Does the depth of a diamond matter?

If you’re looking for a diamond with maximum sparkle, you need to pay attention to diamond depth. This characteristic affects how much light a diamond reflects, which can have a big impact on how much your stone shines.

What Is Diamond Depth?

Diamond depth is defined as the distance from the diamond table, the flat area at the top of a diamond, to the pointed area at the bottom, which is known as the cutlet. Dividing this number by the width of the diamond provides the depth percentage, which is a measurement that diamond experts use to define how close a stone is to an ideal depth.

What Is the Ideal Diamond Depth?

The ideal diamond depth percentage depends on the shape of the diamond. Here are the ideal depth percentages for some popular diamond shapes:

  • Round: 59.5–61.9 percent
  • Oval: 59–62 percent
  • Pear: 59–63 percent
  • Princess: 65–70 percent
  • Emerald: 61–67.5 percent
  • Marquise: 59–63 percent
  • Heart: 57–59 percent
  • Cushion: 59–62 percent
  • Asscher: 59–67 percent

Diamond Depth and Brilliance

When shopping for a diamond, it is a good idea to choose one with a depth within the ideal range for each cut type. Diamonds that are too shallow lose a lot of the light that enters their top surface through the bottom, while diamonds that are too deep scatter reflected light out through the sides of the diamond and can cause the diamond to face up smaller than what the carat weight indicates. A diamond of ideal depth reflects light back out through the top surface, giving you maximum brilliance from your diamond ring.

Diamond Depth and Size

Diamond depth also affects how large a diamond appears. Diamonds with a lower depth percentage have larger top surfaces than diamonds of the same overall size with higher depth percentages. Therefore, if you want your diamond to look as large as possible, choose one with a depth percentage toward the bottom of the ideal range for your chosen cut type.

Choosing a Diamond

In addition to diamond depth, you also need to pay attention to the four Cs when shopping for a diamond. These are clarity, cut, color and carat. By paying attention to all these characteristics when choosing your diamond, you can ensure you purchase the stone that is right for you.

5 Reasons to Design Your Own Custom Engagement Ring

In years past, the man bought an engagement ring and crossed his fingers that his bride-to-be would love it. Thankfully, there’s a new script to this story. Today, more couples are now shopping for engagement rings together.  About half of women today want in on designing their own custom engagement ring. Here are five reasons you should too!

The options are endless.

Don’t settle for a mediocre ring stuck in a jewelry display. Get exactly what you want with a custom designed engagement ring. What you say goes! Thin band, pavé set, oval cut diamond — the ring is custom to you and your taste. Choose from hundreds of options that aren’t available in stores. The Diamond Reserve helps you narrow down your options until you find your perfect ring.

You work with someone who knows what they are doing.

Cut. Clarity. Carat. Color. When selecting a diamond, there are so many options. Don’t be overwhelmed. Work with someone who can guide you through the process. The average guy spends only about two to three months researching engagement rings before he buys. It may seem like a long time, but don’t rely on short-term research. Depend on a knowledgeable consultant with years of experience. The Diamond Reserve has helpful consultants that teach the 4 Cs of diamond shopping. They understand diamonds and what setting makes them stand out the best.

Your ring won’t look like the next girl’s.

Why do so many rings look alike? It is supposed to be a reflection of each woman and relationship. Skip the big box stores of engagement rings and custom design your most important piece of jewelry in your life. Your relationship is unique and personal, so should your ring. Let your relationship and personality inspire your ring selection. Perhaps you would like to have a certain numb

er of diamonds designating how many years you’ve been together. Perhaps there is a certain shape of diamond that speaks to you and your taste.

You don’t have to pretend to like the ring he picked out.

You love your fiance, no doubt. But do you love his taste? Do you trust him when it comes to jewelry design? Who’s ever designed a piece of jewelry? Why put that pressure on him?  At The Diamond Reserve, we recommend that he picks a diamond to set in a solitaire setting to pop the question and then the two design something that you will both love.

