The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions. Despite popular misconception, a diamond’s cut is not the same thing as its shape.
Every shape of diamond has different grades of cuts and it is the cut of a diamond that is most representative of its beauty, brilliance, and value. The cut is also the most technically difficult to pinpoint and requires precise analysis and state-of-the-art technology to accurately assess. However, while it takes expert knowledge and advanced tools to analyze the quality of a diamond’s cut, the naked eye can notice differences in light performance from one diamond to another, which is a key indication of the quality of the diamond’s cut. The better the cut, the more magnificently a diamond sparkles.
In order to determine the cut of a diamond, jewelers and gemstone experts, such as our Master Jeweller and GIA Graduate Gemologist, use the GIA Diamond Cut Scale to measure brightness, fire, and scintillation.
Brightness refers to the internal and external white light reflected from a diamond.
Fire refers to the dispersion of a diamond’s light into all the colors of the rainbow.
Scintillation refers to the amount of sparkle that a diamond produces, and the flashes of light and patterns of light and dark noticeable when a diamond is moved.
Before determining the final cut grade of any given diamond, the design and craftsmanship of the diamond is also assessed. This includes consideration of the diamond’s weight in relation to its diameter, its girdle thickness (which affects its durability), the symmetry of its facet arrangement, and the quality of polish on those facets.
The GIA Diamond Cut Scale for standard round brilliant diamonds contains five grades, which range from Excellent to Poor, as seen on the Cut Grade example below.
Within each grade there are ranges of quality and we are known for hand-selecting the highest quality diamonds available. We take pride in offering only the finest and most spectacular diamonds in each grade at very competitive prices, to ensure that you receive optimal value for your investment.
Diamonds are formed in the earth over millions of years. Intense heat and thousands of pounds of pressure cause carbon atoms to crystallise and, as such, diamonds are naturally created. As with any truly natural occurrence, the color of every diamond will inherently differ very slightly.
The naked, untrained eye typically has a hard time noticing the slight color variations, especially when it comes to high-quality diamonds with brilliant sparkle. There are, however, subtle differences in the natural color of diamonds that contribute to the value of each diamond.
The value of a diamond is influenced by how close it comes to being truly colorless. This is determined using a D-Z color-grading scale outlined by the GIA as the industry standard in diamond color grading. The exception of course being when there is a shade of color in the diamond that is yellow or brown, as that is not part of the D-Z diamond color grade.
Our GIA Graduate Gemologist is highly experienced in assessing the natural color of diamonds and precisely pinpointing diamonds with the most brilliant color within each grade. This enables us to find you the most brilliant diamond and best value for your investment, within your price range. Visit our Newton location to view Boston’s most spectacular diamond collection and compare diamonds side-by-side.
Diamond clarity refers to the measure of blemishes present and the overall flawlessness of a diamond. Although no diamond is 100% pure, the closer the diamond comes to being flawless on the GIA Clarity Scale, the higher its value.
Due to the natural occurrence of diamonds in the earth and the inherent characteristics that result from the extreme heat and pressure that created them, all diamonds have unique internal characteristics. These internal characteristics are known as inclusions. External characteristics found on diamonds are known as blemishes. The extent of inclusions and blemishes in any given diamond are what determine diamond clarity.
Diamond clarity is assessed at 10x magnification, as many inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye. Even diamonds that have been classified as flawless may have visible inclusions at higher magnifications.
In order to accurately evaluate the clarity of a diamond, a gemologist reviews the number, size, relief, nature, and position of the inclusions and blemishes, to determine where the diamond falls on the GIA International Diamond Grading System. The diamond is then assigned a clarity grade that ranges from diamonds that are virtually Flawless (FL), to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3). Discounted, less favorable diamonds will typically have less desirable characteristics that are not mentioned on the diamond report, such as those with black inclusions, or a milky appearance.
Even though many inclusions and blemishes are too small to be evident to the naked eye, they still affect the price of diamonds. That said, unless a diamond is heavily included, small internal and external characteristics have no effect on a diamond’s ability to reflect light and sparkle radiantly.
