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Diamond FAQ

What Makes a Diamond?

Natural Diamond

Created one to three billion years ago, more than 100 miles below earth’s surface. They are made of pure carbon and are the hardest natural mineral on earth. The word diamond alone always means a natural diamond.

Lab Grown Diamond

Today, there are many synthetic and laboratory-grown diamonds on the market. These are also made of carbon, but without the Earthly origins of real diamonds, they lack the unique diamond qualities infused by nature.

Diamond Stimulant

Common stimulants include glass, or cubic zirconia. These substances mimic the sparkle of diamond jewelry but are completely unrelated to diamonds at the atomic level.

A round brilliant cut diamond with a graphic overlay explaining the 4Cs - color, cut, clarity and carat weight.

The Diamond 4C's

Carat Weight

Diamond carat weight measures a diamond’s apparent size

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

Color Grade

Diamond color actually refers to the lack of color.

The 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.

Clarity Grade

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."

Cut Grade

A diamond's cut unleashes it’s light

Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. We often think of a diamond's cut as shape (round, emerald, pear), but a diamond's cut grade is really about how well a diamond's facets interact with light.

Credit (What Makes a Diamond?):
“What Makes a Diamond?” Diamonds by Definition, Villarreal Jewelers, Accessed 4 October 2021.
Credits (The Diamond 4C's):
"Diamond Carat Weight." GIA, Gemological Institute of America INC, Accessed 4 October 2021.
"Diamond Color." GIA, Gemological Institute of America INC, Accessed 4 October 2021.
"Diamond Clarity." GIA, Gemological Institute of America INC, Accessed 4 October 2021.
"Diamond Cut." GIA, Gemological Institute of America INC, Accessed 4 October 2021.