Color refers to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. Diamonds in the normal color range are graded by their relative lack of color; the less color, the higher the value. The exception to which are fancy colored diamonds. The G.I.A color scale grades from D (totally colorless) to Z (yellow). If a diamond is graded lower than Z on the color scale it is considered "fancy yellow." Of all the diamond colors available, most consumers select stones that fall within the GIA color grades D to J.
Pricing can change as much as 10-15% between color grades, despite the visible difference between grades being sometimes difficult to distinguish to the untrained unaided eye. The differences in color grades are sometimes so slight, that to the untrained eye, when mounted, even G and H color diamonds might look colorless. Only an experienced eye can see the faint differences.
Colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions in comparison to master test stones for accuracy. Such testing is necessary as color differences are very subtle. The difference, for example, between an E and F color grading will not be easily detectible. When viewed top-down, the average person will only begin to see color in a diamond at about the I-J range. When determining the color of a diamond, it is important to see the diamond un-mounted. All of our diamonds are pre-appraised and examined un-mounted.
Trick of the trade
If you plan on mounting your diamond in a Platinum or White gold setting you want to consider staying in the D-I range. If you prefer a yellow gold setting, the yellow gold will be more forgiving of stones with some hint of color. Anything less than a J will appear yellow regardless of setting.
What Color Grade is Right for Me?
- For the expert, perfectionist or diamond connoisseur look for a colorless diamond (grades D-F).
- For the best value - go with a diamond that has no noticeable or obvious color to the naked eye. Look for a near-colorless diamond, grades of G-I.
- For a tight budget, consider stones graded J-L (faint hint of yellow) mounted in yellow gold mountings. This helps give the stone a warmer glow.
- For someone who does not want to compromise the color of their diamond but is working within a certain budget, choose a diamond with a good cut, good clarity (SI1); a clarity enhanced diamond is also a good option for the budget-conscious.
- Color ultimately comes down to personal taste.
Every diamond formed deep within the Earth has some sort of natural inclusions or imperfections. These inclusions, such as trace minerals, scratches or fractures, can appear either on the surface or within the diamond. The result is a distinct diamond with its own unique clarity composition, or "fingerprint."
In order to determine a diamond's clarity it is viewed under controlled lighting with a 10x magnification device. The number, size, location and nature of these inclusions determine the clarity of the diamond. The clearer diamonds are more sought-after and thus more expensive.
*Outrageous Diamonds does not sell diamonds graded less than I1 by professional gemological appraisal laboratories.
Note on Clarity:
Not all diamond shapes were created equally, at least when it comes to clarity! There are two main diamond cutting styles connected to the appearance of a diamond. There is a Brilliant cut and a Step cut. A Brilliant cut diamond has radiating facets (the facets are triangular or kite shaped). An example of a Brilliant cut is a Round diamond. The other cutting style is a Step cut. The step cut has facets arranged in rows or tiers. The most common example of a step cut is an Emerald cut. The step cut is a beautiful cut, but is less forgiving of inclusions than a brilliant cut. The way the facets of a brilliant are aligned, it allows light to travel through the diamond in such a way, that it more easily masks inclusions to the naked eye.
Clarity Enhanced Diamond Info
That big beautiful diamond you've been dreaming about is now a reality-
Clarity Enhanced Diamonds
The clarity enhancement process is a patented process that improves the appearance of a real natural diamond's clarity without altering the other characteristics of the diamond.
During the clarity enhancement process a microscopic amount of material is injected into the imperfection. This substance is a clear, glass-like substance that has the same optical refractive index as a diamond. This makes the enhanced imperfections virtually invisible to the unaided eye. Keep in mind the enhancement process can only visually improve a stone 1-2 grades better than when it was naturally. The enhancement process does not make a diamond flawless. The inclusions and cracks in a diamond will not entirely disappear, instead the inclusions are made virtually invisible to the naked eye.
Some signs of an enhanced fracture filled diamond can be seen using 10x magnification and others require a microscope. With magnification, you may see some slight flashes of color where the enhancement was done. The flashes typically follow the lines and shapes of where the stone was filled, which is natural for an enhanced diamond. Keep in mind that there are also diamonds with unfilled cracks that will also produce a similar flash effect. The G.I.A explains that the enhancement can be detected when viewing the stone from the side- parallel to where the enhancement was done. However, not every enhanced diamond will have this flash effect visible to the unaided eye.
Purchasing an enhanced diamond is a great way to get a real diamond at an affordable price. The enhancement process can last a lifetime when cared for properly. See below for caring instructions.
