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Anthony Lee - Jan 01 2020

Diamond Buying Guide

Diamond Guide

Ms every gem is unique it can be tricky to know exactly what to look for when buying diamonds. First, you should understand the 4 C’s: carat, cut, clarity and colour, as these affect the value and the overall appearance of the diamond. We know this is a tricky yet important decision to make, therefore we have created a simple guide on what to know about buying diamonds.

Start with a shape

Diamonds offer a wide variety of shapes, each of which is unique to the personality and taste of its wearer. Choosing the shape of the diamond should be based on personal preference, although it is good to note there are some advantages to certain shapes Shape refers to the overall outline of the diamond when viewed from the top and that determines the price as well. The most expensive shape is the round diamond. That’s because they are best at reflecting light and shine like there’s no tomorrow! Although the choice of the shape mostly depends on your personal style, a princess, cushion or heart cut is what we would recommend if your diamond is bigger than 1 carat.

The round cut diamond is the most popular shape and has evolved from the Old European Cut.

Round 

A square shaped diamond which is thought to have grown vastly in popularity due to it being both brilliant and unique. The princess cut diamond is most commonly used stone for engagement rings.

Princess

The pear is sometimes called a tear drop, is a unique and feminine shape with one rounded and one pointed end that makes for a delicate and stunning choice. The narrow end of the stone is worn pointing towards the hand of the wearer.

Pear

The Asscher Diamond cut is a rectangular shape similar to the more well-known emerald cut, with prismatic brilliance, tremendous lustre and a fascinating optical illusion known as the "Hall of Mirrors" effect.

Asscher

The Emerald diamond shape is truly unique with its pavillion cut in rectangular facets to create an elegant finish.

Emerald

The Marquise shape boasts regal appeal and is perfect for those looking to maximise carat weight. The varying lengths of the diamond can produce what is called a ‘bow-tie’ effect.

Marquise

The Heart shape is perfect for the romantics amongst us and a ultimate symbol of love and adoration.

Heart

The Radiant combines both the elegant and classic appeal of the Emerald with the simplicity of the Round.

Radiant

Featuring rounded corners and large facets to increase brilliance, this shape has been a favourite for more than a century.

Cushion

Diamond Cut

The diamond cut determines the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light. The perfect diamond has a Table percentage of 53% to 57% and a Pavilion depth of about 43%. 

The cut grading currently only applies to Round diamonds as they are technically easier to measure in terms of light performance. Other shapes – such as Princess cuts, Cushion cuts, Emerald shapes, do not have a cut grading on their certificate but Lords Jewels provide an estimated cut grading based on equivalent parameters. Cut grades range from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. The grading takes into account various attributes of the diamond that cannot be seen or measured with the untrained eye. An excellent cut grading will have the best light performance, mainly influenced by the relationship of surface table and the depth of the diamond (not too deep or too shallow).

Diamond Carat Weight

Diamonds are weighed in carats. The carat weight of a diamond is the most important and visible feature that is considered when comparing the diamond price.

Diamond Colour Depths 

The diamond industry has adopted an alphabetical colour scale from D to Z, with D as the highest grading. As you go down the scale, the diamond starts to develop a yellow or brown tint. These imperfections are graded under x10 magnification, which is the standard for grading diamond clarity. However, this rule is not to be confused with coloured diamonds. Coloured diamonds are graded on a separate diamond colour scale and can even be more rare or valuable than the diamond.

D is the highest colour grade attributed to a diamond, denoting that the stone is completely colourless (white) The colour difference between a D and E or F graded stone is usually only visible to an expert gemmologist using master stones as a comparison.

D E F  

These graded diamonds are nearly colourless and a slight colour difference only become perceptible when compared to diamonds of grades D or E. These graded stones appear colourless especially once set and therefore offer excellent value for money.

G H 

I and J coloured diamonds are very slightly tinted diamonds, however, once set in jewellery, these stones may appear colourless. If you are looking to maximize your budget, then an these coloured diamond offers great value for money.

I-J 

A visible faint yellow tint that can be seen by the naked eye, preferably set in yellow gold to create a camouflage.

K L M 

Diamonds with a brown or yellow tint and are comparatively less expensive than the above range, named as “very light color”.

N-R  

Noticeable light yellow colour or Prominent brown color; can be used as colored diamonds alone or rejection amongst colorless ones. Widely called “ light color”.

S – Z  

Diamond Clarity

When diamonds are formed, deep underground and under extreme pressure and heat, imperfections in the crystal structure can form and mineral impurities become trapped inside the stone. The grading scale starts from Flawless / Internally Flawless (FL/IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1/VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1/VS2), Slightly Included (SI1/SI2) to Included (I1, I2 and I3)

Extremely rare, with no inclusions at all. Flawless diamonds are among the rarest and most expensive.

IF(Internally Flawless)

No visible inclusions to the naked eye, only very minute inclusions are visible to trained experts at 10x magnification. These make a beautiful option for an engagement ring.

VVS1/VVS2

VS1/VS2- No visible inclusions to the naked eye and, again, these are difficult to see even by a trained expert at 10x magnification. However, these inclusions are bigger, or there may be more of them, than seen in a VVS diamond. These diamonds offer good value for someone looking for a diamond engagement ring as the inclusions are still not visible to the naked eye

Very Slightly Inclusions 

S1/S2- Diamonds are those whose imperfections are visible at 10x magnification. A typical SI diamond might have a cloud, a feather, and an included crystal of another mineral. Neither the diamond’s transparency nor face up appearance may be affected by these inclusions.

Slightly inclusion

I2-Inclusions that are easy to locate even with the naked eye and may occupy a large part of the diamond.

Inclusion

Diamond Certification

WHAT IS DIAMOND CERTIFICATION?

Diamond Certification (most commonly from labs GIA, IGI, AGS, and HRD) is basically your diamond’s authenticity certificate you receive from an objective 3rd party lab that describes a diamond in all of its characteristics. This lab report or certificate will be issued by a grading entity and describes various elements of the diamond, such as Color, Clarity, length and width. Trained professionals evaluate, scrutinize and measure the diamonds using professional tools, such as a loupe or microscope.

The International Gemological Institute, or IGI, is the largest independent gemological laboratory in the world, with locations in all major diamond centers. IGI's mission is to provide jewellery professionals and consumers with extensive education programs and reliable diamond and fine jewellery certification. An IGI certificate is comprised of a detailed analysis of a diamond's characteristics by several expert gemologists

IGI

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the most well-respected and renowned diamond grading entity. They are incredibly consistent and provide the greatest peace of mind when purchasing any diamond.. Introduced in 1953, their diamond and gemstone grading system is recognized worldwide. Manufacturers from around the world send diamonds and gems to GIA for examination and analysis. When a diamond is accompanied by a GIA certificate, the consumer is assured that the stone has been analyzed by an unbiased gemologist who upholds the highest standards of integrity, science, and professionalism.

GIA

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