Buying Diamonds

Buying a Diamond – Quality, Clarity & Price (video)
Choosing a Diamond – Facts & Figures Explained (video)
Diamond Chemistry – the hardest substance in the world (video)

The 4Cs classify the value of diamonds.

Every diamond’s price, rarity and beauty are determined by the combination of cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

Cut of Diamonds

Cut describes the proportions and angles of a diamond. Many people confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. Although nature determines the other three characteristics, it takes a master diamond cutter to reveal a diamond’s true beauty. Diamonds are available in various shapes including round, square, pear, heart, marquise and oval but cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond.


A well cut diamond reflects light from one mirror-like facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone. The result is a fiery and brilliant display. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in a lackluster appearance and diminished value.

White-colored diamonds remain the most popular, even though diamonds are found in a kaleidoscope of colors. Diamonds are graded on a color scale implemented by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which ranges from D, which is colorless, to Z. Color differences can be so subtle that diamond colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy. While truly colorless diamonds, graded D, are treasured for their rarity diamond color is ultimately a very personal taste. Ask us, your Master IJO Jeweler, to show you an array of color grades next to each other to help you determine your color preference.

Clarity of Diamonds

Nature ensures that each diamond is as individual as the person who wears it. Naturally occurring inclusions such as minerals or fractures are identifying characteristics created while diamonds are formed in the earth. Master IJO Jewelers use magnification to view diamonds at lOx their actual size so these tiny inclusions are more easily seen.


Inclusions are measured on a scale of perfection, known as clarity which was established by GIA. The greater a diamond’s clarity the more rare and valuable it is. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of light, making it less brilliant.

Carat Weight of Diamonds

Carat is a diamond’s measure of weight, not size. One full carat is equal to 100 points. A 3/4 carat diamond is the same as 75 points. Since larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, a 1 carat diamond will cost more than twice a 1/2 carat diamond (assuming all other characteristics remain constant). The cut and the mounting can make a diamond appear larger than its actual weight. We will help you find the right diamond and mounting to optimize its beauty.

When making your diamond purchase, let us, let Ballard & Ballard with over 93 years of experience put your mind at ease by adding the Confidence, Trust, Integrity, Honesty, and Expertise you need when buying from the heart.

Why purchase from Ballard & Ballard, a Master IJO jeweler?

As a Master IJO Jeweler, we adhere strictly to the following values to give you the confidence you need to make the right jewelry selection and purchase.

We earn your trust based on the Integrity Honesty and Expertise we deliver through our hometown service. Fountain Valleys oldest, most established
diamond company with over 25 years in the city and over 90 years in southern California.

As a Master IJO Jeweler, we adhere to an ethical code-of-conduct and best business practices.

We are sincere and truthful about the information and pricing of the fine jewelry we sell in our store.

With our combination of knowledge, skill and expertise, we help you make a confident jewelry purchase. Remember that all experts and professionals in the diamond business do not purchase them based solely on the “grade” or certificate. While the “quality” is important, we have to SEE it with our own eyes because every diamond is uniquely different. We sometimes have to go through dozens of stones of the exact same grade to select just that perfect one that has the best balance of beauty, and value.

Welcome to the world of Ballard & Ballard Jewelers. With four generations and over 90 years of trust, Ballard & Ballard operates a full line, full service jewelry store and a unique working design studio, that prides itself on delighting the discriminating customers who are seeking unusual, original jewelry at affordable prices.


Ballard & Ballard has been selling diamonds longer than any other company in Southern California, buying diamonds direct from Antwerp, Belgium. The diamond capital of the world. Today we still travel overseas to hand pick the best diamonds for our clients.

Let us show you the sheer wonder & beauty of nature’s most beautiful gem.

• Custom computer aided jewelry design

• Jewelry repair

• Laser welding – Making the impossible, possible


Ballard & Ballard

Ballard & Ballard