Dipples Diamond Buying Guide

Since 1878, Dipples has specialised in fine diamonds and amazing jewellery.  Below, we have given some of our tips on what to look out for when choosing a diamond.  What should you choose that special someone? Although, we can give hints and suggestions, ultimately, that main aim is to purchase a diamond that looks fantastic - and that is where Dipples come to the fore.  We have specialised in diamonds that sparkle and dance in the light, in fact we believe that we have some the of the most incredible stones on display in our stores.  If you wish to find out any more, please use our 'Contact Us' page to ask questions, or make an appointment.  We are here to help!  Please bear in mind that whilst the 4 C's and a diamond certificate back up what we say, ultimately, everyone see diamonds in differing ways.  We would always recommend that the diamond that 'speaks' to you is the one to choose!

Diamond are graded according to the 4 C's.   Here we take a closer look at them...

Cut >

The cut grade of a diamond, can refer to either, the shape of the stone, or the quality of the finished cutting (sometimes jeweller's refer to this as the make).  We believe that the quality of the cut of the diamond, is one of the most important considerations.  After all, a window should be clean, and highly polished, no one would expect it to be dirty and covered in marks, and this is how your diamond should look too!

The cut of the diamond, is without treating the stone to enhance it, the only aspect that we have any control over.  A well cut diamond, is truly a sight to behold.  It will have sparkle in abundance, and will display all the colours of the rainbow in the flashes of light that you can see.  Now, not every diamond in our stores will be perfectly cut, we take a view on each diamond that we see, and we look at thousands of diamonds every year. However, we do make sure that every stone meets our own exacting criteria.  One of the benefits of a diamond that has been cut exceedingly well, is that it will, when compared to other diamonds, look bigger, in some cases, they can look up to 10% larger, although the physical weight of the stone would be the same. 

Dipples, is the leading Norwich Jeweller when it comes to the cut of a Diamond, we have an extensive collection of fantastically cut diamonds, that show a great play of light and sparkle.

The image above, show the difference in return of light, in the differing levels of cut.  The final cut grade is determined by the level of Polish on the facets, the proportion (relative size of the facets), and the symmetry of the facets (how they line up to opposite facets, and the ones directly below. 

The image above, shows how different types of cut, that can effect the final brilliance of the diamond.  Some diamond cutters, will try to maximise the diamond's cut weight.  If they choose to do this, it can, depending on how much they try and add, effect the look of the diamond.  If the 'spread' of the diamond is too much, as in the first image, then too much light is lost out of the base of the stone, if the stone is cut too deep, too much light is lost out of the side of the stone.  It is only when the depth of the crown (top) and pavilion (underneath) are cut to the correct sizes, that more light is reflected around the inside of the diamond to come out of the top, giving you that perfect sparkle.

Cut - Shape of the Diamond >

As mentioned above, the cut of a diamond, can also refer to the shape of the finished diamond.  The most popular shape is the traditional round cut of a Brilliant Cut diamond, square shaped Princess Cut diamonds are also very popular.  At Dipples, we try to select additional fancy shapes, such as Marquise, Heart, Asscher, Emerald, Oval and many more.

The different shapes that can be used, can be suited to differing grades of diamonds.  For example, an Emerald cut diamond, would almost always look best with a higher colour and Clarity diamond, as it has fewer facets than a brilliant cut diamond, and long side facets that let you see the inside of diamond easier.

Assher Cut

Cushion Cut

Marquise Cut

Emerald Cut

Radiant Cut

Clarity >

The clarity grade of a diamond, refers to the marks within the stone - Natures Fingerprint.  The grades start at Flawless, and go down to Included, with additional grades in between and each grade is also split into two sections as well, excepting the Included range which is split into three.

The grades are as follow :-

Flawless FL, Very Very Slightly Included (VVS), Very slightly Included (VS), Slightly Included (SI) and Included (I).  See the image below for an idea as to the variations in the grades.

The flawless grade, is split into Flawless and Internally Flawless (IF), all other grades have a numerical split, e.g. SI1 and SI2.  SI1 is a higher grade than SI2.

Clarity, like all the other C's involved in diamond grading is worked out by close examination of a diamond with a 10x loupe.

At Dipples, we have a fairly rigorous view of Clarity, and this is a part of the 4 C's that can visually effect the finished diamond.  Diamonds that are graded as Included, have marks within the stone that can be seen by the naked eye, whereas, anything graded as Slightly Included or better, has marks that are invisible to the naked eye.  The only exception to this is that in some larger stones, the marks can be seen outside of the Included range, as they are taken as a percentage of overall size of the diamond.  Because of this, we do not normally have very many Included diamonds in stock, most of our diamonds are in the VS-SI range, although a quick search on our website will show more that have an even higher clarity grade.

Carat Weight >

The carat weight is another relatively simple part of the 4 C's.  It simply refers to the physical weight of the diamond.  Diamond weight is measured in carats, rather than grams or ounces.

One of the possible reasons for the use of a carat, is that the ancient Greeks, used Carob seeds to measure the weight of small items.  Carob seeds have great uniformity and all have a very similar size and weight.

Carat weight is abbreviated to 'ct', and is not to be mixed up with the measurement of Gold, which is also measured in carats.  Where Diamonds are weighed, the accuracy is normally give to two decimal places, so a diamond that weighs 1/2 a carat, could also have that written as 0.50ct - numbers between 0.01-0.99 can also be called points, so a 50 point diamond, would also be 1/2 a carat.  See the image below for an indication as to the differences in sizes versus the differing weight of a diamond.  This sizes may not be exact, as differing ways to view this image can alter the sizes.

Colour >

The colour of a diamond, is one of the easier grades to understand.  Colour can refer to either a Fancy coloured diamond, such as Pink, Chocolate or Yellow, or it can refer to the absence of colour in the stone.  White/Clear diamonds that most jewellers have in their displays, will generally be graded from 'D' to 'Z', in alphabetical order, 'D' colour diamonds have the least colour, and are graded as colourless diamonds, where as 'Z' coloured diamonds, are often a dark yellow/brown colour.

The majority of our customers, can easily distinguish a two grade jump, when the stones are side by side - for example 'G' to 'I', and a three grade jump is easier still.  We tend to have diamonds that are or would be graded between 'D' and 'I'.  These would be classed as Colourless (D,E & F) and Near Colourless (G,H,I & J).  A quick search of our website will show a wide range of diamond colours are available, including our fabulous 'D' colour collection.

See the image below, as it shows the subtle differences between the grades.  We would also be more than happy to show you the differences between the grades using the diamonds that we have in store.