diamonds
   
     
 

What is a diamond?

 
  A diamond is a crystal made up entirely of carbon atoms that are arranged in a cubic matrix. A cubic crystal arrangement is one in which the crystal basically expands outward at the same rate in all directions during its beginning growth stages. The best result is when the crystal forms without any interference, is a pure and perfectly formed octahedral shape.

Nevertheless, most diamond crystals encounter varying heat or pressure, other elements, or even other diamond crystals during their growth, and this can alter their form. The resulting form and general characteristics of the crystal, once it emerges from the earth, help to determine what shape, color and clarity the polished gem will have.

The combination of diamond's molecular composition and its crystal structure is what makes it so unique and gives it all the qualities that we think of when we think of a diamond. Unique characteristics of diamond go far beyond what you can see with your eye. In addition to their superior brilliance and dispersion, diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth. Diamond rates at 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means that it is extremely resistant to scratches and dents. It is several times harder than the next-hardest substance, corundum, which is more commonly known as ruby and sapphire.

Diamonds are also incredibly tough, meaning that they do not easily break, chip or crack. And even more interestingly, they are extremely resistant to heat and chemicals: it would take a temperature of at least 720° Celsius in air, or 850° Celsius in a vacuum, to burn a diamond; and sulphuric and hydrochloric acids, which are capable of completely dissolving the skin and bones of a person, have no effect at all on diamonds (in fact, these acids are actually used to clean the oil and dust off polished diamonds after they have been cut.)
 
     
 

Where do diamonds come from?

 
  Diamonds are made up of pure carbon atoms. These atoms exist deep underground, exposed to intense heat and pressure over billions of years. Over time, this pressure builds up and forces the diamonds and rocks up toward the surface in a volcanic-like explosion. The explosion creates a very deep, wide hole called a "pipe" into which most of the diamonds settle; these deposits of diamonds are known as primary deposits. Other diamonds are washed away by water or erosion, and often settle into the coastal waters of nearby bodies of water; these are alluvial deposits. These deposits occur in many places around the globe. The largest commercial deposits exist in Angola, Australia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Russia and Zaire, which produce about 80% of the world's loose diamonds and diamond jewelry.

Walking through the aisle of a jewelry store and seeing the rows of diamond jewelry, you may not think diamonds are particularly rare. But consider this: 250 tons (500,000 pounds) of ore must be mined and processed to produce just one carat of rough diamond.  Since a rough diamond typically loses 40% to 60% of its weight when cut, that means that all these efforts are necessary to produce just one of the .50 carat polished diamonds you find in the store's display counters.  When you also consider the fact that only about 25% of all rough diamonds are actually good enough for gem cutting, you can begin to appreciate the rarity and uniqueness of each diamond.

Fun fact: The first diamond deposits were brought to the surface of the earth approximately 2.5 billion years ago. The most recent deposits are roughly 50 million years old. Any diamond you own is a truly unique piece of history.
 
     
 

How does a diamond get from the mines to the stores?

 
  Finding the rough diamonds is the first step. Once diamonds have been mined and processed out of the 'overburden' (that is, the kimberlite rocks in which they are imbedded), the rough crystals are sorted and categorized according to their size, color, shape and other characteristics. At this point, a diamond can follow one of two routes: The most common route is through the channels of DeBeers' Central Selling Organization (CSO). Many people are familiar with DeBeers because of their heavy advertisements and commercials.

While DeBeers' market influence has decreased a little bit over the last few years, they still control the majority of the world's diamond production (an estimated 30% to 40% of annual diamond production). The purchasing arm of the CSO not only buys diamonds from member mines around the world; it also finances mining technology for governments which do not have the means to mine their own deposits. Most of what is bought through the CSO is sent to London to be offered to buyers through DeBeers marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Corporation (DTC).

The DTC holds ten week-long selling sessions called 'sights' each year. These sights are by invitation only, and only a handful of diamond manufacturers from around the world (called 'sight-holders') are invited to attend. These sight-holders may chose to cut the rough diamonds they buy themselves, or they may chose to sell some of the rough diamonds to smaller manufacturers.

Then, these smaller manufacturers cut the rough diamonds and sell the polished gems either to jewelry manufacturers (who set the diamonds into finished pieces of jewelry and then sell the jewelry to jewelry retailers), or to diamond wholesalers (who then, in turn, sell the diamonds to diamond retailers).

In the less common route from mine to market, some independent miners choose not to sell their production to the DeBeers cartel. Instead, they offer newly mined diamonds directly to other world buyers. These buyers, in turn, may chose to cut and sell the diamonds themselves, or pass the diamonds along within the industry in a manner similar to that described above.
 
