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ENGAGEMENT RING GUIDE

CHOOSING YOUR DIAMOND

 
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SET A BUDGET  |  CHOOSE A DIAMOND  |  SELECT A RING  |  METAL OPTIONS  |  RING SIZE
 

ESSENTIALS: CHOOSING YOUR DIAMOND

Diamonds are the key stone of any engagement ring. They are beautiful, natural, durable and provide an enduring appeal that will last for generations to come. At Queensmith, we will always provide you with the advice you need, because we know that having all the information to hand will help you to weigh up your options and make the right choice for you.

We encourage customers to aim for a good combination of size and quality, and can show you a variety of options in your price range. We will also provide you with independent grading certificates from the GIA for all of our diamonds, so you can be safe in the knowledge that what you are buying is correctly accredited, guaranteed and traceable.

When you are choosing the diamond for your engagement ring, it is important to pick the right one. The main elements to consider are the shape, the size and the Four Cs of quality - clarity, cut, colour and carat. We have put together a simple guide to outline these criteria, and help you to make an informed decision.


DIAMOND CHOICES: THE SHAPE

Over three quarters of all diamond engagement rings, feature round brilliant diamonds. They are extremely popular, due largely to their intense fire and brilliance. The reflection and refraction of light is maximised in this cut, and as such they are one of the most dazzling and sparkling of shapes. Round diamonds are versatile, flattering and timeless, so they are also a good choice if you are uncertain of what your fiancée might like.

Alternatively, you might like to try a fancy-shaped diamond. Not only are these a distinctive and interesting choice, they are also considerably cheaper – around 40% cheaper on average.

If you are in awe of the fantastic brilliance provided by round cuts, you might want to look at a princess, cushion or radiant cuts. Princess-cut diamonds are similarly proportioned to round cuts, but are crafted into a square shape that gives them a modern edge that looks beautiful in a striking setting. Cushion-cut diamonds are a little more traditional, with their trademark softened edges – they are a nice choice if you are thinking about a vintage style. Finally, radiant diamonds combine the chic rectangle shape of an emerald cut with the multi-faceted sparkle of a round diamond.

For an elegant, dramatic look, asscher- and emerald-cut diamonds are the best choice. These step-cut diamonds might not have the brilliance of some other cuts, but instead they give out a refined, mirror-like shine from their large polished facets.

If you really want something a bit different, look at oval, marquise or pear cuts. These diamond cuts make the most of a stone’s size, and also flatter the hand. Think about one of these, or even a romantic heart-shaped stone, if your bride-to-be likes to make a statement.

VIEW FULL GUIDE TO DIAMOND SHAPES

 

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DIAMOND CHOICES: THE SIZE

After you have chosen a shape, you will need to think about size and quality, and of course any compromise that will need to be made between the two. Would you rather have a large diamond that might mean slightly lowering the colour or cut grade, or something small and perfectly formed? Or, are you looking for a nice balance, somewhere in the middle?

When you are considering the size of the diamond, you will need to start talking about carats. However, this is in fact the weight of the diamond. While all diamonds are different, it is possible to estimate the size of a diamond based on its carat weight. The higher the carat weight, the bigger the diamond, and the more it will cost – so think about where your priorities lie.

 

DIAMOND CHOICES: THE QUALITY

The way in which jewellers and gemologists grade a diamond is by assessing the Four Cs – cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. We discussed carat weight and size in the previous section, so let’s have a look at the final three considerations.
 

DIAMOND CUT

More than any other attribute, the most important marker of a diamond’s quality is the calibre of its cut. An expert cut will make a diamond ­– enhancing and promoting its natural brilliance, fire and scintillation, while also making the most of its colour and clarity. Badly-cut diamonds are flat, muted and lack the sparkle that everyone buying a diamond craves.

The cut of a diamond is much harder to grade than its other aspects, and while round brilliants possess industry-set laboratory grades, there is always an element of singularity and personal perception. At Hearts of London, we can educate you in the principles of a quality cut, and will help you to choose a diamond that makes optimal use of its carat weight and innate aesthetic values. Selecting a diamond from the top cut grades (Super Ideal, Ideal or Very Good) will ensure a quality, long-lasting addition to your engagement ring.

VIEW FULL GUIDE TO DIAMOND CUT


DIAMOND COLOUR

The most rare and beautiful white diamonds are colourless. These allow for maximum light play and radiance, and are also prized due to their rarity. There is also a set scale for colour grading, and while you may not be able to notice slight colour differences with the naked eye, a good rating will secure the best overall effect when your diamond is set. D is the highest rating for an absolutely colourless stone, but something between F–H would be a very good (and more affordable) selection.

VIEW FULL GUIDE TO DIAMOND COLOUR


DIAMOND CLARITY

Again, this aspect of a diamond’s quality is graded on a scale – this time from FL (flawless) to I1–I3 (included). Clarity refers to the blemishes and inclusions present in an individual diamond, however many of these flaws cannot be easily noticed, and as such clarity is often low down on a buyer’s list of concerns.

Flawless diamonds are extremely rare and valuable, so even the most critical of customers will probably take a couple of grades below the top level. VS1/2 or SI1 are often a good middle ground, with some small inclusions. Have a look at a range of diamonds and choose which is right for you.

VIEW FULL GUIDE TO DIAMOND CLARITY


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