How important is Diamonds Education before I buy an engagement ring?

Diamonds education is vital to understand the attributes of a diamond before choosing the right one and making that investment. You wouldn’t buy a house without knowing the number of bedrooms and dimensions and you probably wouldn’t buy a car if you didn’t know its colour , so why should a diamond be any different. Consider the following before you commit to purchasing your loose diamonds or jewellery.

If you’re looking to learn about Lab grown diamonds read below on the subject or get in touch to discuss. You can also click the link below in the Lab Grown Diamonds heading to take you to a dedicated section about man made diamonds.


Lab grown diamonds are created by man in laboratory conditions, two methods are used to create the diamonds. HPHT (High pressure high temperature and CVD (chemical vapour deposition.  We will in due course go into greater detail but for the time being to summarise in HPHT, carbon atoms are placed in a small capsule which is then sealed in a high pressure press, using extremely high temperatures and pressure it then takes approx. 4 weeks for the diamond crystals to form.

In CVD, diamond wafers otherwise known as seeds are placed in a vacuum chamber where methane and hydrogen are forced into the sealed container, this then creates a reaction releasing pure carbon which attaches to the seeds and forms a bond and over a period of approx. 4 weeks the diamond crystal grows.

In both cases the diamonds are then handed over to the diamond cutters who polish the diamonds into the various shapes and prepare them for onward submission to Lab grown diamond certification laboratories.

The leaders in this market are currently IGI and increasingly GIA. Some lab grown diamond manufacturers are trying to speed up the growth process resulting in inferior quality stones which may be brown in colour or have more imperfections, these diamonds are then treated to enhance the growth result to make the diamond appear better than it really is.

I class these as “dirty lab grown” which are inferior and cheaper than the higher quality lab grown stones. When comparing Lab grown diamonds to natural diamonds there are no differences between the two in respect to, Chemical composition, reflective rate, colour diffusion, hardness, thermal conductivity & expansion, transparency, resistivity and compressibility.

Our prices on Lab grown diamonds are the finest quality unbeatable in the UK and we have extensive stock of both Natural and Lab Grown for you to view in either our Didsbury or Manchester city centre showrooms.


Below is an image of the anatomy of a diamond by the GIA looks complex right?  There are is lots of information you can get drawn into which can sometimes take you away from more important factors. Studying diamonds and the technical aspects of it takes years.  Let us help you keep focussed on the important aspects which is to get a beautiful diamond your partner will be thrilled with, at the best value and one that compliments the ring its being set into.

Diamonds Education

Below we go into some of the points we think are important when choosing a diamond.

– Did you know that some colour grades are better than others? If the stone you are considering has G grade for example it may be a G+ G or G-, which one would you want, we’re sure that its not the G- right? How can you know this from browsing an online inventory.

– Did you know that a 0.9 carat stone can look bigger than a 1 carat stone? Look at the depth percentage, girdle thickness and length to width measurements. If the heavier stone has been cut poorly it will almost certainly be very deep and have a thick girdle which adds unnecessary weight and does not give you the correct spread. Rule of thumb a 1 carat stone should have a length and width of approx. 6.5mm.

Also if the length and width are not similar particularly with a round diamond then it will look out of shape. Similarly if you want a princess cut stone and the length and width measurements are too far apart then it wont look like a square.

This is called the length to width ratio, we can search 95% of the stones available globally to pick the stones with the best spread. Its very difficult for you the consumer to do this as most online retailers do not allow you to search by the stones measurements.

– Did you know that inclusions come in different colours, black, green, brown and white? If you bought a VS2 stone try to find one with white inclusions so that they are not as easily detectable by the naked eye. How can you do this online? Its impossible unless you speak to the supplier and ask them to inspect the stone and provide a detailed inclusion report. If you bought a stone that was a VS2 you would want it to be the one without an eye visible inclusion.

The reason behind the caution is that you don’t want to be the one to have bought a VS2 stone with an eye visible inclusion when you could have bought an eye clean one.

– How do you know if your stone is 100% eye clean? Unfortunately the term “eye clean” is subjective as one persons opinion of eye clean may be different to another who’s eye sight is better . Is the stone eye clean from having looked at it for 5 seconds or 30 seconds, from a distance of 5 cm or 30 cm?

