DIAMOND EDUCATION & FAQS
Diamonds are the world's most exquisite gemstones; the hardest transparent substance known to man. Diamonds have been revered and sought after for thousands of years. Their ability to reflect light and create an explosion of sparkle and fire ignited imaginations and passions all over the world. When purchasing a diamond; the 4Cs; Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat are important to consider. It is a combination of the 4Cs that determine a diamond's beauty and value. Learn more about the 4C's and our frequently ask questions.
The Four C's About a Diamonds Beauty and Value
The cut of a diamond is vital to release the fire and brilliance of the stone and as a result, cut is regarded as an important component of the 4Cs. When a diamond is cut to specific proportions, light will reflect from one facet to another and disperse through the top of the stone resulting in a display of fire and brilliance. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose light as it spills through the sides or bottom of the stone resulting in a dull and less brilliant appearance. Diamonds come in a variety of shapes and new variations are being designed as alternatives to more conventional shapes.
Diamonds range in color from colorless to near colorless, to yellow or brownish yellow. The most valuable and highest quality diamonds have no color in them. Color is rated on a scale that ranges from D-Z. (D-F) Colorless, (G-J) Near Colorless, (K-M) Faint Yellow, (N-R) Very Light Yellow, (Q-Z) Yellow, and (Z+) Fancy Yellow.
Every diamond has natural markings. These markings are referred to inclusions. Often invisible to the unaided eye but when viewed under a jeweler’s loupe or microscope at 10X magnification, these inclusions may or may not be visible. The fewer and smaller the inclusions, the more valuable the diamond becomes. IF- internally flawless, no natural characteristics visible under 10x magnification. Extremely rare. VVS1-VVS2- very very slight- minute characteristics, extremely hard to see under 10x magnification. VS1-VS2- very slight- very minor characteristics. Difficult to see even under 10x magnification. SI1-SI2-slightly included- slight characteristics that can be seen under 10x magnification. I1-I2- included- characteristics are visible to the naked eye.
Diamond carat is the standard used to measure diamond weight. Each carat is divided into 100 parts, called points. So if a one-carat diamond = 1.00 carat or 100 points, a ¾ carat diamond = 0.75 carats or 75 points and so on. As diamonds increase in size, their cost tends to increase exponentially. Weight does not always enhance the value of a diamond-particularly if it is cut poorly.
A: A diamond is a mineral composed essentially of carbon that has crystallized at extremely high temperatures and pressures. In nature diamonds form 93-124 miles or more below the earths surface. Diamond is the hardest of all known natural substances (10 on the hardness scale)
A: Most consumers who make purchases of significant value come with important certified documentation. Houses have deeds, vehicles have titles and registration, but what about something as important as a diamond? A diamond grading report isn’t an appraisal but a scientific blueprint of your stone’s exact qualities. GIA’s heritage as a research and educational institution means they are trusted to provide accurate, unbiased diamond evaluations. A diamond grading report or GIA Certification provides an expert analysis of a diamond's quality based upon the 4C’s of a diamond grading. The GIA diamond grading report also contains a plotting diagram that clearly shows the diamonds unique inclusions and other clarity characteristics. It undergoes a technical screening process, determining it’s potential as a synthetic or simulated, and also to ensure that the color is natural. Another Valuable Certification is AGS.
A: Certain diamonds emit a subtle blue glow when exposed to ultraviolet rays. Many light sources including the sun, fluorescent office lights, and “black” lights emit ultraviolet rays. In normal lighting conditions, fluorescence cannot be seen. In a few cases, diamonds with very strong fluorescence may look slightly “cloudy”.
A: Even though diamonds are extremely hard, they can still be damaged from abuse. Diamonds can scratch each other and all other gemstones.
A: When a round diamond is cut to perfect proportions, it’s depth and table percentages are perfectly balanced. The ideal cut stone also has the best grades on polish and symmetry, which can only be reached when the stone is fashioned with great care. The beauty of the stone is enhanced by the finest craftsmanship.
A: White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as nickel or palladium. White gold in its natural state is generally a dull or dingy yellow look. White gold is typically coated with another white metal called Rhodium. Rhodium is in the platinum family. Rhodium plating is used to make the white gold look whiter. The rhodium plating does eventually wear and needs to be re-done periodically. Platinum is also a white metal, but unlike gold it is a pure metal. Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be rhodium plated like white gold. Platinum is also a denser metal then gold. Unlike white gold, where if blended with nickel; which in some people can cause an allergic reaction, platinum is a pure metal and is hypoallergenic. Platinum does not wear away like gold. Like all precious metals, platinum will scratch. However, the scratch on platinum is merely a displacement of the metal and not of it is lost. Platinum is the ultimate metal.
A: Being able to see the diamond in person!! Many people purchase diamonds in person so they can see it and compare it. To get an idea of size or what it may look like in a setting of their choosing. Getting to see a diamond in person, the consumer is able to see the diamond’s brilliance, how the diamond sparkles and glistens. Being able to visually see the diamonds size, as carat is essentially just a weight. Viewing diamonds via Internet is sight unseen and you the consumer cannot determine the brilliance, how well it’s cut, or to see the “actual” size. Purchasing a diamond (or even jewelry) from a reputable jeweler has many benefits: giving you exceptional service-serving all your jewelry needs. Going with a reputable jeweler will provide all services such as if the item needs to be sized, cleaned, stones need tightening or if the diamond or finished jewelry piece needs to be re-evaluated and much more. You can feel good knowing that you are purchasing a high quality, beautifully designed piece of jewelry or knowing you hand picked a diamond that is exactly what you want and expected from your local jeweler, who is always there to service all your jewelry needs.
A: Brilliant, durable and near-colorless diamond and moissanite are often compared. However, under closer examination you can see these two stones have several key differences. Moissanite and diamond are two extremely different jewels with distinctly different chemical compositions, physical characteristics and optical properties. Moissanite's chemical property is silicon carbide and carbon while diamond is composed of carbon. A diamonds is also harder on the hardness scale than moissanite because its bonds are perfectly even. Moissanite has a more uneven bond structure because carbon is slightly more electronegative than silicon, pulling the bonds slightly more toward the carbon atoms than the silicon atoms. Moissanites comes from meteorites; where a diamonds come from Earth. Moissanite is all synthetic, lab created serving as a simulated diamond. Moissanites are not certified and are not color graded and reflect slightly green or yellow where diamonds do not. Moissanite should really be just an alternative in a situation where the consumer’s situation cannot allow them to purchase a diamond.