What ever your needs, we'll find the perfect diamond to suit them. Whether you are looking for a stone with specific specifications, or would just like to maximize your budget by choosing a diamond with the best value for money, our diamond experts can assist you every step of the way. Our diamonds are sourced from the most reliable local sources and are one hundred percent guaranteed conflict free.
How do I choose a diamond?
The Four C's:
There are many factors that influence the price and grading of a diamond. The most commonly quoted of these are the Four C's; Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. Our diamond experts will guide you in choosing the best combination of these to suit not only your design, but also your pocket.
The first factor that influences a diamond's price is the cut of the stone. In most cases, round brilliant cut diamonds are more expensive than princess cut diamonds, and badly cut stones are in general sold at a higher discount percentage from the lapidary or graded lower and thus sold at a better price. A well cut diamond exhibits certain characteristics which ultimately influence its appearance:
The Ideal Cut
An ideal cut diamond has specific proportions for better light refractivity. A diamond which is cut too shallow will allow light to pass through it and creates what is called a window which allows the eye to see straight through the stone. A diamond which is cut too deep bends the light out at an awkward angle, causing the stone to look darker than what it really is. A diamond with a girdle that is too thick will add to the depth and make it difficult to set, a diamond with a girdle that is too thin will tend to break easily. Ideal Proportions have been set up by lapidary experts (see picture) and the closer a diamond is cut to these proportions the better the cut.
Fancy shapes include every shape of diamond which is not round or princess. There are a multitude of these cuts available on the market, and the type of cut, availability and demand are all factors that influence the price. Uncommon cuts like Asscher and Radiant will fetch much higher prices than their Round Brilliant or Princess counterparts, but are far less likely to be found in your everyday jewellery store. These stones usually take a couple of weeks to source, and availability is totally dependent on the climate of the market.
White and Yellow Diamonds
A diamond's colour can be graded in various ways. The most commonly used system nowadays (also used for clarity) is the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) system. In the GIA colour grading scale for white and yellow stones the scale starts at D, which is completely colourless, and caries on down the alphabet right up to the fancy yellows which start at about R (depending on the colour distribution of each particular stone) to Z. The most economical colour range for white stones lies between I (for settings in white gold) and L (for settings in yellow gold). From L downwards the colour starts becoming noticeably yellower and from the fancy yellows down the price once again starts climbing.
(Image colours are only an indication of the actual colour of the stone and may vary)
Naturally Coloured Diamonds
Coloured diamonds and fancy coloured diamonds are graded on an entirely different scale depending on the pigment distribution within the crystal structure and the colour intensity. This can only be done by gemologists in a laboratory and therefore their prices are usually much higher than those of white stones. Often a diamond will be graded as 'fancy coloured' due to the nature of the pigment distribution within the crystal structure, but the colour will be hardly visible, as with this Radiant (below left), unlike the the Asscher (below right), which is also graded 'fancy' but has a much richer colour. This stone would typically be graded as 'fancy vivid blue', whilst the Radiant would only be 'fancy light blue'.
A black diamond is a stone with the same crystal structure as any other diamond, but that did not quite reach the required conditions to become clear and white. They are usually (but not always) opaque and quite a bit less expensive than white diamonds. Black diamonds are generally considered risky in jewellery, since internal flaws that could weaken the stone are hard to spot and they are in general rather more brittle than clear white or coloured diamonds.
Much confusion exist around the issue of what exactly is regarded a champagne diamond. A champagne diamond is usually a diamond that has, as one would guess, the colour of champagne, although some cognacs may be referred to as such and vice versa, depending on their colour intensity since there is a bit of an overlap.
Cognac the name used to describe the colour of diamonds that are orange with a brown overtone or brown with an orange overtone. It is the third most common colour variation next to white (colourless) and yellow and can range from vivid to only slightly visible. These stones range in price from less expensive than white stones to quite a bit more expensive, depending on the colour intensity and pigment distribution within the crystal structure.
Artificially Coloured Diamonds
Diamonds can be artificially coloured by means of exposure to radiation (which basically fast forwards the process that happens to stones that are naturally coloured). The process is called irradiation, delivers beautiful colours, leaves no residual radiation that could be harmful to your health and is in general less expensive than white diamonds.
In the GIA diamond grading system the highest grade that can be given to a diamond is FL (Flawless). FL is only awarded to diamonds that have absolutely no flaws, either internal or external.
Next is IF (Internally Flawless) which means that the stone has no flaws on the inside, but may have some lapidary mistakes or naturals on the surface. These are NEVER visible with the naked eye and can only be spotted under 40X magnification by a trained eye.
VVS (Very, Very Small inclusion) is awarded to diamonds with some inclusions/faults/marks on the in- or outside of the diamond, but which is not visible with the naked eye. These can be spotted under 40X magnification and sometimes with a 10X loupe by a trained eye. The level is subdivided into two, sometimes three more grades; VVS1, VVS2, VVS3, to accommodate higher and lower grades within the level.
VS (Very Small inclusion) is usually a diamond with inclusions that are visible under 40X magnification, under a 10X loupe and sometimes to the highly trained naked eye. This level is also subdivided into two, sometimes three grades; VS1, VS2, VS3, to accommodate higher and lower grades within the level.
SI (Small Inclusion) is a diamond of which the flaws can easily be found with any kind of magnification, are visible to the trained naked eye and sometimes to the untrained naked eye, depending on the nature of the inclusion, where in the diamond it is situated and the sub-grade. As with VVS and VS, SI also comes in two, sometimes three subdivisions; SI1, SI2, SI3.
