Toll Free
We took all the questions we could think of and all the questions you sent to us and created this FAQ so that everyone can find an answer to any questions they may have. This FAQ is always a work in progress. If we receive questions that we are asked often, we will add it to our FAQ. If our FAQ doesn't answer your question, email us and we'll answer you as soon as possible.
Other Questions
These are questions that didn’t quite fit into any of the other categories.
Question & Answer
What is a CGA, MGA, etc...?
There are several terms out there to indicate the level of experience of a stores jeweler...they are:
Anybody can call themselves a jeweler.
This is an uncontrolled title which can be used by anyone with a desire to set up shop and sell stones.
Graduate Gemologist (GG)
This title is awarded by the GIA to individuals who have completed a basic course in diamonds and colored stones. Once awarded, this diploma is good for life, which is an awfully long time.
Registered Jeweler
This title is awarded by the AGS to individuals who have extensive gemological knowledge and adhere to AGS’s rigid ethical code. It must be renewed each year based on continuing education and ethical business practice.
Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA)
AGS title for one who is annually tested on his/her ability to appraise gems. Unlike a Registered Jeweler, A CGA has mastered sophisticated testing procedures.
Master Gemologist Appraiser (MGA)
Essentially gods of the gem world. Similar to a CGA, but to a higher degree. They only number in the hundreds in the states.
If you deal with either of these types, you should feel confident with their ratings and ultimately with your purchase.
What is a Loupe and how do I use it?
A loupe is a specialized magnifying glass used for inspecting gems and jewelry. Good ones have 3 lenses in them and magnify at least 10x. To use a loupe, hold it about 1 inch from your eye resting the hand holding the loupe on your cheek. Hold the diamond about 1 inch in front that with your other hand and rest that hand on the first hand holding the loupe. To focus, move the diamond closer or further from the loupe. Keep both eyes open to reduce eyestrain. Once you are comfortable using the loupe, here's what to look for. Read our Diamond Anatomy page for more details.
Facet...any of the flat “sides” of the diamond.
Table...On a brilliant cut stone, it’s the top octagonal facet.
Girdle...The ring at the widest part of the diamond.
Culet...The bottom point on a brilliant cut stone.
Pavilion...The portion of the stone below the girdle.
Crown...The portion of the stone above the girdle.
Fire...The quality of the diamond that breaks reflected light into a colorful array.
Brilliance...The quality of the diamond that reflects light without changing it (sometimes called sparkle).
Fluorescence...The characteristic of some diamonds to fluoresce certain colors under sun light or a strong UV light.
Natural...Usually found on the girdle. It is a small section that was on the side of the raw diamond. It appears as a slightly rough flat spot on the girdle.
Feather...A jeweler’s way of saying “crack”. It often appears as a white feather shape within the diamond.