Question: How Can I Find the Best 1 Carat Emerald Cut Diamond?

Most online jewelers allow you to search for all of the parameters I list below in this article. I have created a direct link to emerald diamond search pages at James Allen, Brian Gavin Diamonds, Blue Nile, and Leibish at the end of this article for your convenience.


This year has seen an increase in the demand for emerald cut diamonds. As such I decided to write a little bit about how to go about finding the best emerald cut diamond.

Definition of emerald cut diamond:

Emerald Cut diamonds are oblong step cut diamonds with a large, open table. The corners are truncated to avoid points of weakness.

Image: Brian Gavin Diamonds

Categorized as a fancy cut, the emerald cut was originally developed for the cutting of emeralds, and came into vogue as a popular fancy cut diamonds during the Art Deco period.

This shape, which is usually known as emerald cut diamond, step cut, or trap-cut accentuates a diamond’s clarity. The large table makes it easy to see right into the diamond.

Like other fancy shaped diamonds, emerald cut diamonds can come in a variety of length to width ratios. The classic outline of emerald cut diamonds usually have a ratio of 1.00:1.50 though ratios of up to 1.00:1.75 are also found to be pleasing to the eye. If the diamond has a 1.00:1.00 ratio it is usually called an Asscher shape as I outline in this article here:

What is the difference between Asscher and Emerald Cut Diamonds?

Ideal proportion is not as clearly defined for emerald cut diamonds as it has been for round cut diamonds. Emerald Cut diamonds, as is the case with many other types of fancy cut diamonds, will be cut to a wide variety of shapes, each with a slightly differing proportion. These variations, particularly in the pavilion, makes the science of light performance extremely complex for fancy shapes. As a result you will not find any cut grades noted on gemological reports issued for fancy cuts. This means you will rely more on the jeweler to help you with choosing your fancy cut stone. For this reason it is quite important to choose the jeweler carefully before getting too caught up in the details of diamond geometry.

There are some guidelines to follow when choosing an emerald cut diamond which can help but the truth is that without extensive diamond experience this will only get you so far. A trained gemologist is much more likely be able to help you find what you are looking for as they will know a lot more about the subtle differences between different emerald cut diamonds.

My choice would be to ask Brian Gavin Diamonds for advice when choosing an emerald cut diamond if your choice is to buy your diamond from an online jewelry retailer.

If you prefer to locate a jeweler within driving distance so you can go in person and speak to the jeweler face to face you may enjoy the service provided by FindMyJewlerTM. (USA only)

Secret Shopper Tests Of Jewelers in the USA

Read here to find out more about the excellent Find My JewelerTM service.

Emerald Cut Diamond Buying Tips

Following are a few points to help get you started on your search

Best options for Emerald Cut Diamonds
Best options for Emerald Cut Diamonds


The shape of Emerald cut diamonds, with its large open table, makes it well suited to show off higher clarity grades.

Clarity grades for emerald cut diamonds are shown on the diamond lab grading report (unlike cut grade, for which, as far as fancy cut diamonds go, there is no established science).

Since the clarity of emerald cut diamonds or other step cut diamonds is going to be much more obvious it’s advisable to select from the following range:

  • VS2
  • VS1
  • VVS2
  • VVS1
  • IF


A slightly warmer color range is often considered to be as nice or even nicer than cooler color grades. This is due, in part, to the large open table on emerald cut diamonds. Another reason is that the light play is considerably different in an emerald cut diamond when compared to a round brilliant. The choice of color grade is therefore up to your personal preference.

Warmer colors are found among the following colors on the GIA color scale:

  • L
  • K
  • J
  • I
  • H
  • G

Cooler tones will be found among the color grades that are near colorless on the GIA color scale:

  • F
  • E
  • D

The following video is of an emerald diamond that has a slightly warmer color (the L color on the GIA scale) and you can see that it looks gorgeous. Also note how the large table allows the viewer to peer into the diamond and appreciate its clarity.


Cut Grade

While the actual cut grade for fancy cut diamonds like the emerald cut is not something that has been firmly established in the diamond industry* there are certain ratios which seem to work better than others and which would place a diamond in a better cut grade if this were something that laboratories were prepared to include on the diamond grading report. Some of the grades listed below are subjective and it’s an area where opinions do vary even between specialists.

*Even round brilliant cuts, which have been the subject of a great deal of study, can still have variability even among diamonds that have all received a top grade. Finding a good jeweler to deal with is always more important than just looking at a grading report. Check out the list of recommended diamond jewelers on our home page.

Having said that, there are some numbers which can serve as a rough guide which I list here:

Emerald Cut Brilliance Guide

Recommended Table Depth %
NOT recommended
Excellent Cut Very Good Cut Good Cut Fair Cut Average Cut
60% to 65% 58% to 69% 57% to 74% 56% to 78% 53% to 80%
Recommended Table %
NOT recommended
Excellent Cut Very Good Cut Good Cut Fair Cut Average Cut
58% to 69.5% 57% to 72% 57% to 74% 56% to 74% 53% to 76%
Recommended Length to Width Ratio
Excellent Cut Very Good Cut Good Cut
1.00:1.50 to 1.00:1.75

1.00:1.26 to 1.00:1.49
1.00:1.76 to 1.00:1.99

1.00:1.26 to 1.00:1.49
1.00:1.76 to 1.00:1.99

Additional Factors for best results

Fluorescence None or Faint
Polish Excellent to Good
Symmetry Excellent to Good

Emerald Diamond Search

This handy tool brings you to the Emerald Diamond Search box on four separate websites.

Question: Where can I find the nicest diamond engagement ring for $10,000?

In this article:

How to set parameters at JamesAllen to guarantee your finding a beautiful diamond.

But first: what not to do.

It is easy to assume that spending $10,000 would mean that you’re guaranteed to get the best diamond at the more than ideal engagement ring size of 1+ ct.

This is not necessarily so. If you focus only on size you could neglect other very important attributes which actually make the diamond look good.

For example here is a 1.56 Carat K-VS2 Very Good Cut Round Diamond.

It fits the budget, and has been given a “very good” cut grade by GIA.

There are, however a number of problems with this stone.

Let’s take a close look at why it’s not a good deal.

First of all it is a shallow cut.

diagram profile of diamond
Any round cut diamond with a depth less than 61% is generally going to be a shallow cut diamond. Its face up appearance will be dull. Light leaks out the sides and bottom rather than being reflected back to the eye. Click to view larger size.


With a depth of 59.40% this diamond is simply not going to return light through the table as would be the case with an diamond that has a depth ratio of 61%. It may seem like nothing, but light travels in very specific and predictable ways. A small variation in angle and everything goes awry. Most excellent or ideal cut diamonds have a depth of between 61% and 62%. You won’t want to get anything that varies too far from these depth percentages. This applies only to round cut diamonds or oval cut diamonds.

