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Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color

The Tiffany Guide to Diamonds

Brilliant. Scintillating. Symbolic. There are four key factors to consider when choosing a diamond. Discover the importance of the 4Cs—cut, carat weight, color and clarity—and presence, Tiffany’s distinctive fifth quality standard. Learn what makes a Tiffany diamond so extraordinary.


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Cut

Cut is the most important factor. It refers to the precise positioning, shape and angle of a diamond’s facets, which together create that breathtaking brilliance. Let’s take a closer look.

Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color
Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color
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In profile, the diamond’s ideal proportion and individual features are easily observed.

Learn more about a diamond’s features

Girdle

The narrow band that circumscribes the edge where crown and pavilion meet. The girdle may be polished or gently bruted.

Pavilion

The portion of the diamond below the girdle, including the culet.

Culet

A small, protective facet cut on the point of the pavilion. On some brilliant-cut diamonds, the facet is octagonal. On the keel of some step-cut diamonds, the facet is rectangular.

Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color
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From above, the diamond’s symmetry and precision of cut are even more visible and more astonishing.

Learn more about a diamond’s features

Table

The large facet in the center of the crown of a polished diamond. The shape of the table varies based on a diamond’s cut. On a round brilliant-cut diamond, the table is octagonal in shape.

Crown

The upper part of a diamond, above the girdle plane.

Shape

Every Tiffany diamond is precisely cut to enhance the beauty of its shape.

Click on a shape to learn more

Cushion

A cushion cut features modified brilliant-cut facets, and can have a rectangular or square shape with curved sides or rounded corners. Tiffany Legacy® is a cushion modified brilliant cut designed by Tiffany & Co. and introduced in 2004.


BROWSE CUSHION-CUT ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Square

A square diamond has 90-degree corners and is comprised of triangular facets as featured in the round brilliant cut.


BROWSE SQUARE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Cushion

A cushion cut features modified brilliant-cut facets, and can have a rectangular or square shape with curved sides or rounded corners. Tiffany Legacy® is a cushion modified brilliant cut designed by Tiffany & Co. and introduced in 2004.


BROWSE CUSHION-CUT ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Emerald

Rectangular or square with diagonally cut corners, an emerald cut features rows of step-cut facets that run parallel to the girdle.


BROWSE EMERALD-CUT ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Oval

The graceful oval borrows cuts from the round brilliant to achieve its stunning sparkle and curves.


BROWSE OVAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Princess

A princess cut is shaped like an inverted pyramid and sometimes referred to as a square modified brilliant.


BROWSE PRINCESS-CUT ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Round Brilliant

Arguably the quintessential diamond, and certainly among the most radiant, a round brilliant cut features 57 or 58 facets, made up of kite-shaped, star and triangular facets. The girdle of this shape may be either faceted or bruted. It may or may not have a culet on the pavilion.


BROWSE ROUND BRILLIANT ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Pear

Also referred to as a “teardrop” shape, this brilliant-cut diamond features a pear-shaped outline with two curved sides, one rounded end and one pointed end.


BROWSE PEAR-SHAPED ENGAGEMENT RINGS
Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color Image Map

Carat Weight

“Carat” denotes the weight of a diamond. Taken by itself, carat does not determine a diamond’s value. Two diamonds of equal weight can vary widely in price. Tiffany diamonds are always cut to maximize brilliance, not carat weight. True to our higher standards, beauty trumps size every time.

Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color

Color

The ideal engagement ring is clear. Diamonds may appear colorless, but minute impurities within each stone create subtle tints of color. Each stone is color-graded to a precise scale from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (saturated). Only diamonds of color “I” (near colorless) or better are accepted by Tiffany.

Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color
Important Note

Lights, please

When grading color, we use ultraviolet light to expose a diamond’s fluorescence. A stone that has strong or excessive fluorescence will have a milky appearance in natural lighting. These do not meet the Tiffany quality distinction and are not accepted by the Tiffany Gemological Laboratory.

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Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color

Clarity

A stone is graded as flawless if, under 10-power magnification, no internal flaws (clouds, feathers, pinpoints) and no external imperfections (scratches, pits, nicks) are visible. Absolutely flawless diamonds are exceedingly rare and priced accordingly.

Presence

It all adds up to Tiffany’s exclusive fifth quality standard. “Presence” encompasses precision of cut, symmetry and polish which, collectively, profoundly influence a diamond’s brilliance, dispersion, scintillation and overall appearance.

Diamond Guide - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color

Ready For Your Next Step?

Now that you know your round brilliant diamond from your cushion cut, the real romance starts. Use your new know-how to find the style that’s just right for your true love.

The Tiffany Concierge Engagement Ring Buying Services