When someone says eye clean its also important to determine if the stone is eye clean from the side view as the stone may be set into a mount which exposes the side profile of the diamond. How can you tell this from browsing online? We can because we only source diamonds that have been inspected by our suppliers gemologists who we have spoken to about that particular stone.

– Did you know that some fancy shapes such as Marquise and Pear shape stones exhibit a bow tie effect, if the bow tie is black it means that the stone has not been cut to the best proportions, try to make sure that you avoid this.

– If you like the Cushion shape diamond, did you know that a Cushion cut stone has different cut styles, modified brilliant and non modified brilliant are just a couple. The modified cut gives the appearance of crushed glass whilst the other cutting style “non modified brilliant” gives the authentic style and candle light sparkle associated with the classic cushion cut diamond.

Its the above reasons why we don’t have an online inventory feed like all the other suppliers for customers to browse and buy online. This is why Diamonds education is so important. We have to physically ask each supplier precise technical questions about each stone that we buy for our customers. Our fundamental approach is to only source and buy stones that we would choose to have for ourselves or present to our partners. We only get you the best in class diamond for your budget at the lowest UK price that is our promise.

We can source 95% of the diamonds available online that you may have seen advertised elsewhere, the truth is that these diamonds are not in stock but are available through global suppliers who feed their inventory to the online retailer. They will only know if the stone is available when they ask the supplier. This is why we don’t sell online. Give us a test, pick a diamond you have seen online and ask us to give you our opinion on the stone and our rate, we guarantee you will be surprised. Be a smart diamond shopper and do your research.

1 –  Ask for a certificate, official GIA diamond grading report or dossier for lab grown diamonds IGI is the leader at present but GIA are also doing lab grown diamonds certification providing an E-cert no hard copies. Learn about the 4C’s grading system and who the leading authorities are on diamond grading. Make sure you can verify your diamond report online to check authenticity.

2- To ensure that you are getting value you must know the Carat (weight), Cut (how well the stone has been manufactured), Colour, Clarity (visible natural inclusions in the stone) and shape. Colour and shape are a matter of choice but clarity should be more of a careful consideration.

For round brilliant cut we would strongly recommend that you choose a diamond with a minimum of VS2 in clarity, and certainly do not purchase a diamond which is graded as I1 2 or 3 as these diamonds have inclusions visible to the naked eye (For step cut shapes like emerald cut we recommend that you go no lower than VS1 as the inclusions are more obvious in this type of diamond).

For round diamonds it is equally important to know the Cut grade (different to the cut shape) other shapes known as fancy shapes such as princess, marquise or emerald diamonds don’t usually have a cut grade on a report or dossier as there is no industry standard to determine the grade.

When choosing a fancy shape diamond such as a pear or marquise cut, an expert opinion is required to assess the quality of the cut by looking at the length to width ratio and the table and depth percentages to give a subjective opinion on the cut. Other vital attributes include polish and symmetry this applies to all shapes. We only supply diamonds with Good to Excellent grades across the cut, symmetry and polish.

We would suggest that you avoid any diamond with poor/fair grades across any of these attributes. Why is this important? A diamond is like a tiny set of mirrors that interact with light to create the stones appearance. Every angle and every facet affects the amount of light returned or lost. Therefore the quality of the cut, symmetry and polish determines a diamonds brightness, fire and scintillation.

3 – When you purchase a GIA diamonds or lab grown diamonds we want you to make an investment and not to have a depreciating asset. With this in mind there are two ways we can help. If you have seen a diamond that you like and you know its important characteristics we can either source the exact same diamond at considerably less and for clients who want to spend a specific amount, we will source the best diamond in the market for that particular budget .

Please avoid purchasing a diamond that has been set and un certified or graded by one of the top laboratories. It is very difficult to grade a set diamond and it would need to be removed from the ring for it to be accurately assessed. You would also likely be expected to pay well over the true value of the piece of Jewellery.

4 – Enhanced and treated diamonds – Modern technology has made it possible to treat diamonds in a number of ways. You can induce or lessen colour and improve clarity. As these enhancement technologies advance so does the need to advance the detection technology and techniques. Some of the techniques used to enhance diamonds include coatings, combinations of heat and pressure, irradiation and laser technology.

