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All About Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds have been prized throughout the ages for their dazzling sparkle, rarity and emotional value. So whether you’re searching for an engagement ring or a gift of diamond jewelry for someone special, here’s what you need to know about nature’s oldest, most beautiful miracle: natural diamonds.

3 quick things about natural diamonds

beautiful & rare

Only a limited number of natural diamonds exist in the world!

rich with meaning

Used for centuries to express undying love and romance.

older than life on earth

Three-billion-year-old treasures that existed long before mankind.

what are natural diamonds?

Natural diamonds are minerals composed almost entirely of carbon with trace amounts of nitrogen. They are also one of the hardest known natural substances on earth. Natural diamonds are mined from the ground and are then cut and polished to create the beautiful, sparkling gems that have been used in jewelry for centuries.

how are natural diamonds made?

Natural diamonds were created billions of years ago, deep within the earth’s mantle. This high pressure, high temperature environment bonded carbon atoms together to form diamond crystals. Volcanic eruptions eventually pushed them upwards, where a finite amount of them now exist about 100 miles beneath the earth’s surface, just waiting to be unearthed and cherished by you and your loved one.

characteristics of a natural diamond

diamond shapes

Before making any decisions about natural diamonds for your engagement ring, you’ll need to pick a diamond shape. Here’s a quick primer on the different diamond engagement ring shapes you have to choose from.

learn the 4cs

What are the 4Cs of a Diamond? The 4Cs of a diamond are the universal standard that gemologists use to determine a diamond’s quality which includes the diamond’s cut, color, clarity, and carat weight What’s more, they show you what you should be looking for when purchasing a diamond. Here’s a brief overview of the 4Cs:

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cut

The most important of the 4Cs of a diamond is cut. The cut of a diamond affects how well a diamond returns light back to your eye. It’s what makes the diamond sparkle! A diamond’s cut creates its brilliance, fire and scintillation, can hide small internal flaws (called inclusions), and can even make the diamond seem whiter.

color

Diamond color actually measures the diamond’s lack of color. The less color in a diamond, the higher its value. Diamond color is graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The highest quality diamonds are colorless—their grade will be D-F. Near colorless diamonds are graded G-H, and slight color is I-J. It’s important not to look at color on its own— make sure you take it into consideration with the other 3Cs. For example, a lower color with a better cut can result in a prettier diamond compared to a colorless diamond with a lesser cut.

clarity

Diamond clarity is the measurement of minor imperfections on and inside a diamond. The surface flaws are called blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. These natural imperfections are microscopic and do not impact a diamond’s beauty, but the fewer imperfections a diamond has, the better grade it will get.

carat weight

A diamond’s carat is not the visible size of a diamond. Rather, carat weight refers to the weight of the diamond as measured in carats. Diamonds with a larger carat weight are rarer, and the diamond’s value increases with it.

Buying with Confidence: Diamond Certification

Diamond certification from an independent, third-party diamond grading lab is one way to ensure that your engagement ring’s diamond has been accurately and objectively analyzed for quality according to the 4Cs. Helzberg Diamonds only partners with the strictest and most highly trusted labs in the industry, such as GIA (Gemological Institute of America), GCAL (Gem Certification & Assurance Lab) and American Gem Society (AGS), to grade and certify most of our natural diamonds.

create your own diamond ring

Helzberg Diamonds offers all different types of ring settings, diamond shapes and carat weights to choose from. Create a custom engagement ring with a natural diamond that’s as rare and beautiful as the love you both share.

customize your own

find the right diamond for you: schedule an appointment

Finding the right engagement ring can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we speak diamond! Put our over 100 years of diamond expertise to work with a virtual or in-store appointment with one of our jewelry experts. They’ll give you the personalized advice you need to make the best decision possible.

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frequently asked questions

All gems are rare! However, diamonds are the most common of the precious stones. What makes diamonds unique is the quality of the diamonds, the 4Cs. Remember, those are: cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

While natural diamonds are a rare and stunning product of nature, lab grown diamonds are a testament to man’s scientific ingenuity. By replicating the conditions required to create diamonds underground, scientists are able to create real diamonds that possess the same physical, chemical and visual properties as natural diamonds. Both natural and lab grown diamonds offer dazzling options to choose from.

The best diamond clarity is Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF), however, these diamonds are rare to come by. Another way to assess diamond clarity is looking for a diamond that is considered an “eye clean diamond”. Eye clean diamonds that have minimal, visible inclusions in the crown of the diamond. The most common eye clean diamonds have a clarity grade of SI or VS.

Diamonds come in all types of colors ranging from blue, pink, red, green, and even brown! Brown and yellow are the most common colored diamonds, whereas pink, blue, red and green, for example, are extremely rare. Colored diamonds are sometimes more desirable depending on your style.

Diamond certification means that your diamond has been graded by an independent, third-party laboratory (GIA, GCAL, AGS, IGI, etc.). The diamond certification grading is based on the 4Cs of the diamond. Helzberg Diamonds has strict standards when it comes to diamonds. Sometimes even certified diamonds don’t make the cut. Learn more about Helzberg Diamonds’ promise of Quality Over Everything.

Thanks to international standards like the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council as well as other laws and regulations, modern diamond mining is a highly regulated industry that ensures the ethical sourcing of natural diamonds. This means environmentally-conscious practices that minimize negative impact on the earth, as well as upholding labor laws that respect the dignity of workers and support local communities with high quality jobs, healthcare, and more. Learn more about our values and ethics.

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A gorgeous stone with major sparkle all its own, moissanite is a popular diamond alternative.

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