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Diamonds FAQ

March 17th, 2023

Diamond FAQs

The hardest substance on earth and one of the most brilliant, diamonds have long been a highly favored gem in both fashion and bridal jewelry. The hardest material on the planet, diamonds last forever and are resistant to many types of damage. This and their innate and unparalleled beauty make diamonds one of the most valuable gems available. It is essential to be well-informed about the properties of these gems when shopping for the jewelry you’ll have for a lifetime. Our experts here at Kirk Jewelers have compiled a list of our answers to some of the questions about diamonds we most frequently receive from clients to help make your shopping experience a breeze. 

How Are Diamonds Formed?

Part of what makes diamonds so intriguing is the incredible natural process by which they are created and brought to the earth’s surface. This process is varied; some stones take months to form, while others can take millions, if not billions of years. It begins when carbon deposits around 100 miles below the earth’s surface are subject to intense pressure and high temperatures. These conditions force carbon atoms to bond together, forming the crystals seen in diamonds. Once these gems are formed, they are brought to the planet’s surface through volcanic eruption, where they can then be mined and carefully cut. It is challenging to determine a diamond’s age; however, some inclusions can allow geologists to give a general timeline. 

Should I Choose A Natural or Lab-Grown Diamond?

Natural diamonds are inspiring feats of nature, created without any interference from the human hand. However, scientists eventually developed the tools to recreate these extreme natural conditions in a controlled environment to mitigate the environmental effects of natural diamond mining and make diamonds more accessible and affordable. 

When deciding whether to purchase a natural or lab-grown diamond, there are several things to consider. Many opt for natural diamonds because of their rarity. For them, the nearly unimaginable journey a diamond goes through to end up in our jewelry is worth the extra cost. Lab-grown diamonds are both visually and chemically identical; however, some natural diamonds may feature what is known as an inclusion. Typically, these are visible to the naked eye but can be spotted by trained gemologists. This means there is more differentiation in natural diamonds than in mass-produced, lab-created stones. When shopping for diamond jewelry, consider whether the stone’s rarity is your priority.

For some, lab-grown diamonds are an attractive alternative because they can rest assured that these gems are 100% conflict-free. With some natural diamonds, this assurance isn’t available. The mass production of lab diamonds also gives them a slightly more affordable price tag. 

What Are the Most Popular Diamond Cuts?

A diamond’s cut determines its facets, how it reflects light, and its unique silhouette. Over the years, diamond cutters have perfected several cuts used for decades to showcase the immeasurable beauty of diamonds. The following are the most popular cuts you’ll encounter when shopping for diamond jewelry.

  • Round: This is by far the most common diamond cut, featuring 58 individual and sparkling facets and a perfectly circular silhouette. The round cut is timeless and versatile. 
  • Princess: Bold, modern, and geometric, the princess cut is a squared shape with perfectly pointed corners and an inverted pyramid silhouette when viewed from the side. 
  • Cushion: Similar to the princess cut, the cushion cut is a squared shape with cut-off corners that create a pillow-like shape, hence the name. 
  • Oval: The oval cut is essentially an elongated version of the round cut, with softly curving lines and a feminine allure. 
  • Emerald: Evoking the Art Deco era, the emerald cut is elongated and rectangular, featuring parallel facets that create a hall of mirrors effect. 
  • Marquise: The marquise cut is slightly oval-shaped but has a point and the top and bottom of the stone. Softly sloping lines on the slides of the gem create an exciting contrast. 

Can I Get A Colorful Diamond?

For some, the strength and rarity of a diamond are appealing, but the colorlessness is not. For those that want a vividly colored but also a long-lasting gem, colorful diamonds are the best option. Though most natural diamonds are clear, impurities in the gem’s formation can produce a diamond with an alternative hue. Color can also be manufactured by creating lab-grown diamonds for consistent and vivid color. Diamonds can be found and created in many hues and varying in intensity. You can find these gems in black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, violet, brown, and gray. 

What Are the Four Cs?

Diamonds are graded by four main criteria, the four Cs. These criteria are cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The cut, as earlier discussed, is the shape into which a stone is fashioned, determining its silhouette, number of facets, and facet placement. The cut also determines the gem’s symmetry and level of sparkle. A diamond’s color, or lack thereof, is denoted by letters D-Z, D being completely colorless, and Z meaning the gem possesses a yellowish hue. Clarity refers to the number of inclusions present in a diamond. A perfectly flawless diamond is extremely rare and is quite valuable. Finally, the carat weight refers to the size of the stone. The higher the carat, the more surface area a gem has; the more surface area, the more ability it has to reflect light and create sparkle. 

Shop Loose Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry at Kirk Jewelers

When you shop at Kirk Jewelers, you can always rest assured that you are receiving the best products and services for your money. Our pristine Miami jewelry store is stocked with loose diamonds and diamond jewelry of top-tier quality. We’ve staffed our showroom with experienced and amiable personnel whose joy would be to guide you through purchasing diamonds so that you can feel confident you’ve made the best decision for you. Request an appointment today for a personalized consultation with one of our team members, or feel free to browse our inventory and services online at your convenience. It would be our joy to work with you.