So, You’ve Decided You’d Like Some Diamond Jewellery…
…but where to start? How do you know you’re getting enough bang for your buck? Well, the value of a diamond is decided by its clarity, its cut, its colour, and its carat. If you’re choosing an engagement ring or another piece that requires a big, beautiful stone, then you need to know you’re getting the quality you want. If it’s something smaller where it just needs to be good enough, rather than perfect, then we can help you out there too. Just read the guide below, and you should be confident in any kind of diamond selection.
Diamond Anatomy & Cut Quality
An ideal diamond is cut not too shallow and not too deep – just the right depth to give optimum clarity and beauty. This is why our diamonds are sourced from prestigious fine diamond suppliers in the World Famous Hatton Garden Jewellery District.
Individual designs take into account things like how far above the setting the table should sit, or how to shape a piece to closely hug the pavilion angle. The diagram below best illustrates all the parts that make up a
Understanding the 4 C’s of Diamonds Shopping
Diamonds are graded by Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat – from the least expensive, to the epitome of perfection. When you’re deciding on the diamonds that you want for your special piece of jewellery, these are the factors to consider.
Diamonds are graded on a scale from I3 (Lowest grade – Included Level 3) to IF (Internally Flawless). VS1 and VS2 are considered the ‘sweet spot’ of diamond selection, in that you get a beautiful gem for the most reasonable price in that range. We don’t recommend going below this grade, but if you want to go higher, then perfection is available for a cost.
Diamond Clarity Descriptions
I3-I1 – Dead rocks. Don’t ever consider a diamond in this range, as they are so heavily included with flaws as to look like crushed quartz rocks.
S2-S1 – Slightly Included. This is the beginning of the ‘eye clean’ range. These diamonds have flaws that are immediately noticeable under magnification but would take closer inspection with the naked eye to identify flaws.
VS2-VS1 – Very Slightly Included. The sweet spot for diamonds on a budget. VS2 diamonds will be viewed by most people as facing-up eye clean, VS1 diamonds are practically impossible to identify as having inclusions, face up, using the naked eye.
VVS2-VVS1 – Very Very Slightly Included. When we get into this range, it’s actually becoming difficult to identify any inclusions under magnification. Diamond grading is done under 10x magnification. You may need to crank up the magnification to 30x or 40x to clearly see the inclusions in a VVS1 diamond.
IF – Internally Flawless. The name pretty much says it all. Under 10x magnification, no inclusions or blemishes are visible. The most expensive grade of diamond in this scale, but also the most perfect.
Deciding on the cut of your diamond is a fundamental step. Each cut has its own personality, and changing out the cut of your diamond in a design can completely change the character of the final finished piece.
Diamond Cut Descriptions
Radiant – A rectangular cut with trimmed corners. Almost like an Emerald cut, but with the brilliance normally associated with a Round cut.
Heart- An absolutely symmetrical cut comprising of typically 56-58 facets.
Asscher- An octagon cut, whose deeply cut corners create a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect when looking into the stone.
Cushion- Sometimes called a ‘pillow cut’. A classic, elegant cut, similar to the Oval Cut, that was very popular in Victorian times.
Princess- Pointed corners and crisp edges distinguish this square cut. Its striking clarity makes it very popular for engagement rings.
Round- The classic cut, refined by countless diamond cutters over hundreds of years. This is the shape most of us think of when presented with the word ‘diamond’.
Oval- Very popular on engagement rings for ladies with long, slender fingers. This cut is a modern twist on the classic Round.
Pear- A beautiful combination of the Round and Marquise cuts. When cut to symmetrical perfection, this adds a soft and delicate element to any design.
Marquise- This cut maximises the carat weight of a diamond, giving you more ‘bang for your buck’ as well as a slender, beautiful style.
Emerald- Distinguished by its large open pavilion, this cut emphasises the clarity of the diamond. This also makes any inclusions and diamond colour more apparent.
Unless we’re talking about fancy coloured diamonds (a whole different topic) this is just as you’d expect; the whiter the diamond, the higher the price. These are the grades officially used to categorise diamond colour.
Diamond Color Descriptions
M-Z – Extremely coloured. These will be quite obvious, even in poor lighting.
K-L – Coloured. Less noticeable colouring. More obvious under direct light on a white background.
G-J – Near-colourless. Very difficult to discern with the naked eye, even on a white background with direct light. Typically, the only way to tell these apart from colourless is to compare them side-by-side.
D-F – Colourless. The most expensive colouring. Whitest of the white diamonds.
The weight of the diamond is described in carats. The larger the carat, the larger the diamond. The size of a diamond is a combination of its carat and cut. When looking at diamonds, you may see the size in either grams, milligrams, points or carats.
1 carat is equal to 1/5 gram, 200 milligrams, or 100 points.
The size of the diamond is determined by its cut, as well as its carat. For illustration purposes, here are the approximate typical sizes of Round Cut diamonds with the following carats:
0.1ct: 3mm diameter.
0.25ct: 4mm diameter.
0.5ct: 5mm diameter.
0.75ct: 6mm diameter.
1ct: 6.5mm diameter.
1.25ct: 7mm diameter.
1.5ct: 7.5mm diameter.
1.75ct: 7.75mm diameter.
2ct: 8mm diameter.
2.5ct: 9mm diameter.
Now that you know what to look for, maybe you’d like your own custom design, featuring a diamond you’ve selected for its quality and cut? We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.