Diamond Guide

There is nothing a woman will wear that is closer to her heart than her diamond engagement ring, the sign of eternal love. It becomes a part of her the moment she slips it on. So time and thought should go into choosing each element of it.

The diamond’s lasting history symbolizes the couple’s unending love; the shape of the stone should symbolize other aspects of your relationship and style. Unless there is a specific setting that you’ve fallen in love with, it is probably best to start narrowing down your choices by thinking about the shape of the diamond you prefer. Generally speaking, there are eight principle diamond shapes: Round, Marquise, Emerald, Princes, Pear, Oval, Heart, and Radiant. Peruse the shapes using our diamond collection search tool.

The 4C’s of Diamond Buying

Many people are confused about how diamonds are priced. The best explanation is that asking for the price of a diamond is like asking for the price of a house. A real estate agent can’t quote you a price for a house without knowing its size, condition, location, etc. This process is the same one used when buying a diamond. A diamond’s beauty, rarity and price depend on the interplay of all the 4C’s – cut, clarity, carat and color.

The four c’s are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest 4C ratings are more rare and consequently, more expensive. No one C is more important to note than another in terms of beauty and it is important to note that each of the 4Cs will not diminish in value over time.

Once you have established those 4C characteristics that are most important to you, a jeweler like Brentwood Jewelers, can then begin to show you various options with quoted prices.

Grading Report

Diamond certificates, more accurately known as diamond grading reports, are commonly provided with the purchase of a significant piece of diamond jewelry, such as a diamond engagement ring or a diamond three stone ring. These reports are prepared by independent, certified gemologists from laboratories around the world and can help calculate the specific characteristics of your diamond (color, cut, clarity and carat weight, for example).

Benefits of getting a diamond grading report: Diamond grading reports assure you of the authenticity and quality of your diamond. Certification will not increase the value of your diamond, but it helps to ensure authenticity and specific characteristics. A certificate is an objective comparison, in addition, some insurance companies may require a grading report if you are planning on insuring your diamond purchase.

Diamond Quality Pyramid

The Diamond Quality Pyramid is a frame work to help you compare diamonds. While all diamonds are precious, those closest to the top of the pyramid – possessing the best combination of cut, clarity, carat weight and color – are the earth’s rarest and most valuable.

CARAT: Refers to the weight of a diamond. Carat is often confused with size even though it is actually a measure of weight. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams and can be divided into 100 “points.” A .75 carat diamond is the same as a 75-points or 3/4 carat diamond. As a diamond goes up in carats, the price grows exponentially because larger diamonds occur less and less in nature.

CLARITY: Refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond. Every diamond is unique. Nature ensures that each diamond is as individual as the person who wears it. Naturally-occurring features – known as inclusions – provide a special fingerprint within the stone. Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics such as minerals or fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, know as clarity, which was established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The clarity scale, ranging from F (Flawless) to I (Included) is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x.

COLOR: Refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless. Diamonds are found in almost every color of the rainbow, but white-colored diamonds remain most popular. Diamond color chart (D-Z) GIADiamonds range from D (colorless) to Z. Warmer colored diamonds (K-Z) are particularly desirable when set in yellow gold. Icy winter whites (D-J) look stunning set in white gold or platinum. So a diamond with D color rating is highly rare and placed higher on the pyramid, but color ultimately plays into buying when determining a setting.

CUT: Refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. Nature determines so much about a diamond, but it takes a master cutter to reveal the stone’s true brilliance, fire and ultimate beauty. Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internal reflect light from one mirror like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds.


Diamond Cutting Styles

Cut and cutting style work in harmony to create a diamond’s brilliance. Cutting style is categorized into three basic types: step-cut, brilliant-cut and mixed-cut. The difference between these three types is the number of facets in each cut. A facet is an edge that is cut into a diamond. A 58-faceted diamond will have 58 edges or planes cut and polished into it.

Brilliant Cut: The most common brilliant-cut is round, but it can also be heart, oval, marquise and pear. All brilliants have 58 facets and are admired for their fire and sparkle.

Step Cut: This cut has rows of facets that resemble the steps of a staircase and are usually four-sided and elongated. The Emerald and Baguette-cuts are examples of the step cut.

Mixed Cut: This cut has both step and brilliant-cut facets. In the last 20 years, mixed-cuts featuring step-cutting on the crown and brilliant-cutting on the pavilion have become quite popular. Mixed-cuts combine the beauty of the step-cut with the sparkle of the brilliant-cut. (common names of mixed-cuts: Radiant – a rectangular or square shaped diamond, Barion – brilliant square-cut diamond with 62 facets, and Princess – a square or rectangular shaped diamond with 49-50 facets)


About Diamonds

+ Every diamond is immensely old (true, non-synthesized diamonds), formed long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. The youngest diamond is 900 million years old, and the oldest is 3.2 billion years old.
+ Every diamond is unique; no two are alike.
+ The very word ‘diamond’ comes from the Greek term ‘adamas’ meaning unconquerable.
+ Diamonds exist in many colors, the rarest of all being red.
+ Diamonds were first mined in India more than 2800 years ago.
+ Each stone loses, on average, more than half it’s original weight during cutting and polishing.
+ The word ‘carat’ comes from the carob tree whose seeds were used as the standard of weighing precious stones.
+ Less than 5% of all the diamonds made into jewelry are larger than one carat.