All of our diamonds are conflict-free, and are guaranteed to originate from ethically and environmentally responsible sources.
Our diamonds over .50 carat weight are certified stones with a laser inscription and certified conflict free in accordance with the Kimberly Process. All other stones are purchased as conflict free stones by our knowledgeable staff and suppliers.
A diamond has four major attributes that determine its quality and thus its price. These are often called “The Four C’s”, namely: Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut. These four attributes were developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the 1940′s and 50s to ensure a standard system for specifying diamond quality.
Review these descriptions of The Four C’s to understand their significance. Then, if you wish, you can explore the diamonds we have available today using the search tools on our Diamonds page. Call us at 303.447.2344 or come by the store to discuss the options available for your special diamond ring!
Carats measure how much the diamond weighs. A carat measures the weight of the diamond, and is equal to 0.2 grams. Each carat can be further divided into 100 points, therefore a diamond weighing 0.5 carats can be referred to as a 50-point diamond. Diamonds are weighed with extreme precision, down to the hundred-thousandths of a carat, but usually rounded up to the nearest hundreth of a carat, or point.
Interestingly, the word “carat” is derived from the name of the carob seed, which was used by ancient gem traders in their balance scales to weigh gemstones, since these seeds were both tiny and fairly uniform in weight.
Color means how colorless the diamond is. The more a diamond is absolutely colorless, the more highly it is valued. Most diamonds sold in jewelry stores range from colorless (the most valuable) to nearly-colorless (the least valuable). Nearly-colorless stones may contain very subtle shades of yellow or brown. Diamonds near the top of the scale are sometimes called “winter whites”, while those with more color referred to as “summer whites.” The color grade of a stone is determined by diamond experts who compare each one to stones of known color under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions. These distinctions are so subtle as to be very difficult to notice with the naked eye, but can make a big difference in the quality, and thus the price, of the diamond. (Special fancy-color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, are graded using a different scale.)
The GIA color grading scale begins with “D” – Colorless, and continues to “Z” – Near-Colorless, with each letter in the range representing a distinct range of color presence. The GIA scale begins with the letter “D” to distinguish it from earlier, less-precise color-grading scales which had used A, B, C, and roman numerals as designators.
Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions or blemishes in the stone. Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics in the interior of a diamond, such as minerals or fractures, which may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. Blemishes refer to the presence of such characteristics on the surface of the stone. These inclusions are a natural part of the stone, and no diamond is absolutely perfect under magnification of 10x, but some do come close. Because some inclusions can affect the diamond’s brilliance, depending on the size and location of the inclusion within the stone, these characteristics are important determinants of a diamond’s price.
The GIA Clarity Scale comprises eleven grades, ranging from FL (flawless) to I3 (diamonds with obvious inclusions). The grades in order are: FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3. Most available diamonds fall into the VS or SI grades.
Cut means the man-made shape, angles and proportions of a diamond. The way a diamond is cut determines its fire, brilliance and sparkle. Brilliance refers to the total light reflected from a diamond; fire means how the light is dispersed into the colors of the spectrum by the stone; while sparkle, or scintillation, refers to the flashes of light that you see when a diamond moves.
The most frequently used shape in diamond jewelry is the round brilliant, with 58 precisely-cut facets, some as small as two millimeters in diameter. All other shapes are known as “fancy shapes,” and include the marquise, pear, oval, and emerald cuts, as well as hearts, cushions, triangles and other shapes which are becoming more popular in recent years. Round brilliants may be cut in different proportions which affect the fire, brilliance, and sparkle of the diamond.
The GIA’s grading system for the cut of standard round brilliant diamonds was instituted in 2005 and assigns ratings from Excellent to Poor, based on the proportions, symmetry, and polish of the stone.