More About Diamonds
When choosing diamonds for your wedding or engagment ring, it is useful to understand what to look for - so we have prepared a guide to help you choose and learn about the perfect stone for your ring.
The value of a diamond is decided by a combination of factors known as the 4 Cs: Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut.
The Carat is the raw weight of the diamond. However, size is also important because or the rarity of large stones. One large diamond will be much more expensive than several smaller diamonds which add up to the same number of carats due to the rarity of a large stone.
Colour also affects the value of the diamond. It is measured from D which is colourless and the most valuable through to G or H which is nearly colourless, to K-M which are faint yellow, right down to Z which is very yellow. Diamonds classified beyond Z are described as 'fancy colours' and are prized in their own right.
Diamond Clarity describes the number of flaws within the stone. This ranges from Fl and IF (flawless and internally flawless) to I3 (Imperfect).
You will find that some high street jewellers seem to offer diamond rings at fairly inexpensive prices. This is due to the lower quality of the stone - often I or J in colour (tending towards yellow) and SI2 in clarity (with flaws within the stone).
Diamonds can be cut into a number of different shapes and designs, and which style of cut you choose is simply down to your own personal preference. It is the quality of the cut which will affect its value. A well cut diamond will be neither too squat nor too slim, and neither too deep nor too shallow, so that its sparkle is maximised. A 'Brilliant Cut' is the most frequently selected for engagement rings, its round shape and perfect cut showcasing the stone to perfection. Also popular is the typically-square-shaped 'Princess Cut', a contemporary cut that offsets the design of many rings very well.
Know what you're buying
"Conflict" or "Blood Diamonds" are diamonds which have been mined in conflict regions such as Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are exploited illegally by rebel groups to fund militias and arms. The Kimberley Process was set up to control the trade of conflict diamonds to ensure that reputable shops do not buy from sources which encourage such activity. Our jewellery designers ONLY use diamonds which adhere to the Kimberley Process, which means they come from a source which does not fund conflict. ALWAYS ask a jeweller to guarantee, to the best of their knowledge, that their diamonds adhere to the Kimberley Process.
Our designers (Brown and Newirth) use diamonds which are a minimum of G or H in colour, and VS or Sl1 in clarity as detailed in the diamond guide above. You may of course specify for higher grade diamonds to be used if you prefer.
Also see our guide to precious metals