Every diamond is unique, but all diamonds share certain features helpful for comparison and quality assessment. These features are Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight, also known as the 4Cs, developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Cut refers to the arrangement of the stone's facets and the precision of the cuts, which affect its interaction with light. A well-cut diamond optimizes brightness (white light reflecting from the surface and interior), fire (flares of color) and scintillation (flashes of light seen when the diamond moves).
Color does not refer to what color a diamond is, but to the amount of color in the stone. The closer to colorless a diamond is, the more desirable and valuable it is. Truly colorless stones are extremely rare; most diamonds used in jewelry are nearly colorless with faint yellow or brown tints. View Full Color Scale >
Clarity measures the number and size of inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external), characteristics caused by the heat and pressure needed to form a natural diamond. The fewer of these characteristics exist in a diamond, the better its clarity grade on GIA's eleven-grade scale. View Full Clarity Scale >
Carat weight is the unit of measurement for diamond weight. A greater carat weight will generally mean a more expensive diamond. However, carat weight alone does not determine price or size; the stone's cut and shape affect how large the stone appears and, in addition to color and clarity, help determine value.
Some diamonds on Kohls.com may include a diamond certification issued by an independent and impartial gemological laboratory. The certification reports the quality and characteristics of the stone, ensures a diamond is natural and clearly discloses any treatments used to enhance color or clarity. It also includes a diagram of the diamond clearly showing the locations and types of flaws (inclusions) it has.
Conflict diamonds are illegally sourced rough diamonds sold by rebel groups to fund military action against recognized governments. Also known as blood diamonds, conflict diamonds are most often from central and western Africa.
Pursuant to Kohl's Social Responsible Product Sourcing Policy, Kohl's requires our suppliers of diamonds and jewelry to ensure that the merchandise they sell to Kohl's meets the requirements of the Clean Diamonds Trade Act and the Kimberly Process Certification and that this merchandise does not contain conflict diamonds.
Care and Maintenance
Preserve the stunning state of your diamonds with proper care and maintenance.
Clean your diamonds at home every 2-3 weeks and professionally every 6-9 months. Exposure to skin oils, lotions, hairspray, household chemicals and other products causes buildup that dulls your diamond's brilliance. To clean at home:
- Soak in a solution of warm water and ammonia overnight.
- In the morning, scrub gently with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. Pay special attention to the back of the diamond as this will collect the most buildup.
- Rinse and dry with a clean, soft and lint-free cloth.
- An ultrasonic cleaner also may be used.
Inspect your jewelry frequently for loose or damaged settings. If you notice either, bring your piece to a professional jeweler immediately for tightening or repair.
Remove your diamond jewelry when doing rough work or playing sports; though diamonds are the hardest known substance, they can crack, chip or break with sufficient force. Also, remove your diamonds if you will come in contact with harsh or abrasive chemicals such as chlorine bleach, as these chemicals can erode or dissolve the metals used in settings.
Store each piece of diamond jewelry alone, as the jewelry can chip and scratch other pieces. A fabric-lined jewelry case with separate compartments or individual jewelry pouches are best.
Follow any instructions provided with your jewelry.
Learn about the qualities, symbolism and care of gemstone jewelry.
*Always follow care instructions included with your jewelry.
- Amethyst is the name of the purple variety of quartz. It comes in a range of hues, from pale lavender to deep royal purple.
- It is February's birthstone and represents sincerity, tranquility, courage, calmness, spirituality and health.
- To care for amethyst jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid lengthy exposure to sunlight, as this can cause the stone's color to fade, and avoid exposure to heat.
- Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family. It ranges from pale blue to blue-green in color.
- It is March's birthstone and represents happiness, youth, calmness, tranquility and courage.
- To care for aquamarine jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid lengthy exposure to sunlight, as this can cause the stone's color to fade, and avoid exposure to heat.
