Buying a diamond doesn't have to be a confusing experience! With a basic understanding of a diamond’s characteristics, you will be able to make a more educated decision in selecting the perfect diamond for you. Contact us for an in person education session, and have one of our experienced jewelers explain each and every aspect of the diamond selection process. Unlike retail jewelry chains and other independents, Schaner Jewelry will craft a personalized experience, with fine, quality jewelry and designs you won’t find anywhere else.

The 4 C's of Choosing the Perfect Diamond

The Cut

The grade of a diamond’s cut is a measure of a diamonds light performance. When a diamond is cut with proper proportions light will reflect throughout the diamond giving it a certain sparkle that can be seen across a room.

The 'top' of the diamond is referred to as the Crown. The Crown is typically made up of a flat center potion, surrounded by angled sides. The underside of the diamond is referred to as the Pavilion. The Pavilion is the bottom portion of the diamond. There are other parts of a diamond as well, but for our purposes here, they aren’t necessary to review.

The flat part of the crown is referred to as the "Table", and there are standards that define what a table's percentage of the crown should be; 53-57% for an "Ideal Cut" and 58-61% for a "Premium Cut".

Both of these ranges will give you a diamond with an optimal scintillation or sparkle. Table percentages are a measure of the table relative to 100% of the crown. Cut criteria will also be related to the depth of the diamond; the smaller the table, the greater the depth and the larger the table, the shallower the depth. By staying within these ranges, you can be assured that the diamond you are choosing is proportionally correct.

There are times when the table and depth do not coordinate within these standards. For these special circumstances, please consult with our experiences jewelers when selecting your diamond.

The proportions of the cut are important to the way a diamond glimmers in the light. If a diamond is cut with too much depth, the top of the diamond will have a smaller diameter than it should, resulting in weaker light distribution. The light will often leak out the sides, and the diamond will appear dull. If a diamond is cut too shallow, the diamond will appear to be too large for its weight resulting in light passing through diamond mostly exiting through the bottom. This will give you a very lifeless looking diamond.

When a diamond is cut properly, light will bounce around the inside of the diamond, exiting through the table providing maximum brilliance.

The cut is rated as follows:

POORFAIRGOODVERYGOODEXCELLENT

Schaner Jewelry only carries diamonds with a rating of Good to Excellent.

In summary, contrary to popular belief, it is not the carat weight that defines a diamond. In fact, it is the cut that is the most important characteristic of a diamond. Our goal is to match the best color, clarity and carat with the proper cut to ensure that the diamond you choose will be brilliant and cherished for years to come.

The Color

The color of a diamond simply refers to the rating of a diamonds lack of color. The highest rating in terms of color is D, while the lowest is Z. The less color in a diamond, the whiter it is. Color in a diamond manifests itself as pale yellow. So a diamond exhibiting a lower color rating will be in the pale yellow color spectrum.

should be noted that diamonds do come in Fancy colors with Natural Yellow, Natural Pink, and Natural Blue. There is nothing wrong with a Natural Yellow diamond - the chart above is specifically for diamond that should appear white!

These diamonds have natural coloration and a very rare. They often rated as Fancy, Fancy Intense or Fancy Vivid.

Black and Cognac (Brown or Chocolate) are another color that is not as rare but lend themselves to beautifully created jewelry pieces.

The Clarity

Clarity is the detection of tiny imperfections within the diamond. Most diamonds have some type of imperfections while only the rarest exhibit little to no imperfections. Imperfections are merely carbon deposits that were formed during the diamonds creation. They come in many forms. While some may be easy to see others may be more difficult to see with the unaided eye or even using 10X magnification (a standard Jeweler's Loop)

The less imperfections or "Inclusions" present the higher the rating. They are rated as follows:

Although Clarity ratings are important, they are just one of the many factors that contribute to how beautiful a diamond appears. Schaner Jewelry takes great measures to ensure that all diamonds are of high quality.

The Carat

The 'carat' weight of a diamond is a physical measure of the actual weight of that diamond and may not accurately reflect the size of that diamond (see "Cut"). A diamonds weight is measured in points with 100 points being equal to 1 carat in weight. So, if you have a diamond weighing 20 points (or a fifth of a Carat), that translates to .20 carat. If you have a diamond that weighs 1.20 carat then you have a diamond equal to 120 points, or 1 carat and 20 points. No matter how you put it, the weight of a diamond is often represented in terms of carats.

The Certification (The fifth C!)

Schaner Jewelry recommends a diamonds carry a G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) laboratory certification. Although there are other certifications (AGS, EGL, HRD and IGI to name a few), we believe that G.I.A sets the benchmark. While the other laboratories supply similar information we prefer the accuracy we have come to respect from this particular laboratory. It should be noted although a diamond has a certification, the consumer may find that the information provided may not always accurately represent the characteristics of a diamond. Please consult with one of our experienced jewelers to better understand how to properly interpret the information provided.