What to look for when choosing a Diamond

Friday, May 27, 2016

What to look for when choosing a Diamond

It's all about the C's - Cut, Carat, Clarity and Colour.

Diamond Cut - Diamonds are cut so that the stone shows the most light, giving diamond-like lustre and light dispersion.  Probably the most popular is the "Brilliant" cut particularly for engagement and wedding rings.  Others include Cushion, Marquise, Trillion, Round, Princess and Square cuts.  Here's one of our Princess cut square diamond set in Palladium below.   Its important to choose a stone that will complement your hand size and shape.

Princess Cut Square
Diamond Carat - Diamonds are measured in Carats (not the orange variety).  One of the biggest diamonds ever found was in a mine in South Africa.  It weighted in at a staggering 3,106 carats.  It was cut down into 9 large Brilliant cut stones, and 96 others.  The largest of these stones is called the "Star of Africa" or "Cullinan 1" and now resides in the British Crown Jewels mounted in the Sovereign's Royal Sceptre.  This is a pear-cut diamond.  The higher your diamonds carat the more expensive it will normally be.

Sovereign's Royal Sceptre
Diamond Clarity - The price of a diamond will depend on its transparency and colour (or lack of colour).  Most diamonds will have minor inclusions or blemishes and can appear as whitish or cloudy marks, or cracks.  Flawless diamonds are rare and therefore fetch the highest of prices.  However flaws and inclusion are mostly only ever visible to the trained eye.  Their appearances can sometimes be beneficial to track their origin, a bit like fingerprints. 

Diamond Colour - A diamonds colour or hue will either detract or enhance its value.  Those with intense pink, yellow or blue are more valuable.  We work with champagne, chocolate, and other coloured diamonds.  The traditional clear diamonds are the most popular for engagement and wedding rings.  Here's one of our fabulous coloured diamonds set in a contemporary hammered yellow gold ring.  The warm rich yellow gold works perfectly against the intense chocolate diamonds hues.

Probably one of the most famous coloured diamonds is The Hope Diamond which is on display at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC.  The diamond is a wonderful blue/grey colour.  It is said to be cursed.  However these stories of death and tradegy may well have been fabricated to enhance the gemstones appeal, and increase its value.  

The Hope Diamond

Other things to consider when choosing an engagement ring

Once you know the type of diamond you would like the next step is to choose the metal, and the setting.  These are both normally dictated by your budget.  Most engagement rings are made from Platinum or Palladium as they are hard wearing and resillient, and should last a lifetime.  Others choose white, rose or yellow gold.  Silver is sometimes used when the budget is tight.  If you have a very sparkly high quality diamond we would always recommend a strong sturdy metal like gold, platinum or palladium.

Place Holders Ring

A "Place Holders Ring" has become more popular over the last few years.  It can be a less expensive ring, a "Stand in" for the real thing.  This lets your loved one choose her own ring, and means you both get something that is to her taste, style and size.  Here at KTJ we have had a quite a few proposals over the years.  Some with place hold rings, just diamonds on their own, inherited rings that have been repaired or remodelled, and even a hula hoop.  

Popping the Question

The last thing to think about is how to pop the question.  I am afraid this is all down to you.  Just remember one thing, the story of how you proposed is something she will tell all her family/friends and future children.  Its a life changing question so be sure to get it right.  Timing is everything, but location and other props (cocktail or two) may help.

If you would like more details on how to choose your perfect diamond or engagement ring then pop into the shop, give us a call or drop us an email.  We promise to keep it hush hush!

Good luck

Kirsty Taylor and Team

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