Diamond Education

Buying Diamonds in Carmel, IN

beyond the 4 c’s (carat, color, clarity and cut)

fluorescence and origin



One carat equals to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. Carat weight is the prime factor that determines the price of a diamond. Larger diamonds are more rare and thus costlier. Carat makes expressing diamond weight easier as compared to milligrams.  Consult with one of our in-store Gemologists for more information.

Do not make the mistake thinking that higher carat weight means a larger looking diamond. Even diamonds of the same weight can differ on a basis of other factors, especially cut that influences perceived size. Just as two people who weight the same can look very different, so can two diamonds.  Large diamonds are rare to find and much in demand as compared to small diamonds of the same quality. The price of a one-carat solitaire diamond ring is much more than a ring with smaller diamonds making up the same carat weight. Diamond comparison is not effective until you compare the diamonds of similar features and qualities. While comparing the value of different diamonds leading Laboratories like GIA and AGS recommend consulting with a Guild Gemologist or Certified Gemological Appraiser.

Pierce Jewelers is proud to have a Gemologist and Certified Gemological Appraiser on site!  We will take the time to educate you on how to shop and get the most for your money.



When a jeweler talks about the diamonds color, they is referring to the absence or presence of the color in the diamond. Color of a diamond is a result of diamond’s composition and does not change with time. Colorless diamonds allow light to travel through them easier as compared to the colored diamonds. These diamonds also emit more fire and sparkle. The process, through which a diamond is formed, is the deciding factor for its color. The whiter the diamond is the higher value it will have.

Diamond color is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher their value. (The exception to this is fancy color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this color range.) Most diamonds found in jewelry stores run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown.

For grading the color of diamonds, jewelers refer to GIA’s color scale that starts the rating with D for the colorless diamonds and grows up to Z as the traces of light yellow or brown color are found in the diamond. Diamonds graded from D to F are amongst the most desirable and valuable stones. These diamonds are a delight for the diamond lovers combining beauty and rarity.  The vast majority of diamonds sold in the United States (over 80% at the last survey) are between HIJ colors.  They can be as beautiful as the costlier colorless ones.

Consider the setting of the diamond before choosing the grade of a diamond. If the setting for your diamond is platinum or white gold, go for high color grades, if you want to get it fitted in yellow gold, slightly low grade diamonds can also look great. While you will find faint yellow hint in the diamonds that are graded from J to M, the color can be camouflaged by choosing the right setting for the stone. Many people prefer the warm glow given by low color diamonds.



Because diamonds formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure, they often contain unique birthmarks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes).

Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System™, diamonds are assigned a clarity grade.

Every diamond is unique. None is absolutely perfect under higher magnification, though some come close. Known as Flawless diamonds, these have no inclusions under 10x magnification They are exceptionally rare. Even most jewelers have never even seen one.

GIA grading reports usually include a diamond inclusion plot.  This allows identification of your unique diamond as there is no similarity between two diamonds. It lets you have the assurance that the diamond you are receiving is the one you have paid for.




People often confuse diamond shape with diamond cut. Shape of the diamond is the outward appearance and outline. When the diamond jewelers use the word cut, they are referring to reflective an refractive properties of the diamond not their shape. The quality of diamond cut is a crucial part of 4Cs of diamonds. A great cut provides brilliance to the diamond. Finish and angles of all the diamonds lets you determine the diamond’s ability to handle light that results in its brilliance.
When a diamond has a good cut, light travels through it easily, adding to its sparkle. The light that is passed through the diamond because of cut is alone responsible for making the diamonds shine and increase their desirability. If a diamond is not cut properly, light enters through the table after reaching the facets, it leaks out from bottom or side, reducing its brilliance.

Many gemologists believe that best of diamond cuts are made after following a formula calculated for maximizing the brilliance. The formula is in the proportions of the diamond, especially in the context of how depth compares to diameter. If you are buying diamonds without GIA certificates, invest some time finding certified diamonds and gain some knowledge for identifying better cuts.  Pierce Jewelers John Kanable and Chuck Scanlan have extensive knowledge of how these factors relate to beauty and the price of the diamond.  They have written papers, training manuals and sat on Boards discussing these factors.

Variance in proportions to poor cut and ideal cut is difficult to detect by the casual observer. As cut is important, you can make use of different grading methods for determining the cut of a specific diamond. Selection of Cut grade is based on a person’s preference. For making the best selection, one needs to be acquainted with different grades.

Ideal diamond cut has maximum brilliance and the small table size of these diamonds work in the best possible way to create fire or dispersion. With ideal cut diamonds, you can be sure of having the finest return of money invested. This category is just for round shaped diamonds. Premium cuts are also equivalent to ideal cuts in round diamonds but the price is slightly lower. Very Good diamond cuts reflect maximum light entered in, providing fair amount of brilliance to the diamonds.

Good Cut diamonds reflect most of the light that passes through them. The proportion of these diamonds is outside the preferred range. Diamonds that fall under this category will allow you save money without compromising on the beauty of the diamond. Approximatley 80% of mined diamonds are rated Fair or Good.  Fair and Poor quality diamonds reflect very little proportion of light that is entered to them. These diamonds are cut in order to increase carat weight above all the other considerations.