Does size really matter? Diamonds 101 for the ladies. Steven Singer Jewelers Steven Singer Jeweler

Diamonds 101 for Women Only!

You found the perfect guy. Now find the perfect ring.

The perfect engagement ring is the one you can’t stop looking at. It sparkles. It shines. It makes you and your friends ooh and ahh and do that happy-shrieky thing only dogs can hear. But what makes a diamond sparkle? What does colorless mean? And are “flaws” really that bad? Good thing Steven is here to explain all that.

Choose a Subject to Hate:


Of the Four C’s (Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat Weight), Clarity often has the biggest influence a diamond’s value. That’s because diamonds are graded according to how clear they are—the clearer, the better. We call that purity. Any identifying characteristics are called inclusions. Fewer inclusions mean a more valuable diamond. Actually, since a truly flawless diamond belongs in the Smithsonian, most people end up choosing what we call “eye flawless” diamonds.

With an eye flawless diamond, any identifying characteristics are invisible to the naked eye. You get a beautiful diamond while he saves enough for the wedding and honeymoon. Or maybe enough to buy an even bigger diamond. The way we see it, everybody wins.

Anyway—all diamonds are rated on the following scale:


Next subject: Color. This is the kind of class where a D or an F is good.

Diamonds are graded according to their color, which range from very clear “colorless” to shades of yellow, brown or gray. Here’s the color scale:


Cut is the most visible because it’s what makes each diamond sparkle, and influences your diamond’s shape.

Cut refers to a diamond’s proportions, finish, symmetry and polish. It’s how a diamond-in-the-rough becomes the beautiful gemstone you can’t wait to show your friends. The cut is directly responsible for just how good your diamond is going to look—and how good you’re going to look wearing it.

A diamond with precise cuts and shape will sparkle and shine because its many facets catch the light perfectly. Like little points of light dancing on your finger. Ahhhh.

As an example, look at this round brilliant cut with 58 facets. Since the diamond’s beauty directly reflects the quality of the cut, the precision with which the facets are arranged is of prime importance. They determine the amount of light reflected to the eye, which we call brilliance. And if your man is smart, he’s over on his side taking notes.

Carat Weight

A diamond is measured according to its carat weight. And yes, ladies, we know: size does matter. It matters here in diamond selection, too. Anything over one is well above average. And two is huge.

But let’s weigh it all against the context of the three other C’s. A one carat diamond with no visible inclusions, with shiny white color and flawlessly cut is going to look just as amazing as any two-carat rock. The choice is yours—make it something you’ll love for the rest of your life.











The above illustration is not to scale. Diamonds sizes are shown for comparison purposes only.

Diamond Shape

Isn’t this class over yet? Almost. Now that you’ve been schooled on the 4 Cs, let’s cover shapes.

Round Brilliant Diamonds

This shape has set the standard for all other diamond shapes, and accounts for more than 75% of diamonds sold today. Its 58-facet cut, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base), is calibrated through a precise formula to achieve maximum brilliance.

Cushion Diamonds

This square or rectangular shaped diamond is a mixed cut diamond, shaped like a pillow, hence the name. This diamond combines the brilliance of a brilliant cut diamond with the beauty and elegance of an emerald cut.

Princess Cut Diamonds

This square or rectangular cut has many sparkling facets. It’s a relatively new cut and often finds its way into solitaire engagement rings. Flattering to a hand with long fingers, it is often embellished with triangular stones at its sides.

Oval Diamonds

An even, perfectly symmetrical design popular among women with small hands or short fingers. Its elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand.

Radiant Diamonds

This square or rectangular cut combines the elegance of the emerald shape diamond with the brilliance of the round, and its 70 facets maximize the effect of its color refraction.

Asscher Diamonds

This square shaped diamond is cut identical to an emerald cut, using the elegance of the stepped cut diamond, with a rectangular cut pavilion. Like the Emerald Cut, it shows everything. Pick carefully.

Emerald Cut Diamonds

A rectangular shape with cut corners, known as a step cut because its concentric broad, flat planes resemble stair steps. Since inclusions and inferior color are more pronounced in this particular cut, you should select a stone of superior clarity and color.

Marquise Diamonds

An elongated shape with pointed ends. This cut is enhanced by smaller diamonds that surround the main stone.

Pear Shaped Diamonds

A hybrid cut, combining the best of the oval and the marquise, it is shaped most like a sparkling teardrop.

Heart Shaped Diamonds

This ultimate symbol of romance is essentially a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. It's a heart...she’ll love it!

Trilliant Diamonds

This newer cut is definitely for the adventurous. It may be a traditional triangular shape with pointed corners or a more rounded triangular shape with 25 facets on the crown, 19 facets on the pavilion, and a polished girdle.


This diamond is rectangular, cut with step-like facets. Baguettes come in the straight and tapered shapes most often. This diamond is hardly the center of attention, leaving it to make a great accent on the side of another beautiful shaped diamond.

Steven’s Notes

That was a long class, and you probably have questions. Good. ‘Cause Steven has answers.

Does size matter?

Are we still talking about diamonds here? Ahem. In our experience, a 1-carat diamond with perfectly cut facets can look just as good as a bigger diamond that just sits there. Focus more on the shape and cut than the size, and you’ll have a spectacular ring to show your besties.

What clarity is most popular?

SI1–I1 are the most popular diamonds. Fewer inclusions are more expensive, but nobody will know the difference.

Colorless or Nearly Colorless?

G–J is the most popular range, is nearly colorless and looks just as sparkly. He saves some money, and you get a beautiful diamond.

Focus more on the shape and cut than the size, and you’ll have a spectacular ring to show your besties!

Class Dismissed.

So. There you have it. Everything you need to know about Diamonds. Explore Steven’s Collections armed with your newfound knowledge. Raise your hand if you have any questions.

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