Phone 573.445.8765
 Fax         573.445.7790

Selecting the Right Diamond

For most, buying a diamond is a new experience, but that does not mean it needs to be difficult. Understanding a diamond’s quality and characteristics is straightforward and simple.


Step 1- Choose a Shape

Different people are attracted to different shapes. This quick guide will help you to learn the difference between the diamond shapes.

Step 2- The "4 C's"

The quality of a diamond is evaluated using 4 primary characteristics known as the 4C’S – cut, color, clarity and carat. There is a wide range of diamond sizes and qualities available within any given budget. By following the industry’s tried and true tested guidlines below, it will help you in choosing the diamond that is right for you.
 

Cut- The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance and sparkle. Cut is considered to be the most important of all of the diamond characteristics as it is what determines the overall beauty and life of a diamond. Diamonds with perfect clarity or color but which are badly cut can appear dull and lifeless, but the best cut diamonds have proportions that are consistently known for maximizing brilliance and overall beauty.


 

Color- The color of a diamond results from natural elements of nitrogen that existed when the diamond formed under the Earth. Most diamonds naturally show a degree of yellow, brown, green or grey. The most common color and hue is yellow. The amount of yellow hue is graded according to a scale which ranks the lack of color with the highest letter grade which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (heavy yellow). Diamonds whose color is beyond Z are denoted as “fancy color" diamonds and are graded using their own scale and terminology. The less color that appears in a diamond, the more rare it is, and therefor the higher the value.


Clarity- The clarity of a diamond is measured by the number of internal characteristics called imperfections and external characteristics called blemishes. The number, size, nature, and position of these characteristics all affect the final clarity grade of a diamond. Although no diamond is perfectly pure, diamonds with no or few inclusions are very rare and much higher in value.

 

The diamond grading scale is made of 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 categories. All diamond clarity grading is determined using a 10X magnification.

1) Flawless (FL)

No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification

2) Internally Flawless (IF)

No inclusions visible under 10x magnification

3) Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)

Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification

4) Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)

Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor

5) Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)

Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification

6) Included (I1, I2, and I3)

Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance


Carat- The term "carat" refers to the weight of a diamond. Just like there are 100 pennies in a dollar, the same calculation holds true with the weight of a diamond. 100 points equals 1 carat. Hence, 50 points is equal to 1/2 a carat and so on. The value of a diamond rises exponentially because larger diamonds are more rare and more desirable.

 

Step 3- Other Characteristics

Fluorescence

Polish

Symmetry

Culet
 

Step 4- Diamonds Certification

Diamonds are certified by the leading laboratories in the world including GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL USA, and EGL I’NTL. These independent labs of trained gemologists provide a professional opinion that substantiates the price of a diamond. Diamond dealers very often conduct business sight unseen through these diamond grading reports.