Diamond Color | Diamond Clarity | Diamond Weight | Diamond Cut | Diamond Ring | Diamond Anniversary Engagement Rings | Diamond Bracelets | Diamond Earrings | Diamond Pendants.


What is the difference between diamond engagement ring and diamond wedding rings?
The engagement ring is traditionally given by a man to a women to symbolize the intent for marriage. It is usually presented when the man proposes to the woman and is worn throughout the engagement. Traditionally the engagement ring has a single diamond in it. This is called the diamond solitaire. It is not uncommon to see people use a variety of rings as symbols of their engagement. This faq deals solely with the purchase of diamonds. Finally, the wedding ring is traditionally a gold band with no seams. This continuity is supposed to symbolize the eternal bond of marriage. Wedding rings are presented to one and other at the wedding ceremony.

Why a diamond in a diamond ring?
The diamond being the hardest substance on earth was valued as early as the 15th century. The first diamond engagement ring was given in 1477 by Archduke Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy. The wedding took place 24 hours later. In these times, diamonds were uncut, so they were valued as a symbol of strength and protection, not beauty. This is where the tradition began.

Why is the wedding ring worn on the 4th finger?
There are two speculated reasons. The rings were actually worn on the thumb in the 17th century, but the 4th finger was used during the ceremony. Some feel that during a Christian wedding, the priest arrives at the 4th finger after touching three fingers on the left hand "In the Name of the Father...Son...and Holy Ghost...". Others believe the Egyptian myth that the ring finger follows the "vena amoris" or vein of love...which supposedly runs directly to the heart.

Should I buy a loose diamond or do I get a better deal buying finished diamond ring?
This depends on the store. When setting a diamond, it is common (and sensible) to put any defects or "inclusions" under a prong. The problem with buying the whole ring is that the stone cannot be examined out of the setting. Most stores will not charge a setting fee if both the stone and setting are purchased there. Buy the stone loose if you can.

What diamond shape is best for the ring?
Personal Preference; Desired Brilliance (round brilliant diamond has the most); Diamond Weight (Fany diamonds look more elegant in large sizes); How big you want it to look (Fancy diamonds tend to look larger); Shape and Size of Hand (experiment to find what is most flattering) and Diamond Color and Diamond Clarity (round brilliant diamond hides defects and yellow tints best).

What has the greatest effect on price?
In terms of value, they would rank: Diamond Color; Diamond Clarity; Diamond Cut/Proportion and Diamond Carat Weight.

What has the greatest effect on diamond beauty?
Similarly: Diamond Cut/Proportion; Diamond Color; Diamond Clarity and Diamond Carat Weight.

What is a GIA Certified Diamond?
It is a stone that has been examined and documented by the GIA. Diamond is accompanied with a GIA certificate indicating the location of inclusions, the color, clarity, carat weight and includes a note about the cut.


Diamond's Facet...any of the flat "sides" of the diamond.

Diamond's Table...On a brilliant cut (bc) stone...the top octagonal facet.

Diamond's Girdle...The (typically) frosty white ring at the widest part.

Diamond's Culet...The bottom point (actually a facet) on a bc stone.

Diamond's Pavilion...The portion of the stone below the girdle.
Diamond's Crown...The portion of the stone above the girdle.

Fire...The quality of the diamond that breaks reflected light into a colorful array.
Diamond Brilliance...The quality of the diamond that reflects light without changing it (sometimes called sparkle).
Diamond's Fluorescence...The characteristic of some diamonds to fluoresce certain colors under some light.
Diamond Feather...A jewelers way of saying "crack". Appears as a white feather within the diamond.


Since they rarely grade cut, it must not be important, right? Wrong. Cut is the single most important factor in the appearance of the stone. Poorly cut stones will appear dull or have dark spots. Well cut stones will be brilliant and fiery if the stone quality is reasonable. It is important to be able to judge cut.

What is an ideal cut diamond? There are three accepted sets of proportions which are considered ideal cut stones. They are (all proportions are given as a proportion of the girdle diameter):
The Tolkowsky or Standard American Ideal Cut Diamond: Diamond's Table Width: 53%; Diamond's Crown Height: 16.2% and Diamond's Overall Height: 59.3%
The Eppler or European Cut: Diamond's Table Width: 56%; Diamond's Crown Height: 14.4%; Diamond's Overall Height: 57.7%

The Scan D.N.: Diamond's Table Width: 57.5%; Diamond's Crown Height: 14.6%; Diamond's Overall Height: 57.7%

The first was calculated in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky. It is supposed to give the best balance between brilliance and fire. Essentially, the larger the table, the greater the brilliance at the expense of fire. A generally termed ideal cut will have a table percentage between 53% and 57% and a depth or height of 58% to 60%. Expect to pay 15%-20% more for an ideal cut stone. Avoid stones with table percentages above 70% or depths over 64% or under 57%.

