A guide To buying diamond : Beyond the 4c's
- Appreciating nature's work of art.
- Other types of natural Fancy colour within natural diamonds.
- Natural diamonds with augmented colour.
Naturally occurring diamonds are nature's work of art. They are as individual as any piece of nature. The intervention of humans, by manufacturing into a cut and polished stone, only intensifies their natural beauty. When looking at diamonds buyers should be mindful of the rarity of the "product" itself. In order to produce a 1 carat diamond almost a 3 carat rough stone is needed, imagine how rare that is? This fact makes us appreciate with a new perspective how special a natural diamond is
Under the World Diamond Council guidelines diamond merchants are voluntarily, and ethically, obliged to specify if the diamond is purchased from a source that does not support blood or conflict diamonds. The Kimberley Process agreement is supported by 40 different countries and you can a read about it on the World Diamond Council website.
Buyers can ensure their purchases would not fund conflict, war, child labour or abuse, by asking for written assurances, at point of purchase, that their diamonds are purchased from conflict free origins. Dean Knoote Diamonds automatically provides you with this written guarantee on our invoice.
There are approximately 35 countries producing natural diamond sources from their mines. The mines usually occur where pre-historic volcanic activity may have occurred, or where the deposits from this activity may have been eroded and placed elsewhere by water or glacier current.
Which mine to purchase from impacts on the purchasing decision as the origin of the diamond should be from a conflict free source.
Dean Knoote Diamonds is fortunate to have access to high profile world productions such as Diavik (Canada), Argyle (Australia), and to a lesser extent Russian mine Alrosa which are well known conflict free sources.
This describes the diamond's weight, and not necessarily its size.
It is interesting to note that some diamonds "appear" larger because their cut means that you see more of the table or face of the diamond when it is set into a piece of jewellery.
The actual diameter size of the diamond would actually give us more information.
The diamonds are defined in carats or points as follows:
- A 1.5 carat diamond is 1 carat and 50 points in weight.
- A half carat diamond is 50 points in weight.
- The larger the stone the rarer the diamond.
Another term used by jewelers is TDW- this defines the total diamond weight within a given piece of jewellery. For example if a piece of jewellery had 3 stones, 1 of 1 carat and 2 of 50 points each, the TDW would be 2 carats.
We are lucky to be able to source diamonds from 0.02 to 4 carats and even beyond because of our large supplier base.
There are 8 traditional shapes-
- Round or Round Brilliant
These are the kind of shapes that you would traditionally find in jewelers.
Currently there are literally hundreds of diamond shapes as manufacturers think of new ways to enhance the rough diamond, whilst maintaining as much as possible of the diamond's weight. Some of the more popular newer shapes are:
- Tapered Baguettes
- Half moons
There are still other shapes such as flowers, golf clubs, and stars, name initials, limited only by imagination. These are more rare and usually only achieved by certain manufacturers.
Dean Knoote Diamonds has access to all the traditional shapes and many other variations of shape. However we would need extra time to source the non-traditional possibilities from our supplier base.
This defines the purity of the diamond. That is, does it have any visible inclusions or imperfections?
Clarity is graded as follows:
- P (1-3): Pique, or multiple pique visible to naked eye
- SI (1-2): Slight inclusions, visible to naked eye
- VS (1-2): Very slight inclusions, clean to the naked eye
- VVS (1-2): Very, very slight inclusions, clean to the naked eye
- LC or IF: Loupe clean or internally flawless (rarest and most expensive)
- The numbers represent gradations within the clarity, 1 being higher.
Our policy is generally to source within the VVS to SI range; however we have been able to source IF on request.
For white diamonds this term describes the colour, or more correctly the lack of colour (or whiteness), of the diamond.
The categories of colour range from:
- D+ and D exceptional white +
- E exceptional white
- F Rare white +
- G rare white
- H white
- I and J slightly tinted white
- K and L tinted white
- M-Z Tinted colour - at this range you would be starting to see this as a yellow diamond
Dean Knoote Diamonds has access to all colour's within the commercial white range.
Scintillation, light refraction and brilliance are all a function of the cut of the diamond, and its proportions, polish and symmetry.
Proportion and symmetry also becomes very significant when selecting a princess cut for example. A princess where the four sides of the table are of equal, or near equal size is going to be a better choice, and therefore more expensive.
Various Diamond certification bodies (such as GIA, HRD, and DCLA) have their own independent grading for diamond cuts. You can find out more from each of their websites, as each of them has different terms and explanations for what is considered their ideal.
For example you may come across terms such as "ideal cut" and "very good cut" amongst others. These express a grading of the proportions and cut of the diamond to ideal standards, basically how well the manufacturer has cut and polished the diamond. However there are many variations and tolerances, remember that manufacturers are working with nature.
Another way to determine what a good cut is for you, in terms of brilliance and scintillation, is to examine a number of stones. Obviously it is best to maximize the cut that your budget can afford.
Ask us to see a number of choices in your price range.
The independent Diamond bodies, referred to above, help to regulate the industry and provide assurance to the consumers that what they are being sold is indeed what it is claimed to be, this is a form of authentication and consumer protection.
When buying a diamond you should check that it has a recognized certificate or valuation independent of the retailer/jeweler, and not just a Manufacturers Grading Report (MGR).
Dean Knoote Diamonds is proud to offer HRD and GIA certification for our customer's confidence for stones over 0.50 ct. For stones under 0.50 carats we offer technical reports and valuations by request, from a reputable gemologist with over 30 year's experience. These reports are independent of our company and support that the diamond you purchase is what we claim it is.
We do not rely only on Manufacturers Grading Report (MGR).
Over the last decade the emergence of coloured diamonds in jewellery has also created new interest and design possibilities.
- Brown - Champagne and Cognac (most common fancy colour)
- Pink- very rare, most expensive.
- Yellow or Cape- next most common fancy colour
- Orange- natural
- Blue- natural
- Black- natural
- Green - natural
There are all types of shades within the colour ranges ranging from Fancy to light. Limited only by availability and budget!
Dean Knoote Diamonds stocks some natural coloured stones in brown, pink, and yellow but has access to other natural coloured diamonds, again this would require time to directly source from our supplier base.
This refers to diamonds that have had HTTP (High temperature and pressure treatment) to enhance their colour. Sometimes they are referred to as irradiated diamonds. These are naturally occurring diamonds and are not man made synthetic diamond products. However because their colour state is altered these diamonds are obviously less costly than naturally occurring coloured diamonds.
Dean Knoote Diamonds has some colour enhanced stones available in blue and black only, purchased for their unusual application in jewellery, preferring to source natural colours.
This is a fairly recent event in diamond history. Like any type of branding, branded diamonds assure the buyer of the origin of the diamonds and that the diamond is supported by a brand image and its marketing. The diamonds are usually laser inscribed with the brand to assure authenticity.
Dean Knoote Diamonds has access to the "Nordic Fire" brand from Canada and is currently working with one of its suppliers to develop an Australian brand for marketing in Australia.
This term describes the amount of fluorescence light given off by the diamond under ultra violet conditions.
Dean Knoote Diamonds is proud to provide Argyle product, with its typical high fluorescence.
The cost of a diamond is a function of its carat weight, cut, clarity, colour, certification, and other elements of the process such as the origin of the stone and its rarity.
The visual difference between a .99 point diamond and a 1 carat diamond is minimal; however the cost could be significantly different because of its psychological value.
If you cannot find the diamond you want in Perth or Australia, let us order it from Belgium for you.
Any other Questions
You can call me personally at any time to help you access your Diamond needs. I look forward to hearing from you.