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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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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