The round brilliant cut. Approximately 75% of all diamonds sold today, particularly for engagement rings, are round.

A facet is a flat face or plane that has been cut and polished on a gemstone. Facets are placed at varying angles to one another. The placement, angle and shape of the facets are carefully planned and executed to maximize the stone’s inherent fire, color and brilliance.

Inclusions are the tiny “birthmarks” inside the stone that make every diamond unique. They refer to any mineral or crystal trapped within the diamond crystal at the time it is being formed deep within the earth.

Nearly all diamonds – even those of the highest quality – have some inclusions, which fall into these categories: Mineral inclusions – a dark spot from a trapped bit of mineral. Feathers – internal cracks or fractures caused by either internal or external stress during the diamond’s formation.

There are two interpretations to the term “fancy diamond.” The most common use relates to cut or specific shape of the diamond. Fancy refers to any diamond cut other than round including: marquise, pear, oval, emerald, princess, radiant and heart shapes.

The second fancy reference is to diamonds that have a prominent body color, such as canary yellow, brown or blue. Some diamond colors are much more rare and valuable than others. For example, diamonds are often found in shades of yellow and brown. But colors such as blue, pink and light green are uncommon. Deep pink is particularly rare.

Only to a degree. Sparkle relates to the diamond’s brilliance – the intensity of the white light reflected back to the eye when you look down into a diamond. It is really the cut and proportioning of the stone that determines its sparkle. In some instances, a small white or black inclusion could be reflected within the stone.

In regard to color, a white or colorless stone allows the diamond to cleanly reflect and refract light. When white light enters the diamond, part of the ray is reflected back to your eye, but the rest penetrates the stone. That ray is deflected toward the center of the stone by the facets, and then bounces back to the surface. Like a prism, the diamond refracts the white light into its full spectrum of color.

Again, the cut of the stone is the single most important determinant of a diamond‘s brilliance and fire.

Yes, but only with another diamond. The diamond is the hardest substance known to man and is almost 100 times more resistant to scratching than the next hardest material.

If I hit my diamond (on a counter, with a hammer, etc.) will it crack or break? It very well could. Even though the diamond is the hardest substance known to man, it can still be damaged if struck hard and against the grain. Think of the diamond’s crystal structure as similar to the grain of wood. There are growth lines as well as a “hard” and a “soft” direction. A blow against the grain of a diamond can cause it to crack, chip, split or even shatter.

In fact, diamond cutters determine how to cut a stone based on their understanding of the rough crystal”s structure and growth lines.

A certificate is a diamond grading report issued by an independent laboratory detailing the diamond’s weight, dimensions, color, clarity and cut. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and EGL (European Gemological Laboratory), whose standards are the strictest in the diamond industry, are the undisputed international authorities on diamond grading and gem identification. The GIA issues a Diamond Grading Report or Diamond Dossier. The EGL calls their report a Diamond Certificate.

No. A diamond appraisal is the opinion of an individual appraiser as to the quality of a diamond and his/her opinion as to the monetary cost of replacing the stone. An appraisal is useful only as a tool for the insurance industry when a customer needs something replaced due to loss or theft. Appraisals are typically far above the actual retail cost of a diamond. In contrast, a certificate is issued by an independent laboratory that has had one or more staff members evaluate the stone for its specific quality. A certificate contains no price estimates; it is simply the assessment of the lab as to the exact quality of the diamond you are selling.

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