Diamonds 2017-05-04T14:36:37+00:00

White diamonds

Origin Australia

 

 

 

We offer you diamonds with a verifiable origin. Choose white, cognac or pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia or white from the Diavik mine in Canada. All of these diamonds are sweatshop and child labour free, cut in ethical, fair work environments and are definitely non-conflict. They are all accompanied by guarantees of origin.

Post consumer recycled diamonds

We can also source post-consumer vintage diamonds if that is your preference.

Ring image: handmade engagement ring. Vintage oval diamond centre with Argyle diamonds in the halo and a diamond set split shank. The ring is made from recycled platinum.

Vintage oval diamond with Argyle diamonds in recycled platinum halo engagement ring

Diamond alternatives

If you would prefer not to use a mined diamond or gemstone in your engagement ring, we offer you moissanite – a laboratory made diamond alternative. If you would like to learn more about moissanite click here.

Ring image: cushion cut moissanite solitaire, made with recycled platinum with a fitted wedder.

Cushion cut moissanite engagement and wedding ring

Is there such a thing as ‘too big’?

When buying a diamond for your partner, you should be mindful of the size of her fingers. The same sized diamond will look big on a woman with small hands and fingers, but small on a woman with large fingers. Of course, for some people, to hell with it — just get the biggest possible — and that’s fair enough. But if bigger isn’t necessarily better for you and your partner, you might consider buying a smaller diamond and spending the money you save on a platinum rather than gold ring — or an extra week away on your honeymoon!

Coloured diamonds

If you are looking for pink, yellow or cognac diamonds, please visit here.

Learn the language of diamonds…

The basics

When it comes to diamonds in particular (though the same goes for virtually all gemstones too), traders refer to ‘the four Cs’ — cut, clarity, colour and carats (weight).

Cut

Diamonds and gemstones are cut in many different ways, with the choice of cut usually being based on what will most enhance the value of the stone; to recover the most weight from the rough stone, minimise the flaws and present its particular colour or brilliance best.

The table (top/face of the diamond) should not exceed 60% of the width of the stone and should be no smaller than 40%.

The pavilion (bottom bit of the diamond) main facets are crucial to the finished look of the stone and are cut at an angle that suits the density (specific gravity) of the stone.

Diamonds and gemstones are cut to reflect light internally.

Light coming in through the crown (or top) of the stone is gathered by the crown facets and reflected off the back pavilion facets and returned to the eye; this is why it’s okay to set diamonds and gemstones in a rub-over or bezel setting (you don’t need an open or claw setting to show off the brilliance of a stone).

The quality of the polish on facets is also important for the brightness of a gem. Poorly polished facets will not allow enough light to go into the stone. A well-polished stone will bring out a depth and colour of cabochon stones. Also, poor polish will not allow light to reflect off facets, which, when highly polished and flat, act like small mirrors, reflecting light back out to the eye. Rounded facets don’t do much for a cut stone unless it is a novelty type cut and facets are well polished.

Clarity

For both diamonds and gemstones, clarity refers to the absence or presence of flaws and impurities (or inclusions).

For some gemstones, such as emeralds, the presence of eye visible inclusions (described as ‘le jardin’) does not detract from the value of the stone; some inclusions can help to establish origin.

This is significant for the more expensive coloured material such as ruby and emerald, where origin can add significant cost/value to a gemstone. Inclusions are normal in most gem materials. However, these inclusions are often not visible to the naked eye. Under high magnification many natural stones will show at least some microscopic inclusions — even synthetic gemstones have characteristic inclusions.

Generally, the fewer inclusions there are, the more valuable the stone — and this is especially so for diamonds.

Along with colour, clarity is one of the major criteria used in classifying diamonds. Usually, the more ‘clear’ the diamond, the higher its value. The clarity of a stone principally relates to the visibility of inclusions and flaws, and it is only in low-grade diamonds that clarity becomes obvious. This is important from a buyer’s perspective. Choosing a lower grade diamond may enable you to buy a bigger stone for the same money — yet, depending on the location of the flaws, see no discernible difference in the appearance of the stone. The difference will be reflected in the valuation of the ring, but if “bigger is better”, sacrificing a grade or two in order to get a larger stone could be the way to go.

The most commonly used gem grading system is that developed by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). In terms of visible flaws or inclusions, these classifications are based on what can be seen with a loupe (a magnifying glass of 10x magnification).

