Diamonds 101: A Thorough Guide for Diamond Shoppers

Diamonds 101: A Thorough Guide for Diamond Shoppers

What are Diamonds?

Diamonds are the most popular gemstone for their durability, hardness and sparkle. A diamond is a mineral composed of pure carbon and the hardest natural substance. Aside from being a girl's best friend, they are well known for being an expensive material used to decorate jewellery, engagement rings and royal jewels on crowns and tiaras. 

Different Types of Diamonds

Diamonds can be both naturally made or lab-grown. They can also come in various colours, ranging from white to red, based on rarity and price. 

Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds are minerals made through extreme heat and pressure inside the earth, causing carbon atoms to crystalize. These diamonds were formed 1-3 billion years ago, making them older than life on earth.

Diamonds were created hundreds of miles beneath the earth's surface. However, deep ancient volcanoes erupted towards the surface, pushing the diamonds closer to us and trapping them in their lava. Diamonds are unique, and one of a kind; no two diamonds are the same.  

Lab-grown Diamonds

A lab-grown diamond is the manufactured twin of a natural diamond. They share chemical and optical properties even though their creation widely differs. Lab-grown diamonds are produced in factories with artificial conditions to replicate the natural occurrence that crystalizes the carbon in natural diamonds.

These diamonds can be made within 2-3 weeks. Lab-grown diamonds are a good alternative if you prefer a lower price point. However, an expert can identify them as lab-grown; unfortunately, they are not identical to natural diamonds. 

 

A close-up of a shield cut yellow Diamond Ring

 

How you can wear diamonds?

Diamonds are the hardest precious gemstone. This means they are suitable for everyday wear in any form of jewellery. Diamonds are commonly used in necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. All diamond jewellery can be worn every day. However, if the diamonds are larger, they might be less practical as an everyday accessory. Diamond jewellery is only limited by your imagination. 

Which type of diamond is right for you?

The type of diamond that is right for you depends on your daily lifestyle, budget, and personal preference. When choosing between lab-grown and natural diamonds, you need to assess what you personally value most. If you prefer to have a diamond that has been made synthetically and with a lower price tag, then lab-grown is for you. However, if you like to know that your diamond is one of a kind and sourced from nature, then a natural diamond may be the pick for you.  

What to look for when buying diamond jewellery?

When buying diamond jewellery, you want to ensure you are educated on the four c's. 

These are cut, clarity, colour and carat weight: 

The Cut

A diamond's cut is not to be confused with shape; cut refers to how well a diamond's facets interact with light. The cut depends on the proportions, symmetry and polish to ensure the most return of light possible in the diamond.

The cut has three important effects on the look of the diamond: brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Brilliance; the brightness created by the white light reflections, fire; the flashes of colour created by the dispersion of light, and scintillation; the sparkle of the diamond. It's important to ensure that a skilled cutter cuts your diamond as they balance optimal cut against maximum yield (carat weight) so you will have the best cut without sacrificing too much carat weight.  

The Clarity

When diamonds are created naturally, they can have a variety of characteristics called inclusions and blemishes. The clarity of a diamond refers to the absence of these characteristics.

The number of inclusions or blemishes in your diamond will determine how flawless it is. If it has none, it is entirely flawless. This will affect the transparency and brilliance of the diamond depending on where it sits on the scale. However, unless the clarity sits towards the bottom of the scale (slightly included or included), it would be very hard to notice any inclusions or blemishes without a microscope. 

The Colour

The colour of a diamond makes quite a difference in the quality and, subsequently, price of the diamond. Evaluating the colour of the diamond is based on the lack of colour seen in the diamond. A pure and perfect white diamond has no colour or tone and is therefore highly valued.

A white diamond with a colour tint has a yellow hue, which lowers the diamond's value. The colour is graded on a scale comparing the degree of colourlessness (A scale from D - Z) under controlled lighting, which establishes the colour value. The lower the alphabet, the higher the yellow tint and the more cost-effective value. 

The Carat

The carat-weight of a diamond is equivalent to one-fifth of a gram which means 1 carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Large-sized diamonds are so rare that the value of diamonds does not increase in proportion to their weight. This means that a two-carat diamond will cost more than double that of a one-carat diamond.

 

Anatomy of a Diamond

 

 

How to get the best value for your money? 

There are several steps to ensure you find the best value for your money when diamond shopping. These include:

  1. Set your desired budget
  2. Find the highest quality within that budget

 

The diamond price is determined by the four c's as described above.

When choosing a colour, select the closest to D (colourless/most expensive) your budget allows; this may be I or J. These colour grades are "near colourless", which to an untrained eye will appear very white. 

When selecting a clarity, this might depend on the size. If the diamond is under 1 carat, SI is sufficient as this stands for "slightly included", and with that size diamond, you won't be able to see the inclusions. 

However, for a diamond bigger than 1 carat, you will need VS "very slightly included" to ensure you don't see the inclusion. 

Make sure the diamond you buy is certified with a GIA certificate to check all these details, including the cut grade. Ensure your diamond has a "good" cut grade to get the best value.  

Tips for looking after your diamonds 

While diamonds are well-loved for their hardness, they are not immortal. When wearing a diamond every day, you may put it in danger of chipping, scratching or coming loose from its setting. The first tip is to get it covered by insurance asap. To avoid damage to your diamond, remove it when doing handy work involving chemicals, such as cleaning hair or make-up. Also, remove it when playing sports or operating heavy equipment to avoid knocking it accidentally. 

 

A close-up of a emerald cut Diamond Ring

 

Diamond jewellery trends for 2022

Some of the top diamond trends of 2022 include:

Round and oval shapes

Classic shapes such as round and, in particular, this year, oval. The oval is the modern twist on the round shape; being slightly more elongated gives it a more elegant shape, especially when used in an engagement ring. 

Yellow diamonds

Fancy yellow diamonds are simply delicious. They come with a higher price tag than white diamonds, but they are simply stones of sunshine. They exude luxury, and we at LKC love them. 

Multiple stones in rings

This trend is one LKC will firmly stand behind. We love mixing and matching precious gemstones and using two or three to create an exquisite piece that hasn't been seen before. Using multiple stones means adding different dimensions, colours and another part of your story into your jewellery. 

Contemporary and unusual engagement rings

Contemporary designs for engagement rings are unusual and unique. Unlike traditional engagement rings, they feature a-symmetrical diamonds clusters, rare colours and show more individuality.

Contemporary and unusual engagement rings are the essence of Layla Kaisi Collection. At Layla Kaisi Collection, you will be guided through the entire bespoke process of choosing the engagement ring, from the initial design stages right through to the final product, with Layla herself. Choosing an engagement ring at LKC is about writing your love story in the medium of fine jewellery rather than picking a traditional diamond ring. 

A pair of pear shaped Diamond Earrings


Image of Ophelia Mason author for the Layla Kaisi Collection Journal

Ophelia Mason

Ophelia Mason is a writer, content creator, and author for the Layla Kaisi Collection Journal. She transcribes the beauty of artistically handmade jewellery. She is passionate about sharing the stories woven through each design and retelling the moments captured in each piece in imaginative detail. She has an eye for creative harmony and an appreciation for individual reflection in the form of unique jewellery.

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