The table of this diamond is also fairly small, sitting at 55.2%. To get a decent of light return you really want something with a table that is around 57%,  58% or at the most 59%.

Here is what the diamond in question looks like when viewed face up. It looks extremely dark as very little light is being returned through the table and crown.

Also this diamond’s color is K, so it’s getting a bit on the pale yellowish side. Any round brilliant diamond whose color is past J will have noticeable color with very few exceptions. Occasionally you’ll find a super ideal cut diamond that sparkles so brightly that the K color is masked by its sheer brilliance. But this is extremely rare and usually people opt for G or H if they want to make sure that no color is noticeable.

It is also possible to set the diamond in a yellow gold ring if the diamond color is J or K or even more. The idea is that the optical illusion of the yellowish color of the gold doesn’t make the yellow of the diamond quite as noticeable. This has only limited results.

A colorless diamond will always be a better choice whether set in a yellow gold ring or in a platinum or palladium setting.

The setting’s color influences how the eye perceives the color by providing some contrast.

k color diamond's color is obvious.
The diamond is far from colorless once seen from a different angle. Click for enlargement.

All that to say that the diamond in question

would not be my first choice. Yes it’s a decent size, but the drawbacks are far too many to make up for them.

Finding the Nicest Diamond

It’s probably not a bad idea for me to start out by defining what I mean by “nicest.”

“Nicest” will mean different things to different people. I am going to go through the steps to get what I consider to be the nicest round brilliant diamond engagement ring for ten thousand dollars (US$10,000). I find that most diamond experts recommend similar options to the ones I will delineate below.

Round cut diamonds look best when they have less color and no visible inclusions. But they must be cut to excellent proportions or they will look dull as in the above example.

So you may think that if this stone costs so much that you don’t stand a chance of finding a real good looking stone. But if you tweak a few of the search parameters you can still find a fantastic stone.

The $10,000 Diamond Ring

Here we go.

Let’s narrow down the search to find you the best stone leaving a decent amount for the setting.

The setting

With a budget of $10,000 total for both the diamond and the setting you will have plenty of diamonds and settings to choose from. Most importantly you’ll be guaranteed to find a diamond over one carat, even if it’s not quite the 1.5 carats we had in the above example. And you will still have enough to cover a platinum ring with sidestones as well.

Here is a fine choice:

$1500 setting for $10000 engagement ring.
Platinum Graduated Pave Swirl setting for engagement ring. Budget: $10,000 total.

Platinum is the king of metals when it comes to diamond rings. It is stronger than gold so there’s less chance of any stones falling out.

In regards to the size of the diamond, the advantages of getting a diamond over one carat is that the diamond certificate (grading report) is more detailed. The grading report which GIA issues will include a diagram detailing exactly where any inclusions are found in the diamond.

Ok, so here’s how to go about finding the best and most beautiful diamond with this budget of $10,000.

The ring setting which I have chosen for this example is priced today at $1,480*, leaving over $8500 for the diamond itself.

*Precious metals prices change frequently.

Settings are chosen according to personal tastes, so I won’t go into too much more detail on the setting.

The Diamond

What Parameters To Use

(Pssst: You can skip my instructions and have all these parameters entered in for you!

Click here to automatically enter in all these parameters at )

Here are the parameters I recommend to use when searching for round cut diamonds in order to get the most brilliance and largest size at the best value:

  • Shape: round
  • Color: I – H
  • Clarity: SI1 – VVS1
  • Cut: TrueHearts
  • Carat: 1.15 -1.xx
  • Price: xxx-$8500
  • Polish: Excellent
  • Symmetry: Excellent
  • Lab: ALL
  • Depth: 60.8%-62.8% (or leave unchecked)
  • Table: 56% – 60.1%
  • Fluorescence: none

For this example we will choose Round. We do this because then we will be shown diamonds which have a cut grade mentioned on the grading report. This makes it possible to just select the Ideal cut option without having to worry about having to enter in the depth and table percentage values.

James Allen offer their own estimation of cut grade and categorize their fancy shapes such as Princess, Emerald, Square, Heart, Marquise, Pear, Oval, and Cushion according to what they deem to be Ideal, Very Good, and Good. GIA, the grading lab, does not offer this information for fancy cuts therefore cut grade won’t be mentioned on the GIA grading reports for fancy cut diamonds.

In the past GIA or AGS were the only labs I recommended. IGI is now producing far more consistent grading reports and therefore you’ll be fine getting a diamond with a grading report from any one of those laboratories.

Here is a sample search.

Conducting the search while only including TrueHearts is my first choice, as it eliminates a huge number of underperforming diamonds that might have some good proportions but still have something about them which is not quite right.

You’ll find that tweaking the settings like as per the afore mentioned criteria makes it so much easier to find the better stones.

Click here to automatically enter in all these parameters at

Click to enter in these search parameters at
Click to enter in these search parameters at

This search turned up a couple of very nice stones for me and I know it will for you too.

25% off your setting with a TrueHearts purchase.
You actually save on the setting with your TrueHearts purchase. Click here to search for TrueHearts diamonds at

Why TrueHeartsTM

The cut of a diamond not only refers to the diamond’s shape, it also refers to how effectively the diamond returns light back to the viewer’s eye. A well-cut diamond will appear very brilliant and fiery, while a poorly cut diamond can appear dark and lifeless as shown in the first example above. While the example used a K stone, you can see that its dullness is due to the poor cut regardless of its color or clarity.

But an interesting thing happens when you get a well cut diamond: Not only do well-cut diamonds appear more brilliant than their poorly cut counterparts they also tend to appear larger than other diamonds of the same carat weight. When compared to deeply cut diamonds this is not just an optical illusion. An ideal cut diamond has both increased brilliance and increased diameter relative to more deeply-cut diamonds. Make sense? Less of the diamond’s weight is hidden in its pavilion.

Ideal cut diamonds

An Ideal Cut Diamond is a round, brilliant, or princess cut diamond that is cut to ideal proportions and angles, and has excellent polish and symmetry ratings. An Ideal Cut Diamond is perfectly proportioned to refract light, producing that fire and brilliance up through to the table and crown. James Allen offers a nice selection of Ideal Cut Diamonds known as True HeartsTM

Hearts and Arrows True HeartsTM

Seen from above, a Hearts and Arrows diamond shows an arrow pattern. When displayed on its pavilion side, the diamond presents the eye with 8 hearts with tiny ‘v’ shapes. Genuine Hearts and Arrows have these patterns visible at a single glance, indicating that the diamond has perfect optical symmetry.

The Hearts and Arrows collection are the perfect symbol of true love – that’s why they named them TrueHeartsTM. Every diamond from the TrueHeartsTM collection is a lasting masterpiece, a  diamond that has been carefully crafted to get as close to perfection as possible.

