FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

DIAMONDS

DIAMOND CARAT

DIAMOND COLOR

DIAMOND CLARITY

DIAMOND CUT AND SHAPE

DIAMOND CERTIFICATION

FINE JEWELRY METALS

PURCHASING DIAMOND JEWELRY

SHIPPING AND RETURNS

 

Answers 

What is sustainable jewelry?

“Sustainable” gemstones and metals are procured with as little damage to the environment as possible, so our planet and everyone living on it are healthier. All extractive industries impact the earth. That’s unavoidable. However, by fostering less harmful practices and buying recycled gemstones and metals, we can minimize negative effects like pollution and maximize positive human economic impacts.

What is ethical jewelry?

“Ethical” gemstones and metals are procured without harming people, their communities, or the environment. We believe miners, gemstone polishers, and everyone along the supply chain should be paid fairly and have safe working conditions.

Does SUZANNE DUNN do bespoke designs?

Yes, please visit our Bespoke Process page and request an appointment for a design consultation.

Does SUZANNE DUNN provide center stones for bespoke designs?

Yes, we provide a list of recommended diamonds in the price range you specify. We will visually inspect the diamond you select from the list to make sure it has no undesirable characteristics which are not detectable by viewing its GIA grading report. This way you purchase a diamond at wholesale price with its real value based on professional knowledge and not a report only.

What custom lengths of chains and bracelets does SUZANNE DUNN provide?

We offer alternate standard lengths on any of our ready-to-wear necklaces (16", 18", 20", 22" and 24"). In-stock bracelets and rings may be customized to fit any wrist size. Please contact us at sales@suzannedunn.com to discuss pricing.

What forms of payments does SUZANNE DUNN accept? 

SUZANNE DUNN accepts all major credit cards and PayPal. We take your privacy seriously. We are committed to protecting your online shopping experience. Please see our privacy policy here.

How will my purchase be taxed?

Sales tax will be automatically applied to your order based on applicable state and local sales tax laws and shipping destination. The terms contained herein are subject to change as taxation regulations evolve. We monitor state and local tax laws to ensure compliance. Customers shall be responsible for compliance with applicable laws and regulations regarding payment of all use taxes, duties and other taxes and the declaration of goods in their respective state or country of residence. Your purchase may be subject to use tax unless it is specifically exempt from taxation. For any purchase that does not collect sales tax, your state may require you to report such purchase and remit tax on a sales, use or individual income tax return. Forms and corresponding instructions may be found on your state website.

Does SUZANNE DUNN offer gift wrapping services?

All suzannedunn.com purchases arrive wrapped in our signature boxes or pouches. All boxes include an authenticity card (and gift card if requested). For special requests, please contact clientservices@suzannedunn.com. We will always do our best to accommodate you.

What is your product warranty policy?

SUZANNE DUNN warranties its products against defect in material and workmanship in normal use and serviced for the period you own it. Adjustments or alterations of pieces by someone other than SUZANNE DUNN will void the SUZANNE DUNN product warranty.

 

 

Diamonds

 What is the most important of the 4C's?

Diamond cut is the most important of the four C’s. When purchasing a diamond, it is wise to devote the majority of your budget to the best cut you can afford since cut directly influences a diamond’s appearance. An 'excellent' otherwise known as an 'ideal' cut is what gives the diamond its fiery brilliance no matter how big or how small the diamond is. A well-cut diamond can also mask less desirable qualities such as a lower color or clarity grading. 

Can a diamond break or chip?

Even though a diamond is one of the hardest naturally occurring substances on earth, it can still be broken. If struck hard enough from the right angle, a diamond can even shatter. It is important when storing your diamonds to keep them away from other diamonds in your jewelry box so that they won’t scratch each other.

The part of the diamond that is most likely to chip is the girdle (the widest part of the diamond where the crown meets the pavilion) and the culet. For this reason it is important to avoid diamonds with thin girdles. As for the culet (the point at the bottom of the diamond), not all diamonds have a culet but those that do are so that it will not chip off.

 

Is diamond fluorescence good or bad?

Diamond fluorescence affects diamonds so subtly that it is widely ignored. At SUZANNE DUNN we recommend choosing a diamond without fluorescence; however, out of all of the undesirable diamond characteristics, diamond fluorescence is one of the least important. Some of the most beautiful diamonds in the world are fluorescent including the Blue Hope Diamond that fluoresces an eerie red. We recommend devoting the majority of your budget to a diamond that has an excellent cut and color.

There is one exception when it comes to fluorescence. In cases where the diamond has a lower color grading, a strong blue fluorescence could counteract the subtle yellow tones. It is highly recommended that you examine a diamond in different kinds of light to see if the diamond exhibits any obvious color changes no matter what the fluorescence or color of the diamond.

 

Diamond Carat

I have two stones that have the same carat weight, but one looks bigger. Why is that?

