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The 5 Types of Diamonds You Should 100% Avoid

What types of diamonds should you avoid? What about bad diamond inclusions and good diamond cuts? Education and engagement rings, all in one place.

By Stephanie Dore

Our worst nightmare? You, getting engaged, with a terrible diamond. We just won’t stand for it. We see it all too often these days—good, well-meaning folks paying too much, or buying something they don’t understand, or settling for something they don’t love just because it’s what was in front of them. Well, we’re here to change all that. After all, a lil education never hurt anyone. So while everyone’s out here telling you to “do this” and “buy that”, we thought we’d take a more frank approach (it’s in our name, darling) and just come right out with the 5 types of diamonds you should avoid, which will hopefully help you land a little softer on the one you should snag!

Emerald cut diamond with
inclusions in the table

The “Dirt Under Their Fingernails” Type of Diamond

There’s no denying that some of us just like a partner who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. So much, in fact, that we’ll ignore those little traces of gunk that are just never coming out. Ew. I know. Anyway, moving on. Just know that when it comes to diamonds, that gunk really isn’t going anywhere. We’re talking about eye-visible inclusions here. And honestly, unless you’re going full salt-and-pepper on us (which is a choice), just avoid them. Now, we’re not saying you have to go all the way flawless, or even internally so. Just keep it eye-clean and you’ll be a happy camper. 

The One With “A Little Extra”

Curves? Yes please. We’re all for that. But when it comes to diamonds, having lots of junk in the trunk is really not such a good thing. And it all comes down to cut. To make this more fun, imagine the diamond in your ring is a hamburger. Now, when you’re looking at it from the top, you’re looking down a boring old bun, right? But when you look at it from the side, you can see all the good stuff. 

But what happens when you squish the burger (to fit it in your mouth, obvs)? The good stuff inside starts to spread out so you can see it from the top, yeah? Yeah! Well, you don’t want it to get too wide, because all the good stuff will fall out (in a diamond, this looks like light leakage (instead of that brilliance coming back to your eye, it goes elsewhere…no fun at all). 

You want to find a burger…I mean diamond…that’s just right. Too much spread and you have a dull diamond, too much weight hidden in the middle and you have a heavy, dull rock that’s costing you more in carat weight. Just remember, no two 1-carat diamonds are alike. You want to find balance so you don’t break the bank on a major bummer. This is one of five types of diamond you definitely want to pass on.

Oval cut diamond with 48% depth
i.e not going to sparkle
Cushion cut diamond
with 75% depth ie. going to look TINY
I1 round diamond with a knot
in the table area of the stone one type of diamond you should avoid
I1 round diamond with a knot
in the table area of the stone

The Edgy One

Okay, okay, we’ll admit we kinda have a thing for all of y’all who are a little rough around the edges. You’ve got that mysterious, maybe a little dangerous, vibe, and we’re not complaining. But trust us, that is NOT what you want in a diamond. What we’re talking about here are inclusions around the edges (or at the surface) of your diamond, and how you should probably avoid them. 

That means feathers that break the surface, chips, knots, and the like. See, diamonds are haaaaaard. It’s one of the reasons we love them so. But that also means they are at risk of chipping and breaking if hit in just the right way. I.e. they don’t bounce back into shape, like, at all. So, when you have a feather that’s on the sharp little girdle edge (the outer perimeter of your diamond) or a crystal that breaks the surface (called a knot), that just makes the diamond all the more prone to breakage at that point. Like a windshield with a crack that just keeps spreading…. Check the clarity plot on your diamond cert or have an expert look at it just to be sure you’re good to go.

The One That’s Too Good To Be True

This is a basic rule of life, folks. Common sense that can be readily applied to both your love life and your diamond shopping. If someone is out there trying to sell you a “natural” 3-carat diamond for a 1-carat price… run! Fast! Make sure your diamond is certified by a trusted lab, buy it from a reputable source with authentic customer reviews, and if you have a gut, check how it’s feeling. 

Woman wearing an engagement ring smiling
Photo courtesy of client

The One You Don’t Love

When it comes to love, they say you’ll know when you know, right? Guess what, same with diamonds! While at first they might all seem pretty and sparkly and somewhat interchangeable, once you get to know them, you’ll start to really see their unique sides. And there’s something for everyone. Some of you want flawless, some of you want big (and some small), some of you want fancy colors, some of you want heart shapes. There’s no judgement here. Just promise us, right here, right now…promise yourself…that you won’t buy a diamond you don’t absolutely, positively love. After all, it will be on that finger forever. You’re the one who has to look at it every day.

This Isn’t A Test

Ultimately, buying a diamond engagement ring is a very personal choice, and that’s the way it should be. Forget the brand names (unless that’s super duper important to you), forget what the bridal magazines tell you, forget what your mom thinks. This is likely going to be one of the biggest purchases of your life, when it comes to both money and meaning, so you have to go with your gut.

Want to learn more about the different types of diamonds? Check out our guide to diamond shapes. Ready to see what’s out there? We’ve got more than 20,000 types of diamonds for you to choose from. That number sound scary? We’re here to help. Give us a shout at with some deets on what you’re looking for, and our experts will get you sorted out, stress free.

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