Hearts and Arrows diamonds are sold under many names – Hearts on Fire and Leo Diamonds are two popular examples. James Allen takes pride in presenting some of the finest Hearts and Arrows diamonds money can buy – every single TrueHeartsTM diamond they sell is cut and polished at 100X magnification. Furthermore, the exclusive Diamond Display TechnologyTM lets you see any True HeartsTM diamond magnified in 360° so you can see exactly what you are getting.

Understanding Brilliance, Dispersion & Scintillation

A well-cut diamonds exhibit three different properties: brilliance, dispersion and scintillation. As light strikes a diamond’s surface, it will either reflect off the table of a polished stone or enter the diamond. The light that is reflected off the diamond is known as the diamond’s brilliance. As light travels through a stone, some of the light rays are separated into flashes of color. This is known as dispersion. The result of dispersion—the separation of white light into its spectral colors— is known as fire. Scintillation is flashes of color that are viewable as an observer moves a diamond back and forth.

25% off your setting with a TrueHearts purchase.
You actually save on the setting with your TrueHearts purchase. Click here to search for TrueHearts diamonds at

What is the best metal for diamond rings?

Selecting what metal to use as a setting for your diamond is just as important as choosing the best diamond.

The following are metals that are commonly offered by most retailers:

  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Gold

Pure 24 karat gold is too soft to be used in diamond jewelry.

Silver is not used to set diamonds because of its softness.

Which metal is the best for diamond rings? Most jewelers agree that is is Platinum.

Platinum is the king of metals. Ranking the highest in durability and purity its resistance to wear makes it the most secure and protective metal. Platinum is also rare, making it just as symbolic as the rare diamond you choose for your ring.

Platinum won’t change shape even over a long period of time so the precious stones continue to be held firmly and securely. All precious metals scratch, but due to platinum’s density, when it is scratched, it is merely displaced so it will not actually be losing mass. Gold on the other hand loses very tiny amounts metal when scratched.

Another excellent choice for a diamond ring’s setting is Palladium.

National Jeweler magazine has been educating both the public and jewelry sales teams on the benefits of palladium.

Palladium has been known since 1803 when it was first discovered by William Hyde Wollaston. Palladium was named after the asteroid Pallas, which had been in the news at the time having been first sighted in 1801. Palladium began being used in jewelry around 1939 when smart jewelers realised that it was extremely durable and thereby presented excellent value for high quality jewelry. As a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal, palladium is one of a number of metals in the platinum group of metals. These include platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium. Palladium being from this family of precious metals shares the strength of platinum.
Palladium has been found in Australia, Africa, Canada, South America and North America. The vast majority of palladium used in the United States is mined in North America. The Stillwater Mining Company, located in Montana, is the only source of palladium in the United States and has received awards for its green mining practices.

Palladium is strong and durable. Weighing less than platinum because of its low density allows for bigger and bolder jewelry designs to be created. Their extra size doesn’t hamper them being worn with ease. Plus, since it’s naturally white, there’s no expensive maintenance to keep it brilliant for life.

A growing number of fashion-forward jewelry designers have chosen palladium as their metal of choice. Typically less expensive than platinum or gold also makes palladium the preference for smart shoppers who want affordable luxury.

Those allergic to some other metals will love palladium’s purity. Palladium is pure because it gets its color and luster from nature. Other metals that are not naturally white are mixed with nickel to appear white – and nickel can cause allergic reactions.

If you are wondering which metal looks whiter,  pure palladium or pure platinum, consumers often say the two look identical.

Two online retailers that have beautiful diamonds and also offer palladium settings are: DiamondWave, and Diamonds-USA.

Another popular choice for diamond rings is Gold. Eighteen karat gold was considered until recent times to be too soft for diamond jewelry. Modern metallurgical techniques have made it possible to use 18 karat gold in jewelry without the risk of stones falling out. Retailers often market so-called white gold. Gold, as you know, is yellow. Anything labeled as white gold has either been mixed with other alloys and hence is usually 14k gold. This makes it stronger and as a result may look whiter. To make it even whiter gold may have been rhodium dipped, which means it has a surface coating of a whiter metal called rhodium. The rhodium plating is not permanent as rhodium is too soft to be impervious to scratches and abrasion. This means it will eventually need to be re-dipped, as the coating will wear off over time. Rhodium dipped “white gold” is usually very similar in price to palladium, so it would be my recommendation to buy palladium rather than “white gold”, if platinum is beyond the budgetary limits you have set for yourself.

Yellow gold is often the choice for anyone choosing a diamond with slightly more coloring. The contrast of the yellow gold ring when seen next to the very slight coloring of the diamond will make the diamond’s coloring less noticeable. Yellow gold is also nice with colorless diamonds. The yellow color of the gold does not make the diamond look yellow.

Where to Buy The Finest Cut Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

The advent of the Hearts and Arrows effect in the market has become an excellent tool for consumers to see perfection in optical symmetry. Optical symmetry however is somewhat challenging to quantify. The variations between each diamond cutter not to mention the difference between each stone means that certain criteria have yet to be standardized for consumers to avoid discrepancies. Labs grade Color, Clarity and Cut. Hearts and Arrows effect are not something that receives a mention on any lab report. It certainly would be great if this were an aspect that lab reports (diamond certificates) were to make mention of. Diamond Manufacturers do deserve to be rewarded for the excellence shown in the production of optical symmetrical stones. Consumers would also benefit by being able to purchase  assuredly and with comfort.

For this reason one wants to be careful when buying a diamond that is said to be a Hearts and Arrows diamond.

Fortunately it only takes a few minutes to get acquainted with the basics so one knows what to look for.

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds are diamonds that exhibit specific characteristics. They are diamonds that have been cut to ideal proportions and show a pattern of hearts and arrows when seen through a Hearts & Arrows Scope. The arrows are seen when viewing the diamond through its crown, and the hearts pattern is seen when viewing the diamond when its pointy end, the culet, is facing the viewer. While there are slight variations in the exact design of a diamond which shows hearts and arrows, there are characteristics which define hearts and arrows diamonds.

First, they are cut in such a way as to have ideal proportions. Second, they must receive a grade of excellent in terms of optical symmetry and light performance. Third, they must display a specific faceting pattern of hearts and arrows when viewed through a Hearts and Arrows Scope. When all these factors are present the result is a near perfect pattern of eight symmetrical arrows in the face up position and eight symmetrical hearts when viewed in the table down position.

The perfectly shaped hearts are formed when the main pavilion facets are cut at the correct angles and polished with such perfection in symmetry that their reflection results in a perfect heart pattern. Once the perfect heart pattern has been attained, the perfect arrow pattern in the crown results.

To arrive at this state requires meticulous attention to detail at every stage of the diamond’s production. Diamonds in their rough state are octahedral as shown below.

rough diamonds
Diamonds in the Rough. Photo: Brian Gavin


This is a photo of rough diamonds as they are after having been extracted from the ground but before being sent to get cut and polished.

The photo was taken by Brian Gavin, one of the worlds most renowned diamond cutters, during his visit with diamond wholesaler Alrosa as he carefully sorted through the precious stones he would select to later work on.

