Diamond Grading

A diamond purchase is usually a gift of love and one of the most important purchases you will ever make.

This information is designed to ensure you can discern a quality diamond from a diamond of lesser quality ensuring you achieve the best diamond and the best value for money.

Two diamonds that appear similar may have vastly different values, so it’s important to know all the various diamond characteristics.

Most people know about carat weight and it is one of the principal factors in choosing your diamond but there are four vital characteristics involved in determining the value of a diamond known internationally as the four C’s of diamond grading: Carat weight, Colour, Clarity and Cut.

Carat weight or size can be seen by the untrained observer, colour, clarity and most importantly cut need detailed explanation.

Diamonds are measured by weight with the unit of scale being a carat. One carat is equal to one fifth of a gram and each carat is then divided into one hundred points. The price of diamonds is based upon rarity with larger stones rarer than smaller stones. So, the larger the stone the higher the price per carat.

A one carat stone is much rarer than two half carat stones and is therefore considerably more than twice as valuable.

Diamond Colour

It’s not so well known that diamonds come in every colour of the rainbow as well as black and they come in varying degrees of intensity of each and every colour.

The most sought after diamonds are those that have no colour. It is this lack of colour which determines the most valuable diamonds. The finest colour is known as D-colour and as other colours taint this pure whiteness the colour grade is decreased from D to H the stone appear from white to whitish as we proceed further down the scale a yellow or brown overtone then taints the whiteness with increasing saturation.

The far less desirable brown tinted diamonds and yellow tinted diamonds are quite often used by less reputable retailers to create price point or promotional jewellery. Other colours such as grey or silver may also tint diamonds.

It is critical that the colour grade be correct as any change in colour can change the value of the diamond very significantly. Diamond colour is determined by a visual assessment with a known set of master stones to compare against or with the aid of an electronic grading machine.

Diamond Clarity

Clarity refers to the level of inclusions or natural imperfections in the diamond.

The fewer the inclusions the rarer and more valuable the diamond. Diamonds are clarity graded under a special fully corrected triplet by ten magnifying loop with very clean stones further tested under a binocular microscope. The positioning of the inclusions also plays a critical role in the assessment process. For example, centre marks in the table area are more undesirable than the same size marks at the girdle.

Clarity grading is a finite and exacting art and for every change in clarity grade there is once again a significant price variation. The most popular clarity of diamonds for engagement rings is between VS1 and SI2. In these grades the tiny imperfections cannot be seen with the unaided eye and the diamonds are still at an affordable price.

A diamond grading report showing a plotting map of the inclusions accompanies every certified diamond of ¼ carrot and above, verifying the diamonds clarity grade to international standards.

Diamond Cut

The majority of people focus on colour and clarity when discussing the attributes of a diamond. Colour and clarity are important but it’s the quality of the cut that makes the difference between a dull and lifeless diamond and a diamond alive with remarkable fire and brilliance.

The more perfect the cutting, the more sparkle you and everyone else will see. Our diamonds are cut to exacting mathematical proportions to show maximum brilliance. The resulting scintillation and explosion of light sets us apart from just any diamond. When all the facet angles are correct the light that enters the diamond is dispersed back through the top facets. A stone that is cut too shallow or too deep allows light leakage and does not allow the maximum beauty of the diamond to be realized. Even a better coloured diamond or a better clarity diamond will not appear as beautiful as a very well cut diamond.

Cut more than any other characteristic gives the diamond its sparkle and beauty.

On the diamond grading report every facet of the diamond is measured to ensure the angle and percentage size is within tight tolerances with corresponding facets. When checking diamonds, you must also look at the girdle thickness. Diamonds with a thick girdle carry unnecessary weight and hence have a smaller diameter for the same weight. Giving the appearance of a smaller diamond and not representing good value. The independent diamond grading report identifies the diameter and the girdle thickness. 

The ‘Hearts and Arrows’ name is derived from the optical effect achieved when a diamond is cut to the highest level of perfection. When such an ideal cut diamond is viewed through a jeweller’s symmetry viewer it displays 8 perfect hearts and 8 perfect arrows. The arrows are seen from the top of the diamond and the hearts are seen from the bottom of the stone.

Our diamonds are guaranteed by independent certification; this is your assurance of quality and value.