 

You create happy memories

Get your fiance involved and you’ll get to have a meaningful experience in choosing the ring together. You will have the memories of when he popped the question and of designing the perfect ring together. Design your ring as a symbol of commitment to one another.

There are so many reasons to design your own custom engagement ring. To be involved in the process of making your own ring is priceless. Make sure to bring your inspiration and support of your fiance. Take your time and enjoy the ring design process. You are special and your ring should be too. Best of luck and happy ring designing!

10 Things About Ring Buying You Need to Know


Buying an engagement ring is a big decision. With any luck, this ring will be a part of your life for decades to come. Here are 10 things to consider when choosing a ring to celebrate your engagement.

1. Diamond Shap
The shape of the diamond is perhaps one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a stone. The outlines and contours of a diamond’s shape have a significant impact on how much a ring sparkles in the light. If you’re looking for a diamond that is as bright and brilliant as possible, select a round shape. Round diamonds offer maximum sparkle. However, other shapes, such as pear, oval, princess or emerald, provide alternatives if you want a ring that is as unique as your marriage.

2. Diamond Cut
In addition to the shape, the cut of the diamond is another important factor as it has the greatest influence on the diamond’s sparkle. Diamonds that are cut with proper proportions reflect light from the top of the stone ( referred to as the table by gemologists). If the diamond is not cut properly or too shallow, the diamond will leak light from the bottom and the sides, which can give it a dull appearance. In order to ensure your diamond has the proper cut, look for stones with a cut grade of either a Excellent or Very Good.

3. Diamond Clarity
Diamond clarity is a measure of how many internal flaws, or inclusions a diamond has. The highest diamond clarity grade is FL (flawless). Diamond experts recommend a clarity of at least S12!

4. Diamond Carat
Carat weight describes the size of a diamond. In general, it’s more important to get a quality color, cut and clarity than to blow your budget on a huge diamond that is poor quality. For more on the importance of carat weight check out this blog.

5. Diamond Color
When it comes to diamonds, colorless is the gold standard. The less color a stone appears to have the higher the stone is valued. Similar to the cut, the color of a diamond is evaluated and graded on a scale designed to determine its value. The Diamond Color Grade Chart ranges from D( Absolutely Colorless and highest value) to Z( Noticeable color, lowest value). At The Diamond Reserve we recommend a color grade of J or higher for engagement rings!

6. Diamond Certification
Experts recommend buying a diamond with a certification from either the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The GIA is the only non-profit grading laboratory, their mission is to protect the consumer and their purchase, grading diamonds very strict to ensure the value of the diamond for the consumer.

7. Band Material
Gold and white gold are traditional materials for engagement rings. Many people also opt for platinum, which is very durable and unlikely to cause allergic reactions but costs more. Rose gold has recently been trending, as well as two tone gold engagement rings! If you have allergic reactions to certain metals, choosing the right band material will be very important for you. Otherwise, it is a matter of personal preference.

8. Ring Styles
Engagement rings come in a huge variety of styles. Some of the most popular designs include solitaire, halo, and three-stone. Browse engagement rings on Pinterest to see which engagement rings styles attract your attention.

9. Custom Rings
If you can’t find a ring design you like, you can design your own custom ring. When working with a ring designer, be sure to listen to the expert’s advice about diamond shapes and design styles that work well together. The Diamond Reserve specializes in custom rings, so we can help you find a design that is perfect for you.

10. Ring Prices
Before you start ring shopping, set your budget. The biggest factor in ring pricing is the size of the diamond, so if you have less to spend, you may have to opt for a smaller stone. However, there are many small-stone rings that offer subtle beauty for an affordable price

How Do I Know I am Paying A Fair Price For My Engagement Ring?

Every year Americans spend millions of dollars purchasing the perfect diamond engagement ring for their loved one. With the average consumer spending a hefty $5K on an engagement ring, it stands to reason that the average consumer is left with one looming question. How do I know I am getting what I paid for?

