A Guide to Diamonds

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!

alt="Large Volet flower cocktail rin with five diamonds by Alex Monroe Jewellery">


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!


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!

Every diamond is unique with an individual
character, conventionally defined through
the 4 C’s - Cut, Colour, Clarity & Carat.


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 its 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!

alt="Beekeeper Ring with 0.25ct Oval Diamond by Alex Monroe Jewellery">


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 Diamonds, a UK based company whose stones all comply with the Kimberley Process.

To openly address growing concerns around Russian Diamonds:

Alrosa is a state-owned diamond company, and the biggest supplier of rough diamonds in the world, so sadly, it is more than likely that everybody who deals in diamonds in some capacity will have traded in stones coming from Alrosa at some point. Once a diamond has been polished, it is impossible to retrospectively identify its country of origin, so whilst no new Russian diamonds will have been purchased by us, or our suppliers since war broke out, we are unable to guarantee the provenance of any items in our current stock. If this is of concern, we have plenty of options where we can trace the country of origin with 100% certainty. We also use naturally coloured Champagne Diamonds, which are ethically sourced from the Argyle Mine in Western Australia, and offer both Ocean and Lab-grown Diamonds through our Bespoke Service.

alt="Diamond library one of a kind rings Wild Rose Leaf & Vine Chocolate Diamond Ring, Diamond Trilogy Yellow Diamond Ring by Alex Monroe Jewellery">