Diamond Specifications: The Six C's

Diamond Specifications: The Six C's
Diamonds standards are designed to provide objectivity for the jeweler and customer.
At a Glance
  • Diamond Specifications: The six important factors to consider when purchasing a diamond are what we call the Six C's: Conscience, Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat and Certification.

Most jewelers describe diamond grading in terms of the 4 C's: Color, Clarity, Carat weight, and Cut. Yet two additional C's, Certification, and most importantly, Conscience, are just as critical to making a well-informed decision. Here is a brief explanation of the different aspects of diamonds to consider with your purchase.

A diamond, especially on an engagement ring, symbolizes one's most cherished and noble sentiments. Its sourcing needs to align with your values, which is why for us, Conscience is the first "C". A diamond on an engagement ring symbolizes one's most cherished and noble sentiments. We can trace the diamonds we sell from our website and store from certified recycled sources, from the mine, through cutting and right to you. We are transparent about our diamond sourcing, which assists you in making a well-informed decision.
When purchasing a diamond you will most likely want a pure, white color. Millions of carats of diamonds are mined each year, and of those, only a handful are actually pure white, making them exceedingly expensive. The rest contain traces of gaseous elements, often nitrogen, trapped inside the carbon. This causes brownish or yellow coloration that can range from barely visible to outright impairing.

Diamond color is graded with letters according to its whiteness. Grades of 'F' and above (the diamond grades of E and D) are rare, and demand a premium price because they are the most white. Any diamond that is 'G', or even 'H', is still so white that it takes training to actually notice color. Some people find the whiter diamonds too stark and wan, not nearly warm enough.

We recommend color in the 'G' to 'H' range, which we feel represents the best value for your money. However, should you wish to have a whiter diamond, we are more than happy to make accommodations for you.
Diamonds are graded with numbers and letters that describe the level of inclusion in the stone. VVS1 means "very very slight" inclusion. VVS2 means slightly more inclusions than VVS1. VS1 is slightly more inclusions than VS2. If you end up with I3, inclusion level 3, you're getting a diamond that is not really a quality gem for a wedding ring.

We recommend SI1, slight inclusion level 1, or less. SI1 have inclusions that are not easily visible to the naked eye. In the trade, this is called 'eye clean'. Though we can source higher grade diamonds, the SI1 category represents to us, the best overall value to our customers.

A diamond on an engagement ring symbolizes one's most cherished and noble sentiments. We can trace the diamonds we sell from our website and store from certified recycled sources, from the mine, through cutting and right to you.

While the first three C's mentioned so far were determined by a rough diamond that comes out of natural sources such as a river, ocean or mine, how that diamond is actually transformed into a sparkling gem is determined by the cut. Cut is absolutely critical and no need for expertize to recognize that some cuts are better than others.

Every diamond has three sections. The "pavilion" is the bottom of the diamond. The "girdle" is the thin middle section, which sits between the pavilion and the top part of the diamond, which is known as the "crown". The crown is where the facets are cut to reflect and refract the light.

The objective for the cutter is to cut and polish a diamond so that it has ideal proportion and symmetry, in order to maximize the "brilliance". Brilliance refers to how intensely light comes or "dances" from out of the diamond as you view it. "Scintillation" refers to the sparkle, or how much the diamond glitters.

We recommend and provide "good" to "excellent" cuts. We feel that these categories provide the best value for our customers. However, we are more than happy to provide any cut that is available.
Carat Weight
Of all the C's, the carat weight is the most straightforward and easy to understand. A carat is a fifth of a gram. We can source diamonds of all carat weights, depending upon your preference.
Diamonds are often sold with third party certification papers from diamond grading labs. Such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and European Gemological Laboratories (EGL). With these certifications you know what you are getting. Certification is helpful to consumers because it allows some objective comparison.

However, insiders in the jewelry business know that some labs are "softer" in their grading than others. This has huge financial ramifications. EGL Certification is not necessarily equal to certifications from the GIA, which makes using online comparisons not entirely trustworthy.

The diamonds we sell all come with third party laboratory certification papers, wherever possible. We prefer to work with GIA certification as much as we can because we believe they are conservative and highly reputable in their valuation.
The cut of a diamond is critical to how well it refracts light.

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