- Carnelian is a translucent variety of chalcedony, and may appear pale red, deep clear red, brownish-red or yellow-green.
- To care for carnelian jewelry, wipe it gently with a soft, lint-free cloth. Exposure to sunlight can change the color of carnelian, so take care to store away from sunlight.
- Nicknamed for the reflective quality that mimics the luster of a cat's eye, chrysoberyl most commonly appears in yellow, green-yellow and golden hues. The cat's-eye effect can sometimes also be seen in other gemstones.
- To care for chrysoberyl jewelry, clean it with a soft, damp cloth or have it cleaned it by a jeweler. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners and extreme temperatures.
- Chalcedony refers to various types of colored quartz stones, including agate, aventurine, carnelian and onyx.
- To care for chalcedony jewelry, clean it with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners can be used to clean chalcedony.
- Citrine is a member of the quartz family ranging in color from light yellow to deep golden yellow.
- It is November's birthstone and represents protection, romance, enlightenment, increased self-esteem and success.
- To care for citrine jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid lengthy exposure to sunlight, as this can cause the stone's color to fade. Avoid exposure to heat.
- Crystals are created from a combination of minerals and quartz sand. The process produces a stone that is purer and of higher density than glass. Crystals are often coated with a metallic film to add color.
- To care for crystal jewelry, polish it with a soft cloth. Avoid abrasives and contact with water. Store your jewelry in a soft pouch to avoid scratches.
- Cubic zirconia is a manmade gemstone created to resemble a diamond.
- To care for cubic zirconia jewelry, clean it with any commercial jewelry cleaner and a soft cloth. Clean often to avoid buildup of oil and dirt.
- Drusy describes a coating of fine crystals that forms on a rock surface, such as the stones found in a geode. The most common form of drusy is drusy quartz.
- To care for drusy jewelry, clean it with unscented dishwashing detergent, water and a soft brush.
- Emerald, a member of the beryl family, is a green stone ranging from transparent to translucent.
- It is May's birthstone and represents success, love, prosperity and eternity.
- To care for emerald jewelry, take it to a professional jeweler for cleaning. If cleaning at home, do so gently with a soft brush and lukewarm water. Always remove emerald jewelry before showering, doing dishes or using any cleaning agent. Avoid chipping your emerald against hard surfaces.
- Garnet comes in all colors except blue, with red being the most common, and ranges from transparent to opaque.
- It is January's birthstone and represents constancy, faith, eternity, truth, natural energy, self-confidence, creativity, friendship and good health.
- To care for garnet jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid sudden temperature changes.
- Jade is lustrous, transparent to opaque, and ranges in color from white to milky green.
- To care for jade jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid heat, harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners.
- Genuine marcasite is not used in jewelry because of its brittleness. The marcasite in jewelry is really modern pyrite, a substance grouped with marcasite under the same name in the late medieval and early modern eras.
- To care for marcasite jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaning is acceptable. Clean marcasite and silver jewelry often to avoid buildup of tarnish.
- Morganite, named after the financier J.P. Morgan, is a form of the mineral beryl. It is a transparent to translucent gemstone, most often pink with orange and yellow varieties.
- To care for morganite jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and warm, soapy water.
- Mother-of-pearl comes from the iridescent inner lining of certain mollusk shells.
- To care for mother-of-pearl jewelry, gently clean it with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. As a soft gemstone, mother-of-pearl should avoid any chemicals or scratches; these will destroy its luster.
- Onyx is a variety of chalcedony consisting of parallel bands of black and white.
- To care for onyx jewelry, clean it with warm water and a soft cloth. Onyx is prone to cracking and chipping if struck against a hard surface, so avoid sharp blows and store each onyx piece in its own soft compartment or jewelry bag.
- Opal is prized for its ability to diffract light and create shimmering, iridescent rainbows. Opal's base color is usually green or white.
- It is October's birthstone and represents hope, good fortune and purity.