     
 

Is a diamond a good investment?

 
  The answer to that usually depends on whether you are investing in the diamond itself, or in what that diamond represents.

Diamond prices have been steadily increasing for the past 20 plus years, and diamonds have been holding their value. Given this information, it is extremely unlikely that diamonds will ever really lose their value, in spite of how the market may change in the future. Nevertheless, no one can predict, with absolute certainty, which way the market will swing so as a general rule, we do not recommend buying up high-quality diamonds as a main part of a financial/retirement plan.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a source of splendor and a symbol of eternity and everlasting love, there are very few objects you can choose that can go head to head with a diamond's perfection. At the end of the day, whether you choose to consider it an investment, a symbol, or a unique work of art, you can be certain that by buying your diamond from Rings4Love, you are forever getting a beautiful diamond and an excellent value for your money.
 
     
 

Choosing the Right Diamond

 
  Selecting the right diamond is a very emotional and pricey decision. However, understanding what you want and the basics including the infamous 4 C's, can only help you make the best choice. In our comprehensive guide, we explain everything you need to know about a diamond; including a diamond’s typical traits, its appearance, and how these affect overall quality and cost.  Pretty soon you will learn everything you need to know about your ideal diamond.  
     
 

Shapes

 
  The shape of the stone in a ring is a reflection of the personal style of the woman who’s wearing it. Just like you want to devote some time to choosing the quality of a diamond and the setting for the ring you’ll also need to think about the shape of the stone - which often has as big of an impact.  Is your sweetie traditional or trend-setting? Does she want to make a statement or just be dazzling?  When you’re getting ready to propose  it never hurts to keep an eye out for hints that your special someone is dropping.  Here’s a list of the most popular diamond shapes.  
  Round
Round: The round diamond is usually the most popular choice. It gladly takes center stage in the ideal engagement ring – a round, solitaire diamond set in either gold or platinum. Shapes other than round are called fancy shapes.
 
     
  Princess
PRINCESS: The Princess Cut was designed for getting the maximum brilliance from a square cut diamond. Always make sure that the setting of your princess cut diamond protects the four pointed corners because these are the points most likely to chip.
 
     
  Oval
OVAL: The Oval Diamond has a brilliance and flair that is extremely similar to a round cut diamond. Oval diamonds are also very popular as their length can help accentuate long, slender fingers even more.
 
     
  MarquiseMARQUISE: If you are looking for a diamond cut that will stand out and be easily noticed, consider the marquise cut diamond. This diamond is considered a fancy shape and can be characterized as a boat shaped brilliant stone. Actually, the marquise cut diamond does not have a set standard on how the diamond should be cut; it is truly up to personal preference and the shape and size of the stone.    
     
  PearPEAR:  Has a fiery cut with tons of wonderful sparkle and flash. The elegant lines of the Pear Shaped Diamond manage to make even the simplest ring look elaborate. The pear shaped diamond can also be called a teardrop because of its shape. The pear shaped diamond is a combination cut of the round-brilliant and the marquise.  
     
  Emerald
EMERALD: perfect for very subtle beauty because the emerald cut diamond reflects far less light than the standard brilliant cuts (Round, oval…etc) because of its long lines it is usually rectangular in shape.
 
     
  CushionCUSHION: The cushion cut diamond is sometimes referred to as a pillow cut diamond. Cushion cut diamonds have rounded corners surrounding a large middle facet. It is important to make sure that the color and clarity are high quality, due to the fact that any inclusions or imperfections will be easily noticed. It is also a good idea to look for stones that are extremely symmetrical in shape.   
     
  RadiantRADIANT: an extremely versatile cut diamond that can be set in many different ways, however it is usually the centerpiece, with beautiful baguette or round side diamonds complimenting it. Radiant cut diamonds are great for engagement rings and wedding rings, as well as other high quality jewelry.   
     
  AsscherASSCHER: Named after Asscher brothers of Holland, this cut has gradually increased in popularity.  It can usually be characterized as a square emerald cut. Because the cut is extremely fancy and unique, it doesn’t really have a strict definition, but many experts in the diamond industry consider the Asscher cut diamond to be the second to the emerald cut.  
     
  Heart
HEART: This diamond is technically a pear shaped diamond with a cleft in the top middle. It remains popular because not only does it have a romantic sentiment, it also carries a great sparkle.
 
     
  Trilliant
TRILLIANT: The dazzling key feature of the trilliant cut diamond is its unique triangle form. This particular cut is created with three equal sides and usually contains 50 facets. Many customers, who buy the trilliant cut diamond, do so as a vanity purchase rather than for engagement or wedding rings.
 
     
 

What are the 4C’s?

