SIZE MATTERS (but so does color, clarity, and cut)

Hello to all our new and old H&A customers! Engagement Season is upon us (isn't every season Engagement Season?!) and we know that many of you do not know quite where to begin when it comes to shopping for a ring. Here at H&A, we love educating our customers surrounding picking a diamond and a setting. We want to ensure that our customers fully understand everything about the diamond that they are purchasing.

There are four grading

components that a round diamond is evaluated on.

They are Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight (other diamond shapes are not given cut grades). You can go anywhere in the world and your round diamond will most likely be graded based on the 4 C’s. No single component is more important than any other as they all contribute to the diamond's beauty and value. All of our diamonds at H&A are graded either by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or by experts who are trained by the GIA. The 4 C’s were defined by GIA so that gemologists would have a reputable and consistent standard for diamond evaluation.

COLOR

GIA describes the color evaluation as based on the absence of color. The color grading system measures the colorlessness by comparing a stone, under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions, to master stones of established color value. Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are basically undetectable to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions can make a big difference in the diamond’s quality and price. The GIA color scale shown below is the industry’s most widely accepted grading system. The grading scale goes from D to Z. broken into 5 categories. Stones in the color range D to F are colorless stones; that gives the stone highest value. There are yellow stones that fall outside the white color scale that are considered to be “fancy yellow diamonds,” also referred to as Canary diamonds. Much like any other naturally colored diamonds, they are rare and expensive.

CLARITY

Diamonds are created when carbon is exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep beneath the surface of the earth. This natural process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called “inclusions” and external characteristics called “blemishes”. The less included and more “pure,” the more valuable the stone will be. The evaluation of a diamond’s clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature and position of these characteristics at 10x magnification. Often times, blemishes and inclusions are so minuscule that the naked and untrained eye will not be able to see them. To the naked eye, a VS1 and an SI1 diamond may look exactly the same even though they are two very different diamonds. The assessment of a diamond’s clarity is very important. The diagram below depicts the 5 categories and their subcategories.