YOUR SHOWCASE JEWELLERS GUIDE TO
Your Guide to Diamond
Quality and Value
The 4C’s are a combination of factors that
determine the value of your Diamond.
It is very rare for a diamond to be flawless. Almost all of them
contain tiny marks, called ‘inclusions’ which are minute traces
of non-crystallised carbon. Most can’t be seen by the naked
eye but do show up under magnification. However the fewer
‘inclusions’ found within a diamond the higher it will be rated in
terms of ‘clarity’, and the more valuable it will be.
FL & IF
I1 I2 I3
Unlike the other 3C’s, which are the work of nature, cut is directly
influenced by man. The cut of a diamond will dramatically influence its
fire and sparkle, as it is the cutter’s skill that releases its beauty.
When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from one
facet to another (usually 58 in all) and then dispersed through the top
of the stone. The better the cut the more sparkle a diamond will display,
and again the more valuable it will be.
Heavy Deep Cut Ideal Cut Light Shallow Cut
Diamonds are measured by weight not size. Traditionally diamonds
were weighed against the seeds of a carob tree, which is where the word
‘carat’ originated. Nowadays the system for weighing diamonds is based
on one carat equalling 0.2grams. And one carat can be further divided
into 100 ‘points’ so that a diamond of 25 points is described as quarter
of a carat or 0.25 carats. All other factors remaining constant, the higher
the carat weight, the more valuable the diamond is.
Diamonds come in all the colours of the rainbow. But the majority of
them have a barely perceptible yellow or brownish tint. The whiter they
are the more valuable they are unless they are ‘Fancies’. Fancies are
very rare diamonds that have quite strong colours and can come in pink,
yellow, red, green and blue.
D - E - F
G - H - I - J
K - L - M
N - O - P - R
Very Light Yellow
S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
THE 5 th C
Confidence in your
Showcase Jeweller Stores are owner operated so their very livelihood
relies on having a reputation for total integrity and honesty.
They are your diamond experts who can explain the 4C’s to you
and demonstrate why one diamond costs more than another.
Unfortunately with diamonds, there are no bargains. If you find a
diamond at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Your
Showcase Jeweller will strive to find the best value diamond that suits
your taste and budget.
And how much should you spend on a diamond? That is very much up
to you. Some people consider one or two months salary a good guide
for an engagement ring. The important thing to remember is that
unlike a wedding dress, a diamond is worn everyday of your life so you
would be wise to choose something that will continue to give pleasure
year after year, because a diamond really is forever.
Diamonds can be cut in many different shapes, we have pictured the
more popular styles below. Which shape you choose is purely a matter
of personal taste. However it is the precision and delicacy of the cut that
will determine how a diamond catches and reflects the light to create
its unique fire and beauty.
Diamonds are one
of Nature’s Miracles
To understand something of their uniqueness and rarity it is best
to start right at the beginning and ask, what are diamonds?
Ancient legend would have you believe that diamonds were splinters
from stars, or the tears of Gods. But in reality, the origin of diamonds is
something of a mystery even to scientists and geologists.
Diamonds are made from a very common material, carbon, just like
the graphite you find in a lead pencil. However the transformation
of carbon into the hardest of all gemstones known to man began
millions of years ago in the depths of the earth.
Carbon was crystallised by tremendous heat and the pressure of
movement within the earth. Over time the diamonds were then brought
to the surface by volcanic eruptions. And when the volcanic activity
subsided and cooled the diamonds remained trapped in the solidified
magma from where they are mined today.
The word ‘diamond’ comes
from the Greek word ‘adamas’
meaning unconquerable and
since the very beginning
diamonds have always
been associated with
romance and legend.
Even the reason a woman
wears a diamond ring on the
third finger of her left hand can
be traced back to an early Egyptian belief that the vena amoris (vein
of love) ran directly from the heart to the top of third finger, left hand.
Why are they so Precious?
Because diamonds are so rare is one major reason why they are
considered precious. To give you some idea how rare they are,
consider this: Even though diamond mining has been around for
thousands of years, and production has increased with modern mining
methods, it is estimated that only about 350 tonnes of diamonds have
ever been extracted from the ground. Of the diamonds mined today
only a small percent are judged to be of gem quality. And even fewer are
large enough to be cut into diamonds that are bigger than the head of a
match. Then there is the expense of extraction. To produce a one carat
polished diamond of gem quality about 250 tonnes of ore must be mined
From Rough Diamond
to Sparkling Jewel
To the untrained eye there is very little that distinguishes a rough
diamond from a pebble you would find on a beach.
To unlock the beauty that lies within that diamond is a real art. And only a
skilled diamond cutter has the eye and skill to perform such a risky task.
For one mistake could destroy the value of the diamond and anywhere
from several hours to several months of work.
Cutting and polishing a diamond is labour intensive and highly skilled
work. During the process each stone will lose on average 50% of its
The beauty of a diamond depends very much on the way it reflects light
and the cutter must shape the stone so that the light comes in through
the top of the stone, bounces around inside it and then comes back
out of the top again. This way the maximum amount of light is reflected
giving the diamond its unique brilliance and sparkle.
How to care for
Diamonds do need to be looked after to remain at their brilliant best.
A clean diamond not only reflects light better, but actually looks bigger than
one that has been ‘dulled’ by skin oils, soap and everyday use.
To keep their fire blazing, diamonds should be cleaned every month.
THE DETERGENT BATH - Add any mild liquid detergent to a bowl of warm
water so that it is good and soapy. Dip the piece into the suds and brush
gently but thoroughly with a toothbrush. Transfer to a wire strainer and rinse
under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft, lintless cloth.
THE COLD WATER SOAK - Make a half-and-half solution of cold water and
household ammonia in a cup. Soak the diamond for 30 minutes. Lift out and
brush gently around the back and front of the mounting with a small brush.
Swish in the solution once more, rinse and drain on paper.
THE QUICK DIP METHOD - Use one of the ready made liquid jewellery
cleaners available from your Showcase Jeweller. Just ensure you follow the
GENERAL TIPS - Don’t wear your diamond ring when using household
chlorine bleach. It won’t harm the diamond but could pit or discolour the
mounting. Don’t just throw your diamond pieces into a drawer or jewellery
case because diamonds can scratch each other and also scratch other
VISIT YOUR LOCAL SHOWCASE JEWELLER - Take your diamonds to
your Showcase Jeweller for a ‘check-up’ at least once a year. They can
professionally clean your diamond jewellery
with the greatest of care, making it
look like new and at the same time
they can check the setting to ensure
your diamond is secure.