As Boston’s premier diamond jeweler, we proudly offer the most beautiful and radiant selection of diamonds available for every budget and style preference, regardless of their clarity rating.
Carat refers to the physical weight of a diamond. It is the measurement in which the weight of a diamond is measured and is one of the contributing factors in determining the quality and value of a diamond.
To provide an idea of the measurement in mm to carat weight: one carat is equal to approximately 0.20 grams, which is about the weight of a standard paper clip. Because diamonds naturally form in the earth over millions of years and are highly sought after gemstones, even the slightest increase in carat weight can, in turn, increase the value of a diamond. That said, while the price of a diamond does often increase with carat weight, you may also find that two different diamonds of equal carat weight differ in price. This is due to the other factors involved in determining the quality of diamonds—clarity, cut, and color—which, together with carat weight, form what is commonly referred to as “The 4Cs.”
There are many factors to consider when selecting the perfect diamond for your price range and we will work with you to find the perfect carat weight within your budget that compliments your ideal engagement ring setting or fine jewelry style.
The shape of a diamond, or other precious and semi-precious gemstones, forms the focal point of your jewelry, and we believe the shape you select should represent your individual style, personality, and story.
The most popular shape is the round brilliant cut, followed by the princess cut (which is square), and the cushion cut (which is square with rounded edges). Other prominent shapes are the radiant cut, asscher cut, oval cut, emerald cut, pear cut, marquise cut, and heart-shaped cut. The illustrations below provide a side-by-side comparison of the most popular gemstone shapes to assist you in determining your preference.
At Alex & Company we showcase an extensive collection of diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones in all shapes and sizes. Our experienced Master Jeweler and GIA Certified Gemologist take care to hand-select the highest quality and best-shaped stones, to provide you with a variety of options to suit your taste and your budget.
We will work with you on the selection process and find the best value for your budget, in the specific gemstone shape you enjoy most. Each piece of fine jewelry in our designer collection is fitted with the best-shaped stone to maximize the piece’s brilliance, and we will gladly advise you on the most complementary setting for your selected shape. Our jewelry artisans can also custom-design jewelry for you around your desired shape, and create a piece that is entirely your own.
Fluorescence in a Diamond
Fluorescence refers to the visible light which some diamonds emit when they are exposed to invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. On a GIA Diamond Grading report, fluorescence indicates the strength or intensity of the diamond’s reaction to long-wave UV rays, which is an essential component of daylight. The light emitted lasts as long as the diamond is exposed to the ultraviolet source.
Not all diamonds exhibit fluorescence, but it is a relatively common occurrence in brilliant diamonds. Of all diamonds submitted to GIA over the past decade, approximately 25% to 35% exhibit some degree of fluorescence. However, only 10% of those diamonds showed strengths of fluorescence that may impact the diamond’s appearance; that is, showed strengths noted on laboratory reports as medium, strong or very strong. In more than 95% of the diamonds that exhibit fluorescence, the color seen is blue. In rare instances the reaction is yellow, white, or another color.
GIA studies show that for the overwhelming majority of cases, the strength of fluorescence in a diamond has no widely noticeable effect on a diamond’s appearance. In many instances, observers prefer the appearance of diamonds that have medium to strong fluorescence, but in rare cases, diamonds with extremely strong fluorescence may appear hazy or oily (fewer than 0.2% of the fluorescent diamonds submitted to the GIA exhibit this effect.)
Fluorescence does not compromise the structural integrity of diamonds. A diamond that fluoresces has the same integrity as a diamond that exhibits no reaction to UV rays. Submicroscopic substitutions and/or shifts in a diamond’s structure can cause fluorescence, as well as prevent it. Nothing in either instance inherently weakens, or is bad for, the diamond.
For more information about fluorescence and to compare diamonds side-by-side, please visit our Newton location where our artisan jewelers will gladly assist you.