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Selecting a diamond

So you are ready to make your dream ring, but how do you choose the right diamond? There's a lot to unpack when it comes to diamonds. Here are the basics and advice from our experts to help you make an informed discussion.

What are The 4C’s?

Before we get into shopping for diamonds, let's review the essential characteristics that are used internationally to grade diamonds.

Cut Grade

A diamond's cut grade refers to the stonecutter's precision and a geometry that allows the stone's facets to interact with and reflect light. A well-cut stone has the sparkle, fire, and brilliance we all associate with diamonds.

Color Grade

A diamond's color grade refers to the absence of color. The highest-rated diamonds are colorless or near-colorless. This is because a perfectly formed diamond free of impurities is colorless, like a drop of water.

Clarity Grade

Diamonds are formed deep under the earth under tremendous pressure; impurities imparted during the growth process can form "birthmarks" Called inclusions or blemishes. A diamond's clarity grading refers to the lack of impurities, the highest rating being FL (flawless), which means a skilled grader can find no impurities at 10x magnification.

Carat Weight

Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats. This is different from gold karat, which refers to gold purity. One carat equals 0.02 grams and is divided into 100 points; for example, a fifty-point diamond is equivalent to 0.50 carats.

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Advice From Our Experts


Master Goldsmith & Expert Stone Setter

One misconception is that diamonds are indestructible. Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth. However, they are not the most durable. It's important to know that diamonds can break if force is applied at the right angle. The diamond’s cut and the design of its setting can either increase or reduce the likelihood of a diamond cleaving or fracturing. | Shapes with thin, sharp edges are more likely to fracture than round stones. Just as well, settings that leave much of the diamond exposed, like a four-prong setting, leave the diamond more susceptible to fracture than a bezel, which protects all the edges of the stone. The shape of the stone you choose and the setting should all be considered in terms of durability and wear over time.


Owner, Jewelry Designer, and Goldsmith

Clients are often surprised to hear that their heirloom diamond has chips or cleaves. Though it doesn't always happen, as Libby mentioned, diamonds are not the most durable substance on earth, and it is possible. When I meet with a new client, I try to work with them to create a piece that fits their aesthetic and will offer the best possible protection for the stones. | One option to consider when working with an existing diamond is recutting. This allows us to take a diamond that may not have the appeal we expect and come away with something precision cut for fire and brilliance. It's important to remember that you will lose carat weight when recutting, but it may be well worth it for a diamond that is cut poorly or in bad shape from years of wear.

We are always happy to help with any of your jewelry needs.

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