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Jewelry Education

Before purchasing a diamond and/or some of the best diamond jewelry online, it is important to know the facts. Diamonds have many characteristics that can affect their value and add to their uniqueness. In our education brief, will give you all of the information you will need to make an educated purchasing decision. However, if you should have any more questions, please contact us at 847-367-7022 or email us at

The History of Diamonds

The word, diamond, comes from the Greek word, adámas, meaning “unbreakable.” This meaning, “unbreakable” led to it being the symbol of unbreakable love. A diamond is formed in the Earth’s mantle under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions and brought near to the Earth’s surface by volcanic eruptions. First recognized in India as religious icons, diamonds have been a symbol of love and wealth for centuries. Their use as the preferred gem in engagement and wedding rings is suited for everyday wear because of their durability. Unlike many other gems, diamonds are the hardest gemstone, and they maintain their polish extremely well.


Facet Parts The cut of a diamond is related to its sparkle. The better the diamond cut, the more scintillation it will have. Cut is considered to be the most crucial of the 4C’s, as all the facets have to work in harmony to create the greatest brilliance or sparkle, which is what makes diamonds so desirable. A well-cut diamond can reflect up to 90% of the light from above, while a fair or poor cut diamond will only reflect about 40% of the light. The proportions of the cut can have an effect on how the light is reflected. A shallow cut diamond (the bottom half lacks depth) will reflect light down. A diamond cut too deep will reflect light off of the side. The ideal cut allows the light to reflect off of the top of the diamond.

The Light Handling Properties of a Diamond

Cut so that the light is reflected back through the top of the stone
Too Deep; allowing light to escape through side
Too Shallow; allowing light to escape from the bottom

The seven most popular diamond shapes are princess, marquise, pear, emerald, oval, heart, and round (also called brilliant). The most popular shape is the classic brilliant.

princess sm princess


marquis sm marquise


pear sm pear


Emerald sm emerald


oval sm oval


heart sm heart


round new sm round

Round, Brilliant Diamond

trillion sm trilliant


radiant sm radiant



A diamond’s color can either detract from or enhance its value; a chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is transparent with no hue or color. Color in diamonds can be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. When a more yellow tint or color is visible in a diamond, the price is discounted. The whiter the diamond, the higher the price. Diamonds are graded on the “D” to “Z” scale determined by the Gemological Institute. A Diamond with a “D” rating is blue-white and is the purest white found in a diamond. The “Z” rating is given to diamonds with a yellow tint. Diamonds that receive the “D” rating are higher in price. However, intense pink or blue diamonds can be dramatically more valuable due to their rarity.


Loose Diamonds appear Colorless. Most rare when factoring color.

near colorless
Near Colorless

These Diamonds appear Colorless to all but the trained eye.

Faint Yellow
Faint Yellow

When mounted, gems of 1/2 Carat or more show traces of color.

light yellow
Very Light Yellow

Increasingly yellow tint is viewable to even the untrained eye.

Light Yellow

Yellow tint is obvious. Known as "Champagne" colored.


The clarity of a diamond relates to its internal characteristics that affect the overall appearance of the diamond. Inclusions, internal flaws, blemishes, and defects on the outside of a diamond are less desirable. These inclusions do not affect the diamond's performance or structural integrity, but large clouds can affect its ability to transmit and scatter light. Some minor inclusions can be useful, as they can be used to identify each individual diamond, like a fingerprint. Most inclusions are undetectable to the naked eye. However, diamonds without inclusions or flawless graded diamonds are the most desirable and fetch the highest prices.

Flawless No internal inclusions or surface blemishes show under 10-power magnification Grade: FL
Internally Flawless No internal inclusions, but some minor surface blemishes show under 10-power magnification Grade: IF
Very Very Slightly Included Tiny inclusions are extremely difficult to see even under 10-power magnification. Grade: VVS1 and VVS2
Very Slightly Included Minor inclusions may be difficult to see even under 10-power magnification. Grade: VS1 and VS2
Slightly Included Slight inclusions are seen under 10-power magnification. Grade: SI1 and SI2
Included Inclusions are visible to the naked eye and range from those just visible (I1) to those seen very easily (I3) Grade: I1, I2 and I3


A carat is the unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds, which determines the size of the diamond; the diamond's width increases with the number of carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams, or 200 milligrams. The carat weight of a diamond plays a big part in the price. Diamond prices increase significantly at the half- and full-carat weights. Diamonds just below these weights cost significantly less. Larger diamonds are much rarer than their smaller counterparts, making price increase significantly with large jumps in carat weight. For example, a two-carat diamond will cost more than two one-carat diamonds of equal quality.

Gold and Platinum Education

At Pompeii3, we deal solely with gold and platinum metals. We work with the finest materials to ensure the best quality for all of our customers. Here, you can learn about gold and platinum, including their different uses, colors, and composition. Learn about karats and the difference between 14K and 18K gold jewelry.


Gold is a transition metal and, with the exception of noble gases, gold is the least reactive chemical element. Since long before recorded history, gold has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts. Historically, gold was seen as having mystical powers, and it was thought to be the metal of the sun for its natural beauty. Today, it is one of the most valued and cherished precious metals because its physical properties are unparalleled for use in fine jewelry. It is a shiny and dense metal, but it is also the most malleable and ductile metal. The purest gold has intense luster and a bright yellow color. However, gold also comes in white and rose hues.

The color of gold is determined by the density of loosely bound electrons. Rose gold can be created by the addition of various amounts of copper and silver, whereas white gold is created by adding palladium or nickel.

Gold Karat Weight

Gold is measured in karats, not to be confused with carat diamond weight. Karat is the term used to indicate the purity of the gold, with 24 karats being pure gold and too soft to be used in jewelry. Mixed with alloy for strength, the most common purity of gold used in jewelry is 14K or 18K, which is 75% purity. Karat weight also determines the value of gold jewelry. The purer the gold, the higher the price.


Platinum ranks among the rarest of metals and exhibits a remarkable resistance to corrosion and, as such, is considered a noble metal. In the 18th century, platinum began to appear in the jewelry of western Europe and soon became the metal of royalty. Platinum is used in jewelry at 90-95% purity, unlike gold, which doesn't work well in its purest form. However, it is like gold in that it is tarnish and rust-resistant. Only a few hundred tons are produced annually, making it a scarce and highly valuable material.

Different Setting Types

Setting refers to a specific technique in securing a precious stone to a piece of jewelry.

prong setting
Prong Setting

Prong settings are used to raise the stone up from the mounting allowing light to enter the various facets.

prong setting
Common Prong Setting

A Common Prong Setting shares prongs which provides a nice clean look and allows the stones to be set closer together.

channel setting
Channel Setting

A Channel is carved out of the metal and stones are placed inside the channel. A hole is placed under each stone allowing light to enter the facets increasing the fire and brilliance.

Bar setting
Bar Setting

Bar setting refers to the metal bars that separate gemstones along the individual precious metal. The bars provide tension locking the specific gemstone in place.

pave setting
Pave Setting

Pave setting refers to multiple gemstones positioned extremely close together providing a brilliant surface.

Bezel Setting
Bezel Setting

Gemstones are secured with a rim made of precious metal (Gold or Platinum).

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