Diamond Buying Guide
CHOOSING THE PERFECT DIAMOND
The diamond industry produces millions of carats of diamonds every year, making
it somewhat challenging to know what to look for or ask for when purchasing a
diamond for yourself or a loved one.
This guide gives you an overview of the main factors which determine the value of
diamond, often referred to as the four C's:
THE FOUR C'S
Before we get into the 4C's in more detail, it's good to understand the basic anatomy
of a diamond.
Table - This is the large, flat top facet of a diamond.
Girdle - The narrow rim of a diamond that separates the crown from the pavilion. It is the largest diameter to any part of the stone.
Crown - The upper portion of a cut gemstone, above the girdle.
Diameter - The width of the diamond as measured through the girdle.
Pavilion - The lower portion of the diamond, below the girdle. It is sometimes referred to as the base.
Culet - The tiny facet on the pointed bottom of the pavilion.
Depth - The height of a gemstone, from the culet to the table.
The Cut of the diamond refers to the angles and proportions the diamond cutter uses to transform a rough, dull diamond into a sparkling and polished gem ready for wear.
When cut by a skilled diamond cutter, a diamond will reflect incoming light internally from facet to facet, before reflecting back to the top. This is what sets apart the stunning brilliance and brightness of a superior diamond. Of course, this means the diamonds must be cut with incredible precision to ensure the perfect proportions and depth.
If a diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, light will escape through the bottom of the gemstone. Most of our diamonds are certified by the worlds leading gemological grading laboratories (GIA - Gemological Institute of America and IGI - International Gemological Institute) and consistently receive the coveted 'excellent' grade.
The weight of a diamond is expressed in a unit of measure called Carats. The term carat originated from a natural unit of weight; the seeds of the Carob tree. Diamonds were traditionally weighed against these seeds until the system was standardised and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams, with each carat divisible by 100 points. These points and carats are now used as universal terminology to help us classify a diamond's weight. Example: Half a carat is described as 50 points or 0.50 carats.
The colour refers to the natural degree of a diamonds colouring. A diamond with the best colour grade is completely colourless, this means that it allows white light to pass through and display an entire rainbow of colours. Diamonds with tinges of yellow are found more often than colourless diamonds and are therefore less valuable.
Diamonds are graded from D (colourless) to Z ( light yellow) along a colour scale established by GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Completely colourless diamonds are graded 'D' however the most common and best value diamonds are usually graded 'F' or 'G'.
Fancy coloured diamonds are an exception and are sought after for the vibrant appeal, particularly the pinks, yellows and blues. The coloured diamonds are judged on the intensity of their hue and unlike white diamonds, more the colour, the more valuable the stone.
Almost all diamonds contain microscopic pieces of non-crystallised carbon known as inclusions. These are natural characteristics that are formed with the gemstone millions of years ago.
The clarity of a diamond is graded by the size, nature, location and number of inclusions it displays. The fewer and smaller the inclusions, the rarer and more valuable the diamond.
Diamonds are available in a range of clarity options from Flawless (FL) to flaws visible to the naked eye (graded as I3).