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Unlike most Internet jewelers, at Diamond Design Co. each piece of jewelry is carefully designed and crafted by our in-house jewelers.

Need it wider, smaller, more stones, less stones, a different metal or precious stone, NOT A PROBLEM. Our jewelry is made-to-order-, "made by us for you".

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Basic 4 C's Overview

Color | Clarity | Cut | Carat

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Color

D-E-F: Colorless. This is the colorless diamond group. They are common enough to be found in any store, but still command the highest prices. D and E show virtually no color. F starts to show the very slightest of color and is the transitional color to the next group.

G-H-I: Near colorless. This is the near colorless group. If you are looking for value when you shop, ask to see stones from this group. These diamonds begin to exhibit a very light shade of color, but it is hard to detect in mounted stones.

J-K-L-M: Faint yellow. This is the group that begins to show slight yellow color which may be noticeable from the top of the stone and even more from the sides.

To ensure highest quality in all our products, The Diamond Design Company does not work with diamonds beyond J color and all of our diamonds are graded for color prior to mounting. The Diamond Design Company uses a Gran colormeter to grade color, thus eliminating the subjective element.

Color | Clarity | Cut | Carat

Clarity

Clarity is another important issue to consider when buying a diamond. A diamond's clarity can be affected by two types of flaws:

EXTERNAL FLAWS:

These are any of the impurities that are on the surface of the diamond. External flaws are the result of wear and tear on the diamond or from damage caused during cutting.

INTERNAL FLAWS:

These are any of the many impurities that reside solely in the interior of the diamond. There are many kinds of internal flaws. A few important ones that you should familiarize yourself with are:

  • Black or dark spots: Carbon or other dark spots.
  • Clouds: Clouds are microscopic inclusions that lower transparency.
  • Fracture (feather): The majority of imperfections in diamonds are the result of breakage or fractures, in the diamond chemical structure.

CLARITY GRADING:

The common scale used is based on 10-power magnification (hand held loupe or microscope). This means that for all practical purposes, any imperfection that is too small to be seen with x10 magnification does not "exist" when grading a diamond.

The purer a diamond, the greater its value.

The GIA defines the qualifications for each group in the scale as follows:

Internally flawless (and flawless) group: FL-IF

The highest clarity grade given. “The diamond in question will be without imperfections visible with x10 magnification. Some blemishes may be permitted externally bringing the stone to a clarity of “IF” or Internally Flawless”.

Very very slightly included group: VVS1 and VVS2

The VVS group is divided into two, VVS1 and VVS2: “The VVS inclusion in question will be very hard to detect, even for an experienced examiner using x10 power magnification”.

Very slight included group: VS1 and VS2

The definition of this group is as follows: “The VS inclusion in question will be hard to detect, even for an experienced examiner using x10 power magnification”.

Slightly included group: SI1, SI2 and SI3

The majority of engagement diamonds bought today are of the SI range: “Inclusions and imperfections in this group may be visible easily with the aid of x10 magnification”. SI3, a relatively new grade added by some laboratories to bridge the very wide gap between SI2 and I1 (imperfect).

  • SI1: Can be seen easily with x10 magnification. Cannot be viewed with the naked eye.
  • SI2: Can be seen easily with x10 magnification. Rarely can be viewed with the naked eye.
  • SI3: Can be seen very easily with x10 magnification. In most cases (stones above 3/4 of a carat) can be viewed with the naked eye.

Color | Clarity | Cut | Carat

Cut

As the single human contribution to a polished diamond's beauty, cut is perhaps the most important, yet most over-looked, of the Four Cs of diamond quality. How does cut affect a diamond's value and beauty? A good cut gives a diamond its brilliance, its aligndispersion, its scintillation-in short, its life. And brilliance is what a diamond is all about, especially in the eyes of the consumer.

The particular angles and finish of any diamond are what determine its ability to handle light, which leads to brilliance. Several factors are considered:

Proportion:

A well-cut diamond reflects light back to the eye evenly in the face-up position, with no dark areas. Dark or 'dead' areas are due to poor cutting, and should not be confused with the faint "bow-ties" which are typical of fancy shapes; in the case of fancy shapes, bow-ties are where the main brilliance and life of the diamond are most apparent.

As you can see from the illustrations below, when a diamond is well-cut (either a fine cut or an Ideal cut), light enters through the table and travels all the way to the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other - intensifying in the mirror-like facets as it travels - before reflecting back out of the diamond through the table and to the observer's eye.

This brightness that seems to come from the very heart of a diamond is known as brilliance. It is the effect that makes diamonds unique among all other gemstones. While other gemstones also display brilliance, none have the power to equal the extent of diamond's light-reflecting power.

In a poorly cut diamond, however, the light that enters through the table reaches the pavilion facets and then 'leaks' out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye.

Cut quality

The Diamond Design Company has invested in the latest technology for grading diamond proportions. Prior to mounting we grade each diamond on a Sarin Diamension proportion grading machine.

Sarin ReportThe Sarin DiaMension proportion analyzer provides the most accurate evaluation of diamond proportion measurements available today. It is used by GIA, American Gem Society (AGS) and other gemological laboratories to analyze diamond proportions.

If a merchant selling diamonds cannot provide you with a Sarin report then BUYER BEWARE!

A sample output from a Sarin Proportion grading machine is shown here. All our diamonds include a Sarin Diamond Grade Report (DGR).

Finish:

Finish refers to the qualities imparted to a diamond by the skill of the diamond cutter. The term "finish" covers every aspect of a diamond's appearance that is not a result of the diamond's inherent nature when it comes out of the ground. The execution of the diamond's design, the precision of its cutting details, and the quality of its polish are all a consideration when a gemologist is grading finish. If you examine a diamond's grading report, you will see its finish graded according to two separate categories: polish and symmetry.

POLISH refers to any blemishes on the surface of the diamond which are not significant enough to affect the clarity grade of the diamond. Examples of blemishes that might be considered as 'polish' characteristics are faint polishing lines and small surface nicks or scratches.

SYMMETRY refers to variations in a diamond's symmetry. The small variations can include misalignment of facets or facets that fail to point correctly to the girdle (this misalignment is completely undetectable to the naked eye).

Major symmetry problems are often seen in diamonds graded as Fair or Poor; they can include severe misalignment of facets, a noticeably off-center table, a noticeably 'wavy' girdle, or a table which is noticeably not parallel to the girdle. However, these types of problems are not a consideration when buying a diamond from The Diamond Design Company because we do not sell any diamonds graded as Fair or Poor.

Learn more about why CUT is the Most Important C.

Color | Clarity | Cut | Carat

Carat

The weight or size of a diamond is measured in carats. A one-carat stone is equal in weight to one hundred smaller units called points. Carat weight is the most obvious factor in determining a diamond's value, dependending on the quality of its cut, clarity and color. Be aware that the price of a stone may jump after certain weight thresholds (usually at quarter-carat marks, such as 25 or 75 points).

Approximate sizes as measured in milimeters:

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