Carat weight is a measure of weight, not size. If one of the diamonds is cut poorly, and the diamond appears ‘chubby’ some of the carat weight could be hidden. On the other hand, if one of the stones was cut shallow to stretch the surface area of the stone, then it could appear larger. Having a stone that is too deep or too shallow is undesirable because it will not reflect light properly, making the stone appear smaller and dull.

In the case of gemstones, some gemstones are heavier than others. Rubies for instance, are denser than diamonds, so a 1 carat ruby will be smaller than a 1 carat diamond.

 

Diamond Color

How is a diamond's color rated?

The GIA diamond grading system is the industry standard and grades diamonds on a scale of D-Z. D diamonds are considered colorless and are the most sought after. The more yellowish or brown tint the diamond has, the closer to Z it is on the scale.

What is the lowest color grading I can get away with?

For an engagement ring, anything above an H is still considered beautiful and a near colorless diamond. If you want a true colorless diamond and a D is out of your budget, you can go down to an F and there would only be a subtle difference. For a bracelet, you can get away with a J-K color of diamond.

When choosing a diamond for a center stone, it is important to know that round brilliant diamonds hide lower color grading the best. Fancy shaped diamonds such as marquis and even princess cut diamonds reveal lower color grading in their corners. Larger diamonds over 2 carats tend to show more color as well. Setting a diamond with a lower color grading in yellow gold helps to mask the yellow tones.

What is a fancy diamond?

Fancy diamonds or colored diamonds are given a grade of Z+. Canary diamonds, red diamonds, blue diamonds, pink diamonds and green diamonds are considered fancy diamond colors.

What makes colored diamonds so special and valuable?

Natural colored diamonds are special because of their rarity. Did you know that out of every 10,000 diamonds discovered, only one is a natural color diamond? 85% of found diamonds do not meet quality standards and therefore, are not set in jewelry. Only one diamond in a million weighs one carat or more.

What gives fancy diamonds their color?

Well, that depends on what color the fancy colored diamond is. If it is a yellow diamond, the presence of nitrogen during diamond formation gives the stone a bright yellow hue. An abundance of boron or hydrogen can make a blue diamond. Pink diamonds and red diamonds are attributed to the special absorption and reflection of light determined by the diamond’s crystal structure.

 

Diamond Clarity

What is diamond clarity?

Clarity in a diamond refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond. Diamond clarity is graded on a scale from FL (Flawless) to I3 (Included 3).

What is an inclusion?

When it comes to diamonds, an inclusion is another name for a flaw. There are several kinds of inclusions, including carbon spots, air bubbles, internal cracks (feather cracks) and white points.

Are inclusions bad?

Inclusions are undesirable, but they aren't necessarily all bad. For one, in diamonds rated above SI3, inclusions are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s appearance. Two, since every diamond has different inclusions in different places, inclusions serve as the diamond's fingerprint. This can come in handy if the diamond is ever stolen because it allows the rightful owner to match the diamond's documentation with the diamond. The diamond's inclusions should directly correspond to the inclusions mentioned in the diamond's certification. If they don't, chances are the documentation is fraudulent or belongs to a different diamond.

How common are inclusions?

Flawless diamonds are extremely rare and are very expensive. De-Beers estimates that only one in seven million diamonds recovered will produce a one carat D Flawless polished stone.

Inclusions are naturally occurring characteristics and just because a diamond has inclusions does not mean that it’s worthless. Most diamonds used in jewelry fall into the VS (Very Slightly Included) or SI (Slightly Included) categories. To see most inclusions you would need to magnify the diamond.

How can you tell how many inclusions a diamond has?

A diamond’s certification should give you all the information you need, which is why it is so important to buy diamonds from a reputable jeweler with certified diamonds. It will tell you how many inclusions a diamond has and will tell you the diamond’s clarity rating. If your diamond is not certified, you can submit it to the GIA and for a fee, they will tell you more about the diamond.

How is a diamond's clarity rated?

Diamond clarity is rated in a scale of FL to I3. Below is a list of diamond clarity ratings. The closer you are to the top of the list, the better the clarity. The closer you get to I3, the worse.

Does clarity grade affect a diamond's sparkle and brilliance?

In quality diamonds rated above SI2 (when inclusions are microscopic), a diamond's clarity grade should not affect fire and brilliance. Since clarity is a measure of inclusions or imperfections in the diamond, it will not affect a diamond's appearance as much as cut or color will. In cases where the diamond has a rating between I1-I3, the inclusion might be visible with the naked eye and interfere with light reflection within the diamond, but these diamonds are rarely used for jewelry.

What is "laser drilling"?

Laser drilling is a process used to improve the clarity of a diamond by removing imperfections. A tiny hole is drilled into the diamond with a laser to burn the inclusion. The inclusion is then lightened further with an acid. Diamonds that are improved through laser drilling are worth less than diamonds that are not. For this reason, any treatment that the diamond undergoes will be stated during its certification and must be disclosed at the time it is sold as required by the Federal Trade Commission.

