In order to get the perfect diamond and to ensure you are buying the right diamond for your loved one, there are several factors to consider. You may have heard about the 4Cs of diamond education, but here, we guide you through the best diamond buying guide, our 7Cs, factors that you should consider before making your diamond purchase.
1. DIAMOND CUT
The only characteristic not influenced by nature, the cut determines the light dispersion of the diamond which has the greatest influence in overall appearance. Often confused with shape, the cut is far more than what shape a rough diamond has been polished into, like round, oval or pear for example, the actual cut is the greatest influencer of brilliance and sparkle regardless of the shape of a diamond.
The purpose of cutting any diamond is to maximise refracted light, and a well-cut diamond will have brilliant sparkle and fire, because it captures all the available light and bounces it back to the eye. If a cut is too deep, the light will be reflected out of the side of the diamond, whereas if it is too shallow, it will be lost from the bottom.
Cut to the most exacting standards. These diamonds have the most desirable dimensions and are proportioned to return the maximum possible light. Round diamonds will show a “hearts and arrows” facet pattern, a cut given to the round brilliant IQ Diamonds.
Exquisite quality cut creating the optimal combination of brilliance and fire. Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond. Top 3% of diamond quality based on cut.
Superior quality cut that reflects nearly as much light as the ideal cut while at a substantially lower cost.
Premium quality cut to optimize the size without sacrificing quality or beauty. Reflects most light that enters.
Adequate quality cut that reflects some light while maximizing weight. While not as brilliant as a good cut, still a quality diamond.
Inferior cut that allows most light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom, meaning the diamond appears dull and lifeless.
HEARTS AND ARROWS DIAMONDS
During the 1980s in Japan, it was discovered that when a round brilliant diamond with exceptional symmetry was viewed from the bottom through a special viewer, a pattern of hearts could be seen, and when viewed from the top, showed eight grey arrowheads. Diamonds displaying such exceptional symmetry account for less than 1% of all diamonds cut. The Hearts and Arrows cut has 58 facets and to achieve it and they are cut under 100x magnification. The highest grades of polish, symmetry and perfect cutting angles allow it to reflect more light than a standard cut diamond and these (H&A) diamonds are considered to be the Rolls Royce of perfectly cut round diamonds.
Every IQ Diamond is individually hand cut to the highest diamond grading guidelines and every stone is consistent. Every round brilliant IQ Diamond is cut to Hearts and Arrows specification.
There are many ways of cutting diamonds, some of which are more suited to different styles (eg Art Deco), or shapes of jewellery. The IQ Diamond can be created in a wide variety of shapes, including:
2. DIAMOND CLARITY
When diamonds are formed, deep underground and under extreme pressure and heat, imperfections in the crystal structure can form and mineral impurities become trapped inside the stone. Clarity is referred to as the purity of a diamond and almost all diamonds have small impurities or “inclusions,” but they are not always visible to the naked eye. The clarity of a diamond describes the internal structure, whether it is perfectly flawless, or has some small impurities inside. Greater clarity is obviously a good thing, and the size and location of the inclusions play a significant role in determining the price of a diamond. Most mined diamonds have inclusions that are visible under magnification, and some you can even see with the naked eye. Diamonds without such impurities are very rare.
The grading scale starts from Flawless/Internally Flawless (FL/IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1/VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1/VS2) Slightly Included (SI1/SI2) to Included (I1,I2,I3). Generally, diamonds below a VS2 grading are likely to have visible inclusions to the naked eye and the more inclusions a stone has, the weaker the lattice structure is which can cause the diamond to fracture. More expensive diamonds have less inclusions.
IQ Diamonds are man-made, and they are consistent in clarity. Every gemstone is VVS1-IF the best grade available in nature, virtually flawless. Imperfections in diamonds make the lattice structure weaker an so because of the very nearly flawless clarity of every IQ Diamond, they are exceptionally tough in comparison to the average mined diamond.
VERY VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED
VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED
I1 I2 I3
LESS THAN 1% OF THE WORLD’S DIAMONDS ARE ABLE TO BE GIVEN THE HEARTS AND ARROWS CUT
THE COLOUR IN FANCY DIAMONDS IS CAUSED BY THE PRESENCE OF IMPURITIES DURING THE CREATION OF THE STONE, WHETHER THAT OCCURS UNDERGROUND OR IN A LAB
AN EMERALD CUT DIAMOND WILL APPEAR LARGER THAN A ROUND CUT DIAMOND OF THE SAME CARAT, AS THE ROUND CUT IS DEEPER
3. DIAMOND COLOUR
The world of diamonds determines the colour by comparing a diamond against a master set of diamonds of different colours. This colour grading of a diamond refers to its lack of colour and for white or colourless diamonds, the diamond industry has adopted an alphabetical colour scale from D to Z, with D as the highest grading and that’s D for most desirable and fancy-coloured diamonds such as pinks and blues being graded separately. Without comparing diamonds side by side, it is very difficult to see the difference between a D and a G. As you go down the scale, the diamond starts to develop a yellow or brown tint and are at the bottom of the grading scale and the least desirable. The key question is where to draw the line when choosing the colour of a diamond – how far can you compromise colour before the diamond is too tinted? The answer to this question is usually relative to your budget and expectations.
Every IQ Diamond is graded D-E and are consistent in colour, regardless of the cut or size.
‘Fancy diamonds’ are diamonds that are of different colours to brilliant white. There are colour charts for many shades of pink, blue, yellow, and more, ranging from the faintest blush pink to a vivid colour that you could mistake for a ruby. Fancy mined diamonds command a premium price, as they are a lot less common than their white siblings, and finding stones with consistent colour throughout is very rare indeed.
