Providing education so you get the best value on your diamond, engagement ring or jewelry purchase.

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We Have Helped Thousands of Jewelry Buyers

250,000+ readers since Teach Jewelry’s founding in 2021

Helped 300+ readers find the right piece of jewelry

170+ comprehensive articles on diamonds and jewelry

We are GIA Applied Jewelry Professional experts.

Jacob Clarke, the founder of Teach Jewelry, is a GIA Applied Jewelry Professional. We are able to apply this knowledge to help people make smart decisions about diamonds and jewelry. 

This site was started so he could share his expertise about jewelry. It has now helped more than 200,000 people learn about topics like the four Cs, diamond ring settings, and how to shop for a diamond online. We have connected with hundreds of our readers who have gone on to find the right piece of jewelry for their special occasion. We are glad to have been part of that journey.

Learn what you need to know from Teach Jewelry, so you can shine with confidence before you buy.

Jacob Clarke from Teach Jewelry
Jacob Clarke, Founder of Teach Jewelry

Shopping Recommendations

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"I was completely lost when I started looking for an engagement ring, but this website made the process so much easier! The articles on diamond clarity, cut, and color helped me understand what to look for, and I ended up finding the perfect ring within my budget. Thank you!"
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A Must-Read Before Buying Diamonds
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"Teach Jewelry saved me from making a costly mistake. I was about to buy a diamond without understanding the importance of the cut, but after reading the articles here, I realized I needed to prioritize cut over size. So grateful for this resource!"
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Beginner-Friendly Guide with Helpful Resources
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Wide Range of Topics but Could Be More User-Friendly
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"The website covers a wide range of topics, which is great, but it can be a bit overwhelming. A better organization or a search function would help users find the information they need more easily."
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"I love that this website empowers consumers through education. The more we know about what we're buying, the better choices we can make. This site is doing a great job at facilitating that."
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Kay Jewelers, a staple in American jewelry since 1916, merges tradition with modern retail strategies. Renowned for personalized in-store experiences and a diverse product range including exclusive designer collaborations, Kay faces challenges in pricing and diamond certification compared to online retailers. Their commitment to customer service, evidenced through comprehensive guarantees and financing options, contrasts with the need for greater transparency in diamond quality. This article delves into Kay’s market position, customer experience, and the evolving landscape of jewelry retail.

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A Comprehensive Review of Zales Jewelry Store

Zales, a notable player in the American jewelry market, has captivated customers with its fine jewelry, especially diamonds, since 1924. Operating under Signet Jewelers, it offers an extensive collection, including diamond and gemstone pieces. While Zales embraces traditional store experiences, it also adapts to the digital era, reflecting the evolving dynamics of retail. However, its in-house diamond certification and pricing strategies raise questions about quality and value, contrasting with its competitors’ more transparent and certified offerings.

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The Enduring Legacy of Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

The Asscher cut diamond, a fusion of history and modern elegance, emerged in 1902, capturing hearts with its geometric symmetry and unique “hall of mirrors” effect. Revered for its vintage charm and sophisticated design, it gained prominence in the Art Deco era. This resurgence, propelled by advancements and celebrity influences, cements its status in contemporary jewelry, symbolizing a blend of antique allure and modern sophistication, making it a distinguished choice for engagement rings

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A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Pavé Diamond Ring

Pavé diamond rings offer a dazzling display of closely set diamonds. Our guide explores the intricate craft behind these timeless pieces, from single-row bands to ornate full pavé settings. Perfect for various occasions, they complement any style, ensuring durability and lasting beauty. Discover your ideal pavé ring with our reviews comparing top jewelry stores’ craftsmanship, diamond quality, and design, helping you make an informed choice between the convenience of online shopping and the traditional retail experience.

