Calvins Fine Jewelry

Diamond Statement

When you choose a diamond for the person you love, you give more than a beautiful gem. You offer a symbol of your commitment, your loyalty and your future together. The ring you purchase is a promise, a symbol of trust. The diamond it holds should have the credentials to uphold that trust.

For over twenty years, Austin couples have trusted Calvin’s to help them design the ring of their dreams, and to choose a beautiful diamond to symbolize their love. Calvin’s is family owned and operated, with a professional staff that offers over eighty years combined experience in buying and selling diamonds and fine jewelry. We only sell diamonds that meet the strictest quality standards from top American labs. Only US labs provide the high level of quality and consistency that we demand for our customers.

Diamond grading requires strict standards and comparisons; nowhere are these standards more stringent than in the United States. Diamond grading facilities outside the US are not viewed with the same scrutiny. Fewer restrictions and less accountability create an environment where inaccurate grading is commonplace. Diamonds with these reports are often purchased at much lower prices, and are presented side by side with diamonds that have been graded in the US. These diamonds seem to be bargains, but are actually lower quality gems with a price tag to match. American labs are held to higher standards, and continue to lead the industry with constant improvements and innovations in grading and identifying diamonds. Without a doubt, US labs produce the most accurate and trusted reports.

When it comes to a ring she’ll wear forever, there is no room for guesswork. When you come to our store and purchase an SI2 ideal cut, you can be sure you are receiving a diamond with an accurate grading from a trusted American lab. You’ll also be buying local, investing in stores that invest right back into our community. Let’s take it a step further. Calvin’s offers nationally competitive pricing on American graded diamonds. Shop with us to receive the best customer service and a competitive price.

Have more questions? Check out our website for store and staff info, designers we carry, and testimonials from happy customers. You can also find helpful Calvin’s reviews on Google and Yelp. When you are in the area, please visit us for a tour — and, if you’re already planning a trip to our store, we’ll see you soon!

Diamond Buying Guide

Calvin's Round Brilliant Diamond

Acquiring a diamond is unlike any other purchase you will make in your lifetime. There is no more enduring symbol of love than a diamond. Additionally, there is no more durable gemstone than a diamond, so chances are the gem you select will be admired for generations. The staff at Calvin’s is committed to making the purchase of a diamond a pleasure instead of a task. We draw on the decades of combined experience educating clients in order to help you make a perfect choice.

The characteristics of a diamond that need consideration are the same regardless of the size or shape of the gem. These characteristics are generally known as “THE FOUR C’s”.

CARAT: the most easily compared characteristic of a diamond is its carat weight. To give you some scale, there are 5 carats in a gram. A carat is broken down into one hundred units called “points”. So a “fifty point” (.50) diamond is one half carat, a “thirty three point” (.33) diamond is a third carat and so on. Generally speaking, there is no subjectivity or variance in the carat weight of a diamond from store to store, or between grading reports or “certs”.

COLOR: does the diamond have any yellow, grey or other coloration that prevents it from being “colorless”, or “pure white”? Color is typically difficult to judge in a well cut stone when viewing from the top. We will be happy to show you in person how color is actually determined in a diamond. Then we can show you how color affects the pricing of a diamond so that you can make you own determination about which color of diamond is right for you.

CLARITY: can you see anything in the diamond, either to the naked eye or with magnification that keeps the gem from being “flawless”? There are 11 grades, identifiable only with 10X magnification that have a dramatic effect on price. We make it remarkably easy for you to see what to look for in diamond clarity.

CUT: does the diamond sparkle? Diamonds are prized for their brilliance, and that brilliance comes from the cut of the stone. Unlike color and clarity, it is nearly impossible to quantify the value and effect of cut in writing. Even a “GIA TRIPLE X” grading, meaning that the cut, symmetry and polish of a diamond are judged to “excellent” does not really tell you how much the diamond will sparkle. This can truly only be appreciated with the naked eye. At Calvin’s we put special emphasis on cut for a very good reason. Once the diamond is set, it becomes very difficult, even for a gemologist, to accurately judge the color and clarity. BUT you will always be aware of the sparkle and brilliance.


CERT: refers to an analysis or grading report issued by an independent gemological lab. Diamonds are not actually “certified”, but rather, evaluated. There are a remarkable number of gem “labs” around the world with varying degrees of consistency and accuracy. Without getting into the negatives of each lab, we rely almost exclusively on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This organization has exhibited the consistency that we demand when representing a diamond to our clients.

