Diamond Guide

Welcome to our diamond guide. Rare, precious, and everlasting, diamonds are fascinating gemological curiosities with a rich history. 

At SHW, we offer earth-created and lab-grown diamonds. Both types are the same gemstone with identical physical, chemical, and optical properties, differing only in origin. On this page, you will find information about how both form and their four key characteristics—carat weight, color, clarity, and cut—that all signify value. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to select the diamond that suits you best with confidence and ease.

HOW LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS ARE FORMED

Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds grown in man-made environments. Current technology can recreate conditions necessary for a diamond crystal to form, replicating the earth's natural process of diamond formation.

There are two common methods for growing diamonds in a lab: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
An HPHT diamond starts as a small diamond seed that is placed into carbon. Exposed to about 1500 degrees Celsius and pressurized to approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch, the pure carbon melts and begins to form around the starter seed. It is then carefully cooled to form a pure carbon diamond.
In the CVD method, a diamond seed is placed in carbon rich gasses that are ionized into plasma using technology similar to that of microwaves and lasers. The ionization breaks the molecular bonds in the gasses allowing the pure carbon to adhere to the diamond seed and slowly crystallize. This process occurs at around 800 degrees Celsius.

Our lab-grown diamonds are CVD Type IIA. Type IIa diamonds are pure carbon diamonds and have exceptional optical transparency. Around 95% of earth-created diamonds contain trace elements that are acquired naturally during the course of their formation, such as nitrogen or boron. This affects their color, with nitrogen producing a slightly yellow appearance, while traces of boron will produce a blue hue. Only 2% of naturally occurring diamonds are Type IIa.

Diamond Characteristics and the 4 Cs

Once the lab-grown or earth-created diamond is selected, the next step is to choose the quality of the diamond and the shape of its cut. Both types of diamonds are graded by gemological institutes following exactly the same process and are cut using exactly the same standards. To help guide your process, you can learn about diamond grading and certification, the 4 C’s, diamond shapes, and more, below.

DIAMOND CERTIFICATION

DIAMOND CERTIFICATION

Our diamonds that weigh 0.4ct and up come with a certification from either GIA (The Gemological Institute of America) or IGI (The International Gemological Institute). Both institutes are dedicated to research and education in the fields of gemology and jewelry design. They carefully examine each diamond, issuing each one a unique number, which is inscribed on the part of the diamond known as the girdle. The diamonds' certificates include important information about each specific stone, such as its identification number and characteristics. These characteristics, known as the 4 C's, are carat weight, color, clarity, and cut. Each factor strongly affects a diamond’s price, so familiarity is essential when considering different options.

SHW DIAMONDS ARE RESPONSIBLY SOURCED AND CERTIFIED

All diamonds set in our wedding rings are certified and carefully vetted by our in-house gemologist to meet the highest standards. Our lab-grown diamonds come with an IGI (The International Gemological Institute) certification. They are sourced from a women founded and operated diamond grower and cutter based in Sarut, India. Our earth-grown diamonds come with a GIA (The Gemological Institute of America) and Canadamark certifications. They are sourced from Ekati and Diavik mines in Canada, which are well respected for their strict environmental and socio-economic policies.

If you are interested in customizing a ring from our SHW wedding collection, our GIA certified gemologist will carefully craft a list of diamonds for your selection or follow your specifications and requests.

HEIRLOOM & PRE-OWNED DIAMONDS

Our settings can be customized for heirloom or pre-owned diamonds. Depending on the cut of your gemstone, some setting styles might work better than others. Please schedule a time to chat with us here or reach out via email at hello@shwjewelry.com with information about your stone and which setting designs you’re considering so our jewelry designer can advise you and answer any questions you might have.

DIAMOND CARAT

DIAMOND COLOR

DIAMOND CLARITY

DIAMOND CUT

DIAMOND SHAPE

DIAMOND SHAPE

Though round diamonds are the most popular shape, accounting for more than half sold today, there are quite a few others to consider. 

Princess Princess
Emerald Emerald
Round Round
Pear Pear
Cushion Cushion
Heart Heart
Square Emerald Square Emerald
Oval Oval
Radiant Radiant
Marquise Marquise
Baguette Baguette
Trillion Trillion
  • Princess Princess
    Emerald Emerald
  • Round Round
    Pear Pear
  • Cushion Cushion
    Heart Heart
  • Square Emerald Square Emerald
    Oval Oval
  • Radiant Radiant
    Marquise Marquise
  • Baguette Baguette
    Trillion Trillion

Have any questions or interested in creating a custom piece with one of our settings? Let's talk.

Jewelry Insurance

Though our SHW wedding jewelry designs are made to enjoy forever, it’s realistic to admit that sometimes unpleasant surprises happen. With this in mind, it’s best to be prepared and insured. We recommend Jewelers Mutual for jewelry insurance, as many of our customers in the past have had great experiences working with them.

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Though our SHW wedding jewelry designs are made to enjoy forever, it’s realistic to admit that sometimes unpleasant surprises happen. With this in mind, it’s best to be prepared and insured. We recommend Jeweler’s Mutual for jewelry insurance, as many of our customers in the past have had great experiences working with them.

They will ask you for a receipt and possibly request an appraisal. We will gladly appraise your piece for the parts you purchased through us. Please note that if you provided your own diamond, we will only appraise our setting and you will need a separate appraisal for your stone. In this case, consider bringing your piece to an outside appraiser to get it entirely appraised.

Many companies offer jewelry insurance. You might even be able to add it to your renters or homeowners insurance policy. We recommend collecting a few price quotes and carefully examining the insurance policies offered to make sure you select one that works best for you. If there is any additional information we can provide in completing the insurance application, you can always reach out to us by scheduling a time to chat here or via email at hello@shwjewelry.com. We are happy to assist!

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Have any questions or interested in starting a conversation? Reach out.