*RJO was founded in 1966 so its members could buy better diamonds at a lower cost. This buying power assures that you are getting a great diamond at a great price.


In many ways, a diamond engagement ring is the essence of your lifelong love and commitment to that special someone.  It's also a very important purchase.  Your chances of buying smarter - and getting maximum value for your money - are far greater of you understand the "Four C's" of diamond quality...Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.  They are the worldwide standard for classifying the quality and value of every diamond.


Cut refers to the way a rough diamond is transformed into one of extraordinary brilliance.  This is done by polishing tiny surfaces, or facets, into the diamond. The angles and proportions of the facets are major factors in how a cut diamond reflects light.   A well-cut diamond reflects and disperses light directly through the top - in a display of sparkling scintillation.  If diamonds are cu too deep or too shallow, they might "leak" light through the side or bottom - thus causing them to lose some of their brilliance.



It may appear to the naked eye that a diamond is colorless.  In fact, almost all diamonds have "color" that ranges from "icy white" to a warm, slightly "yellowish" tint.  While these color differences are so subtle, there is enough of a difference for diamonds to be graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).  The range runs from D (colorless) to Z (yellow or brown).



Each diamond is distinctive in its characteristics, these characters are called inclusions, blemishes or birthmark, which gives each diamond it's individuality.  These tiny inclusions, originate in nature, affect the value of the diamond.  The GIA use a detailed scale to measure clarity of a diamond ranging from Flawless (FL), to Included (I3).  Subscript numerals indicate the valuation within each grade, with 1 indicating higher clarity and 3 indicating less clarity.


Carat Weight

Carats are units of measure that register the weight not the size of the diamond.  The weight of the diamond goes a long way towards determining its dollar value.  That's because larger diamonds are found far less frequently in nature.  A carat can also be divided into 100 "points", so a .75 carat diamond is exactly the same as a 3/4 carat diamond or a 75 points diamond.


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