- To care for opal jewelry, wipe it with lukewarm water and a soft cloth. A very delicate stone, opal should be kept away from excessive heat or extreme temperature changes (to prevent cracking), solvents, abrasions and ultrasonic cleaners. To prevent breakage, opals mounted on a backing should never be submerged in water.
- Peridot, also known as olivine, is a transparent gem that ranges in color from bottle green to olive green.
- It is August's birthstone and represents happiness and protection.
- To care for peridot jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid chemical or ultrasonic cleaners and acids. Avoid sudden temperature changes, as they can cause peridot to crack.
- Quartz is a versatile stone available in many colors from transparent to opaque.
- To care for quartz jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid excessive heat and sudden temperature changes.
- Ruby, from the mineral corundum, is the second hardest gemstone after the diamond. Ruby is exclusively red and usually transparent.
- It is July's birthstone and represents contentment, love, freedom and peace.
- To care for ruby jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water.
- Sapphire, from the mineral corundum, is the second hardest gemstone after the diamond. While blue sapphire is preferred, it can also be found in white, pink or yellow.
- It is September's birthstone and represents insight, truth, clarity, clear-thinking, sky and heaven.
- To care for sapphire jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water.
- Tanzanite is the blue form of the mineral zoisite. It is named after Tanzania, the only place it can be found on Earth.
- It is one of the birthstones for December, along with blue topaz, zircon and turquoise.
- To care for tanzanite jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid chemicals and ultrasonic cleaning and do not strike against hard surfaces.
- Tiger's-eye is a member of the quartz family prized for its silky luster and shimmering stripes. Most commonly golden brown, it also occurs in reddish and blue hues. The blue variety is often called hawk's-eye.
- To care for tiger's-eye jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water.
- Tourmaline is a transparent gemstone available in a variety of colors.
- To care for tourmaline jewelry, clean it with a soft brush and jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water. Avoid sudden temperature changes.
- Topaz is a transparent gemstone. The most precious color is a wine-yellow; other colors include colorless, yellowish brown, gray, pale green, blue, lavender and red.
- The blue form of topaz is one of the birthstones for December (along with tanzanite, zircon and turquoise) and it represents strength, success, luck, forgiveness and happiness.
- To care for topaz jewelry, clean it with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. Avoid sudden temperature changes or prolonged exposure to light, as this can destroy the color. Store your topaz jewelry away from direct light.
- Turquoise is an opaque stone that is blue to bluish green in color and is usually marbled or veined. Turquoise is often cut into cabochons.
- It is one of the birthstones for December, along with tanzanite, blue topaz and zircon.
- To care for turquoise jewelry, clean it with a soft cloth. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner and avoid contact with acids, cosmetics and grease.
Types of Pearls
Natural pearls are the result of an irritant entering a mollusk's shell. To protect itself from the foreign substance, the mollusk secretes nacre to cover it. As layers of nacre are added, a pearl grows, usually in an irregular shape. It is quite rare to find a jewelry-quality natural pearl due to this irregularity.
Cultured pearls are produced the same way natural pearls are; however, the irritant is a shaped nucleus placed in the mollusk's shell intentionally. Because of the perfectly round base, cultured pearls are much more consistent than natural pearls.
Saltwater pearls are cultivated in the ocean, have a thinner layer of nacre than freshwater pearls and have a more brilliant luster. They are traditionally considered higher quality than freshwater pearls because of their luster, though new cultivation techniques are changing this conception. There are three common types of saltwater pearls.
- Akoya pearls have the highest luster of all pearl types. They are cultured in the cool to temperate coastal waters of Japan and China. Colors include rose, silver/white, cream, gold and grey/blue.
- South Sea pearls are some of the largest pearls available because they are created by Pinctada Maxima oysters, the largest pearl oysters in the world. Colors include silver, silver/pink, white, white/pink, white/gold and gold.
