Diamond Engagement Rings
At Lucie Campbell , we are dedicated to assisting you in finding your perfect engagement ring. We specialise in diamond engagement rings and thoroughly understand the importance and excitement of choosing an exquisite individual creation, which you can treasure with lasting significance.
When buying fine jewellery, we strive to educate our clients extensively, far beyond the "4 C's", so that you are empowered with a thorough understanding about diamonds and craftsmanship prior to making a purchase of such magnitude.
Diamonds are the purest of all gemstones, as well as the hardest substance known to man. The name "diamond" derives from the ancient Greek for "invincible". They have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in India at least 2500 years ago. Today's society has chosen the diamond as the ultimate engagement gift, and symbol of eternal love. Diamonds maintain their polish extremely well, keeping its luster over long periods of time. They are also very resistant and therefore suitable for wear everyday.
Approximately 50% of all diamonds are currently mined in central and southern Africa. Others diamonds come from Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia.
Since 1900 experts have developed ways of measuring the characteristics of diamonds. Diamonds are commonly judged upon the 4C's- cut, carat, clarity and colour.
Diamonds are cut into various different shapes, which are generally designed to accentuate the characteristic fire and brilliance of the stone. No shape is any more of less appropriate than another for an engagement ring, though the most popular is the round brilliant cut.
The 4 C's
Cut is indisputably the most important and least understood of the "4 C's". In an "ideal cut" diamond, the internal fire and sparkle of the diamond is unleashed. On the other hand, in a poorly cut diamond, the diamond will look dull and lifeless. Veering from the strict guidelines of ideal proportions causes the light to escape out the base and sides of the diamond instead of reflecting back out of the top of the stone as it does in a well-proportioned stone. The proportions that distinguish "an ideal cut" are extremely specific, varying them, even slightly, results in a superior quality diamond looking less than average.
An important consideration about cut is that not all cutters have the same objectives. Diamonds are priced per carat. Most cutters strive to retain the most weight from the rough. Few cutters try to cut to ideal proportions since this invariably leads to greater weight loss.
We work solely with the most meticulous and skilled diamond cutters who refuse to forfeit brilliance for an increase in carat weight.
We take personal pride in every diamond we sell and through our strict buying practices; ensure that you will cherish your diamond purchase forever.
Carat is the standard unit of measure for the weight for diamonds and other gemstones. There are 100 points in a full carat. It is important to note that weight and size are not synonymous. The cut dictates the actual measurements of a diamond more so than does the carat weight, a "flat" stone may appear larger although it weighs less. Diamonds are priced upon the rarity of the gem and the quality of its cuts. The majority of the world's diamonds are very small and low quality. Hence, larger and higher quality stones are mined far less frequently and therefore command a premium. The price per carat does not increase smoothly with increasing size. Instead there are sharp increases in the price per carat at milestone carat weights. A 0.95ct diamond may have a significantly lower price per carat than a 1.02ct diamond. A difference of one hundredth of a carat may significantly alter the price per carat of a diamond.
Clarity is a measure of the purity of a diamond and like cut, greatly affects its overall brilliance. Diamonds are made from one element: carbon. However, small diamonds of other foreign matter may create colour or inclusions. The amount of impurities dictates the diamond's clarity. Purer diamonds are more desirable since they are scarcer. A diamond with many inclusions traps light, while one without is more dispersive and fiery.
Clarity is measured by a very strict standard using a 10X magnification device rather than by the unaided eye. The lower the clarity, the more abundant and obvious are the inclusions.
The following is a GIA grading system for clarity:
IF: Internally Flawless; No visible inclusions 10X; significant surface blemishes
VVS1: Very Very Slightly included; Minute inclusions extremely difficult to see at 10X.
VVS2: Very Very Slightly included; Minute inclusions very difficult to see at 10X.
VS1: Very Slightly included; Minor inclusions difficult to see face up at 10X.
VS2: Very Slightly included; Minor inclusions somewhat easy to see face up at 10X.
SI1: Slightly included; noticeable inclusions easy to see at 10X but generally not visible to the unaided eye.
SI2: Slightly included; inclusions very easy to see at 10X.
I1: Included; prominent inclusions easy to see with the eye.
It is important to remember that only about 20% of all diamonds mined have good enough clarity to be considered good enough for use as a gemstone. The other 80% will be used for industrial use.
Most diamonds used as gemstones are transparent with a tint of colour, or more desirably - colourless. The GIA has developed a rating system for the colour of diamonds. They are graded from D to Z, with D being the whitest or "colourless", and Z have a brown yellow colouration.
The whiter the diamond, the rarer and the more desirable it becomes.
Diamonds graded D-F are considered "colourless". G-J graded diamonds are considered near colourless.
A variety of impurities can cause different colours in diamonds. Diamonds with intense colouration are called "Fancy" colour. Diamonds of a bright yellow colour are highly valued as they are also considerably rare.
Lucie Campbell Jewellers, Bond Street London W1
50 Years of Exquisite Craftsmanship & Service: Diamond Jewellery, Diamond Engagement Rings, Exceptional Gemstones