I (Included) is a stone of which the inclusions will be visible even to the untrained naked eye. These are usually stones with large cracks or cleavages, carbon inclusions or included crystals .Depending on where in the stone the inclusion lies, they are usually highly visible and are not recommended for use in jewellery since besides for the obvious aesthetical problems, they are also a risk for cracking, chipping or breaking during setting or general wear. The I level is also subdivided into I1, I2, I3.
Carat is the unit of weight measure used to measure the weight of a diamond and other gemstones. It is not to be confused with Karat, which is the measure of gold content within an alloy. One carat (1.0 ct) is equal to one fifth of a gram (0.20 g). Each carat is subdivided into 100 points (0.01ct to 0.99 ct).
This next section is a little long winded, but it might help you understand what your dealer is saying.
When a dealer expresses the weight of a diamond as a "one-carater", he is talking about a stone with a weight higher than 1.0ct (usually between 1.0ct and 1.1ct). When the dealer refers to a diamond as a "one-pointer", he is in fact referring to a diamond with a weight of 0.01 ct. There is no range when talking about stone below twenty points (0.20 ct) since the difference in weight at that size makes quite a large difference to the diameter of the stone. Knowing this it is easier to deduce that a half-carater would be a stone in the region of 0.50 ct and a half-pointer would be a stone with a weight of exactly 0.005 ct. When we are speaking of a stone weighing for instance 0.30 ct, we could express it as either a "thirty pointer" or a "zero point three carat". The same applies to any diamond lower than 1.0 ct and can also include numbers after the decimal. A 0.64 ct diamond could be referred to as a "sixty four pointer" or a "zero point six, four carat" and a 0.92 ct diamond could be named a "ninety pointer", a "ninety two pointer" or a "zero point nine, two carat" and so forth. Usually a diamond with a second decimal that lies within 3 points of a rounding the first decimal could be expressed by rounding it up or down to the nearest first decimal, as demonstrated in the example of the 0.92 ct diamond. When a diamond is certified, however, the actual weight of the stone (ex. 0.923 ct) is recorded on the certificate. The precise weight of a diamond can only be determined by weighing it (out of setting) on a carat scale, but for insurance valuations the weight is usually determined by formula.
Certifying a diamond and grading / evaluating / valuating / supplying a document stating that it is in fact a diamond and or its grade is not the same thing. Certificates (see example) can only be extended by qualified gemologists at registered laboratories (always for loose stones only), usually (but not always) come in the shape of a smallish plastic pouch with a card and a folded diamond parcel and are usually only awarded to diamonds with a weight greater than 0.20 ct (the weight restriction is entirely the prerogative of the laboratory for newly produced stones, or the client, should they wish to send their own loose stones in for certification, at a charge). Each certificate contains the weight, cut as well as the colour and clarity (as graded by the laboratory) of each stone, a certificate number and comments by the gemologist, should he/she find any oddities like resin filled cracks, colour over tones etc.
On the inside of the certificate you will find a plotting of all flaws if any are present, a table marked by the gemologist stating the grade once more and a folded diamond parcel once again stating the grade and containing the actual stone.
Inside the diamond parcel you will usually find (apart from the stone) an adhesive label stating every possible measurement and percentages of its proportions for comparison to the Ideal Proportions.
Only this is regarded as an accurate grading and only this can be refered to as a "diamond certificate". Everything else (in the case of valuations for insurance purposes) is at best calculated and informed guesswork from the professional in question. When a new uncertified diamond is bought, the dealer will supply the actual weight and approximate grade of the stone to the manufacturer, who can then record it on the first valuation certificate issued in which he/she guarantees that the diamond used is, first and foremost, an actual diamond and the approximate grade of the stone on a document containing the manufacturer's letter head and details. All our staff has completed diamond grading courses endorsed by the Jewellery Council of South Africa and are therefore qualified to determine the approximate grade and value of most diamonds. We supply diamonds with and without laboratory certificates depending on the preference of each client, since stones under 0.10ct are almost never physically certified and certified stones under 0.20ct are usually quite a bit more expensive. We do, however, guarantee that our diamonds are all graded and tested conflict free natural diamonds from local mines subscribing to the Kimberley Process. This we will state on each valuation certificate issued for newly manufactured items containing diamonds bought form us.
How does it work?
♦ Make an appointment for a time that suits you
♦ Bring your pictures (if you have ideas) and old jewellery (if you have any you'd like to use. Yes, you can bring us yellow gold even though you want white and vice versa). We could give you cash or credit, whichever you prefer.
♦ Come have coffee with us and tell us what you want. We will make some sketches and discuss the design with you (if you want to have something manufactured as well).
♦ If you would like to have a look at some diamonds (or other stones), and we do not have what you want in stock, we will then make a second appointment with you for the diamond viewing. Each diamond will be priced and ready for purchase at the viewing.
♦ There is NO OBLIGATION. If you don't want it, you don't take it.
♦ If you do want it (which we are pretty sure you will), you pay the mandatory 50% deposit (for items to be manufactured), or the full price of the stone if you would like to buy a loose stone only.
♦ In the case where there is an item to be manufactured, we then go to work. If your quotation calls for 3D drafting in the manufacturing process (which is included in the quotation), this is the point where you can expect to find your renderings in your inbox.
♦ After the manufacturing period (which will be discussed according to the complexity of the design), keep your phone close so that we may reach you when it is ready.
♦ At this point you may make the final payment via internet transfer, or bring cash when you pick up your order.
♦ With each and every design we manufacture, we are excited and look forward to delivering our craft. Seeing your joy at the presentation is part of our reward. Call us.