How to Care for Your Enhanced Diamond:
We, at Outrageous Diamonds, guarantee our enhancement for life. In the rare instance that your diamond requires re-enhancement, we guarantee to re-enhance the stone free of charge for the life of the diamond. (Click here for more information on our lifetime guarantee policy and warranties)
- Avoid chemical cleaners, especially ammonia-based solutions, as they can discolor or dissolve the enhancement.
- Steam cleaning your ring is a safe and effective way to clean your enhanced diamond, as is vodka and a soft bristle toothbrush (for hard to reach places).
- If the ring will be reset or needs repair, the jeweler must be notified about the enhancement - the extreme heat of a jeweler's torch (heat above 1500 degrees) could be damaging to the enhancement.
- All diamonds require great care, both in daily wear, storing and cleaning. An enhanced diamond ring should be treated more carefully to protect it from situations that could potentially damage the stone.
- Please read out Diamond & Jewelry Care section for more important information.
Is Clarity Enhanced Right for Me?
If carat weight is a top priority but budget is a real restriction, an enhanced diamond may be right for you.
If you are someone who works with your hands a great deal and is constantly around solvents and chemicals it may be best to go with a non-enhanced diamond, unless of course you simply remove the ring at the appropriate times.
If you are purchasing this diamond for someone other than yourself, you should feel comfortable disclosing or discussing the enhancement. The reason being is that the enhancement process can be compromised in select conditions, such as heat above 1500 degrees (the heat of a jeweler's torch) and when in contact with harsh chemicals such as ammonia. These conditions can reverse the enhancement.
What Clarity Grade is Right for Me?
- For the expert, perfectionist or diamond connoisseur look for a diamond with no less than a natural VS2 clarity.
- For the person who wants a good value, purchase a stone that faces up eye-clean. In a natural diamond this can be as low as an SI1/SI2, or a clarity enhanced-VS2/SI1 diamond. In an enhanced stone, you may see inclusions from the side of the diamond, however you will get an incredible value if you are looking for a stone that faces up eye-clean (no one will look through the side of the stone, or through the prongs to see if there are inclusions).
- Perfect diamonds are extremely rare, and thus most diamonds have some sort of internal or external flaws. As long as these inclusions do not seriously affect the stone's appearance or strength, it is perfectly natural and common to buy a stone with some imperfections.
- For the person on a tight budget, consider a clarity enhanced diamond graded an SI2 or SI3. You may see some inclusions to the naked-eye but they will not overwhelm the stone. Outrageous Diamonds does not sell stones lower than I1. All of our diamonds, regardless of their imperfections will have the brilliance and life you'd expect from a diamond; we do not sell lifeless cloudy stones.
- Ultimately, clarity comes down to personal expectations and preferences. If you're considering purchasing a diamond call to speak to one of our representatives, who will review the diamond specifications with you, on your behalf.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance however, there is no one single measurement that defines a diamond's cut, but rather a collection of observations and measurements. Using an optical measuring device and sophisticated computer modeling, the relationship between the dimensions, finish and light performance of the diamond is determined. This makes it possible to trace light behavior that affects the diamond's face-up appearance. Many gemologists consider the cut one of the most important of the Four C's. The reason being, that even if a diamond has perfect color and clarity, if the diamond is poorly cut its brilliance can be diminished.
Two essential characteristics of the cutting process are a stone's polish and symmetry. Polish refers to the smoothness of the diamond's facets, and symmetry refers to the alignment of the stone's facets. Each diamond appraisal report will state the diamond's polish and symmetry. Outrageous Diamonds only sells stones whose polish and symmetry is a minimum grading of Good (G) or better.
In many cases, the visual difference between diamond cuts may be imperceptible to the unaided eye. Of course Ideal and Excellent cut diamonds are known to return the most light- and are therefore considered the most valuable stones, however, diamonds that fall within the Very Good to Good range will still return a tremendous amount of light. In fact, the Very Good - Good range represents the balance between accurate proportions and price considerations.
What Cut is Right for Me?
- For the expert, perfectionist or diamond connoisseur - an Ideal - Excellent Cut is the number one characteristic to look for in the diamond purchase. You will pay up for a stone that has Ideal or Excellent proportions.
- For the person looking for a great value, purchase a stone that falls within the Very Good/Good range. Remember, the differences between cut are not easily discernible to the unaided eye, so this grading will allow you a bright fiery stone without compromising.
- If you are looking for a large diamond on a budget- consider a diamond with a shallow cut, since its surface area faces up greater, it will give you the appearance of a slightly larger stone.
- Outrageous Diamonds does not sell stones that are poorly cut, so your diamond will always have the life you'd expect from a diamond.
Carat is a term that is used to refer to the weight of a diamond.
