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Selecting Perfect Diamonds

Learn Monahan’s Process:

Diamond engagement rings in Jacksonville, FL jewelry shops all sparkle and shine under the glass displays. However, not all of them make the grade as the perfect diamond you want for the bride-to-be. Learn the process used to grade fine diamonds before you begin shopping, so you will know what to look for.

Reputable jewelers will explain the 4Cs process of grading a diamond and will allow you to examine the stones through a loupe with 10x magnification. Only the best will do for your future wife.

The 4Cs of Choosing a Diamond

Diamonds do not all hold the same value. Jewelers must take into consideration several aspects of the stone. The process, called the AGS Diamond Grading System, bases a diamond’s value on these 4 Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat.


Cut refers to both the shape of a diamond, like sapphire cut or pear, and the how light reflects through the stone. The reflective properties of a diamond cut makeup the first step in grading.

A well-cut diamond reflects light in flashes of fiery brilliance. The stone will take in light through its table (flat top surface); the light travels to the pavilion (the center above the culet point) where it travels from one side of the diamond to the other then back out of the table.

The diamond cutter has the job of cutting the stone to its most reflective shape. The diamond then receives one of the following grades: ideal, premium, very good, good, fair, and poor. Ideal cut hold the most value and will retain that value if the other 3Cs also grade high.

Cut shape

The cut also refers the shape of the diamond, which include the shapes below. Shops selling diamond engagement rings in Jacksonville, FL will have examples of all of these cuts. The cut shape does not influence the value of the diamond, while the diamond cut does.

  • Round brilliant
  • Sapphire
  • Princess
  • Oval
  • Marquise
  • Radiant
  • Pear
  • Asscherr
  • Heart shape

Your plans may include more than looking for engagement rings–you may want to design the ring yourself. With the variety of shapes available, you can work with a jeweler on a custom designed engagement setting to make the diamond look even more beautiful. Remember, though, the other 3Cs have to make the grade.


White diamonds have little to no color at all, like glass; these jewels formed under ideal conditions and will always stay colorless. The rarity of finding a diamond with absolutely no color makes them extremely valuable.

The value of a diamond depends on the amount of color inside and gemologists use a grading system. Purely white (colorless) diamonds earn a D, E or F. Grades G thru I mean no yellow shows to the untrained viewer. Faint yellow coloring earns diamonds a J thru M grade. The scale continues to Z, which shows the most yellow. Diamonds with G thru I grades sell most often because the stones look white unless looked at with a 10x loupe. Some diamonds hold fluorescent properties and they will glow under certain lighting. Dance clubs, for example, have lighting that brings out the fluorescent nature of these diamonds. Some people enjoy these diamonds and seek them out.


Gemologists grade clarity by the flaws on the surface of the diamond (blemishes) and inside of the stone (inclusions). Flaws inside the diamond include air bubbles, traces of non-diamond minerals, cracks, clouds and feathers. Blemishes include pits, scratches, cracks, and chips. Blemishes often occur during the cutting process.

To grade a diamond, a loupe with a 10x magnification is used. The clarity of the stone then receives one of the following grades:

  • Flawless, no inclusions or blemishes = F
  • No inclusions internally = IF
  • Very, very light inclusions not visible to the untrained eye = VVS1 and VVS2
  • Very light inclusions = VS1 and VS2:
  • light inclusions = SI1 and SI2

Diamonds graded VVS1 and VVS2 appear flawless to the naked eye and have lower price tags. Many couples buying engagement rings in Jacksonville, FL choose these grades in order to save money.


The South American unit of measure, the carob (chocolate) seed, changed to carat and has become the standard weight measurement for diamonds. A carat equals 200 milligrams and each carat breaks down into 100-points. A diamond rating of 25-points equals .25 carats. A diamond rated at 150-points weighs 1.5 carats.

Find a jeweler with a history in the diamond grading business and ask questions as you examine the stones available. The jeweler should know each of the 4 Cs intimately and you now know enough to gauge their knowledge. Finding expert jewelry retailers takes research and knowing who to talk to. Pick the diamond and design the setting for the perfect proposal.

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