Just like the woman you love, all diamonds are unique in their own way. That’s because nearly every diamond features microscopic flaws or blemishes that determine the clarity grade. A lot of these “inclusions” are invisible to the naked eye, so we magnify each stone 10x to search for any blemishes and grade the diamond’s clarity according to the Gemological Institute of America’s scale.
FL = Flawless, an extremely rare stone without any flaws or blemishes
VVS1, VVS2 = Very, very slight or minute inclusions
VS1, VS2 = Very slight or minor inclusions
SI1, SI2 = Slight inclusions, more towards the center of the diamond and noticeable under a microscope and, possibly, to the naked eye (This is where you need our expertise the most!)
I1, I2, I3 = Observable inclusions, even to the naked eye
The classic white diamond (you know, the one all over your girlfriend’s Pinterest board) is rarely truly white. Only Colorless Diamonds, those rated D-F on the D-Z color scale, are truly “white” and the most expensive stones money can buy. Near Colorless Diamonds, those rated G-J, offer the best balance between price and quality with a practically indiscernible color tint yet significant savings. As you continue to move down the spectrum towards those rated Z, you’ll see more cost savings but also an increasingly noticeable yellow, brown, or gray tint in the stone you choose.
More than any other characteristic, the cut and shape of your diamond will give it that showstopping gleam that takes her breath away. The better your stone’s cut, the more light it will reflect (and the higher the price tag will be). You can find a beautifully-cut diamond in a wide variety of shapes—from the timeless Round Brilliant cut to the widely-adored, bold, and slenderizing Oval cut.
They say that when a boy loves a girl, you can see it in his smile… but when a man loves a woman, you can see it on her finger! The term carat refers to the weight of a diamond (how big a diamond looks). Having said that, two stones with the exact same carat weight can appear different in size.
Depending on your preference, looking bigger is not always better. Some diamonds are cut specifically to appear larger, sacrificing ideal proportions and hindering the diamond’s potential to shine with optimal brilliance. While the carat does help you determine a diamond’s size, the cut and symmetry also affect how big it looks. So take it all into consideration to pick a ring that wows!
Tip: For the best bang for your buck, consider looking at diamonds that are a little lighter in carat weight. For example, if you were thinking of purchasing a 1 carat diamond, Eitani usually suggests looking at a 0.95 – 0.99. That’s because at every half carat interval, the stone significantly goes up in price. When comparing a 0.95 to a 1.00 carat, however, the difference in size to the eye is very minimal. Select a stone just below your ideal weight, then use the savings to invest in a higher quality stone or a more lavish ring setting.
Cut isn’t the only characteristic that will determine just how bright that diamond shines the evening you propose. Symmetry matters, too. Symmetrical diamonds reflect light beautifully and make all her friends gasp, “Oh my gosh, it’s so SHINY!” If the diamond’s facets aren’t perfectly symmetrical, however, you’ll end up with shadow-y spots that diminish the diamond’s brilliance. Your diamond’s symmetry will be graded on a scale from Excellent to Poor, so you can select a show stopping stone with confidence.
Here’s a pro tip for you discerning shoppers: Some diamond sellers will try to tell you that fluorescence (a characteristic that causes a diamond to glow under a UV light) is a defect so they can charge you a premium on a stone without fluorescence. But, in many cases, fluorescence has no visible effect on the appearance of the diamond in natural light. Instead of assuming fluorescence is always a defect you should pay more to avoid, ask how that fluorescence affects the color and hue of your diamond. In some cases, a slight fluorescence may even improve the color of your stone!