How Diamond Prices are Calculated

If you are an avid reader of our little blog you will no doubt have heard about the 4Cs of diamonds before, but the role they play in the price of your diamond engagement ring isn’t as well-understood. In order to assess the proper value of a stone, a jeweler or diamond broker will examine the diamond’s cut, clarity, color, and carat weight.One important concept to understand is that the cost of a loose diamond is calculated on a “price per carat” basis that follows a simple formula: Cost = Carat Weight x Diamond Price Per Carat. For example, if the price per carat for a 0.50 round brilliant diamond stone is $3,000, the calculated cost is $1,500. Diamond prices, then, increase exponentially with weight. Easy!

Where Does the Price Per Carat Figure Come From?

The most widely used price guides in the diamond industry come from Rappaport and INDEX. If you’re close to buying your engagement ring, you can purchase a current price list to get a good idea of a diamond’s cost.

However, this is an extreme oversimplification. Gauging the price of a diamond is a complex matter that requires you to look at a multitude of factors including:

  • How well the diamond is cut.
  • The grading lab that certified the diamond.
  • Grading accuracy.
  • Fluorescence.

Understanding this part of diamond pricing is important because some jewelers will use a Rappaport report to prove to you’re getting an incredible deal. It’s not always the case.

The Correct Way to Research Diamond Prices

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for calculating a fair price for diamonds. Diamond pricing is a complex subject with far too many variables to make it a science. You can, though get a good idea if you’re being offered a fair deal by comparing the quotes you receive from a jeweler with online diamond prices. Remember, due to overhead, a retail location will almost always have higher prices on engagement rings than what you find online. But you can figure out the right guidelines by starting with the online figures.

Once you understand how diamonds are priced, you can use the 4Cs to choose the diamond you love the most. If you’re ready to buy your diamond engagement ring, let the experts at The Diamond Reserve help you pick out a ring that exceeds your expectations and leaves you feeling like you’re getting the best deal possible! We’re also here to answer any remaining questions you may have about navigating the diamond buying process.

To delve deeper into any of these items, or to explore additional variables, contact an expert at The Diamond Reserve. We are here to help simplify the often overwhelming process of finding the perfect engagement ring for your future spouse and to make sure you don’t overpay.

 

No matter what size or shape the stone may be, two of the terms that come to mind with regards to purchasing a diamond is “color” and “clarity.” However, although these concepts are thought to go hand in hand, they are actually two vastly different notions, each of which affects the stone in its own unique way. That said, the following is an overview of the difference between color and clarity when shopping for diamonds.

Color

When it comes to color, diamonds come in a wide variety of colors. Perhaps the most common and valued are the D colorless diamond. However, pink, blue and yellow diamonds are really gaining popularity among women of all ages. While colored diamonds seem to be all the rage now, it is important to pick a stone that will stand the test of time.

How is the color of a diamond determined? The color of a diamond, or lack thereof, is determined by a grading scale developed by the GIA. The scale ranges from D(colorless) to Z(light color). All D-Z diamonds are considered white, even though they contain varying degrees of color. True fancy colored diamonds (such as yellows, pinks, and blues) are graded on a separate color scale.

When it comes to choosing a diamond for an engagement ring, we recommend choosing a colorless to near colorless diamond with a grading of D to J. This will guarantee that the diamond you choose will have a little color!

Clarity

On the flip side, diamond clarity refers to the measurement of tiny imperfections or inclusions which are inherent within each diamond. With a grading system that goes from F for flawless, all the way down to I for included.

These inclusions and natural flaws, can appear as anything from light or dark spots or appear to be scratches or cracks within the diamond. Using a 10-power magnification, gemologists inspect for inclusions and grade the stone.

While many people may choose to purchase a diamond with a lower clarity such as I1, I2 or I3 score to save a little money it is not recommended.  The farther down the scale you go the stone’s inclusions are more visible. In the I1, I2, I3 range inclusions are visible to the naked eye.  In order to get the most bang for your buck without sacrificing clarity, we recommend purchasing a stone with a grading no lower than SI2, anything graded SI2 or higher on the clarity should not have any apparent inclusions that visible with the naked eye.

