Diamond Education

The 4 C's

Diamond Anatomy & Cut Quality

Diamonds are formed by a volcanic eruption, as the hard mineral is formed at a great depth in the earth due to extreme temperatures and pressures. The diamond, which is made up of pure carbon, is pushed up through volcanic pipes of diamond bearing rock which is more commonly known as kimberlite.

The top five producers of diamonds are: Australia, Botswana, Russia, South Africa and Zaire. Naturally coloured diamonds can be significantly more expensive than colourless stones as they are extremely rare.

The natural diamond colouration is produced by certain elements which combine with the carbon to create the shade. For example, a blue diamond is due to the formation of carbon with the element Boron.

Diamonds which are coloured in a laboratory are often referred to as fancy diamonds, and customers can choose from colours such as pink, green, blue, yellow and orange.

What are Conflict Diamonds?

Conflict diamonds, also known as Blood diamonds, orginate from areas which are opposed to legitimate and recognised governments. As a result, they are sold on the black market and the money is used to fund war and conflict. However, only 0.2% of diamonds account for conflict diamonds, but this amount is still far too much.

We guarantee that our diamonds are “conflict free” and are sourced legitimately. We will also provide our customers with written guarantees.

Understanding the 4 C’s of Diamonds Shopping

The four essential features of diamonds are discussed below.

Clarity

Diamonds are formed when at depths of between 130 and 200 kilometres beneath the surface of the earth. They are naturally produced as the mineral carbon crystallises under intense pressures and temperatures. The volcanic activity ultimately pushes the diamonds up through the volcanic pipes.

During the diamond formations, internal features develop in the stones, and these are commonly referred to as inclusions. Enclosed minerals form alongside the diamond, non-crystallised carbon or fractures. The number and type of inclusions could lower the value of the cut diamond; however, they can also have positive effects.

For example, the study of inclusions can separate a natural diamond from stimulants, can provide scientists with more information on how diamonds are formed, and as no two stones have the same inclusions it is easier to identify individual gems.

Flawless diamonds are extremely rare and therefore are very expensive. Stones which have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye are significantly cheaper. Most jewellery stones often fall between these two extremes, as they have inclusions which are only visible when examined under 10x magnification.

Diamonds can also have surface irregularities which can be known as blemishes, and this can include nicks, scratches and the original crystal face left on the cut stone’s surface.

Diamond Clarity Descriptions

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Cut

Whilst all other characteristics of a diamond are natural, the cut is the only one directly determined by man. Many think that the cut is nothing more than the shape of the diamond, but it is actually so much more than that. As well as the shape, it also affects the proportions, symmetry and the “make” (the polish of the finished stone).

The sparkle that a diamond gives of is known as its brilliance, whilst the spectrum of colours is referred to as its fire. This is all down to the cut of the diamond, and if it is cut correctly, with the correct proportions, then the light will refract within the diamond, bouncing its facets before exiting once more out of the top of the diamond.

To effectively achieve the correct refraction, the diamond must be cut to particular proportions. The crown angle, pavilion depth and table size must all be accounted for, and if these are not proportioned correctly, the light will leak from the pavilion facets, reducing the diamond’s brilliance and fire.

Diamonds can be cut in many ways and still retain the required dimensions, but the most popular is the round brilliant cut, which has eightfold symmetry and makes best use of rough octahedral diamonds. This is the classic shape that has become synonymous with diamonds, although here at Marlow’s we have a variety of different cuts to suit all requirements.

 
Diamond Clarity Descriptions

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Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula.

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Curabitur aliquet quam id dui posuere blandit.

Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.

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Color

Many people think of diamonds as colourless, but in reality colourless diamonds are quite rare. The majority of diamonds in the normal colour range have very faint tints of yellow and brown.

colour

Diamonds also occur in a wide range of other colours, including pink, red, blue, green and black. The most intensely coloured diamonds are classified as fancy colours, and fetch very high prices due to their rarity. 

Diamonds in the normal colour range are graded by their lack of colour; therefore a stone with the highest colour grades has little or no visible colouration. Colour grades can cause dramatic variations in price, although distinguishing between the top colour grades in smaller mounted stones is almost impossible to the untrained eye. 

Diamond Color Descriptions

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Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula.

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Curabitur aliquet quam id dui posuere blandit.

Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.

Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.

Carat (Size)

A carat is a unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds.

One carat equal to 0.2 grams, and is divided into 100 points; therefore making a 25 point diamond equal to ¼ or 0.25 carat.

The word carat comes from the Greek phrase “kerátion”, meaning “carob seed”; stemming from the assumption that the seeds, from the Ceratona Siliquia tree, had an unusually uniform weight of 0.2 grams. Carob seeds were used to measure the weight of diamonds until the system was standardised at the start of the 20th century, and the phrase “carat” became a unit of measurement synonymous with diamond quality.

Larger, higher-carat diamonds are much rarer than smaller stones, and therefore larger gems are more expensive. For example, a 1-carat stone would be worth more than twice as much as a ½-carat stone, even if it had a similar colour, clarity and cut. When purchasing diamonds, equal consideration should be given to colour, clarity and cut, so that the carat weight alone does not define the value of your diamond. These other factors also heavily influence the overall quality and worth of any diamond.

As the largest stockist of GIA and IGI certified diamonds in the UK, Marlows’ expert team is on-hand to offer more detailed advice and information regarding the carat system.

Please don’t hesitate to call our team today with any queries you may have.

Diamond Sizing Descriptions

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Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula.

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Curabitur aliquet quam id dui posuere blandit.

Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.

Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.