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Diamond Guide

We would like to pass on our comprehensive experience and help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring

Colour

The whiter, the better
Diamonds are found in a variety of colours, but chances are all the diamonds you'll see in your shopping will be white or yellow, and the whiter the better. The yellow colour in diamonds comes from trace amounts of nitrogen. One part in a million will cause a yellow tint to appear in the K colour diamond. As a rule, the more yellow the stone, the less value it has. There's a good reason for this. The yellowier the stone, the less sharp and sparkly it appears. A whiter stone lets greater amounts of light pass through it,making it sparkle and shine.
 
The exception to the rule is the Fancy Yellow (canary) diamond, which is beautiful bright yellow and priced similar to white diamonds. There are four colour grades of Fancy Yellow (Fancy Light Yellow, Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow and Fancy Vivid Yellow) with each deeper shade bringing a higher price.
Keep in mind that the colour illustrated on these colour charts is exaggerated in order to see the difference on your computer monitor. Actual colour differences are much more subtle. Perception of colour
 
The amount of colour you see in a cut diamond depends largely on its size, how it is cut,and whether or not it is mounted. The bigger the stone, the more  obvious its colour will be, just as a carafe of wine shows more colour than a glassful. Some people are more sensitive to the colour of diamonds. What may appear slightly yellow to you may look white (lack of colour) to another person, so it will take a higher colour grade to satisfy you. The average shopper doesn't even notice yellow tints in mounted diamonds having a grade from G to J because the increasing nuances of colour are so slight. What you see as the "colour" of a diamond is really a combination of body colour, brilliance, and dispersion. Body colour is the inherent colour of the stone and is caused by the different colours of light that are absorbed by the stone.
 
Brilliance is the total amount of light returned to the eye by reflections from within the stone and from its surface. This often is referred to as the "brightness" and "life" of the stone and determined largely by the cut of the diamond. The better the cut, the more light is reflected within the diamond and back through the top of the diamond. Dispersion, or fire, is a spreading and separating of white light into its component hues, much like a prism. Even a colourless diamond will flash rainbow colours due to dispersion. Both brilliance and dispersion are desirable for beauty but are not measured or documented on any certification. Have a look at the figure on the right to see the illustration of dispersion (courtesy of IGI) Keep in mind that colour is graded with the diamond upside down in controlled lighting conditions. What you see looking a diamond face up is impacted more by the brilliance (cut of the diamond) than the colour of the diamond. Colour grading is not an exact science and even the certification laboratories will disagree about a diamond's colour grade. Remember, colour grades are a range and at one point a high H is equal to a low G colour. The distinction between colour grades is so fine that sometimes the same stone will get different colour grades if sent to the same grading laboratory a second time. Colour and price Prices for whiter colour grades increase more dramatically than the actual visible colour difference to the eye. Colour grades D, E and F are colourless and it is very difficult to see the differences between these because by definition they are colourless. However,there is a significant price difference because D colour diamonds are rarer than E and both are much rarer than F colour. Please have a look at the figure below to see the difference in pricing when it comes colour. In the near colourless range (G, H, I and J), there is a more noticeable difference.While
G colour is very close to colourless, J colour is very close to faint yellow. Most J colour diamonds have a slight yellow tint. Diamonds with H and I colour grade diamonds appear white and are great values because they are more plentiful than the colourless grades and therefore are less expensive. To know what colour grade you are comfortable with, go look at some diamonds side by side. Remember to be comparing HRD or IGI certified diamonds so you can be sure of
the colour you are actually seeing. It is also helpful to be looking at similar sizes and shapes. Some shapes, like rounds, are brighter than others. Princess cut diamonds tend to be deep and darker looking than a round with the same colour grade. Diamonds with greater carat weights tend to show  more colour than smaller diamonds with the same colour grade. Beware of the jeweller that tells you a higher clarity diamond makes it appear whiter.
Clarity has no impact on colour and this misinformation was meant to trick you into buying low colour, high clarity stones they have in inventory and can not get rid of. 

