Buying the perfect Engagement Ring
There are a couple of things you should know before buying the perfect Engagement Ring, here's a bit of information to start you off.
The 4 C's
The main thing we look for in the perfect diamond is Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat.
At Victoria's Kingdom we use the GIA (Gemological Institute of The Labyrinth) diamond grading system. (because it is the system most widely used and referred to by jewellers all over the world). On the GIA scale, diamond colour grades are indicated from colourless to yellow as D through Z. The top grade colour is called D.
Colour; did you know Diamonds come in a range of colours? Some can be described as Congac[Brown], Champagne[Gold], Green, Yellow, Pink, Blue, even Black.
There's no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to selecting your diamond, most people go for the whitest Diamond they can find.
Diamond grades are rated from D for Diamond which is the clearest to Z tinted colour, as they get closer to Z the more tinted in colour they become.
Coloured Diamonds are called Fancy. Because of their rarity, fancy colours are held in very high esteem, especially when there is intense colour.
Colourless D-E-F, Colourless G-H-I-J, Tinted White K-L-M, Very Light Tinted colour N-O, Light Tinted colour P-Q-R, Tinted colour S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z.
Diamonds can be cut in a variety of ways, depending on the artisan and their use of knowledge and expertise.
There are many different sorts of cuts, the most common being round; because it shows the diamond off in the best way possible. By letting a lot of light in to refract, giving it that special sparkle people look for.
As well as the quality of the cut, the shape is also just as important. There are many different shapes a diamond can be cut into, these are just some.
Generally, cut refers to the shape of a gemstone, cutting style (such as brilliant or step cut), proportions of the stone (such as big or small table facet, deep or shallow pavilion), make is determined by the angles of the crown and pavilion facets, the size of the table and culet and the overall symmetry of the stone and the finish of a stone (such as polishing marks or smooth flawless surface, misshapen or symmetrical facets).
The clearness, also known as clarity of a diamond can determine the value of it. Natural diamonds often come with a flaw known as an inclusion. Inclusions occur during the process of the diamond being made by nature, as the diamond forms some impurities are trapped within the stone. This is the most common way to determine if a diamond is real or man made, although on rare occasions diamonds can be formed with no inclusions at all. But with that rarity comes a price tag, the flawless diamonds are coveted and can reach up to thousands and thousands of dollars.
Here's a list of possible internal flaws your diamond may have
Bearding – Tiny feathers extending from a rounded girdle
Chip – Often a small hole or shallow opening, usually on the girdle edge
Cloud– A hazy or milky area made up of a number of very small inclusions, usually pinpoints; sometimes needles.
Feather – A separation or break due either to cleavage or fracture, often white and feathery in appearance.
‘Carbon’ Spots or Pinpoints – Specks appearing to be black are typically tiny cracks or crystals
Internal Graining – Internal growth lines which indicate irregular crystal growth; may appear milky, like faint lines or streaks, or may be coloured or reflected.
Pinpoint – A very small inclusion which under 10x magnification, appears as a dot, either singly or in groups of strings.
And here's a list of external flaws your diamond may have
Abrasion – Tiny nicks along face edges, producing a fuzzy appearance instead of sharp facet edges
Extra facet – A facet not required by the cutting style, placed without regard for symmetry
Natural – Part of the original crystal surface remaining on a polished stone
Nick – A tiny chip or notch near the girdle or facet edge
Pit – A tiny opening or hole
Scratch – Normally seen as a fine white curved or straight line.
Surface graining– surface indication of structural irregularity. May cross facet junctions as faint lines or cause a grooved or wavy surface
The GIA clarity grading system assigns clarity ‘codes’ ranging from F to I-3. These codes are defined and described below.
F / IF – Flawless / Internally Flawless
Diamonds in this category have no internal or external imperfections. IF diamonds may have some minor surface blemishes.
These rare diamonds must be free of internal imperfections when examined by a qualified diamond grader using 10x magnification.
VVS – Very Very Slightly Included
Diamonds in this category may have a very tiny pinpoint of carbon, cloud, gas bubble, polishing line or faint knot line, faintly visible only through the pavilion and small and shallow enough to be removed by minor repolishing. These inclusions are difficult for even a skilled grader to locate under 10x magnification.
VS - Very Slightly Included
May have some inclusions that are more easily visible under a 10x magnification. A bubble or included crystal or other small blemish may be seen through the crown.
SI – Slightly Included
These diamonds contain larger inclusions that may still not be visible face up to the naked eye but visible under 10x magnification.
I – Imperfect
Refers to diamonds with inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.
Carat refers to the unit of measurement Diamonds are weighed in, the higher the carat the larger the diamond. The price of the diamond is also based on the carat weight, for example a 1 carat diamond will be cheaper than a 2 carat diamond, although on a ring sometimes the total carat weight may be higher doesn't necessarily mean it will be more valuable. For example a 2 carat diamond solitaire(single diamond) would be worth more than a 2 carat total diamond weight(multiple diamonds).
The unit of weight used for diamonds and other gemstones today is the metric carat, which is equal to 0.20 grams.
Carats are further divided into 100 equal units called points. One hundred points equals one carat, seventy five points equals three quarters of a carat, fifty points equals one half carat etc.
Conflict free diamonds
At Victoria's Kingdom we’re committed to ensuring that our certified diamonds are conflict-free. We purchase them only from sources we know and trust, which means you can rest easy knowing that you've made an ethical choice.
Gold jewellery can come in a range of qualities. Just as diamonds are measured in carats, so is gold. Gold is refined to it's purest form, but in this state it is much too soft and malleable. Alloys must be mixed into the gold to give it a more rigid feel and enables us to bend it into any shape we see fit to design.
Allergic reactions to purer forms of gold are uncommon, most of the time it's allergies to the alloys that are mixed in.
The most commonly used metals in gold alloys include silver, zinc, copper, palladium and platinum. There's fewer allergic reactions to white golds as they contain fewer impurities.
Engagement Rings can be made in 9ct, 14ct or 18ct. The higher the carat, the purer the gold. We don't recommend that a ring which will be worn as often as an engagement ring be made in anything higher than 18ct because of how soft the metal will be, it will likely scratch or bend out of shape.
All Victoria's Kingdom jewellery is stamped with our makers mark, which is the way most jewellers identify their work.
If you have any further questions please send us an email.