When it comes to purchasing a diamond it is vital to learn as much as you can. Think of purchasing a diamond as an investment. Do your research and seek the advice of the experts. The Diamond Reserve is here to help you find the diamond of your dreams. Our expert diamond brokers are passionate about what they do and love to share their knowledge. No matter the color or quality diamond you are looking for, The Diamond Reserve is here to help you find your perfect diamond!

 

The Most Expensive Diamonds in the World

Running to the grocery store wearing a diamond worth tens of millions of dollars is probably nerve-wracking. Yet it’s an extremely rare problem to have, especially since most of the world’s most expensive diamonds are on display in museums. If you get a chance to admire these record-setting gems in person, though, don’t forget to wear your sunglasses: they’re pretty blinding.

The Hope Diamond

Some sources say the Hope diamond is worth upward of $300 million; the Smithsonian, which has housed the gem for 50 years, says it’s priceless. The 45.52-carat blue diamond has a long and storied history that adds to its mystique. A 1908 newspaper article partly sparked interest in the diamond by declaring the gem cursed, as demonstrated by the tragedies of many of its owners.

The Cullinan Diamonds

A single diamond weighing more than one pound in an uncommon find. That’s why it was a surprise when a mine superintendent in South Africa discovered a massive gem in 1905. The diamond was cut into hundreds of stones of varying sizes, but the largest earned the name Cullinan I after the mine’s owner. Still, the largest diamond in the world, the Cullinan I (along with two slightly smaller versions cut from the same original gem) resides in the Tower of London. It’s worth is valued at more than $400 million.

The Koh-i-Noor

Perhaps the world’s most controversial diamond, the Koh-i-Noor is also perhaps the most highly valued. The stone’s history is unclear, but some historians think ancient people discovered it more than 5,000 years ago. People have fought over it ever since. Today, it resides in the Tower of London along with Britain’s crown jewels, but some say India is the rightful owner of the priceless jewel. Its value is said to be too great to be estimated.

The Pink Star Diamond

Although some of the world’s most prized diamonds don’t come with price tags, one recently made headlines for its record-breaking sale. The Pink Star diamond, a 59.6-carat stone, sold for $71.2 million at a Hong Kong auction in April 2017. The massive pink stone was the most valuable gem ever sold at auction.

Looking for a stunning diamond with a price that won’t make your jaw drop? Visit The Diamond Reserve today!

 

How To Make Your Diamond Stand Out

If you have been following our blog for the past few months there is no doubt that you have become very familiar with the 4 C’s of diamonds. But did you know that when it comes to classifying a diamond’s worth, it is often the carat weight that holds the most- well weight? Because of this diamonds higher in carat are often appraised for a higher value. As such it can be difficult for buyers like you to find a diamond that both meets your specifications and your budget.

Thankfully, you do not have to break the bank to get the diamond of your choice.There are many tricks you can apply to make your ring stand out regardless of size,  and look larger than it is.

Tip #1. Choose the cut of the stone carefully

The cut of your stone can have a huge effect on the stone’s appearance.  Not only does the cut of the diamond affect its brilliance it can also make the stone appear a lot smaller or larger than a stone of the same carat weight. This is a common phenomenon with round cut diamonds.Our experts often recommend round cut diamond due to their brilliance, but if you want your diamond to appear larger, regardless of carat, we recommend choosing a fancy cut diamond, such as an emerald or oval cut. Fancy shapes diamonds often create an optical illusion that the stone takes up much more space on the finger, therefore, creating the appearance of a bigger stone.

Tip #2  Choose your setting wisely

There are many settings to choose from that can enhance the appearance of a diamond making it look brighter, more brilliant and even a bit bigger.

A great option is the Bevel setting. Bevel settings encircle the diamond with a metal rim. This distinctive design doesn’t suit everyone’s tastes, but its elevated setting allows for maximum light play.The metal ring also helps to protect the diamond from blows that might chip or dislodge it.

If you want to add a bit more sparkle to your ring, we also recommend choosing a halo setting. This design includes a surface area that is covered by many smaller diamonds packed tightly together. The smaller diamonds act as a reflector and create a fused appearance.  Thus creating the appearance of one large stone. Unfortunately,  Halo settings are often costly due to the additional craftsmanship required, however, if you are willing to sacrifice a little size the Halo setting is a beautiful choice.

