Shapes, left to right: Round Brilliant, Emerald, Asscher cut, Princess, Pear, Marquise

Diamonds, The Four Cs

Cut  This term includes both the shape of the stone and the quality of the faceting, polish and proportions. A round brilliant stone has 58 facets that are angles and proportioned for maximum brilliance.

Clarity Most diamonds have internal traces of non-crystallized carbon as well tiny fractures and irregularities. Clarity is graded on a scale as follows:

FL - Flawless, under 10xmagnification
IF - Internally Flawless, no inclusions and only minor surface blemishes under 10x magnification
VVS1 and VVS2 - Very, very slight inclusions, minute inclusions that are difficult to detect at 10X magnification
VS1 and VS2 - Very slight inclusions, difficult to detect inclusions, face up at 10X.
SI1 and SI2 - Slight inclusions, noticeable inclusions that are easy to see at 10X, eye clean
I1, I2 and I3 - Imperfect, obvious inclusions face up to the naked eye.

Carat is the weight of the stone. One carat is 0.2 grams. Diamonds are typically weighed to one onehundreth of a carat, called a "point". The diameter of typical round cut diamonds are 2 Carat = 8mm, 1.50 ct = 7.35mm, 1 carat = 6mm, Half carat, .50 = 5mm, Quarter carat, .25 = 4 mm, One tenth, .10ct = 3mm,  .O3ct =2mm.

Color Colorless white diamonds are what people usually think of, but diamonds come in other colors as well. The diamond color scale from colorless to yellow is a series of letters representing the continuum of shades of color.
D, E & F are colorless white
G, H & I are "near colorless"
J, K, & L are faint yellow with increasing yellow through to "Z"

How do you decide what you want? Many people feel that the point of having a diamond is to have the best quality possible, however prices increase dramatically towards the the higher ends of the scale. If you want to find a middle ground between quality and price the "G-H" color range in SI1 or SI2 clarity is going to look beautiful to the unaided eye. Finer grades will satisfy those who value the more sophisticated and discerning degrees of value and beauty. Lesser grades may be more attractive to those would prefer larger size without going all out on price.

Certified Diamonds There are several internationally recognized gem labs (GIA, AGS and EGL) that grade and certify the qulity of diamonds. A certified stone will give the buyer a confidence that what is being purchased is actually what it is supposed to be. Certificates give a detailed analysis of the Four Cs as well as exact measurements and a detailed diagram of any internal characteristics that are unique to your diamond. Certified stones generally cost more and are usually available only for stones of a half carat or greater and of better quality. 

To order or get more information call 1-800-488-6347

Ring policy, free sizing for 90 days from purchase. If not satisfied, return for full refund within 30 days except for custom orders that will have a restocking charge. Stones are guaranteed for one year against loss under normal wear conditions. Bezels wear very well for a long period of time, but should be inspected after several years of wear, just in case. Prong settings should be inspected annually for wear and may require re-pointing after several years.