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Exploring the Intersection of AI and Fine Jewelry: This article delves into AI’s role in designing unique engagement rings, focusing on Midjourney AI’s creations. We examine the balance between aesthetics and practicality, analyzing pieces like the Vintage-Inspired Champagne Diamond Ring and the Contemporary Crossover Pavé Diamond Ring. Highlighting aspects like VS1 and VVS1 diamond clarity, F and G color ratings, and the interplay of fire vs brilliance, we showcase how AI blends traditional craftsmanship with innovative technology in jewelry design.

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4 c's of diamond quality

Diamond Buying Guide: Top 20 Questions Answered

Q1: What factors should I consider when choosing a diamond?
A1: When choosing a diamond, consider the 4C’s: Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity. Carat refers to weight, Cut to how well the diamond reflects light, Color to its colorlessness, and Clarity to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. Your budget and personal preferences also play a significant role. It’s essential to balance these factors to find a diamond that meets your aesthetic and financial preferences.

Q2: How does the 4C’s (Carat, Cut, Color, Clarity) affect a diamond’s value?
A2: The 4C’s significantly affect a diamond’s value. A well-cut diamond exhibits brilliance and sparkle. Carat weight influences size and price. Color denotes the degree of colorlessness, with D being colorless and Z being light color. Clarity reflects the presence of internal or external flaws, with fewer inclusions leading to higher value. Understanding the 4C’s helps in appreciating a diamond’s quality and value.

Q3: What is the importance of a diamond’s cut?
A3: The cut is arguably the most crucial factor as it affects the diamond’s brilliance and sparkle. A well-cut diamond reflects light beautifully, maximizing its fire and brilliance, while a poorly cut diamond may appear dull, regardless of its color or clarity. Investing in a well-cut diamond ensures a visually stunning stone.

Q4: How does carat weight impact the size and price of a diamond?
A4: Carat weight measures a diamond’s weight, not its size, although higher carat weight often translates to a larger appearance. It significantly impacts the price, with higher carat diamonds being more expensive. However, slight differences in carat weight may not be easily noticeable, allowing for cost savings by choosing just under popular carat weights.

Q5: What is the difference between white diamonds and colored diamonds?
A5: White or colorless diamonds are traditionally used for engagement rings, graded on a color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light color). Colored diamonds, on the other hand, are valued for their hue intensity, and come in various colors like blue, pink, and yellow. They offer a unique and often contemporary alternative to traditional white diamonds.

Q6: What are the different diamond shapes available?
A6: Diamonds come in various shapes including Round, Princess (square), Oval, Cushion, Emerald (rectangular with cut corners), Asscher (square with cut corners), Marquise (elongated with pointed ends), Radiant (rectangular with cut corners), Pear (a mix of round and marquise), and Heart. Each shape has a unique cut and reflects light differently, affecting the diamond’s brilliance.

Q7: What are the popular setting styles for diamond rings?
A7: Popular setting styles include Solitaire (holds a single diamond), Halo (surrounds the center diamond with smaller diamonds), Pave (small diamonds set closely together), Channel (diamonds set within a groove in the band), Bezel (metal encases the diamond), and Three-Stone (features a central diamond flanked by two other gems). Each setting style showcases the diamond differently and complements varying personal styles.

Q8: How do I determine the correct ring size?
A8: Determining the correct ring size can be done using a ring sizer, measuring a ring that fits well, or getting sized at a jeweler. It’s vital to consider the width of the band and ensure the size allows for comfortable movement over the knuckle, especially during temperature changes which can affect finger size.

Q9: What is the significance of a diamond’s certification?
A9: A diamond’s certification provides an expert analysis of its 4C’s, along with other characteristics like symmetry, polish, and fluorescence. It verifies the diamond’s quality and ensures you get what you pay for. Always buy certified diamonds from reputable labs like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS).

Q10: How can I ensure that the diamond I’m buying is ethically sourced?
A10: Ensuring ethical sourcing involves buying from reputable retailers who adhere to strict sourcing standards. Look for certifications like the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) which aims to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. Additionally, consider purchasing lab-grown diamonds or diamonds sourced from countries with strict mining regulations.

