529 Maple Ave W, Vienna, VA 22180 : 703-255-5050
Email: info@princessjeweler.com

Learn About Diamonds

diamond_education01

Buy a diamond.

Buying a diamond can an overwhelming experience for most people, but that doesn’t have to be.  Understanding a diamond’s quality characteristics is straightforward and simple.  It is a very emotional and personal purchase when it comes to buying a diamond engagement ring; while price is a consideration, value is most important.   Of all purchases, that of a diamond should be made by an informed decision. The things to look for are what we in the jewelry industry call the four Cs”: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat/Weight.

The Princess Jeweler’s diamond education is designed to answer all your questions.  It explains a diamond’s characteristics, how those characteristics influence appearance, and which are more important than others.

Cut
This refers to the shape or style in which a gem stone is cut. The depth of the diamond as a whole, and the depths of the crown and pavillion all affect the brilliance of the gem. Through the efforts of skilled craftsman, the proper cut reflects the maximum amount of light back to the eyes.

Most round brilliant cut or fancy-shaped diamonds possess 58 carefully angled flat surfaces called facets. If the diamond is cut ideally, each ray of light that strikes the diamond is refracted back out of the top of the stone, adding fire, brilliance and ultimate beauty to your diamond.

Clarity
This refers to the extent to which a diamond is free of imperfections, inclusions and blemishes. Have the jeweler show you the diamond under a 10X magnification. Look for anything inside the diamond. A diamond is like glass; it should be crystal clear and you should note any small blemish inside. For example, you may notice inclusions; black dots or black marks, white lines or feathers, or any chips around the edge of the stone. Don’t try to grade the diamond yourself, but, have our sales associate explain the various grades so that you may understand where this particular diamond falls within the grading scale. If you can not see the inclusions, request that we point them out.

As a rule of thumb, the easier it is to see the inclusion, the lower the clarity grade should be. An inclusion in the center of the stone receives a lower clarity grade than an inclusion of the same size, but on the side of the diamond. A diamond that is virtually free of inclusions is judged as flawless. In these diamonds, nothing interferes with the passage of light nor spoils the beauty. What minute inclusions there may be make every diamond unique. They do not mar the diamond’s beauty nor do they endanger its durability. Without high magnification, you may never see these inclusions. However, the fewer there are, the rarer your diamond will be.

GIA Clarity Grading Scale

FL IF VVS1 VVS2 VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2 I1 I2 I3
Flawless Internally Flawless Very, very slightly included Very slightly included Slightly included Imperfect

Color
This refers to the color of a diamond when observed from the top. Colorless or white diamonds are considered the most valuable, normally. The color grading scale varies from totally colorless to light color or tinted. The difference between one grade and the next is very subtle.

Looking at the color is easier than looking at the clarity. To look at color, ask our sales associate to show you a certified diamond of the same color and compare the two colors. To do this, you need a white backdrop and a white light. Have them turn the diamonds on their backs (top surface or table down). Look for the slightest differences in body color. Look for yellow, brown or grey. If the colors don’t match exactly, the grading is not accurate.

While the majority of gem quality diamonds appear to be colorless, others can contain increasing shades of yellow and brown, some of which are referred to as “champagne diamonds.” 

GIA Color Grading Scale

D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S-V W-Z

Carat Weight
This is the standard unit of weight, in metric terms, used for denoting the weight of diamonds and gem stones. The abbreviation to denote a carat is “ct.” 

One carat is equal to 200 milligrams (one fifth of a gram) and divided into 100 “points” so that a diamond of 125 points is described as a one carat and a quarter or 1.25 carats or 250 milligrams. Size is the most obvious factor in determining the value of a diamond. However, you now know that two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very unequal prices depending on their color, clarity, and cuts.

Remember that diamonds of high quality can be found in all size ranges. There are no two stones exactly alike.

Popular Shapes
The shape which you select is a matter of taste: brilliant, marquise, pear, emerald, oval, heart or square. The most common shapes are shown below:

Round, Princess, Emerald, Oval, Trilliant, Pear, Marquise.
If you are considering the purchase of a diamond, we would be pleased if you visited us so we can provide you with a “walk through” of what we have described. We are sure that you will find your “tour” most fascinating and informative.  Again, we welcome your suggestions, inquiries, or any questions regarding jewelry. We will be more than happy to answer your questions or concern.