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Buying a diamond is a very personal experience and our team of expert consultants and stylists are available to guide you in what may initially feel like an overwhelming process.
Unlike when buying attire, electronics, or even cars, the features of a diamond may not seem quite so obvious. We would like to change that, because we feel the best client is an educated client. And the more you know about your diamond jewelry, the more confident you will feel when making (and wearing) your diamond jewelry purchases.
GIA, the largest, most respected nonprofit source of gemological knowledge in the world, created the 4Cs as a universal method for establishing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world.
Take a moment to learn more about the 4Cs and find out about this universal language and how it helps you understand exactly what you are about to purchase.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance or sparkle. Each shape will be cut differently. Before a diamond is cut, the location of inclusions and flaws, the natural coloration, and the original shape of the rough stone are studied extensively. The stone facets are then mapped out and cut in a way that maximizes size, shape, and clarity. For optimal light performance, you will want a diamond that is cut neither too shallow nor too deep. GIA cut scale is graded on a five point scale from poor to excellent. Of all the 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to assess.
Diamonds are graded based on the amount of color they do or do not possess. The scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). An absolutely colorless diamond is rare and therefore very valuable. Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.
A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics, just as a person would be noted for her blue eyes or his brown hair. Notated as a diamond's clarity, these characteristics can be present on the surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). The clarity is judged by the number and types of these characteristics and is designated using a scale that runs from FL, defined as flawless, to I3, defined as inclusions visible with the naked eye. A flawless diamond is truly rare.
FL DiamondsFlawless: No internal or external flaws.
IF DiamondsInternally Flawless: No internal flaws.
VVS1, VVS2 DiamondsVery, Very Slightly included: Very difficult to see inclusions with 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 DiamondsVery Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification to a skilled grader.
SI1, SI2 DiamondsSlightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with the unaided eye.
I1, I2, I3 DiamondsIncluded: Inclusions are visible with the unaided eye.
The unit of measurement used for the weight of a diamond is the carat. As a matter of reference, a carat is equivalent to .2 grams or .007 of an ounce. Carat weight can also be divided further by using points. There are 100 points in one carat. So a 1/4 (.25) carat stone can also be expressed as 25 points and mean exactly the same thing. When comparing two diamonds, please note that just because one is twice the carat weight of the other does not mean that it will appear to be twice the size.
The shape of the diamond is often confused with the cut. Choose the shape that you like based on your style and you cannot go wrong.