Diamond Buying Guide


Helping our customers buy a diamond is the heart of our mission. Our founder G.W. Haltom called our store “The House of Diamonds” and we continue this tradition today. As members of the Diamond Dealers Club and with multi-generational relationships in the diamond business, we buy each diamond center stone one at a time. There will never be “program” diamond merchandising with average grading and pricing. Signed contracts require our suppliers to provide only conflict-free diamonds. And, we will never show or sell any synthetic diamonds. Our greatest honor is getting a referral from a valued friend and guiding a new Haltom’s customer through their diamond buying process.


We exclusively refer to and use the Gemological Institute of America’s diamond grading system. Our diamond center stones of one carat and greater have GIA Diamond Grading Reports, which are the most trusted in our industry. These reports, also called certificates, are critical to us and will help establish authenticity and value in the future. The details on each GIA Diamond Grading Report will also help identify the diamond in the future. Most insurance companies require a copy of this GIA certificate along with a current appraisal to add a diamond to their insured’s insurance schedule.

Carat Weight

The unit of measure used for the weight of a diamond is the carat. Carat weight can also be divided further by using points. There are 100 points in one carat. So, a 1/4 (.25) carat stone can also be expressed as 25 points.  When comparing two diamonds, please note that just because one is twice the carat weight of the other does not mean that it will appear to be twice the size.

Diamond Guide Carat Scale


The shape of the diamond is often confused with the cut. Choose the shape that you like based on your style and you cannot go wrong. 

 Diamond Guide


The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance or sparkle. Each shape will be cut differently. Before a diamond is cut, the location of inclusions and flaws, the natural coloration, and the original shape of the rough stone are studied extensively. The stone facets are then mapped out and cut in a way that maximizes size, shape and clarity. For optimal light performance, you will want a diamond that is cut neither too shallow nor too deep.

Diamond Cuts


Diamonds are graded based on the amount of color they do or do not possess. The scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). An absolutely colorless diamond is rare and therefore very valuable.

Diamond Color Scale


A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics, just as a person would be noted for her blue eyes or his brown hair. Notated as a diamond's clarity, these characteristics can be present on the surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). The clarity is judged by the number and types of these characteristics and is designated using a scale that runs from FL, defined as flawless, to I3, defined as inclusions visible with the naked eye. A flawless diamond is truly rare.

Diamond Guide Clarity Scale

FL Diamonds
Flawless: No internal or external flaws.

IF Diamonds
Internally Flawless: No internal flaws.

VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds
Very, Very Slightly included: Very difficult to see inclusions with 10x magnification.

VS1, VS2 Diamonds
Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification to a skilled grader.

SI1, SI2 Diamonds
Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with the unaided eye.

I1, I2, I3 Diamonds
Included: Inclusions are visible with the unaided eye.

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