Frequently Asked Questions
We've created this Frequently Asked Questions page to assist you in answering any questions you may have regarding your next purchase from us. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us or visit our Southern California showroom in Torrance.
What is a diamond?
A diamond (from the ancient Greek ?d?µa? – adámas, meaning "unbreakable," "proper," or "unalterable") is one of the best-known and most sought-after gemstones. Diamonds have been known to humankind and used as decorative items since ancient times; some of the earliest references can be traced to India.
The hardness of diamond and its high dispersion of light – giving the diamond its characteristic "fire" – make it useful for industrial applications and desirable as jewelry. Diamonds are such a highly traded commodity that multiple organizations have been created for grading and certifying them based on the four Cs, which are carat, cut, color, and clarity. Other characteristics, such as presence or lack of fluorescence, also affect the desirability and thus the value of a diamond used for jewelry.
Where do diamonds come from?
Roughly 49% of diamonds originate from central and southern Africa, although significant sources of the mineral have been discovered in Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia. They are mined from kimberlite and lamproite volcanic pipes, which can bring diamond crystals, originating from deep within the Earth where high pressures and temperatures enable them to form, to the surface. Morgan's Jewelers only sells conflict-free diamonds.
What are the four C's?
The diamond industry grades and categorizes diamonds using various characteristics. The first step in learning about diamonds is to learn about the "four Cs" of diamonds, which are considered the most important characteristics. We've included the four Cs below.
- Carat weight
These are the four most important criterions we use when grading diamonds, and they're the ones you'll need to understand to buy the right diamond.
What is the carat weight?
The carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is defined as 200 milligrams. The point unit—equal to one one-hundredth of a carat (0.01 carat, or 2 mg)—is commonly used for diamonds of less than one carat. To learn more about the carat weight, click here.
What is the diamond clarity?
Clarity is a measure of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and other organizations have developed systems to grade clarity, which are based on those inclusions that are visible to a trained professional when a diamond is viewed under 10x magnification.
What is a diamond's color?
A diamond's color refers to the amount of color contained within diamonds. In every diamond, the color is part of the diamonds composition, and as a result, it will never change. In general, the less amount of color contained within the diamond, the greater the value of the diamond.
What is the diamond cut?
The cut of a diamond describes the manner in which a diamond has been shaped and polished from its beginning form as a rough stone to its final gem proportions. We use the cut of a diamond as an objective measure of the reflective qualities of a diamond. In laymen's terms, the cut of diamond describes how much the diamond sparkles.
What is a diamond certificate?
Essentially, a diamond certificate is a complete blueprint of a diamond. This blueprint provides you with the precise carat weight, clarity, color, and cut of the diamond. By including certificates with all of the diamonds we sell, you will have an independent verification of the diamond's most important characteristics.
What shapes do diamonds come in?
While most people recognize the classic diamond as round gem, diamonds in fact come in an array of sparkling shapes. At Morgan's Jewelers, we offer an unparalleled selection of diamonds in a wide variety of shapes.
What is a chronograph?
A chronograph is a timepiece or watch with both timekeeping and stopwatch functions. While there are many different types of chronographs, the two most common are digital chronographs and analog-digital chronographs.
Digital chronographs use a digital display for both timekeeping and stopwatch functions, either with separate displays or by switching modes on a single display.
Analog-digital chronographs have a standard analog watch with permanent center seconds and a separate digital display that usually operates independently of the analog section. A fallback will reset to zero and then continue to run when the reset button is pushed while the stopwatch is running. In contrast, most mechanical chronographs will reset to fifty only when the stopwatch is stopped.
What is a chronometer?
A chronometer watch is a kind of watch tested and certified to meet certain precision standards. In Switzerland, only timepieces certified by the COSC may use the word 'Chronometer' on them. Today, nearly every watch is a chronometer.
More than 1,000,000 Officially Certified Chronometer certificates, mostly for mechanical wrist-chronometers (wristwatches) with sprung balance oscillators, are being delivered each year, after passing the COSC's most extreme tests and being singly identified by an officially recorded individual serial number. According to COSC, a chronometer is a high precision watch capable of displaying the seconds and housing a movement that has been tested over several days, in different positions, and at different temperatures, by an official, neutral body (COSC). Each movement is individually tested for several consecutive days, in five positions and at three temperatures. Each movement is individually measured. Any watch with the denomination "chronometer" contains a certified movement.
What is a tourbillion?
