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Learn About Diamonds

Learn about diamond characteristics, like the 4C’s, to maximize the beauty and brilliance of your diamond.

What is a Diamond Shape?

Diamond shape refers to a diamond’s physical form and is often one of the first attributes that couples consider when shopping for a diamond. While round diamonds are the most popular choice, many couples are also drawn to the distinctive look of non-round, or “fancy shaped” diamonds. Fancy shaped diamonds include oval, cushion, princess, pear, emerald, marquise, asscher, radiant, and heart shaped diamonds.

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The 4 C's Of a Diamond: Color, Clarity, Cut & Carat

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While most people know that a diamond is generally considered white, there are shades of white and decidedly colorful alternative options for diamonds as well. The standard measurement of a diamond’s color is the official color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This scale rates diamonds with a grade from colorless - a perfectly clear, shining stone with no color - to noticeable color - a stone that has a slight yellow tint. Generally, diamonds closer to the colorless end of the spectrum are the rarest and therefore the highest value.


Diamond clarity refers to the purity and rarity of the stone. When forming, natural microscopic characteristics can be trapped within or on the diamond. These internal and surface characteristics are inspected by gemologists, who use 10x magnification to assign a clarity grade to each diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are considered particularly rare and highly valued.


The cut of a diamond refers not to its shape, but to the balance of proportion, symmetry and polish achieved by the diamond cutter. The extent of how well the diamond is cut is directly correlated to the diamond’s overall beauty. The better a diamond has been cut, the greater the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light. Modern diamond cutters understand the way that light moves through diamonds and have established a set of specific proportions and angles to best optimize the diamond’s internal brilliance and show it in its best light.


Carat (ct.) refers to the unique unit of weight measurement used exclusively to weigh gems and diamonds. Carat weight is often confused with visual size even though it is actually a measurement of weight. Depending on the shape and type of gemstone being weighed, the weight will visually show itself differently. Total carat weight (t.c.w.) is a phrase that represents the total weight of all diamonds or other gemstones in a piece of jewelry, when more than one gemstone is used. Diamond solitaire earrings, for example, are usually quoted in t.c.w., indicating the combined weight of the diamonds in both earrings.


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