Buyers Guide

Carat Weight:

The scale that is used to describe diamond weights uses very small units. A carat equals 1/5 of one gram. A carat is divided into 100 points.

A diamond can be described as 75 points or .75 carats or 3/4 of a carat. It is a good practice to know the exact weight of a diamond when buying or selling.


The cut of a diamond has two main components. First, cut refers to the shape of the stone. Round, marquise, pear, oval, square, and princess all describe the shape of the diamond.

The second component is the way the facets are positioned on the diamond. When a diamond is cut to quality proportions the maximum light is returned through the top of the stone, resulting in a great light show. Cuts that are too shallow or too deep allow light to escape, resulting in loss of brilliance.


Judging diamond color actually means looking for the absence of color or transparency (except in the case of fancy colors). The color grading scale starts with D, meaning totally colorless, and moves down the alphabet as the stone subtly increases in body color.


Most diamonds contain inclusions. Inclusions are natural birthmarks and are useful as identifying characteristics. Clarity grading is done with 10 power magnification. The number, size, type, and location of inclusions determine the grade. The fewer inclusions the more valuable the diamond.

Sanford Design

9224 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, Washington 98115

Business Hours

Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.