Whether you’re shopping for an exquisite diamond engagement ring, earrings, necklace or other fine jewelry, buying diamonds can be a daunting experience.

The first known diamond engagement ring was presented by Archduke Maximilian to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.  The ring was a set of oblong diamonds arranged in the letter M, set on a plain band.  History records that the Archduke chose the letter M ostensibly for “Mary”—still, we can’t help noticing that Maximilian also starts with M.  Happily, the Archduke’s proposal was a success, as Mary chose him out of quite a large selection of suitors.  Her reason?  Love, though we’re guessing that beautiful diamond ring didn’t hurt Max’s chances.

Whether you’re buying diamonds to symbolize your love for someone else, or because you love the idea of looking in the mirror and seeing a timeless, fascinating, brilliant diamond – you’ll want to make the right choice.  Diamonds come in a vast array of shapes, sizes and quality, and they have significant differences in value.

So how will you know whether the diamond you’re interested in purchasing is a real, natural diamond?  This is where the venerable GIA comes in, and Maxon has you covered.  Gemological Institute of America has established a globally recognized grading system, the ultimate method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world.  Maxon is a long-time member of the GIA.

The GIA’s system is known as the 4Cs.  These are the standards by which the quality and value of diamonds are determined.  The 4Cs are Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.



On a scale of D to Z, a grade of D is as colorless as a drop of water, while grade Z has some presence of color.  Colorless is the highest quality, and therefore has greater value.


Clarity is divided into 6 categories, and further divided into 11 grades.  An expert and accurate assessment of clarity by a trained diamond grader is extremely important in determining true value.  At Maxon, you’ll enjoy the benefit of our 45+ years of experience in professionally grading diamonds as GIA members.


The GIA grades cut based on brightness, fire and scintillation.  These are complex and technically difficult qualities to analyze.  They are the diamond’s enchanting qualities of shine and sparkle.

Carat Weight

Price increases with carat weight.  A carat weighs 200 milligrams.  Although larger diamonds are typically more desirable, it is important to remember that the three other factors within the 4Cs weigh heavily in determining a diamond’s value.

That’s a lot.  Let us help you.  We don’t know whether Archduke Maximilian got what he paid for, but you can have complete confidence in your diamond investment when you place your trust in the region’s original diamond broker.  Maxon Fine Jewelry, trained by the GIA and the only locally owned American Gem Society store.