 

Diamond Cut and Shape

What is the difference between the cut and the shape of a diamond?

The shape of the diamond refers to the silhouette and the look of the diamond when seen from the top. The cut refers to the diamond's proportionality with the most desirable cut being 'Excellent' also known as 'Ideal' followed by 'Very Good.' A proper cut maximizes the brilliance, fire and scintillation of the diamond.

What diamond shape is the best?

Round brilliant is traditionally thought of as the most superior diamond shape because it has been studied and perfected for centuries. A diamond has to be cut into certain proportions to reflect light properly and the round brilliant more than any other shape has certain standards to ensure the diamond is reaching its full potential.

A brilliant round diamond is also less likely to reveal lower color grading in its corners because it has no corners. Lack of corners also makes it a more robust stone and less likely to chip than say the pointed tip of a pear shaped diamond or marquis diamond. Diamond shapes that are more delicate like the pear shaped diamond are also more expensive to insure but the benefit to these shapes is that they appear to have more carat weight.

What is a brilliant cut diamond?

Brilliant cut has nothing to do with the quality of the diamond. It refers to a kind of diamond cut that has 58 facets and comes in a variety of shapes including round, pear, heart, oval, and radiant.

Is an 'Ideal' cut diamond better than an 'Excellent' cut diamond?

'Ideal' and 'Excellent' cut diamonds are the same.

 

Diamond Certification

What is a diamond certification?

Independent certification is how you can be sure that you're getting a quality diamond that’s accurately graded without bias. All SUZANNE DUNN diamonds are analyzed and graded for quality by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), one of the most respected and accurate labs in the diamond industry. To verify a diamond's quality before purchase, be sure to review its Diamond Grading Report or Diamond Dossier. It’s also good to know that your purchase of a custom-designed ring, pendant or pair of earrings from SUZANNE DUNN comes with an appraisal that includes the retail replacement value of the item for insurance purposes.

 

Fine Jewelry Metals

What is the best metal for a ring?

Platinum and 18K gold are the best metals for rings and each has its own benefits. Platinum is significantly more expensive than gold and hypoallergenic. Unlike gold, platinum will not gradually wear down over time, but it will develop a patina that can be polished away by a jeweler.

Setting a diamond in yellow gold is less expensive and beneficial if the diamond has a low color grade. The yellow in the gold will help disguise the faint subtle tones in the diamond. 

Can I order an item in a metal different than what it is available in?

Yes, as a custom order almost any item may be ordered in a metal different than what it is available in.  Please visit our Bespoke Process page and send us a message detailing your request.

How do I care for my fine jewelry?

For a simple cleaning at home, we recommend mixing dish soap and warm water, soaking your ring or other jewelry for five minutes, and using a soft-bristled baby toothbrush to gently clean behind stones or settings. Air dry, then finish with a polishing cloth. Pieces with colored stones should be removed from the body when showering or swimming. We do not recommend chemical jewelry cleaners because they can damage certain stones. We recommend a periodic professional cleaning.

All gemstone rings, especially those with prong settings, should be checked for security annually and worn with relative care. We use our hands constantly, and bumps to the stone or metal can cause shifts and looseness Rough diamonds are not designed for jewelry in the way cut diamonds are. For that reason, rough diamonds should be worn with extra care and checked frequently to be sure the prongs are tight and the stone is secure.

Gemstones are minerals that vary in their hardness and durability. Some of the most beautiful gems, like opal and jade, are on the softer side. These stones should be treated with care and protected from harsh cleaners or activities that could cause damage.

Purchasing Diamond Jewelry

Is buying a diamond online safe?

Buying a diamond online can be a great way to save money, as long as you are buying a diamond that is certified. SUZANNE DUNN recommends that you only purchase a diamond certified by a reputable diamond certification agencies.

Is it better to choose the diamond or the engagement ring first?

We recommends choosing an engagement ring setting first. Choosing a diamond first can be a bit limiting, in that, the diamond may not fit into the style you want. SUZANNE DUNN also specializes in custom orders so if you want to fit a loose diamond into a style that wasn't meant for the shape or size of the diamond, visit the Bespoke Process page and request an appointment for a design consultation.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

Deciding on a budget is important to consider before you ever set foot into a jewelry store so you don't feel pressured to buy something that you can't afford. At SUZANNE DUNN, we encourage you to decide on an amount that makes sense for you financially as well as emotionally.

The time-honored tradition is for the groom to spend between two and three months salary on a ring; however, the tradition is only around 60 years old and actually originated with a marketing campaign DeBeers launched in 1947. Therefore, feel free to decide for yourself and once you decide on a budget, stick to it proudly.

 

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