Q11: What is the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds?
A11: Lab-grown diamonds are created in controlled environments using advanced technological processes, while natural diamonds are formed naturally in the earth over millions of years. Both are chemically, physically, and optically identical, but lab-grown diamonds are often more affordable and environmentally friendly.

Q12: Are there alternatives to diamonds for engagement rings?
A12: Yes, gemstones like sapphires, rubies, emeralds, or moissanites are popular alternatives. They offer unique colors and cost less than diamonds. Each gemstone has its own set of characteristics in terms of hardness, sparkle, and rarity.

Q13: How should I care for and clean my diamond ring?
A13: Regular cleaning with mild soap and water, and annual check-ups with a jeweler to ensure the setting is secure, will keep your diamond ring in good condition. Avoid harsh chemicals or rough handling.

Q14: How does the metal type of the ring band affect the overall look of the diamond?
A14: The metal type can complement or contrast with the diamond. White metals like platinum or white gold accentuate the diamond’s colorlessness, while yellow or rose gold create a warm, vintage look.

Q15: What is the process to custom design a diamond ring?
A15: Custom design involves choosing a diamond, selecting a metal for the band, and deciding on the ring’s style and setting. Working with a jeweler, you can create sketches or 3D models, make adjustments, and then have the ring crafted to your specifications.

Q16: What are the common misconceptions about diamonds?
A16: Common misconceptions include believing that carat refers to size, not weight, or that a diamond’s value solely depends on its carat weight. Also, some may think all diamonds are conflict-free or that higher color grade always means a better diamond, which depends on personal preferences and the overall balance of the 4Cs.

Q17: How can I maximize my budget when buying a diamond ring?
A17: To maximize your budget, consider going just under popular carat weights, choosing a high-quality cut, and prioritizing the features most important to you. Also, exploring lab-grown diamonds or buying from one of the best online diamond stores can offer cost savings.

Q18: What is the resale value of diamonds?
A18: Diamonds typically have a lower resale value than their purchase price due to retail markups. The resale value can also be affected by the diamond’s quality, current market demand, and where you choose to sell it.

Q19: How do I insure my diamond ring?
A19: Insure your diamond ring by getting it appraised, then finding an insurance policy that covers loss, theft, and damage. Include a detailed description and photos of the ring in your policy for thorough coverage.

Q20: What are the current trends in diamond engagement rings?
A20: Current trends include vintage-inspired designs, unique shapes like oval or cushion, and sustainability-focused choices like lab-grown diamonds or recycled metals. Personalized or custom-designed rings are also popular, allowing for a unique expression of personal style.

Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Diamond

Embarking on the journey to find the perfect diamond is both exciting and overwhelming. Whether you’re selecting a dazzling engagement ring or a stunning piece of jewelry for a special occasion, the choices can seem endless. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate through the essential aspects of diamond selection, from understanding the 4Cs to exploring diamond shapes, settings, ethical considerations, and the latest trends. With expert insights and practical tips, you’ll be well-equipped to make a brilliant choice.

The 4Cs: The Foundation of Diamond Quality

The 4Cs—Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity—form the foundation of diamond quality and value. Understanding these characteristics will help you appreciate the unique beauty of each diamond and make an informed decision.

Carat: The Weighty Matter

Carat weight measures the actual weight of the diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams, and each carat is subdivided into 100 points. While carat weight often influences the perceived size of the diamond, it’s not the sole factor. The cut and shape also play crucial roles in how large a diamond appears.

  • Impact on Price: Higher carat weight generally increases the price, but two diamonds of the same carat weight can have vastly different prices based on their cut, color, and clarity.
  • Size Perception: Diamonds just below popular carat weights (e.g., 0.95 carats instead of 1.0 carat) can appear nearly identical in size but be significantly less expensive.

“Choosing a diamond just under a significant carat weight, like 0.95 instead of 1.0, can offer great savings without a noticeable size difference,” says gemologist Jane Smith.

