‘I’ve been sourcing and selecting diamonds and gems since I started designing in 1987 and have developed a passion and affinity for all of these sparkling minerals’
Shirley is a qualified gemmologist and diamond expert with F.G.A. and Diamond Diploma from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. We know that when clients are looking at diamonds they have a budget in mind, we are confident we can get you the best possible diamond for your money.
Many people are now aware of the criteria for selecting these hardwearing and amazingly beautiful stones but we’ve added some info here so that you can brush up your knowledge.
The Famous 4 C's
A diamond with almost no colour is considered more valuable unless it is a rare ‘fancy’ colour diamond. Diamond colour (or lack of colour!) results from its composition and never changes over time.
D Absolutely colourless, the highest colour grade and rare.
E Colourless with minute traces of colour (only detected by a gemmologist using 10 times magnification lens) - still rare.
F Very slight colour (detected by a 10x magnification) still considered to be in the colourless category.
G-H Colour slightly noticeable when compared with E/F grades.
I-J Considered to be ‘drawing’ some slight warm yellow colour.
We don’t use diamonds below ‘J’ grade.
Flourescense- an occasionally occurring effect in some diamonds when exposed to long-wave ultraviolet light.
The cut of a diamond is the characteristic which affects its brilliance. The ability to reflect light back to the eye, called total internal reflection, fire (the dispersion of light into the colours of the spectrum) and scintillation (‘sparkle’, when a diamond is moved) all affect the ‘look’ of a diamond.
A diamond cut to the proper proportions allows the greatest amount of light to be reflected for the maximum brilliance and fire. The traditional 58 facets in a round brilliant cut diamond can be as small as 1mm in diameter, but without this precision a diamond wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful.
The round brilliant is generally the most popular but fancy shapes are ideal for bespoke diamond jewellery- these are the marquise, pear, oval and emerald cuts. Hearts, cushions, triangles and a variety of others are also gaining popularity.
A diamond certificate will itemise a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish and is available on request.
Most diamonds have natural internal inclusions which occur during their formation process (pressure and heat squeeze tiny minerals into the diamond crystals!). The position, number and size of the inclusions determine the clarity.
However, the fewer inclusions in a diamond, the better. A flawless diamond is extremely rare and valuable.
F-IF (Flawless or internally flawless) - Highest clarity grade.
VVS1 and VVS2 (Very, very slightly included) - Inclusions extremely difficult to detect using 10X magnification.
Carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured and by itself may not accurately reflect a diamond's size. Large diamonds are rarer than smaller ones therefore cost more per carat weight.
To understand diamond size we must consider the diameter (in mm) and depth measurements in relation to the actual carat weight. We can estimate the weight of a diamond by measuring its dimensions if it is mounted but loose diamonds can actually be weighed on finely graded scales.
A 1ct diamond is comprised of 100 points, therefore, 50 points is equal to 0.50ct and may be called a ‘50 pointer’ or a half carat.
Precious and semi-precious stones are minerals and the amazing colours are caused by the absorption of certain wavelengths of light while other wavelengths pass through the stone unaltered. The wavelengths which pass through the gem give the final colour to the gemstone therefore when a stone absorbs all the colours of the spectrum except red, the residual colour is red (e.g. ruby, garnet). If all colours except red and blue are absorbed, the residual colour will be a purple gemstone (e.g. amethyst).
In total there are about 16 million combinations that can produce colour!