Frequently Asked Question

Find answers to important questions
How does pavillion depth affect a diamond’s cut?
The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A pavilion depth that’s too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape from the side of the stone, or leak out of the bottom. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown.
What causes inclusions?
Small crystals can become trapped in a diamond when it’s forming. Sometimes as a crystal grows it can develop irregularities in its atomic structure.
Why does the GIA color grading system start at D?
Before GIA developed the D-Z Color Grading Scale, a variety of other systems were loosely applied. These included letters of the alphabet (A. B and C, with multiple A's for the best stones), Arabic (o, 1, 2, 3) and Roman (I, II, III) numerals, and descriptions such as "gem blue" or "blue white." The result of all these grading systems was inconsistency and inaccuracy. Because the creators of the GIA Color Scale wanted to start fresh, without any association with earlier systems, they chose to start with the letter D-a letter grade normally not associated with top quality
How precisely can a ring be sized?
At Ice River Diamonds our goal is to accommodate our clients to the best of our ability. We understand and care about your ring fitting "just right". We can size your ring to almost any increment. So, just let us know and it will be done.
Should I choose a 4 or 6 prong head to secure my diamond?
If the mounting you choose requires a head to hold the center stone, there are a few things to consider. When a round stone is chosen, a four prong head secures the diamond at four places. In this scenario, the prongs are approximately 90 degrees apart. This tends to make the round diamond look more square. It also exposes more of the girdle to possible damage from a striking blow. One of the great properties of a diamond is its hardness, but don’t confuse that with durability. Hardness is a material's resistance to being scratched. Diamonds rank 10 in hardness based on the Moh’s hardness scale of 1 through 10, however, a diamond has perfect octahedral cleavage. This means it can fracture perfectly along planes of atoms upon impact.

With a six prong head, the distance between prongs is approximately 60 degrees. This provides a smaller area of girdle on the diamond that is exposed when set. This increases the chance of a prong being hit upon impact rather than the actual diamond. The six prong head gives the illusion of a more rounded appearance.

With fancy shaped diamonds, the number of prongs used is determined by its shape. For example, a princess cut diamond is almost always set with four prongs, and a marquise is almost always set with six prongs. At ICE RIVER DIAMONDS we care about the security of your diamond. We strive to use the best designs to provide jewelry that will stand the test of time.
Would platinum be the better metal of choice to prevent my jewelry from tarnishing?
Platinum will not tarnish over time as white gold will. However, platinum will develop a patina. In years past, people that wore platinum were accustomed to the metal turning dull. Platinum tends to fade to a soft gray in color as it gets scuffed from wear. Most people that wear platinum want to keep the high luster. The only way to achieve this is to heavily polish the item. The benefit of platinum’s longevity and wear ability works against the metal every time the high luster is desired. Therefore, it is best to polish platinum less frequently. White and yellow gold on the other hand can be polished much easier, at a higher frequency, and with less wear to the metal when done correctly. As stated before, platinum requires a great deal of effort for a polisher to attain its high luster. The metal is more expensive than karat gold because of its rarity, specific gravity, and its high level of purity. Platinum wears extremely well, it also lets a diamond show off its true body color better than gold. It is also less likely for the wearer to have any form of reaction to the metal.
Is it true that white gold tarnishes and seems to appear a little yellow over time?
To create white gold, yellow gold is alloyed with nickel and silver. Over time these alloys tend to tarnish. To slow this process, white gold is usually plated with rhodium, a precious metal in the platinum family. The rhodium is electronically adhered to the gold. This will keep oxygen from reacting with the gold which leads to tarnish. White gold jewelry can easily be polished and re-plated to renew its color and luster.
When considering wearability would white or yellow gold be the best choice?
Different colors of gold have been in vogue at different periods. Today, the desire of white metal far surpasses that of the yellow. There are inherent advantages and disadvantages to all the metals but it is most important to buy what you like. This will ensure the enjoyment of your jewelry for years to come.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the metals available to hold my diamond?
At ICE RIVER DIAMONDS you will find settings available in platinum, and 14 or 18 karat white or yellow gold. All of these precious metals have very distinct characteristics. The following will be an overview that may help you decide which metal is best for you.

24 karat gold is pure gold. This purity is usually not used for jewelry because the metal would me too malleable. Rings made in this purity would most likely bend or distort within a short period of wear. 14 or 18 karat gold would be more appropriate. The purity of 14 karat gold consists of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy. 18 karat gold consists of 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy. The color of gold is determined by the alloy that is mixed with the pure gold. For instance, white gold is made by combining gold with nickel and silver. These alloys will change gold to a white color.

14 or 18 karat yellow gold is mixed with copper and silver to keep it yellow in color.

Sometimes rings and other jewelry will have the metric conversion stamped on the item for relaying its purity content. 14 karat will be stamped .585, and 18 karat will be stamped .750. 14 karat and 18 karat may also be stamped 14k and 18k respectively. Either way is acceptable.

On rare occasions some folks are allergic to the alloys combined to the gold. This is usually seen with the copper or nickel used to harden the gold. One way to lessen the likelihood of a reaction is to move toward a higher gold content (18karat or .750). Another option is to switch to a different metal such as platinum.

Platinum is a precious metal and a pure element just as gold. Platinum jewelry is typically 95% pure or .950. In the past, it was common to see platinum at 90% purity combined with10% iridium. By mixing platinum and iridium the metal is hardened and has the ability to create a high luster when polished. Today, in addition to iridium, other metals such as cobalt are used to achieve this purpose.
What factors determine fire and brilliance?
All diamonds are cut to maximize the brilliance and dispersion of light. When properly cut, a diamond in the face up position will absorb light, reflect it, and return it back to the eye . The cutting style determines the degree that the light is returned. The light that is returned to the eye through the table remains unchanged and contains the complete visible light spectrum (violet through red). The light that exits the crown of the diamond is bent creating individual spectral colors.

Round diamonds typically have broader flashes of spectral colors. Fancy shapes have a larger number of facets reflecting through the table. This is due to fancy shapes being shallow which causes the facets on the girdle of these stones to be reflected within the table.On the other hand, princess cuts and other forms of square or rectangular stones may be cut deeper than rounds or fancy shapes.

The key to maximize the fire and brilliance of a diamond is keeping it as clean as possible. When a diamond is dirty or oily, the light that enters it leaks out of the pavilion and the stone appears to be dull.
When considering the cut, color or clarity of a diamond, which should be my major focus?
At ICE RIVER DIAMONDS we take the initiative to only select diamonds that we believe will continue to increase in value for our clients. Most diamonds are not purchased for investment purposes, however, we want you to get the most for your money. Before we post any diamond, we assess the overall characteristics of each stone to avoid any large disparities that can cause a deflation in its value. We avoid diamonds with a cut grade less than good. In terms of clarity, we recommend a grading no less than SI2. We also make the suggestion to pick a diamond in the near colorless to colorless range.
Why do rounds typically cost more than fancy shapes? I thought it was the other way around.
On the contrary, rounds are fashioned out of rough resembling an octahedron, which is the shape of a cube with all of the corners cut off, or two pyramids attached at the bases. To create a round stone the rough is generally cut slightly off center of the widest part. This will allow two rounds to be created with the table of each diamond facing one another. In most cases, one larger and one smaller diamond are fashioned. Since the rough is already reduced by producing two stones it takes a larger piece of rough to cut a specific size. The larger the rough, the rarer the diamond becomes, therefore, increasing the price. Fancy shapes are produced by fashioning irregular rough. This rough is cut to the shape most suitable for the stone. The goal of the cutter is to keep as much weight as possible. This causes the price per carat to decrease.
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