magnification and are for those who want only the best.


The GIA Cut scale is used to provide overall cut quality.

We recommend any diamond with a cut rating of VG or better. This will most likely mean your diamond will be VG (Very Good) or EX (Excellent) because a diamond with an Ideal Cut is very rare and not really necessary for most diamond purchases.
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