Diamond Buying Guide

The combination of several factors (the four C’s – carat, color, cut & clarity) determines each diamond’s value.  Carat refers to the weight/size of the stone.  Stones are graded by color and are given designations dependent on their relation to the purest white.  Diamonds come in a variety of colors, but the most popular gems are colorless. The cut of the stone refers to its shape and how well the stone was faceted. A well-cut stone yields maximum brilliance.  Clarity refers to any external or internal imperfections created by nature when the diamond was formed. Although these marks make each stone unique, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the stone. Always buy a diamond from a jeweler you can trust.

Abshire & Haylan is established in the community and has an excellent reputation for integrity and service. Let us show you our selection of   diamonds and explain the subtle differences in grade and value. Use our knowledge and expertise to guide you in choosing the perfect diamond for you and your special occasion. Abshire & Haylan Jewelers has a wide selection of loose diamonds that can be used to create the finest diamond jewelry.


The GIA Color Scale extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown).  Although many people think of gem quality diamonds as colorless, truly colorless diamonds are actually very rare.  Most Diamonds used in jewelry are nearly colorless with tints of yellow or brown.

Diamond Color Scale D to Z

Color grades are determined by comparing each diamond to a a master set.  Each letter grade represents a range of color and is a measure of how noticeable a color is.

Fluorescence, some diamonds can emit a visible light when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, but fluorescence is not a factor in determining color or clarity grades.  However, a description of its strength and color is provided on GIA Reports as an additional identifying characteristic.

GIA Clarity ScaleClarity

The GIA Clarity Scale includes eleven clarity grades ranging from Flawless to I₃.  Because diamonds form under tremendous heat and pressure, it is extremely rare to find a diamond that lacks any internal and external characteristics.  These characteristics are a byproduct of its formation and help gemologists separate natural diamonds from synthetics and simulants, and identify individual stones.
gia clarity scale sample clarity diagram


The GIA Cut Scale ranges from Excellent to Poor.  GIA provides a cus quality grade for standard round brilliant diamonds that fall in the GIA D to Z color range.

A polished diamond’s beauty lies in its complex relationship with light: how light strikes the surface, how much enters the diamond, and how, and in what form light returns to your eye.

The result is a magnificent display of three attributes.  Brightness is in magnificent display of three attributes.  Brightness is the combination of of all white light reflecting from the surface and interior of a diamond.  Fire describes the “flares” of color emitted from a diamond.  Scintillation describes the flashes of light you see when the diamond, the light, or the observer moves.

A polished diamond’s proportions affect its light performance, which in turn affects its beauty and overall appeal.  Diamonds with fine proportions, symmetry, and polish optimize their interaction with light, and have increased brightness, fire and scintillation.

GIA Anatomy of a Diamond

Carat Weight

One carat equals 200 milligrams in weight.  For diamonds under one carat, each carat is divided into 100 points, similar to pennies in a dollar.  0.75 ct. = 75 points, 1/2 ct. = 50 points.

GIA carat weight

Beauty and Its Beholder

The 4Cs provide a way to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds, but numbers alone can’t describe a diamond’s mysterious and captivating beauty.  For that, you’ll have to visit us and see for yourself.