Clarity

Level of imperfection Virtually all natural diamonds contain identifying characteristics, many of which are invisible to the unaided eye. Clarity is the degree to which a stone is free from external marks called blemishes and internal features called inclusions. Inclusions normally have a greater impact on grade, value, beauty, and durability than do blemishes. When shopping for a diamond, the goal is to decide what level of these imperfections is appropriate for this particular purchase. A certain level of imperfections can be to your advantage since they act as a fingerprint to help identify your diamond. These imperfections can lower the price of the diamond to make it affordable without affecting its beauty to your eye. The position of an inclusion affects how readily it can be seen. Cutters call the area seen through the table the heart of the stone and make every effort to cut a stone so that inclusions are not visible through the table of the finished stone. The preferred position for inclusions is under the bezel facets or near the girdle because they are less noticeable there. Sometimes inclusions are located where they cause multiple reflections in the pavilion facets when you look at the stone from the top. Such reflectors lower the clarity grade more than similar non-reflecting inclusions.
 
Clarity rating system
What follows is the clarity rating system used by diamond laboratories:
• I.F.: internally flawless:
free from internal blemishes visible under 10x magnification (small external details
tolerated);
• V.V.S.1: very slightly included:
inclusions and/or external blemishes very difficult to locate under 10x magnification;
• V.V.S.2: very slightly included:
inclusions and/or external blemishes very difficult to locate under 10x magnification;
• V.S.1: very slightly included:
inclusions and external blemishes difficult to locate under 10x magnification;
• V.S.2: very slightly included:
inclusions and external blemishes rather difficult to locate under 10x magnification;
• S.I.1: slightly included:
inclusions and external blemishes rather easy to locate under 10x magnification;
• S.I.2: slightly included:
inclusions and external blemishes easy to locate under 10x magnification;
• P.1- I.1: imperfect:
inclusions and external blemishes very easy to locate under 10x magnification;
• P.2- I.2: imperfect:
inclusions and external blemishes easy to locate with naked eye; and
• P.3- I.3: imperfect:
heavy inclusions located with naked eye.
 
The last two clarity steps are not sold at Diamond World. The following diagrams show what inclusions and blemishes look like in the different clarity grades when viewed with 10X magnification. You can use a loupe or microscope to see these characteristics, many of which will not be visible to the unaided eye.

Cut

Cut comes first Cut has the biggest impact on the beauty of diamonds and the least amount of difference in their price. The word cut has several meanings when it comes to diamonds. The cut of a diamond does not just mean its shape (round brilliant, princess, oval, cushion, etc.) but also addresses the symmetry, polishing, angles and the proportions of each physical aspect of the diamond. The cut determines the diamond's sparkle. A properly cut diamond will refract the light that enters the diamond and return it through the top to produce the much desired sparkle. The angles have to be exactly right to effectively reflect the light back to your eye.
 
Difference in cutting Diamonds are cut by different diamond cutters with different levels of skill. Each rough diamond crystal has its own distinct inclusions occurring at random locations. Diamond cutters are trying to cut the biggest and heaviest diamond from the rough crystal. Cutting diamonds to the best possible cut usually means losing diamond carat weight in the cutting process. There is always a compromise between beauty and size. Some cutters are better than others and are also willing to take the extra time to do it right. The typical brilliant cut diamond is cut with 57 facets, 33 on the crown and 24 on the pavilion. On a well-proportioned stone, these facets will be uniform and symmetrical. If they are not, the diamond's ability to refract and reflect light will suffer. Warning: A poorly-cut diamond just won't look right to the eye. Unfortunately, 75% of all rounds and 88% of all other shapes on the market are poorly proportioned. When searching for a great cut, the two most important numbers are the depth percentage and the table percentage.
 
