Diamond FAQs

Explore the most-asked questions about diamonds (lab and natural), diamond engagement rings, and other diamond fine jewelry.

Diamond Basics

A diamond is a mineral formed of pure carbon and the hardest naturally occurring substance on the planet. Diamonds form over billions of years under tremendous pressure and depth within the earth.

If you aren't formally trained or well-versed in the diamond or jewelry industry, your best bet is to find and work with a trustworthy jeweler who really knows their stuff. For what it's worth, Dana and Rad have an extensive gem library and have been sourcing gems since 2003. Their priority is always to learn the client's budget and to carefully vet as many gems as possible to find the best gem(s) for each project. Dana and Rad also vet gems to ensure they are ethical.

Generally speaking, a "good diamond" is one that meets all of your criteria for the 4 Cs: Carat (weight), Color, Clarity, and Cut. A "good diamond" also meets your parameters for desired SHAPE (i.e. round, pear, oval, etc.)

Your gems should also be certified by a reputable lab. Again, our best recommendation is to find a jeweler you trust to work with on finding the perfect gem or ring for you.

See the next question for more on the 4 Cs.

Generally speaking, a round brilliant cut is a 58-facet cut that is specifically optimized for sparkle. That said, you can achieve impressive sparkle in other diamond cuts and shapes, too. Narrow down the shape preferences of the person who will wear the ring, then ask your jeweler to show you a few different gem shapes and cuts that fit those parameters/ preferences.

The 4 Cs, as they pertain to diamonds are:

-Color: Interestingly enough, this metric measures the absence of color since "chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue."

-Clarity: The closer a diamond is to true purity, the more valuable it is. Clarity in this context means the absence of internal inclusions and external blemishes.

-Cut: Arguably the most important of the Cs, you could have a stone with great clarity and great color, but a bad cut can make your diamond appear dull and lifeless. While cut is often confused with a gem's shape (i.e. round, oval, heart-shaped, and so on), the technical definition of "cut" is actually regarding how well a stone's "facets interact with light." 

-Carat (weight): This is the weight of your gem with 1 metric "carat" = 200 milligrams.

Read more and watch an informational video from the Gemological Institute of America here.

If you buy diamonds graded by the GIA or AGS, you can view the diamond under magnification or "loupe the diamond." When doing so, you should be able to match what you see in the actual gemstone to the clarity plot shown on your GIA or AGS certificate.

Look for glaring cracks or lines which can compromise the structure of the diamond.

Again, we do recommend researching and working with experienced and trusted jewelers who can walk you through the entire process while keeping your budget in mind.

Dana Walden provides diamond sourcing services for all Special Order and Custom engagement ring clients. Read more.

Inclusions are small markings inside diamonds. They can appear as tiny dots or air bubbles and the fewer of these you have the better the "clarity" of your gem. Keep in mind (especially when setting your budget) that most inclusions are not apparent to the naked eye. Consider viewing a range of gems to get a first-hand sense of the real-world "look" of various grades of gems.

Generally, Dana and Rad examine hundreds of gems to bring you a few outstanding options within your budget. Read more about Diamond Sourcing or Book An Appointment with Dana and Rad.

Red diamonds are the most rare and most expensive.

The only way to get a sense of what the market values look like is to shop around. Just make sure you're comparing diamonds with similar grading per the 4 Cs. Read more about the 4 Cs here.

Dana and Rad will always vet hundreds of diamonds to find a select few that fit your parameters and meet their qualifications for beauty and value.

The Kimberley Process is a diamond certification process that is aimed at stopping the trade of conflict diamonds or unethical 'blood diamonds.'

Any country that imports or exports diamonds can join and must meet requirements on where and how the diamonds they provide are mined. Member nations must also pass legislation to comply with requirements and impose enforcing regulations.

Read more about The Kimberley Process here.

We strongly recommend the purchase of independent insurance for your Dana Walden diamond engagement ring. If you need some advice or suggestions, just reach out and we're happy to help! Email us at sales@danawaldenbridal.com

White diamonds over 0.50ct and rings valued at $5000 or more come with certification included. The complimentary appraisal is from a GIA graduate gemologist at a third party laboratory.

For rings valued less than $5000, an appraisal can be had for a fee of $150. Please make a note of your interest in the Notes field of your checkout page OR email us at sales@danawaldenbridal.com to make a formal request for a diamond grading report to be added to your order.

It's easier than you think. Here's our recommended process for cleaning your ring at home.

Lab-Grown Diamonds

There is a growing interest in lab diamonds. Here are the top questions we're asked by clients.

Yes. Lab-grown or lab-created diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to a natural diamond. While natural diamonds are formed over billions of years in the earth's crust, lab diamonds are grown in just several weeks within a controlled laboratory setting that mimics natural circumstances.

To be clear, when we say "lab-grown" that shouldn’t be confused with “fake” or “artificial” in any way. Read more about Lab Diamonds here.

Lab diamonds are graded and certified by gemologists to the same degree as natural diamonds.

Learn all you can about the process of making lab diamonds to determine whether or not these gems line up with your personal ethics. Many of our clients appreciate that lab-grown diamonds have no mining impact and are guaranteed conflict-free. Since all of the fine metal we use is sustainable and ecofriendly (recycled), a lab diamond engagement ring from Dana Walden have no new mining impact.

Engagement Ring Design

Tips and pointers to help you find the perfect diamond engagement ring for you.

Make sure you try on as many rings as possible to find the ring that makes you happiest when you look down at it! That said, there are some common guidelines regarding finger shape and diamond shapes.

FOR SHORT FINGERS TRY:

-Ovals, pears, and marquise stones tend to lengthen fingers

-Rectangular emerald shape stones

-Slender, narrow bands

FOR WIDE FINGERS TRY:

-Wider ovals, marquise, ore rectangular emerald shapes

-Cluster styles

-Medium to thick bands

FOR LONG FINGERS TRY:

-Princess cut and round stones

-Wider bands

FOR SLENDER FINGERS TRY:

-Small stones

-Thick bands

Our trend research for 2021 is showing increasing interest in oval diamonds and emerald-cut diamonds. That said, round brilliant diamonds are classic and timeless, with ongoing interest.

There are all kinds of antiquated "rules" with regard to this question. But the correct answer is:

"You set a budget for your engagement ring by spending what you are comfortable spending, and can afford."

We strongly recommend the purchase of independent insurance for your Dana Walden engagement ring. If you need some advice or suggestions, just reach out and we're happy to help! Email us at sales@danawaldenbridal.com

It's pretty easy to clean your engagement ring at home! Here's our favorite process.