Choosing The Perfect Diamond
Diamond Guide

Generally speaking, there are eight principle diamond shapes: Round, Marquise, Emerald, Princes, Pear, Oval, Heart, and Radiant.

The 4C’s of Diamond Buying

The key to understanding the diamond and its value is to understand the four attributes all diamonds share: color, cut, clarity and carat weight.

Once you have established those 4C characteristics that are most important to you, a jeweler like Brentwood Jewelry 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.