Table percentage is the length of the table divided by the width of the diamond. The higher the number, the bigger the table looks. The lower the number, the smaller the table looks. Do not confuse small table with small diameter. In general, you want the bigger diameter and the smaller table percentage for the most beautiful round diamonds. Out of Round: It is interesting to note that "round" diamonds are usually not perfect circles. The length and width measurements for a round are both diameter measurements and will be different for an out-of-round shape. If the length is greater than the width by more than .10 millimetres, the diamond has not been cut well and should be avoided. For two-carat stones, the acceptable deviation is 0.12 millimetres. Fancy Shape Cut Probably the most important aspect for a fancy cut is the general appearance to your eye and that it is appealing and symmetrical. In many fancy shaped diamonds (marquise, pear, oval, emerald and heart shaped), the pavilion facets do not culminate at a point at the tip of the pavilion as they do for a round. Instead, they form an edge, called the "keel line." This line should be cantered in the diamond and this "culet" should still be as small as possible.
 
Girdle width will vary between greater extremes on some fancy shapes compared to the round brilliant. These include the marquise, pear and heart, where the girdle tends to be thick or extremely thick at the tips of the stone and in the cleft of the heart-shaped cut. Also, the princess cut, which has square corners, may have an extremely thin girdle in these areas. Since the girdles vary with greater frequency in fancy shapes, attention needs to be paid to extremely thin and extremely thick girdles to avoid danger of chipping or excessive weight.

Carat Weight

The weight of a diamonds is generally given in carats. The term carat originated in ancient times when gemstones were weighted against the carob bean. Each bean weighed about one carat. In 1913, carat weight was standardized internationally and adapted to the metric system. One carat equals 0.2 grams - a little more than 0.007 ounce. In other words, it takes 142 carats to equal 1 ounce. Two terms, carat and karat are often confused. Karat refers to the fineness of gold alloys (pure gold is 24 karat; 14 karat is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals) and carat refers to gem weights.
 
The weight of small diamonds is frequently expressed in points, with one point equalling 0.01 carats. For example, five points is a short way of saying 5/100 of a carat and fifty points equates to a half carat.
Sometimes in the jewellery trade, the term size is used as a synonym for carat weight. This is because small round diamonds having the same weight also look the same size and similar diameters. As diamonds increase in weight, their size becomes less predictable. Diamonds with a shallow cut can have a greater diameter than a deeper cut diamond with the same weight. However, you don't want the diamond to be too shallow or it will not reflect the light properly and will have less brilliance.
 
Diamond Measurements
 
It is similar to asking how tall a 200 pound man is. You have no way of knowing because you don't know how the man is proportioned. The same holds true for diamonds. So if size is important to you, focus on diamond measurements as opposed to carat weight. You don't need to carry a millimetre gauge when you go shopping. Just start asking what the different millimetre measurements are and note how they look. Diamonds that look big for their weight may have reduced brilliance and fire so always insist on great cut. Note that an increase in carat weight does not produce the same increase in millimetre diameter. For example, there is a 25% increase in carat weight from 1.00 carats to 1.25 carats but less than 8% increase in diameter (6.5 to 7.0 mm). This concept, along with the increased price per carat, explains why prices increase dramatically in order to get noticeably bigger millimetre size. Please have a look at the figure below to see the carat weight of a diamond and diameter in mm.
 
Carat Price
 
The weight of a diamond has a large impact on price. All other factors being equal, the heavier the diamond, the greater its cost will be. Diamonds lose approximately 40-60% of their rough weight when they are cut. Over 1 million rough diamonds must be mined before one is found that can be cut into a 1.00 carat finished diamond! Please have a look at the figure below to get an impression of price incensement based on carat. With each weight category increase (quarter, third, half), the value per carat of a diamond will increase significantly and almost geometrically (given all have the same other factors). A stone which is twice as large as an otherwise identical smaller stone might be three or more times more expensive. So while you might see a price for a smaller stone at $2,000 per carat, as you price the same cut, colour and clarity in a larger stone you'll see dramatic increases. There are standards for reporting a diamond's weight. FTC guidelines allow a one-half point (1/2) tolerance in the stated weight of a diamond. For example, a diamond weighing .495 carat can be legally sold as a 50 point diamond, while a .494 carat diamond must be sold as a 49 point stone. Some stores sell diamonds according to size ranges so you need to insist on knowing the exact weight of your loose diamond.

