diamond Jewelry Buying Guide

If you’re looking to add some eye-catching sparkle to your collection, or looking to take away the breath of that special lady in your life, the right research and a smart plan will help you find the perfect diamond on any budget.

Start with the Basics

In the diamond jewelry industry, every diamond is rated in accordance to the 4 C’s. Here’s what you need to know about what makes up a diamond.



1 Cut

When referring to the cut of the diamond, what is being discussed is more than the shape. Each shape provides a different reflection of light which gives the diamond a different appeal to the naked eye. Diamonds are rated on the quality of the cut - a rating which factors in the symmetry and proportions of the cut itself.

  • The round brilliant cut diamond is the trusted choice for women who prefer maximum sparkle, featuring 57-58 facets that allow light to radiate from the stone.
  • The emerald cut diamond is a square or rectangular-shaped diamond with cut corners.
  • The marquise cut diamond is elongated, with points at each end. It complements a smaller hand.
  • The princess cut diamond is preferred by many women, and cut in either a square or rectangular frame. It looks especially good on a hand with long fingers.
  • The oval cut diamond is essentially a longer version of a round cut and flatters shorter fingers.
  • The pear cut diamond is a hybrid of the oval and marquise cuts, and resembles a teardrop.
  • The radiant cut diamond is a princess cut diamond with corners cut like the emerald cut.
  • The heart cut diamond is cut in the shape of a heart, for the hopeless romantic.

Tip: Governing bodies, such as the IGI, provide a simple quality rating as they inspect diamonds that go to market. Look for terms such as "Good" and "Excellent" to find an affordably priced, remarkably beautiful diamond.

 

2 Color

Diamonds range from completely colorless (D grade) to yellow (Z grade).
Less color reflects more light, which means more fire and sparkle.

  • D-F
    Colorless
  • G-J
    Near Colorless
  • K-M
    Slightly Tinted
  • N-R
    Very Light Yellow
  • S-Z
    Light Yellow or Brown

Tip: It's really tough to detect color in most diamond stones. When buying a diamond, keep in mind that the right setting can hide some coloring imperfections.


3 Clarity

Nothing’s perfect, not even a million-year-old stone. As they’re formed, diamonds develop imperfections that cloud their brilliance.

  • Extremely Rare
    VVS1, VVS2
    Very Very Slightly Included
  • Very Rare
    VS1, VS2
    Very Slightly Included
  • Rare
    SI1, SI2
    Slightly Included
  • Available
    I1, I2, I3
    Included

Tip: The higher the clarity rating, the more flawless a diamond is considered to be. However, most imperfections (called inclusions) cannot be detected by the naked eye. To find a beautiful diamond on a budget, consider finding a diamond that is graded I1.

 

4 Carat

Diamonds are measured in units called carats. This measurement describes the weight of a diamond, not just its size. Smaller diamonds are often referred to as points. For example, a 0.5 carat diamond will often be called a "50-pointer."

  • 0 ct
  • 1 ct
  • 2 ct
  • 3 ct
  • 4 ct
  • 5 ct

Tip: Bigger doesn’t always mean better — a diamond’s brilliance depends more on how well it’s cut than on how big it is. Factor in the total weight of all the stones in the piece of jewelry, not just the main stone.

 

Negotiating the 4 C's

You shouldn’t have to compromise on quality just because you’re on a budget.

Learn how to navigate the 4 C’s and learn where to compromise to buy a stunning diamond necklace or ring within your budget.
  • Carat isn't the most important thing A diamond catches eyes not because of its size, but because of its sparkle. When shopping for diamond jewelry, start with clarity to find a rock that shines beautifully.
  • Consider compromising on color If you are on a budget, you may choose to make a small compromise here. Choose a diamond that is near colorless (rated G-J) – the naked eye won’t be able to spot the difference.  
  • The cut can make all the difference Choose a cut that maximizes light reflection, giving your diamond a maximum amount of eye-catching sparkle.

Taking Care of Your Diamond Jewelry

You’ve invested time and money in buying a beautiful piece of jewelry, but how do you make sure it lasts a long time? Follow these tips to protect it and keep it sparkling for years to come.

  • Always remove your diamond rings and diamond bracelets when performing hands-on work, such as gardening or painting. Remember that a diamond can be chipped by a sharp impact.
  • Chlorine can damage and discolor the mounting on your diamond jewelry. Keep your diamond away from chlorine bleach or other household chemicals. You should also remove your diamond jewelry before entering a pool or hot tub.
  • Clean your diamonds regularly using a commercial jewelry cleaner, a mix of ammonia and water, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting. Rinse under water in a sieve.
  • Avoid touching your clean diamonds with your fingers. Handle clean jewelry by its edges. Handle clean jewelry by its edges, always using a soft and clean microfiber cloth.

