The 4 C’S of diamonds
READY TO PROPOSE WITH A DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING? WE ARE BRISBANE’S ENGAGEMENT RING SPECIALISTS
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 engagement ring.
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 engagement 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 – a round diamond that refracts light beautifully
- Princess cut – cut square with defined corners
- Asscher cut – square with cropped corners, and stepped facets
- Emerald cut – a rectangular diamond with cropped corners
- Oval cut – a faceted oval diamond, perfect for accentuating long fingers
- Cushion cut – a square cut diamond with round corners
- Radiant cut – a rectangular cut with the radiance of a round brilliant
- Pear cut – round at one end, tapering to a point
- Marquise cut – a football shaped diamond with two tapered points
We have created an extensive diamond shape guide to explain more about the different diamond shapes and cuts available.
Diamond crystals occur naturally in a squarish shape, so Asscher and Princess cut diamonds waste less of the rough diamond. Cutting a round brilliant diamond involves cutting away and wasting more of the rough, and hence a higher price tag.
At Diamondport, we purchase from some of the world’s best diamond cutters. They use state of the art laser cutting equipment to shape the diamonds in the most precise way.
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.
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.
How much is a pink diamond worth? A quality 1 carat pink diamond would cost around $1,200,000. By comparison, a similar quality 1 carat colourless diamond retails for around $13,000.
If you love pink diamonds but can’t afford a carat, a more affordable option is to surround a white diamond with small pink diamonds, possibly set in rose gold.
Scarcity means high prices, yet we believe that investing in pink diamonds is purely speculative, and the moment another mine is found that the prices will level out somewhat.
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.
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 $13,000 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 $3,000 to $5,000 less. It’s all about choosing the right diamond.
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 $13000 – $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 $3000-$5000 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
All Diamondport rings are custom made especially for our clients. We genuinely love our work, and it shows in our customer’s five-star reviews.
Treated and Enhanced Diamonds – avoid 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.
Browse diamonds with a Brisbane Diamond expert
So, if you’re looking to pop the question, do so with a beautiful custom-made diamond engagement ring. Our expert team of consultants will guide you through the process of finding the perfect diamond. There’s no rush, just plenty of opportunities to learn about diamonds from an expert and start the ball rolling on an incredible diamond engagement ring.
Book an appointment online or call us on 07 3210 1011.