The value of an enhanced stone is somewhat less than that of its un enhanced version. Please be careful and check diamond grading reports to see if enhancement has been detected. We do not supply enhanced or treated diamonds. Its a common trick for retailers to advertise a diamond with all the attributes that sound good but when you check the report it might say that it has been enhanced.

How could you have known about this unless you were aware about enhanced diamonds. Retailers love it because you are getting what you think is a great diamond and paying full price but in reality it’s had an enhancement procedure which massively reduces its value and affects the structural integrity of the stone. Enhanced/treated diamonds are common when the stone has no certification.

Enhanced natural diamonds have taken a side step with the introduction of lab grown diamonds. Man made diamonds can also be enhanced though which should be disclosed on the diamond report. Just remember its making that informed choice and being in control of the decision that’s important.

5 – Tricks of the trade – There are a few tricks that unsuspecting customers should be aware of. Most retailers take advantage of the fact that most people are not aware of what to look out for when purchasing a diamond.

Trick 1: Drop down selection – When browsing online retailers and you select your own diamond you have the opportunity to select shape, colour, clarity. Most consumers are aware of these attributes. What you need to watch out for is when you come across retailers offering you a certificate selection menu. You might get offered a number of certificates including their own in the selection along with one of the more well known labs.

This is not acceptable, you need to know exactly what certificate you are getting, insist on seeing the report of the diamond you are buying. When they state that you will get one or another in the same selection box its an excuse to charge you for the price of a more reputable certified diamond but you will probably get the other one on offer as it will be cheaper for them to buy.

Trick 2: You can also sometimes select the cut grade of a round diamond, some retailers trick you by offering good to premium grades in their selection criteria. The catch is that within the premium category they can sell you a diamond with a very good cut and charge you for one with an excellent cut because you have been unable to specify your exact requirements.

The difference in price between two diamonds with exactly the same attributes but with one difference in grade across cut, symmetry and polish can be as much as £500-£1000 or even more depending on the size of the diamond.

Another common trick here is you think that you have selected an excellent cut grade on the drop down menu, you click on the certificate to view the actual report and it says something completely different such as Good instead of Excellent. Why is this? Look out for little disclaimers stating that the retailers cut grade is their opinion and does not reflect the actual grade, very sneaky indeed.

Trick 3: The retailer allows you to select most of the common attributes, you buy the diamond but you don’t know the polish or symmetry, you think you might be getting a great deal but if you don’t know these attributes how can you be sure. A diamond trader would never buy a diamond unless all the information on the stone was available so why should you.

Trick 4: You buy a ring to go with your diamond and you don’t know the weight. Metal prices are by the gram. Don’t pay for a 3g platinum ring when you could have had a 5g ring. We always tell you the approximate weight of your ring.

Trick 5: The retailer offers you their own certificate, you think its a great deal and go for it. Ask yourself why would a diamond with exactly the same attributes as a leading laboratory certificate and another be different in price.

The answer is because they are not the same, the inferior grading from another laboratory or in-house retailer grader will never be able to show you the true attributes of the diamond so you think you are buying something that would otherwise be downgraded by one of the top laboratories. Also when a retailer grades their own diamond its not an unbiased assessment, its completely in their best interest to upgrade the attributes by one or two grades as to command a higher price.

Trick 6: Beware of retailers who claim to offer a diamond from one of the one the well known laboratories but can’t deliver them, always ask to see the report before you buy. Always call the company, speak to someone, if you can’t get through before you buy, what’s going to happen if there is a problem and you need to contact them after you place an order. We we always want to talk to our customers to ensure 100% that we understand your complete requirements.

There are other factors that can affect a diamonds value and desirability including its fluorescence, carat weight to surface area ratio, girdle thickness and if the stone has a culet. If you would like further advice or have questions about a diamond you have seen please do not hesitate to call, we are happy to help even if you do not purchase from us.

We hope this Diamonds education section has been useful, there is so much more to learn about GIA Diamonds and lab grown diamonds. Be smart and call an expert if you want to get the best stone for your budget.

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