Buying diamonds can be a daunting prospect for those who've never before needed to know about such things as carats, inclusions, fluorescence or diamond certification. We've put together separate pages on diamond grading that you should carefully read before purchasing a diamond, especially if you're buying an engagement ring. You might also find these documents useful (will open in a PDF):
Many diamonds come with a certificate confirming the features such as carat weight, color, clarity and cut quality. The certificate will also describe other identifying characteristics of the diamond, e.g. fluorescence, polish, symmetry and the specific nature of any inclusions (flaws). All these factors together determine the appearance of the stone and how well it sparkles. The diamond certificate's main purpose is to prove its value.
Diamond-set wedding rings and eternity rings will not usually come with this kind of certificate because of the cost involved in certifying each diamond. Certifying every diamond in a full eternity ring would increase the price by hundreds of pounds!
Each diamond of 0.25ct or more sold in a single-stone engagement ring by Wedding Rings Direct will be independently certified by an international gem testing laboratory such as GIA, HRD or Anchorcert. The certificate will usually be delivered with the ring, but may sometimes take a few weeks for us to receive and forward on to you. We can provide certificates for smaller diamonds, or diamond accessories, by arrangement before the purchase is made.
Buying diamonds is a unique experience in that, of course, the only diamonds on the market are those that have been able to be mined and cut to suit their inherent characteristics.
At Wedding Rings Direct, we offer a huge range of combinations of diamond sizes, colors and clarities. Occasionally, we may not be able to source the exact stone requested within the required timescales. If this is the case, we will always try to upgrade the diamond a little, or offer alternatives. We will always contact you if the diamond will vary in any way from the one you have ordered, even if we are providing a better stone.
The last twenty years have shown an increase in awareness of the 'blood diamond' trade, which has resulted in a shift in buyers' preference to purchase only conflict-free diamonds.
Conflict diamonds are those mined in war zones, which are associated with child labour and violence. Changes in policy by governments of the USA, EU and other world organisations has resulted in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (more information here http://www.globalwitness.org/campaigns/conflict/conflict-diamonds/kimberley-process) and tightened restrictions in the importing of diamonds from potential conflict areas - but it is still up to the consumer to check their diamond is conflict-free. As a UK-based company, Kodega only sell conflict-free diamonds. We buy our diamonds from reputable dealers in countries who adhere to the practices outlined by the Kimberley Process.
Blemish An external mark on the diamond that is likely to be superficial; contributes towards its polish rating when certified.
Brilliance A diamond's ability to reflect light.
Brilliant-cut A round diamond, cut to best emphasise its natural brilliance.
Carat The measure of the weight of the diamond.
Channel setting Where multiple diamonds are set into a channel-shaped hole.
Clarity The degree to which the diamond has inclusions (flaws).
Crown A diamond's crown is its top part, from the table to the girdle.
Cut Cut refers to the overall shape of the diamond, as well as the quality of the shaping by human hand.
Emerald A rectangular shape with cropped corners.
Facet Facets are the many flat surfaces on the outside of the diamond.
Fancy-cutA way of describing diamond shapes other than brilliant and princess.
Feather A type of inclusion, reflecting its natural shape.
Fluorescence The degree to which a diamond displays a colored glow under UV night.
Flush setting Refers to diamond set into the a band (not protruding).
Girdle The outline of the diamond at its widest point.
Inclusionstiny flaws in the diamond that affect how the light is dispersed through the stone.
Pave setting A beaded setting often giving the impression of more diamonds.
Pavilion The part of the diamond that falls below the girdle.
Polish Refers to blemishes on the surface that can't be counted as inclusions, e.g. marks from human polishing or small scratches incurred by wear.
Princess cut A princess-cut diamond is the square shape.
Ratio The length of the diamond compared to its height.
Roman setting Where multiple diamonds are set into individual holes.
Symmetry A diamond's symmetry will be assessed from poor to ideal.
Table The flat facet on the top of the diamond.
Tension set Where a 'floating' diamond is set with a hidden bezel behind the stone, or simply by the metal either side.
Weight A diamond's weight is referred to in carats.
Vernier gauge A tool used to measure diamond diameter and depth.