A Diamond Guide
A diamond’s exceptional lustre and brilliant fire, coupled with the fact that it is virtually indestructible make it one of the most desired of gemstones. No other stone has the awe-inspiring reputation of the diamond. Pure carbon, the diamond is the hardest material known to man so is rightly the pinnacle of all stones.
How do you get the right diamond for you and feel confident you have made the right selection then please read the following guidelines that explain in simple terms how to make that correct choice.
At first sight trying to understand the different guidelines that are used to define the qualities of a diamond might appear to be rather confusing and some might think unnecessary. However, many jewellery retailers rely upon this point of view in order to sell low grade diamonds and usually at huge a profit.
We at Jewellery by William.com believe this isn’t the correct or morally right way to trade. The truth is that by just understanding the basic components of diamond grading it will allow a far better, and much more visually striking diamond to be chosen that will delight for many generations.
The information below sets out the basics elements of just how diamonds are graded commonly known as the 4c’s (Clarity, Cut, Colour, Carat) and we also offer some suggestions on what to look out for on your buying quest.
It is extremely rare to find a perfectly clear diamond as most diamonds contain imperfections normally called inclusions. All of these are created by nature and make every diamond a unique item. Inclusions can range from tiny dark or light solid fragments to feather type marks.
Many inclusions are not always visible to the naked eye and can only be assessed by a gemologist using some sort of magnification. The more inclusions a stone contains usually the easier they are to detect and it is this that will determine the clarity grade.
Diamonds that have inclusions visible to the naked eye are rated lowest on the clarity scale. These are graded I1 through to I3, they were previously called (pique) PK1 to PK3. We at Jewellery by William only offer the highest of these I1 as an option for the buyer with a limited budget.
Diamonds that have inclusions usually not visible to the naked eye are called SI (slight inclusion). At Jewellery by William.com all of our initial diamond options are a minimum of SI clarity. Although these diamonds do have small inclusions they are not visible to the naked eye. Even a professional gemologist would not be able to see the difference between this and higher levels of clarity without some sort of magnification. This is why we believe it is the ideal choice of clarity for those customers who are looking for a more impressive diamond.
Diamonds that have very small inclusions are called VS and these inclusions can hardly be found with a 10x magnification again at Jewellery by William.com we automatically offer this quality of diamond for the more discerning buyer as an alternative option.
Diamonds with very very small inclusions and very hard to find with a 10x magnification are called VVS. Jewellery by William.com have these stones available for sale and if you require a quotation please contact our customer services on 0845 519 0097.
Diamonds that are absolutely transparent and free from inclusions with a 10x magnification are called IF internally flawless again we at Jewellery by William.com have these stones available for sale and again if you require a quotation please contact our customer services on 0845 519 0097.
The cut of a diamond is often confused with its Shape. Diamonds come in a variety of different shapes with round and princess being the most popular. Other cut shapes include emerald, marquise, baguette, pear and heart.
However, it is the cut quality that is the primary factor that defines how a diamond sparkles and fragments the light giving it an inner radiance. If the diamond is too tall and narrow or too wide and short, light will not reflect properly and it will usually appear cloudy to the eye.
How a diamond has been cut, polished, and to what proportions and symmetry therefore, are of utmost importance since these factors determine the light, brilliance and dispersion of the diamond. If these cutting factors fall below standard, the appearance of the diamond will be adversely affected.
As there are a number of individual measurements used to determine the ideal proportions of a diamond graders can sort the cut into different categories of quality. These defined standards are called Weak, Fair, Good, Very Good, or Ideal and they can be used to make comparison easier between diamonds.
So does this mean you should only buy Ideal cut diamonds? As with many aspects of diamond quality, there is a law of decreasing returns. After significant research, we believe that diamonds graded as Good cut offer the best compromise between visual appeal and price. This is why all our diamonds used are always a minimum of ‘Good’ cut to ensure the beauty of Jewellery by William.com diamond will always shine through.
Diamonds are very rarely colourless and come in a range of colours graded from D (colourless) to Z (coloured). Diamond colour at I and J increasingly start to gain a yellow tinge which detracts from the sparkling beauty of the diamond.
At these colour levels, the yellow tinge is less noticeable if the diamond is mounted in yellow gold, but it is easily visible when mounted in white gold or platinum. Therefore, in our opinion, diamonds mounted in white metal should always be a minimum of H colour.
However, to ensure that this issue is avoided regardless of the type of setting, all Jewellery by William.com diamonds are colour G, H (near colourless) or better. This ensures clear sparkling brilliance can be assured.
Diamond Carat Weight
Carat is the measurement of weight of a diamond. It does not measure its size and it is should not be confused with “Caratage” which is a measure of precious metal purity.
All other things being equal, the greater the carat weight, the more rare the diamond and the more expensive it will be.
Stones are measured in carats each carat is made up of 100pts so a half carat is 50pts a quarter carat is 25pts and so on.
Although many people equate “bigger” with “better,” diamonds of all carat weights have the potential to be lively, exciting, and beautiful provided that they have the correct cut, clarity and colour characteristics.
At Jewellery by William.com we offer certified diamonds as an option. We currently use three different independent certifying organisations GIA, IGI and Anchor Cert.
GIA – the Gemological Institute of America is a highly respected certifying organisation and is generally used to certify our higher value stones. IGI – the International Gemological Institute is another highly respected institution used in the same way to certify lower carat weight stones. Anchor cert is the certifying division of the London and Birmingham Assay Office and has now become a trusted source of diamond certificates in the UK.
Conflict Free Diamonds
You may have heard of the term “conflict diamonds”. Conflict diamonds are diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognised governments and are used to fund military action in oppositions to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council of the United Nations.
Our policy on conflict diamonds is absolutely rigorous. We will never buy, sell or handle any diamonds of unclear provenance and we insist that all of our suppliers subscribe to The Kimberley Certification Scheme.