This category refers to the shape of the diamond i.e. Round, Oval, Pear, Princess, Trilliant, Emerald, Radiant, etc.
This is purely dependent on personal preference and design aesthetic.
Secondly, the cut grade of a diamond refers to how well the diamond has been cut, symmetry & proportions as well as the quality of faceting and polish. For us, this is perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking at diamonds to buy, as you want a diamond that delivers a maximum return of light.
It is important to note that Cut Grade alone can result in a diamond being discounted by up to half of its value, so when a diamond price looks too good to be true, it often is!
The only exception to this is Fancy coloured diamonds which are cut to enhance their natural colour and might result in a Good Cut. Grade
This refers to the weight of the diamond. The diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because the larger the diamonds, they are generally more rare and desirable.
However, two diamonds of equal weight can have considerable differences in price and value depending on the other three factors considered: Colour, Clarity and Cut.
Diamond colour evaluation is based on the absence of colour. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, and consequently a higher value unless it is a fancy coloured diamond .
Diamond colours are graded from D-Z and evaluated under strictly controlled lighting and viewing conditions to assess colour accurately. The distinctions between the colour grades are often very subtle and not obvious to the untrained eye, but they do make a big difference in terms of pricing.
Here is an overview of diamond colour grading:
D - F : Colourless
G - J : Near Colourless
K - M : Faint Yellow
N - R : Very Light Yellow
S - Z : Light Yellow
Diamonds that fall beyond colour Z are considered to be Fancy Yellow and are graded using a different system that describes their unique hues and intensity of colour.
Below is an illustration of the colour grading scale
As we mentioned, diamonds are formed far beneath the earth's surface and when exposed to tremendous pressure and heat, a variety of internal characteristics called "blemishes" occur.
Inclusions can consist of tiny crystals that are trapped while the diamond is formed or irregularities in the atomic structure. The clarity grading refers to the absence of inclusions or blemishes in the diamond and is assessed according to the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these and how they affect the overall appearance of the stone under 10 x magnification.
It is important to note that inclusions need not be seen as a negative characteristic of a diamond unless the particular inclusion affects the overall beauty of the stone. Inclusions are what make the diamond unique, and are also evidence of mineral formations from billions of years ago, proving that your diamond is natural. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.
Clarity grading has 6 categories:
F - Flawless - no inclusions or blemishes visible
IF - Internally Flawless - no inclusions visible
VVS1 & VVS2 - Very Very Slightly Included - Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see
VS1 & VS2 - Very slightly included - Inclusions are observed with effort, but can be characterized as minor
SI1 & SI2 - Slightly included - Inclusions are noticeable under magnification. Some may be visible to the naked eye when closely inspected.
I1, I2, I3 - Included - inclusions are obvious under magnification and generally visible to the naked eye, which may affect brilliance and transparency
Bonus 'C' - Character
The Four C's are the most traditional guide for determining diamond's quality. These measures will always hold value, however, not only diamonds that are considered "flawless" are beautiful.
We believe each diamond has an appeal that is not necessarily included in the four C's and this is why we will always show you a few options of diamonds to choose from.
We are focused on finding the right diamond for YOU.
Sometimes more colour or character forms part of the stone's natural allure.
We've also seen that Salt and Pepper diamonds with varying degrees of 'speckled' inclusions or cognac/champagne diamonds with soft brown/yellow hues, have become increasingly popular and couldn't agree more!
Blood Diamonds (also called conflict diamonds) are diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance an insurgency.
The term is often used to label an individual diamond as having come from such an area or to highlight the negative consequences of the diamond trade in certain areas.
In the late 90s, we saw stricter and more precautionary regulations put in place. These focused on curbing the trade of blood diamonds, creating a fair and ethical diamond trading industry.
We pride ourselves on not contributing to human right violations by having safeguards in place to identify and respond to human rights risks throughout our supply chain.
All our diamonds are sourced and procured within the new diamond trading regulations.
We love working with family jewels and heirlooms. Creating new pieces containing old stones is our forte! We happily accept diamonds brought in by clients for their own pieces.
We will, however, always test the stones brought into our studio before accepting them, to determine whether they are genuine.
Even though diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, they are not indestructible. It's a tricky concept to wrap your head around but diamonds
CAN still crack or chip due to blunt force or hard blows (one should be particularly careful with heavily included diamonds).
We always urge our clients to wear their diamond pieces with special care to ensure their signature sparkle.
Apart from this, these are our other general recommendations:
- Avoid exposure to any harsh chemicals
- Avoid wearing your jewellery while swimming, hiking, washing dishes, gyming, or any activities where your jewellery is at risk of being knocked or scratched
- Always clean your pieces with warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. For any specific cleaning measure, we will make recommendations or ask you to visit the studio
- Store your diamond pieces somewhere SECURE, in its box, and apart from jewels which may be cut or scratched by the diamond due to its natural hardness
- Bring your piece to the studio once a year for us to give it a proper professional clean and inspection for any weakness in the settings or traumas