Category Archives: Misc


fancy-color-diamonds_2281.9dfcdMany years ago, when the diamond trade had just begun to develop, The London Diamond Syndicate was in the business of sorting rough diamonds that it intended to sell to the public. Because there was no industry-wide standard at the time, different diamond grades were assigned by various organizations. Random scales were created that included numbers, letters, and even Roman numerals. It became common practice to sell diamonds as Triple A. Other classifications were given including river, jagers, gem blue, and fine white; however inconsistencies within the industry led to the establishment of a new grading system in 1953.

So, why does the Diamond color scale start at D? In an effort to create a comprehensive system of grading diamonds, The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a more widely accepted grading scale that classified the gem by letter grades. It desired to move away from the arbitrary methods of rating developed in the past, to establishing a more standardized color-grading scale that ranged from D to Z.

While diamonds are generally considered colorless, they can also run the gamete of tones and hues – from light yellow and brown to greenish-blue and reddish-orange.

The answer to the question “why does the diamond scale start at D” has a lot to do with the amount of color displayed within the body of the gem. Diamonds considered to be completely colorless, fall at the beginning of the scale and are assigned a D grade. Those that display a slightly yellow or brownish hue are placed at the end of the scale and are given a grade of Z.  A stone with a high amount of body color is considered a lower grade than one with a smaller amount of color. The rarest of all diamonds are the ones that have no color at all but rank the highest on the scale.

A diamond’s color can also make all the difference in how valuable or invaluable it is. If a white diamond has a slightly yellowish hue, it is offered at a more discounted price than it would otherwise be if it had less color.

Colored Diamonds

In the industry, colored diamonds are referred to as Fancy diamonds (or Fancy-colored diamonds). These gems are subject to a completely different grading system than white diamonds. This separate classification was developed because the color saturation of diamonds doesn’t stop at Z: it actually continues to increase. In fact, diamonds are discovered in every color of the rainbow and the deeper the hue, the more valuable it becomes.

Fancy-colored diamonds graded on this separate scale begin at Fancy Light and end at Fancy Vivid. Rare colored gems are more expensive than their more commonly colored counterparts. The rarest and most expensive diamonds are actually found at the opposite ends of each respective grade scale.

While many people today might ask “why does the diamond scale start at D”, it may be worthwhile to peel back a bit of history. There, you might be surprised to discover that many years ago, the diamond color-grading scale never really started at D – but that it, essentially, all began at Triple A.


diamonds1When talking about diamonds, most people like to discuss carat size, but do you know what carat size actually entails? Many people assume that it conforms to the size of the diamond; the bigger the diamond, the greater the carat, with a spectacular diamond comprising a full carat.

Factors to Consider

Actually, carat refers to the weight of the diamond. Two diamonds, both weighing one carat, can be two separate sizes. This has much to do with the cut of the diamond. A poorly cut diamond may contain much of its weight at the base, making the top of the diamond appear smaller.

When determining how to select the right carat size for her, look at the diamond from the top. A well cut diamond can have less carat weight, but appear larger. Well-cut diamonds will have more brilliance, giving an impression that it’s of a large size. The cut is the diamond’s primary attribute. If the cut is too shallow, light will escape through the bottom, and if the cut too deep, light will escape through the sides. The cut of the diamond is classified as ideal, very good, good and fair.

It’s also important to consider the quality of the diamond. The most valuable diamonds have no color. Lesser grade diamonds have a visible light yellow color. If you are on a low budget, but carat size is important to your loved one, it’s best to choose a diamond that is nearly colorless, but does not show an obvious yellow tint. You will still have a high-quality diamond, but for a lower price than you would pay for one that is flawlessly white.

How to Select the Right Diamond Carat Size for Her According to Diamond Shape and Size

When making your decision, keep in mind her ring size. If your recipient has small, slender hands, a diamond will appear much larger than if her ring size is 7 or 8. She may not feel comfortable with a whopping, well-cut 1.5 carat diamond on her tiny finger.

The shape of the diamond can also influence your decision in how to select the right carat size for her. Round diamonds have a tendency to maximize the degree of fire and brilliance in a diamond. An oval cut has the same effect, but is most desirable for long, slender fingers, as it accentuates the finger’s shape. Be cautious if you choose an emerald or square cut diamond and have a limited budget, as this table will highlight the clarity of the diamond. A lower color grade may not have that startling effect you want when you present your diamond to your loved one.

Talk to your diamond retailer before deciding how to select the right carat size. Make sure the diamond you select is graded by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or the American Gem Society Laboratories and certified for clarity, color, and cut.

Diamonds are eternal. Their shape, grade, color and cut have as great an effect on their value as the carat weight. Before deciding how to select the right carat size for her, find out if she gives more preference to carat weight or to the quality of the diamond. Choose a carat size for its maximum brilliance, as a well-cut diamond will look larger than a poorly cut diamond. Buy the whitest diamond you can afford to match the carat size she desires. You want her to wear her diamond forever, so you want that forever to be one that is beautiful and unforgettable.

