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Tiffany Guide to Diamonds

The Tiffany Guide to Diamonds

To be able to draw profound beauty out of a stone requires ultimate control from mine to finger. Along the way, there are thousands of decisions made that bring life, fire and brilliance to a diamond. Only Tiffany could pursue perfection with such relentless dedication and commitment to craft.

Ring displayed in open Tiffany and Company ring box.


The superlative beauty of Tiffany’s engagement diamonds is the result of strict quality standards and our obsession with creating the most beautiful diamonds at every step. But beyond the 4Cs (cut, clarity, colour and carat weight), at Tiffany we understand that it takes a human being to breathe life into a stone.

Our craftsmen see the beauty in every Tiffany diamond, and work with passion and precision to unleash intense vibrancy and light. We are so deeply committed to this pursuit of perfection that we entrust this work only to the most talented hands. Every ring is handcrafted, just as it’s been done for over 130 years, which is why it takes nearly a year—from the moment the diamond is discovered until the design is finished—to make an engagement ring that is worthy of the Tiffany name.

The Strict Standards of Tiffany Brilliance

Every diamond is special when you consider that it was formed deep in the earth billions of years ago. And each diamond, like a human fingerprint, has certain distinguishing characteristics such as colour, clarity and carat weight. But what brings life and soul into a diamond is the cut.


At Tiffany, we cut our own diamonds. We take the world’s highest quality rough diamonds and put them in the hands of the world’s best stonecutters. These skilled artisans craft the best-proportioned diamonds instead of the heaviest diamonds, ensuring that each and every stone’s full potential is unlocked. They ensure the precise positioning, shape and angle of each of the diamond’s facets to maximize brilliance and fire.

Tiffany diamond cutters refuse to compromise. When the choice is size or beauty, we always choose beauty, so that we outshine all others.

Tiffany’s diamonds are brighter and more vibrant because we craft them that way. And only the most perfectly cut diamonds earn the right to be placed in the legendary Tiffany Blue Box.

In fact, we are so confident in the superb quality of our diamonds that we stand behind them with a lifetime warranty.


Diamond clarity is a measure of the purity and rarity of the stone, graded by the visibility of these characteristics under 10-power magnification. A stone is graded as flawless if, under 10-power magnification, no inclusions (internal flaws) and no blemishes (external imperfections) are visible. Absolutely flawless diamonds are exceedingly rare and priced accordingly.

Tiffany’s strict diamond grading standards are executed with expertise, integrity and accuracy. When Tiffany believes that a diamond’s clarity is on the borderline between two grades, Tiffany will always assign the stone a lower grade—never falsely inflating a diamond’s clarity grade.

Tiffany rejects any diamond with noticeable imperfections to the unaided eye.

Tiffany Diamonds Clarity Grade

Flawless (FL) Diamond Clarity


Internally Flawless (If) Diamond Clarity


Internally Flawless
Very Very Slightly Included (VVSI1 & VVSI2) Diamond Clarity


Very, Very Slightly Included
Very Slightly Included (VSI1 & VSI2) Diamond Clarity


Very Slightly Included
Slightly Included (SI1 SI2) Diamond Clarity


Slightly Included
Included (I1, I2 & I3) Diamond Clarity

I1 I2 I3


Tiffany Quality


Colour refers to the tint of the diamond. In nature, most diamonds have a slight tint of yellow or brown colour. The closer to being “colourless” a diamond is, the rarer it is. The industry standard for grading colour is to evaluate each stone against a “master set” and assign a letter grade from “D” (colourless) to “Z” (light yellow).

Tiffany only accepts diamonds in the “colourless” and “near colourless” range on a diamond colour scale.

Borderline diamond colour classifications are automatically given the more conservative grade. Additionally, the Tiffany Gemological Laboratory will not accept stones exhibiting strong or excessive fluorescence, which, in natural lighting, can give diamonds a milky appearance.

Diamond Color Chart

Tiffany acceptable color scale.

Tiffany Quality

Other color ranges.

Carat Weight

Tiffany diamonds are always cut to maximise brilliance, not carat weight. “Carat” denotes the weight of a diamond.

One carat equals .20 grams. Tiffany measures diamonds to 1/1000th of a carat. Taken by itself, carat weight does not determine a diamond’s value. For example, two one-carat stones can vary widely in price when clarity, colour and cut are taken into consideration. When that is understood, it is clear that large diamonds of peerless quality are rare and priced accordingly.

Tiffany Diamond Shapes

Over the course of a lifetime, you will look at your engagement ring over one million times. The stone, setting and shape should reflect your unique style and relationship.

Tiffany offers a wide range of diamond cuts to enhance the beauty of each shape, ensuring that every ring is as extraordinary as the love it represents.

Round Brilliant Diamond Engagement Ring

Round Brilliant

The round brilliant shape uses exacting mathematical proportions to optimise a diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light.

Browse Round Brilliant Engagement Rings
Oval Diamond Engagement Ring


The oval-cut diamond combines the traditional round brilliant shape with the marquise cut.

Browse Oval Engagement Rings
Heart Diamond Engagement Ring


Heart-shaped diamonds are classic symbols of love, cut with a precise length-to-width ratio.

Browse Heart-shaped Engagement Rings
Emerald Diamond Engagement Ring


Although the emerald-cut diamond has 58 facets like round and princess-cut diamonds, it is the parallel facets that help highlight the stone’s colour and clarity.

Browse Emerald-cut Engagement Rings
Princess Diamond Engagement Ring


Boasting over 50 chevron-shaped facets, the princess-cut diamond is defined by exceptional fire and scintillation.

Browse Princess-Cut Engagement Rings
Pear Diamond Engagement Ring


The pear-cut diamond combines round brilliant and marquise-cut styles to form a tapered teardrop.

Browse Pear-Shaped Engagement Rings
Cushion Diamond Engagement Ring


The cushion-cut diamond has a square or rectangular outline, with larger facets and rounded corners that increase the stone’s brilliance.

Browse Cushion-Cut Engagement Rings

Find your perfect ring

The gemological standards in this guide refer only to round brilliant diamonds from .18 to 2.99 carats set in certain ring styles. Round brilliant diamonds smaller or larger, fancy-shaped diamonds and fancy colour diamonds each have their own specially tailored standards of evaluation. Consult your Tiffany Sales Professional for details.

Looking to learn more?

Our new wise and witty video series is here to help you find the perfect Tiffany diamond engagement ring.


Ready for your next step?

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

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Read The Tiffany Guide To “Yes!”
Square diamond ring.