Cut: The Brilliance Factor

The cut of a diamond is paramount as it determines how well the diamond interacts with light. The cut influences the diamond’s brilliance (the white light reflected from the surface and interior), fire (the dispersion of light into colors), and scintillation (the sparkle when the diamond is moved).

  • Cut Grades: Cut grades range from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, to Poor. A diamond with an Excellent cut grade will have superior brilliance and sparkle.
  • Proportions: The proportions of the diamond, including the depth and table size, are critical to achieving optimal light performance. A well-proportioned diamond will reflect light internally from one facet to another and then disperse it through the top.

“The cut of a diamond is the key to its soul,” explains master jeweler John Doe. “A perfect cut enhances the stone’s natural light and makes it truly come alive.”

Color: The Spectrum of Elegance

Diamonds are graded on a color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Colorless diamonds (D-F) are rarer and more valuable because they allow more light to pass through, creating a brilliant sparkle.

  • Near-Colorless Diamonds: Diamonds in the G-H range are considered near-colorless and offer excellent value, often appearing colorless to the untrained eye.
  • Color Preference: Personal preference plays a significant role. Some people prefer the warmth of diamonds with slight color, especially in vintage-style settings.

“A slight hint of color can sometimes add a unique charm,” notes diamond expert Emily Rose. “It’s all about personal preference and finding the hue that speaks to you.”

Clarity: The Inner Perfection

Clarity assesses the presence of inclusions (internal flaws) and blemishes (external flaws). Clarity grades range from Flawless (no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification) to Included (inclusions and/or blemishes visible to the naked eye).

  • Impact on Appearance: Many inclusions are microscopic and don’t affect the diamond’s beauty to the naked eye. Diamonds in the VS1-VS2 range offer a great balance between clarity and value.
  • Types of Inclusions: Common inclusions include crystals, feathers, and clouds. The size, number, position, and visibility of these inclusions determine the clarity grade.

“Inclusions are like a diamond’s fingerprints,” says gemologist Laura White. “They tell a story of its natural formation and can even add to its character.”

Exploring Diamond Shapes

Diamonds come in various shapes, each offering a unique aesthetic and different ways of reflecting light. Here are some popular shapes to consider:

  • Round: The most popular shape known for its maximum brilliance and fire. The round brilliant cut has 58 facets, which provide exceptional sparkle.
  • Princess: A modern, square-shaped diamond with pointed corners. It’s known for its brilliance and contemporary appeal.
  • Oval: An elongated shape that appears larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight. Its length can make fingers appear longer and slimmer.
  • Cushion: Also known as the “pillow cut,” this shape has rounded corners and large facets, giving it a vintage charm with modern brilliance.
  • Emerald: A rectangular shape with step cuts, known for its elegant and sophisticated appearance. The large, open table highlights the clarity of the diamond.
  • Asscher: Similar to the emerald cut but square-shaped with a deep pavilion and high crown, offering a unique vintage look.
  • Marquise: An elongated shape with pointed ends, creating a dramatic and bold appearance. It maximizes carat weight, giving the illusion of a larger size.
  • Radiant: A rectangular or square shape with brilliant-cut facets, combining the elegance of the emerald shape with the brilliance of the round.
  • Pear: A combination of round and marquise shapes with a single point, offering a unique and elegant look. It’s perfect for those seeking a distinctive style.
  • Heart: The ultimate symbol of love, featuring a distinct heart shape. It’s a romantic and unique choice for engagement rings.

“Each diamond shape reflects light differently, creating a unique personality for every stone,” explains jewelry designer Daniel Stone. “Choosing the right shape is all about matching it with your style and personality.”

