Showcase Jewellers Guide: World of Diamonds

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The 4C’s<br />

Your <strong>Guide</strong> to Diamond<br />

Quality and Value<br />

The 4C’s are a combination <strong>of</strong> factors that<br />

determine the value <strong>of</strong> your Diamond.<br />

Clarity<br />

It is very rare for a diamond to be flawless. Almost all <strong>of</strong> them<br />

contain tiny marks, called ‘inclusions’ which are minute traces<br />

<strong>of</strong> non-crystallised carbon. Most can’t be seen by the naked<br />

eye but do show up under magnification. However the fewer<br />

‘inclusions’ found within a diamond the higher it will be rated in<br />

terms <strong>of</strong> ‘clarity’, and the more valuable it will be.<br />

FL & IF<br />

VVS1<br />

VVS2<br />

VS1<br />

VS2<br />

SI1<br />

SI2<br />

I1 I2 I3

Cut<br />

Unlike the other 3C’s, which are the work <strong>of</strong> nature, cut is directly<br />

influenced by man. The cut <strong>of</strong> a diamond will dramatically influence its<br />

fire and sparkle, as it is the cutter’s skill that releases its beauty.<br />

When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from one<br />

facet to another (usually 58 in all) and then dispersed through the top<br />

<strong>of</strong> the stone. The better the cut the more sparkle a diamond will display,<br />

and again the more valuable it will be.<br />

Heavy Deep Cut Ideal Cut Light Shallow Cut<br />

Carat Weight<br />

<strong>Diamonds</strong> are measured by weight not size. Traditionally diamonds<br />

were weighed against the seeds <strong>of</strong> a carob tree, which is where the word<br />

‘carat’ originated. Nowadays the system for weighing diamonds is based<br />

on one carat equalling 0.2grams. And one carat can be further divided<br />

into 100 ‘points’ so that a diamond <strong>of</strong> 25 points is described as quarter<br />

<strong>of</strong> a carat or 0.25 carats. All other factors remaining constant, the higher<br />

the carat weight, the more valuable the diamond is.<br />

2 cts.<br />

8.2mm<br />

1.75 cts.<br />

7.8mm<br />

1.5 cts.<br />

7.4mm<br />

1.25 cts.<br />

7.0mm<br />

1 cts.<br />

6.5mm<br />

0.75 cts.<br />

5.8mm<br />

0.50 cts.<br />

5.0mm<br />

0.25 cts.<br />


Colour<br />

<strong>Diamonds</strong> come in all the colours <strong>of</strong> the rainbow. But the majority <strong>of</strong><br />

them have a barely perceptible yellow or brownish tint. The whiter they<br />

are the more valuable they are unless they are ‘Fancies’. Fancies are<br />

very rare diamonds that have quite strong colours and can come in pink,<br />

yellow, red, green and blue.<br />

D - E - F<br />

Colourless<br />

G - H - I - J<br />

Near Colourless<br />

K - L - M<br />

Faint Yellow<br />

N - O - P - R<br />

Very Light Yellow<br />

S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z<br />

Light Yellow

THE 5 th C<br />

Confidence in your<br />

<strong>Showcase</strong> Jeweller.<br />

Confidence<br />

<strong>Showcase</strong> Jeweller Stores are owner operated so their very livelihood<br />

relies on having a reputation for total integrity and honesty.<br />

They are your diamond experts who can explain the 4C’s to you<br />

and demonstrate why one diamond costs more than another.<br />

Unfortunately with diamonds, there are no bargains. If you find a<br />

diamond at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Your<br />

<strong>Showcase</strong> Jeweller will strive to find the best value diamond that suits<br />

your taste and budget.<br />

And how much should you spend on a diamond? That is very much up<br />

to you. Some people consider one or two months salary a good guide<br />

for an engagement ring. The important thing to remember is that<br />

unlike a wedding dress, a diamond is worn everyday <strong>of</strong> your life so you<br />

would be wise to choose something that will continue to give pleasure<br />

year after year, because a diamond really is forever.

Diamond Shapes<br />

<strong>Diamonds</strong> can be cut in many different shapes, we have pictured the<br />

more popular styles below. Which shape you choose is purely a matter<br />

<strong>of</strong> personal taste. However it is the precision and delicacy <strong>of</strong> the cut that<br />

will determine how a diamond catches and reflects the light to create<br />

its unique fire and beauty.<br />

Round<br />

Emerald<br />

Princess<br />

Oval<br />

Pear<br />

Marquise<br />

Heart<br />

Trilliant<br />

Cushion<br />


<strong>Diamonds</strong> are one<br />

<strong>of</strong> Nature’s Miracles<br />

To understand something <strong>of</strong> their uniqueness and rarity it is best<br />

to start right at the beginning and ask, what are diamonds?<br />

Ancient legend would have you believe that diamonds were splinters<br />

from stars, or the tears <strong>of</strong> Gods. But in reality, the origin <strong>of</strong> diamonds is<br />

something <strong>of</strong> a mystery even to scientists and geologists.<br />

<strong>Diamonds</strong> are made from a very common material, carbon, just like<br />

the graphite you find in a lead pencil. However the transformation<br />

<strong>of</strong> carbon into the hardest <strong>of</strong> all gemstones known to man began<br />

millions <strong>of</strong> years ago in the depths <strong>of</strong> the earth.<br />

Carbon was crystallised by tremendous heat and the pressure <strong>of</strong><br />

movement within the earth. Over time the diamonds were then brought<br />

to the surface by volcanic eruptions. And when the volcanic activity<br />

subsided and cooled the diamonds remained trapped in the solidified<br />

magma from where they are mined today.

