Diamond Buying Guide
How to find your perfect diamond
Introduction To Diamonds
Formed millions of years ago in conditions that will never be seen on the Earth again, each diamond is as unique as a snowflake. At Beaverbrooks, we’ve been helping our customers fall in love with their perfect diamonds for 100 years. The quality of each and every stone is defined by its cut, colour, clarity and carat (otherwise known as The 4 C’s), but in our Diamond Buying Guide we’ll help you negotiate the jargon to help you find the one that’s perfect for you.
Characteristics of a Diamond
Explaining the 4 C’s
We believe there’s more to a diamond than the four C’s which is why we buy ours with our hearts as well as our heads, looking for fire, brilliance and above all, sparkle. However, the measure of cut, colour, clarity and carat offers a useful grading system, helping to categorise every diamond and define their beauty.
This is the measure of how much a diamond weighs. A metric ‘carat’ is defined as 200 milligrams, the term ‘carat’ being derived from the carob seed which was once used to weigh diamonds. Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points’, allowing very precise measurement. The more a diamond weighs the more valuable it becomes, as larger diamonds are very rare.
The Carob Seed
The carob seed is the original unit for weighing diamonds, from which the word ‘carat’ is derived
The Beaverbrooks Diamond Certificate
We only ever issue our own certificate for the diamonds we personally hand select. We choose to do this as we think it’s essential our customers have our own personal endorsement and that of our company.
Diamonds are natural material, the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep within the Earth. Their formation can result in a variety of unique internal characteristics which are described as inclusions, and external characteristics which are called blemishes. All diamonds have inclusions; it’s what makes them unique, like a fingerprint.
Inclusions and blemishes can be cracks, fissures and black specs (un-crystallised carbon), which can sometimes be seen, and can potentially affect the passage of light through the stone and detract from its beauty. The GIA grades diamonds on the nature of these inclusions, placing them into one of 7 categories, some of which have sub-divisions, depending on their clarity. The rarity of a diamond increases with its purity.
Very, very small inclusions
Very small inclusions
Even though a diamond may have some small inclusions, many of these will not be visible unless looking at the stone under 10x magnification.
A diamond’s natural beauty is only demonstrated by how it interacts with light. When light strikes the top of the diamond, also known as the crown, some of the light will be reflected back to you in a phenomenon known as external reflection. The rest of the light will penetrate the diamond and will be bent, or refracted, towards the centre of the stone. Internal reflection then occurs, when the light is bounced around inside the diamond, before emerging again through the crown, where it will be dispersed into the colours of the rainbow.
A well cut diamond will ensure that the majority of light that enters the stone will be reflected back through the crown, making it sparkle. Stones that have either been cut too deep (to make them heavier) or too shallow (to make them bigger), will allow light to escape through the sides or to be lost through the bottom, making the stone look dull or even black in the centre.
“All you need to do is look at your diamond. Does it appear white and bright? Move it about in the light and see if flashes of rainbow colours dance on the surface. You’ll recognise a well-cut diamond instantly; it’s the one that takes your breath away.”
When looking at diamonds, you will hear the terms Fire, Brilliance and Scintillation. These all relate to the quality of the diamond’s cut, and are easy for you to see for yourself as you look at your diamond. Brightness relates to the internal and external white light reflected from the diamond. Fire is the scattering of white light into all the colour of the rainbow, and Scintillation is the amount of sparkle your diamond produces. All you need to do is look at your diamond. Does it appear white and bright? Move it about in the light and see if flashes of rainbow colours dance on the surface. You’ll recognise a well cut diamond instantly; it’s the one that will take your breath away.
Confidence – the 5th C
We don’t just tick off the 4 C's when choosing our diamonds.
We believe in building trust and lasting relationships with our customers. For us it’s about genuine passion and care, and helping you find the one ring you’ll treasure for a whole lifetime.