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Diamond Grading And Cuts


Diamonds have been around before humans, and that’s one of the reasons they’re invaluable. Thousands of years of intense pressure make them the sparkling gems they are. 

With great demand comes the need for exploitation to meet these demands. With an influx of diamonds into the market, organisations need standards and grading to decide on uniform pricing. 

New Zealand has no diamond mines, making it difficult to find reasonably priced diamond rings in New Zealand. Worry not because this guide covers grading, cuts, and pricing of diamonds, helping you make the best decision and receive the most from your investment in diamonds. 


Unrefined and freshly mined diamonds are almost impossible to recognise. Not every diamond is flawless, and experts grade each diamond based on inclusions and flaws. A diamond’s clarity grade plays a crucial role in its pricing. 

Diamond-grading experts examine each gem for surface and internal imperfections. Surface imperfections are blemishes, while internal flaws are inclusions or internal characters. While these flaws are rarely visible to the naked eye, they affect the price tag. 

I1 and I2 contain inclusions and blemishes. While I1 flaws are invisible to the naked untrained eye, I2 inclusions are slightly visible. 

Both are the lowest grades of diamonds. 

SI1 and SI2 inclusions are only visible under 10x magnification. If eye-clean or flawless to the naked eye, these are available at affordable rates and are a great deal!

VSI diamonds have minor inclusions that are difficult to see, even under 10x magnification. Most expensive jewellery uses VSI diamonds. 

VVSI diamonds are eye-clean and have inclusions that are difficult to detect, even to the trained eye. The next grade is IF (Internally Flawless) diamonds. They do not have any internal inclusions and only present with surface blemishes visible solely under a microscope. 

FL diamonds (Flawless) are the highest grade diamonds, and less than 1% reach this grade. There are no internal or external flaws, making it incredibly rare. 


Over 80% of all couples in New Zealand mark their relationship with diamonds. While looking for diamond rings in New Zealand, one should focus on cuts and prices. 

The cut of a diamond determines its shine and brilliance. The gem sparkles with more surfaces. More brilliant diamonds are tedious to craft because of cutting processes and come with hefty price tags. 

Round Cuts

Even after decades, the popularity of the round cut hasn’t died down. The brilliant round cut remains a client favourite, with over 60% of all diamond purchasers in New Zealand owning one. Experts have been working with this cut to maximise brilliance since diamonds gained attention and demand. With the most number of surfaces, it is a very sparkly diamond. The round cut gives you flexibility within clarity as a low clarity diamond will sparkle brilliantly. 

Princess Cuts

Princess cut diamonds are either square or rectangular. They have a unique brilliance that brings out the colour of the diamond in both the centres and corners. In contrast, other cuts concentrate the diamond colour on the middle surface.

Marquis Cut

The marquis cut is slender, making the diamond appear larger than it is. It gives the neck and fingers an elongated appearance, flattering the wearer. 


An emerald cut is a rare preference, but it complements the clarity and colour of the diamond beautifully. Its distinctly stacked rectangular facets draw focus to the diamond. However, inclusions are also apparent, and one should not compromise on clarity while opting for an emerald cut. 


Pear cuts are similar to the Marquis diamond but not as slender. They have an inherent feminine quality, making the wearer appear softer and elegant. Experts use pear cuts to maximise brilliance, so examine the diamond for perfect symmetry. 

Author: Maisie Jones

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