Why aren't all diamonds cut to these specifications? Not all can be. Less that 1% of all stones are considered ideal. The main motivating factor behind this is money however. Ideal cut stones result in a greater amount of waste. For this reason, all but the finest cutters rarely perform these cuts to cut down on waste. There are only three diamond cutters in the US that perform the Tolkowsky cut.
Is there any way to judge the cut of the diamond without making these measurements? Yes. Well, you can tell if a stone is poorly cut by looking for the following: A white circle resembling a donut in the face-up view of a diamond. It occurs because the pavilion is too shallow and the girdle is reflected out. Obvious dark spots/centers when viewed face-up. These indicate that the pavilion was cut too deep. Extremely thick girdles reduce the brilliance and make the stone look small for its weight. Look for a girdle that is uneven in thickness (for reasons other than geometry) around the stone. One good way to see how well a stone is cut is to view it straight down on the table. The table and the four corners form an "square shape". On well cut stones, the sides of the square will bow in *slightly*. Sides that bow out are less than ideal. The slight inward bowing may be tough to detect, so consider a seemingly perfect square to be a decent cut. Severely bowed in squares are also undesirable.
What should I look for in the workmanship of the diamond? Well, first of all, if it is a brilliant cut, make sure it is round. Be sure that the culet is not chipped or broken. The girdle should not be too thick or its or too thin. The girdle should be straight, not wavy from the sides. Be sure that the facets of the crown align with the facets of the pavilion. Any misalignment will show itself in the girdle. With a loupe of a scope look closely at the girdle. Stones that are cut in a hurry will have small cracks that extend into the stone, making it look fuzzy or "bearded". Don't confuse this with the natural frosty color of the girdle. Sometimes If the symmetry of the stone is off, or if it is damaged, extra facets may be added. Be sure the table is parallel to the girdle and the culet (as seen through the table) is on-center and undamaged.

How many diamond facets are there? On a brilliant full-cut stone there are 58 facets; 32 facets plus the table above the girdle and 24 facets plus the culet below the girdle. Some with only 18 facets are referred to as "single cuts".
I've found the diamond I want, but I don't like the ring...what should I do? The ring really compliments the diamond. Make them change it. If they are going to charge you, or won't change it, you probably want to do business with a different store.
Should I buy a 4 or 6 prong ring setting for my brilliant cut diamond? This depends on what you like. Smaller stones (<0.5 carat) are greatly affected appearance-wise by the type of setting. Four prongs tend to make make them look more square while 6 prongs cover more of the stone. Six prongs will hold the stone more securely in the event that one fails...and that does happen.
How important is the ring setting? Well, like tires to a car, it is the most under-rated part of the whole package. It is the only thing that hangs on to your investment. Cheap settings are made of stamped yellow gold. The more expensive ones are white gold, to die struck white gold and palladium all the way up to platinum. Be sure to find out what the setting is made of and don't be afraid to spend extra on the setting you want.
How long is a ring setting good for? It depends on what you do and what the setting is made out of. It is wise to have it inspected annually.
Is my diamond covered under my renter's/homeowner's insurance? You should check, but probably not. Most policies will allow you to "list" jewelery on a rider for that policy. The cost seems to be about $1.75 per $100 of value.

Sndgems uses only insured carriers (FedEx and UPS) to ship its packages, and all shipments are insured for the full value of their contents. In the unlikely situation that the contents of a package are lost or damaged, Sndgems will provide a replacement or a full refund. Because your purchase is insured from the time it leaves our office until the moment it reaches your hands, statistically, it is safer to purchase your diamond from Sndgems than to buy a diamond at a store and transport it home yourself.

Diamond Clarity

Diamonds that are absolutely clean are very much in demand and are therefore the most expensive. View Details.


Diamond Cut

In its natural state, a diamond's beauty is generally concealed. While nature determines a diamond's color, clarity, and carat weight, the hand of a master craftsman is needed to release its fire and beauty. View Details.


Diamond Weight

Diamonds are sold by the carat (ct)-not to be confused with karat (kt), which refers to gold quality in the Unites States. Once you've determined what cut, color, and clarity grade you're looking for in a diamond, it's easy to determine the carat weight of diamond that will fit within your budget. View Diamond Details.