Diamond Education

Intro
Shape
Color
Clarity
Cut
Carat
Certifications
Intro

INTRODUCTION TO DIAMOND EDUCATION

At Liam Mika, we’re proud diamond experts who also understand our industry’s serious intimidation factor. That’s why we’re dedicated to guiding you through the entire diamond buying process as your coach, teacher, and partner.

We’re here to educate every client and empower them with complete diamond knowledge. That way you can confidently know you’ve made the right choice So even if you can’t pick out a diamond from a chunk of quartz, no worries. Go ahead and schedule your initial consultation -- your personal Diamond Concierge will be at your side the whole time to support you.

But even with our expert assistance, a headstart never hurts. Let’s begin with the diamond basics so you start your journey .   

 

education-intro
Shape

ABOUT SHAPE

Not technically part of the 4Cs, but still important to learn, the shape refers to the physical form of the stone. From the vintage Asscher cut to the ever-fashionable Princess, choosing a shape is all about personal preferences and personalities.

Shape-image
Color

ABOUT COLOR

Diamond color evaluation is based on the absence of color- the less color the higher their value. Diamond color is graded on a scale from D-Z and measures the degree of colorlessness. Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye. These distinctions, however, make a big difference in diamond quality and price. Generally, when comparing color between two diamonds, the diamonds need to be at least two color grades apart to even begin to see a difference. 

  • J-L
  • I
  • H
  • G
  • F
  • E
  • D
Near Colorless. The human eye can start to detect a yellow hint.
Near Colorless. Slightly detected color
Near Colorless. Color difficult to detect unless compared side by side to diamonds of a better grade.
Near Colorless. Color difficult to detect unless compared side by side to diamonds of a better grade.
Colorless. Slight color detected by expert gemologists but still considered “colorless”
Colorless. Only miniscule traces of color detectable by expert gemologists. A rare diamond.
Absolutely colorless diamond. The highest color grade and extremely rare.
Clarity

ABOUT CLARITY

Diamonds are formed under extreme heat and pressure deep within the earth. This formation causes unique characteristics in the diamond called inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external). Diamond clarity refers to the level of these inclusions and blemishes. The fewer inclusion and blemishes, the higher the price of the diamond.  

  • SI2
  • SI1
  • VS2
  • VS1
  • VVS2
  • VVS1
  • IF
  • FL
Slightly Included 2. Noticeable under 10x magnifications but may not be very visible to the naked eye. Slightly more than SI1.
Slightly Included 1. Noticeable under 10x magnifications but may not be very visible to the naked eye.
Very slightly included 2. Very difficult to see at 10x magnification. Slightly more than VS1.
Very slightly included 1. Very difficult to see at 10x magnification.
Very, very slightly included 2. Extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification. Slightly more than VVS1.
Very, very slightly included 1. Extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification.
Internally flawless. No internal flaws.
Flawless with no internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
Cut

ABOUT CUT

Diamonds are unique among gemstones in their ability to transmit light. The cut of the diamond is what determines how light is reflected and consequently, the level of sparkle, fire, and brilliance. Cut is crucial to the stone’s final beauty and value.

  • FAIR
  • GOOD
  • VERY
    GOOD
  • EXCELLENT
This cut reflects some light but will not be as brilliant as a good cut.
Good quality cut that reflects most light that enters the diamond, but not as much as the Very Good cut.
Very Good quality cut that reflects nearly as much light as the excellent cut.
Excellent quality cut that creates the optimal combination of brilliance and fire. Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond.
Carat

DEFINITION OF CARAT

A diamond carat refers to the diamond weight.  With all other factors being equal, the diamond price increases as the carat weight increases. Keep in mind, however, that a diamond price is set based on the cut, color, clarity and carat (the 4C’s). Diamond weight can also be declared in points. One carat is equal to 100 points. Thus, a .50 carat diamond is equivalent to 50 points.

The diamond shape and cut can have an impact on whether a stone looks true to its carat weight. Each cut, from classic round to fancy shape cuts  shows its size differently.

When selecting your carat weight, consider her style, her finger size, the type of setting and band, and your budget.

  • 0.5 CT
  • 5 CT
Certifications

DIAMOND CERTIFICATIONS

A diamond certificate, or grading report, let’s you know exactly what you’ve paid for. They are produced by independent gemology labs and provide you with an expert opinion on the quality of diamond you purchased including information on the cut, color, clarity and carat. Liam Mika diamonds are certified by the world’s leading gemology labs including GIA, AGS, EGL and IGI.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was founded as a nonprofit institute to provide transparency in diamonds and pricing. Over time, GIA has become the global industry’s standard for diamond grading and grading practices.

After GIA, other laboratories arose in order to compete with GIA. These include AGS, EGL, IGI and GAL. The primary advantages to lab graded diamonds is assurance of diamond quality, proof of appraisal, and proof of ownership. Note, however, that not all diamonds are lab graded. The biggest advantage to a diamond that is not lab graded is price. The price difference between GIA diamonds and non-GIA diamonds can be 15% - 25%.

diamond-Certifications

After GIA, other laboratories arose in order to compete with GIA. These include AGS, EGL, IGI and GAL. The primary advantages to lab graded diamonds is assurance of diamond quality, proof of appraisal, and proof of ownership. Note, however, that not all diamonds are lab graded. The biggest advantage to a diamond that is not lab graded is price. The price difference between GIA diamonds and non-GIA diamonds can be 15% - 25%.