Education

Diamonds are cut into many different shapes, each having its own unique sparkle and purpose.

  • Asscher Cut Asscher
    Developed in Holland in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers, now known as the Royal Asscher cut, this cut has stepped squares and cropped corners, closely resembling the rectangular emerald cut diamond.
  • Round Cut Round
    The most common diamond shape sold today, round diamonds have 58 facets that shine brilliantly when cut correctly. It is used on almost all types of diamond jewelry.
  • Princess Cut Princess
    A relatively new cut and quickly gaining popularity, princess cut diamonds are most often used on engagement rings and tennis bracelets. It is a square shaped diamond cut with numerous sparkling facets.
  • Pear Cut Pear
    This tear drop-shaped diamond can be used for jewelry, such as pendants, earrings, or with other stones on rings. With its single point and round end, it creates a slimming effect on fingers when used for engagement rings.
  • Marquise Cut Marquise
    A very classic diamond shape, the marquise has an elongated shape with pointy ends. It is most commonly used as the center stone of an engagement ring, often times as a solitare stone to make it stand out.
  • Heart Cut Heart
    A beautiful shape to use especially for pendants, this symbol of love is cut in the shape of a heart. It is a very difficult diamond to cut correctly, so make sure to pay close attention to how even the stone is cut.
  • Radiant Cut Radiant
    Can be found square or rectangular, with 70 facets to maximize the effect of its sparkle. The design requires a lot of skill to make so that more light is directed toward the middle of the diamond to produce maximum brilliance.
  • Cushion Cut Cushion
    This antique cut is very popular for engagement rings, especially when it is surrounded by a "halo" of diamonds. It is very similar to the oval cut diamond in terms of shape and contains very large facets.
  • Oval Cut Oval
    An even and perfectly symmetrical cut, the oval shape diamond is a popular engagement ring shape for women with small hands. Its elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand.
  • Emerald Cut Emerald
    This rectangular shaped diamond with cut corners is easily identified by the "flat steps" that are cut into the diamond. Since it lacks the facets that other diamonds, inclusions and colors are more pronounced.

{ Hover over the diamond shapes above to find information about each one }

  • Cut
    The cut of the diamond determines how well it reflects light. When a diamond is well cut, the light is reflected from one facet to another, and is then dispersed through the top of the stone, making the diamond dazzling to the eye.
    However, if a diamond is cut too deep some of the light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion, brilliance is lost, and the center of the diamond will appear dark. If a diamond is cut too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected, again brilliance is lost and the diamond will appear glassy and dark.
    Cut is the hardest aspect for any diamond cutter or polisher to master, however modern day certificates assist you in making the right decision. GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the most respected of all diamond certificates and assesses cut ranging from Excellent as the best all the way down to Poor as the worst. We strictly work with Excellent cut diamonds that have been hand picked to maximize brilliance.
    Hearts and Arrows is a modern term commonly used by most industry workers for the public to view and see eight hearts from the back of a diamond, view from the culet. And eight arrows clearly showing, viewed from the table under a heart and arrow scope (a small device manufactured for that purpose).
    At La Bijouterie, we’re certified diamond graders from the Gemological Institute of America and the Diamond High Council in Antwerp. It is our duty to show you and explain to you why one diamond’s cut is better than another.
  • Clarity
    Each and every diamond is one of a kind. No single diamond is absolutely perfect under 10× magnification (under a loupe), except for diamonds that have been graded ‘Flawless’ by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). These are extremely rare, so much so that most jewelers have never even SEEN one let alone sold one!
    The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories.
    In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.

    The grades range from Flawless to Included as follows:
    Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.
    Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.
    Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification.
    Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.
    Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification.
    Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.
  • Carat
    Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams. A carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. However, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values depending on the other factors (clarity, color, cut and other dimensions).
  • Color
    Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color in the white diamond, then the higher the value.
    GIA’s color grading scale for diamonds is the industry and international standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing color to the letter Z, which is essentially light yellow or brown. Each letter grade isn’t an exact color, but it is a RANGE of color. Meaning a Diamond of D color at the top of the range will be whiter, while a diamond near the bottom of the range will look more like an E color. It takes a diamond expert to distinguish these differences.
    White diamond engagement rings are the most sought after. If you are considering a white diamond, G-H color diamonds are most popular as they do not display a yellow tinge. I to J color diamonds could also look white under natural daylight (sunlight), and there are multiple ways that an expert designer can set the diamond in order to make any hint of yellow undetectable.
  • Diamond Care
    At La Bijouterie we offer a lifetime cleaning service to our customers. For the life of the ring, we will clean it in our ultrasonic cleaner as often as you like, we will also check the setting and make sure the diamond is safe and secure free of charge.
    Our industrial strength ultrasonic cleaner that zaps the dirt away at over 20,000 beats a minute. It is a very quick process and takes less than 30 seconds to remove all the oil and dirt. This is a complimentary service to all of our customers for life. Other options include the following: 
    Detergent Bath
    The detergent bath is performed with a small bowl of warm suds using any mild liquid detergent. Immerse jewelry pieces in the suds and brush gently with a toothbrush. Rinse under warm running water and pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
    Jewelry Cleaner
    The quick dip method uses one of the liquid jewelry care products available. Follow the instructions on the kit.
    Ultrasonic Cleaners
    Jewelry manufacturers and workshops use ultrasonic cleaning tanks. In these, the actual cleaning is performed by the cleaning solution, usually a mixture of ammonia and detergent, the ultrasonics merely provide the agitation to speed up the process. Small domestic ultrasonic cleaners are now available, and many jewelry stores sell them as well. As our customer, you're always welcome to come in for a complimentary cleaning!

Visit La Bijouterie
1931 Union St., 
San Francisco, CA 94123

Tel.: (415) 775-6622

Hours: 
Mon.:  Closed.
Tue. & Thu.: 11am to 7pm
Wed. & Fri.: 11am to 6pm
Sat. : 11am to 5pm
Sun.: 12pm to 4pm
Last Sunday of each Month: Closed

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