Diamond Fluorescence

Fluorescence is the effect of a diamond to give off light when exposed to ultraviolet light. Some diamonds give off light when exposed to ultraviolet light and some do not. Under normal lighting conditions, this effect is not discernable to the eye. There is still some controversy over whether fluorescence is beneficial or detrimental to a diamond's value. In some cases, depending on the clarity and color of a diamond, fluorescence will make the diamond appear whiter.

Diamond Certification

To ensure the value of a diamond has been properly determined, an independent laboratory will inspect and write a report on each individual diamond. These reports include a physical inspection of the diamond and a written report called a grading report or diamond dossier, which will accompany the diamond. A gemologist will place the diamond under a microscope and carefully determined its proportions, color, symmetry, fluorescence, cut, clarity and carat weight. This inspection can take 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
 
These laboratories exist to protect consumers and the diamond industry by creating standards used to grade loose diamonds. Some grading labs may have their own standards and may be more rigid in one category but more lenient in another. 
 
The most common independent certification laboratories groups include:
GIA - Gemological Institute of America
AGS - American Gem Society Laboratories
EGL - European Gemological Laboratories
IGI - International Gemological Institute
 
These laboratories have an excellent reputation in the North American market for providing accurate and consistent unbiased reports. To avoid disappointment in the diamond you purchase, you should always insist that a grading report from an independent laboratory be part of your purchase. All loose diamonds purchased from Buy Certified Diamond will be accompanied with their grading certificate.

How Are Diamonds Formed ?

Diamonds that are mined today were born more than 1000 million years ago. Highly pressurized carbon formed this seductive and valuable mineral in the earth at depths over 150 kilometers and at temperatures greater than 10,000 degrees Celsius. In dramatic geological events within the earth's core, melting fluids far underneath the Earth’s surface were pushed violently to the surface, causing volcanic eruptions. These explosions created conical pipes filled with kimberlite, or hardened volcanic rock. Once the original volcanic cone was removed by gradual erosion, the kimberlite pipes containing diamond is exposed. Diamonds are in fact only accidental fragments brought to the surface of the earth hidden within this kimberlite rock.

What About Man Made Diamonds ?

There are companies that are manufacturing man made diamonds that look, feel and share many characteristics of natural diamonds. Although the process to manufacture a diamond in a controlled environment is always being refined, the fact remains that they are not real, natural diamonds - they are in fact man made diamonds. They are imitations as they imitate the qualities and characteristics of a natural diamond. There are cheap imitation diamonds out there which will not impress anyone and there are some that are quite good, but are almost as expensive as the real natural diamond. If you are looking for a symbol like a diamond to represent the love that you share with a special someone, wouldn't you want that symbol to be as real as your love? Buy Certified Diamond will only sell high quality, natural certified diamonds and can find you a real, natural diamond within your price range.

Gold Education

Purity

Renowned for its gleaming luster and denseness, gold is known as the softest and most pliable natural metal. In its purest form, gold is bright yellow in color, but is often mixed with other metals, such as silver and copper, to form a more durable alloy that's more resistant to everyday wear and tear. Additionally, these alloys help color gold and produce shades of white, yellow, and rose. At Brilliance, we specialize in high-quality 14 karat and 18 karat pieces, the standard for fine gold jewelry.

 
Gold Purity
There are various grades of gold purity, determined by the ratio of their alloy composition and rated by a karat system. Typical karat purities range from 10 karats to 24 karats (pure gold), with a wide variation of usage from country to country. In the United States, the most popular composition is 14 karat gold.
 
Below are some of the most common gold densities, along with the characteristics and pure gold content of each:
 
24 Karat Gold
In its purest form, the metal is comprised of 100% gold with virtually no alloy metals. Pure gold is extremely soft and pliable, which is why it's often mixed with other metals, such as copper and silver, to forge jewelry.
 
22 Karat Gold
This level of gold is 91.7% pure which is still too soft to make jewelry and not as durable as 18K or 14K.
 
18 Karat Gold
This alloy consists of 75% gold and 25% alloy metals. 18 karat gold has been found to be the perfect balance between gold purity and strength. Brilliance offers a variety of exquisite 18 karat gold jewelry.
 
