Since launching our titanium ring resizing service, we’ve had the opportunity to see the diamonds that other manufacturers use in their titanium rings. From smaller to larger, many times these diamonds are inferior stones, especially when viewed next to diamonds of higher quality. The sad thing is that for smaller diamonds, the price difference is not that big.
How does one determine the quality of diamonds? If you look at stones of varying quality side by side, it is often painfully easy to tell the difference. The superior stone will be whiter and give off more sparkle than a lesser-quality one. When the difference is so obvious, it’s a shame that ring makers will choose a small difference in price over quality.
What are the technical measures of diamond quality? The most common system is called the four C’s, developed and defined by the Gemological Institute of America, Inc.
The Four “C’s”
Carat weight. One carat is 100 points. As we normally flush-set our stones directly into titanium, our diamonds are usually under 15 points. However, we have also flush-set larger diamonds up to one carat in bands which we make thicker at the top in order to accommodate these larger sized stones.
Color. This is where the difference in quality shows up the most in smaller diamonds. White diamonds should look white. With the smaller diamonds that we use, the best quality available is G-H.
Clarity. Our diamonds are typically VVSI. Here are the GIA classifications:
- Flawless (FL) No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
- Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions and only minor blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
- Imperfect (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
Cut. A good cut makes the diamond sparkle brightly. Technically the cut is analyzed using brightness, fire, and scintillation. As with color, a diamond that is cut well will readily show its superiority next to an inferior one.
We choose diamonds with the same rigorous evaluation that we apply to every other aspect of the rings we make. If your ring design incorporates diamonds, make sure they sparkle as much as much as your love for each other.