For many, buying diamonds can be a minefield. Although made from exactly the same stone, diamonds can vary in quality as can their price tags with these precious stones available from anywhere between £100 and millions of pounds.
Luckily, you’re not alone in this process. There are several things that you will need to be aware of when looking for your next diamond so keep reading and we’ll outline them here.
The 4 Cs
When being prepared for sale or handpicked for the placement within pieces of jewellery, diamonds are classified by a universal grading system known as the 4 Cs. The system works as follows:
- Carat – The weight and size of the diamond.
- Colour – Not all diamonds are the same colour. The colour is going to influence the value of each individual stone.
- Clarity – A measure of how pure a diamond is. The clearer the diamond, the more expensive it will be.
- Cut – The cut of any diamond refers to how it has been formed or cut from a larger piece. A higher quality cut will be worth more.
Any diamond you buy will be graded against this standard to provide an overall measure of quality and value.
You will probably be familiar with this term. 1 carat is often considered by many to be the perfect size for an engagement ring. Smaller diamonds you find set within some pieces of jewellery will often be expressed as a decimal point. Half a carat for example would be 0.50ct.
Diamonds are available in a range of colours but the more common colours are clear or colourless to yellow tinted. Most diamonds you see for sale will appear to be colourless but will often have a difficult to percept tint to them hence why they need to be so accurately graded. A truly colourless diamond will be more expensive than one with a yellowish hue.
Coloured diamonds such as pinks and greens are very rare and are often very expensive.
All diamonds with a perfect clarity will be free from all internal and external blemishes and inclusions. When light is passed through these diamonds; the refractions will be uniform and untainted.
Each diamond will be examined under a magnified lens, usually at x10 which is sufficient for grading purposes. Any diamond that passes this test is known as flawless or loupe clean.
Here, the type and the shape of the cut is very important. A diamond should show good symmetry which will increase its value and desirability. A well cut diamond will also sparkle much better and react very well to light. The more individual facets the better with 58 facets considered to be a ‘brilliant’ diamond.
What Type of Setting Would You Like?
Diamonds are rarely purchased as an individual stone. Instead, they are often seen set into precious metals which can be worn as jewellery. Links of London Jewellery is well known for featuring high quality diamonds and their pieces are available in a range of styles. We would suggest that you first decide whether you prefer a ring or a bracelet and then start from there.
There are many well known producers of jewellery so make note of a few which create the styles that you like and then go from there.