14 Karat Gold
14 karat gold is 58.3% pure gold; the remainder is comprised of alloy metals. Any gold purity less than 14 karat gold is not recommended for high quality jewelry.
 
10 Karat Gold
This tier of the metal consists of 41.7% gold. This is the minimum purity that can still be considered gold in the United States and is not used for high quality jewelry.

Platinium Education

Often heralded as just as beautiful as the gems it displays, platinum boasts a silvery-white luster that imparts unmistakable elegance and blends well with a variety of metals and stones. Four times stronger than gold, platinum is renowned for its hard-wearing properties, resistance to damage and wear, and its substantial heft.
 
At Brilliance, we're proud to offer a wide assortment of platinum settings for our finest jewelry pieces. All of our platinum consists of at least 95% pure platinum, with a maximum of 5% alloy metals. Nearly all of our solitaire and engagement rings have platinum prongs to keep diamonds securely in place.
 
Platinum Purity
Considered among the most pure and precious metals used in modern-day jewelry making, platinum has become synonymous with luxury and longevity. Because of its hardness and durability, pure platinum is often mixed with other metals to make it more malleable. The most common alloy metals paired with platinum are copper, palladium, rhodium, iridium, and titanium.
 
Although some alloys may be billed as platinum by jewelry sellers, there are stringent requirements for what constitutes a 'pure' platinum piece. Only metals marked with a 950 or 900 purity designation are considered high-grade platinum. Alloys containing a lower ratio are often used to make jewelry, but these pieces don't impart the same high standards of quality, longevity, or beauty. At Brilliance, we use only the purest platinum alloys to craft our fine jewelry.
950 Platinum
Pieces marked with a 950 purity are a blend of 95% platinum and 5% alloy metals (usually ruthenium , copper, cobalt, iridium, rhodium, or palladium).
 
900 Platinum
Pieces marked with a 900 purity consist of 90% platinum and 10% alloy metals (usually ruthenium or iridium).

Jewellery Care

All fine jewellery needs proper care. While certain pieces may need select care, most jewellery should be cared for using the following basics:
 
Sunlight - Just like the sun damages skin, heat and light can damage certain gemstones. Too much sunlight can fade or damage amethyst and topaz. Pearls can bleach and peel if exposed to too much sun. And certain other gems, like opal, can darken if exposed to too much light. To remove any doubt, store jewellery in a dark pouch or jewellery case.
 
Chemicals – Exposure to common everyday household chemicals, like ammonia or bleach, can damage both metals and gemstones. Even chemicals that are worn on the body – like hairspray, perfumes and lotions – can affect metals and dull gemstones. To keep your jewellery looking new, it's best to put on any perfumes, lotions or hairspray BEFORE putting on jewellery. And it's always wise to remove fine jewellery before swimming or using any type of household cleaners.

Tips to Remember

Always:
Apply lotion, cosmetics, hairspray and perfume before dressing in jewellery.
When undressing, wipe each piece with a clean soft cloth to remove oils and perspiration.
Store in a fabric-lined box, separately or individually-wrapped in tissue to prevent scratches.
 
Never:
Never wear jewellery when doing physical work such as housekeeping, gardening or exercise.
Never expose jewellery to household cleaning products.
Never expose jewellery to chlorine swimming pools or hot tubs.
 

Tips for Storing

Proper storage of your fine jewellery pieces is very important. Diamond, gemstone and especially pearl jewellery should never simply be tossed into a drawer or box haphazardly as they may be scratched unintentionally.
 
Most jewellery pieces come in a lined box or pouch that is perfectly acceptable for storage. However, most people use a jewellery box or valet to store their pieces.
 
Jewelry boxes that have individual felt‐lined and padded slots for rings, necklaces and earrings will keep them organized, clean and safe. Some boxes are lined with anti‐tarnish cloth, perfect for storing sterling silver pieces.
 
With relatively minimal effort, your fine jewellery pieces can be cleaned, well‐cared for, safely stored and provide years and years of happy wear.