The Perfect Setting

The setting style of a diamond ring plays a crucial role in showcasing the stone and complementing the wearer’s style. Here are some popular setting styles:

  • Solitaire: A classic and timeless choice that holds a single diamond. It’s simple yet elegant, allowing the diamond to be the focal point.
  • Halo: Surrounds the center diamond with smaller diamonds, creating a halo effect that enhances the size and sparkle of the main stone.
  • Pavé: Small diamonds are set closely together, covering the band and creating a continuous sparkle. It’s a glamorous and eye-catching style.
  • Channel: Diamonds are set within a groove in the band, offering a sleek and modern look while protecting the stones.
  • Bezel: The diamond is encased in a metal rim, providing a contemporary and secure setting. It’s ideal for active lifestyles.
  • Three-Stone: Features a central diamond flanked by two smaller gems, symbolizing the past, present, and future. It’s a meaningful and elegant choice.

“The setting is like a frame for a beautiful painting,” says jewelry expert Michelle Gold. “It enhances the diamond and adds to its overall beauty.”

Ethical Considerations and Certification

Ensuring your diamond is ethically sourced is crucial for peace of mind and responsible purchasing. Here are key aspects to consider:

  • Conflict-Free Diamonds: Look for certifications like the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to avoid conflict diamonds, which fund armed conflict and human rights abuses.
  • Lab-Grown Diamonds: These diamonds are created in controlled environments using advanced technological processes. They are chemically, physically, and optically identical to natural diamonds but are often more affordable and environmentally friendly.
  • Reputable Retailers: Purchase from retailers who adhere to strict ethical sourcing standards. Reputable jewelers provide transparency about the origins of their diamonds.

“Knowing the origin of your diamond gives peace of mind and adds to the joy of wearing it,” remarks sustainability advocate Lisa Green.

Additionally, always buy certified diamonds from reputable labs like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS) to verify the diamond’s quality.

Current Trends and Personalization

Today’s trends in diamond engagement rings include vintage-inspired designs, unique shapes, and sustainability-focused choices. Here are some popular trends:

  • Vintage-Inspired Designs: Rings with intricate details, milgrain edges, and antique settings are making a comeback. They offer a timeless and romantic appeal.
  • Unique Shapes: Shapes like oval, pear, and cushion are gaining popularity for their distinctive look and modern elegance.
  • Sustainability: Lab-grown diamonds and recycled metals are increasingly popular among environmentally conscious consumers. These choices provide a sustainable and ethical alternative.
  • Personalization: Custom-designed rings allow for a unique expression of personal style. From selecting the diamond and setting to engraving meaningful messages, customization ensures a one-of-a-kind piece.

“Customizing your ring means creating something truly unique and personal,” says designer Alex Jewel. “It becomes a piece that tells your own love story.”

Caring for Your Diamond

Proper care ensures your diamond remains brilliant and beautiful for years to come. Here are some tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your diamond regularly with mild soap and water. Use a soft brush to remove dirt and oils that can dull its sparkle.
  • Professional Check-Ups: Have your ring inspected annually by a jeweler to ensure the setting is secure and the diamond is in good condition.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Remove your ring when using harsh chemicals or engaging in activities that could damage the diamond or setting.

“A diamond’s beauty should last a lifetime,” advises jeweler Rachel Bright. “Regular care and maintenance will keep it looking as stunning as the day you got it.”

Conclusion: A Journey Worth Every Sparkle

Choosing the perfect diamond is a blend of art and science, requiring an understanding of the 4Cs, an appreciation for various shapes and settings, and a commitment to ethical sourcing. By balancing these elements with your budget and personal style, you’ll find a diamond that truly sparkles with meaning and beauty.

Whether you’re guided by expert advice or your own intuition, the journey to finding the perfect diamond is an experience filled with discovery and delight. Let each facet of the process reflect the brilliance of your unique love story.

I’m passionately committed to guiding you in your quest for the ideal piece of jewelry. Your confidence and satisfaction in your choice matter deeply to me.

Should you have questions or seek insights on potential jewelry or diamond picks, there are several ways to reach out:

Together, we will find the ideal piece of jewelry to suit your needs and preferences.