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  • Guilt-Free Shopping! We want you to be delighted with your purchase. That’s why every diamond that enters our facility goes through a quality check before it goes on the site. We offer free shipping and free returns within 30 days (we’ll pay the return shipping, too).
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Diamond Jewelry Glossary

Get to know the diamond jewelry industry terms

It’s easy to be intimidated by industry jargon while you’re out shopping. We defined some common industry terms for you below to bring you up to speed.
Brilliant Cut:
One of three styles of facet arrangements. In this type of arrangement, all facets appear to radiate out from the center of the diamond toward its outer edges. It is called a brilliant cut because it is designed to maximize brilliance. Round diamonds, ovals, radiants, princesses, hearts, marquises, and pears all fall within this category of cut.
Carbon Spots:
An inaccurate term used by some people in the jewelry industry to describe the appearance of certain inclusions in a diamond. The term refers to included crystals that have a dark appearance, rather than a white or transparent appearance, when viewed under a microscope. In most cases, these dark inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, and do not affect the brilliance of the diamond.
Clouds: 
A grouping of a number of extremely tiny inclusions that are too small to be distinguishable from one another, even under magnification.
Crown: 
The upper portion of a cut gemstone, which lies above the girdle.
Depth:
The height of a diamond from the cutlet to the table. The depth is measured in millimeters
Emerald Cut: 
A square or rectangular-shaped diamond with cut corners. On the crown, there are three concentric rows of facets arranged around the table and, on the pavilion, there are three concentric rows arranged around the culet. This type of cut is also known as a Step Cut because its broad, flat planes resemble stair steps.
Eye-Clean:
An term used in the jewelry industry to describe a diamond with no blemishes or inclusions that are visible to the naked eye (i.e. a human eye which is not aided by magnifying devices such as a jeweler's loupe or a microscope).
Facet:
The smooth, flat faces on the surface of a diamond. They allow light to both enter a diamond and reflect off its surface at different angles, creating the wonderful play of color and light for which diamonds are famous.
Fancy Shape:
Any diamond shape other than round.
Fire:
Small flashes of color across the surface of the diamond as it is tilted. This play of color should not be confused with a diamond's natural body color (normally white), which is uniform throughout the entire diamond and is constant, regardless of whether it is being tilted or not.
Gemological Institute of America (GIA): 
Founded in 1931 by Roger Shipley, this non- profit organization upholds the highest standards for grading diamonds and other precious gems. The GIA has one of the most-respected and well-regarded gemological laboratories in the world; GIA was responsible for developing and standardizing the diamond grading system that is used today by nearly all other gem labs.
Girdle:
The outer edge, or outline, of the diamond's shape.
Heart-shape Cut: 
A type of fancy diamond cut, which is cut to resemble the popular Valentine's Day shape.
Inclusion: 
A clarity characteristic found within a diamond. Most inclusions were created when the gem first formed in the earth.
International Gemological Institute (IGI):
Located in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Antwerp, Hong Kong, Mumbai, the Seepz Zone, Kolkata, New Delhi, Surat, Dubai, Bangkok, Tokyo and Tel Aviv, the International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the largest independent laboratory for grading and evaluating diamonds and fine jewelry, and is renowned for its quality services, extensive experience and expertise.
Marquise Cut:
A type of fancy shape diamond which is elongated with points at each end.
Oval Cut:
A type of fancy shape diamond — essentially an elongated round cut.
Pavilion: 
The lower portion of the diamond, below the girdle.
Pear Cut:
A type of fancy shape diamond that resembles a teardrop.
Point: 
A unit of measurement used to describe the weight of diamonds. One point is equivalent to one-hundredth of a carat.
Polish:
Refers to any blemishes on the surface of the diamond which are not significant enough to affect the clarity grade of the diamond. Examples of blemishes that might be considered as 'polish' characteristics are faint polishing lines and small surface nicks or scratches. Polish is regarded as an indicator of the quality of as diamond's cut; it is graded as either Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor.
Princess Cut: 
A type of brilliant cut fancy shape that can be either square or rectangular.
Radiant Cut:
A type of brilliant cut fancy shape that resembles a square or rectangle with the corners cut off.
Ratio: 
A comparison of how much longer a diamond is than it is wide. It is used to analyze the outline of fancy shapes only; it is never applied to round diamonds.
Symmetry: 
Refers to variations in a diamond's symmetry. The small variations can include misalignment of facets or facets that fail to point correctly to the girdle (this misalignment is completely undetectable to the naked eye). Symmetry is regarded as an indicator of the quality of as diamond's cut; it is graded as either Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor. 
Table: 
The flat facet on the top of the diamond. It is the largest facet on a cut diamond.
Table percentage: 
The value which represents how the diameter of the table facet compares to the diameter of the entire diamond. So, a diamond with a 60% table has a table which is 60% as wide as the diamond's outline

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