If you’re coming to the Jewellery Quarter for the first time to choose a special piece of diamond jewellery it can feel like an overwhelming experience if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Faced with tempting deals, low prices and more diamond for your budget it can sometimes seem too good to be true; that’s because unfortunately sometimes it can be. Most of us have heard of the term ‘conflict diamonds,’ but how much more do you know about the darker side of diamond dealing? Over the next couple of months you will be faced with remarkable diamond offers from the high street. Here’s some good things to know before buying the diamond of your dreams.
Proper diamonds have certifications. A certified diamond carries it’s own ID card which explains in detail the attributes of your purchased diamond. Your certified diamond should have details of its clarity, weight, colour and statistics of it’s cut. Reputable certifications should tell you exactly what you need to know. All House of Solus diamonds are GIA certified; also known as the best diamond certification. GIA ( Gemological Institute of America) is a non profit independent institute dedicated to the research and education of gemology. A GIA certificate gives you a precise analysis of your diamond. If you are ever unsure about the diamond you have just bought you can always do the ‘newspaper print test.’ Place your diamond over the top of a newspaper. Shine a bright light over the top and if you can see the letters through your stone, it’s not a real diamond.
Determining the price of a diamond really does come down to 4 factors. You may have heard retailers talk about the 4 C’s. The cut, colour, clarity and carat is what diamond professionals use to determine the cost of a diamond. The purer the diamond, obviously the more valuable the diamond. Diamonds with certain rare qualities are also higher in value. For instance, diamonds which are colourless are of most cost. Most diamonds, although you may not see – have small specs of yellow or brown colouring in them. Diamond pricing can be a bit of a minefield. (excuse the pun) Two stones can appear identical to the naked eye. It can be that a less brilliant diamond with slightly more impurities can determine a difference in the thousands when it comes to price. With high street retailers having to compete with one another and a very enthusiastic sales person if can be an overwhelming experience when it comes to the selection process.
THE 4 C'S - CUT, CLARITY, CARAT, COLOUR
As we’ve discussed the quality of a diamond is measured on the 4 C’s. It can seem like quite a simple process, but once a retailer is throwing numbers and letters at you it can soon get confusing.
CARAT: The carat of a diamond is otherwise known as the weight and this is measured by 100 ‘points.’ So a one carat diamond is a 100. Three quarters of a carat is known as a 0.75 carat and so on.
COLOUR: The colour of a diamond is graded by the alphabet. The best colour diamond you can get; indeed a colourless diamond is graded as a D. When you’re looking for a good quality diamond , the stone shouldn’t look yellow in colour. The more yellow a diamond the poorer the quality. You start to notice a yellow tinge in colour when you get to a K. A ‘Z’ colour diamond is practically brown in it’s appearance.
CLARITY: Now this is where the jargon of diamond talk can start to get complicated. However once you understand the terminology used it’s easy to follow. The clarity of a diamond is measured by impurities which is magnified at ten times its true size. When a diamond professional is looking at a diamond’s clarity they are looking for the inclusions set within the stone. They can be ‘very very slight’ inclusions, (known as a VVS1 or VVS2) through to Slight (SI1 or SI2) and beyond to ‘Included.’ (I1, I2 or I3) Your certificate should point out where these inclusions sit within the stone so you can reassured that it is in fact the right diamond and certificate.
CUT: The cut of a diamond if pretty straight forward. Most consumers have heard of round cut, brilliant, emerald, marquise and pear. However the quality of the cut that determines the price of the diamond. The depth of the crown, the facets, angels and all the other slices of the diamond plays a part of how the diamond refracts the light. A reputable certificate will point out the cuts of the diamond usually rating it from poor – excellent.
THE KIMBERLEY PROCESS AND POST BREXIT
At present Britain are a part of the ‘Kimberly Process’ – a process which unites 81 countries around the world in tracking and preventing the trade of conflict gems. Being a part of the National Association of Jewellers. – as House of Solus is, means that we have to adhere to the Kimberley Process and make sure the we’re not selling diamonds of conflict. The European Union is the chair of the Kimberly Process, which means post Brexit the UK will have to apply for its own membership to the process. So what does this. mean for the jewellery retailers and diamond prices? Well at this point in time it is all very uncertain so now is a good as time as any to brush up on your diamond knowledge in preparation for the inevitable changing climate.
THE BEAUTY OF BESPOKE
At the House of Solus we always want to offer our clients the best value of diamond for their expenditure – which is why during an initial consultation we ask you of you’re rough budget. A bespoke experience if for those that are truly interested in the quality of what they are buying. Our jewellers explain and describe each and every diamond you are looking at. We source diamonds suitable to your expenditure and you can sit and look at each diamond close up until you’re completely satisfied with the stone you have chosen for us to set. The beauty of the House of Solus experience is each and every appointment is private. We aren’t about pushing through fast and quick sales. We want each client to be educated on the diamond they are buying. We feel are clients are therefore reassured and trusted in our processes and the quality of diamonds we are supplying.