Carat Weight is probably one of the most important characteristics when considering consumer preference. It is also the biggest factor in determining a stones rarity. When diamond rough is cut and polished into finished diamonds, as much as 2/3rd of the total carat weight is lost. Because larger gem quality rough is found less frequently than smaller rough, a 2 carat diamond will be about 3 times more valuable than a comparable quality 1 carat.
Keep in mind, carat weight and size are not directly proportional. A diamond will increase in weight faster than it increases in actual size (diameter). For example, a 2 carat diamond will not be twice the size of a 1 carat diamond. A 1 carat diamond is approximately 6.5mm in width, while a 2 carat diamond is only 8.2mm in width. This is less than a 30% increase in millimeter size.
Diamond & Jewelry Care
Diamonds may be among the hardest known substances on earth, but these natural gems still require a good amount of care.
For starters, commonplace products such as lotions, soaps, hair products or even everyday grime, will leave enough of a film on your ring to diminish the diamond's sparkle. To the best of your ability try and keep your diamonds free of perspiration, dirt, perfumes, lotions and other cosmetics.
To keep your diamond looking its best we recommend always putting on jewelry after you have applied cosmetics, perfumes, after-shaves, hairsprays and lotions. Clean your ring once a week to once every two weeks. If you wait too much longer between cleanings, those lotions, soaps and everyday grime may accumulate into a thick layer of gunk underneath your diamond. This will prevent light from reflecting off the diamond, and thus diminish the stone's fire.
It is best NOT to use harmful solutions such as chlorines, ammonia, and other abrasive chemicals found in household cleaners. Toothpaste as well, should be avoided at all costs. Diamonds, especially those that are set in jewelry, should never be cleaned with these harsh chemicals as they are known to erode the metal. Over time this can loosen prongs, compromise the settings or dissolve pieces of the metal completely.
When cleaning a Clarity Enhanced diamond it is especially important to avoid chemicals such as Ammonia, as it can reverse the enhancement. The substance used to enhance the diamond cannot withstand constant contact with harsh chemicals, in the same way metals cannot- so take care when it is time to clean your beautiful ring!
One safe and effective way to clean your diamond ring is to brush it with a soft, clean toothbrush (reserve this brush for diamond cleaning only) on the underside of the diamond where most of the dirt has collected. Soft is the operative word - do not use a brush with bristles that are stiff and do not scrub with a heavy hand as you do not want to scratch the ring's metal setting or loosen diamond accent stones.
When gently brushing your diamond you can use, vodka (yes, the vodka that you drink!), warm soapy water (mild soap, very diluted) or even a very mild liquid detergent diluted with water (Be sure to check that no ammonia, chlorine or harsh chemicals are in the detergent ingredients). It is very important to dilute the mild soap or detergents used. Organic soaps and detergents typically do not have harsh chemical solvents- but be sure to read the ingredients and dilute regardless! When cleaning your ring in this method you must take extra care to gently brush the back of the diamond, especially with delicate or intricate settings. When done scrubbing lightly, rinse the diamond with water and wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth.
It is advised to get your ring professionally steam cleaned as well as inspected once a year. The inspection should include checking for loose stones, bent prongs or other similar signs of wear. Click here to read more about our warranty
Important: To prevent any sort of chipping or breakage, it is best to remove all jewelry before engaging in such activities as sports, housework or yard work where jewelry is prone to impacts and/or chemicals. It is important to avoid salt water and harsh chemicals and detergents when wearing your diamond jewelry which is why even a trip to the beach, a swim in the ocean or dip in a pool or hot tub can impair your diamond jewelry. Chemicals typically found in a pool or hot tub (chlorines, bleaches, etc) can impair your diamond ring by causing the gold to become brittle, leaving it vulnerable to breaks and erosion of the prongs and metal.
Always insure your jewelry!
What are the main diamond shapes?
- Round Brilliant
- Square; Princess
- Triangle; Trillion
Round Brilliant - The vast majority of diamonds sold are Rounds, as they are considered the most classic; a shape synonymous with the word diamond. The Round is a traditional choice for diamond giving occasions, as well as the preference for those looking to enhance their investment portfolios as they are the most expensive shape. The reason the Round is one of the most costly cuts is that it is usually possible to retain more weight from rough (unpolished) diamond if it is cut into a fancy shape than if it is cut to a round shape.
Celebrities that said "Yes" to the Round Brilliant
Princess - Princess is a classic square shape, brilliant cut with sharp uncut corners. Some Princess cut diamonds are perfect squares, others come in more rectangular shapes- desirability depends on the customer's preferences. A princess Cut Diamond generally has 76 facets, giving it a tremendous amount of brilliance and fire. The Princess Cut diamond is now one of the most popular cuts in the United States.
