An understanding of the four 'C's' may provide clearer information to help you chose and buy your diamond with more confidence.
The four 'C's' are: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat-Weight
For a diamond to display its true brilliance and sparkle the stone is cut and polished ensuring the facets allow the greatest amount of light entering the diamond to be reflected and refracted before being dispersed back through the upper face (table) of the stone.
Antique Diamond Ring in 18ct Gold
Beautifully handcrafted in gold, this Victorian classic features a captivating quintet of old mine cushion-cut diamonds (totalling approximately 1.30 carats) sparkling shoulder-to-shoulder across your finger. The five diamonds are punctuated at their corners by tiny collet-set rose-cut diamonds, all of which are supported by a gracefully scrolled side gallery.
The round brilliant cut diamond is by far the most popular choice of diamond shape at present.
The oval cut diamond is an elongated brilliant-cut diamond. Traditionally it is set with two smaller diamonds to either side.
Is the most popular non-round diamond. It is a square or rectangular cut diamond with pointed corners.
Emerald cut diamonds may be square or rectangular, but differ from Princess cut as the corners taper and the underside has a faceted cut.
The Asscher cut diamond is almost identical to the Emerald cut except that it is square, with a total depth which is usually greater.
This is a cross between a Round cut and an Emerald cut. The Radiant cut diamond is either square or rectangular.
Marquise cut diamonds are twice as long as they are wide, with tapering points at either end.
These diamonds may be considered as a 'fusion' between Oval and Marquise cuts, with one rounded border and the other tapering to a point.
These are old cut diamonds used in Georgian times. They do not sparkle so much
Victorian spray brooch
A foliate spray brooch in white gold, the flowers set with rose cut diamonds and a rose cut sapphire with a line of 8 old cut diamonds to the stem. 4cm long. Some chips to stones
Diamonds are naturally created in a wide variety of colours. In the world of fine jewellery, diamonds in the 'white' range are the most sought after, with a colourless stone being the highest grade.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond body colour from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow):
Near Colourless: G,H,I,J
Faint Yellow: K,L,M
Very Light Yellow: N,O,P,Q,R
Light Yellow: S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z
The differences between these grades are very subtle and take a trained eye to detect.
The clarity of a diamond is based on the size, number and location of flaws or inclusions within the stone
when viewed under 10x magnification. The GIA grades clarity from flawless to imperfect/included 3
IF: Internally Flawless, minor surface blemishes
VVS1 and VVS2: Very Very Slightly Included
VS1 and VS2: Very Slightly Included
SI1 and SI2: Slightly Included
I1: Included 1
I2: Included 2
I3: Included 3
The 'weight' of a diamond is measured in carats. As the carat weight of a diamond increases, so does its rarity.This is reflected in the price.
One carat is composed of 100 'points'.
For example, a diamond of 60 points weighs 0.60 carats and a diamond of 250 points weighs 2.50 carats.
So, the cost of a diamond is not only dependant on the size (carat-weight) of the diamond, but also on the diamond's natural qualities of colour and clarity. Finally, the craftsman's skill in achieving the best cut allows the true beauty of any diamond to show.
Edwardian Diamond Cluster ear rings
Pair of early 20th Century rose-cut diamond cluster ear rings.