How To Choose A Diamond

Diamonds are forever

They say that diamonds are forever, so choosing the right one is really important. Formed beneath the earths surface over a billion years ago when carbon atoms bonded tightly under high temperatures and extreme pressure, resulting in what we now know to be a diamond. 

*It is worth noting that lab-grown diamonds are formed under similar conditions and designed to replicate what happened in nature all that time ago. They are, in fact, made from diamond seeds, which are then grown into diamonds that have the same properties as natural ones, but without mining and exploration. 

Like snowflakes, diamonds are all unique. Their unique shape, size, and formations of inclusions serve as fingerprints that help us identify and categorise them. This is true for both lab and natural diamonds, and it is this fingerprint that determines where your diamond falls in the 4 C's (colour, cut, clarity, and carat).

1. The Cut of your diamond

The cut of your diamond is the proportion and arrangement of facets that determine a diamond's brilliance and sparkle. This is all about how the diamond's facets interact with light. This is often confused with shape which is the external outline of the diamond (like round, oval, or pear). The better the cut, the better the sparkle. 

The cut is a crucial factor in selecting a diamond; if done poorly, your diamond will be much duller and leave you missing the sparkle you have come to know and love.

The cut grading of diamonds is as follows:
Excellent (E), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F), and Poor (P).

When purchasing your diamond, knowing what the cut grading is will help you determine the value of your diamond, along with the other factors we will discuss below. 

Diamond rings on a hand

2. The colour of your Diamond

Did you know that the colour of your diamond is actually the lack of colour? The highest quality and highest value diamonds are actually the ones that are perfectly colourless, while your brown or yellow diamonds are your lowest quality. This does not include fancy yellow diamonds, as they belong to a separate category of diamonds altogether. 

Diamond colour is generally categorised on a scale of D to Z, with D being colourless and increasing to the colour Z which represents as light yellow, grey, pink, or brown. 

When buying your diamond, understanding these categories is really important in determining the value as well as quality. 

Grades of Diamond Colour

D, E, and F Grade Diamonds- The Colourless Grades
D is the highest colour grade awarded to a completely colourless diamond. E and F are almost identical, with the difference in the grades only distinguishable by an expert gemologist. This is another great way to lower the cost of your diamond and perhaps get a larger diamond, as all three options are top-tier. 

G, H, I, and J- The Near Colourless Grades
These diamonds can features a warmth, but mostly look colourless. Their colour is more apparent when mounted in a yellow or rose gold setting. Again, it would take a professional eye to really notice the colour in these diamonds. These diamond grades are great to consider when you are looking for a more affordable option in comparison to the D, E, and F grades. 

K, L, and M- Faint Colour Diamonds
These diamonds exhibit a warm hue that is visible to the naked eye. They are increasing in popularity, with people looking for a more vintage feel and setting their diamonds in yellow or rose gold. These stones are more unique than the other grades and give a different feel altogether. 

N to Z- Very Light and Light Colour Grades
These are the most undesirable diamonds and appear yellow, brown or grey tint to the naked eye. They are not to be mistaken with fancy diamonds, which are a category of their own altogether. The colour of these diamonds is very noticeable. We do not stock these diamonds. However, we do have beautiful fancy-coloured options in an array of colours. 

At Leskes Jewellers, we only deal in high-grade diamonds; however, if you are after something different, come in and talk to us, and we can find and source the best options for you. 

A diamond ring sitting in satin

3. The clarity of your diamond

You have most likely heard about inclusions and blemishes when talking about diamonds. Clarity is the term used to describe this and is another factor in determining your diamond's value and quality.

Professionals determine clarity by assessing the diamond in 10x magnification. It is then graded and added to your official certification report.

The Diamond Clarity Scale

Flawless (F)

  • No Inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification. Less than 1% of diamonds belong to this category.
  • Eye clean ( you cannot see any blemishes or inclusion with the naked eye).

Internally Flawless (IL)

  • No inclusions visible under 10x magnification. You might see some surface blemishes under a microscope.
  • Eye clean.

Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 AND VVS2)

  • The inclusions are so small that it is difficult to see under 10x magnification
  • Eye clean.

Very Slightly Included (VS1 AND VS2)

  • Inclusions are visible but still difficult to see under 10x magnification but characterised as minor.
  • Generally eye clean.

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)

  • Inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification.
  • Some inclusions can be seen by the naked eye, some not. 

Included (I1, I2, and I3)

  • Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and might affect transparency and brilliance.
  • Inclusions are obvious to the naked eye.

At Leskes Jewellers, we work with high-clarity diamonds as a practice and hand-pick and inspect every diamond that graces our showroom. You can be sure that you are only getting the highest quality. 

two diamond rings sitting on stone with a shell in the background

4. the carat of your diamond

Everyone talks about the diamond carat as if it is the make-or-break factor in buying a diamond, but do you actually know what a carat is?

A diamond carat is often confused with the physical size of a diamond; however, it actually refers to the weight of the diamond and other gemstones. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the weight of a raindrop or paperclip. 

The carat system actually started with carob seeds used by early gem traders who countered the weight of the gem against carob seeds to determine its value. As you can imagine, this was not a very standard system as there could be variations in the carob seeds. In 1913 a standardised modern metric carat was adopted, and now we know a carat is the same all over the world. 

Although it is true that smaller carat diamonds are generally smaller in size than large carat ones, this is not always the case. Due to varying densities, the shape, cut and depth of the diamond, the size that the carat appears can be quite different. For example, if your round diamond is poorly cut, it might be too deep, and once set, it won't show and act as a hidden weight. This is why working with your jeweller to find the right carat diamond for the look you are going for is key. 

Here at Leskes, our talented and professional team will work with you to find the right carat diamond or gemstone to achieve the desired outcome at your price point. 

diamond rings and one diamond laying in pairs on stone with. a conch sell in the background

Diamond faq's

what month has the diamond as a birthstone?

April is the month of the diamond.

What makes a diamond sparkle?

It is the cut of the diamond that allows it's briliance, fire, and sparkle to come through as much as possible.

What do diamonds represent?

Diamonds are said to symbolise health, love and strength.

What is the difference between natural and lab grown diamonds?

Lab grown diamonds are as real as diamonds mined from the earth in every way except that they are grown in a lab and they offer exceptional value when compared with the same quality rare, earth mined diamonds. They have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as mined diamonds. They are also more ethical as they do not involve mining.

Natural diamonds formed deep in the earth under extreme pressure and high temperatures as long as three billion years ago. Volcanic activity brought them to the surface where they lay in a type of volcanic rock formation known as kimberlite pipes. Lab grown diamonds made for gem-quality use were produced in a lab for the first time in 1971. They are made in two ways:HPHT diamonds (High pressure, high temperature) are grown in a lab. Graphite is placed in a large machine that crushes it under extreme pressure and temperatures that mimic the conditions that natural diamonds were grown in. CVD- Chemical vapour deposition method involves breaking down the molecules of a carbon rich gas, such as methane, into carbon and hydrogen atoms, which are then deposited layer by layer on diamond seeds (very small bits of natural diamond) to produce a square-shaped diamond.Over all when you are looking for value for money a lab grown diamond will provide just that. If you are looking for an investment, choosing a natural diamond would prove to be a better choice. Both come with their own certifications.

You cannot tell the difference with the naked eye, so no one will know just by looking if they are natural or grown, no matter what they try to tell you.

To find out more check out our FAQ