Refers to the presence of inclusions in a
diamond is unique. Nature ensures that each
diamond is as individual as the person who wears
it. Naturally-occurring features—know as
inclusions—provide a special fingerprint
within the stone. Inclusions are natural
identifying characteristics such as minerals or
fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed
in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals,
clouds or feathers.
view inclusions, jewelers use a magnifying
loupe. This tool allows jewelers to see a
diamond at 10x its actual size so that
inclusions are easier to see. The position of
inclusions can affect the value of a diamond.
There are very few flawless diamonds found in
nature, thus these diamonds are much more
are ranked on a scale of perfection, known as
clarity, which was established by the
Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The
clarity scale, ranging from F (Flawless) to
Included (I), is based on the visibility of
inclusions at a magnification of 10x.
inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus
having little effect on the beauty of a diamond.
An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond
could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes
making the diamond less brilliant.
greater a diamond's clarity, the more brilliant,
valuable and rare it is—and the higher it is
on the Diamond Quality Pyramid.
Refers to the degree to which a diamond is
are found in almost every color of the rainbow,
but white-colored diamonds remain most popular.
are graded on a color scale established by the
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) which
ranges from D (colorless) to Z. Warmer colored
diamonds (K–Z) are particularly desirable when
set in yellow gold. Icy winter whites (D–J)
look stunning set in white gold or platinum.
differences are very subtle and it is very
difficult to see the difference between, say, an
E and an F. Therefore, colors are graded under
controlled lighting conditions and are compared
to a master set for accuracy.
colorless stones, graded D, treasured for their
rarity, are highest on the Diamond Quality
Pyramid. Color, however, ultimately comes down
to personal taste. Ask a jeweler to show you a
variety of color grades next to one another to
help you determine your color preference.
has also created diamonds in intense shades of
blue, green, yellow, orange, pink or – rarest
of all – red. These diamonds are called
‘colored fancies’ and are extremely rare and
Refers to the angles and proportions of a
determines so much about a diamond, but it takes
a master cutter to reveal the stone’s true
brilliance, fire and ultimate beauty.
on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will
internally reflect light from one mirror-like
facet to another and disperse and reflect it
through the top of the stone. This results in a
display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing
well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality
Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds.
Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow
lose or leak light through the side or bottom,
resulting in less brilliance and
also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or
heart for example. Since a round diamond is
symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all
the light that enters, it is the most brilliant
of all diamond shapes and follows specific
proportional guidelines. Ask a jeweler to find
out more about these guidelines.
shapes, also known as “fancy shapes,” will
have their own guidelines to be considered