Here at The Diamond Reserve, we understand that choosing a diamond engagement ring is a momentous occasion. Which is why our expert diamond brokers are dedicated to helping each client design the ring of their dreams. Contact us today!

 

Is Diamond Clarity Really Important?

Finding the perfect diamond engagement ring is both an art and a science. The Gemological Institute of America established the global standard for grading diamonds, which determines value by judging color, cut, carat and clarity. You don’t have to be a fine jewelry expert to appreciate the clarity of a diamond, but there is much more to the value and quality of diamond than what the naked eye can see. Diamond clarity helps appraisers and consumers know what is happening below the surface.

What Is Diamond Clarity?

Although some diamonds may look perfectly clear and flawless to the naked eye, virtually all natural diamonds contain imperfections below the surface. A diamond’s clarity refers to the natural imperfections in the crystal’s structure. Referred to as inclusions to a professional gemologist, these imperfections are the natural result of the stone’s exposure to the extreme conditions below the earth’s surface that brings them to life. If you’ve ever heard of the term “a diamond in the rough” and wondered where it came from, it’s a tribute to the stone’s origin story, and how the work of a jeweler can turn an imperfect rock into a beautiful and unique piece of jewelry.

How Diamond Clarity Affects Quality

According to the GIA,  the clarity of diamonds is evaluated on a grading system called the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale. Comprised of 11 grades, the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale separates diamonds into the following categories:

  • Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and diamonds in this classification have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.

How does the GIA determine the category the diamond falls under you ask?

By considering the nature, size, position, color or relief and the quantity of the clarity characteristics that are visible under 10x magnification, the GIA can determine the clarity grade with ease.  While many people may choose to purchase a diamond with a lower clarity classification, instead focusing on the carat weight, cut and color, we do not recommend choosing a diamond with a classification lower than an SI2.  Anything lower will have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.  And once you can see those inclusions, no matter how slight, that is all you can see.

What is the difference between a GIA I1 and EGL S12?

It is not uncommon for people looking to save a little money to consider purchasing an EGL certified diamond. But this is a BIG mistake.  Unlike the GIA, who have spent decades setting the standard for diamond classification, the EGL does not require stones to meet the same strict criteria.  Which means an EGL SI1  diamond in one store could really be an SI2 in another store, or even and I1, I2, or even I3. In addition, many EGL diamonds are never placed under 10x magnification and only graded after being deemed “eye clean”.

Before you buy insist that the jeweler show you the diamond’s inclusions through the aid of a loop or microscope. Without the aid of a magnifying device, it is nearly impossible to see every inclusion. As you examine the stone make note of each inclusion, where they are, how large they are, do they affect the stone’s brilliance, etc.  Then examine the stone with your own naked eye.  Can you still see the inclusions? If not, this may be the diamond for you.

What clarity do you recommend?

At The Diamond Reserve, we recommend not going below an SI2 when it comes to picking a diamond for your engagement ring. But depending on the cut, the clarity classification recommendation can change too. For example, for Emerald and Asscher cuts we recommend choosing a diamond with a score of VS2 or higher.  

Contact one of our Denver-based diamond and fine jewelry experts by calling 720-560-3548 for more information about diamond clarity and grading, and to find the perfect engagement ring and wedding set for you.

 

When it comes to determining the value of diamond experts refer to the four C’s of diamond quality as identified by the GIA.  What do the four C’s stand for?  Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat.  At The Diamond Reserve we believe in educating our clients and as part of this commitment, we are creating a series of articles that will demystify a few of the most common mistakes novice diamond buyers make.  Up first, shape vs cut.

Diamond Shapes and Cuts

Every engagement ring begins its life as a rough diamond which is then cut and shaped by a gem cutter (or lapidary if you want to get fancy). Everyone is generally familiar with the most popular diamond shapes for an engagement ring, but there are many diamond shapes to choose from depending on budget, personal taste, and style.

There are 10 basic diamond shapes ranging from common to very rare:

  • Round
  • Cushion
  • Oval
  • Emerald
  • Princess
  • Radiant
  • Heart
  • Marquise
  • Pear
  • Asscher

Fun Fact: Round diamonds are the only stone that are graded on cut, polish and symmetry. Whereas diamonds in all other shapes are graded only on cut and polish.

A diamond’s shape is a result of how the stone is cut. In order to grade and appraise the quality and estimated value of a diamond, gemologists examine factors like depth, proportions, polish and overall symmetry. As consumers, we naturally tend to evaluate an engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry by how good it looks when we wear it. And we are extremely susceptible to marketing terms that jewelers often use to pique our interest.  One of the biggest marketing tricks some less reputable jewelers use is the term “ ideal cut”. This term evokes a sense of luxury and quality, but it is not an actual term used by the GIA when grading cut, polish or symmetry.  Why does the cut of a diamond matter?  The diamond’s cut directly affects the stone’s brilliance, fire and scintillation. Instead the GIA uses the following terms when identifying the grade of a quality diamond cut.

  1. Excellent-Diamonds with proportions that allow them to exhibit maximum brilliance, fire and scintillation.
  2. Very Good- Diamonds display very good brilliance, fire and scintillation, but one or two of its dimensions do not meet the top standards.
  3. Good-In a strange twist of fate a good rating is actually bad when it comes to diamonds as they do not retain or reflect as much light resulting in less brilliance, fire and scintillation.

How do they determine the grade? While the GIA’s cut evaluation process is quite complex, it comes down to these three elements.

  1. Assessing the proportions of the diamond’s parts
  2. The quality of the stone’s polish
  3. The symmetry of its facets

Are you looking for the perfect engagement ring or custom jewelry for yourself or a loved one? Contact one of our fine jewelry experts in Denver by calling 720-560-3548 to schedule an appointment today.

 

How to Spot a Fake Diamond a Mile Away

Whether you are in the market for an engagement ring or a custom piece of jewelry for yourself or a loved one, there is nothing like an investment in quality diamonds. But even savvy buyers can be vulnerable to the lure of an imposter. In order to protect your investment and make sure that the diamond you are buying is of the highest quality, follow a few simple tips to test the authenticity of your stone.

I’m a Diamond, You’re a Cubic Zirconia: How to Tell If a Diamond Is Real

You don’t have to be an expert yourself to be able to tell if your mounted or loose diamonds are fake. There are a few simple, at-home tests anyone can perform to separate the real diamonds from the phonies.

Here are three tests that you can perform on your own to confirm that your diamond is authentic:

Water

It doesn’t get much easier than the water test. Real diamonds are denser than their fake counterparts, so if your stone is real, it will sink to the bottom of a simple glass of water. If it floats near the top or middle of the glass, you likely have a counterfeit on your hands.

Fog It

Can breathing on a stone really help to determine if it is real? According to the experts, it can. A real diamond will be resistant to fogging, whereas a fake one will fog like a mirror when you breathe on it.

Magnify the Imperfections

If you have access to a magnifying glass, take a look at your stone and study what you see. If it is clear and smooth like a clean window pane under magnification, it is likely as fake as the window pane! Genuine diamonds contain imperfections that should be visible under a microscope (think of the vintage image of a professional jeweler scrutinizing diamonds under an eyepiece!)

Pro tip: If you have access to a black light, study the diamond under the black light and look for a blue tint, which is a sign that it is real.

Pro tip: Only purchase diamonds that have been GIA certified. Ask your jeweler to either provide proof of GIA certification or insist that they send the stone in for evaluation prior to purchasing. All reputable jewelers will be happy to provide you with the necessary documentation, if they balk at your request run, not walk way!

Pro tip: Only shop from reputable jewelers that have a clear history online and lots of positive reviews.

Don’t leave your diamond and fine jewelry buying needs to chance. For more information on investing in the diamond of your dreams, contact one of our Denver diamond experts online or call 720-560-3548 to schedule an appointment today.