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Diamond Education and Guidance


The San Francisco Diamond Exchange is devoted to fully educating our clients.  We find that once a client becomes educated on buying diamonds, they come to fully appreciate the exceptional quality and unmatched value of our offerings.


If you thought there were only four Cs, then we should talk

For generations, “The 4 Cs,” (Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut) were the only factors diamond buyers and sellers considered when evaluating diamonds but here at the San Francisco Diamond Exchange, we go beyond these specifications to give you the full story of a diamond, to truly understand what goes into making a smart diamond purchase.  

Diamond Carat Weight

A diamond’s weight is measured in carats.  Typically, the larger a diamond is, the more valuable it is, however diamonds of equal weights may vary widely in price based on their cut grades, colors and clarities.

Diamond Color

White diamonds are graded for color using a score ranging from

D to Z. The most popular colors for diamond jewelry range

from D to K color because they tend to appear white when

mounted.  Fancy colored diamonds are stones with pigment

concentrations past the color Z.  These stones can command

prices equal to or even above colorless diamonds.  This color

spectrum includes naturally tinted Yellow, Green, Orange, Red,

Pink and Blue diamonds.

Diamond Clarity

At GIA, a diamond is assigned a clarity grade based on natural inclusions and blemishes that are visible under 10X magnification. The diamond clarity grading scale starts from FL-IF (Flawless - Internal Flawless), VVS1-VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included), VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included), SI1-SI2 (Slightly Included) to I1-I2 & I3 (Included). 

GIA's Color Grading Scale
GIA Diamond Clarity Scale

Diamond Cut

The single most important factor in determining a diamond’s brilliance is its cut. Ideal cut diamonds, regardless of color and clarity, typically out shine higher grade stones with poor cut grades. Well cut diamonds more consistently hold their value than any other and can often command a premium.  

GIA Cut Scale

Diamond Certification

Although we do offer diamonds certified by the GIA, EGL and AGS as well as sell quality non-certified diamonds, our preferred option for our clients is that they purchase GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified stones, as they are the highest standard in the diamond industry and most credible.  

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