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The I.Gorman Diamond Experience

We’ve been sharing our passion for diamonds with customers for three generations, and it shows. You’ll see it in the knowledge of our staff, the total absence of sales pressure in our store, and the time we take to educate you and show you—not simply tell you—the criteria for selecting the right diamond for you. And above all, the confidence we give you to make the best decision possible.

A remarkable selection of diamonds

I. Gorman offers one of Washington D.C.’s widest selections of diamonds in our store: all sizes, shapes and qualities, competitively priced and laboratory-certified. Still don’t see what you’re looking for? Besides our in-house selection, we have a vast network of sources that can help you find even the rarest of diamonds.

Mined Diamonds or Lab Created Diamonds?

Natural diamonds, as we all know, are mined from various geographical regions around the world. Mined diamonds are produced by Mother Earth over billions of years.

Lab diamonds, on the other hand, are created in a laboratory under controlled conditions. Lab Created diamonds are produced indoors and can take between several days and several weeks to produce.

Our Lab Grown diamonds are produced by New Dawn Diamonds®, who specializes in beautifully proportioned lab created diamonds. As part of our relationship with New Dawn, we are proud to be in in partnership with Kiva, an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.

Both mined and lab grown diamonds have identical optical and chemical properties, which makes it difficult to distinguish the difference between them with the naked eye.

Stop by today to compare diamonds side by side and become educated about what makes a diamond so special.

Assurance of ethical sourcing

We believe a diamond’s history is as important as its future, and we recognize the importance of knowing your diamond was responsibly sourced. That’s why we purchase diamonds only from sources that participate fully in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). We also offer Canadian diamond sources, which provide socio-economic benefits through supply chain transparency.

Start your diamond education now

The more you know, the better you’ll feel when you ultimately make your purchase. So here’s some basic background with a word of caution: there is no substitute for spending time looking at the real thing. To schedule a diamond viewing or an in-store learning session, feel free to contact us. And if you’d like to learn more about other aspects of jewelry, please check our Learning Center

The Four Cs

Jewelers evaluate diamonds on four key criteria: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Understanding these criteria will help you make your diamond selection.

cut

Cut is the most important aspect of diamond evaluation. The angles and proportions combined, greatly affect the diamond’s appearance. For example, a diamond might have outstanding color and clarity; but with a sub-par cut, its true sparkle and brilliance would fail to show through.

Most often, you’ll see cut graded on the scale below: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. However, we suggest that you evaluate the cut of a diamond in terms of brilliance and fire instead. In daylight, the cut will show as brilliance, meaning the bright white light coming out of the stone. Under a direct light, it will show as fire, or evenly dispersed flashes of color throughout the stone. If a stone lacks fire and brilliance, chances are your cut grade is the culprit.

Excellent (EX), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F), Poor (P)

color

Color (or the lack of it) is graded on a scale of D to Z, with D having no color and Z having a noticeable yellow color.

  • D - F: Colorless
  • G - J: Near colorless
  • K - M: Faint yellow
  • N - R: Very light yellow
  • S - Z: Light yellow

Color preference is a bit different for everyone, and seeing a variety of diamonds in person is the best way to decide which color range best suits your needs.

One thing to note is that the type of setting can affect the appearance of a diamond’s color. Yellow and rose gold settings tend to disguise the yellowness in a stone, while platinum and white gold are less forgiving.

clarity

Clarity is proof of a diamond's amazing natural formation process. A stone’s clarity characteristics are its fingerprint, a testament to the fact that every diamond is truly unique. The term "clarity characteristics” refers to visual properties on the inside of a stone (inclusions), or on the outside (blemishes). Clarity grading is commonly noted as:

  • Internally Flawless (IF)
  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 – VVS2)
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 – VS2)
  • Slightly Included (SI1 – SI2)
  • Included (I1 – I3)

While clarity characteristics can sometimes affect durability, mainly in the I2 and I3 range, most inclusions are simply natural characteristics of a particular diamond. As for clarity grades, none are right or wrong. The grade you settle on will depend on your particular preferences.

carat weight

Carat weight, as you’ve probably guessed, refers to the weight of the stone, with one carat equal to 1/5 of a gram. Taken on its own, carat weight can be deceiving. Here’s why. Stones of a certain carat weight usually fall within a certain range of diameters. If a diamond “faces up” smaller or larger than the expected diameter, it may be a clue that the cut isn’t ideal. And without a good cut, you won’t have the maximum brilliance and fire that you deserve.

certification

Did we say four? Okay, here’s one more C of our own. Certification is a third-party report attesting to every diamond’s unique characteristics. This reputable laboratory report gives you the confidence of knowing that the diamond was graded in a non-biased way. We recommend using the certification report as verification of what you see with your own eyes.

Diamond Shapes

Jewelers evaluate diamonds on four key criteria: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Understanding these criteria will help you make your diamond selection.

round

The most classic of diamond shapes, the round brilliant cut features 58 facets with 360-degree symmetry. Because of the angles and shape, the round brilliant-cut diamond is touted for a high degree of fire and brilliance.

cushion

The cushion cut has a softened square outline, as the name implies. This cut produces magnificent fire and sparkle in almost any light. Depending on your preference, you can choose a cushion cut that’s more square or elongated.

princess

One of the most sought-after fancy cuts, the princess cut combines a square outline with the brilliance of a round brilliant-cut diamond. An excellent choice for those looking for a unique cut without sacrificing any brilliance or drama.

emerald

Classic and subtle in its beauty, the emerald cut’s perpendicular and parallel rectangular-shaped facets create dramatic flashes of light. The clean lines of this 27-facet style create a more elegant and sophisticated look for both simple solitaires and elaborate engagement settings.

asscher

Also known as a square emerald cut, this octagonal cut of diamond is unique and geometric. A great match with both vintage and modern settings.

radiant

A striking combination of the round brilliant and emerald cuts, the radiant diamond can be either square or rectangular. Its octagonal outline - square with cut corners - and remarkable sparkle make it a great match for a variety of styles.

oval

The oval diamond combines the beautiful sparkle of a round brilliant cut with an elegant elongated shape. This cut is an ideal option if you’re looking for a slight twist from the ordinary.

pear

Unique and feminine, the pear cut features an elongated shape with a rounded end, tapering to a point on the opposite side. This cut combines the look of oval and marquise-shaped diamonds.

marquise

This elongated shape tapers and comes to points on both ends. The marquise cut is truly unique and flattering in many setting styles.

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