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The 4 C's Of Diamonds

Brush up on your diamond knowledge with this comprehensive guide to diamonds

Your Perfect Diamond Ring

If you’re feeling a mix of trepidation and excitement, you’re not alone. Here at Diamondport we’ll guide you through the wonderful process of designing and creating your perfect diamond ringWe take pride in creating some of the most incredible diamond rings Brisbane has to offer.

You’ve probably already heard of the 4Cs. The cut, colour, clarity and carat weight of the diamond are all important factors to consider as you choose a gemstone. Some factors are more important than others, so read on for more information.

Even more crucial than the 4Cs are the following diamond grading standards that Ashley Portas, Diamondport director, takes into consideration when hand selecting each and every engagement ring diamond.

If you’re feeling a mix of trepidation and excitement, you’re not alone. Here at Diamondport we’ll guide you through the wonderful process of designing and creating your perfect diamond ringWe take pride in creating some of the most incredible diamond rings Brisbane has to offer.

You’ve probably already heard of the 4Cs. The cut, colour, clarity and carat weight of the diamond are all important factors to consider as you choose a gemstone. Some factors are more important than others, so read on for more information.

Even more crucial than the 4Cs are the following diamond grading standards that Ashley Portas, Diamondport director, takes into consideration when hand selecting each and every engagement ring diamond.

Diamondport Grading Standards:

  • Triple excellent – it must have excellent cut, polish and symmetry
  • 100% eye clean – flawless from the naked eye
  • Minimal to no fluorescence
  • No BGM – no brown, grey or milky tinge

It’s important to have a trusted professional on your side when purchasing diamonds so you can pick a beauty and avoid the inferior gemstones on the market.

1. Diamond Cut

Diamonds can be cut into a multitude of shapes – and we’ll help you choose the shape you love best for your diamond ring.

Round brilliant cut diamonds are by far the most popular, and the most expensive. They’re proven to refract the most light, and give the most dazzling scintillation. Fancy cut diamonds are generally cheaper.

The main cuts used in engagement rings are;

Round Brilliant
Oval
Emerald
Princess
Pear

The best cut is one that yields the best size and refracts light beautifully. Millions of dollars have been invested worldwide into researching the best diamond cuts; for instance, the ultimate ratios a round brilliant cut diamond. We talk you through the various cuts and quality of cuts, and recommend a very good cut or excellent cut.

Read our extensive diamond shape guide to understand more about the different diamond cuts available.

2. Diamond Colour

Diamonds occur in a spectrum of colours, from the prized colourless (some say “white”) to the less desirable but still pretty yellow diamonds. We tend to sell colourless and near colourless diamonds; D through to H.

It’s actually very difficult to distinguish between two colour grades, for instance between a D and F diamond. Hence colour is less important than cut in the 4Cs.

Pink diamonds – they’re as rare as hen’s teeth, and eye-wateringly expensive. Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia supplies the majority of the world’s pink diamonds, yet they only find about half a cup of pink diamonds each year, and their mine is nearly exhausted – it’s expected to cease operating in a handful of years. Apart from Argyle, there’s a mere trickle of pink diamonds from Africa.

Diamonds occur in a spectrum of colours, from the prized colourless (some say “white”) to the less desirable but still pretty yellow diamonds. We tend to sell colourless and near colourless diamonds; D through to H.

It’s actually very difficult to distinguish between two colour grades, for instance between a D and F diamond. Hence colour is less important than cut in the 4Cs.

Pink diamonds – they’re as rare as hen’s teeth, and eye-wateringly expensive. Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia supplies the majority of the world’s pink diamonds, yet they only find about half a cup of pink diamonds each year, and their mine is nearly exhausted – it’s expected to cease operating in a handful of years. Apart from Argyle, there’s a mere trickle of pink diamonds from Africa.

3. Diamond Clarity

Clarity refers to the degree of flaws or ‘inclusions’ in a diamond and they a graded on a scale. This scale starts at Internally Flawless, IF, and goes all the way to Included diamonds. 

We recommend VS2, S11 and SI2 for engagement rings; yet we will work with you to choose the best stone possible given your budget. 

We always avoid flaws that are open to the table and big flaws that can compromise a diamond’s strength and make it less stable. A hard knock to a heavily flawed diamond could cleave it in half; we’ll help you carefully select your diamond to ensure it is eye clean and free from major flaws. This is common in cheaper diamonds that are bought online. 

