Fine Jewellers Since 1985

Buying guide

The 4Cs

  • Clarity
  • Cut
  • Colour
  • Carat

Clarity refers to the presence of inclusions or imperfections in a diamond. Inclusions are natural occurring characteristics such as minerals or fractures, which appear while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers and can reduce the lustre the stone produces when light passes through. Many inclusions are invisible to the naked eye and require a closer look under an eyeglass, or “loupe”, to be seen. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) scale starts at F, which means a flawless stone with no inclusions, and goes to I, which means inclusions are visible to the naked eye. The different grades are:

. IF Internally flawless - A diamond with no internal inclusions

. VVS 1-2 - Very very slightly included - very few inclusions in the diamond even under a 10x magnification

. VS 1-2 - Very slightly included - A few minor inclusions when studied under a 10x magnification but still wont see any inclusions with the naked eye.

. Si 1-2 - Slightly included - Might see small inclusions with the naked eye

. I or P 1-3 - Included or piqued - Usually inclusions will be seen with the naked eye and could also have a profound affect on the sparkle/brilliance of a diamond, especially with a diamond that has grade of I/P 2-3.

One of the biggest differences with 2 diamonds that have the same clarity rating is where the inclusions are situated. The first diamond could be Si2 and have a black mark close to the table facet (the largest facet at the top of the diamond) making it easy to see and less desirable, whereas the second diamond could also be Si2 but the largest inclusion could be hidden behind a claw where you can't see it, making the diamond look clear but for a much more affordable price than one which is a higher grade.


A huge part of what makes a diamond sparkle is down to the skill of the diamond cutter who looks at a diamond in its rough form, studying it from every angle, learning where each inclusion and weakness is before deciding where to start cutting with the result usually being a number of diamonds from one rough stone.
The skill and expertise of an experienced cutter nearly always results in a polished diamond that is full of life and sparkle, one of the biggest factors when we decide to purchase a new diamond for our collection. The cut also refers to the shape in which the diamond is finished, below is a few of the most popular cuts used in diamond rings:

. Brilliant cut: 57 facets make up the most popular cut by some distance. Beauitifully designed to use the light efficiently to reveal the diamonds full fire and sparkle.

. Princess cut: A princess cut is square with a slightly larger table facet (the large facet at the top of the diamond)

. Emerald: Rectangle shape diamond, does not quite have the sparkle as a brilliant/princess cut but looks fantastic in a cluster

. Heart: A beautifully cut heart diamond looks great and is not often found as easy as the cuts above.

Although most diamonds appear white, many actually display hints of colour barely visible to the naked eye. The closer a diamond is to colourless, the rarer and more valuable it is. Diamonds are graded on a colour scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which ranges from D (colourless) to Z. Diamonds with strong pure colours such as red, blue, pink and yellow are classified separately and are known as “fancies”.

Carat (ct or kt) is a measure of the weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 “points”, so for example a 0.75ct diamond is the same as a 75-point or 3/4 carat diamond.

Often mistaken for the size of the diamond, the carat weight actually referes to the weight of the diamond so a 1 carat diamond with a shallow cut could look a lot bigger than one with a deep cut, one of the reasons that cut is important as it promotes consistency in what you should expect from 2 diamonds that are the same carat weight.

Mounts

We, at Jeffries Fine Jewellers use perfect fit mounts, enabling a lower set wedding or eternity ring to sit perfectly with the diamond ring you have selected. Typically, a standard mount will need a band to be handmade to fit around the diamond, making it more costly and time consuming. With a wide selection of mounts to choose from we will guarantee to find the perfect ring for you.


9ct gold


Available in rose, yellow and white colour, 9ct gold is hard wearing due to the extra alloys that are used to produce 9ct gold but isn't as bright as 18ct gold due to the smaller content of gold.



18ct gold


Also available in the three colours, 18ct has a tendancy to have a much brighter look than nine but the extra gold does come at an extra cost with an 18ct mount usually costing over double when compared to the same mount in 9ct gold.



Platinum


The hardest wearing metal that is found in jewellery, Platinum can withstand everyday wear much easier than other metals thus dramatically increasing the life of the ring. It is also one of the most expensive metals on the jewellery market.

Sizing


One of the trickier things to get right. There are ways to get your partners finger size including bringing one of her rings to store or measuring her finger with a bit of string etc. Of course, most of the time, you'd like to keep it a suprise and trying to get her finger size may compromise that, so we always advise to bring the ring in afterwards so we can take your fiance's finger size and either adjust it or order the same ring in the correct finger size if an adjustment is not an option.

Your welsh jeweller for over 25 years

C.L.Jeffries - 13-15 Friars walk shopping centre, Newport, NP20 1DR, 01633 254735