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Diamond Shapes

Round Diamond

The round diamond is one of the most popular diamonds and most commonly analyzed diamonds available. The nice thing about the round diamond is that it give you the most flexibility when determining the color, clarity and cut.


Princess Diamond

This unique cut is very popular for engagement rings. Traditionally square in shape, when you are choosing a color you should look for a color above a J. Anything J or below may allow you to see color in the corners.


Emerald Diamond

Pavilion is a cut that creates the unique optical appearance with rectangular facets. Clarity is your biggest concern with an Emerald cut. Anything lower then a SI1, should be reviewed closely to make sure there are no visible black spots.


Oval Diamond

Oval diamonds are very similar to round cut diamonds. If you have long, slender fingers the long look of the oval diamond can accentuate the beauty of the female hand.


Marquis Diamond

If you are looking to maximize carat weight then the marquis diamond may be the answer for you. The cut allows you to get a bigger diamond and it looks amazing with round or pear shape side stones on each side.


Pear Diamond

Also known as a "tear drop", the pear shape diamond is a brillant cut and is used in a variety of different pieces of jewelry. The pear diamond also has a slimming effect on the finger.


Heart Shape Diamond

Show her that you love her and the heart shape diamond leaves no doubt. When choosing a heart shape diamond you need to be looking at a color of J or better. Any color lower then a J could show up along the side.

Cut

In order to best utilize a diamond gemstone's superlative material properties, a number of different diamond cuts have been developed. A diamond cut constitutes a more or less symmetrical arrangement of facets which together modify the shape and appearance of a diamond crystal. Diamond cutters must consider several factors, such as the shape and size of the crystal, when choosing a cut.

The most popular of diamond cuts is the modern round brilliant, whose facet arrangements and proportions have been perfected by both mathematical and empirical analysis. Also popular are the fancy cuts which come in a variety of shapes?many of which were derived from the round brilliant. A diamond's cut is evaluated by trained graders, with higher grades given to stones whose symmetry and proportions most closely match the particular "ideal" used as a benchmark. The strictest standards are applied to the round brilliant; although its facet count is invariable, its proportions are not.

 

The modern round brilliant (Figure 1 and 2) consists of 58 facets (or 57 if the culet is excluded); 33 on the crown (the top half above the middle or girdle of the stone) and 25 on the pavilion (the lower half below the girdle). The girdle may be frosted, polished smooth, or faceted. In recent decades, most girdles are faceted; many have 32, 64, 80, or 96 facets (People's Diamonds has a distinctive 100 facet cut; these facets are excluded from the total facet count. Likewise, some diamonds may have a number of small extra facets on the crown or pavilion that were created to remove surface imperfections during the diamond cutting process. Depending on their size and location, they may negatively impact the symmetry of the cut and are therefore considered during cut grading.

The picture assumes that the "thick part of the girdle" is the same thickness at all 16 "thick parts". It does not consider the effects of indexed upper girdle facets.

Color

A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality almost no gem-sized natural diamonds are absolutely perfect. The color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds (such as the Hope Diamond) can be dramatically more valuable. Out of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest of all.

 

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a "D" to "Z" scale it developed for grading the color of "white" (non-fancy colored) diamonds, where "D" is colorless and "Z" is yellow:

Colorless: D, E, F
near colorless: G, H, I, J
faint yellow or brown: K, L, M
very light yellow or brown: N, O, P, Q, R
light yellow or brown: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Diamonds occur in a restricted variety of colors ? steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, and black. Colored diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, whilst pure diamonds (which are exceedingly rare) are perfectly transparent and colorless. Diamonds are scientifically classed into two main types and several subtypes, according to the nature of impurities present and how these impurities affect light absorption:

Type I diamond has nitrogen (N) atoms as the main impurity, commonly at a concentration of 0.1 percent. If the N atoms are in pairs they do not affect the diamond's color; these are Type IaA. If the N atoms are in large even-numbered aggregates they impart a yellow to brown tint (Type IaB). About 98 percent of gem diamonds are type Ia, and most of these are a mixture of IaA and IaB material: these diamonds belong to the Cape series, named after the diamond-rich region formerly known as Cape Province in South Africa, whose deposits are largely Type Ia. If the N atoms are dispersed throughout the crystal in isolated sites (not paired or grouped), they give the stone an intense yellow or occasionally brown tint (Type Ib); the rare canary diamonds belong to this type, which represents only 0.1 percent of known natural diamonds. Synthetic diamond containing nitrogen is Type Ib. Type I diamonds absorb in both the infrared and ultraviolet region, from 320 nm. They also have a characteristic fluorescence and visible absorption spectrum (see Optical properties of diamond).

