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Diamond Buying Guide: Looking Through the Jeweller’s Loupe

Diamond Buying Guide

WHEN it comes to buying jewellery, nothing beats diamonds for pure class and elegance. Yet we don’t get to buy diamonds every day. So how do you know you’re getting the best diamonds at the best price? Our jeweller explains…

“THE FOUR Cs”
Luckily, the quality and value of a diamond can be easily assessed using four fundamental criteria. If you’ve been researching diamonds, you’ll already know these are called the four Cs – cut, colour, clarity and carat.

Diamond certificate

A diamond certificate issued by IGI laboratory

THE FIFTH AND SIXTH Cs?
We additionally like to remind our customers about “a further two Cs”. Many of our larger, better quality diamonds, such as engagement ring solitaires, come with a certificate from a diamond laboratory – for example Canadian Diamonds or the International Gemmological Institute. A certificate is independent proof of a stone’s qualities and size.

Another consideration is making sure you buy a conflict-free diamond. These are stones that have been sourced ethically. They haven’t been sold on the black market by illegal groups or terrorists who commit human right violations. Read our Ethical Diamonds blog post to learn more.

ASSESSING THE BASICS: CUT, COLOUR, CLARITY AND CARAT
Before buying a diamond, and especially if you are looking for something to mark a special occasion, you should do a little research. That way you’ll understand how to use the four Cs to judge your potential purchase. Here’s our diamond buying guide to help you out.

1. CUT
Cut refers to the proportions, symmetry, finish, shape and style of the diamond. The cut is arguably the most important of the five Cs. It is also the only aspect that relies solely on man rather than nature. Only a skilled master craftsman can find the beautiful shape of a diamond within a rough stone and create a breathtaking effect.

Round/Brilliant Cut

Round Cut

Princess Cut Diamond

Princess Cut

Emerald Cut Diamond

Emerald Cut

Marquise Cut

Marquise Cut

Pear Shaped Diamond

Pear Shape

 

 

 

 

We choose to use a Good/Very Good cut in all our diamonds that are colour-graded H and above. (Learn more about diamond colour below).

Things to remember about CUT:
* It’s very important, because the allure of a diamond comes from the way it sparkles.
* A poorly cut stone results in a lack of brilliance and fire.

2. COLOUR
All diamonds are graded by colour. White diamonds fall within a range from colourless (D) to light yellow (Z). Here you can see one of our “E” colour-graded diamonds. It is essentially considered colourless.

One carat E colour diamond ring

1-carat diamond in colour grade E – click on the ring to learn more

Things to remember about COLOUR:
* Most diamonds have traces of yellow, brown or grey.
* The colour of a diamond is determined in a laboratory using visual assessment.

3. CLARITY
Clarity is an indication of a diamond’s purity. The clearer the diamond is, the more vivid and intense the sparkle will be. Diamonds are measured with the below units, with “IF” being the clearest and “I3” the least clear. We sell diamonds with clarity grades ranging from VS1 to SI2 in our E to H colour diamonds.

Diamond clarity chart
If you peer closely into a diamond, you may see small mineral flecks or fractures inside it. These are naturally occurring marks called “inclusions”. The clearer a diamond is on the inside, the rarer and more expensive it is.

Things to remember about CLARITY:
* Almost all diamonds have imperfections, scratches or air bubbles.
* These will be invisible to the naked eye in the most valuable stones.

This is what a one carat prince cut diamond ring looks on the hand4. CARAT
A diamond’s weight is measured in carats. There are 100 points to each carat. Meaning if a diamond weighs 50 points it will be half a carat, and this would be indicated as 0.50CT. Here you can see how a 1.00CT weight diamond looks on a woman’s hand.

Things to remember about CARAT weight:
*Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to diamonds! A badly cut 2 carat diamond won’t be as stunning as a well cut single carat stone.

FINALLY…
Even when you’re convinced the diamond has passed the 4 Cs assessment, there are other things to consider. The first being: who is the diamond for? If you’re buying diamonds as a gift, it’s a good idea to make sure the person will like what you’ve chosen. Especially if you’re buying something like an engagement ring. Visit our comprehensive Engagement Ring Learning Centre to find out more.

Not feeling confident? Just get in touch with us. We are always happy to chat about our diamond jewellery and help you find the best one for you, whatever your style or budget.

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