Buying a Diamond
The GIA 4C’s of diamond quality will help you learn how to buy a diamond. This basic knowledge will not only unlock the mystery of a diamond’s quality, it will also help you understand a diamond’s value and price.
Most consumers are easily confused between the shape and the cut of the diamond, which are two very distinct and different qualities of the stone. The shape of the diamond characterizes only the geometric outline of the diamond when it is viewed from the top. It does not refer to the finish or the dimensions of facets.
The 4 C’s
Ever since the GIA established the international standards for diamond grading, the 4 C’s have become the most recognized benchmark for the consumer to readily distinguish the qualities between different diamonds. With the knowledge of these four standards, you can easily pick the diamond that is right for you.
Under normal lighting conditions, a diamond acts as a prism with the ability to split light into its many components, which results in the many flashes of colors commonly referred to as fire. And like any transparent object through which light passes, the production of fire is the best when nothing hinders its transmission inside the diamond. Slight amount of coloring in the diamond (mostly caused by impurities) can act as filters that reduce the amount of colorful flashes and therefore resulting in a less brilliant fire. Diamonds with very little or no coloring are more highly valued than those with moderate coloring.
The cut of a diamond is the measure of how the diamond is geometrically shaped and faceted from its rough. Because the ratios, proportions, angles, and placement of the facets all influence the amount of light dispersion and/or transmission within the diamond, the cut is perhaps the most significant factor in determining the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond. Even a perfectly colorless and clear diamond will still look dull if it is poorly cut. We carry only the finest cut-grade diamonds available anywhere.
|Diameter: The width of the diamond as measured by its girdle.|
|Table: The largest facet of a gemstone, found at the very top.|
|Crown: The top section of a diamond, reaching from the girdle to the table.|
|Girdle: The meeting point of the crown and pavilion that defines the perimeter of the diamond.|
|Pavilion: The bottom section of a diamond, reaching from the girdle to the culet.|
|Culet: The facet at the bottom tip of a gemstone. The preferred culet is not visible with the naked eye (it is graded “none” or “small”).|
Depth: The total height of a gemstone measured from the culet to the table.
Too Shallow: Light is lost through the bottom, causing the diamond to lose brightness.
Too Deep: Light escapes out the sides, causing the diamond to appear drab and dark.
Because diamonds are formed in the interiors of the earth over millions of years, it is common for them to have internal inclusions of other compounds and earthly minerals. Diamonds with no inclusions (and therefore considered flawless) are very rare and highly prized. Diamond clarity is an assessment of the size, quantity, location, and specific types of inclusions inside a diamond.
The carat is the unit of measurement for the size and weight of a diamond. Since the rarity of a diamond increases substantially with increasing carat weight, the value and therefore price of the diamond also tend to increase exponentially with increasing weight. You can find diamonds from a wide range of carat weights at our store. No diamond is too small or too big for us!
The purchase of a diamond is probably one of the big decisions in your life and we want you to be absolutely certain that you are getting exactly what you are paying for. A certificate is essentially a grading report from an independent gemological laboratory (such as the Gemological Institute of America, GIA) that states the various qualities of the diamond (carat weight, color, clarity, cut, physical measurements, etc). You can rest assured that every single diamond that we carry has been thoroughly examined and graded by the most reputable independent laboratories in the world.
Just as you would for any other high-valued investments, your diamond should be given the proper attention and care. Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known to men and is extremely resistant to surface damages. We recommend that you remove your jewelry before showers and baths and all household chores in order to minimize surface buildup. However, daily exposure to perspiration, hair care products, household cleaning agents and such will create surface buildup that dulls your diamond. We also recommend that you clean your diamond jewelry periodically to maintain the best brilliance and fire. The best option is to bring your jewelry in for us to have it professionally cleaned and polished, along with an inspection of the prongs and the security of its setting. Cleaning is also possible at home with a do-it-yourself dipping mixture of 1 part ammonia and 6 parts water.