- Guy Richie proposed to Madonna with a Round 3-stone diamond ring.
- Christina Aguilera received a Round antique style engagement ring from her producer beau
- Nicollette Sheridan said yes when Michael Bolton gave her a Round diamond engagement ring
- Model Kate Moss received a Round diamond solitaire engagement ring from former rocker beau Pete Doherty
- Pamela Anderson also said Yes to a Round diamond solitaire
- Brad Pit romanced Jennifer Aniston with a Round diamond engagement ring
- Other celebrities found of this cut include Barbara Streisand, Courtney Cox, Mary J Blige, and Carmen Electra.
Celebrities that said "Yes" to the Princess cut
- Garth Brooks proposed to Trisha Yearwood with a Princess cut diamond
- Kevin Costner proposed to his love, Christine Baumgartner, with a Square Princess cut diamond
- Previously #1 in the world, Beligian Tennis Pro, Kim Clijsters owns a beautiful Princess diamond engagement ring
- Other celebrities fond of this cut include Star Jones Reynolds.
Radiant - The Radiant cut diamond is a straight-edged square or rectangular stone with cut corners. Whether your radiant diamond is more square or rectangular in shape comes down to personal preference. This shape is mostly used for engagement rings. Rarely used for earrings and side stones as they are hard to calibrate and match. In order to get matched pairs one has to sort through hundreds of stones and/or re-cut to calibrate.
Emerald - An emerald cut diamond shape is rectangular in shape and has the long lean lines of a step cut. Because of the "openess" of this step cut, natural flaws within the diamond are more evident to the naked eye than would be with a brilliant cut. It is for this reason, that when purchasing an emerald cut diamond, quality is key! Select as high a grade as you can afford. Celebrity that Said "Yes" To the Emerald: Sharon Stone received a beautiful emerald-cut three-stone diamond ring from Phil Bronstein.
Pear - The pear shape is a brilliant cut diamond based on the traditional configuration of the round brilliant. The length-to-width ratio of a pear comes down to personal preference and taste, more so than with any other diamond.
Oval - The oval cut diamond is based upon the traditional configuration of the round brilliant diamond, which is why its technical name is oval modified brilliant diamond. The Oval diamond is a good option for those that want the traditional ideal characteristics of the round brilliant but also crave a more unique style. . Celebrity that Said "Yes" To an Oval: Russell and Toni Braxton both have oval-shaped diamond rings.
Cushion - A unique cut diamond that has increased significantly in popularity in recent years. Most closely resembling a cross between an Old Mine Cut and a modern oval cut, this diamond comes in varying proportions. The ultimate ideal shape is determined by the customer's personal preference.
Asscher - The Asscher cut is a modified square Emerald, with dramatic cut corners. It is important to note that there are no typical proportions for the Asscher cut diamond because they are not very common, but as with the Emerald, it is best to buy the highest quality you can afford. Celebrity that Said "Yes" to an Asscher: Donald Trump proposed to Melanie Trump with a 12 carat Asscher cut diamond. Also, Carrie Bradshaw accepted an Asscher cut diamond on the cult-television show "Sex & and the City"
Heart - Considered the most romantic of all the diamond shapes. This sentimental shape diamond lends itself well to an engagement ring or special occasion pendants.
Marquise - According to the legend of the Marquise of Pompadour, the Sun King desired a stone to be polished into the shape of the mouth of the Marquise. As with other fancy shapes, an individual's preference will determine the customer's ideal shape. Celebrity that Said "Yes" to a Marquise: Michael Douglas proposed to Catherine Zeta-Jones with a 10-carat marquise-cut diamond
Certifications & Appraisals
When purchasing a diamond ring you should expect to receive an appraisal certificate from an independent gemological appraisal company. This will certify the diamond has been examined and evaluated by trained professional's eyes using a jeweler's loupe, a microscope, and other industry tools. All certificates include the diamond's measurements (in millimeters), carat weight, color, clarity, polish and symmetry.
Another value that can be found on the appraisal certificate is a dollar value. This dollar amount is representative of the retail value or the estimated replacement value, which is needed for insurance purposes.
One should never accept a store's own appraisal, and instead should make sure they are provided with a report from in independent gemological appraisal laboratory. When buying a diamond that is not GIA or EGL certified, it is imperative to make sure that the appraiser who is certifying the diamond has recognizable credentials (i.e. is a qualified GIA graduate gemologists). In short, when buying a diamond, an independent appraisal from a professional unbiased source is key; NO jewelry store appraisals!!