What is a Diamond? Part Two

Multi-Diamond Ring set in 22k yellow gold

Diamond Clarity

Each diamond in a jewelry store is a majestic piece of art. Once it was buried deep within the earth, and now this beautiful diamond graces your neck, brings out the color of your eyes, or sparkles from your finger.  Like everything else in nature, diamonds naturally contain small blemishes and inclusions that sometimes can be seen only through a magnifying glass.  Clarity refers to the number and size of the diamond’s “imperfections.”

Inclusions are a diamond’s internal “imperfections” or flaws – tiny cracks or the presence of other natural minerals within the diamond. Blemishes refers to the “imperfections” which are found on the surface of a diamond such as scratches or microscopic chips. Both inclusions and blemishes affect the value of the diamond, meaning that the fewer flaws a diamond has the more valuable it is.

Diamond Clarity Chart Demystified

FL: A flawless diamond without any imperfections

IF: Internally Flawless with few external imperfections

VVS 1 / VVS 2: Very Very Small Inclusions

VS 1 / VS 2: Very Small Inclusions

SI 1/ Si 2: Small Inclusions

I 1/ I 2/ I 3: Inclusions can be visible with the naked eye

Diamond Cut

In 1375 AD jewelers first began the practice of faceting and cutting diamonds from their raw, unpolished natural form.  They had discovered that a diamond’s greatest property is its ability to reflect light, and this new process of cutting a diamond allowed it to shine brighter than any other gemstone.  How well a diamond reflects light depends on its cut; the better the cut, the more the diamond reflects the light.  The round brilliant cut is perhaps the most popular, designed to maximize the brilliance of the diamond to its full potential.

Diamond Carat

Carat refers to the unit of measurement of weight for a diamond. Simply put, there are more smaller diamonds than larger ones, thus the more the diamond weighs the more rare it is.  The largest white diamond in the world is known as the Great Star of Africa and it weighs exactly 530.4 carats!

Gemstones and Birthstone Jewelry

Show your loved one you care with our handcrafted birthstone jewelry – a perfect gift for every occasion!  At Jewelry by Liza Shtromberg we offer a variety of rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and necklaces in one of a kind designs showcasing beautiful birthstones.

Liza’s Birthstone Chart

January – Garnet

Perfect for the January birthday!  Garnets are a symbol of health and commitment.  Garnets are very durable gems and reflect the deep red seeds of the pomegranate from which they are named. 

February – Amethyst

A symbol of contentment and spirituality, amethyst is a type of purple quartz which can range from deep purple to pale lavender.  Traditionally, amethysts are associated with royalty due to their purple color, and so this aristocratic gemstone can be found in the crown jewels of noble families from Britain, Russia, and Egypt. 

Amethyst Birthstone

March – Aquamarine

  A symbol of courage, aquamarine got its name from the Latin aqua marina or “water of the sea” because its color resembles an ocean wave.  Set in 18k white gold and surrounded by micro pave diamonds, the famous 109.92 carat Hirsch Aquamarine is a beautiful example of a perfect shade of aquatic blue and can be found in the collection of the House of Louis XV.

March Birthstone

April – Diamond

A symbol of raw strength and invulnerability, diamonds are the oldest and hardest minerals known to man.  Diamonds reflect a rainbow of hues and can also be found in a variety of shades including white, pink, green, blue, brown and black.  One of the rarest and oldest diamonds is the 530 carat Star of Africa which rests in the sceptre of the British crown jewels.

May -Emerald

A symbol of beauty and love historically associated with the goddess of Venus, the finest emeralds are as valuable as diamonds.  One of the largest emeralds is the Mogul Emerald which is cut in the form of a rectangular tablet and dates back to 1695.  Islamic prayers decorate this beautiful emerald tablet on one side and on the opposite side the stone is engraved with lavish flowers.  

June- Pearl

A symbol of faith and integrity, pearls are simply fun! They come in a large variety different shades including white, pink, yellow, blue, black, and grey.   A pearl is known to be a stone of innocence, helping one the path toward wisdom and personal growth.

June Birthstone

July – Ruby

A symbol of love and vitality, the ruby is a rich, red gemstone and second only to the diamond in hardness.  Rubies were traditionally mined in India where they were called the ‘king of gemstones’ from the Sanskrit ratnaraj.

July Birthstone

August – Peridot

A symbol of dignity and protection, peridot helps to regulate cycles of life.  Peridots are also one of the oldest gemstones and can be found in Egyptian jewelry as early as 2nd millenium B.C.  Peridot, with its bright apple green color, is a perfect gemstone for a cool summer wardrobe!

August Birthstone

 September – Sapphire

A symbol of serenity and harmony, sapphires are a versatile gemstone and come in many different shades including pink and white though they are mainly a deep blue.  Perhaps the most magnificent specimen of sapphire is the beautiful Star of India which was stolen in 1964 by Murph the Smurf and ransomed for $25,000.

September Birthstone

October – Opal

A symbol of happiness, the opal comes in many different colors ranging from Peruvian Opals with their teal hue to Mexican Fire Opals which flash brilliant red and orange to iridescent opals which reflect all the colors of the rainbow.  

October Birthstone

November – Citrine

Perfect those cool fall months or fresh summer days, yellow citrine reflects the colorful leaves of autumn and can be as light as a sunflower or as deep as amber.  Also known as gold topaz, Madeira, or Spanish topaz; citrine was historically mined in Spain.

November birthstone

December – Turquoise

Turquoise, December’s birthstone, is a soft gemstone and can be found where there are high concentrations of iron or copper.  Friendship, loyalty, and constancy are represented in turquoise, and the gemstone has been particularly valued by the Aztecs who used turquoise to decorate their ceremonial masks.

December Birthstone