When selecting diamonds to be cut into one of Brian Gavin’s signature cuts, whether the Brian Gavin Hearts and Arrows or the Brian Gavin Cushion Hearts and Arrows there are a slew of specifications that Brian Gavin checks to make sure that the cutting process results in a perfect Hearts and Arrows diamond. Brian Gavin is a skilled diamond cutter who is known to take meticulous care when selecting diamonds he is going to work on.

Cutting diamonds so that the crown and pavilion angle reflect just the right offset requires an experienced cutter. When done according to the optimum calculated angles this process ensures the highest volume of light return and an ideal balance of brilliance (technical term for white sparkle) and dispersion (more easily described as colored sparkle). Another thing that the correct proportions result in is that the sparkle will be broad spectrum. This basically means that it is larger in size, bolder, brighter, and more vivid. As a fifth generation diamond cutter, Brian Gavin knows exactly how to cut diamonds to deliver maximum light performance, and optimize visual performance.

The average diamond cutter has traditionally remained focused on cutting diamonds to retain the maximum amount of carat weight. This often results in compromises.

Brian Gavin is not like all those other cutters. He is one of the few cutters intent on ensuring every diamond is precisely cut to the highest degree of craftsmanship.

Brian Gavin has the requisite skills to accomplish this. After all he is a fifth generation diamond cutter. As creator of his internationally renowned Signature Hearts and Arrows diamond he has become a recognized authority and consultant on diamond cutting and jewelry design. When acquiring a diamond from Brian Gavin you are assured of superior quality and service backed by the knowledge and expertise of five generations of expert diamond cutters. Heritage, history, trust, world-renowned expertise – and the most beautiful diamonds you could hope to lay your eyes on – all that combines, dear reader, as the mark of a Brian Gavin Signature diamond.



Optical Symmetry is the term used by the industry to describe the precision of facet alignment and shape per section of diamond design, it is not the same “symmetry” grade which appears on diamond grading reports like those issued by the AGS or GIA gemological laboratories. Rather it is a factor of diamond grading which is beyond the knowledge of most jewelry sales people, who mostly rely on the information provided on diamond grading reports to determine the cut quality of the diamonds they sell.

While all of the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds like the one shown in the video above, have been graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) as having an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, which is the highest cut grade available from the AGSL, it does not take the optical symmetry of the diamonds into account, it is a light performance grading platform.

Light Performance refers to the levels of light return being exhibited by the diamond in terms of the volume of light return and the brightness of the diamond. Optical symmetry has more to do with the production of virtual facets, as well as the number of flashes of light, and the size and  intensity of the sparkle.

The best way to judge diamonds for their ability to produce high levels of sparkle factor, is to look at the optical symmetry of the diamond as seen through various reflector scopes, such as the ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, and Hearts & Arrows viewer. All those various scope images are shown on the diamond details pages for the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds.

Where to Buy Vintage Style Diamonds: Old Mine Cushion Diamonds That Sparkle

A few people have been asking me where to get vintage cut diamonds.

The following article talks a little about these antique styles followed by a recommendation on where to find some newly cut diamonds that are similar to the old mine cut but with some remarkable improvements in light performance.

History of The Old Mine Cut

Most Old Mine Brilliants found today are diamonds that have been handed down from generation to generation. These antique diamonds, while charming, are often lacking in many areas. First of all being used diamonds, these antique stones can have many signs of wear, including chips, abrasions, and cracks. These stones, having been cut at a time when diamond cutting technology was not as developed as it is today, are also severely lacking in cut precision. It’s common to see antique Old Mine Brilliants that are lop sided and the poor craftsmanship is easy to spot. In addition to physical symmetry polishers had little to no understanding of light interaction in a diamond and no notion of light performance.

The Gemological Institute of America informs us that centuries ago, diamond cutting was a slow process. The less material the cutter removed from the original rough diamond crystal, the more quickly he completed his work. If a diamond cutter took too long to complete a task they would see their wages cut as a penalty. Therefore, the typical cut during this time was actually a squarish, sometimes slightly oval cushion-brilliant. The name used by most jewelers today when refer to such shapes is the “old mine cut.”

The Old Mine Cut‘s defining characteristics are more often than not a squarish shape. The Old Mine Cut diamond’s top and bottom — that is to say, crown and pavilion — were both much deeper than are found in cuts employed in the shaping of today’s diamonds. In the mid-1800’s  Coster’s Amsterdam diamond cutting house was the largest diamond cutting establishment in the world. It employed a labor-intensive process that included three phases of operation. Each phase required specialized skilled labor to split or cleave the diamonds, cut the diamonds, and finally polish the diamonds.

In the 1870’s a “bruting” machine started being employed which gave the diamond a round outline. The first angle gauges led cutters to use the angles associated with today’s modern cuts. In the year 1900 a second event changed the way diamonds were shaped: the circular saw came into use. This new tool made it a great deal easier to split the typical octahedral-shaped diamond rough crystal into two pieces. This in turn made it possible to cut the smaller top piece into a finished diamond. The technique employed prior to this was to simply grind it away. – A waste of precious diamond which would no longer be necessary. Within the next couple of years many in the industry realized that using the saw saved weight from the common octahedral diamond crystals, which meant that the new proportions could be cut without the type of waste of diamond rough that previous techniques had caused. This change shifted the emphasis from weight recovery to allowing diamonds to be cut into prettier shapes resulting in the many designs which eventually have become the styles that we see today.

Vintage Style Diamond Cut: Cushion Cut

A Cushion Cut Diamond. Available from

The cushion cut diamond had a big increase in popularity over the course of the 19th century. Old mine cuts are often fairly close to and can even be confused with modern cushion cut diamonds. Today, some cushion cut diamonds are actually certified as “old mine brilliants”.

The main difference between Old Mine Cut diamonds and cushion cut diamonds is that Old Mine Cut diamonds have fewer facets which makes the facets larger than you would find in a cushion cut diamond of the same weight.

The cushion cut is basically a modern take on an old style. It has more of the fire, scintillation and brilliance expected in diamonds, while still having a shape reminiscent of the old mine cuts.

Cushion cuts have been in high demand in the past few years, yet it was not until the Canera Antique Cushion came on the scene that anyone had been able to bring out the true chunky faceted style of the Old Mine Cuts and still have the diamond display the optimum light performance that makes a diamond sparkle. In the end this scintillation, fire and brilliance is what diamonds are most famous for.

Diamond manufacturers have been known to re-cut old diamonds in order to update their “look” as contemporary cuts.

You’re probably wondering, “Hang on! That’s going to make the diamond smaller!”

You are absolutely right.

Reshaping a diamond will reduce its weight. No two ways about it.

But it’s often considered a necessity. The manufacturer/jeweler can’t be certain vintage styled diamond will come back into vogue. But styles often do cycle around. What seems dated in one decade given 20 to 30 years becomes “vintage” and you start seeing a renewed interest.

