Diamond Guide

WeBelieve DiamondGuide

Buying a diamond is a very personal experience. Diamonds are bought to signify love, accomplishments, and milestones in a person's life. Unlike when you buy clothing or cars, the features of a diamond may not seem quite as obvious to you. We would like to change that.

We pride ourselves on accurate diamond grading and transparent diamond education. The more you know about your diamond jewelry, the more confident and comfortable you will feel when making your choices.

Every diamond we sell is hand-selected by our in-store Graduate Gemologists and meets our high stardards, no matter your budget.

Our diamonds are independently certified and then examined by our Gemologists to confirm that their gradings are always accurate and never overstated.

We also have free diamond consultations in our store to give you the diamond education of a lifetime.

Looking for our diamond prices? View our Price Guide.
Diamonds Education


Shape

The shape is the stylistic outline of a cut diamond and is often confused with the cut itself. Choose a shape that you like based on your style, and you cannot go wrong.

All shapes other than the round brilliant are referred to as "fancy shapes."

Most shapes have a standard brilliant cut consisting of 57 or 58 facets that reflect light in every direction. Other shapes (emerald, asscher, and baguette) have step cuts.

The following shapes are the most common:

 Diamond Shapes12

 


Cut

The cut of a diamond refers to the placement of facets and their symmetry and proportioning. It has the greatest impact on a diamond's brilliance or sparkle. 

The main thing that makes a diamond so beautiful is its sparkle and brilliance! No one needs a dull diamond!

A diamond cutter extensively studies the inclusions, coloration, and shape of the rough stone before cutting.

A very skilled cut alone can give you the benefits of the other three Cs. For optimal light performance, you want a diamond that is cut neither too shallow nor too deep.

A shallow cut attempts to enlarge the surface area, but it sends the light out the bottom and can even reduce its durability or "toughness." A deep cut attempts to increase the carat weight, but it sends light out the sides.

At Ramsey's we believe in diamonds cut for maximum brilliance, not maximum size. Low quality is never a good value.

Diamond Cuts
 
 

Color

The normal diamond color range scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). An absolutely colorless diamond is rare and therefore very valuable.

Color becomes much harder to detect once a stone is set in a ring and is reflecting the colorful environment around it.

There are also colored diamonds outside of the normal range known as fancy color diamonds. They can be either natural or treated, and the rarest and most valuable natural colors are saturated pinks, purples, blues, and greens. They are graded on their color saturation and distribution. 

Diamond Color Scale
 

Clarity

A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics present on its surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). The clarity is judged by the number, size, and types of these features and is designated using a scale that runs from FL, defined as flawless, to I3, defined as inclusions visible with the naked eye. A flawless diamond is rare, comprising .001% of world diamond production.

Diamond Clarity Scale
 
  • 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 & VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 & VS2) - Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 & SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, & I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may be visible to the naked eye. May affect brilliance and durability.

Carat Weight

A carat is a unit of weight, not surface area, used to measure gemstone size. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, about the same weight as a paperclip. While the carat weight affects the surface area of a diamond, the dimensions (described in millimeters) will fluctuate noticeably among different diamond shapes and cuts of the same carat weight.

When comparing two diamonds, please note that just because one is twice the carat weight of another does not mean that its surface area will appear to be twice the size. This is because the depth of the diamond increases proportionally to surface area as carat weight increases. Additionally, a larger carat diamond with a poor cut can appear smaller than a smaller carat diamond with a better cut. 

Larger diamonds are rarer than smaller diamonds, so all other things being equal, one 1 carat diamond will be worth more than four .25 carat diamonds put together. 

Diamond Carat Scale


Please feel free to contact us.

We have jewelry professionals ready to help.

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