 
 
A diamond is a product of nature that is rare and possesses beauty unsurpassed in the realm of natural gemstones. As a result, diamonds are special and we need to assess accurately their value. There are four parameters (five if you add Certification) that are used to assess the value of a diamond:
 
     
 

Carat, Color, Clarity & Cut

 
     
 
Commonly referred to as the 4C’s, it is these factors that determine the right price for any diamond on a scale of relative value.
 
     
  Carat - A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Since large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises according to its weight. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. Larger diamonds are rarer and in high demand than smaller diamonds of the same quality. A one carat diamond solitaire ring is usually always much more expensive than a diamond ring made up of multiple diamonds that are smaller, even though they total one carat or more. Carat weight is only one option you should explore before buying a diamond. Many people think that size is the more important thing, but you may not experience that same shine and brilliance without considering the other 4C’s.  
  Diamond Carat  
     
  Color – Refers to the diamond’s lack of color, the less color a diamond has, the higher the grade is. The grading goes from D all the way down to Z; colorless - near colorless – noticeable color.  
     
 
Diamond Color

GRADE

INFORMATION

D
Absolutely colorless. The best color grade and very rare.
E-F
Colorless. There are very tiny traces of color that can be detected by only an expert. Also rare.
G-H
Near colorless. Noticeable color only when compared to higher color grades. Excellent value, as it appears colorless to the untrained eye.
I-J
Near colorless. Slightly detectable color. Also an excellent value.
K-Z
Faint yellow color noticeable. Even with the presence of color, they can emit fire and beauty.
 
     
  Clarity - is a measure of the number and size of the small imperfections that happen within almost every diamond. It refers to the overall quality of diamonds relating to the existence and visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called inclusions, and external surface defects called blemishes.  
     
 
Dimond Clarity
FL, IF
Flawless, Internally Flawless: No internal or external imperfections; Internally Flawless: no internal imperfections. Both are extremely rare.
VVS1,VVS2
Very, Very Slightly Included: Very difficult to see any imperfections under 10x magnification. A high quality diamond
VS1, VS2
Very, Slightly Included: Imperfections are not visible to the naked eye. Less expensive than VVS1 or VVS2 grades.
SI1, SI2
Slightly Included: Imperfections are visible under 10 x magnification, and may be visible with the naked eye. A good value overall.
I1,I2, I3
Included: Has a visible flaw which can be seen with the naked eye
 
     
  Cut - is the diamond's most important characteristic. It is so important because it is what makes us most intrigued by a diamond’s beauty: the sparkle. Most gemologists suggest selecting the highest cut grade within your budget because this is the main characteristic that people notice about a diamond.
A diamond's cut grade is an objective measure of a diamond's light performance, or, what we generally think of as sparkle or brilliance. When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, light is returned out of the top of the diamond. If it is cut too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom; too deep and it escapes out of the side.
 
     
 
Diamond Cut Grades

Cut Grades

Ideal Cut
Includes about the top 3% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond. An extremely rare cut.
Very good Cut
Includes about the top 15% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects nearly as much light as the ideal cut, but for a better price.
Good Cut
Includes about the top 25% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects most light that enters. Much less expensive than a very good cut.
Fair Cut
Includes about the top 35% of diamond quality based on cut. Still a decent quality diamond, but a fair cut will not be as brilliant.
Poor Cut
Diamonds that are either too deep and/or narrow or shallow and wide that they lose most of the light out the sides and bottom.
 
     
 

How is a diamond cut?

 
  diamond caratsA newly mined “rough” diamond looks more like a piece of glass or a clear rock washed up on the beach rather than the polished gems sold in jewelry stores. Bringing out their true beauty and brilliance requires the skill and art of a trained diamond cutter.  While incredibly precise - computerized machinery is now used in some parts of the cutting process for some diamonds, most of the diamond cutting work is still performed by hand, exact and very meticulous techniques passed down over many generations.

As a first step, sawing is often used to separate the original rough into smaller, more workable pieces that will each eventually become an individual polished gem. Next, bruiting grinds away the edges, providing the outline shape (for example, heart, oval or a round shape) for the gem itself. Faceting is then done in two steps: during blocking, the table, culet, bezel and pavilion main facets are cut; afterward, the star, upper girdle and lower girdle facets are added.

Once the fully faceted diamond has been inspected and improved, it is boiled in hydrochloric and sulfuric acids to remove dust and oil. The diamond is then considered a finished, polished gem that you see on your jewelry today.
 
     
 

What is an "Ideal Cut"?