It has become evident that the cycle has come around again. Jewelers, trades people and consumers have again come to appreciate the beauty of the antique faceting seen in these timeless diamonds.

Antique style diamonds have a special charm so it’s no surprise that the interest in vintage jewelry has increased dramatically of late.

While it’s not great to re-cut a diamond, because of the reduction in its size, the truth is that many old style diamonds did not have good light performance. They lacked the fire, brilliance and scintillation because the technology used to both plan, cut and measure the result was inferior to what is available today.

Improvements in cutting technology and techniques make it possible to recreate those antique cuts with minor adjustments which result in improved light performance.

Victor Canera is a diamond cutter in Los Angeles California that saw the charm of the old mine cut. He applied his expertise to improve the light performance of this style and the Canera Antique Cushion was born.

He created a unique cut that

An antique/vintage style diamond: The Canera Antique Cushion

The above diamond can be found here:

The above diamond has an Ideal or 0 Cut grade which is the highest cut grade issued by AGS. An AGS Ideal Cut diamond is considered by many to be one of finest cut diamonds in the world. An Ideal cut grade is reached by factoring in polish, symmetry, proportions and performance scores of a diamond.

The Canera Antique Cushion is a high performance cushion cut diamond. As touched on earlier, the old mine cut diamonds of the 19th and early 20th century did not have the benefit of the advancements in light performance that we have today and therefore did not display the optimum traits that the new designs exhibit. The Canera Antique Cushion designed by Victor Canera combines both the charm of the old style cuts while benefiting from the advancements in the science of light performance.

Within its beautiful “pillowy” outline, the Canera Antique Cushion employs an antique facet pattern inspired by Old Mine Brilliant diamonds of centuries past. This type of faceting is commonly referred to as being “broad faceted” or “chunky faceted”. These terms accurately describe the large, optimally tuned facets employed in the Canera Antique Cushion that reflect broad flashes of light compared to modern diamonds that have a more “splintery” reflective character.

Left: AGS000 Generic Antique Cushion with “mushy” appearance caused by virtual facets. Right: an AGS000 Canera Antique Cushion

The Canera Antique Cushion is a high performance vintage cushion cut diamond having optimal optical symmetry and ideal light performance and can be found exclusively at

I invite you to view Victor Canera’s current offering of loose Canera Antique Cushion Diamonds and see why the lucky owners of this gem, call it one of the finest cushion cut diamonds in the world.


Where can I buy the best diamond close to 1 carat for under $5000?

When speaking of “best” we have to consider that there can be subtle differences in taste, however it is generally agreed that the diamond should not look dull and lifeless. Therefore a diamond that can be deemed to provide the best value while displaying fine features will always be one that has the highest quality cut, highest grade of polish, have the highest grades in terms of proportion and will have optimum ratios. It will also have as few inclusions/clouds/feathering as possible so as not to detract from its beauty.

Having said that, choosing a diamond within budget will, with few exceptions, involve some form of compromise. It is generally a matter of finding those compromises which are acceptable.

(if the specific diamonds I showcase in this post are no longer available by the time you read this post, hopefully the information here will help you to find your own ideal diamond within your budget)

So here goes.

To stay under $5000 I began my search among the diamonds that are just under 1 carat. The price per carat does jump once the diamond reaches 1 carat, as is the case at several weight points. This means that the best bargains are to be found just below the whole, quarter, half, or three quarter carat markers.

First stop will be

Setting the search parameters to include all diamonds that are $4900-$5000 will give us way too many hits. So I have narrowed the search by including only those diamonds that have been give an Ideal Cut grade or better, and an H to G color grade. The clarity grade I have chosen is VVS1 to VVS2. I’ve left the carat search field as is so we can see everything that this search gives us.

diamond search $5000 close to 1 caratOf the 21 diamonds this search turns up there are two for which BlueNile offers us 360 degree views. Taking a closer look at those two diamonds GIA reports I can see that one of them lists Pinpoint, Needle, Cloud amongst its clarity characteristics.

Therefore I will eliminate that diamond from my shortlist.

The one which will make it onto my shortlist is this one:

0.90-Carat Round Diamond

Stock number LD08079367
Price per carat $5,466
Carat weight 0.90
Shape Round
Color H
Clarity VVS1
Length/width ratio 1.01
Depth % 62.6%
Table % 57.0%
Polish Excellent
Symmetry Very Good
Girdle Medium to Slightly Thick
Culet None
Fluorescence None
Measurements 6.17 x 6.09 x 3.83 mm

We can see here that the price per carat is over $5000 and it would be unrealistic at this point in time to expect to get a 1 carat diamond without compromising in other areas such as quality of cut, clarity, color, which quite frankly are usually a lot more disappointing than a very small compromise in size.


Looking at this diamond’s GIA report we can see that there is a mention of “feather”. This is pretty common and sometimes the feather is a very minor internal flaw. But without a more detailed report we can’t actually see how much feathering there is in this diamond. A less detailed report like this does cost less than a full work up, but the compromise in this case results in some unknowns.

Apart from that minor concern, everything else looks great. No fluorescence to worry about, Symmetry is “very good”, which means it could be better, but the 360 degree view shows us that it’s very close to being “excellent”.

The next place we will look is at

VictorCanera stands out among the diamond jewelers I list here on because Victor Canera is one of the jewelers that doesn’t actually stock any diamonds that one would regret buying. All the stock listed on their site is owned by Victor Canera. To see more about the difference between owned stock and virtual stock please see this post here.This allows Victor Canera to only select diamonds that are up to their standards.

Essentially it boils down to Victor Canera establishing a business that is not a sales machine but whose aim is to create beautiful things that people will truly love to own.

This all makes searching for diamonds much easier at than at many other websites as you aren’t faced with any dud diamonds.

Today’s search at turns up a beautiful diamond that is within the goal of being under $5000.

0.892 ct H – SI1 Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond

0.892 ct H - SI1 Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond under $5000
0.892 ct H – SI1 Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond under $5000

The diamond has had its lab report issued by AGS which is preferred by diamond cutters who have their own signature cut. Victor Canera explains why:

“AGS’ ground-breaking research in Cut and Light Performance has immensely contributed to the understanding of diamonds. AGS is considered the authority in the Cut analysis of diamonds.” – Victor Canera


Comparing this Victor Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond to the diamond listed at Blue Nile above we can see that this one’s symmetry is much better in terms of length to width ratio. The Victor Canera diamond is has almost identical length and width with a tiny tiny difference of .02 mm, whereas the one listed at Blue Nile has a difference between length and with of a gaping .08 mm. The near perfect symmetry of Victor Canera’s diamond plays an important role in this diamond receiving such a high rating from AGS on its Platinum Light Performance Diamond Quality Report.

What makes this diamond the winner is that it is a Canera Ideal Hearts.