- Tahitian pearls are grown in the French Polynesian native Black Lipped Oyster. Colors include peacock, black, black/grey, silver/grey, black/rose, blue/black, black/green and eggplant.
Freshwater pearls are grown in lakes, rivers and ponds. New farming techniques have yielded freshwater pearls with luster to match or exceed saltwater pearls. Colors include white, pink, peach, lavender, gray, yellow and cream. In addition, artificial dyes are used to produce any color desired.
What to Consider When Buying a Pearl
Pearls are measured by diameter in millimeters. Because large pearls are rare, they generally increase in price as they increase in size.
It is difficult to create a perfectly round pearl. The closer to round a pearl is the more expensive it will be.
Pearls can be found naturally in a wide variety of shades, and dye can be used to produce other vibrant hues.
The more lustrous a pearl the more beautiful and desirable it is. Luster is the reflective, luminous shine characteristic of a high-quality pearl.
Most pearls have slight imperfections because of how they are formed. However, a high number of such imperfections can take away from the beauty and durability of a pearl.
The thickness of a pearl's nacre coating helps determine its luster and durability. If the nacre coating is too thin, the pearl will have a dull or chalky appearance and the nucleus may be visible. A high-quality nacre coating will be thick and even.
Unless a piece of jewelry is designed to have different colors, shapes or sizes of pearls, the pearls in strands and other multi-pearl jewelry pieces should match as closely as possible.
Shapes & Settings
Shapes, Cuts and Settings
Shapes and Cuts
The Asscher cut has step-cut facets and a square shape. It highlights the clarity of the stone, so a high clarity grade is important.
A Baguette is a stone cut in the shape of a narrow rectangle with a faceted border. Baguettes are often channel-set or used as accents.
Briolettes are faceted, teardrop-shaped gemstones. Traditionally, briolettes had triangle-shaped facets. Modern briolettes can be found with diamond-shaped and other facets. They are often found in earrings and pendants.
A Cabochon is a stone with a smooth, rounded surface and a flat bottom.
The Cushion cut combines a square cut with rounded corners. This gives it a cushion-like appearance. Large facets highlight the stone's brilliance and clarity.
Emerald cuts have long, rectangular, step-cut facets and a large, open table. This cut highlights the clarity of the stone.
Heart-shaped stones are a distinct symbol of love. Essentially a pear-shaped stone with a cleft at the top, heart-shaped stones lend beautiful sparkle to whatever piece they're set in.
The Marquise shape, also called "navette," is an elongated oval with pointed ends. This long, narrow shape makes a stone look bigger than it really is.
An Oval-shaped stone has the fire and brilliance of a round stone, but has a distinct look. Oval-shaped stones are a popular choice because they accentuate long, slim fingers.
Pear-shaped stones are rounded on one end and have a single point on the other. The length of these stones has a slimming effect on the finger.
The Princess cut is a square-shaped cut whose unique look and beautiful sparkle make it a popular choice for engagement rings.
The Radiant cut is a rectangular or square stone whose corners have been cut off. Because of its shape, a radiant-cut stone can be paired with baguette, round or square accent stones.
Round stones are the most popular. The fire and brilliance of a round-cut stone makes it a breathtaking choice for solitaires and engagement rings.
The Trillion cut is a triangular-shaped cut that typically has 44 facets.
A Bezel setting consists of precious metal wrapped fully around the gemstone, holding it securely in place.
A Cathedral setting imitates cathedral architecture. It extends fully to meet the center stone on either side, providing extra protection and keeping the gemstone safe.
A Channel setting holds a series of gemstones by a slight rim of metal along the edges of the channel. Channel-set stones are usually round- or baguette-shaped.
A Flush setting is similar to a bezel setting; however, it is designed to make the inlaid stone even with (or "flush" with) the surface of the piece.
An Invisible setting is one in which the stones are set closely together to give the illusion that they are one large stone.
A Martini setting is a setting that, when combined with the post backing, resembles a martini glass.
