We get asked a lot of great questions, so we decided to make a FAQ where we can share our answers with everyone. We will continue to update this page, so if you have a question that isn't answered here please contact us and we'll reply as quickly as we can. For more in-depth information on diamond grades, read our article How to Choose Your Diamond or visit GIA's educational website.
HOW MUCH DOES A 1 CARAT DIAMOND COST?
There are significant factors beyond carat weight that dramatically impact a diamond's value. So without more information, it would be impossible to provide a useful answer. If you have a specific budget or diamond quality in mind, please contact us
and we will assist you with personalized expert recommendations. To learn more about the factors that impact a diamond's price, read our Article: How to Choose Your Diamond.
IS A DIAMOND'S CUT THE SAME AS ITS SHAPE?
The term "cut" is used to explain how precisely a diamond has been cut from the original rough stone. How well a diamond is cut directly impacts its beauty, so it is very important.
The term "shape" is usually used to overall shape of the diamond. Diamonds can be cut into a huge variety of shapes - even shapes like animals and letters. Here are some popular diamond shapes:
WHAT IS AN INCLUSION?
An inclusion is a natural characteristic or flaw in a diamond. A blemish is a flaw on a diamond's surface. All diamonds have natural characteristics or flaws; the key is to pick a diamond where the flaws will not be bothersome so it still looks bright and clear.
This is the Diamond Clarity Grading Chart provided by GIA:
WHAT DOES SI MEAN?
SI is a category of diamond clarity grades. "SI" stands for "Slight Inclusion," and SI diamonds are popular due to their comparatively lower prices. SI is divided into two subcategories: SI1 and SI2. Slight Inclusion 1 comes before Slight Inclusion 2, and the two grades are not the same. Generally speaking, expect your SI1 to have a tiny inclusion somewhere hard to see, and expect your SI2 to have a more obvious inclusion. We do not sell many SI2s for this reason, but if you're looking for one we'll be happy to source one for you.
WHAT GRADE SHOULD ENSURE MY DIAMOND LOOKS PERFECT?
The highest diamond colour grade is "D," the highest diamond colour grade is "Flawless," and the highest cut grade is "Excellent." Generally speaking, I find "G" colour, "VS2" clarity, and "Very Good" cut are the lowest grades where most people cannot spot flaws or noticeable hints of colour.
WHAT DOES VS2 MEAN?
VS2 stands for "Very Slight Inclusion 2." VS2 is the grade I recommend for most buyers when their budget permits, because it is the lowest grade where no inclusions should be visible to the eye. Buying above VS2 is more about rarity and prestige than improving the looks of your diamond, since any visual differences should be so minute that most people cannot tell the difference.
TWO DIAMONDS HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME GRADE, WHY ARE THEIR PRICES DIFFERENT?
While grades are helpful guidelines, there is still natural variation within each grade. Let's say two diamonds are "SI1" clarity, meaning they have small but visible inclusions. One SI1 diamond could have a light-coloured inclusion positioned off-centre where it is very difficult to see. Another SI1 diamond could have a black inclusion right in the middle where it is easier to spot. As a general rule, the most expensive SI2 at the same retailer is going to be prettier than least expensive SI2. It might even be prettier than the least expensive SI1. This is especially important to consider when shopping around; we cull the lowest-priced diamonds of every grade from our inventory, because these diamonds do not meet our high standards for beauty.
WHAT IS GIA?
GIA is the Gemological Institute of America, the most famous grading laboratory in the word. Diamonds with GIA Certificates are considered by many to be the most valued. However, there are a few other grading laboratories that are also very good: we recommend the American AGL and the European laboratories IGI and HRD.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER GRADING LABS?
I like to explain different Diamond Grading Laboratories as a bunch of different teachers at a school. Some teachers are known to be harsher graders, and may give a student a B or a C where an "easier" teacher would give the student an A. Technically, there is no way to say which teacher is in the right because (as with diamonds) there is no legal standard that defines a grade. What we learn from these unregulated discrepancies is to never assume two diamonds graded by different laboratories are equivalent. If another retailer were showing you a GIA E VS2 and I said, "Hey, I can get you an EGL E VS2 for half the price," that would be pretty dishonest, because I would be inferring that those two diamonds are the same.
COMING SOON: WHAT ARE UNCERTIFIED DIAMONDS? WHAT ARE HEARTS AND ARROWS? & ARE YOUR DIAMONDS ETHICALLY-SOURCED?