As I mentioned above the high quality of Victor Canera diamonds begins with the selection of the world’s best rough diamonds. The diamond in the rough, is passed on to master diamond cutters who represent centuries of amassed knowledge of diamond cutting. The experience and skill of the polisher is further enhanced with the use of the world’s most modern diamond polishing technologies. After the rough diamond is polished, the stone is further inspected and only stones exhibiting ideal optical symmetry through hearts and arrows patterns continue to the next stage. And of course to make sure that only the best of the best are included in Victor Canera inventory the verification of Canera Ideal Hearts, Hearts and Arrows Diamonds is done through AGS Laboratories. The AGS labs are known as being one of the most rigorous laboratories in the world. Affirming its precision, Canera Ideal Hearts diamonds always achieve the distinction of receiving AGS Laboratory’s highest scores of 0 or Ideal, for Cut, Polish, Symmetry and Light Performance otherwise known as AGS 000.

Hopefully this write up will help you find your ideal diamond. Also you will be glad to know that you can call Victor Canera and arrange a free consultation. (Let him know Thomas J Stevens from referred you, if you can.)

Alternately please send me your question through the contact form.

Your question will be used as a starting point for another blog post (though I’ll email the recommendation to you first so you can have a chance to reserve the diamond I recommend).

Happy diamond hunting.

Where Can I Buy Hand-Forged Bespoke Engagement Rings (Custom Unique Rings), Earrings, Pendants, Bracelets.

Anyone who understands the difference between hand forged and wax cast jewelry knows that in terms of quality, cast based production brings some compromises into the process. Hand forged jewelry, made by a master craftsman has a lot of things going for it. Wax cast jewelry is by far the most common method of creating custom rings and works fairly well for the majority of jobs. But the art of hand forging jewelry still is reminiscent of the craftsmanship reserved for royalty.

There are several marked differences between wax cast jewelry and hand forged jewelry. With hand forged jewelry the master craftsman has control over each individual part of the design. Wax cast jewelry tends to be susceptible to a collection of minor problems. There can be cases where wax cast jewelry may have one or more of the following deficiencies: porosity and pinpoints from air bubbles, less precise joints, imperfections in cathedral openings or in underside baskets, have more of a wavy surface (from the cleaning of the casting mold), and can also result in a heavier yet weaker piece. None of these are disastrous problems but if the piece is affected to a noticeable degree the jeweler will have to have the piece recast. However these problems can be avoided altogether by employing a master craftsman who hand forges the jewelry.

hand forged custom ring
Hand Forged Vintage French Cut Halo Solitaire Ring See this ring at

The technological improvements in automation and mass manufacturing have still not dethroned hand forged jewelry as a method to produce jewelry of the highest quality. An expertly hand crafted piece of jewelry has a smoother finish, and is surprisingly lighter while being stronger than an equivalent piece made by wax casting.

One of the finest craftsmen who not only produces remarkable pieces, but who also stocks the finest cut diamonds imaginable is Victor Canera.

Victor Canera is an atelier studio in California that physically produces jewelry. With decades of accumulated knowledge in creating jewelry, they can provide sound advice based on their extensive experience producing jewelry as to what is possible with handmade jewelry.

An example of Victor Canera’s work is shown here. The above video is of the Emilya Halo Solitaire, which has a U-Cut pavé used throughout. This feature, accomplished by using the special tools at the Victor Canera atelier, maximizes the size of the pavé diamonds while at the same time minimizing the amount of seen metal. This hand forged ring in precious platinum features a 4ct Canera Ideal Hearts & Arrows Round diamond. A halo of Single Cut pavé surrounds the center stone. The name used to describe the way the shank is adorned is “shallow U-Cut” Single Cut pavé otherwise known as cut down.

What about cost?

Yes hand forged jewelry will not be in the same price category as wax cast jewelry. But there are ways that you can avoid extra costs by carefully choosing the right options as to how the ring is to be made.

Victor Canera has the following advice:

Labor Costs within the Context of Hand Forged Jewelry

Hand Fabricated and Hand Forged Jewelry is extremely labor intensive as compared to other forms of jewelry manufacturing such as using CAD\CAM and casting. We feel very strongly though from our decades of experience in jewelry production that hand forged jewelry is superior in craftsmanship and quality to CAD\CAM and cast manufactured jewels in almost every aspect. 

It is not unusual for just the base metal work (hand fabrication) of a ring to take many days to complete. This time consuming nature of hand fabricated jewelry means that a significant portion of the cost of a jewel are made up by labor costs. Any changes in a ring design therefore that reduces manufacturing time would in turn decrease the cost of a ring. 

This can apply directly to Intricate and Ornamental Ring Profiles of some designs that feature “filigree” or “ajour” which substantially add to the time it takes to manufacture a ring and therefore its cost (Fig. 2). Many shoppers aren’t aware of this fact and we believe it’s important for a consumer to do a cost to benefit analysis of intricate profiles by asking for a break down of the added cost of these profiles.

In summary, simplifying the profile of a ring by eliminating ajour (with or without pave), filigree or other designs can lead to significant cost savings without effecting the top down view of a ring.
Two Victor Canera Ring Profiles Left:Intricate Filigree Profile. Right:Simplified Profile.

Pavé Set engagement ring designs have been very popular in recent years. One option, if you’re trying to reduce the overal labor cost is to consider decreasing the amount of pavé from parts of a ring. This reduces both diamond carat weight which would be a significant part of the overall cost and also reduces labor costs. Victor Canera passes those savings on directly to the consumer. Eliminating pavé on the band of a ring can substantially reduce costs. Aside from cost reduction, omitting pavé on a band produces a glossy beautiful appearance. Other small ways of saving costs would be foregoing pavé from the stems of a ring design or the donut. In summary, any time pavé is decreased there is a net cost savings to the consumer.

Two Victor Canera Hand Forged Engagement Rings. Left:Pave Band. Right: Plain Band
Two Victor Canera Hand Forged Engagement Rings. Left:Pavé Band. Right: Plain Band
Other cost saving tips:

With Trilogy Engagement Rings, otherwise known as three stone rings, the carat weight, measurements and quality of the side diamonds are a major part of the cost, and selecting smaller and lower grade diamonds for the sides can result in considerable cost savings. For example, selecting E-VS1 side diamonds with a total carat weight of 1.00ct would be costlier than choosing 0.80ct stones that are H Color and VS2-Si1 clarity. It is safe in most instances to simply use “eye clean” clarity for the side diamonds while going a shade or so lower in color than the center stone. The difference in color would be very difficult to distinguish especially if the center diamond and side diamonds employ different facet patterns. Trilogy designs that use tapered baguette side stones or trapezoid shaped side diamonds are also priced out in millimeter lengths. For example, tapered baguettes that measure 6mm long each are priced higher than 5mm tapered baguettes even if they theoretically had the same carat weight. See this example:

Top: 1.70ct Center w. 0.80ct Sides. Bottom: 1.9ct Center w. 0.45ct sides.