Tips for Cleaning

Clean in a secure location, not the rim of a sink where a piece may slip down the drain.

Use only a soft brush, never sharp or hard objects, to remove dirt or particles.

Clean your jewellery often; lotions, soaps and skin oils alter the optical properties of diamonds and gemstones, causing them to look dull.

Seriously soiled jewellery should be cleaned professionally.

Clean diamond jewellery with a soft brush dipped in warm water and mild detergent; rinse under running water.

Never expose pearl jewellery to chemicals or solvents and store each piece in a soft bag.

Don't expose coloured gemstones to chemicals, solvents or ultrasonics without knowing their specific cleaning requirements.

Tips for Long Life

Keep your Laboratory Reports in a safe location, separate from jewellery pieces, for security.

Have your jewellery cleaned and checked by a professional for worn mountings, loose prongs and general condition at least once per year.

Have white gold re-plated, platinum re-polished and prongs re-tipped as necessary to maintain original condition (generally every 24 months or so).

Some coloured gemstones should not be exposed to sudden temperature changes; know your pieces and their needs.

Select daily-wear jewellery that is in harmony with your lifestyle and schedule of activities.

Treat each piece as if it were a family heirloom, for someday it may be.

Ring Size Instructions

Choosing the right ring size will take a bit of effort and time, but it is important to get the size right - a too tight ring is uncomfortable or impossible to wear and too big ring will easily slip off from the finger. The size of the finger changes, even within the same day. In the morning and again in the evening the fingers are usually slightly swollen, as well as when the weather is hot. In the middle of the day on a cooler weather, the fingers are smaller. Therefore the best setting for measuring your ring size is in the middle of the day at a normal room temperature.
 
Buying new rings is easy if you already know your ring size. 5ine Jewels ring sizes are equal to the inner circumference of the ring. The other common ring size system is based on the inner diameter of the ring in millimetres. While choosing ring size on the product pager, we have also specified the circumference of the ring as well as inner diameter millimetres.
 
Many jewellery stores have special measurement rings that can be used for measuring the correct ring size. At home the correct size can be tested by cutting a narrow shred from a flexible paper, curling it around the finger and using a pen to mark the spot where the paper ring feels comfortable. The length of the straightened shred will give you the circumference of the ring - the correct ring size.
 
It is important to keep the paper ring as round as possible for it to correspond the real ring. The type of the fingers defines the correct measurement point: a person with larger joints should take the measurement from around the joint, and a person with pointy fingers should take the measurement from the spot where the ring would normally go.
 
Also, the width of the ring affects the size selection. Wider designs require approximately one size larger ring.
 
If you want to have a ring in the same size as the one you already have, the easiest way to find out the size is to measure the inner diameter of the ring. The best tool for the job is a vernier calliper found at least in some homes. Also, dividers can be used for transferring the ring diameter onto a ruler. Note that older rings may no longer be perfectly round and the measurement may be slightly incorrect. Once measured, the corresponding Lapponia ring size can be found from the conversion table.

How To Find Her Ringsize

If you are aiming for a surprise, read our tips on how to find your partner's ring size without her knowing.
One tried-and-true method is asking a parent or close friend if they know her finger size.
Borrow one of your partner's rings and use the Ring Sizing Guide above to determine its size. The ring should be from the correct finger on the correct hand.
Knowing the most common ring size can help you make your choice. The average ring size for women is 6 to 6.5, and the average ring size for men is 9 to 10. When no other information is available to you, selecting one of these standard ring sizes is your best choice.

Helpful Hints

Our dominant hands are generally slightly larger - make sure you measure for her left!
Rings with wider bands will fit a bit tighter. If you plan to measure one of her rings, try to measure one with a similar width as the ring you want to purchase.
If it comes down to guessing, err on the large side. You want the ring to be able to slip onto her finger when you're proposing!

Request A Free Ring Sizer

Please send us a request for the free ring sizer on info@5inejewels.com and we would be happy to send you a complimentary ring sizer so that you can easily measure your ring size at home. Ring sizers shipped to the UK will arrive within five to seven business days and delivery time to the outside UK may take longer.