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Natural Diamonds

Made from carbon, diamonds are the hardest known substance to man and are both a naturally occurring and manufactured abrasive. Natural diamonds form at high pressure high temperature conditions existing between 85 to 125 miles in the earth's mantle. It takes a diamond 1 to 3 billion years to form beneath the earth.

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Natural Diamonds

Made from carbon, diamonds are the hardest known substance to man and are both a naturally occurring and manufactured abrasive. Natural diamonds form at high pressure high temperature conditions existing between 85 to 125 miles in the earth's mantle. It takes a diamond 1 to 3 billion years to form beneath the earth.

Slide image
Slide image

Natural Diamonds

Made from carbon, diamonds are the hardest known substance to man and are both a naturally occurring and manufactured abrasive. Natural diamonds form at high pressure high temperature conditions existing between 85 to 125 miles in the earth's mantle. It takes a diamond 1 to 3 billion years to form beneath the earth.

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Choose your loose diamonds

Select your diamond and call for an appointment to view your diamond selection.

Check out our extensive selection of loose diamonds in every popular cut and quality. Don’t see what you are searching for? Interested in the very Special and Exclusive Bluewater Diamond? Visit our store or contact us at (810) 385-5300 or info@alexandergems.com

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The 4Cs of Diamond Quality

The universal method of assessing any diamond, anywhere in the world.

Beautiful. Rare. Cherished. Each diamond is unique and is a miracle of time, place and change. And each has specific qualities that establish its value.

Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. The creation of the Diamond 4Cs meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.

As creator of the Diamond 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System™, GIA is not only a global authority, but the world’s trusted source for unbiased assessment.

Carat Weight

Diamond carat weight measures the diamond’s apparent size.

Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams.

Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats.

Color

Diamond color actually means lack of color.

The diamond color evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value. GIA’s D-to-Z diamond color-grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to master stones of established color value.

Many of these diamond color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price

Diamond Clarity

Diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes.

Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’ and external characteristics called ‘blemishes.’

Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.

The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.

  • Flawless (FL) No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance

Cut

A diamond’s cut is crucial to the stone’s final beauty and value. And of all the diamond 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze.

To determine the cut grade of the standard round brilliant diamond – the shape that dominates the majority of diamond jewelry – GIA calculates the proportions of those facets that influence the diamond’s face-up appearance. These proportions allow GIA to evaluate how successfully a diamond interacts with light to create desirable visual effects such as:

  • Brightness: Internal and external white light reflected from a diamond
  • Fire: The scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow
  • Scintillation: The amount of sparkle a diamond produces, and the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections within the diamond
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How Diamonds Shape Up

The universal method of assessing any diamond, anywhere in the world.

When it comes to diamonds, most consumers tend to use the words “cut” and “shape” interchangeably. But for diamond professionals, there is a big difference. Diamond Shape refers to the outline of the stone (pear, oval, round, etc.). Diamond cut refers to a stone’s facet arrangement. So a shape can be faceted in a variety of ways, or cutting styles. The most common facet arrangement, known as the brilliant cut, is applied to many shapes. It consists of 58 facets (if a culet facet is included) or 57 facets (if the culet is pointed). There will be one octagonal table, or top flat surface of the diamond and 16 kite-shaped facets and 40 triangular shaped facets and an optional small octagonal facet at the culet.

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Round Shape

The round shape is the most popular, often used as a solitaire in engagement rings, earrings, or pendants. It’s estimated that 75% of all diamonds sold are round-shaped and according to research by The Knot, 53% of engagement ring center stones are round. The cutting style known as the round brilliant has been around since the 1700’s, but has been modified over the years. The angles we see in today’s modern round brilliant – angles that help to enhance the diamond’s fire and brilliance – were first suggested by Henry Morse of Boston in the 1860’s and later slightly enhanced by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. In 2005, a scientific way to assess — and help cutters plan and predict — the cut quality of round brilliant cut diamonds was introduced by GIA.

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Oval Shape

The oval shape has probably the longest known history, with the first mention of an oval shaped diamond occurring in 1304: the famous Koh-I-Noor, which now resides in the Tower of London. One of the most notable oval brilliant cut diamonds is the 184 carat Victoria, which was cut in 1887. The oval brilliant was popularized and modernized in the 1960’s. Containing fire and brilliance, the oval is suggestive of the round shape but is more unique. This shape also creates an illusion that the finger is longer and slimmer. The oval can be narrow or wide, depending on personal preference.

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Marquise Shape

The marquise shape was named in 1745 for the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV of France. The long and narrow shape, said to resemble the shape of the Marquise’s mouth, creates an illusion that the diamond is of greater size. Symmetry is quite important with this shape, as even the slightest difference can create and uneven, imbalanced look.

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Pear Shape

The pear shapes trace their history to the 1400’s, with the brilliant style being added in the 1700’s. Pears have gently rounded shoulders and wings (the sides near the point) for an appealing outline. The point should always be directed out toward the fingers of the wearer, and the shape has a slimming effect on the hand. This shape is similar to the marquise shape, in that symmetry is extremely important.

Emerald Cut

 

An octagonal shaped diamond, the emerald cut was designed to highlight the qualities of emeralds. This cut is highly coveted due to its square or rectangle table-top cut and step-cut facets. The emerald cut’s smoothly beveled corners add visual appeal and provide a secure setting area vfor the prongs. This cut results in a more mirror-like look and requires a stone of very high quality.

Square shaped diamonds include the princess cut and quadrillion cut. These cutting styles were created in the 1980’s and are also very popular cuts for engagement rings. The square shape creates the illusion of a larger diamond. A princess or quadrillion cut diamond should always be set with prongs that protect the four corners–the areas most prone to chipping.

Among other square or rectangular shaped diamonds, some of the most notable cutting styles include:

 

The cushion cut. The brilliant style has been around since the mid-1700’s, it was the most common cut until the early 20th century. Originally designed to retain as much weight from the original crystal as possible, this brilliant cut combines a square cut with rounded corners (much like a cushion). Antique dealers are often on the lookout for the older version of these diamonds, as their light patterns tend to be chunkier and more distinctive than modern-cut diamonds.

 

 

The radiant and barion cuts. Perfected around in the 1970’s, these create vibrant and fiery diamonds, ideal as a center-stone surrounded by smaller diamonds.

 

 

 

 

The baguette cut. Named for the French word baguette, which means “long rod,” this cut became popular during the 1920’s, an era when the Art Deco movement encouraged geometric shape and symmetrical flow. This cut is generally used for smaller side stones. They are often measured by dimensional size, rather than carat weight.

 

 

 

The Asscher cut. Developed in 1902 and named after its creator, Joseph Asscher. It was also a popular cut for Art Deco jewelry. It is similar to the emerald cut, though it differs in that its facets are larger and it tends to be square rather than rectangular. Around 2002, this cut became popular again as modifications were made to the cut.

 

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Heart Shape

The heart shape diamond can be a beautiful symbol of love and romance. A skilled cutter creates the heart shape, always keeping an eye on the heart’s balance and symmetry. This shape is ideal as a pendant and is very popular around Valentine’s Day.

 

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Last, and by no means least, triangular shaped diamonds first made their appearance in the 1500’s. Brilliant cut versions of this shape gained popularity in the 1960’s with the appearance of a variation called Trillion. In 1978 an additional variation called the Trilliant came on the market. It was developed as a triangular version of the square-shaped radiant diamond and is sometimes considered an adventurous and provocative diamond choice