Browse Victor Canera’s engagement ring page for ideas and contact him today to have your custom ring hand forged.

Where Can I Buy The World’s Most Finely Cut Diamonds Online?

I was recently asked if I could help someone with their search for a jeweler that provides precision cut diamonds. Specifically the question was Where Can I Buy The World’s Most Finely Cut Diamonds Online (ideal AGS cut rating)? The diamond needed was for an engagement ring.

Short answer: Victor Canera
Victor Canera specialises in the following cuts: Hearts and Arrows Diamonds, Antique Cushion Diamonds, (a high performance diamond cut modeled on Old Mine Diamonds), and European Round Diamonds.

They have a wide variety of sizes in stock ranging from 0.3 carat – 4 carat
The range of clarity of Victor Canera stock is only of the highest grade, ranging from IF to SI1
And to top it off the Cut/Polish/Symmetry grades of Victor Canera stock is IDEAL grade.
Victor Canera jewelry is hand forged, which is a far superior way to make jewelry to your regular wax mold process.

Essentially their business is providing their customers with perfection.

Pure and simple.

A Victor Canera Ring is an infusion of three elements. This video explains how these elements are inherent in every VC design.

 Visit now.

Long answer:

The long answer also includes some advice on how to find a good jeweler within your local area. However for most people the highest quality finely cut diamonds will not be within driving distance. Therefore visiting a jewelry store in person is not feasible for everyone. Many people will have to conduct their search online. Luckily for anyone with internet access Victor Canera has an online presence and provides not only the highest quality cut diamonds but is also where you can have the finest hand forged jewelry made.

After gaining a little knowledge about diamonds very few people will content themselves buying from the mall jeweler. A great deal of chain stores are simply unable to provide high quality stones, much less finely cut diamonds with a super ideal cut. The diamonds found in many chain stores are simply unable to withstand a great deal of scrutiny.

Where to begin

If you think it takes a fair amount of effort to find a high quality diamond jeweler, you’re actually not too far off the mark. Short of flying around the world and spending time in Antwerp, Hong Kong and New York , you’re usually stuck with whatever local jewelers are within your immediate area. And then there’s the internet. With countless businesses vying for your attention it’s no easy task to choose and sift through the pages and pages of information. There doesn’t seem to be any easy way to locate that perfect diamond. The problem often compounds when you do find a jeweler that sells online but you’re not really sure about all the diamond jargon, so it all gets a bit overwhelming.

If you are confused and frustrated don’t despair.

The following points are designed to help with the initial screening process. The aim of this article is to help the smart shopper avoid difficulties which may be encountered when navigating the world wide web, in particular when shopping for precision cut diamonds. This article will include links to jeweler websites that I have screened and consider to be the best of the best of the best. As mentioned above, one of the jewelers that has an online presence and whom I would recommend to anyone looking for the world’s most finely cut diamonds is Victor Canera.

Yet there is a service that has been running for a number of years designed to connect shoppers to the best local jewelers that not only provide high quality stones but also provide excellent service, having passed a series of secret shopper tests. To read more about this please see the page explaining the FindMyJewelerTM service.

However if you would like to conduct your own search for jewelers that provide the world’s most finely cut diamonds here are some tips.

Owned stock or Virtual Stock

Something which can get overlooked when browsing a diamond jeweler’s website is whether the jeweler has stock listed on their website which they own or if the inventory is virtual stock. Virtual stock is very similar to drop shipping, though there are some technical differences which don’t make a huge difference in regards to the aim of this article so don’t need to be gotten into. The main point which this article addresses in regards to virtual stock is to realise that if the jeweler owns the stock themselves they will usually be able to lay eyes on the diamond and describe it to you. This is something which should not be underestimated. A diamond jeweler can’t help but appreciate the beauty of a well cut diamond and this will show in the way they describe it to you whether over the phone or via online chat or even by email. If diamond is from the jeweler’s “virtual stock” it means that it is held by the wholesaler. This presents two drawbacks which, though not major, should be considered. One, the diamond in “virtual stock” may get sold to someone else by another retailer/jeweler and you will have to spend time selecting another diamond. Two, as mentioned above the online jeweler may have no more information than is listed on their own website and therefore can’t give you any more information. To my knowledge the highest quality diamonds are not found within the virtual selections. There may be exceptions to this, but I haven’t come across such exceptions yet.

If high performance and fine quality is an important factor I would suggest that searching through virtual inventory is not going to turn up anything of note. If you are hoping for the jeweler to lay eyes on the diamond so it can be described to you, work with jewelers that own their entire stock.

Signature cut

Time is not the only reason to select a jeweler that owns their stock. If a jeweler/diamond cutter has developed their own signature cut they will in most cases be very meticulous when choosing which diamonds they acquire. Again, here is an area where Victor Canera shines, and it is another reason, among the many, why I am featuring their website repeatedly throughout this article. The diamonds selected by Victor Canera are of the highest grade and they are cut to the highest standard.

the world's most finely cut diamonds
Victor Canera: the world’s most finely cut diamonds
What’s a signature Cut?

To explain what a signature cut is we will first remind ourselves about the basic elements that make a cut diamond such a wondrous thing of beauty. A finished diamond attests to both an impressive feat of nature and of human achievement. A diamond’s scintillation, fire and brilliance* are mostly the result of three well known factors: the quality of the cut, the clarity of the stone, and the color of the stone. The classic diamond shape most commonly used in rings, known by various names but usually referred to as the round brilliant is based on a design published by an engineering student in 1919. The 20 year old Marcel Tolkowsky included this mathematical formula as part of his dissertation for his Ph. D. While the results were impressive for the day the mathematical calculations required to determine theoretically how light would bounce around and disperse in a diamond were calculated by him at a time when computers had not yet been invented. Since the time of his original dissertation many improvements have been added to the science of diamond cutting.  These improvements are incorporated into designs known as Signature Cuts. These designs are often light years ahead of the rest. And yet despite these marvellous improvements people can easily settle on a design that is based on century old calculations! In this day and age there are some wonderful signature cuts to choose from. Admittedly some signature cuts are a little over hyped, but there are some that are definitely worth a closer look.
*Brilliance = white light; Fire = colored light; Scintillation = play of white and colored light in motion.

The Victor Canera signature cuts truly are the result of the highest level of craftsmanship one can imagine.

The Canera Ideal Hearts (CIH) exhibits exemplary physical and Optical Symmetry , Light Performance.

The Emilya Halo Solitaire, hand forged in Precious Platinum pictured above features a 4ct Canera Ideal Hearts & Arrows Round diamond. A halo of Single Cut pave surrounds the center stone. The shank is adorned with “shallow U-Cut” Single Cut pave otherwise known as cut down. The U-Cut pave used throughout maximizes the size of the diamonds minimizing the amount of seen metal. As it is hand forged it is a much higher quality end product than it would be if a wax mold were to be used, as would be the case if this type of design were to be attempted by most other jewelers.

