Our Guide to the 4 C's

Cut, clarity, colour and certification. These are the four c’s that we use to measure the quality of gemstones. Here at Bonds we excel on all four points to give our customers stunning diamond jewellery at great prices.

01 Diamond Cutting

Diamond cutting is the process in which a diamond is cut from the ground and changed into the faceted gems we all know and love. The cutting process requires specialised equipment and skills in order to get the most out of the roughs (a diamonds original form) which is mined for, all over the world.

Diamond cutting is concentrated in a few cities around the world with Antwerp, Belgium handling over 80% of rough diamonds, and other important cities, including New York City, Tel Aviv and Gujarat in India.

When someone refers to a diamond’s cut it can mean two things, either it is the term used to describe the shape of a diamond i.e Oval, Round, Princess, see the Diamond shape section. Or it means the quality of cut within the shape of a stone. The quality of a diamonds cut will directly reflect on the overall price of a stone. The better the cut,the higher the price.

Because diamonds are one of natures hardest materials, specialised tools must be used to ensure the highest quality is obtained from the cut.

The Diamond Cutting Process

Planning

At the beginning of the cutting process, a rough is purchased and assessed on two factors. The first being, how much money can be made from its contents and the second being how a faceted gem can be cut from it. The inclusions within the stone are photographed and assessed and cutters use computerised systems, known as OGI machines to pin point the maximum that can be taken from the rough.

Maximizing Value

When it comes to a stones value, cutters rely on two market factors, one being the consideration of what is popular in contemporary markets, for example the Round cut is popular within the engagement ring market. The other being, assessing how much money can be made from the potential weight and size of a stone, which refers to the process of weight retention. Another factor that has to be considered is the natural attributes of the rough and how they contribute to the gems that are cut from it.

Weight Retention

The weight retention process analyses the best combinations of finished stones that can extracted from the rough stone. This process directly relates to the ‘per carat’ value of each of the combinations. For example, cutters assess what combinations could make the highest return, whether that combination is just one large stone, or several small stones cut from the large that could have a combined higher price.

There are usually two main rough shapes, an octahedron or a mades. Rounds and Princess shapes are the preferred shape with octahedron roughs, whilst mades roughs are more likely to produce better fancy cuts due to the natural inclination of the rough’s shape.

Other factors are taken into consideration in the planning stages of stone cutting, including colour retention and how quickly a stone will sell.

02 Diamond Clarity

Diamond clarity relates to the way a stone looks. It involves judging how many internal characteristics, known as inclusions and and surface imperfections (blemishes) a stone has. Diamond clarity relates to the four ‘Cs’ of diamond grading, the others being carat, colour and cut. See the other sections for more information on the other ‘Cs’.

Inclusions can be anything from crystals from a foreign material or another diamond crystal. They can also be structural imperfections such as minuscule structural defects, that look white and cloudy.
Even though most inclusions within stones don’t effect the structural integrity and performance of a stone. Some especially large clouds, that change the clarity of the gem can hinder the diamonds ability to project the sparkly look we all love.

It is important to get the highest clarity you can afford because it deeply effects the overall performance of the stone on your chosen piece of jewellery.

03 Diamond Colour

Diamond Colours

The colour of a diamond is determined by the amount of impurities or structural defects there are within the stone and pure diamonds are perfectly transparent and colourless. The name given to coloured diamonds is ‘fancy colour diamonds’, like brown, yellow and pink to name just a few.

White Diamond Colour Grading

The way a colour is graded is by using a system involving the letter ‘D’ which refers to the purest colour grade and ‘Z’ which is more of a yellow/ brown colour. The grade of a stone is determined in laboratories, all over the world, for example GIA and EGL, who both certificate stones. See Certificate section.

White

Steel Grey

D

Absolutely colourless

The highest colour grade where there’s absolutely no colour present within the stone. This colour grade is extremely rare.

Blue

Yellow

E-F

Colourless:

Some tiny traces of colour can be identified by an expert. This stone is still very rare.

Orange

Purple

G-H

Near-colourless

The traces of colour are difficult to detect unless the stone is placed side by side next to another stone of a better grade. This stone is fantastic value.

Brown

Red

I-J

Near-colourless

Some traces of warmth and tone but is still brilliant value.

Green

Black & Pink

K-M N-Z

Noticeable Colour

Visibly noticeable colour.

Diamond Colours

The colour of a diamond is determined by the amount of impurities or structural defects there are within the stone and pure diamonds are perfectly transparent and colourless. The name given to coloured diamonds is ‘fancy colour diamonds’, like brown, yellow and pink to name just a few.

White

Steel Grey

Blue

Yellow

Orange

Purple

Brown

Red

Green

Black & Pink

White Diamond Colour Grading

The way a colour is graded is by using a system involving the letter ‘D’ which refers to the purest colour grade and ‘Z’ which is more of a yellow/ brown colour. The grade of a stone is determined in laboratories, all over the world, for example GIA and EGL, who both certificate stones. See Certificate section.

D

Absolutely colourless

The highest colour grade where there’s absolutely no colour present within the stone. This colour grade is extremely rare.

E-F

Colourless:

Some tiny traces of colour can be identified by an expert. This stone is still very rare.

G-H

Near-colourless

The traces of colour are difficult to detect unless the stone is placed side by side next to another stone of a better grade. This stone is fantastic value.

I-J

Near-colourless

Some traces of warmth and tone but is still brilliant value.

K-M N-Z

Noticeable Colour

Visibly noticeable colour.

Diamond Carat

‘Carat’ is a universally accepted manner with which we measure stones. A metric ‘carat’ equals 200 milligrams and carat weight is measured to the hundredth decimal place to ensure accuracy. Interestingly, the term derives from the ancient use of carob seeds to measure the weight of diamonds.

Why choose Bonds Jewellery?

At Bonds of Essex, we offer very well respected and reputable jewellery services to clients all over the county and even further afield.

Well Established

Bonds of Brentwood only work with the finest jewellery and we are well established as a leader in high quality jewellery. Get in touch to see our work and enquire about our bespoke jewellery service.

Premium Rates

Thanks to our long standing reputation we can offer competitive prices without compromising the quality of your jewellery. We have been delivering stunning pieces for over 20 years.

Excellent Customer Service

We are renowned for helping people achieve amazing pieces from our workshop in the heart of Brentwood. Jewellery is such a personal thing and we wanted everyone to be happy with their pieces.

Fast Response

Brilliance cannot be rushed, but we make sure we deliver when we say we are going to deliver. We have been creating jewellery for our customers for a long time so our estimates are always achievable.

New Products

View some of our newest additions.

Our Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

At Bonds of Essex, we have been plying our trade in the jewellery and luxury watch markets for years. In that time, we have built up a wealth of experience to draw upon from our team of knowledgeable experts. In fact, at Bonds of Essex, we can boast experience in the luxury watch and jewellery sectors that goes back over fifty years.

So, whether you pop into our Brentwood shop looking for something special or simply want to buy from our well-organised and easy-to-navigate online store, Bonds of Essex is for you.

Have a Question?

We are here to help so get in touch to see how we can be of service.