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Diamond Buyers Guide

Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to visit us. We hope that your experience at Diamond Showcase will be both memorable and educational. Buying a diamond can be an intimidating process unless you are equipped with the tools you need to make an informed decision.

This Diamond Buyer's Guide was designed to give you those tools. We explain the importance of the "5 C's," and provide additional industry facts and information.

In order for a diamond's fire and brilliance to be maximized, it needs to be cut within specific parameters. An "ideal" cut round diamond as defined by the American Gem Society has a table of between 47 and 61 percent and a depth of between approximately 58 and 62.3 percent of the diamond's total width. The majority of round diamonds do not fall within these parameters and those that do are by far the most expensive.

At Diamond Showcase, we carry a large selection of ideal cut diamonds as well as near-ideal diamonds. The Rapaport Diamond Report, the diamond industry's pricing guide is more lenient than AGS, placing diamonds with table percentages of up to 64 percent and depth percentages of up to 62.5% in its "A" rating category.

Please consult with us about the importance of buying a diamond within these specifications. It is important that you buy a well cut diamond, as poorly cut stones allow light to leak through the bottom and sides, reducing their brilliance.


A carat is a measure of weight used when describing a diamond, not a measure of size. Due to the various shapes and volumes provided by the diamond's cut, the apparent size of a diamond can vary within stones of the same carat weight. One carat is equal to 200mg or 0.2g.

Carat weight affects the value of a diamond exponentially. A two carat diamond is worth much more than twice as much as a one carat diamond. Prices reflect rarity, and a two carat diamond is much rarer than a one carat, therefore, it carries a price premium beyond its weight alone.

Diamonds are generally priced based upon the Rapaport Diamond Report, the industry's standard pricing guide. Unfortunately, appraised values, retail price quotations, as well as Rapaport pricing, usually fail to take into consideration factors other than carat weight, color, and clarity.

In order to accurately assess the value of a diamond, one must consider the three traditional factors in combination with the diamond's grading reports and additional measurements, such as depth, table, girdle, culet, polish, and symmetry. Diamond Showcase sells diamonds between zero and twenty five percent below Rapaport wholesale, depending on these factors.

Well-cut diamonds with GIA or AGS certifications almost always trade at higher prices than non-certified, or diamonds certified at other laboratories. In order to accurately evaluate one diamond against another, it is necessary for the consumer to understand the importance of all the factors that affect the ultimate value of a diamond.


Can your jeweler pass this test?

1. GIA / AGS graded ideal cut diamonds*
2. Prices at or below Rapaport wholesale list
3. 125% low-price guarantee
4. Multimillion-dollar, on-site inventory
5. Independent 3rd-party appraisals
6. 100% lifetime trade-up policy
7. Lifetime warranty on all jewelry

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A diamond is like a prism. White light enters and divides into a spectrum of color. This spectrum reflects in colorful flashes of light called fire. A diamond which contains color, from yellow to brown, acts like a filter on the entering white light, diminishing the spectrum of light which reflects out.

Less color is better. A diamond's color is determined by comparing it under controlled light to the GIA's (Gemological Institute of America) color scale. The most valuable and sought after stones are those with no observable color. These stones are given a D rating on the color scale. The scale ranges from D (highest) to Z (lowest), as shown below.

Surface irregularities and the amount of internal inclusions determine a diamond's clarity. In order to determine clarity, a diamond is viewed under a magnification of 10x. The fewer internal inclusions and surface irregularities a diamond has, the higher the clarity rating it will receive.

A higher clarity indicates a more rare and valuable diamond. However, higher clarity does not necessarily mean a more beautiful diamond since many inclusions and surface irregularities are not visible to the human eye. At a clarity level of SI2, inclusions and surface irregularities cannot be seen by the average naked eye. Diamonds with a clarity rating higher than SI2 are sought after more for
their rarity than for their greater beauty.


*We have noticed a high level of discrepancy between our opinion and the opinion of less reliable agencies (both local and international) with regard to the grade of diamonds that are not GIA, AGS, or HRD certified. In almost every instance where we have seen non-labratory graded diamonds or diamonds graded by labs we believe to be unreliable, we have noticed discrepancies between the grade assigned to the diamonds and the grade we believe to be correct.

Additionally, many diamonds are being passed off as natural stones that have been fracture filled, laser drilled, or heat treated. Consumers also need to be aware of diamond substitutes such as mossianites, that are very difficult to detect from natural diamonds. Look for a jeweler who is a member in good standing of the Jeweler's Vigilance Committee and Jewelers of America. These organizations serve as the regulatory agencies within the industry, and can inform you of prior complaints made against jewelers in your area.

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