A Guide to Diamonds

The Perfect Stone...

Diamonds are incredible. The hardest, sparkliest, and most precious material on earth, they are formed over billions of years in complete darkness up to 190km below the surface. Every diamond is unique with an individual character, conventionally defined through the 4 C’s - Cut, Colour, Clarity & Carat. Our guide to diamonds breaks down this universal standard, to help you decide which stone is right for you!

 

 

 

 

Cut

Each of the 4 C’s should be considered equally when comparing diamonds, but the cut is usually considered the most defining and glamorous characteristic.

The cut of a diamond is a completely man-made attribute. Diamonds are mined in rough form and are then sent to highly skilled stonecutters to be shaped and polished. It’s this cutting process that transforms raw stones into the sparkling diamonds we are most familiar with.

The cut determines the shape of the diamond. Round tends to be the most popular but shapes also include pear, oval, emerald and cushion. The cut also determines how well each of the diamond’s facets interact with the light (For example, a standard round cut diamond has at least 58 individual facets!) These incredibly precise facets are angled in perfect proportion to one another, to maximize the amount of light that is reflected back from the diamond – creating that all-important sparkle!

Getting Started: The 4 C's

Each of the 4 C’s should be considered equally when comparing diamonds, but the cut is usually considered the most defining and glamorous characteristic. The cut of a diamond is a completely man-made attribute. Diamonds are mined in rough form and are then sent to highly skilled stonecutters to be shaped and polished. It’s this cutting process that transforms raw stones into the sparkling diamonds we are most familiar with. The cut determines the shape of the diamond. Round tends to be the most popular but shapes also include pear, oval, emerald and cushion. The cut also determines how well each of the diamond’s facets interact with the light (For example, a standard round cut diamond has at least 58 individual facets!) These incredibly precise facets are angled in perfect proportion to one another, to maximize the amount of light that is reflected back from the diamond – creating that all-important sparkle!

 

 

Colour

The most valuable diamond colour is actually colourless! It is an absence of colour that gives a top quality diamond its crisp whiteness, and a colour scale is used to grade each stone. The scale begins with D, which is colourless, and continues with increasing colour to the letter Z. Many of these colour distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye – but they can make a very big difference to the overall diamond quality and price.

Diamonds can also be found in a variety of other colours including yellow, pink, blue and the smokey champagne hues seen in our Plume Collection. Coloured diamonds are a fantastic alternative to classic white diamonds. They carry all the same qualities of hardness, brilliance and sparkle, with the addition of gorgeous colour!

 

 

Colour

The most valuable diamond colour is actually colourless! It is the absence of colour that gives a top quality diamond its crisp whiteness. A colour scale is used to grade each stone. The scale begins with D, which is colourless, and continues with increasing colour to the letter Z. Many of these colour distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye – but they can make a very big difference to the overall diamond quality and price. As well as being predominantly colourless, diamonds can also be found in a variety of other colours. Coloured diamonds are sometimes called ‘fancies’ and can be highly prized. Colours can include: canary yellow, pink, blue and the smokey champagne hues seen in our Plume Collection! Coloured diamonds are a fantastic alternative to classic white diamonds. They carry all the same qualities of hardness, brilliance and sparkle, with the addition of colour. This can be a great option for anyone looking for a subtle gem where the hue is no less valuable or attractive.

 

 

Clarity

Natural diamonds are created miles beneath the Earth’s surface where carbon is exposed to tremendous heat and pressure. This process can result in a variety of unique internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’. When evaluating diamond clarity, the number, size and position of any inclusions is taken into account. No diamond is perfectly pure, but the fewer inclusions it has, the closer it comes to perfection and the higher it’s value.

Many inclusions are too tiny to be seen by anyone other than a trained diamond grader. To the naked eye, a VS1 and an S12 diamond may look identical, and even though they are different in terms of quality, it’s good not to let your decision be too led by something you can’t see. As long as you choose a diamond that appeals to you and fits your budget then you should be just fine!

Clarity

Natural diamonds are created under the Earth’s surface where carbon is exposed to tremendous heat and pressure. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’. When evaluating diamond clarity, the number, size and position of any inclusions is taken into account. No diamond is perfectly pure, but the fewer inclusions it has, the closer it comes to perfection and the higher it’s value. Many inclusions are too tiny to be seen by anyone other than a trained diamond grader. To the naked eye, a VS 1 and an S1 2 diamond may look exactly the same. Even though they are different in terms of quality, it’s good not to let your decision be led too much by something you can’t see. As long as you choose a diamond that appeals to you and fits your budget then you should be all right.

The Cut

The cut of a diamond is a completely man-made attribute. Diamonds are mined in rough form and then sent to skilled stonecutters to be shaped and polished. Uncut gemstones often look like ordinary stones; it’s the cutting process that transforms these “rocks” into jewels. The cut determines the shape of the diamond. Round is the most popular but shapes include pear, oval, emerald and cushion. The cut also determines how well each of the diamond’s facets interact with light (a standard round cut diamond has at least 58 individual facets!). These precise facets are angled in perfect proportion to one another, creating the ideal cut. The ideal cut maximizes the amount of light that is reflected back from the diamond – creating that all-important sparkle!

Diamonds are the most sought after gems on Earth. Somewhere between one and three billion years old, each gem is totally unique.

Carat

The weight and size of a diamond is measured by carat. A carat is equal to 0.2g. It’s important to remember that two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values, depending on the other factors in the 4 C’s. When choosing your stone you want to always find your balance between cut, colour, clarity, carat and cost.

 

 

 

 

Our Diamond Jewellery 

We use diamonds across our 18ct gold jewellery (and in some of our sterling silver pieces!) Our long-term and trusted supplier of white diamonds is Clark’s Diamonds, a UK based company whose stones all comply with the Kimberley Process. We also use naturally coloured Champagne Diamonds, which are ethically sourced from the Argyle Mine in Western Australia.