Buying a Diamond

Buying a diamond might seem like a daunting task at first. There’s a lot to learn before making such an important purchase. Shane Co. believes that information is power, and is committed educating people on the proper way to evaluate diamonds so they are empowered to make an informed decision. Here are the essentials you should know (you can also see an infographic on buying a diamond).

Image 1 of Buying a Diamond

Diamonds are graded on four characteristics, commonly known as the 4 Cs: Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut.

Diamond Lab Reports

Diamond grading is a subjective process and there is no one way to grade any single diamond. If you wish to purchase a diamond using the diamond lab report (or ‘cert’) for reference we recommend you focus on color, clarity and carat.


Diamonds are sold by carat (ct.) weight. For two diamonds of equal quality, the larger the carat weight, the more rare and valuable the diamond.


Clarity refers to the degree to which the diamond contains naturally occurring inclusions. The clarity grades range from F (for flawless) to I3 (with visible inclusions). Inclusion can be thought of as the fingerprint of your diamond.


Of the four Cs, cut has the greatest influence on the diamond’s sparkle, brilliance and fire. Cut refers to the number, placement, angling and shape of the diamond’s facets. The facets function as prisms, capturing and reflecting light inside the diamond.

A well-cut diamond reflects and refracts the maximum amount of light back through the top of the diamond to your eye, creating lots of sparkle. A poorly cut diamond reflects light out of the sides or the bottom of the diamond, giving the stone a dull and lifeless look.


The color grade refers to how much the diamond’s color deviates from a true absence of color. Color grades are based on letters of the alphabet and a range from D (colorless) to W (light yellow).

Understanding Subjectivity

It might surprise you to learn that diamond grading is far from an exact science. There are several major gemological laboratories and the grades each lab assigns to each diamond it certifies are the opinions of the individual at the lab who graded the diamond, based on the lab’s own subjective grading standards.

Some labs are looser or stricter when grading cut, color and clarity, and some are more consistent in applying their grading standards than others. So if different labs were to grade the exact same diamond, they would typically give the diamond different grades.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is known for having the strictest grading standards of the leading labs and is also the most consistent. The European Gemological Laboratory International (EGLI) generally has looser grading standards and consistently grades diamonds 2 to 2.5 grades higher than GIA.

Why Choose Shane Co. for Your Diamond?

Shane Co’s diamond buyers go directly to the diamond cutters in Antwerp, Tel Aviv and Mumbai where the diamonds are first sorted by their lab grade. Then our buyers examine each diamond one at a time and handpick only those stones with breathtaking sparkle. Therefore, a Shane Co. diamond always has more sparkle than any other jeweler’s diamond with the same lab grade.

Shane Co’s team of Graduate Gemologists examines and grades each and every diamond purchased by our diamond buyers. These grades are in addition to any third-party reports available about that diamond.

Free Lifetime Warranty & Upgrade Policy

When you purchase a diamond from Shane Co. you receive a completely complimentary lifetime warranty, no matter how near or far you are from a Shane Co. store location.

With the most generous policy in the industry Shane Co. allows you to upgrade your diamond to a larger stone and pay only the difference in price between the two stones. Most other jewelers make you spend double to upgrade.

Learn more about Diamonds

Shane Co.’s salespeople are highly trained experts who are not paid on commission, so you’ll receive objective information and guidance, with no pressure to buy or to spend more than you want.

You can chat online with one of their diamond experts at, or speak with an expert by phone at 1-866-467-4263. They’ll be happy to explain all of Shane Co.’s products and services to you, including diamond laser inscribing, the ultimate way to personalize your diamond forever.