Diamond Education

Buying a diamond is one of the most monumental decisions you will make. It can be exciting, emotional, and often feel overwhelming. With over 100 years in the business, our experts are here to help.

When selecting a diamond, you often hear about the 4 C’s. Below, we break down the diamond basics to guide you through the process.

THE 4 C's


A beautifully cut diamond radiates with a fire and brilliance that will leap from her hand and go straight to her heart.

Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond into a polished diamond. Of the 4 “C’s,” it is the cut that has the most influence on the diamond’s brilliance and beauty. Round is the most brilliant shape and has the most stringent cut standards.

A well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and release it through the top of the diamond in a blaze of fire and brilliance that will take your breath away. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, less value.

Why is cut so important?When a diamond is cut properly, the facets on the bottom will act like mirrors and the facets on the top will act like windows allowing the light to refract beautifully.


Allow nature's beauty to burst forth in a rainbow of color that will make someone feel cherished.

Diamonds range in color from icy winter white to warm golden yellow and are graded on a color scale that was established by the Gemological Institute of America. The color differences between grades may seem subtle at times, but they can have a profound impact on the diamond’s beauty, rarity and very importantly, its value.

At Smyth, we support the standards of GIA and have graduate gemologists and a complete gem lab on premise, assuring you of an accurate grade on the diamond you are purchasing.

Carat Weight

As with all precious gems, the weight is expressed in carats. The carat originated as a natural unit of weight: the seeds of the carob tree. Diamonds were traditionally weighed against these seeds; however, the system was later standardized, and one carat was fixed at 200 milligrams (1/5 of a gram).

One carat is divided into 100 “points” so that the diamond of 25 points is described as a quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats. Weight is the most obvious factor in determining the value of a diamond, but two diamonds of equal weight can vary significantly in value, depending on the other characteristics of cut, color and clarity.


Just like people, no two diamonds are exactly alike.

With finer diamonds “nature’s fingerprints”, called inclusions, are not visible to the unaided eye.

However, these natural inclusions can impact a diamond’s rarity and value tremendously.

Clarity grades are determined by the number, size, nature, color, and location of the characteristics in a diamond. The smaller and less visible the characteristics, the rarer and more valuable the diamond becomes.
When purchasing a GIA certified diamond, your certificate comes with a map that shows the location and type of inclusions that make your diamond unique. This also allows you to identify your diamond based on its characteristics.


The round diamond remains our best-selling shape, due to its brilliance and timeless appearance.

There are a large variety of diamonds that fall into the “fancy shape” category. Some are cut for their brilliance, others for size or appearance. When viewing a fancy shape diamond, it is important to learn about how the clarity or cut can impact the stone’s beauty.

For instance, with step cut diamonds such as an emerald cut, the clarity is very important, as it is easy to see inclusions. With an oval shape, the cut of the diamond is of the utmost importance so that there isn’t a large shadow that resembles a bow tie in the center of the stone.

Whichever shape you prefer, the brilliance of a well-cut diamond will bring endless joy to the wearer.








The Smyth Difference

With so many retailers in the diamond space, why choose Smyth Jewelers? We can go on and on about what sets us apart, but here are a few reasons why customers have chosen Smyth Jewelers for over 100 years.


With the motto of “Where Maryland Gets Engaged”, Smyth Jewelers has one of the largest selections of certified and estate diamonds in the state and throughout the country. With over 500 loose diamonds at your fingertips, our selection is unsurpassed. Our diamonds are all hand-selected by our buyers who purchase directly from the diamond cutters to ensure you get the best price.

Experts in the Industry

Smyth Jewelers is unique in that we have GIA certified gemologists, engravers and master jewelers who work on-site to ensure our customers receive the best service at an expedited pace. Our highly trained sales staff does not receive commission, allowing them to focus on providing the ultimate experience to every customer who enters our doors.


Now on its fourth generation, the Smyth family maintains the thought that by providing the most stellar experience in the industry, our customers will shop with us for life. With your diamond purchase comes a lifetime of benefits. Your ring purchase includes free inspections, polishing, cleaning, and appraisal updates for life. We also offer a variety of hassle-free financing options to make the purchasing process seamless.

Smyth also offers a lifetime diamond upgrade program that is very unique in our industry. If at any point you choose to upgrade your diamond, we will offer you 100% of your original diamond purchase to use towards a diamond of double the value or more.

So, what are you waiting for? Use the form below to set up your virtual or in-person appointment with one of our diamond experts today!

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