Still looking for that perfect diamond? Browse our full selection today at Dara’s Diamonds, and find the perfect ring to take her breath away.


diamonds-8647Before purchasing a big-ticket item, many consumers will spend hours researching their options and reading reviews and ratings to determine the best balance of cost and quality. When it comes to buying a diamond, however, you may not be familiar with how the stones are evaluated. What is the truth about diamond ratings?

Diamond Ratings Are Determined By Independent Agencies

The stones are reviewed by third-party agencies with internationally-recognized systems. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rating system is generally recognized as the industry standard, and is the one with which most consumers are most likely to have some familiarity.

A Rating Is Not the Same As An Appraisal

Diamond ratings are scientific evaluations of the primary characteristics that determine a stone’s quality; they are not appraisals of monetary value. They do, however, relate to value and cost — the higher the rating, the more valuable the stone is considered and, subsequently, the higher its price is likely to be.

Diamond Ratings Are Based on Science

Quality reports grade diamonds on the four Cs: carat, cut, color, and clarity. Each category is graded on a scale with defined standards.

A carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. This unit of measurement identifies a diamond’s weight.

While many people think the term “cut” refers to the stone’s shape (such as round, square, pear, or emerald), it actually identifies how a diamond reflects light. The cut gives the diamond its brightness, or brilliance. A diamond that is well-cut has angles and a finish that reflect light around the diamond and back up through its face (known as the table). A stone with a poor cut loses light out of the sides and bottom of the diamond, leaving less light reflecting back to the eye, which makes the diamond less brilliant. Numerical formulae have been calculated to maximize brilliance, identifying optimal diamond proportions such as depth to diameter.

The color of a diamond is the result of its composition. The more colorless the diamond, the more light can pass through it and the more sparkle it will emit. The GIA color scale identifies colorless stones with the highest rating of D. The more yellowish or brownish color a stone has, the further down the alphabet the grades fall, all the way to Z. The truth about diamond ratings is that even diamonds graded G through I will appear virtually colorless to the naked eye.

Clarity refers to flaws on the surface of a diamond or within it. A diamond doesn’t have to be identified as Flawless to appear that way to the naked eye; only those at the low end of the rating scale will have visible flaws without magnification.

Diamond quality reports serve as useful guides to help consumers consider cost and quality based on a set of internationally-recognized standards. However, the truth about diamond ratings is that even stones that don’t earn the highest grades in every category can still be stunning.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out How to Select the Right Diamond Carat


diamond-chart_n9cjIf you plan on buying a diamond any time soon, then you will want to learn how a diamond carat is measured. The carat is a numerical value assigned to the physical weight of the diamond. One of the most common misconceptions about carats is that they signify the diameter of the diamond. When a woman talks about having carat diamond, she is referring about the weight of the stone and not its diameter. Instead of having significant diameter, the stone could be deep and sit higher in its mount. This would make it heavy without making it wide.

The first step in learning how a diamond carat is measured is understanding the proper definition of a carat. In 1913, the United States switched to the metric carat, which is .2 grams of physical weight. One of the big rules in learning how a diamond carat is measured is to remember that diamonds are very light. These numbers we are talking about may seem exceptionally minuscule, but they actually add up to one big diamond.

The measurement is then broken down into points, which are added up to indicate how much the stone weighs. This is where the concept can get a little complicated. When people start learning how a diamond carat is measured, they will often make the mistake of thinking that points refer to the number of peaks on the physical cut of the diamond. It is important to understand that a carat has nothing to do with the actual cut of the stone. It only deals in the weight.

A point is equal to 1/100th of a carat. It helps to know some basic math when you are learning how a diamond carat is measured, because you will need to be able to do these figures in your head quickly if you are talking to a client, or if you are trying to negotiate the purchase of a diamond with a retailer. The process of understanding how a diamond carat is measured is always easier when you understand the terminology.

Since a point is 1/100th of a carat, then a 100-point diamond is one full carat. Therefore, a 100-point diamond weighs .2 grams. As you continue to learn how a diamond carat is measured, you will start to apply points to diamonds in order to determine the actual carat weight.

Understanding carat measurements is important when you plan to buy a diamond for yourself or your significant other. When a retailer tells you that he has a 25-point diamond for sale, you now know that it has nothing to do with the cut or the shape of the diamond. Points and carats are reserved strictly for the weight of the diamond, which is only one part of determining the final value of the stone itself. The clarity, cut and shape of the diamond are the other parts of a complete diamond purchase.

Find your perfect diamond today at Dara’s Diamonds, and let it shimmer brilliantly for a lifetime.


