Diamond Guide

Choose the one that's right for you by exploring the four characteristics that determine a diamond's appearance.

Clarity refers to the amount, size, nature, position and color of a diamond’s natural birthmarks. Diamonds are looked at under 10X magnification and graded based on the visibility of internal inclusions and external blemishes. The standard grading scale ranges from flawless (FL) to imperfect (I3). Very few diamonds in the world are considered flawless; most have some type of inclusion or blemish.

Important note: The presence of slight inclusions and blemishes can lower the clarity grade and value of a diamond, but have little effect on the diamond’s beauty or durability.

White diamonds are graded on a D-Z color scale that ranges from clear and colorless to a slightly noticeable yellow, brown or grey hue. Most diamonds have some trace of color, and the less saturated the hue, the higher the letter grade and value. Fancy-color diamonds such as pink, yellow or green are graded on a different scale and are extremely rare and valuable.

Color. Find the perfect diamond.

Diamond size is measured in carat weight (ct). One metric carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.

The chart below illustrates the relative size of popular carat weights for round-cut diamonds. Note that a 2.00ct diamond does not appear to be twice the size of a 1.00ct diamond when viewed from the top.

Carat weight refers to a single diamond, and carat total weight (ct tw) refers to the weight of all diamonds in a particular piece. For example, diamond-stud earrings that have 1.00ct tw actually contain two diamonds that weigh approximately .50ct apiece.

Bigger is not necessarily better in terms of a diamond’s value. The brilliance and beauty of a diamond also lie in its more subtle properties of cut, clarity and color.

Note: Use this chart as a relative guide only.

Actual diamond sizes will vary.

Carat. Find the perfect diamond.

Not to be confused with the shape of a diamond, cut refers to a diamond’s facets, proportions, symmetry and polish. These things determine the depth of brilliance and sparkle a diamond has. When properly cut, a diamond will refract the most amount of light possible, creating the internal fire and shine that distinguish a diamond’s beauty. For example, a round brilliant diamond is composed of a top crown and bottom pavilion. The proportional relationship (width versus depth) between these two components will ultimately determine how well light reflects and refracts within the diamond.

Clean your diamond jewelry in one part ammonia and six parts water. Using a soft brush, gently scrub prong-set diamonds to loosen dirt. Be careful not to scratch the metal of your jewelry mounting.

It is recommended that you have your diamond jewelry professionally cleaned at least once a year. Also, have your mountings (prongs, etc.) checked for security at the same time.

When not being worn, diamond jewelry should be stored individually in a soft cloth pouch to prevent scratching.

Everyday care should be taken to protect your diamond jewelry from hair spray, household chemicals and chlorine. These chemicals can build up and dull the surface of a diamond.