Staff member, Michelle Blakes has attained the Graduate Diamonds Diploma from GIA (Gemological Institute of America)


Natural vs. Synthetic Diamonds



  • God created
  • Retains its value due to rarity
  • Conflict-Free diamonds have many sources: 1) South African mines 2) Canadian mines 3) Vintage/Old/Previously Owned Diamond Jewelry
  • Natural diamonds are insurable


  • Made in a laboratory
  • Loses value due to mass production 
  • Affordable (cost is about 70% of natural)
  • No resale value - appraisers and the secondary market don't know what the value will be, so they are not giving any value to synthetics
  • May not be insurable
  • Opportunity for deception in grading as if it were natural; inclusions and clarity can be controlled in a synthesized product
  • No harm to the environment in production - they are not mined





  1. Ladies like surprise trips to Paris, surprise birthday parties, etc. BUT NOT surprise engagement rings ...bring her in on the ring selection process (for a ring that you expect her to wear every day for the rest of her life).
  2. When in the mall with your intended, casually ask what kind of rings he/she likes; have fun at trying on some things and take mental notes of what was "oohed" or "wowed" at.
  3. If you like yellow or rose gold, you can go down to a "K-L" color range, giving you more money in your budget to go up in clarity and carat weight of diamond.
  4. French Cut Ovals and Pears do not bowtie.


Ideally, a diamond should reflect every ray of light that enters through its table facet back through it. The bowtie effect occurs due to imperfect cutting where light leakage through the sides and/or the bottom of the stone causes darkened areas. These darkened areas resemble a man's bowtie, hence the name.


  • Diamond color or lack thereof, is a key factor in diamond pricing... 
  • The Cut of the Diamond is another major factor in diamond price
  • Clarity is an Extremely Important Factor in Diamond Value…




Traditionally in the jewelry industry, the greater the clarity of the diamond, the greater the value/price of the diamond.  Consequently, diamonds beyond I3 were not considered jewelry-grade and were utilized for industrial purposes (drill bits, etc.) only.  However, in recent years we have seen a trend where some creative jewelers and marketers have utilized these formerly industrial-grade diamonds in a new fashion, referring to them as "Galaxy" diamonds or "Salt & Pepper" diamonds.


The "Galaxy" Diamonds and "Salt & Pepper" Diamonds lend themselves well to non-traditional jewelry designs


*Resale Values, Appraisal Values, Consignment Estimates for Galaxy and Salt & Pepper Diamonds is still evolving as these diamonds are still in the trendy stage and do not have a firm place in the jewelry market as of yet. In our retail setting, we have not seen any demand for these diamonds.

  • Carat Weight is the last but certainly not the least factor in diamond value

Carat Weight Has the Biggest Impact on Price

You can thank movies, mass media, and advertising for the emphasis that people put on carat weight in relation to diamond quality. Carat weight has become an indication of a person’s status and wealth, but when it comes to diamonds, bigger is definitely not always better. Instead, focus on a balance of the 4Cs:  cut, clarity, color, and carat weight to make a smart purchase. Once you've decided which C is more important to you, then you will know where to focus your $ in buying your diamond. 

What Is a Diamond Carat?

The term carat is often misunderstood. It refers to a diamond's weight, not its size (which is given in millimeter (mm) measurements). Due to differing stones having different specific gravity or mass, a sapphire of the same mm size as a diamond will have a different carat weight, which is very important to keep in mind if a diamond is removed from a setting and a different gemstone is intended to replace it.  Another misperception is that a larger carat weight is always better than a smaller carat weight. While it’s true that a big rock can be a status symbol (here’s looking at you, Hollywood), carat weight is not related to sparkle. Beautiful sparkle is the result of a well-crafted cut. In fact, a high carat weight diamond with a poor cut quality may look smaller than a diamond with a smaller carat weight and a very good cut. This is why a GIA report on a diamond will also grade the quality of the diamond's cut.

Diamond Carat Price

Diamonds with higher carat weights are cut from larger rough crystals that are harder to source than small crystals. So, the relationship between carat weight and price depends on the rarity or availability of a rough crystal. Carat price is also a function of finding rough crystals with desirable color, and internal and external characteristics that will positively influence clarity when the diamond is cut. 


The Brief History of Diamond Carat

The term carat comes from the ancient method of weighing precious metal and stones against the seeds of the carob tree—which were considered to be even in weight. It wasn’t until 1907, at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures, when it was agreed upon that one diamond carat would be equal to 200 mg, or .2 grams, of a diamond. Carats can also be measured in points; 100 points equals a full carat.


4 Things to Know About Carat

  1. “Buy shy” to save money. Select a carat weight slightly below the whole and half-carat marks. For example, instead of a 2.00 carat diamond, consider buying a 1.90 carat weight. This will save a considerable amount of money, and the slight difference will never be noticed.
  2. Splurge on cut. This is the most important factor because it maximizes sparkle. Even a high-carat diamond with excellent color and clarity can appear lifeless and dull if the cut is poor.
  3. Fancy shapes cost less per carat. The most important thing to realize about fancy-shaped diamonds is that they are generally less expensive than an equivalent round diamond. Additionally, fancy shapes can appear larger than their actual diamond carat weight size, especially when placed in a halo setting.  An Oval Cut Diamond for example, will appear larger than a Round Cut Diamond of the same size.
  4. Keep ring size in mind. The smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1.50 carat diamond solitaire looks larger on a size 6 finger than a size 8.

There is no such thing as a GIA Certified Diamond, GIA does not certify diamonds, GIA issues diamond reports, which reflect the quality and characteristics of the diamond



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