Type II diamonds have very few if any nitrogen impurities. Type IIa diamond can be colored pink, red, or brown due to structural anomalies arising through plastic deformation during crystal growth?these diamonds are rare (1.8 percent of gem diamonds), but constitute a large percentage of Australian production. Type IIb diamonds, which account for 0.1 percent of gem diamonds, are usually a steely blue or grey due to scattered boron within the crystal matrix; these diamonds are also semiconductors, unlike other diamond types (see Electrical properties of diamond). However, an overabundance of hydrogen can also impart a blue color; these are not necessarily Type IIb. Type II diamonds absorb in a different region of the infrared, and transmit in the ultraviolet below 225 nm, unlike Type I diamonds. They also have differing fluorescence characteristics, but no discernable visible absorption spectrum.

Clarity

Diamond clarity is a quality of diamonds relating to the existence and visual appearance of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions, and surface defects called blemishes. Clarity is one of the four Cs of diamond grading, the others being carat, color, and cut. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond. A clarity grade is assigned based on the overall appearance of the stone under 10x magnification.

 

Most inclusions present in gem-quality diamonds do not affect the diamonds' performance or structural integrity. However, large clouds can affect a diamond's ability to transmit and scatter light. Large cracks close to or breaking the surface may reduce a diamond's resistance to fracture.

 

Diamonds with higher clarity grades are more valued, with the exceedingly rare "flawless" graded diamond fetching the highest price. However, minor inclusions or blemishes are sometimes considered to have some value, as they can be used as unique identifying marks analogous to fingerprints. In addition, as synthetic diamond technology improves and distinguishing between natural and synthetic diamonds becomes more difficult, inclusions or blemishes can be used as proof of natural origin.

 

FL-Flawless
These stones have no imperfections inside or on the outside of the stone under the magnification of a loupe of 10 power.

IF-Internally Flawless
These stones have no inclusions under a loupe with a 10 power magnification.

VVS1,VVS2-Very Very Slightly Imperfect
These stones have very small inclusions which are very difficult to see under a loupe with a 10 power magnification.

VS1,VS2-Very Slightly Imperfect
These stones have small inclusions which are slightly difficult to difficult to see under a loupe with a 10 power magnification.

SI1,SI2-Slightly Imperfect
These stones have inclusions which are fairly easy to see under a loupe with a 10 power magnification, or visible to the naked eye.

I1,I2,I3-Imperfect
These stones have inclusions which range from eye visible to very easily seen to the naked eye.

Carat

Once you have decide on color, cut and clarity, you know have to decide on the size of the ring. The question you will have to ask yourself is what your budget is. It will be simple to figure out the carat once you get a price line.

 

What is minimum individual carat weight?
Minimum individual carat weight is the minimum carat weight of one diamond in a piece of jewelry. If a pair of diamond stud earrings has a total diamond weight of 1/2 carat, the individual carat weight of each diamond would be 1/4 carat. The actual diamonds you purchase may weigh slightly more or less than the fractional weight specified. The Federal Trade Commission has strict guidelines about the disclosure of the range of carat weight that a fraction can represent. The chart below outlines acceptable ranges for carat weights expressed as fractions. Some diamonds may be cut into sizes between these more common fractions. Because it is more unusual for diamonds to be cut into these in-between sizes, ranges are not defined for these sizes. These sizes would have their specific carat weight (e.g., 0.62 carats) listed under minimum individual carat weight.


1/4 carat total weight may be 0.21 to 0.29 carats
1/3 carat total weight may be 0.30 to 0.36 carats
1/2 carat total weight may be 0.45 to 0.59 carats
3/4 carat total weight may be 0.70 to 0.84 carats
1 carat total weight may be 0.95 to 1.10 carats
1 1/4 carats total weight may be 1.20 to 1.29 carats
1 1/2 carats total weight may be 1.45 to 1.55 carats
2 carats total weight may be 1.95 to 2.05 carats

 
 
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***All Diamond Weights Shown Are "Approximate Weights".
Please See Our Education Page For Acceptable Weight Ranges By Fraction***