The History<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Diamonds</strong><br />

The word ‘diamond’ comes<br />

from the Greek word ‘adamas’<br />

meaning unconquerable and<br />

since the very beginning<br />

diamonds have always<br />

been associated with<br />

romance and legend.<br />

Even the reason a woman<br />

wears a diamond ring on the<br />

third finger <strong>of</strong> her left hand can<br />

be traced back to an early Egyptian belief that the vena amoris (vein<br />

<strong>of</strong> love) ran directly from the heart to the top <strong>of</strong> third finger, left hand.<br />

Why are they so Precious?<br />

Because diamonds are so rare is one major reason why they are<br />

considered precious. To give you some idea how rare they are,<br />

consider this: Even though diamond mining has been around for<br />

thousands <strong>of</strong> years, and production has increased with modern mining<br />

methods, it is estimated that only about 350 tonnes <strong>of</strong> diamonds have<br />

ever been extracted from the ground. Of the diamonds mined today<br />

only a small percent are judged to be <strong>of</strong> gem quality. And even fewer are<br />

large enough to be cut into diamonds that are bigger than the head <strong>of</strong> a<br />

match. Then there is the expense <strong>of</strong> extraction. To produce a one carat<br />

polished diamond <strong>of</strong> gem quality about 250 tonnes <strong>of</strong> ore must be mined<br />

and processed.

From Rough Diamond<br />

to Sparkling Jewel<br />

To the untrained eye there is very little that distinguishes a rough<br />

diamond from a pebble you would find on a beach.<br />

To unlock the beauty that lies within that diamond is a real art. And only a<br />

skilled diamond cutter has the eye and skill to perform such a risky task.<br />

For one mistake could destroy the value <strong>of</strong> the diamond and anywhere<br />

from several hours to several months <strong>of</strong> work.<br />

Cutting and polishing a diamond is labour intensive and highly skilled<br />

work. During the process each stone will lose on average 50% <strong>of</strong> its<br />

original weight.<br />

The beauty <strong>of</strong> a diamond depends very much on the way it reflects light<br />

and the cutter must shape the stone so that the light comes in through<br />

the top <strong>of</strong> the stone, bounces around inside it and then comes back<br />

out <strong>of</strong> the top again. This way the maximum amount <strong>of</strong> light is reflected<br />

giving the diamond its unique brilliance and sparkle.

How to care for<br />

your <strong>Diamonds</strong><br />

<strong>Diamonds</strong> do need to be looked after to remain at their brilliant best.<br />

A clean diamond not only reflects light better, but actually looks bigger than<br />

one that has been ‘dulled’ by skin oils, soap and everyday use.<br />

To keep their fire blazing, diamonds should be cleaned every month.<br />

THE DETERGENT BATH - Add any mild liquid detergent to a bowl <strong>of</strong> warm<br />

water so that it is good and soapy. Dip the piece into the suds and brush<br />

gently but thoroughly with a toothbrush. Transfer to a wire strainer and rinse<br />

under warm running water. Pat dry with a s<strong>of</strong>t, lintless cloth.<br />

THE COLD WATER SOAK - Make a half-and-half solution <strong>of</strong> cold water and<br />

household ammonia in a cup. Soak the diamond for 30 minutes. Lift out and<br />

brush gently around the back and front <strong>of</strong> the mounting with a small brush.<br />

Swish in the solution once more, rinse and drain on paper.<br />

THE QUICK DIP METHOD - Use one <strong>of</strong> the ready made liquid jewellery<br />

cleaners available from your <strong>Showcase</strong> Jeweller. Just ensure you follow the<br />

instructions carefully.<br />

GENERAL TIPS - Don’t wear your diamond ring when using household<br />

chlorine bleach. It won’t harm the diamond but could pit or discolour the<br />

mounting. Don’t just throw your diamond pieces into a drawer or jewellery<br />

case because diamonds can scratch each other and also scratch other<br />

jewellery.<br />

VISIT YOUR LOCAL SHOWCASE JEWELLER - Take your diamonds to<br />

your <strong>Showcase</strong> Jeweller for a ‘check-up’ at least once a year. They can<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essionally clean your diamond jewellery<br />

with the greatest <strong>of</strong> care, making it<br />

look like new and at the same time<br />

they can check the setting to ensure<br />

your diamond is secure.<br />


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