||Question: Do you have a physical store?
Answer: No. We are an Internet-only organization, located in an office in Midtown Manhattan from where we manufacture and ship diamonds, jewelry and watches. We do not have a retail store. If we did operate a retail store, we would not be able to offer diamonds, jewelry and watches at such affordable prices because our operating costs would be significantly higher.
Question: Can I come to see the watch, diamond, or jewelry at your office?
Answer: We do not allow customers to visit our offices, except by previously arranged appointment. We are not set up as a retail store and for security and insurance reasons, and because of the high value of jewelry on our premises, we can only permit visitors into our visitor waiting area. We only permit employees into the main office.
Question: How long have you been in business?
Answer: Gemnation's shareholders have been diamond, watch and jewelry merchants and wholesalers for over 20 years. As an Internet business, the website was in development since early 2002 and has been live, serving customers, since May 2003.
Question: What is the most important diamond quality that I should be concerned about?
Answer: The most important characteristic to look for when purchasing a diamond is "cut". Diamond cut is a term applied to the overall proportions of the stone. A diamond with an ideal cut will reflect the maximum amount of light back to the observer. Gemnation applies a set of mathematical formulae to calculate diamond cut for you, and these formulae are 99% accurate based on visual confirmation.
More information about diamond cut
Question: What are a diamond's depth and table, and why are they important?
Answer: The total depth of the diamond is a ratio (expressed as a percentage) calculated by dividing diamond height (i.e. from top to bottom) into diamond diameter (the widest horizontal diamond segment). The diamond's table is the largest facet on the top of the stone usually shaped like a square or rectangle. Table percentage is a ratio calculated by dividing table width into diamond diameter. Diamond depth and table ratios are used in computing overall diamond cut. Explore a visual representation of diamond parts.
Question: What are the most important diamond characteristics after cut?
Answer: After cut, most people consider color, then clarity, carat size, culet, girdle, symmetry, and polish when evaluating a diamond's overall quality.
Question: What diamond shape is best?
Answer: All diamond shapes are beautiful. Round stones have the prefered proportioning to maximize the amount of light returned to the observer. This may be why round diamonds are the most popular with customers. Moreover, they offer a classical beauty that is always in style. Square or rectangular shaped stones such as emerald, princess, radiant and asscher, are also extremely popular. Other fancy shapes - pears, ovals, marquises, cushions, hearts and trilliants - are also beautiful and their unique shapes reflect the individuality of their wearers.
Question: I want a stone that doesn't look like it has any defects. What diamond should I buy?
Answer: Clarity is an indication of the quantity, quality and location of inclusions within a diamond. Internally flawless diamonds are extremely rare and have no internal inclusions visible under high microscope magnification. These diamonds, however, are expensive and not necessary to achieve an "eye clean" stone.
"Eye clean" is the term used to describe diamonds that have no visible inclusions perceptible with the unaided eye (i.e. with no additional magnification). Some diamond shapes are affected more by inclusions. Emerald-cut stones are particularly "unforgiving" when it comes to clarity. A 1 carat emerald cut diamond with VS2 clarity may have some eye-visible inclusions. As a general rule, the same cannot be said for a round or princess cut diamond. These diamonds may be graded SI2-clarity and still be eye clean.
Question: I'm not sure at all what diamond size or quality to purchase. Can you help me?
Answer: This is a popular question. It all depends on what is most important to you, but here at Gemnation, we professionals would follow these guidelines:
First select a quality cut, either premium ideal, ideal or excellent. This is a good way to ensure that your diamond will reflect a superior amount of light. Then choose a good color. If you're interested in an investment grade diamond you will want to choose a colorless stone (D, E or F). But for the rest of us, a near-colorless G- or H-color diamond is the best choice. It is less expensive than the colorless grades, but still appears perfectly white to the naked eye especially when mounted.
Next, we would choose a clarity that is completely eye-clean. Inclusions can affect the internal light refraction within a stone, so look for VS2 or SI1 clarity in all shapes except an emerald-cut. An emerald cut diamond shows inclusions readily and should be VS1-clarity or higher, especially over 1 carat in size. For investment-grade clarity, look for VVS or IF diamonds.
