Diamond Education

Learn how the diamonds are graded and evaluated through their attributes.

Buying a diamond is quite possibly the biggest and most meaningful purchase you will ever undertake. Taking your time and being informed about your purchase will ensure you make the right choice and ultimately make your lady the happiest she has ever been. If you are a bit apprehensive to embark on this journey of a lifetime, take a few moments to educate yourself so you are not bombarded with a plethora of ideas and design possibilities. Diamonds can be anywhere from simple to elaborate, but make no mistake, they are all dazzling in their own special way. There are four categories of how professional jewelers grade diamonds. They are quite easy to remember because they all start with the letter C: Cut, color, clarity and carat. By taking a few moments to read our educational literature on the subject matter, you will soon possess the knowledge needed to choose the ideal ring for your betrothed.

Fancy green diamonds are typically light in tone and low in saturation. Their color often appears muted, with a grayish or brownish cast. The hue is generally in the yellowish green category. In most green diamonds, the hue is confined to the surface, and rarely extends through the entire stone. That’s why cutters try to leave as much of the natural rough around the girdle as possible.Green diamonds get their color when radiation displaces carbon atoms from their normal positions in the crystal structure. This can happen naturally when diamond deposits lie near radioactive rocks, or artificially as a result of treatment by irradiation.

In diamonds, rarity equals value. With diamonds in the normal range, value is based on the absence of color, because colorless diamonds are the rarest. With fancy color diamonds—the ones outside the normal color range—the rarest and most valuable colors are saturated pinks, blues, and greens. In all cases, even very slight color differences can have a big impact on value.

Compared to fancy yellows and browns, diamonds with a noticeable hint of any other hue are considerably more rare. Even in light tones and weak saturation, as long as they show color in the face-up position, they qualify as fancy colors. Red, green, and blue diamonds with medium to dark tones and moderate saturations are extremely rare.

Grading fancy color diamonds is complex and specialized, and it takes highly trained laboratory graders to complete the process accurately. The GIA system for color-grading fancy color diamonds is designed to accommodate the fact that not all colored diamonds have the same depth of color. For example, yellow diamonds occur in a wide range of saturations, while blue diamonds do not Diamonds with red or reddish colors are extremely rare and highly valued. Pure pinks are more popular than diamonds that are purplish, orangy, brownish, or grayish. Trade professionals market some very attractive stones in this category as “rose-colored,” and some stones with purplish tints as “mauve” diamonds.

Brown is the most common fancy diamond color and also the earliest to be used in jewelry. Second-century Romans set brown diamonds in rings. In modern times, however, they took some time to become popular.Brown diamonds were typically considered good only for industrial use until the 1980s, when abundant quantities of them began to appear in the production of the Argyle mines. The Australians fashioned them and set them in jewelry. They gave them names like “cognac” and “champagne.” The marketing worked, and brown diamonds are found in many medium-priced jewelry designs today.

Brown diamonds range in tone from very light to very dark. Consumers generally prefer brown diamonds in medium to dark tones with a warm, golden to reddish appearance. They generally show a hint of greenish, yellowish, orangy, or reddish modifying colors. Yellow is diamond’s second most common fancy color. Yellow diamonds are sometimes marketed as “canary.” While this isn’t a proper grading term, it’s commonly used in the trade to describe fancy yellow diamonds.

Until the late 1990s, there was not much demand for black diamonds. But designers started using them in jewelry, especially contrasted with tiny colorless diamonds in pavé settings, and they began to gain in popularity. Fancy white diamonds also exist. They have a milky white color. Sometimes white diamonds are cut to display beautiful opalescent flashes of color. There are also gray diamonds. Most of them contain a high level of hydrogen as an impurity element, which probably causes their color.

Diamond clarity can be defined as the existence of imperfections on the inside and outside of the stone. Most of these flaws are not visible to the naked eye. It takes a professional jeweler to detect these flaws and grade the diamond accordingly.

Internal imperfections in the diamond are called inclusions while surface imperfections are called blemishes. The flaws diminish the value of the diamond. Everyone seeks a completely flawless diamond but they are very rare. As a result, they are very expensive. Since diamonds are formed deep within the earth's mantle at exceptionally high temperatures, it only makes sense that most of the time they can possess numerous flaws. Before being polished and cut, diamonds are actually pretty unimpressive. It takes a lot of work to dress these stones up to the gorgeous diamonds we are used to seeing on a variety of jewelry. Since most people cannot afford a flawless diamond, it is likely you will end up with a diamond that has flaws. This is completely fine because most imperfections are not visible to the naked eye. Some people may even prefer flawed diamonds because they are more affordable and no one will know that it is not absolutely perfect.

Diamonds are known for their unmistakable sparkle. They are often associated with engagements and special occasions, however they can be incorporated into just about any situation. Children have been raised to think diamonds are a symbol of wealth and class. This is most likely because they can be very expensive! They truly are one of nature's most prized possessions. However, without being polished and cut, this precious stone is somewhat ordinary. Diamonds are made deep within the earth under extreme temperatures and pressure, so it is only fitting that they are not very pretty upon their ascent to the earth's surface. The cut of a diamond determines exactly how much twinkle you will see.

When stone cutters first realized diamonds will sparkle more depending on the manner in which they are cut, they embarked on a journey to find the best way to showcase this stone. After years of trial and error, they settled on one design: The ideal cut. This cut consists of 58 facets and maximizes the brilliance and sparkle every diamond is capable of having. Having an established jeweler cut your diamond can mean the difference between having a great ring and having the most perfect ring anyone has ever seen!