How To Choose A Diamond
The Ancient Greeks believed diamonds were the tears of the Gods; the Romans thought they were splinters of stars fallen to earth; Medieval kings wore them as a sign of invincibility. And, for hundreds of years, diamonds have been the ultimate symbol of enduring love and romance.
Whatever your reason for wanting a diamond, it will be personal and charged with emotion. When choosing your diamond follow your heart. Don’t be afraid of love at first sight but do take your time and take advice from your jeweller. Spend as much as you can afford and indulge yourself. Your diamond will be part of your life forever.
Every diamond is unique and has a beauty all of its own. You will find a huge choice available – something to suit every budget. The factors that influence the value are the quality of the diamond – the clarity, colour and cut – and its size plus, of course, its precious metal setting. You will find a simple guide to these factors on this page.
David Simmons has years of experience and expertise and will be able to explain the characteristics of the diamond you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and benefit from David’s specialised knowledge.
The 5 C’s
Diamond quality is judged by four primary factors – Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut. The fifth ‘C’ is Certification.
Diamond weight is stated in carats, with one carat equalling 1/5th of a gram. Less than 5% of gem quality diamonds are one carat or above.
Diamonds are formed under tremendous heat and pressure and, as a result of this process, internal and external characteristics which affect the clarity of diamonds are common. Internal characteristics are called inclusions, external characteristics are known as blemishes. These characteristics are used by gemmologists to grade the clarity of diamonds and the GIA provides a scale of 11 grades, shown below, ranging from “Flawless” to “Included”.
Most people think that diamonds are colourless, but in fact most diamonds used in jewellery have slight tints of yellow or brown. Totally colourless and rare ‘fancy coloured’ diamonds (blue, pink, orange, green, yellow or brown) are the most valuable. All other diamonds are gradded according to how noticeable the colour is. The GIA Colour Scale begins with the letter D (colourless) and continues through to Z (light yellow). A master set of diamonds is used by gemmologists to compare colours.)
This is the one characteristic of a diamond where man has more influence than nature. A diamond’s beauty depends on how light strikes its surface, how much enters the diamond and how, and in what form, it returns to the eye. The GIA Diamond Cut Grading System assesses a diamond’s overall face up appearance using sophisticated computer modelling to predict brightness, fire and scintillation together with other features such as weight ratio, durability, polish and symmetry. The round brilliant diamond is the most popular cut but shapes vary depending on the stone and the skill of the cutter.
Certification means that a team of expert gemmologists have examined and graded the diamond according to the international standards described above. Using the latest technology they also make sure that the diamond is natural and identify any treatment it may have received to improve either its colour or clarity. Certification adds value to a diamond by providing an accurate and unbiased testament to its quality.
Diamonds from David Simmons Jewellery come with diamond certificate produced by a gemological laboratory, which is a completely independent organisation with no vested interest in the product, such as the Gemological Institute of America.
Established in 1931, the Gemological Institute of America is a nonprofit institute and the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones and pearls. GIA exists to protect all purchasers of gemstones by providing the education, laboratory services, research, and instruments needed to accurately and objectively determine gemstone quality.
Diamond certification provides you with complete confidence in your diamond.