Continuing to Serve both Virtually and By Appointment.
Basic diamond education for dummies

May 08, 2015

Basic Diamonds Education for Dummies

author photo


Basic Diamond Education in 5 Minutes or Less

Lisa Krikawa
Lisa Krikawa

Diamond shopping got'ya down? Fear no longer! You are five minutes away from knowing almost everything you need to know about diamonds.  After looking at thousands of diamonds, both loose, and set, with and without certs, bloody and clean, I've now settled on what I believe to be smart diamond shopping.

Here is my shpeel on The Four C's: CARAT - COLOR - CLARITY - CUT. 

We'll Start with Certification.

GIA Certificate
GIA Certificate

All the info that I'm giving you below is AS RELATED TO GIA GRADING.  That's slang for the Gemological Institute of America.  There are too many "subjective" variables from lab to lab.  GIA is strict, exact, reliable, and the industry standard.  All you need to know is only buy a GIA graded stone (that is, if you REALLY want to know FOR SURE what the diamond ACTUALLY is). For the record, AGS is a great lab also.

Next, Get Your Priorities Straight.

It is important to know what your priorities are when purchasing a diamond.  It's likely you don't have unlimited funds (and if you do have unlimited funds, my advice might change, so call me! :-), so you have to decide where to put your money.  For instance, you might know you need a large diamond, and believe me, we get some men that KNOW their girlfriends want a big one. They will want to get the biggest stone they can afford, but they can't have a huge stone that is flawless (no inclusions) and colorless (D on the color scale), because that would cost a fortune.

Diamond Sacrifice

diamond altar
Diamond Altar for Sacrifice

No, we are not talking about blood diamonds here. I just want you to know that you might have to choose what to give up. Will you sacrifice color or clarity or cut, and prioritize Carat (size) ("She needs a 2 carat diamond!", poor bloke!).   Or will you sacrifice clarity... and get a stone with "imperfections" or inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. That means, you can see the "spot" without 10x magnification. Sometimes it's so faint that only someone with eagle eyes (like me :-) can see it, or sometimes you can't see it until the stone gets dirty (surprise What's that in my diamond???)!
Diamond CutDiamond Depth

Or, you might sacrifice Cut, and get a stone with a big "spread" like the shallow cut stone to the left. When you sacrifice Cut, you lose sparkle, which is most apparent when the stone is dirty (like after a week or month of wear, depending on how dry the ring is kept). The lovely thing about diamonds is, with a well cut diamond, it will sparkle even when dirty.

Diamond Cut

GIA Diamond Cut
Image from

What do I think about the cut? I'm so glad you asked! Well, the cut is the only thing that man does to a stone, and the light travels through the stone in a predictable, mathematical way, so I put a big value on an excellent cut. Why not let loose the most fire possible? By the way, you don't have to understand the charts, that's my job :-). I'm just making the point...

Diamond Color?

Then I say, give the girl something white (Honey, what is that yellowish tone I can see in my stone from the side?) but you don't have to spend your limited budget on a D-F (ok now the "trained diamond sales people" are fainting) when you can't really see ANY yellow in a G or H color stone. G-H-I = Value.
Diamond Color D-Z
Diamond Color D-Z
I say that an "I" colored diamond is border line, so if you are really trying to squeeze out a little larger stone with your moola, go I or even J.

Diamond Clarity?

Diamond Clarity
Diamond Clarity from

I spy with my eagle keep it eye clean. I love looking at inclusions under magnification. They are all so unique! Feathers and clouds and crystals and wisps, oh my!!! As a matter of fact, get to know your inclusions and no one can ever switch your diamond on you :-). But enjoy the fun with a loupe or a microscope, and let the sparkle rule the day when she is gazing at it on her hand. The last thing you want is her hyper focusing on where that little mark is... "wait, what's that, oh, I think I can see something... where is it... oh, it's on that side..." you get my drift. That means, SI1 or better. 99% of GIA certified SI1 clarity diamonds will be absolutely eye clean. So, SI1 or VS2 = value. An SI1 clarity diamond looks EXACTLY the same as a Flawless diamond to even the most highly trained diamond grader on the planet; you just can't see the difference without magnification.

Conscious Diamonds From Krikawa

The best news is, you don't have to go it alone! At, we have thousands of socially responsible Kimberly Process diamonds to choose from, both on our site and at our fingertips. We draw from a worldwide network of diamonds, so you can be sure to get just the stone you need, with extremely competitive diamond pricing.  Want to go one step further?  Contact us for a Canadian Diamond or a Lab-Grown Diamond.

Call us today at 520-322-6090 or 888-kri-kawa, visit our diamond search tool, or contact us via email so we can help you find the perfect stone.
Krikawa. Where Your Dream Ring Comes True.
Look Around


  • Kakadiya Group
    Oct 14, 2016

    Sharing one of the best content regarding loose diamonds..! Thanks for this useful post

  • Joe
    May 07, 2015



  • What Size Diamond is Right for your Hand?
    What Size Diamond is Right for your Hand?
  • Why Fancy Diamonds ROCK
    Why Fancy Diamonds ROCK
  • Two Stone Engagement Rings: It’s “Toi et Moi” Forever!
    Two Stone Engagement Rings: It’s “Toi et Moi” Forever!

Category List