In the GIA system, there are 11 grades (from the top):

FL Flawless – No loupe-visible flaws internally or externally
IF Internally Flawless – No loupe-visible flaws internally
VVS¹ VVS² Very, Very Small inclusion or imperfection that is very difficult to see under a loupe
VS¹ VS² Very Small inclusion or imperfection, difficult to see under a loupe
SI¹ SI² Small Inclusion or imperfection easily seen with a loupe
I¹ I² I³ Imperfect (or included) — Inclusions can be see with the naked eye
NB: The superscripts 1, 2 or 3 refer to the number and placement of visible inclusions.

The Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature (Scan. D.N) and other systems vary slightly in their classifications, but the most obvious is in the I 1 to I 3 range where clarity is often referred to as P 1, P 2 and P 3 (where ‘P’ stands for Piqué — pronounced Pee-Kay). From an appearance point of view, it’s very difficult for an untrained person to distinguish between an FL and an SI² diamond. It’s only when you get into the ‘I’ (or Piqué) grades that the imperfections start to become more easily visible.

Position of the imperfection/s

If your budget dictates that you must go for a lower-grade/clarity diamond, one thing to be very mindful of with the ‘I’ or Piqué grade diamonds is the position of the flaw or inclusion. If it’s right on the edge of the girdle, then an inclusion could well be hidden by a claw or bezel when it’s set — in which case the diamond might appear perfectly good and you’ve got yourself a bargain. If the imperfection is away from the girdle, somewhere in the middle of the stone, then it’ll be visible. A ‘badly’ located inclusion can also impede light, so the brilliance of the diamond can be reduced.

Colour

Depending on what you’re buying (and your partner’s taste), you’ll want either more or less.

For colourless stones, like white diamonds, less colour is better. White diamonds vary in colour from ‘colourless’ (D – J) to  pale to light yellow (K – Z), with colourless usually being the more expensive. The only time a ‘lower’ colour (more yellow) diamond would cost more than an equivalent sized ‘higher’ (white) colour is if the clarity and cut grading is notably higher.

The GIA scale for classifying diamond colour is shown below:

Scale Description
D E F Colourless
G H I J Near colourless
K L M Faint yellow
N O P Q R Very light yellow
S to Z Light yellow
Fancy Coloured

Please note, G to J diamonds will not actually look very ‘yellow’. To an untrained eye, it is very difficult to see ‘shades of colourless’.

Carat

Carat is basically the weight of a diamond or gemstone. One standard metric carat is equal to 0.20 grams. Within a type of stone, it can also serve as an indication of physical size; for example, a 1.00 carat diamond will be physically bigger than a 0.8 carat diamond of the same cut. But this rule doesn’t flow across different types of gem material. Different gemstone materials have different densities (specific gravity). Hence a 1.00-carat sapphire will be a different physical size to a 1.00-carat diamond of the same cut. You’ll also often hear the term ‘point’. There are 100 ‘points’ in 1 carat. A 10 point diamond, for example, is equivalent to 0.10 carats (or one-tenth of a carat).

Between diamonds of the same cut, say, round-brilliant, the carat weight of different diamonds can be used as a relative measure of physical size — given the proportions by which diamonds are cut are fairly uniform. We all perceive the prestige attached to owning a 1.0 carat diamond ring (or bigger), but just how big is a 1.0 carat diamond? The following table will give you some idea of approximate physical size relative to weight (for round cut diamonds only):

Carats/Points Diameter
2.00ct (200 points) ~8.2mm
1.50ct (150 points) ~7.4mm
1.00ct (100 point) ~6.5mm
0.75ct (75 point) ~5.9mm
0.50ct (50 point) ~5.2mm
0.25ct (25 point) ~4.1mm
0.10ct (10 point) ~3.0mm

Colour, clarity and carats — best value combination

Colour and clarity are the two major determinants of the value of a diamond of any given weight (assuming it has been cut properly). Although, proprietary cuts such as Hearts and Arrows™ and Lucida™ do attract a premium.

From a value perspective, given that inclusions in diamonds graded SI1 and above are virtually invisible to the naked eye, in our opinion you should put colour before clarity when selecting from stones graded SI1 and higher. We recommend avoiding ‘I’ or ‘P’ stones of any weight or colour. For diamonds under 0.5 carats, you can get by with a G or (possibly) an H colour.

The basic rule is, “always buy the best you can afford”. Given that weight (or size) increases cost exponentially per stone, if you can’t afford a single big diamond, consider purchasing several smaller diamonds. Within the same clarity and colour grades, ‘small’ diamonds cost less per carat than ‘large’ ones. By buying several small stones you can either get more carats for your money, or get the same total weight for fewer dollars.