 
  Diamond Ideal CutThe "Ideal Cut" is a cut based on a specific set of proportions for a round brilliant diamond proposed by gem cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. While Tolkowsky's original theories presented only one particular combination of proportions for creating the best balance of brilliance and dispersion, today the American Gemological Society (AGS)recognizes any diamond falling within a narrow range of proportions and finish quality as being an "Ideal Cut" (also called an "AGS 0" or "AGS triple zero").  
     
 

What are symmetry and polish and how do they affect sparkle?

 
  Polish describes the smoothness of a diamond's facets, and symmetry refers to the alignment of the facets. While symmetry and polish can be helpful in choosing between two diamonds that are otherwise identical, cut grade is far more important.  
     
 

What is the difference between a "certified diamond" and a "non-certified diamond"?

 
  There is no physical difference between a diamond that is certified and one that is not certified. A certificate does not change the material nature of a diamond in any way. The difference between a certified and an uncertified diamond is that, with the certified diamond, you have tangible, legal documents regarding the particular nature and quality of the diamond. A certified diamond will come included with a diamond grading report guaranteed by an accredited gem lab. This report assures the customer legally speaking that the diamond is independently recognized as possessing all the qualities specified by that report. All the diamonds featured on our site are certified by either GIA or AGS.

An uncertified diamond that is not accompanied by a diamond grading report, means its quality and worth is based only on the word of the seller. An uncertified diamond is not necessarily a bad diamond because it can still be as beautiful as its certified counterpart. However, we strongly encourage our customers to buy certified diamonds for the following reasons:

Browsing for certified diamonds allows you to make an educated and comfortable choice about your selections, and shop around. You can compare one diamond with a particular weight and quality with other diamonds of similar weight and quality to determine which is the better investment. With uncertified diamonds, it is tricky to determine whether the assessments of one jeweler will be as strict and precise as the judgments of other jewelers.

A diamond grading report adds value to a diamond. The quality individual assessments made by independent labs, such as GIA or AGS, are recognized worldwide. These quality assessments are used by appraisers and jewelers to determine the insurance or replacement value of your diamond. If you purchase an uncertified diamond, there is no guarantee that the appraiser will appraise your diamond at the same level at which the jeweler who sold it to you did.

Typically, diamonds of a half-carat or more are considered for certification.  Most people are not diamond experts, but everyone wants-and deserves-to feel sure about the diamonds they purchase. That confidence is what diamond certification provides. Certification allows real people (non-experts) to make educated diamond buying decisions.

Every diamond (where size applies) sold by Rings4Love has been analyzed and graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This lab is one of the most respected laboratories in the diamond industry, and is well known for their consistency and unbiased diamond grading systems.
 
     
   
     
  Conflict Free  
  Rings4Love maintains a zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds (blood diamonds - refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance:  an insurgency, bankrolling or brokering an army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity). The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. We make sure that all of our suppliers provide an official written contract that their diamonds come from Kimberley-certified sources and are not involved whatsoever in funding conflict.

StopBloodDiamonds.org Registered Jeweler
 
     
  How to determine your ring size?  
  Print out this PDF document and follow the directions to determine your ring size.

(PDF for ring size chart)
 
     
 

8 TIPS for choosing the perfect diamond!

 
 
  • 1. Learn as much as you can before buying. Take a look at our comprehensive online guide to learn about the Four C’s and more. Do a little window shopping and figure out what you or the receiver of the diamond like.

  • 2. Find the right jeweler for you and do not forget about internet retailers! Find out from friends and family who they used and who they trust. Also try sites such as diamondreview.com or yelp.com to search and read reviews. People are very honest on these sites because they have nothing to gain except to share their own experiences.

  • 3. Ask as many questions as you need. Usually this is not only a life changing experience but an expensive one. You want to make sure you make the right choice. 

  • 4. Find the best price for the quality that you want.  Definitely think about your budget and what you can afford!

  • 5. Deciding on the carat size is really about striking a balance between size and quality. If you prefer large jewelry, and you are working within a budget, you can always find a larger diamond of excellent quality by selecting one which is graded slightly lower in terms of color and clarity.

  • 6. Think about what sort of setting will hold the diamond. You'll have to be sure that the setting you choose will fit the carat weight of your diamond. Also think about if there are going to be more diamonds or gems surrounding that centerpiece diamond.

  • 7. Consider what is more important. Some people would like something completely out of the ordinary (such as an Asscher cut) which may be smaller, but more expensive. Ultimately you need to find a happy medium between what is important and what you can afford.

  • 8. Lastly, try calling one of our experienced, knowledgeable and friendly customer care specialists to help you make a wise and informed decision about your diamond and ring.  Our customer care specialists do not work for commission and are happy to help you choose the jewelry of your dreams.
 
     

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