Other diamond characteristics are also important. We prefer a diamond that has no culet (the sharp point at the bottom of the stone. The sharper the point - the closer to none - the less light will leak out the bottom of the diamond). Fluorescence is generally avoided in higher color stones, and if you go with our suggestion of a G-color stone, then you will probably want a diamond with none or faint fluorescence. Lower color stones, such as I or J color may benefit somewhat from more fluorescence (e.g. Medium or Strong).
Polish and symmetry can also affect the diamond's overall quality. If we have to choose, we prefer better symmetry than polish. Symmetry and polish that is good or better is prefered. It is not necessary to purchase a diamond with excellent symmetry and polish. The slight improvement in symmetry and polish from an excellent grading does not necessarily justify the large price differential. Of course, an excellent grading in either polish or symmetry is better, but it will be unnoticeable to the naked eye. If we had the choice, we would rather choose a better cut.
Now that you have weighed all your options, you can select a carat size that fits within your budget.
Question: I've heard that diamonds for earrings or pendants can be of a lower overall quality than diamonds used in engagement rings. Is this true?
Answer: The above statement is generally true. Engagement rings tend to be observed more closely and displayed more prominently. The same is not necessarily true for earrings and pendants.
Question: I've heard that GIA is the best diamond grading report. Is this correct?
Answer: The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has a gemological testing laboratory that produces excellent diamond grading reports. Although the GIA is the most popular in the United States, it is by no means the only choice when considering diamond or gemstone grading.
The American Gemological Society (AGS) also has their own lab (AGSL) and they are as good - and some consider them even better - than the GIA in their grading precision. The AGSL produces similar grading reports to the GIA, and they also provide information concerning angles and cut. The GIA only presents cut grading on their 2006 round-diamond grading reports.
The European Gemological Laboratory (EGL), and International Gemological Institute (IGI), both with labs in the United States, are two other recognized grading authorities. In addition, the Belgium HRD, although far less popular in the United States, is also prudent in their grading.
It should be noted, however, that when comparing EGL or IGI grading information to that produced by the GIA, AGS or HRD, both color and clarity designations on EGL and IGI reports should be downgraded by at least one grade in order to make a fair comparison with a comparative GIA, AGS or HRD diamond, e.g. if an IGI or EGL report shows color as G and clarity as VS1, it should be compared with an H-color, VS2-clarity diamond in an accompanying GIA, AGS or HRD report.
Question: How do I get a larger diamond for my money, without forfeiting diamond cut?
Answer: There is a popular method for selecting a larger diamond without sacrificing diamond quality, and yet still maintaining price. Diamond experts look for 'spready' stones - diamonds that appear larger than their carat weight would imply.
An example serves best to illustrate this concept. Suppose you have two 1 carat round diamonds in front of you. (This method applies equally well to all shapes). The diamond on the left has a depth percentage of 59.5 and a table percentage of 55. The diamond on the right has a depth percentage of 61.9 and the same table percentage. Both diamonds are ideal, yet the former diamond has a diameter of 6.60mm and the latter diamond has a diameter of 6.45mm. The first diamond is wider by almost 2.5%. Although seemingly insignificant, the wider diamond may appear to be almost 0.10ct larger than the other stone, despite their identical carat weights.
Although both diamonds have ideal cut proportions, the diamond with the shallower (although still ideal) depth, appears larger than the comparatively deeper stone.
My question wasn't listed on this faq. Where can I find the answer?
Answer: About Us provides information regarding payment options, shipping, and more.
We have comprehensive information about watch and jewelry warranty, watch sourcing and watch care.
The Education section features the basics for diamond buying and mounting in platinum and gold, information about the history and marketing of diamonds, as well as information about rubies, sapphires and pearls.
Our Sitemap provides links to every static page on the Gemnation website.
If you have any questions or you cannot find what you are looking for on our website, we encourage you to contact Gemnation. A professional will be happy to help answer any questions you may have. You can Contact us Toll Free: 866-323-TIME, or: 718-663-3970 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am and 4pm eastern time. The Contact Us page lists holiday closings and additional information. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.