A good cut gives a diamond its brilliance, which is the brightness that seems to come from the inside of the stone. The angles and finish of any diamond are what determine its ability to handle light, which leads to brilliance.
When a diamond is well-cut, light enters through the top of the stone and travels to the pointy end where it reflects from one side to the other before reflecting back out of the diamond through the top and to the observer’s eye. This light is the brilliance we mentioned, and it’s this flashing, fiery effect that makes diamonds so mesmerizing.
Inclusions are flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals found in the diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are more highly valued than those with less clarity because they are more rare.
Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. Grades range from Flawless to Slightly Included. Diamonds that are clear create more brilliance, and are therefore more highly prized and priced.
F – Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
IF – Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
VVS1-VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions.
very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
VS1-VS2 – Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
SI1-SI2 – Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
Remember that no 2 diamonds are ever the same. It is not like buying a TV where the working parts are identical and your decision is about the choice of brand and the cost difference. This is a different kind of purchase and we are here to help you learn about how to make the best choice for yourself.
To grade ‘whiteness’ or colorlessness, most jewelers refer to a professional color scale that begins with the highest rating of D for colorless, and travels down the alphabet to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish color. The color scale continues all the way to Z.
Note: Diamonds graded G through I show virtually no color that is visible to the untrained eye.
Shopping for diamonds on-line hurts small independent business people. Unfortunately today there are a number ways for people to access diamonds that are being sold at wholesale prices on-line. This situation makes it very hard for consumers to understand the true value of a stone and hard to know who to trust when buying one. Ironically, we have had customers ask us to validate their on-line purchases, because they trust our expertise, but they want to pay the lowest possible prices. Our expertise is worth something and therefore it needs to cost something. We believe in the importance of bricks and mortar business and the value they add to a city and culture and life. Please reconsider your on-line diamond purchase and keep it local, keep it real and do the right thing.