In horology, a tourbillon (pronounced /t??r'b?lj?n/, French: [tu?bij?~], "whirlwind") is an addition to the mechanics of a watch escapement. Developed around 1795 by the French - Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet from an earlier idea by the English chronometer maker John Arnold a tourbillon counters the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, ostensibly in order to negate the effect of gravity when the timepiece (and thus the escapement) is rotated. Originally an attempt to improve accuracy, tourbillons are still included in some expensive modern watches as a novelty and demonstration of watchmaking virtuosity. The mechanism is usually exposed on the watchs face to show it off.
How does a tourbillion work?
A tourbillon most often makes one complete revolution per minute, which has no effect in the two horizontal positions. Nevertheless, it makes all the difference in the 4 vertical positions, since even if a watch is stationary in a random vertical position, the tourbillon makes the escapement spin around its own axis, effectively cancelling out the effects of gravity of each of the 4 generalized positions. Even today with new materials and improved theories, is it nearly impossible to regulate a watch so it keeps the same time in all positions. A tourbillon allows watchmakers today to obtain results that are better than normal mechanical watches. Although, this is still immensely inferior to quartz, which normally vary 3 seconds per month, where a good mechanical watch keeps 3 seconds per day.
What is a mechanical watch?
A mechanical watch is a watch that uses a mechanical mechanism to measure the passage of time, as opposed to modern quartz watches, which function electronically. It is driven by a spring (called a mainspring) which must be wound periodically. Its force is transmitted through a series of gears to power the balance wheel, a weighted wheel, which oscillates back and forth at a constant rate. A device called an escapement releases the watch's wheels to move forward a small amount with each swing of the balance wheel, moving the watch's hands forward at a constant rate. This makes the 'ticking' sound characteristic of all mechanical watches. Mechanical watches evolved in Europe in the 17th century from spring-powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century.
What is a quartz watch movement?
A quartz watch movement is a movement that uses an electronic oscillator that is regulated by a quartz crystal to keep time. This crystal oscillator creates a signal with very precise frequency, so that quartz movements are at least an order of magnitude more accurate than good mechanical watches. Generally, some form of digital logic counts the cycles of this signal and provides a numeric time display, usually in units of hours, minutes, and seconds.
What are jewels as they relate to watches?
Jewel bearings were invented and introduced in watches by Nicolas Fatio (or Facio) de Duillier, Pierre and Jacob Debaufre around 1702 to reduce friction. They did not become widely used until the mid 19th century. Until the 20th century, they were ground from tiny pieces of natural gems. Watches often had garnet, quartz, or even glass jewels; only top quality watches used sapphire, ruby, or diamond.
Jewels serve two purposes in a watch. First, reduced friction can increase accuracy. Friction in the wheel train bearings and the escapement causes slight variations in the impulses applied to the balance wheel, causing variations in the rate of timekeeping. The low, predictable friction of jewel surfaces reduces these variations. Second, they can increase the life of the bearings. In unjeweled bearings, the pivots of the watch's wheels rotate in holes in the plates supporting the movement. The sideways force applied by the driving gear causes more pressure and friction on one side of the hole. In some of the wheels, the rotating shaft can eventually wear away the hole until it is oval shaped, and the watch stops.
What is the difference between an automatic and manual watch?
An automatic or self-winding watch is a mechanical watch, whose mainspring is wound automatically by the natural motion of the wearer's arm, providing energy to run the watch, to make it unnecessary to manually wind the watch. Most mechanical watches sold today are self-winding. Automatic watches differ from manual watches, in that they do not need to be manually wound.
What is a watch winder?
For people who do not wear their automatic watch every day, watch winders are available to store automatic watches and keep them wound. This is particularly advantageous if the watch has complications, like perpetual calendars or moon phases. A watch winder is a device that can hold one or more watches and moves them in circular patterns to approximate the human motion that otherwise keeps the self-winding mechanism working. Older mechanical watches should be kept wound and running as much as possible to prevent their lubricants from congealing over time, which diminishes accuracy. Modern mechanical watches generally use synthetic oil; whether or not synthetic oils congeal is a point of contention among watch experts. A full service (which involves disassembly, cleaning and re-lubrication) should be performed at least every five years to keep the movement as accurate as possible.
What is a perpetual calendar?
The term perpetual calendar is used in watch making to describe a calendar mechanism in a watch that displays the date correctly 'perpetually', taking into account the different lengths of the months as well as leap year's day. The internal mechanism will move the dial to the next day.