Because the conditions in which IQ Diamonds are grown are precisely controlled, fancy IQ Diamonds can be created to order. Please talk to us about what you would like, and we will discuss your options.
THE IQ DIAMOND IS GRADED E-F FOR COLOUR BECAUSE THERE ARE NO TRACE ELEMENTS PRESENT IN THE GROWING PROCESS, WHICH COULD CONTAMINATE THE STRUCTURE AND CAUSE DISCOLOURATION.
4. DIAMOND CARAT
It is important to understand that a 2 carat diamond is not twice the size in diameter of a 1 carat diamond. This is because diamonds are measured by weight, not size – something that is often mistakenly ascribed. Carat weight is not the same thing as size; a one carat diamond weighs 0.2g, so a two carat stone would weigh a 0.4g, yet the dimensions would be 6.5mm and 8.0mm respectively. How large a diamond appears is also dictated by other factors such as shape and cut, so it is important to check the dimensions in millimetres (not just the carat weight!) before deciding which carat weight suits you best.
The IQ Diamond relative density is very slightly lighter than a mined diamond, so ‘1 carat’ means that it is the same size equivalent as a 1 carat mined diamond even as the carat weight of the IQ Diamond is 0.93. For example, if you choose a 1 carat round brilliant IQ Diamond, you will be assured that it is 6.5mm across – every time – the same size as a 1 carat mined diamond of the same cut. We have a diamond carat weight chart on the following page, if you would like more information.
Diamond certificates are issued to confirm a stone’s technical characteristics and identity and Ensuring your diamond is certified an independent and recognised certification laboratory is essential for an unbiased assessment of the stone’s quality. Leading diamond certification organisations issue a unique number for every diamond to protect the consumer. This number is usually laser inscribed in the diamond’s girdle and can be easily verified with a magnification Loupe. This assures you the diamond you are buying is the one that has been certified.
Each IQ Diamond over 0.35 carat is individually laser inscribed and certified independently by The Global Gemological Research Institute, a grading authority using international standards.
6. DIAMOND CONFLICT
Unfortunately, diamonds that are labelled as conflict-free are still not the answer for those who desire an ethical diamond. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme that certifies mined diamonds as “conflict free” is flawed and according to their definition, a conflict free diamond is “a diamond that hasn’t financed rebel movements against recognised governments”. This means that these so called “conflict-free” diamonds may still have origins associated with violence, human rights abuses and environmental degradation. How can a diamond claim to be “conflict-free” when it’s still in conflict with human rights, in conflict with harmony on earth and in conflict with the environment?
What’s more, the Kimberley process is highly vulnerable to smuggling and forged certification, meaning that a blood diamond could still be certified as “conflict-free”.
The truth is, there is no such thing as a conflict free diamond that has been dug up from the Earth.
Purchasing an IQ diamond sets you apart from the entire mined-diamond industry. You are not supporting environmental damage, human rights abuses, or dubious ethical practices. We guarantee it. The IQ Diamond is designed to be created in a way that harms nothing; no person, no animal, no land, and not the customer’s pocket either.
7. DIAMOND COST
Ever since the production of lab grown diamonds began in 1953, a debate has raged regarding which is better: Natural or lab-grown. The argument has become more relevant than ever since technology has become advanced enough to produce gem-grade diamonds suitable for jewellery. Despite the argument regarding which diamonds are better, lab diamonds have one major advantage over natural diamonds: A smaller overall impact on the environment. That advantage is leading many customers to abandon natural diamonds in favour of lab grown The humanitarian consequences are minute compared to mined diamonds, as are the environmental costs and there are several ways in which lab-grown diamonds have less of a negative impact than natural diamonds.
Diamonds are priced on the merits of the colour, cut and clarity and the better the credentials, the more expensive diamonds are. The supply of them is controlled which keeps the cost of them artificially high. In addition, the bigger you go in carat size, the increase in cost is not based on a linear scale, due to these larger stones being less plentiful. The cost therefore increases exponentially and bigger, better diamonds are more often than not, way outside budget. This results in a compromise in the credentials and the preferred stone size and is often quite a disempowering buying experience.
Mined diamonds are more common than we are led to believe, and their price at which they are sold is carefully regulated. The reason for this is that the supply of diamonds is controlled by a cartel of diamond producers, and the pricing is set by them, according to the cut, carat, clarity and colour of the gems. They have produced their own pricing table which is used as the reference guide to look up how much diamonds are sold for. The cost of a mined diamond and its value are two wildly different things. The cost is what you pay for it, and the value is often only a small percentage of the original cost, which you would discover if you attempted to sell a mined diamond ring back to a jeweller. You simply would not be able to recoup the cost because diamonds are sold at an over inflated retail cost but bought back at a fraction of the wholesale cost, if you can sell it at all.
With most lab-grown diamonds, if they are certified by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or the IGI (International Gemological Institute), then the pricing is set according to the mined diamond pricing table, minus 20-40%. The reason why they are cheaper than mined diamonds is not because they are inferior in any way, but because they are being marketed as such which maintains the smoke and mirrors illusion that mined diamonds are “worth” more.
Your diamonds cost so much less than mined diamonds, and even most lab-grown diamonds. Why is that?
IQ Diamonds are priced according to the cost of manufacture, and other overheads and are man-made using all the credentials of the finest mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds. The other good news is that they are fairly priced on a linear scale, and the cost is based ethically on research and development, not artificially inflated. This means that you can have a bigger, better diamond for a fair price that will also last the test of time.
This is why the prices of IQ Diamonds are around 10% of that of the equivalent mined or lab grown diamond.