Many buyers believe that the biggest diamonds are the best and most valuable. However, when it comes to diamonds, bigger isn’t always better. Read this guide on diamond quality vs. size from the master jewelers at Essex Fine Jewelry to help you shop for the best diamonds.

Not all diamonds are created equal — like fingerprints, each is unique in its own way. Diamond quality varies based on color, size, carat weight and a few other factors. All polished and shaped diamonds are considered valuable, but the precise value of each diamond is based on a combination of grading scales.

The 4Cs and A Diamond’s Value

Comparing clarity, carat weight, color, and cut — known as the 4Cs — allows jewelers to assign value and price to each diamond based on a uniform set of criteria.


Color differences affect the value of a diamond. Two diamonds of the same clarity, cut, and weight can differ in value based on their color grading alone. Colorless or “white” diamonds have the highest value, and diamonds with a murky or yellow color are worth less.


A newly mined diamond does not naturally have the precisely cut facets that we associate with these gems. Skilled craftspeople cut diamonds to maximize the angles that interact with light. This is the most critical of the 4Cs and has the most impact on a diamond’s quality.

A diamond’s proportions and cut determine how the light hits and refracts off sections of the gem. The more intricate refraction and use of light, the higher the diamond’s value.


Jewelers also grade diamonds based on their clarity. Inspecting the almost invisible internal features, known as inclusions, and surface irregularities under magnification lenses allows experts to provide detailed clarity grading. Internally flawless diamonds have few imperfections and blemishes and are valued higher than diamonds with scrapes and nicks.


However, keep in mind that a diamond’s natural flaws also prove that the gem is real and not made in a lab.

Carat Weight

Unlike many goods sold based purely on weight, a diamond’s value depends on a more detailed measurement — carat weight. One carat is equal to seven-thousandths of an ounce or two-tenths of a gram. Carat weight has nothing to do with clarity, cut, or color, but diamonds that exceed certain desirable sizes, like three-quarter carat or one carat, are worth more.

Diamond Quality vs. Size

When valuing diamonds, jewelers consider each of the 4Cs. While a two-carat diamond will almost always be more expensive than a one-carat diamond, the other diamond quality attributes affect the gem’s value, so pricing diamonds is not as simple as assigning a price based on weight. Based on the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, jewelers determine the diamond’s value and price it accordingly.


Essex Fine Jewelry Offers High-Quality Diamonds

If you are in the market to buy a diamond, Essex Fine Jewelry has over 35 years of experience sourcing and grading premier diamond jewelry from well-known brands like Rolex and Tiffany. We also design custom pieces for a personal touch.

Give us a call today at 404-476-5603 with any inquiries, or visit our team in person for unsurpassed service, selection, and diamond quality.