The above ring is to be found at:

The video above shows two Canera European Round Old European Cut Diamonds.


Where to Have Custom Rings Made

Q: Hi I am trying to find a place that can design my ring from a photo. I don’t want just any old place to do it. I would like the diamonds to be good quality. Please could you recommend someone who has experience with this sort of thing? I do a search but all I find is websites where it says you can design your ring, but they all are the same: choose a diamond, choose a setting. that’s not what I am after. I would like the ring designed from scratch. Monica

A: Hi Monica, thanks for sending in your question. You are in luck because we have just the right place for you. Diamonds-USA offer Custom Engagement Rings from a photo!

Crating a custom design ring from a drawing.
Crating a custom design ring from a drawing. Scroll down for a better look at this example of the process.
Diamonds-USA offer custom ring design.

Diamonds-USA are one of the best places to buy diamonds online. They might occasionally get overlooked by some who get bedazzled by companies with flashier and dazzling websites. However there are a number of compelling reasons to use Diamonds USA’s service not only for the design of the ring but for selecting your diamond.

  1. They have been in business since 1997 – That is a long time for any online business. When you see a company that has been around that long, it shows they have withstood the test of time, which in the age of the internet is as good as several generations in previous times. In the brave new world that includes the brutal honesty of online customer reviews a business dealing in high end jewelry can’t last long if they don’t deliver at the level expected in this day and age. Which brings us to the next point why Diamonds-USA keeps wowing their customers.
  2. Top quality customer service – Many online jewelers show you what they have to offer and that’s about it. If you like what you see, you can place your order, and there is little assistance. It’s quite different with Diamonds USA. Their customer service is there for you from start to finish. You can contact them via online chat, email, or telephone them directly. You also can call them if you have any questions about diamond engagement rings or anything related to their jewelry.
  3. Real customer testimonials – Many online businesses feature testimonials from people like “John S”. However, there is no way to tell who “John S” is and if this person really exists. Diamonds USA provides contact info from actual customers. This gives you the chance to get real information that you can count on.
  4. No blood diamonds – Your purchase is not supporting conflict. Some diamonds are mined in very harsh conditions and the proceeds go to terrorists. You will not find any conflict or blood stones at Diamonds USA. They do not support any kind of illegal diamonds in the world.
  5. Return Policy – There is no “fine print” in the guarantee from Diamonds USA. This shows they stand behind their product 100%: If you are not fully satisfied you receive a refund with no questions asked, and you have ten days to notify them after receiving your order.
  6. Shipping – They ship internationally. And their shipping is fully insured and free of charge.
  7. Values CustomersWhether you are purchasing a diamond ring, diamond engagement ring a pair of diamond earrings or a loose diamond, values all its customers and brings you top quality service and diamonds.
  8. Lifetime upgrades – This is what keeps many customers customers for life. Having the option to upgrade the stone at a later date. Maybe you would like to have a large stone in the ring that you purchased a few years ago. In many cases, you can trade it in for something of greater value, and this can be done at any time.
  9. Lifetime warranty on clarity enhanced stones – Their clarity enhanced diamond selections are designed to last forever. You read that right. Diamonds-USA has a very strong guarantee in place: should anything happen, they will be more than happy to make repairs for no charge. To date, there have been absolutely no problems with these stones. This guarantee is in place because many people aren’t aware of the advancements in the field of clarity enhancements. The results of clarity enhancement techniques employed on Diamonds-USA’s stones are excellent and permanent.
  10. Custom jewelry – Diamonds-USA gives you many options for customizing your jewelry. For example, you can shop loose diamonds for sale and have them set into jewelry. You also can choose from a wide variety of cuts and settings for many selections.
    A sketch from which Diamonds USA created an engagement ring.
    A sketch from which Diamonds USA created an engagement ring.

    We mentioned that you can send in a photo but as shown in the example here your design can also be made from a drawing. Submit your plans or drawing for your dream ring, and with the help of modern technology, they will bring those plans into reality for you.

    The experts at Diamonds-USA use computer aided design software to bring the sketch into reality.
    The experts at Diamonds-USA use computer aided design software to bring the sketch into reality.

    custom design of engagemnt ring based on a sketch
    The rendered product: From imagination into reality. Custom design of engagement ring based on the above sketch sent in by customer.

Go here to have Diamonds-USA create a ring from your design.


Diamonds-USA Custom Engagement Rings


Round Diamond Buying Tips

Canadian Loose Diamonds from DiamondWave

There is something magical about seeing a diamond scintillating and sparkling. The flash and fire of a diamond is almost magical as it catches the eye and holds one’s attention like nothing else. The sparkle of a diamond has always been its greatest attraction. It stops people in their tracks as it refracts light and disperses an array of color from the entire visible spectrum. Earlier in history when diamonds could not be bought by the majority of people, ring makers would paint silver on the bottom of glass crystals to give them greater sparkle.

Since a diamond’s sparkle is its greatest attraction it would be a shame to buy a diamond and find that it does not have much sparkle.

Under what circumstances would this occur?

What kind of diamond has less sparkle? A poorly cut diamond.

Diamonds reflect the surrounding light and carry it back to the beholder’s eye. The average viewing distance has been agreed on by grading laboratories and diamond cutters to be approximately 25 cm. This distance is used when determining if a diamond looks good. An Ideal cut diamond will look good at this distance as well as at other distances and at various angles.

The quality of a diamond’s Cut will have a direct impact on its:

  • Brilliance
    This is the total amount of light which is reflected by the diamond. When light reaches the diamond’s surface, some light enters it and some light is reflected back. The most immediate light reflected back will be returned by the crown‘s angles.
  • Scintillation
    This refers to the sparkle (flashes of light) which are produced when a diamond’s viewing angle is moved around. The light that isn’t immediately reflected back enters the diamond and reflects from the inside walls toward the center of the diamond.As it bounces off the internal walls of the diamond it produces what is known as scintillation.
  • Fire
    This refers to the dispersion of light into different colored light. As light is bounced off the inside walls towards the center of the diamond, it then shoots back through the top of the diamond. Because the light is slightly bent by the diamond, a color spectrum is visible when light exits the top of the diamond.

Diamond Cuts


A diamond looks at its best when it has either no color, or has a strong vivid color. Colorless diamonds are by far the most popular for jewelry as they have that sparkle factor. However colored diamonds (called fancy colored diamonds, or just fancies) also have strong demand, though they are less readily available.

The proportions and angles at which a round ideal cut diamond has been cut give a diamond more sparkle than is the case with other styles of cuts. A  diamond cut in this way will have so much sparkle that the color of an ideal cut J diamond will not be noticeable. Remember this applies if it is a round diamond, also known as round brilliant. Other shapes do not disperse light as efficiently as round cut diamonds do and therefore color becomes noticeable even in “I” graded diamonds of other shapes (Fancy Cuts).

Check out these gorgeous super ideal cut diamonds: