Before purchasing a natural diamond there are a number of things you should know that will help you make an educated decision. The Diamond Reserve purchases certified natural diamonds to provide you with stunning options based on grading specifications, visual brilliance and beauty. As a private jeweler, it’s our job to show you a variety of different stones and help you find the perfect diamond.
Diamond grading laboratories were created to provide quality certification through an independent third party. Just because a diamond comes with a certificate does not mean it’s reputable. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the only non-profit grading lab with a mission to protect the consumer, and has a thorough grading process utilizing multiple gemologists to determine a diamond’s quality. The Diamond Reserve only sells GIA certified natural diamonds.
We never recommend purchasing an uncertified diamond or one that has been graded by a seller. Watch the video below as a resource to explain the grading system.
Fluorescence is the tendency of a diamond to emit a soft glow when the stone is exposed to ultraviolet light (UV light) which is a natural diamond property. The GIA mentions fluorescence as:
“… the visible light some diamonds emit when they are exposed to invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. In a GIA diamond grading report, fluorescence refers to the strength, or intensity, of the diamond’s reaction to long-wave UV, which is an essential component of daylight. The light emitted lasts as long as the diamond is exposed to the ultraviolet source. ” GIA.edu
In most cases fluorescence is simply an identifying characteristic of a diamond and not a performance one, but depending on the stone, fluorescence can make a diamond appear oily, hazy or milky. The Diamond Reserve only sells diamonds with a fluorescence grading of “None” or “Faint”, having no impact on the quality, aesthetic, or value of the diamond.
The shape of a diamond refers to its geometric characteristics and general silhouette when viewed face up. Diamonds come in a variety of shapes, the most popular being round. There are two major groups of shapes: round and fancy which includes any shape that isn’t round such as oval, marquise or pear.
Diamonds are measured by carats, not to be confused with karats, which is a measurement used to describe how much pure gold there is in an alloy. There are 100 points in 1 carat, which is important for understanding how pricing works.
For every 50 point increase, the price will increase as well. A 1.50 carat diamond will be priced significantly higher than a 1 carat stone of equal grade because larger diamonds are more rare and only one and every thousand diamonds is above 1 carat in size. If you’re looking for a 1 carat diamond, we recommend viewing a .90 carat to see the price and size difference.
The less color in a diamond the more valuable it is, therefore diamond color actually refers to the absence of color. The highest color grading is D, which signifies a colorless diamond, similar to a drop of pure water. When a diamond has a lower color grade it will have yellow or brown hues.
The GIA color grading scale starts at D and goes to Z. The Diamond Reserve only sells diamonds with a grading range from D to J. Color grades D, E, and F are colorless and G, H, I, and J are near colorless.
Be sure to view diamonds on a white surface in a naturally well lit room and look at an array of diamonds with varying colors so you can choose the color grade that best fits your needs and budget.
The clarity of a diamond is an evaluation of the stones’ naturally occurring imperfections. Surface flaws are referred to as blemishes and internal ones are called inclusions. A clarity grading is determined by how many inclusions the diamond has, where they’re located, the type, and how they affect the diamond’s overall appearance. Most diamonds have inclusions, but what’s important is where they’re located and that they’re not visible to the naked eye.
The GIA clarity grading chart starts at “flawless,” which means the diamond has virtually no imperfections, and goes to “included,” meaning the diamond has inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye. The Diamond Reserve doesn’t sell diamonds with a grading of “included.”
When viewing diamonds it’s important to see the stone under magnification to locate any inclusions. When choosing the clarity grade or purchasing a stone in the “slightly included/ SI” range it’s important to work with a jeweler you trust to ensure the inclusion doesn’t detract from your ring.
A diamond’s cut is one of the most important of the 4 C’s (cut, clarity, color, carat) because it refers to how well its facets interact with light which then determines its level of sparkle. In a well-cut diamond, light enters through the top, or table, and reflects off the angles between the flat places (facets) on the sides (crown and pavilion) and exits back out the top.
The light bouncing around within a diamond creates its brilliance, fire and scintillation. Brilliance is the brightness created by a combination of white light reflections and fire are the flashes of color you see within a diamond. Scintillation is the sparkle that happens when a diamond or light source moves. More than anything else, the quality of the cut determines a diamond’s overall beauty and dazzle.
For round diamonds pay attention to the cut, polish and symmetry grade. Fancy shapes don’t have a cut grade, just polish and symmetry. Cut, polish and symmetry are all graded independently with the same terminology: “Excellent,” “Very Good,” “Good,” “Fair,” and “Poor.” The Diamond Reserve only sells diamonds with a grade of “Excellent,” or “Very Good.”
A diamond outside of “Excellent” or “Very Good” could be cut too deep or shallow, affecting how it sparkles. A shallow diamond will not emit light well and will have black, dead spots where there is no sparkle. A deep diamond can face up small, meaning that because it is carrying so much depth, it does not face up true to its carat weight.
Be sure to view the diamond in different types of light such as sunlight, led lighting, and natural indoor everyday lighting to make sure it has the amount of sparkle you desire.