Jewelry Education
What To Look For When Choosing a Diamond

Focus on Sparkle and Brilliance

When it comes to diamond grading or classification, IJC’s focus is on what the customer can see, and this is sparkle and brilliance. After years of helping people find or design their prized diamond pieces, we understand that (besides making your heart beat a little faster) these are the most important factors that come together from the diamond’s beginning as a rough cut diamond.

But in order to get there, it takes many things. It takes the craftsmanship of someone who understands how to bring out the best in that diamond. It takes great knowledge and expertise in the areas such as orientation, proportion, facet alignment and symmetry. As you might imagine, a lot goes into ensuring that the very best and brightest sparkle is achieved.

As one of the oldest and naturally occurring substances on the planet, diamonds represent rarity, toughness and timelessness. And a white diamond is simply more pure.

At IJC, whiteness and brightness are two of the most important things we focus on. And with years and years of industry expertise under our belts, we find that the clients who are most satisfied long-term are the ones who didn’t compromise on sparkle—regardless of size or budget. This, however, doesn’t necessarily correlate to the biggest or most expensive piece. We want our clients to have the right size, yes. But it’s also important to focus on getting our clients the brightest diamond we can.

The diamonds that sparkle and are gloriously white are the ones that truly stand out. They are the ones people talk about when you leave the room. We want to help you find that sparkle, that piece that speaks to your heart. And we are ready and able to support you in that process with decades of experience.

Before we go on, let’s talk a little bit about the 4Cs of diamonds.


Many people think a diamond’s cut means shape (oval, round, heart, pear, etc.). In fact, the cut grade relates to facets and how much light can be gloriously transmitted through them. A stone that is too shallow or too deep, for example, will not properly reflect light. Therefore, cut refers to the quality of a diamond’s proportions and symmetry. Because these elements affect how much light is captured and then reflected, they determine the amount of “sparkle” you see when looking at a diamond.

The four diamond cut grades are ideal, very good, good and poor. If you were to compare two different cut grades, the higher cut grade would portray a significant difference in sparkle.

While this particular factor of diamond classification is the most difficult to analyze because of its technicality, it can be determined by looking at a range of parameters that results in a cut grade. The four diamond cut grades are ideal, very good, good and poor. If you were to compare two different cut grades, the higher cut grade would portray a significant difference in sparkle. Overall, diamond cut serves as a major influencer in terms of the diamond’s beauty and value.

Diamond shape is ultimately a personal preference and is driven by individual tastes and style. However, we do ensure our clients are educated when choosing a cut and shape, and we will provide all the education you need in making the perfect shape choice for you. Popular shape examples include shapes such as round, princess, cushion and oval.

At IJC, we source diamond’s whose workmanship begins with those who are skilled in bringing out the brilliance you seek, resulting in brightness and fire (white light that is dispersed and appears as rainbow colors).


The normal gradient of diamonds is describing whiteness (or absence of color), which implies chemical purity. The color grading scale used to describe a diamond’s color runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).

Whiteness (colorlessness) is a function of how chemically pure the diamond is. Whiteness, of course, is also symbolic. It is traditionally why we are giving diamonds in the first place for an engagement or anniversary. While diamond color distinctions may be hard to view by the untrained eye, chemical purity, like structural integrity, also influences price.

While an absolutely colorless diamond would be exceptionally rare and have a high price tag to match, we are experts in finding the best diamond for you, at the best possible price.


It doesn’t take going to near perfection to find a jaw-dropping diamond. In fact, most diamonds are flawed due to their crystalline structure and the natural process that created the diamond in the first place. Diamond clarity, therefore, describes the absence of those “flaws” or natural blemishes and inclusions. The closer a diamond is to purity, the higher its value. But, middle of the realm clarity is undetectable by the naked eye.

Clarity is measured using a scale that runs from FL (flawless) to I3 (has inclusions visible to the naked eye).

Carat Weight

Diamond carat weight describes a diamond’s size. A metric carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Carat weight can then also be broken down further using points, allowing for very precise measurements. For example, 0.25 carats can also be expressed as 25 points. A diamond weighing greater than one carat will have it’s weight described in carats and decimals.

It’s no secret that larger diamonds are not only more rare but typically more desired. While the other 4Cs affect price, so too, does this characteristic. However, a diamond’s value is determined looking at the entire combination—not simply size. Two diamonds equal in weight will unlikely carry the same value.

No matter where your primary focus exists, IJC is passionate about educating our clients on all characteristics of diamonds and especially on the importance of brilliance and sparkle. It’s about properly preparing you in seeking the most perfect diamond for you or that special someone. That separates us from most other jewelers.

Our Comparative Process

The diamonds that we buy and provide for a comparative process are critical to the education and satisfaction of our clients. In fact, the diamond selection process can only best occur through proper vetting—or a side-by-side comparison of diamonds within a certain range—to be able to visually recognize the differences between them. While this all relates to the 4C’s, this process focuses on the human element. It is determining what the client wants to see and then translating that into a piece that speaks to their heart and fits their budget.

In order to provide for the most thorough diamond examination, we show diamonds under three different lighting scenarios (LED, full spectrum fluorescent and daylight). This allows the client to fully and properly see how that diamond changes and eliminates any surprises. At IJC, we embrace these differentials in lighting and all other options that change and affect how we see that diamond. While most jewelry stores focus on size first, IJC’s focus is on where a client wants the quality to be and then aligning that with their budget.

This overall process begins with:

• Listening to and discerning what is wanted and needed

• Coaching clients on the exploratory process (we are good at this!) even when it comes to obtaining ring sizes

• Education on all aspects of diamonds and types of metals

Ring Design

We would be remiss not to mention ring design when talking about diamonds. At IJC, we are able to engage in a discussion on ring design and how that relates to longevity. Unfortunately, some retailers get caught in the crossfire of poor design because that’s what’s trending and driving the consumer. They are more interested in making the sale. We willingly engage in the more detailed conversations to at least give the client all the knowledge they need to know when it comes to choosing the jewelry that best aligns with your activity and lifestyle and the maintenance it will require. At IJC, we do things differently, and we are 100% confident that our culture and process fosters transparency and trust—as well as the best customer experience. We know this because our clients tell us that over and over again.

*IJC’s diamonds are ethically sourced, conflict-free diamonds. We abide by The Kimberly process.