CYBER: It is very tempting to explore the internet when seeking a diamond. After all, we can price compare clothes, shoes, toys and almost any other product by brand or description with a fair amount of confidence. When to comes to diamonds (or really any gemstone), shopping the web is the most risky path. While a site may offer an independent grading report, or even a GIA report, the color, clarity and carat weight are only about 50% of the story. The other 50% is the cut of the diamond. No one has yet found a reliable way to articulate the sparkle or brilliance of a diamond; it must be seen by the naked eye. And yet cut is a huge factor in the value of the diamond as well as its ultimate beauty. This is why when searching a web site you might see 4 or 5 diamonds (or more) with the same color, clarity and carat weight, and yet each at a different price. The most critical aspects of the diamond can only truly be appreciated in person.

Confidence: does not come from an e-mail or a customer service rep on the other end of the phone. It comes from visiting with a professional who will guide you through the purchase process, understand and ultimately fulfill your needs, and BE THERE when needed. Calvin’s has been in the same location for 20 years and Calvin and Jackie Smith stand behind each and every jewelry purchase. Whether it’s a sizing, repair, or diamond upgrade, our goal is complete and personal attention to your needs.

Diamond Basics

The Cut

Cut is typically listed as the first of the “Four C’s” because it is a diamond’s most important feature. It has the most influence on the diamond’s overall beauty and determines the brilliance of a diamond.

With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, diamond cutting has come a long way over the years. The result is a magnificent display of three attributes: brightness, fire and scintillation.

What does all this mean for you? It means that when selecting a diamond, you should look for the finest cut that you can afford. Because cut is measured by the diamond’s light performance, the more perfect the faceting and proportions, the more sparkle everyone will see.

When a diamond is cut properly, light is returned from the top of the diamond to the viewers eye– giving that signature brilliance. If the diamond is cut too shallow, light leaks from the bottom and when it is cut too deep, the light escapes from the sides, both reducing the glitter that makes diamonds so special.

Did You Know? There are a number of grading labs used to certify cut. Here at Calvin’s we sell only US certified diamonds – nothing from a grading lab outside of the United States.


The Clarity

Diamond clarity describes the absence or presence of imperfections inside (inclusions) or on the surface (blemishes) of a diamond. A flawless diamond is very rare, and most inclusions found in jewelry grade diamonds cannot be seen without viewing the stone through a jeweler’s loupe or powerful microscope.

Because diamonds form under tremendous heat and pressure in the Earth, it is not surprising that most have some type of birthmark. These characteristics are a by-product of the formation and help gemologists separate natural diamond from synthetics and simulants and identify individual stones. They also help assign the clarity grade by the quantity, placement and size of the impurity.

Did You Know?
Some diamond sellers will try to reduce the visual imperfections of a diamond through synthetic treatments such as laser drilling and fracture filling. Not Calvin’s. We guarantee every diamond we sell is free of any treatment.

The Color

Diamond color references the lack or presence of color in a diamond. The grading scale starts at D (the highest grade) and ends with Z, based on the color grading scale of the Gemological Institute of America.

While many diamonds may appear colorless, or white, they might actually have subtle hints of yellow, grey or brown that can be detected when comparing diamonds side by side. Colorless diamonds are incredibly rare and therefore very valuable.

Did You Know?
Most men are more concerned with the internal clarity of a diamond and most women are more critical of the color. Calvin’s sales professionals can help you select the best diamond value and quality for your special purchase.

The Carat

Carat is the measurement of weight used by jewelry professionals for diamonds and colored gemstones. One carat equals 200 milligrams in weight. One hundred “points” is 1.00 carat similar to pennies in a dollar.

Carat is the last of the “Four C’s” because you should select the cut, color and clarity grade of the diamond you wish you to purchase first. Once you have decided these three things, in addition to your budget, it will be easy to determine the carat weight of the right diamond for you.

Did You Know?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The 4C’s provide a way to objectively compare and evaluate a diamond, but numbers alone cannot describe the captivating beauty of a diamond. Visit Calvin’s and we will show you that nothing beats seeing a diamond sparkle in person.

Learn More about the Kimberly Process Here & Our Diamond Certificates Here >

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