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Diamonds 101: How to Pick the Perfect Diamond

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The Four Cs

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  • An Overview of the Four Cs
  • Carat: How much it weighs
  • Clarity: How pure it is
  • Color: How colorless it is
  • Cut: How much it sparkles

The Four Cs

CARAT

Carat is the unit of measurement for a diamond's weight.

SHAPE
SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.25
4.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum

CLARITY

Clarity refers to the purity of the diamond.

SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.0
9.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum

Clarity is evaluated by viewing the number and size of a diamond's inclusions under 10X magnification, from I2/I3 (obvious inclusions) to IF/FL (internally flawless/no inclusions).

COLOR

Color refers to the color within the diamond, not the reflected light.

SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.0
9.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum
Faint Yellow Near Colorless Colorless

CUT

Cut refers to a diamond's symmetry, proportions, and polish, which determine how much it sparkles.

SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.0
6.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum
  • CARAT
  • CLARITY
  • COLOR
  • CUT

CARAT

Carat is the unit of measurement for a diamond's weight.

SHAPE
SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.25
4.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum

CLARITY

Clarity refers to the purity of the diamond.

SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.0
9.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum

Clarity is evaluated by viewing the number and size of a diamond's inclusions under 10X magnification, from I2/I3 (obvious inclusions) to IF/FL (internally flawless/no inclusions).

COLOR

Color refers to the color within the diamond, not the reflected light.

SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.0
9.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum
Faint Yellow Near Colorless Colorless

CUT

Cut refers to a diamond's symmetry, proportions, and polish, which determine how much it sparkles.

SIZE education.fourc.carat
The minimum value should be less than the maximum
0.0
6.0
The maximum value should be more than the minimum
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Why you get a prettier diamond for your money at Shane Co.

You can't judge the beauty of diamonds by their lab grade alone. You have to see the diamonds in person to know if they sparkle, because diamonds with the same grade can have very different amounts of sparkle, depending on where the inclusions are located inside the diamonds. Shane Co.'s diamond buyers go to the stone cutters around the world and examine groups of diamonds already sorted by grade. Then they handpick only the diamonds with the most sparkle from within each grade for our stores and our website. Whatever diamond grade you choose, you will clearly see the difference in the way Shane Co. diamonds sparkle.

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Carat – How Much It Weighs

Diamonds are sold by the carat (ct), which is a unit of weight, not size. One carat weighs 200 milligrams, the world standard since 1914. A carat is divided into 100 points, with one point corresponding to .01 carat.

Clarity – How Pure It Is

Clarity refers to a gemstone’s purity. Virtually all diamonds contain tiny natural birthmarks that are present to varying degrees. These marks serve as the identifying fingerprint that makes every gemstone unique. Clarity is evaluated by viewing the gemstone under 10X magnification. Clarity grades range from FL (flawless) to I3 (contains obvious inclusions visible to the naked eye).

Color – How Colorless It Is

Color refers to the color within the diamond, not the color of the reflected light. The absence of color makes one diamond more precious than another. The whiter or more colorless the gemstone, the more rare it is, and higher the price it will have. Color is graded with letters ranging from D, which is completely absent of color, to Z, which is light yellow.

Cut – How Much It Sparkles

Cut has the greatest single influence on a diamond’s sparkle. Of the four qualities that define a diamond's value, the cut is the only one determined by a human being. A skilled diamond cutter realizes the rough diamond's potential. They cut and facet the crystal to reflect the maximum amount of light inside the gemstone and back through the top of the diamond. Diamonds can be cut too shallow or too deep, both of which cause light to leak out of the bottom and sides of the stone, diminishing its sparkle.

 

 

 

 

Diamond Shapes

Hear the word "diamond" and the first image that comes to mind is likely a classic round sparkly gem. No surprise, considering that 75% of all diamonds sold today, particularly engagement rings, are the round brilliant cut. Because a round diamond is symmetrical, it reflects nearly all light that enters it, making it the most brilliant of all diamond shapes.

However, if your tastes lean to the less traditional, you can also choose from a wide selection of attractive diamond shapes on the market today. These are collectively known as fancy cuts. Fancy shapes are cut to different proportions, so they filter light differently.

The shape you choose does not affect the quality of the gemstone. If the gemstone is cut well, its brilliance and value endure no matter which shape you choose. The shape of the rough diamond crystal usually dictates the shape of the gemstone to be cut. All are cut for maximum fire and brilliance, but the shapes of the facets vary with the cut. Here are some considerations when choosing a diamond shape:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shane Classic Diamond



The Shane Classic Diamond is an ideal cut with exacting specifications proven by the laws of optics to reflect and refract the most light, providing fire and brilliance beyond your imagination. So rare is the quality of the Shane Classic that less than 1% of the world’s diamonds will meet the Shane Classic's standards of perfect proportion, symmetry and polish. In fact, few diamond cutters in the world possess the skill and experience to cut the Shane Classic Diamond to such perfection.

The Shane Classic Diamond’s breathtaking sparkle is achieved by its ideal cut, characterized by:
• Excellent symmetry of the facets and girdle
• Sharp facet junctions
• Table and culet well-centered and parallel
• Well-aligned crown and pavilion facets

The Shane Classic is a true classic. There are no extra facets, and we do not manipulate the light in our stores when showing you diamonds to make them appear prettier than they really are. Nor do we use any other gimmicks that would detract from the timeless beauty of a perfectly cut diamond.


Certified Ideal by Leading Independent Gemological Laboratories