Diamond Education

Introduction

An in-depth study of online diamond companies leaves no doubt … most do not own the diamonds they have listed for sale.

Periodically web diamond operators simply download inventory from a variety of different diamond wholesalers, and have no idea if the diamond being offered is a beautiful crystal with delicate inclusions or a dull stone with scattered black. Offering diamonds for sale without critical examination of each individual crystal [to establish value] is a “highly troublesome” proposition at best.

J. Schrecker Jewelry deals only with reputable diamond suppliers and personally inspects each stone to ensure quality and value.

Most of our diamonds are certified by G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America), E.G.L. (European Grading Laboratory), or A.D.L. (American Diamond Laboratory) giving you the comfort of knowing that our selections have been graded by the most trusted diamond laboratories in the world. All stones are guaranteed conflict free.

J. Schrecker Jewelry is your trusted source for the highest quality and value in diamonds.

Explore our Bridal and Featured Jewelry sections or Come By today to discover the possibilities!

Carat

Carat is the standard measure used for diamond weight. 1.00 carat = .20 gram.

Diamonds are priced “per carat” and the heavier the diamond the higher the price per carat.

Price per carat is related to rarity. Mother nature provides an adequate supply of diamonds .75 carat and below...but larger diamonds are truly scarce and become more rare as they get larger. To recover a single rough diamond weighing 1.00 carat, a mine must process approximately 20 tons of earth... incredible but true!

A rough diamond will lose 30 to 60 percent of its original weight in the cutting process. The actual percentage loss depends upon the rough and the shape being produced. Therefore a 2.00 carat 'rough diamond' [on average] is required to produce a 1.00 polished gem.

The result of "price per carat" is the incentive cutters have to produce heavier rather than more beautiful diamonds. Weight can be "added" to the girdle, crown, and pavilion of a diamond by manipulating the proportion. Unfortunately this strategy produces diamonds with a smaller 'face to weight ratio,' and less brilliance.

To protect the value of your purchase be sure to consider carat weight in conjunction with cut and proportion, and allow one of our trusted experts to guide you through the selection process.

Cut

Diamond Diagram

Cut and shape have taken on the same meaning when discussing diamonds... this is not strictly correct.

There are many different shape diamonds but really just two cuts... brilliant cut and step cut.

Diamond Cuts

Shapes with step cut: Emerald, Asscher, Baguette.

Shapes with brilliant cut: Round, Oval, Pear, Marquise, Princess, Radiant, Cushion, Heart.

Selecting a particular shape is a personal choice... Cut properly each one has its own distinct charm and beauty and will retain it's value.

The brilliance and beauty lies ultimately in the hands of the cutter. The temptation to cut a diamond for heavier weight [rather than for elegance and brilliance] is the dilemma facing all manufacturers.

To produce beautiful diamonds the cutter must elect to apply the best proportion criteria and demand precise faceting and polishing from skilled craftsmen.

Diamond Cut

When cut correctly a diamond draws light into the stone from the top only, and will reflect a brilliance nothing else in nature can equal. Cut imperfectly, the light is not captured or reflected efficiently... resulting in less brilliance and lower value.

Clarity

Clarity grades attempt to define the quantity, size, and position of inclusions in a diamond when examined under 10x magnification.

Clarity Example

Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

Slightly Included (SI3)* - The GIA grading system [established more than 50 years ago] does not recognize SI3 clarity. Over time diamond merchants observed GIA "I1" clarity grades were covering too broad a range and felt the need for a grade between SI2 and I1. Gradually SI3 clarity and pricing worked its way into daily conversations between diamond merchants worldwide... until finally in 1989 SI3 became official, when the “Rappaport Diamond Report” included SI3 clarity on their weekly wholesale price list where it remains on the list to this day.

GIA's dilemma is how to handle the "millions" of existing GIA certificates with SI2 and I1 clarity grades? Each one would need to be re-examined and re-certified... a formidable task.

Diamond dealers however have been using SI3 to describe and price diamonds for decades.

How to judge whether clarity is SI3 or I1? - If the inclusions do not affect brilliance and the diamond is definitely eye-clean... SI3 is appropriate. However if the diamond has visible inclusions... the appropriate clarity grade should be "I1".

SI3 is now part of the fabric of the diamond business and selected carefully can provide excellent value.

Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

Color

The less Color a diamond displays the greater its rarity and value. The diamond color scale begins with D [whitest] and descends to Z [considerable yellow].

The Certification describes color as follows:

 

We recommend buyers select in the "D to J" range for two reasons: Whiter diamonds are simply more beautiful and the better colors have historically increased in value more rapidly.

Two diamonds with the same Certification color grades will not necessarily face up the same to the naked eye. Every diamond is unique and shows color and brilliance a little differently.

Interestingly, the same diamond submitted to the Certification for color grading more than once will not necessarily receive the same grade each time. How is this possible?

Color grade is judged on a spectrum and even though new electronic equipment can be useful, color is a subjective call and [within limits] it is understandable for a color grade to be seen slightly differently at different times.

A diamond selected in the D to H color range will not show any yellow tint... I and J colors will show just a hint. Buyers looking to own a larger stone [for the same money] can get very good value by selecting well cut I and J color diamonds.

Beautifully cut diamonds face whiter and brighter.

Flourescence

Blue Fluorescence, the impact on color and value ...

Diamond Fluorescence Chart

If a diamond reflects a bluish glow when excited with UV light the stone is considered "fluorescent blue." The intensity of fluorescence is described by the Certification as follows:

None [NN]; Faint [FT]; Medium [MED]; Strong [STB]; and Very Strong [VSB].

Faint and medium fluorescence are typically not detectable to the naked eye and may be viewed simply as a characteristic of any diamond.

Faint fluorescence does not influence value while medium fluorescence in colors H and higher should be discounted a couple of percent; however, when considering 'I' color or lower, faint or medium blue fluorescence actually enhances the color and makes these diamonds a few percentage points more valuable than equivalent colors without fluorescence.

"Strong" and "Very Strong" blue fluorescence can often be detected with the naked eye and can cause a diamond to appear less brilliant and even milky.  As a general rule these stones should be avoided.

In rare instances "strong blue" fluorescence may have a minimal effect on brilliance; however, the mere presence of  STB or VSB on a certificate will lower the value by as little as 10% (if the stone remains bright) and as much as 90% (if the diamond has a "milky" appearance).