A Miracle setting is a faceted setting designed to make the stone appear larger than it is.
A Pavé setting is comprised of small stones positioned close together and set apart by tiny beads of precious metal. Round-cut stones are commonly used.
A Prong setting holds the stone in place with a series of metal prongs.
A gemstone set in a Tension setting appears to be suspended in the air with nothing holding it in place. The gemstone is actually being held in place by a spring-loaded setting that exerts pressure on it.
A Trellis setting is a type of prong setting. It has four prongs, with two prongs crossing each other on either side of the shaft.
*Always follow care instructions included with your jewelry.
Pure gold is a soft precious metal resistant to rust, tarnish and corrosion. It is extremely malleable and often requires metal alloys like silver, nickel, zinc or copper to make it stronger and more durable. The ratio of pure gold to alloys is measured in karats (k); 24k gold jewelry is 100 percent pure gold.
Found naturally in yellow, the color of gold jewelry depends on the types and proportions of alloys used.
To care for gold jewelry, keep it away from harsh abrasives and clean it with warm, detergent-free soapy water and a soft-bristled brush.
Pure silver is an extremely soft precious metal. To create a strong alloy for use in jewelry, 92.5 percent pure silver is mixed with 7.5 percent of another metal, usually copper. This durable alloy is called sterling silver.
To prevent damage, keep sterling silver items away from household chemicals and out of chlorinated water. Polish sterling silver jewelry with a tarnish remover as necessary.
Stainless steel is a durable steel alloy made of chromium (at least 10.5 percent) and another metal. It is resistant to bending, breaking, tarnish, corrosion and rust. It is also hypoallergenic, ideal for those with sensitive skin.
To care for stainless steel jewelry, soak it in warm, soapy water and wipe it with a soft cloth. Do not use harsh abrasives.
The strongest of precious metals used in jewelry making, platinum is quite rare. Highly durable and dense, its color will never fade or alter. Most platinum jewelry is made of approximately 95 percent pure platinum.
To care for platinum jewelry, soak it in warm, soapy water and scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. To remove a patina, buff a platinum item with a soft cloth.
YellOra is a precious metal alloy that consists of 24-karat gold, sterling silver, palladium and proprietary metals. It offers the color and durability of traditional gold, plus it is tarnish-resistant and hypoallergenic.
Platina 4 blends silver, palladium, platinum and gold for a metal that is both durable and beautiful.
Platinaire is a metal alloy that consists primarily of silver with some platinum and complementary metals. It is made from 97.5% recycled materials, is hypoallergenic and is nearly impervious to tarnish.
Tungsten carbide, an alloy made of 80 percent tungsten and 20 percent carbon alloyed with other metals, is extremely strong and has a high melting point. It is virtually scratch-resistant and tarnish-resistant. In addition, it is hypoallergenic.
To clean tungsten jewelry, use detergent-free soap, warm water and a soft cloth. Ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaners and harsh abrasives should not be used.
Titanium, the hardest natural metal in the world, is very strong and lightweight. Pure titanium is hypoallergenic, perfect for those with sensitive skin.
To clean titanium jewelry, use window cleaner or liquid dish soap and water. Gently wipe away dirt and oils with a soft cloth. Do not use harsh abrasives.
A box chain is formed by the continuous linking of interconnected six-sided, three-dimensional miniature boxes.
A curb chain's links interlock with each other when laid flat.
In a figaro chain, a number of standard links (usually three) precede an elongated link all the way through the chain.
A herringbone chain features rows of short, diagonal parallel lines. It is designed to lie flat, so charms and pendants should not be hung from it.
An omega chain features evenly spaced rectangular links.
Composed of round or oval symmetrical links, a rolo chain is perfect for hanging charms.
A rope chain is composed of oval links designed to appear as if two strands are twisted together.
A snake chain is a very tightly linked chain that resembles snakeskin.
