LEARN ABOUT DIAMONDS
Learn more about a diamonds characteristics to maximize your diamond choice
Never buy a diamond from someone you don’t trust;
Buy a smaller, good-quality diamond rather than a large diamond that is dull and full of flaws;
Make sure the ring suits your lifestyle and personality;
If your budget allows, opt for platinum over white or yellow gold as it’s stronger, retains its colour and is scratch-resistant;
Keep the Four Cs (cut, clarity, carat and colour) in mind, but buy the best diamond in your price range – of the four, the cut is the most important as it determines the diamond’s lustre.
SELECT YOUR DIAMOND SHAPE
Diamond shape refers to a diamond’s physical form, and is often one of the first attributes to consider when shopping for a diamond. While round diamonds are the most popular choice, many are drawn to the “fancy shaped” diamonds. Fancy shaped diamonds include princess, cushion, emerald, radiant, oval, pear, and heart shaped diamonds. Each diamond shape has its own unique characteristics and is cut to different specifications, which impacts the overall look of the stone.
Round Oval Marquise Heart Pear Triangle Emerald Radiant Cushion Princess
The cut of a diamond refers not to its shape, but to the balance of proportion, symmetry and polish achieved by the diamond cutter. The extent of how well the diamond is cut is directly related to the diamond’s overall beauty. When a diamond has been correctly cut, the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light is greatly enhanced. By understanding the way that light moves through diamond crystals, modern diamond cutters have established a specific set of proportions and angles that are known to harness the diamond’s internal brilliance and to show it in its best light.
Proportions / Cut: This refers to the specific angles and dimensions that are required to maximize the return of light from the diamond.
Polish: This refers to the final polish of each facet.
Symmetry: This refers to the shape, positioning, arrangement and balance of the facets.
Colour refers to the natural body colour of a diamond and not to the reflection of spectral colours that flash when a diamond moves. Most diamonds naturally exhibit slight hints of yellow, brown, or gray. This colour is caused by natural trace elements of nitrogen that were present when the diamond formed under the Earth’s crust. The less colour a diamond exhibits, the higher the rarity, and therefore the higher the value.
Diamonds with less colour allow more light to pass, releasing more brilliance and fire. A diamond acts as a prism by dividing light into a spectrum of colours and reflecting this light as colourful flashes called dispersion or fire. Similar to looking through coloured glass, colour in a diamond will diminish the spectrum of colour, or fire, emitted by acting as a filter. A diamond with a higher colour grade, i.e., one with less colour, demonstrates more colourful fire.
Diamonds are found with a range of colours, the rarest being colourless or fancy colours such as greens, blues and reds.
Clarity refers to how clean or clear the diamond is with respect to natural microscopic characteristics that were trapped within or on the diamond while it was forming. Internal characteristics are known as inclusions, and characteristics on the surface of the gem are known as blemishes. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks, known as feathers, which can appear whitish or cloudy.
Often the inclusions are microscopic diamonds that were absorbed by the larger crystal before the diamond was carried to the surface of the Earth. The quantity, size, color, location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions all affect the final clarity grade of a diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are considered particularly rare and highly valued.
The IF Grade (Internally Flawless) describes diamonds which have no internal inclusions.
The VVS1 & VVS2 Grades (Very, Very Slight Included) describes diamonds that have minute small inclusions.
The VS1 & VS2 Grades (Very, Slightly Included) describes diamonds that have very small inclusions
The SI1 & SI2 & SI3 Grades (Slightly Included) describes diamonds with small inclusions.
The I1 & I2 & I3 Grades (Included) describes diamonds with inclusions that are easily visible to the naked eye.
Carat (ct.) refers to the unique unit of weight measurement used exclusively to weigh gems and diamonds. Carat weight is often confused with visual size even though it is actually a measurement of weight. Depending on the shape and type of gemstone being weighed, the weight will visually show itself differently. For example, a 1.00 ct. round diamond will measure around 6.5mm, and a 1.00 ct. round sapphire will measure around 6.0mm. This is due to the varying density of different gemstones.
Total carat weight (t.c.w.) is a phrase that represents the total weight of all diamonds or other gemstones in a piece of jewellery, when more than one gemstone is used. Diamond solitaire earrings, for example, are usually quoted in t.c.w., indicating the combined weight of the diamonds in both earrings.
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. A carat is equivalent to 0.2 of a gram. The chart shows the actual physical size of the diamonds and the diameters in millimeters.