RoundFlawlessDiamond_DarasGetting Clear on Diamond Clarity: Inclusions vs. Blemishes

Whether you’re shopping for an engagement diamond, anniversary ring, or Valentine’s Day jewelry, knowing the basics of diamond clarity inclusions vs. blemishes will help you make a better buying decision. So what are inclusions and blemishes, what’s the difference, and why do they matter?

Inclusions and blemishes affect a stone’s clarity, which is one of the 4 Cs that diamond experts and savvy shoppers use to evaluate loose diamonds and diamond jewelry and to assign a dollar value to them. (The other Cs are cut, color, and carat weight.)

Flaws inside and out: inclusions vs. blemishes

Inclusions are flaws within a diamond itself, some of which are present when the diamond is created by nature. Graining, feathering, and tiny crystals inside the stone are all examples of inclusions, and all of them can affect diamond clarity by impacting the way light moves through the stone.

Blemishes are external flaws that come along after the diamond is mined and cut—and in some cases, diamonds suffer blemishes from rough handling while being worn.  Examples of diamond blemishes include chips, scratches, and errors during the cutting and polishing stages.

So which matters more to diamond clarity, inclusion vs. blemishes?

When it comes to grading diamond clarity, inclusions vs. blemishes really becomes all about the inclusions, because almost all diamonds contain them. Nine out of eleven of the clarity grades recognized by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) focus on the number, size, position, and quality of inclusions. Blemishes are really only taken into account when grading extremely rare and very expensive flawless and internally flawless stones. In the battle of inclusion vs. blemishes, inclusions dominate.

How do inclusions affect diamond clarity grading?

The GIA breaks diamonds with inclusions into four main groups from least flawed to most, with each group having two or three subdivisions:

  •  VVS (very, very slightly included)
  • VS (very slightly included)
  • SI (slightly included)
  • I (included)

How do you know if a diamond you’ve got your eye on has inclusions or blemishes?

Ask for the stone’s GIA clarity rating, which is the standard scale recognized by gemologists and jewelers around the globe. If the stone you’re interested in doesn’t have a GIA rating, you may want to hire a specialist diamond grader to check it for blemishes and inclusions, which can usually only be seen by a trained eye using the right equipment.

How much does diamond clarity matter when you’re buying a loose stone or diamond jewelry?

It depends! Obviously you want the best value for your money and you want a diamond that reflects your love, but your budget matters, too. If you have $10,000 or more per carat to spend, a rare flawless diamond is within your reach and makes an epic gesture as a gift. If your diamond budget is smaller, there are plenty of beautiful stones available that deliver true diamond sparkle. After all, most diamonds are flawed and most of us never notice—we’re too busy admiring that engagement ring or those gorgeous earrings.

Are you planning an unforgettable proposal? Find your perfect diamond today at Dara’s Diamonds, and create a memory to last a lifetime.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’re one of a kind, highly creative, and you enjoy the unique. So you want nothing to do with cookie cutter jewelry. Building your own engagement ring, therefore, is the perfect way to show off your creativity and flair as you enter into one of the most important moments of your life. And it’s easy. With the simple click of a mouse, you can build your own engagement ring–from the carat and the stone to the setting and the metal–right from the comfort of your own home.

When crafting your ring, every detail is up to you. Not only does this relieve your fiance-to-be from the stresses of ring shopping, but it also allows you to create a one-of-a-kind piece you’ll treasure forever.

The first thing to consider when building your own engagement ring? Your style. Do you have a modern eye? Or are you drawn to vintage pieces? From flashy and sophisticated to elegant and simple, engagement rings cover a gamut of styles. Selecting this first can help guide you as you build. Your own engagement ring is already within reach!

Once you’ve determined your style, it’s time to select a metal and setting. There are multiple colors to choose from when building your own engagement ring–14K white gold, 14K yellow gold, 18K white gold, 18K yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum. Settings also range from solitaire (a single stone setting) and channel (stones are placed into a metal channel) to pave (multiple stones set closely together) and invisible (metal cannot be seen beneath the stone).

You’re almost finished building your own engagement ring. Last decision? The stone. Diamonds are often the most popular for engagement rings, and everything from cut and size to color and clarity will determine its price. However, building your own engagement ring gives you the unique ability to create as inexpensive or expensive a ring as you desire.

For those willing to spend more, consider the color of a diamond. The more colorless it appears–D being colorless to Z being very tinted–the greater the stone’s value. A diamond’s clarity can also determine the stone’s worth–a diamond without any inclusions, or imperfections, for example, is more valuable than one with just a few inclusions. You may also want to consider the cut of the diamond–too deep or too shallow of a cut will affect how the light reflects off the stone.

As you build your own engagement ring, you’ll quickly discover what works for you and what doesn’t. Remember, you can virtually build as many rings as you’d like before selecting that perfect one–right from your own home. So don’t hesitate to try and try again!

If you’d like to start designing your perfect ring today, check out our full range of diamond engagement rings at Dara’s Diamonds. Choose your stone, setting and more, and make a proposal that your partner will remember for a lifetime.