Everything You Need To Know About Diamonds

what to know about diamonds

Diamond Certification

A Diamond Certification is a comprehensive evaluation of a diamond’s quality issued and produced by an accredited independent gemological laboratory.

A Diamond Certificate attests that the quality of the evaluated diamond is accurately reflected in the report. The certificate's grading system is based on the 4 C’s of diamonds: carat weight and measurements, cut, color and clarity. The certificate may also include other relevant information such as polish, fluorescence, symmetry and diagrams.

The LeoDaniels 7 C’s

It is extremely important to take the 4 C’s into consideration when purchasing a diamond or any piece of luxury jewelry. To ensure each diamond’s quality and value at LeoDaniels -- as well as to maximize your budget -- we also urge you to consider our three additional C’s: cash, confidence and company.
Think of it as the 4 C’s + 3:

1) Cut
Cut refers not only to the shape of the diamond, but also to the quality of its symmetry and proportions. The cut of a diamond determines the light the diamond captures as well as the brilliance of its sparkle. A diamond's cut is graded as Ideal, Very Good, Good and Poor. When comparing multiple diamonds, it is easy to differentiate higher-grade cuts by their sparkle. A diamond's price is likewise reflected by its cut: The better the cut grade, the higher the cost. At LeoDaniels, our diamond cutters are expert craftsmen with over 50 years of experience performing this crucial service. When considering your budget, cut will significantly impact your diamond’s quality and appearance. With that in mind, here at LeoDaniels, we recommend our customers avoid sacrificing the cut of a diamond for size.

2) Clarity
The clarity of a diamond refers to the appearance of tiny marks within the diamond known as inclusions. Considering the fact that diamonds are a naturally-mined stone, inclusions are, of course, the result of natural formation -- however, inclusions visible to the naked eye will impact the stone's beauty. The fewer inclusions, the brighter the diamond, which will likewise translate to a higher price.

3) Color
The next of the “4 C’s” is color, which is somewhat ironic because the ideal diamond color standard is zero color reflection! The industry standard diamond color grading chart we use begins with the letter 'D' and ends with the letter 'Z.' At the highest color grade, 'D' is a pure, colorless white. As the color grade decreases (i.e. moves toward 'Z'), the presence of yellows and/or other muddy colors increases. If your budget does not allow for a higher color grade, here at LeoDaniels, we can maximize the look of your diamond by setting your stone in a color gold that will show it off to its best advantage.

4) Carat
The last of the "famous 4 C’s” is carat. Carat describes the weight of the diamond, whereas the size (diameter) of a diamond is measured in millimeters. When it comes to diamonds, bigger is not necessarily better, since the shape and quality of the cut determines the overall beauty of a diamond. At LeoDaniels, we often recommend considering the cut grade before the carat weight of a diamond.

The LeoDaniels +3 C’s
Now that we have introduced our valued customers to the “famous four C’s,” we at LeoDaniels have taken the liberty to add our very own “three C’s,” which we strongly recommend also considering when purchasing a diamond (or any luxury jewelry item). As important as the aforementioned “four C’s” are, we believe that the next three are equally so.

5) Cash
LeoDaniels’ fifth C is cash. When we refer to cash, we are speaking directly to you, our valued customer. How much cash did you budget for this purchase? We are here to offer you the best value for what you can afford. We are not here to encourage you to overspend your budget. In other words, we are in the business of giving you the best bang (and sparkle!) for your buck. One method of achieving this is by purchasing a .95-.99 of a carat, rather than a one-carat. The cost savings are significant without sacrificing the look and beauty of a larger diamond.

6) Confidence
LeoDaniels’ sixth C is confidence. Do you have confidence in the people from whom you are purchasing your jewelry? LeoDaniels’ founders have over 50 years of experience in purchasing rough diamonds and in the subsequent process of cutting and polishing them into the beautiful stones that will adorn you. The LeoDaniels trademark continues to be a symbol of honesty, integrity and trust. While our customer support department is here to help, we will never coerce or pressure a customer into spending more money than budgeted.

7) Company
LeoDaniels’ third C is company. Who do you hang out with? Where do you go? Do you care about what others are wearing, or do you wish to be unique? Do you go out to many festive occasions, or do you lead a more laid-back life?

We encourage you to pay attention to the people around you, since this can be a great way to identify your likes and dislikes. For example, would you care if all of your sisters wore a 2-carat diamond while you were stuck with a poorly-cut 0.5-carat diamond -- or vice versa? Others have said they felt uncomfortable with a large diamond on their finger while surrounded by friends and family with significantly smaller rocks. On the other hand, there are others who wish to be unique and to flaunt their jewels. We know that it’s ultimately up to you and your unique taste, as everyone is different.

A diamond certificate and a formal appraisal document (on items over $500) are provided with every LeoDaniels purchase. Appraisals for items under $500 are available upon request.

We strongly suggest that you have your diamond(s) and all of your jewelry insured in case of fire, loss or theft. Use our jeweler code A02407 to get a free quote on your jewelry purchase through Jewelers Mutual Insurance by clicking here.


how to choose the best diamond

Independent Diamond Certification Laboratories:

AGS Certification
The American Gem Society (AGS) is a United States-based trade association notable for their diamond cut grading system (AGS Performance-Based Cut Grading System). In the US market, the AGS lab is the second most common service after GIA due to its stellar reputation for consistency.

Visit the AGS website here.

GIA Certification
As the most trusted gem evaluation service in the jewelry industry, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the leading gemological laboratory in the world. Based in California, GIA is known for its high grading standards and consistency. GIA is also responsible for creating the 4 C’s grading system, which is the global standard for describing and assessing a diamond.

Visit the GIA website here.

GSI Certification
Based in New York City, the Gemological Science International (GSI) grading standards are consistent with -- and similar to -- the IGI and GIA. GSI offers outstanding services such as gemstone identification, grading and appraisals exclusively to the fine jewelry industry.

Visit the GSI website here.

IGI Certification
Second only to GIA, the International Gemological Institute (IGI) is among the most well-known gemological labs in the world. Based in Belgium and especially popular in many Asian countries, this institute grades a substantial quantity of the world's polished diamonds.

Visit the IGI website here.

The Kimberley Process & Conflict-Free Diamonds

All LeoDaniels diamonds are guaranteed to be authentic and conflict-free; furthermore, all of our vendors maintain full compliance with the Kimberley Process.

You might have seen this disclaimer on a LeoDaniels loose diamond and/or a diamond jewelry product -- but what does it really mean?

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was established in December of 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the diamond trade. Conflict diamonds are defined as diamonds that have financed rebel movements, have been touched by bloodshed, were retrieved from war-torn countries or were sourced in areas where human rights were abused and violated.

The Kimberley Process (KP) is the most widely known effort to regulate the diamond trade and to ensure that all diamonds are ethically mined and sourced. The diamonds regulated by the Kimberley Process are known as “conflict-free diamonds,” which are the only kind LeoDaniels proudly offers our customers.

At LeoDaniels, it is our top priority and commitment to ensure that the highest ethical standards are met when it comes to ethical sourcing. We guarantee that all of our diamonds come from the International Diamond Exchanges located in New York, Tel Aviv and Antwerp. All corresponding laws dictate that all diamonds are subject to the Kimberley Process and must be conflict-free.

Click here to read more about the Kimberley Process and Conflict-Free Diamonds.

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