All of the attributes of a diamond below are important, however many consider 'cut' the most important because a diamond with a poor cut can have a dulled brilliance, despite its other attributes, whilst a diamond with a brilliant cut can exude fire and life.

1. Carat-weight (or size): The weight of a diamond indicates its size and is expressed in carats. 1 carat = 0.2 grams. A carat is further subdivided into 100 points. E.G. 0.50ct = 1/2 carat = 50 points and is smaller in size than 1.00ct = 1 carat = 100 points. Depending on proportions, two diamonds weighing the same may appear very different in size.


2. Colour: The colour of a diamond is graded from ‘D’ (colourless) to `Z’ (highly coloured). The whitest diamond, and most beautiful, is graded `D’. The difference in value between a D to an E colour (almost impossible to tell without a set of "master" stones) can be as much as 40%.


Due to stocking only the highest quality diamonds, Nicky McCourt Jewellery does not carry diamonds with a lower colour grading than H/I.

3. Clarity: Clarity refers to how clear, or pure, a diamond is. Diamonds naturally form beneath the earth's surface, so it is rare that they are flawless (clear from impurities). As such, many diamonds possess 'inclusions' (or impurities) – imperfections that affect their value, depending on number, location and size.


FL (Flawless, with no inclusions)

The highest grading 'clarity' a diamond can have is FL.


VVS1 - VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)

Very difficult to see inclusions under 10 x magnification.


VS1 - VS2 (Very Slightly Included)

Inclusions are not typically visible to the unaided eye.


SI1 - SI2 (Slightly Included)

Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible with the unaided eye.

A pin prick, visible only under a powerful microscope, could reduce the value of a diamond by as much as 40%. For this reason, Nicky McCourt Jewellery does not carry diamonds with a lower clarity grading than SI2.

4. Cut: Cut refers not only to the shape and style of the diamond, but its proportions, symmetry, and finish or “make”. Proportions and angles influence the internal reflection of light as well as the dispersion of light leaving the diamond.


Use our Diamond Search (top right) to search our diamonds/prices now and then make an appointment to view a sample of our `certificated' diamonds in private.