DIAMOND BUYING GUIDE

In order to ensure you are buying the right stone 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 gemstone or lab diamond purchase.

CUT

The different diamond cuts

“Often confused with shape, the cut is far more important than what shape a
rough diamond has been polished into when it comes to sparkle”

The only characteristic not influenced by nature, the cut determines the light dispersion of the diamond which has the greatest influence on overall appearance. It 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.

HEARTS & 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 different points of views of a hearts and arrow cut diamond

Whether you are looking to buy one of our lab grown diamonds or  the Ethica Diamond; both options are individually hand cut to the highest diamond grading guidelines and both are available with the 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 Ethica Diamond and our lab grown diamonds can be created in a wide variety of shapes, including:

The 10 different diamond shapes - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

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.

our lab grown diamonds are available in the full spectrum of clarities, from IF- SI2, so you can select a clarity to perfectly suit your preferences. Ethica Diamonds on the other hand – a man-made stone – are consistent in clarity, with every stone being VVS1 clarity, which is virtually flawless. Imperfections in diamonds make the lattice structure weaker so it is important to select a diamond with a good clarity grade, to ensure the integrity of the stone is at its best. 

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.

Graphic depicting the different levels of diamond clarity

COLOUR

Graphic showing the different colour types Diamonds can come in

Most lab diamonds on the market that are DEF colour are post treated to make them whiter. Our lab grown diamonds are not post treated, keeping their purity in tact; the colour to which they grow, they remain.

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, being the whitest. Fancy-coloured diamonds such as pinks and blues are 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 past J, diamonds start to develop a yellow or brown tint, which are less 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 personal preference.

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 mistaken.  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.

ROUND BRILLIANT CUT

Size (mm) Carat
4.5 0.35
5 0.50
5.5 0.63
6 0.75
6.5 1.00
7 1.25
7.5 1.50
8 2.00
8.5 2.25
9 2.50
9.5 3.00
10 3.50
10.5 4.00
11 5.00
Round Brilliant Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

ASSCHER CUT

Size (mm) Carat
4 0.40
4.5 0.50
5 0.75
5.5 1.00
6 1.25
6.5 1.50
7 2.00
7.5 2.50
8 3.00
9 3.50
10 5.00
Loose Stones Asscher

EMERALD RADIANT CUT

Size (mm) Carat
6 x 4 0.60
7 x 5 1.00
5.5 x 7.5 1.25
8 x 6 1.50
8.5 x 6.5 2.00
9 x 7 2.50
8 x 10 3.50
8 x 11 4.00
9 x 11 5.00
Radiant Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

HEART CUT

Size (mm) Carat
5 0.50
6 0.75
6.5 1.00
7 1.25
7.5 1.50
8 2.00
9 3.00
Heart Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

EMERALD CUT

Size (mm) Carat
6 x 4 0.60
7 x 5 1.00
5.5 x 7.5 1.25
8 x 6 1.50
8.5 x 6.5 2.00
9 x 7 2.50
8 x 10 3.50
8 x 11 4.00
9 x 11 5.00
Emerald Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica UK

PRINCESS CUT

Size (mm) Carat
4 0.40
4.5 0.50
5 0.75
5.5 1.00
6 1.25
6.5 1.50
7 2.00
7.5 2.50
8 3.00
8.5 3.50
9 4.00
9.5 5.00
Princess Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

MARQUISE CUT

Size (mm) Carat
8 x 4 0.50
10 x 5 1.00
12 x 6 2.00
14 x 7 3.00
Marquise Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

PEAR CUT

Size (mm) Carat
4 x 6 0.50
5 x 7 0.75
6 x 8 1.20
6 x 9 1.50
7 x 9 1.75
7 x 10 2.00
7 x 12 2.50
8 x 12 3.00
10 x 15 5.75
Pear Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

CUSHION CUT

Size (mm) Carat
5 0.50
5.5 0.75
6 1.00
6.5 1.25
7 1.50
7.5 2.00
8 2.50
9 3.00
10 4.00
10.5 5.00
Cushion Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

OVAL CUT

Size (mm) Carat
6 x 4 0.50
7 x 5 0.75
8 x 6 1.25
9 x 7 2.00
10 x 8 3.00
11 x 9 4.00
10 x 12 5.00
Oval Cut Carat Weights - Lab Grown Diamonds & Fine Diamond Alternatives | Ethica Diamonds UK

CERTIFICATION & INSCRIPTION

Diamond certificates are issued to confirm a stone’s technical characteristics and identity. Ensuring your diamond is certified by an independent and recognised certification laboratory is essential for an unbiased assessment of the stone’s quality.

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.

About 80% of all polished diamonds come with a certificate issued by a grading lab and over many years, diamond producers have developed robust relationships with a small number of grading companies. The GIA is one of the most well known who own the market for diamond certification and roughly two thirds have a GIA certificate. Others include AGS and IGI.

Some believe that only a GIA certificate is good enough, but there are many other
gem laboratories that provide diamond certification services

Diamonds with certificates issued by one of these bodies will carry a higher price premium, around 21% more than the average price for any given diamond. This does not mean that a diamond you buy with this certificate is better quality, it simply means that you pay more for it.
At Diamond Foundry, the growers of our lab-grown diamonds, they are empowering a carefully selected group of GIA Gemologists, trained and certified to be diamond graders, with their data and technical advantage to create accurate diamond grades for their diamonds. They then back this up with a full legal guarantee, a full warranty. The result is a GIA Gemologist Grading Report Warranted by Diamond Foundry, that doesn’t cost a premium — the best of both world’s for our customers.
Alternatively, each Ethica Diamond over 0.35 carat is individually laser inscribed and independently graded by the GRI who provide a professional and fair appraisal for gems using international standards. A GRI certificate is an accepted document to insure your Ethica Diamond jewellery; just as you would insure any diamond jewellery.
GRI Logo

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 and 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 a created diamond or stone 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. Lab grown diamonds and the Ethica Diamond are created in a way that harms nothing; no person, no animal, no land.

COST

Environmental Cost

Ever since the production of laboratory 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 diamonds suitable for jewellery.
Despite the argument regarding which diamonds are better, our lab diamonds have one major advantage over natural diamonds: absolutely zero impact on the environment. That advantage is leading many customers to abandon natural diamonds in favour of lab grown.

Monetary Cost

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.
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.

Many people are also now very aware that the powers within the diamond industry control the high price of natural diamonds, that they are artificially inflated with the aim of convincing the consumer that they are worth what they pay for them.

Ethica Diamonds are priced according to the cost of manufacture and other overheads. They are fairly priced on a linear scale, which means you can have a bigger, better stone for a fair price that will also last the test of time. If you are looking specifically for a diamond, then our lab grown diamonds are also priced fairly according to the cost of production so either way, opting for the lab grown option makes better financial sense.

People choose us for our 5 star commitment to customer service and our customers are happy to have the opportunity to purchase a beautiful stones that are not only more affordable, but are a true gift from the heart which possess the longevity and aesthetic beauty that a diamond does. They have not caused humanitarian or environmental harm and the profits are not entangled with dubious practices.