A wheat chain is created by braiding four strands of oval and twisted-oval links; it resembles an ear of wheat.
Measurements are approximate and will vary based on neck size and weight/style of product.
The perfect fit is essential to showcasing your jewelry. Print a ring sizing chart here. (Download)
ABALONE Often used as an inlay in jewelry because of its striking color, abalone comes from the iridescent inner layer of a mollusk shell.
BAIL Bail is a hooplike component used to attach a pendant to a chain or cord.
BANGLE A bangle is a nonflexible bracelet that is sometimes hinged.
BIRTHSTONE Birthstones are stones symbolically associated with months of the year.
BRILLIANCE Brilliance is the total amount of light reflected from both the interior and exterior surfaces of a stone.
CAMEO A cameo is an ornamental piece of jewelry featuring a profiled head over a contrasting background.
CARAT (ct.) Carat is a unit of weight used to measure diamonds and gemstones. One carat equals 200 milligrams.
CARAT TOTAL WEIGHT (ct. T.W.) The combined carat weight of all diamonds or gemstones in a piece of jewelry is the carat total weight.
DIAMOND DUST Diamond dust is a fine dust left over from the cutting of diamonds, which is applied to the surface of jewelry to make it shimmer and shine.
DICHROIC GLASS Dichroic glass is glass composed of multiple layers of metal oxides that produce an intensely colorful, metallic and reflective appearance.
ENAMEL Enamel is a substance applied to the surface of metal or glass to add a glossy finish and color.
ETERNITY RING Eternity rings feature a row of stones circling the entire band seamlessly. Eternity bands symbolize unending love.
FACET The flat, polished surfaces of a cut stone are its facets.
FILIGREE Filigree is the ornamental decoration of metal, often with the use of delicate wire.
GEMSTONE A gemstone is a natural or manmade mineral or other substance (e.g., amber, coral or pearls) used in jewelry and other ornamentation.
GRADUATED Graduated explains a jewelry design in which elements gradually become larger or smaller in size. For example, some necklaces feature pearls that gradually become larger in size, with the largest pearl placed at the center of the strand.
HAMMERED A hammered texture is produced by striking metal with a texturing hammer. These hammers have interchangeable plates to produce a variety of textures.
INCLUSION An inclusion is an internal flaw or imperfection caused during the formation of a diamond or gemstone. Each stone has a unique "fingerprint" based on its inclusions.
INFINITY DESIGN An infinity design is a looped design symbolizing eternal love.
INLAY An inlay is a piece of material, often a stone, inserted into the surface of a piece of jewelry.
JOURNEY DESIGN A journey design features a relaxed S-shaped setting embedded with graduated stones to symbolize a significant life journey or event.
LAB-CREATED A lab-created gemstone is a manmade stone that shares the same properties as its genuine counterparts.
MURANO GLASS See Venetian glass.
NACRE Nacre is a material secreted by mollusks to coat foreign substances that enter their shells. Layers of nacre form pearls.
OPENWORK Openwork refers to decorative, often patterned, metalwork with openings that allow the passage of light.
PATINA Patina is a tarnish that forms on the surface of some metals. Patina forms over long periods of time through weathering and wear.
PRECIOUS STONE Precious stone is a term often used to describe diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls.
RESIN Resin is a lightweight and tough natural or synthetic material. Plastic is an example of a synthetic resin.
RONDELLE Rondelle is a ring-like bead made of stone, crystal or a piece of metal.
SIMULATED Simulated describes a manmade stone that looks like, but does not have the same physical properties as, its genuine counterpart. Simulated stones are often composed of glass or plastic.
SOLITAIRE A diamond, gemstone or pearl set alone on a piece of jewelry.
VENETIAN GLASS Venetian glass has long been world-renowned for its elaborate, colorful designs. Because the Venetian glassmaking industry moved to the island of Murano in the late 13th century, "Murano" and "Venetian" are now used interchangeably.