I1, I2 and I3 diamonds are perfect for earrings and pendants – keep this in mind, because it might not be as expensive as you think to create a lovely gift down the track.

Do flawless diamonds exist? Yes, yet Ashley Portas haven’t seen one in his ten years’ experience as a diamond merchant. IF, internally flawless diamonds however, can be purchased. 

Clarity refers to the degree of flaws or ‘inclusions’ in a diamond and they a graded on a scale. This scale starts at Internally Flawless, IF, and goes all the way to Included diamonds. 

We recommend VS2, S11 and SI2 for engagement rings; yet we will work with you to choose the best stone possible given your budget. 

We always avoid flaws that are open to the table and big flaws that can compromise a diamond’s strength and make it less stable. A hard knock to a heavily flawed diamond could cleave it in half; we’ll help you carefully select your diamond to ensure it is eye clean and free from major flaws. This is common in cheaper diamonds that are bought online. 

I1, I2 and I3 diamonds are perfect for earrings and pendants – keep this in mind, because it might not be as expensive as you think to create a lovely gift down the track.

Do flawless diamonds exist? Yes, yet Ashley Portas haven’t seen one in his ten years’ experience as a diamond merchant. IF, internally flawless diamonds however, can be purchased. 

Diamond Clarity Graphics

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-11

IF

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-12

VVS1

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-13

VVS2

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-14

VS1

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-15

VS2

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-16

SI1

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-17

SI2

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-18

I1

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-19

I2

Diamond Expanded (Compount path)-20

I3

4. Diamond Carat Weight

Diamonds are measured by weight; the 4th C stands for carat, and one carat is equal to 0.2 grams of diamond.

Diamonds get exponentially more expensive as they increase in size; 2 half carat diamonds will cost significantly less than a single 1 carat diamond. There’s no set per carat weight.

1 carat engagement ring is the dream size for many couples, and will cost approximately $12,000 to $15,000 in a solitaire platinum setting.

If budget is an issue we can help create a 0.90 carat superior quality diamond ring that appears as big as a 1 carat ring, for approximately $2000 less. It’s all about choosing the right diamond.

We can help you choose!

Round brilliant diamonds command a premium compared to fancy cut diamonds, so again we can help you choose a different cut – perhaps an oval solitaire or a cushion cut diamond for an equally stunning engagement ring at a significantly lower price.

Furthermore, surrounding the centre stone with a halo of diamonds, or a scintillating diamond band, can boost the total carat weight and overall size of the ring.

  • 1 Carat is the dream size for an engagement ring and will cost approximately $12000 – $15000 in a solitaire platinum setting
  • However you can achieve a 0.90 Carat superior quality diamond ring that looks as big as a 1 Carat for approximately $2000 less (music to your ears!?)
  • If 1 Carat is the benchmark opting for a different cut such as Oval solitaire will be less expensive and just as stunning
  • Complimenting the centre stone with a halo of diamonds as pictured below or shoulder diamonds in the band can also boost the Total Carat Weight and size of the ring

The Best Engagement Rings in Brisbane

But don't take it from us...

Treated and Enhanced DiamondsAvoid at all costs

Treated or enhanced diamonds have been drilled, treated with acid to get rid of carbon and filled with resin to mask their flaws. Essentially, it’s a cheap diamond riddled with flaws that have been treated to have its clarity enhanced. If it looks like you’ve found a bargain, you may have in fact found a treated or enhanced diamond.

Why avoid them? They’re duds. Often the resin won’t withstand heat treatment, and something as simple as resizing the band will crack the diamond. Treated and enhanced diamonds should (but don’t always) come with a handling certificate so that jewellers can be fully aware of the risks before cleaning or working on the ring. Australian jewellers aren’t used to working with treated diamonds, so buyer beware.

Ethically Sourced Diamonds

Unfortunately, not all diamonds are sourced from ethical providers. A very important part of Diamondport’s operation is the hand selection of all diamonds from ethical providers. It’s something we’re very proud – we only buy diamonds with a Kimberley certificate. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was established in 2003 to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the mainstream rough diamond market. The process was set up “to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.” It is a global issue, and something to be aware of purchasing these beautiful gems.

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