The Basics of Diamond Education

With potentially millions of engagement ring styles & diamonds to choose from, where do you start? Right here, with us. Our diamond specialists from Gold & Diamonds Inc. have been helping couples find the perfect ring for over 30 years.

Before we begin to tackle the tough questions, it’s important to remember that not all diamonds are created equal. While we have done our best to compile some important information about selecting a diamond, a true understanding of a diamond’s quality & characteristics takes time, research & a well-educated jeweler.

Diamond Shape

Often the first step in choosing an engagement ring is determining the shape (round, princess, radiant, etc.) of the diamond you like best. Shape describes a diamond’s form, primarily as viewed from above; and although a round, or brilliant-cut, diamond is the most popular, there are many others to consider. The shape is one of personal taste and once that has been determined, you can move into discovering the 4 C’s of the diamond.

Diamond cut shapes

Diamond Carat Weight

The weight of a diamond is measured in “carats”, with one carat equaling 0.20 grams, or 1/142 of an ounce. Each carat is comprised of 100 points, one half carat is 50 points, etc. Diamonds of the same weight can vary significantly in value depending on their color, clarity & cut.


Diamond Color

Though it rarely occurs, the best color for a diamond is no color.
Less than 2% of all diamonds are colorless. As color tones become more apparent, the rarity & cost decrease.

A diamond’s color is graded through the pavilion against a master set of stones by an experienced grader in a controlled environment. Transitions from one color grade to the next are minute & extremely difficult to detect.

D-F
COLORLESS

The rarest and most valuable diamonds. Virtually no color when viewed by a gemologist.

G-J
NEAR COLORLESS

Appear to be colorless when viewed face up by a gemologist but will display a slight amount of color when viewed face down on a pure white background. The slight amount of color is generally not detectable to an untrained eye especially after it has been set in a piece of jewelry.

K-M
FAINT YELLOW

Diamond in this range generally have a very faint yellow tone to them, but well cut diamonds will still constrain the brilliance and fire that make them beautiful and unique.

N-R
VERY LIGHT YELLOW

Diamonds in this range generally have a very light tone to them, but will still contain the brilliance and fire that make them beautiful and unique.

S-Z
LIGHT YELLOW

Diamonds in this range generally have a light tone to them, but will still contain the brilliance and fire that make them beautiful and unique.


Diamond Clarity

The clarity of a diamond is determined by the quantity & degree of internal birthmarks, called inclusions. The better the clarity, the greater the rarity.

Did you know? Approximately 80% of all diamonds fall into the I-1, 2 and 3 range.

F – FLAWLESS; IF – INTERNALLY FLAWLESS
No inclusions visible to an experienced grader using 10X magnification.

VVS – VERY VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED
Contains minute inclusions that are difficult for even an experienced grader to see under 10X magnification.

VS – VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED
Contains minute inclusions which can be seen with effort under 10X magnification.

SI – SLIGHTLY INCLUDED
Contains inclusions that are noticeable using 10X magnification & may be visible with the unaided eye.

I – INCLUDED
Contains inclusions that are easily visible under 10X magnification & may affect transparency & brilliance.


Diamond Cut

“Cut” or “make” of a diamond refers to the dimensions, not to its shape. It is the most important factor in determining a diamond’s brilliance & beauty. Small dimensional differences have a dramatic effect on a diamond’s reflection of light. The ideal cut is the standard used for all value comparisons.

TOO DEEP

When a diamond is cut too deep, much of the light is reflected to opposite facets at the wrong angle and is lost through the side & bottom. The diamond may appear dark in the center and lifeless.


TOO SHALLOW

When a diamond is cut too shallow, brilliance is lost when light escapes out of the bottom. This then results in a watery appearance.


PERFECTLY PROPORTIONED

When a diamond is cut to ideal proportions, virtually all the light entering the stone is reflected through the table resulting in a spectacular display of brilliance & sparkle.


The Ideal Diamond Cut

When a diamond is cut to ideal proportions, virtually all the light entering the stone is reflected through the table resulting in a spectacular display of brilliance & sparkle.

Diamond Certificates

A certificate gives you a detailed scientific analysis of your diamond which is done by an impartial gemological institution, not the grading of the seller. There are many different gemological labs that are recognized and regarded in the jewelry industry such as GIA (Gemological Institute of America), AGS (American Gem Society),EGL (European Gemological Laboratory), IGI (International Gemological Institute).

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