For those who like
the nitty gritty...


For those who like
the nitty gritty...

When it comes to selecting the perfect diamond, there’s a lot to consider and learn. While our experts have over 30 years experience in selecting beautiful diamonds, we know some people love the nitty gritty. So, here’s our guide on diamonds for those who like the more technical details…

The 4 C’s

This is probably the most commonly researched and learnt diamond elements and arguably the most simple to understand at a surface level too.

This refers to the weight of the diamond and is a major part in determining its value. The bigger the carat weight of a diamond the more rare it is considered and therefore the higher the price tag.

Two important things to note though is that a single diamond weighing 1.00ct (carat) is worth much more than a lot of smaller diamonds with a carat weight of 1.00ct. This means it’s important to look at the carat weight of the individual centre stone in a ring rather than a combined total weight of all its diamonds.

The other important thing to note is that the carat weight does in fact refer to the weight of the stone, not its dimensions. This means that two 1.00ct diamonds can be very different in size and is where elements like cut come into play.

This is just one of the important elements that makes a diamond sparkle. Light enters through the top of the diamond, reflects around it and returns to the top. When a diamond is cut well, with beautiful balance and reflection, it creates amazing sparkle and scintillation. The below diagrams show how a diamonds cut can affect both it’s visual size and the way light passes through. Ultimately, it’s affecting it’s true ‘TOP’ size, appearance and value.

What’s important to remember here with a diamonds cut, is that it will not only affect its sparkle which is arguably one of the most important elements people are looking for in a diamond, but it can also play a huge role in a diamonds visual size in a ring.

If a diamond is cut poorly and bottom heavy, a lot of the carat weight you are paying for is below the diamond which means it visually looks a lot smaller from the top. But, if a diamond has a very shallow cut then the light refraction will also be poor and its sparkle dull. Getting a balance is important.

Diamonds range in colours from Fine White, Champagne (light browns) and shades of Yellow. In most fine jewellery features White Diamonds, but champagne diamonds are also becoming increasingly popular. There are also fancy coloured diamonds such as Yellow, Pink, Blue and Green. The rarer the colour of diamond, the more expensive the price tag.

When we talk about White diamonds, most people are after a diamond that looks nice and white and is without any hints of yellow. They are graded along an alphabetical scale, starting at D (colourless) and going through to Z. The higher towards the top of the chart (D) a diamond sits, the more expensive it will be.

It’s again important to remember that these grades are just a guide and all of the different elements work together, but generally you will pay a premium for D & E coloured stones and get the best value for your money in the F-H range.

The clarity refers to how clean the diamond is. Each diamond contains small particles, which are often called inclusions. They appear in a range of different, colours, shapes and positions. All of these elements greatly impact the look of the diamond and it’s true value. The more visible the inclusions, the lower the grade and the lesser the Diamonds value.

Where these inclusions are within the diamond is also important as they can become weak spots that can cause the diamond to chip or break at these points. This is just one factor in why two diamonds with the same clarity might not actually be of the same quality. The type of inclusions and where they are is important.

Beyond the 4 C’s

While the 4 C’s are a great guide and starting point, they were really invented as a sales pitch and as such don’t encompass all of the diamond elements that are important to consider when selecting a diamond. The truth is that there is so much more to Diamonds.

The Anatomy of a Diamond image displayed below demonstrates just some of the other terms used in relation to describing a Diamond and its different elements. Often many of these different areas or terms are described by using a percentage or other specific terminology and it can be extremely hard for someone without years of diamond experience to really understand what these different numbers and descriptions mean in the overall look of a diamond.

Those who like getting stuck into more details in their research will often find that they feel like they need to get certain percentages or aspects in each of these elements in order to get the diamond they are after.

The important thing to remember is that getting this technical and really understanding diamonds to this comprehensive level isn’t something that can be done easily, nor in a matter of weeks or months and getting caught on different elements here without years of experience is how you can get caught out with a diamond that isn’t quite what you thought.

The most important thing to remember is that a truly beautiful diamond has a balance of all of the elements.

What you really need to know