Does it make a difference if I examine a diamond mounted or unmounted?
“Mounting” refers to whether the diamond is set in the ring or loose.

A mounted diamond hides up to 25 percent of the diamond from your eye. So you should examine the diamond loose, using the proper lighting conditions, with the right microscopic tools to be able to see what's in a diamond. Don’t simply concentrate on the top of the diamond. You need to look at the diamond layer by layer, and delve deep into the interior of that diamond, so you can identify where all of the characteristics are that make that diamond unique.

When viewing diamonds, the diamonds should already be clean, and a professional jewelry salesperson should show you the diamond after having cleaned it. That said, it’s a safe precaution to always ask your jewelry professional to clean the diamond for you so you get the best view possible.


When I examine a diamond should I use tweezers?
When examining your diamond, it's recommended that you use diamond tweezers to be able to examine it. Avoid touching the diamond because the oils on your hands are easily transferred to that diamond, and it impairs the look of the diamond. There are special tweezers that every jewelry sales professional should have at your disposal.


Most of our industry relies on the diamond grading system developed by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).  This grading system is based on a diamonds cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, and is commonly referred to as the 4C's. Unfortunately, most of the store pamphlets gloss over the 4C's and will leave most of your questions unanswered.  A reputable jeweler, that's where we come in, should take the time to explain the basics of diamond grading to you and teach you to inspect a diamond for yourself, we offer this to all our purchasers   but many times it's never offered.  The best thing is for you to learn the basics of diamond grading so that you can make an educated decision based on your wants, needs, and of course budget.


Does it matter under what light I view a diamond?
Seeing thing in a different light is a good thing. In fact, when purchasing your diamond you should actually see it under several different light sources, and in a color grading tray. You should also view the diamond under natural conditions such as sunlight because that is how the diamond will be viewed for the rest of your life. Diamonds are often displayed under LED lights which direct colored light into the diamond and while looking beautiful will not accurately depict the diamond’s properties in real life. So go ahead and shed a little light on things and see what you are really getting.  Sawyers jewelry cases are equiped with LED lights inside but when looking at a diamond we look at it under natural lights, sometimes we may even take you into natural Sunlight!


Should I view a diamond with a Jewelers Loop when shopping?
You should always view your diamond under 10x magnification, ideally under a gemscope, but a jewelers loop works well, before making your decision. A jewelers loop  is a small, hand-held device that's really a great tool in the hands of a trained gemologist. Sawyers will always teach you and offer to lend you one of our loops to view all the stones you are looking at. 



Why is 10x magnification the industry standard?
Ten times magnification is the standard magnification in the industry as a result of the creation of the Clarity Rating Scale. This scale is the standard used throughout the diamond industry. Now, what does that mean? It means that a diamond that is graded as flawless, means that under 10x magnification there are no markings visible. However, because a diamond is a natural substance, if you crank that microscope up to 20x or 30x, you will be able to see markings - even in a flawless diamond. It’s all about the Clarity scale.

Cut     Color      Clarity      Carat

Diamond Education

If you're purchasing a diamond for personal enjoyment, such as an engagement ring, you should focus your efforts on finding a diamond that is brilliant and not worry so much about making sure that the diamond meets the GIA text book definition of it's given grade... Some people really lose touch of reality and get caught up in the quest for the perfect diamond.  Remember...  this is suppose to be a fun and exciting purchase, not the biggest migraine you've ever gotten! A basic understanding of the GIA grading system will ensure that you get the most for your money and don't get taken advantage of while keeping you from going bananas.

Whenever possible, you should look at a diamond just as a professional diamond buyer does: loose, with proper lighting conditions, and of course using the proper tools. When you’ve found the diamond that’s perfect for you, ask the associate to weigh it in front of you to know the exact carat weight of the diamond, as a point or two difference can significantly change the cost.

Diamond Grading For normal People
This section of our web sight is designed to help you make some sense of our terminology, introduce you to the essentials of diamond grading, and familiarize you with our market. It's not a gemological course, and should not be interpreted as such, but it's a whole lot more than you're going to find in any pamphlet or get from a "mall" or "box" store… Most of the information contained in our website of grading practices is derived from course material from the Graduate Gemologist Program offered by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), but hopefully we've deciphered in into useable English for you.

A diamond is probably the most precious, yet obscure object that you will ever see.   Unfortunately, a few disreputable "jewelry stores" have made purchasing a diamond one of the most challenging investments you will ever make.  Did you know that a one carat diamond weighs about one-fifth the weight of the average paper clip, and yet some cost as much as a luxury automobile.  Subtle factors which affect the grade and market value of a diamond do not necessarily affect its attractiveness and this is where the average consumer gets frustrated.How is it possible that one store can advertise one-carat engagement rings for sixteen hundred dollars while another store just a few doors down sells its one-carat diamond rings for ten thousand dollars?  And what is all of this VVS-D, SI1 - F, and I1 - M, stuff really mean?  What is a "certified diamond" and what does it mean when a jeweler says that diamond grading is subjective?  We hope to provide the answers to all of these questions in the sections on diamond grading that follow this page.


Most of our industry relies on the diamond grading system developed by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).  This grading system is based on a diamonds cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, and is commonly referred to as the 4C's. Unfortunately, most of the store pamphlets gloss over the 4C's and will leave most of your questions unanswered.  A reputable jeweler, that's where we come in, should take the time to explain the basics of diamond grading to you and teach you to inspect a diamond for yourself, we offer this to all our purchasers   but many times it's never offered.  The best thing is for you to learn the basics of diamond grading so that you can make an educated decision based on your wants, needs, and of course budget.