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Diamond Information

Diamonds are one of the most difficult products to buy correctly and safely. If you are the kind of person who is solely interested in price and are looking for the least expensive diamond possible, we are probably not going to be the jeweler for you.

Here is a quick GIA grading guide that most reputable jewelers use.

The 4 C’s: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight.

Carat weight is a simple measurement of weight. 100 “points” equals one carat.

75 points, therefore, would be a ¾ carat and 50 would be a half of a carat. Carat weight does not describe any other important characteristics, like beauty. It is our opinion that carat weight can be accurately compared from store to store.

Clarity is the amount of imperfections in or on a diamond. The grading scale is

Flawless – Internally Flawless – VVS1– VVS2– VS1– VS2– SI1– SI2– SI3– I1– I2- I3

The lower the grade the more included with “I1” being the point where an inclusion or imperfection can be identified without the aid of magnification. All of the grades above SI3 do not have eye visible flaws, and therefore, look the same to the naked eye. It is important to note that this grade is highly subjective. We’ve seen diamonds that people have purchased elsewhere graded SI1 with eye visible inclusions, so trust is a big factor.

Color grading is related to the amount of yellow found in the body color of a diamond and the grading scale is:

D-E-F G-H-I J-K-L and down through the alphabet to Z.

The first three grades are considered colorless, the next three near colorless and the last three faint to light yellow. We use a GIA colorimeter on every diamond we sell over ¼ of a carat because we don’t want to sell something that is misidentified by accident. That does happen quite frequently in this industry so again, trust is a huge factor.

The last characteristic is Cut. Cut is truly the most important grade a diamond can receive. Cut is the dominant factor in brilliance and brilliance is the dominant factor in pricing.

The GIA uses the following terminology for Cut: Good - Very Good - Excellent - Ideal. Good and Very Good are grades that describe diamonds with little actual brilliance and the least expensive price tag. Excellent and Ideal are the grades we prefer. These grades are given based on an analysis of how the diamond is proportioned. The better the proportions (or cut), the higher the brilliance and value. Poorer cut diamonds that weigh 1.00 carat, may have the diameter of an Ideal cut ¾ carat, making them look smaller, less brilliant and cost way less.

Don’t be fooled by junk cut diamonds with decent colors and clarities. They will not sparkle. As dirt and grime builds up, brilliance fades to cloudiness. A Dana Bushong diamond will sparkle, clean or dirty.

Each shape of diamond (emeral cut, oval, pear shape, etc) has a proper set of proportions for maximum brilliance.


© 2014, Dana Bushong Jewelers