Choosing a Diamond

Millions upon millions of diamonds, and only one that’s just right for your piece. At Sausalito Jewelers, we will help you find that diamond. We take great care to work with only the most pristine diamond sources, and all of our diamonds are certified conflict-free. We are particularly proud to be Marin's County only authorized Forevermark jeweler.

How to evaluate a stone

Diamonds are traditionally rated according to the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat. This globally accepted standard for rating diamonds, developed by the GIA (the Gemological Institute of America), is a helpful way to investigate the quality of a diamond you are considering, although equally important is the reputation of the source.

Cut: Because the power of a diamond lies in its ability to refract light so beautifully and sparkle so intensely, the cut determines how well the facets interact with light. When it comes to cut, human workmanship is paramount.

Color: With diamonds, color quality refers to the ideal absence of color. A perfect diamond lacks hue entirely. Color is analyzed under a variety of light sources and given a grade from D–Z.

Clarity: Inclusions and blemishes occur naturally as diamonds are formed under extreme pressure, so a diamond without imperfections is rare indeed. Tight grading parameters judge how many scratches, trace minerals or other almost imperceptible imperfections are present in the gem.

Carat: Carat is graded by weight. One carat is 200 milligrams, and each carat is subdivided into 100 points, allowing for very precise measurement.

GIA Certification

This non-profit created the industry-standart 4C rating system and has been responsible for grading some of the world's most famous diamonds, including the Hope Diamond, the Taylor-Burton and the Steinmetz Pink. Their team of gemologists examines gems with sophisticated instrumentation, analyzing it under high magnification in order to document gemological properties, chemical composition, spectral features and characteristics. They then issue a report that includes analysis of the gem's cut, clarity, color and carat. Visit GIA's web site for more about their grading methods and their history.

Forevermark Diamonds

While the 4C rating system is certainly a helpful way to determine the quality of a diamond, there are other factors to consider when choosing a stone, and the source of the diamond is a crucial one. At Sausalito Jewelers, all of our diamonds are conflict-free. We ensure this by aligning with Forevermark. As part of the De Beers Group, Forevermark benefits from over 125 years of diamond expertise and a stellar reputation.

Forevermark diamonds are hand-selected for their beauty and rarity, and each is genuine, untreated and natural. Experts at the Forevermark Diamond Institute carefully inspect every diamond, going beyond the technical qualities of the traditional 4Cs to select only those diamonds that are truly beautiful.


How to pick a setting

Did you know that a surprisingly high number of engaged women would change their engagement ring setting if they could? If you’re confident about your choice of gem (and we can help with that) but nervous about the actual setting, we’ll provide a classic solitaire setting that can be easily upgraded so that your loved one can participate in choosing the permanent setting. This flexibility gives you the best of both worlds: the element of surprise when you pop the question, plus a permanent setting you will both love and cherish forever. We will credit the cost of the initial setting to your new, permanent setting.