Choosing the perfect diamond for you

Buying your diamond at probably a memorable and significant time in your life, such as an engagement or wedding, can be mystifying and overwhelming. ESTRELLA JEWELS knows that 'Diamond Education' is the key to finding the perfect diamond or diamond jewellery, so we have designed our Education section to meet your needs. 

You can be assured that every diamond from ESTRELLA JEWELS has undergone laboratory grading and evaluation. We will explain the information on Diamond Grading Certificates and how diamonds are graded and what this means to you as a purchaser. 

The 4C’s of Diamonds

The 4Cs are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest 4Cs ratings are more rare, and consequently more expensive. Light is the element that ignites a diamond's brilliance and fire. Its interplay with each of the 4Cs will help explain why one diamond can appear more beautiful than another. The good news is that you don't need to buy the rarest diamond to find one whose beauty speaks to you. Cut is the only one of the 4Cs of diamonds that is influenced by the human hand. The rest (color, clarity and carat) are created naturally as diamonds form in the earth.

At Estrella Jewels we ensure that the most ideal cut diamonds are used, so that the facets when arranged in precise proportions maximize brilliance and sparkle. 

The cut of your Diamond

The importance of the way a diamond is cut cannot be stressed enough. This is from where that alluring sparkle and enticing play of light first attracts you, appealing to your innermost emotions and urging you to buy. Many would say that the cut is the most important characteristic,the most influential of the 4Cs.

There are two separate elements when referring to diamond cutting :

  • Taking the rough diamond and cutting it to create a diamond that is polished and in the condition that we love to see them
  • How a diamond cutter assesses the rough diamond to determine the most appropriate shape, such as round, princess, asscher, heart etc.

The cut of a diamond represents the proportions and finish. A diamond cut with the correct proportions and angles, also called "Well Cut", will refract the prism of light more efficiently, resulting in vibrant sparkle and brilliance. Less optimal cuts of diamonds result in less fire and sparkle. In a deep cut diamond, some light escapes through the side of the diamond. In a Shallow Cut diamond, light escapes through the bottom of the diamond.

The first time we see a diamond, we are attracted by the sparkle and the light reflecting from each facet. We are attracted by :

  • The Scintillation or Sparkle of the Diamond - Light is reflected from the diamond towards the viewer. Turn the diamond and view it from different angles and the light will bounce between the diamonds facets that creates a display of sparkle and movement
  • The Brilliance or Fire of the Diamond - When light is reflected and refracted between the facets, the stone will emit flashes of light that resembles flashes of fire. A master craftsman will optimise each stone to maximise it's brilliance and light-reflecting qualities.
  • The Dispersion of the Diamond - Diamonds often emit a cascade of rainbow colours as it is moved and viewed from different angles.
  • The Lustre of the Diamond - The bright, reflected light that emanates from a diamond. Even a stone in it's original rough state can display these elements, but it takes the enviable skill of a master craftsman, to release and optimise them. He must assess the stone, choose the most appropriate shape to conceal any imperfections or inclusions, then carefully cut the stone to reveal it's innermost beauty in all it's forms.

All Diamonds are carefully cut to reveal optimal brilliance and fire; therefore, you are always assured the ultimate in beauty. Cut also refers to the shape and style of a polished gem. Below are the most popular shapes of diamonds :

An explanation of cut grades

  • IDEAL - An ideal diamond has been cut to optimum proportions to reflect the most light to intensify the fire and brilliance and represents the top 3% of diamond cut quality.
  • PREMIUM - The difference between the 'Premium' Cut and the 'Ideal' cut is almost imperceptible. This diamond has been cut to reflect most of the fire and brilliance of the stone.
  • EXCELLENT - An excellent cut diamond is considered to be a well cut, well proportioned stone. The difference between 'excellent' and 'premium' is virtually imperceptible. The stone has been cut to emanate a good deal of fire and brilliance in it's light reflection.
  • VERY GOOD - A diamond cut to a 'very good' standard will maximise the carat weight of the stone, whilst retaining optimum fire and brilliance. 'Very good' diamonds are popular with purchasers because of the acceptable balance between the size and sparkle of the diamond against the budget.
  • GOOD - A very acceptable cut for most jewellery. This cut optimises light reflection and represents excellent value for money.
  • FAIR - This cut will optimise some brilliance and light reflection. The carat weight is usually a factor and is desirable for when the size of the stone is more important to the purchaser than the fire and brilliance.
  • POOR - The main consideration in this cut is the carat weight of the diamond

One of the 4Cs on a diamond grading report refers to colour and it's one of the four main characteristics that you will wish to consider when buying your diamond.

Loose diamonds must be graded before they are mounted or put in a setting. This is because surrounding colours can permeate the true colour of the stone. For example a yellow gold setting will make a diamond look less yellow. A white gold or platinum setting will emphasise colour. First and foremost, diamonds are graded by GIA and HRD thus:~

  • D - E - F : Colourless Diamonds
  • G - H - I - J : Near Colourless
  • K - L - M : Faintly Tinted, usually yellow
  • N - O - P - Q - R : Lightly tinted, usually yellow. Tint can be seen with the naked eye
  • S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z : Tinted, usually yellow, may progress to brownish. Tint visible to the naked eye

The definition of diamond clarity is: a quality of diamonds relating to the existence and visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called inclusions and surface defects called blemishes.

The third of the 4Cs is diamond clarity. This grade will tell you about the physical quality of the stone; whether it has any blemishes on the surface or whether there are any inclusions; tiny dots, perhaps of carbon, that render the stone imperfect.

Most inclusions cannot be seen by the naked eye, so when a diamond is being graded for clarity it will be under a very powerful magnification usually 10 times larger, so that an accurate grade can be given. Below is an easy to read chart that clearly indicates the grades, the description, the clarity explanation and the diamond quality :

Grade Grade Description Clarity Explanation Diamond Quality
FL Flawless No flaws~internally or externally Very rare ~ Most
IF Internally flawless No internal flaws Rare ~ Expensive
VVS1 Very, very small inclusions~Level 1 Inclusions very difficult to see under 10xmagnification Expensive
VVS2 Very, very small inclusions~Level 2 Inclusions difficult to see under 10x magnification Less expensive
VS Very small inclusions Inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification Less expensive
VS1 Very small inclusions Level 1 Inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification Less expensive
VS2 Very small inclusions Level 2 nclusions noticeable under 10x magnification Less expensive
SI Small inclusions Inclusions easily seen under 10x magnification Less expensive
SI1 Small inclusions Level 1 Inclusions easily seen under 10x magnification Less expensive
SI2 Small inclusions Level 2 Inclusions easily seen under 10x magnification Less expensive
LI Large inclusions Inclusions visible to naked eye ~ Small loss of brilliance Less expensive
LI1 Large inclusions ~ Level 1 Larger inclusions visible to naked eye~small loss brilliance Less expensive
LI2 Large inclusions ~ Level 2 Larger inclusions visible to naked eye ~ Brilliance dulled Less expensive
LI3 Large inclusions ~ Level 3 Larger inclusions visible to naked eye ~ Diminished brilliance Cheapest

The Carat weight of your diamond

Diamonds and other gem stones are measured in carats, a word derived from 'carob' meaning seed, the first measuring unit for diamond traders.. One carat equals 200 milligrams of weight. The term 'carat' is often abbreviated to 'ct' and will refer to the weight of a single diamond. Carat TW or ct TW refers to total carat weight and is used to represent the weight of a number of diamonds that are presented together in one piece of jewellery. The word 'karat' is an expression of purity for gold. Below is a diagram of how carat weight is expressed :

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