Gemstone Guide

Introduction to Diamond

Diamonds are created from carbon atoms and arranged into a transparent crystal; they are the most prized and valued of all gemstones. Thought to be the tears of the gods by the Ancient Greeks, diamonds have been loved throughout history, and favoured by royalty.

Hardest of all gems, diamonds are ranked number 10 on 'The Mohs Scale of Hardness' and their exceptional fire and beautiful lustre have made their sparkle highly sought after. Their ability to disperse light into the colours of the rainbow give them their signature breathtaking sparkle, which have made them the traditional romantic choice for engagement rings and wedding bands.

Traditionally, most diamonds used in jewellery are white or colourless, but fancy diamonds actually come in a wide range of colours such as pink and blue. Along with romantic gifts, diamond is also the birthstone for April, and has come to be the symbolic gift given to mark 60 years; perfect for an anniversary or milestone birthday.

The 4Cs – Colour, Clarity, Carat & Cut

The 4Cs a refer to the four main factors used to determine the value of a diamond. The closer a traditional white diamond is to 'colourless' the more desirable it is. Likewise, the clearer the clarity, in other words, the closer to 'flawless' the diamond is the higher the value of it. These two factors have an internationally recognised grading scale, differing slightly depending on which gemological institute you refer to. Carat refers to weight, and many believe that this is the main factor in valuing a diamond, but colour and clarity must be considered. Two diamonds of the same carat can vary greatly if their colour and clarity are extremely different. Cut refers to the way a rough stone is transformed into the final polished stone by an experienced cutter, with facets cut into the stone to enhance the way it interacts with light. Cut is often linked to shape, which is the overall shape of the stone to the naked eye. For in-depth information on these factors,visit our guide on Understanding the 4C's .

Caring for Diamonds

Diamonds are the hardest of all gems and due to this, it's best to avoid contact with other jewellery pieces. Keep your diamonds in a protective pouch or cushioned box to ensure they do not scratch your other items or become scratched themselves. Diamonds should be kept clean to make the most of their brilliant sparkle. Diamonds can be cleaned using special liquid jewellery cleaner.

Sourcing Diamonds

Today, Australia is the main producer of diamonds; however other localities include Ghana, Brazil and the USA. Diamond sourcing can be a controversial subject, but rest assured that all diamonds sold by H.Samuel are responsibly sourced. We are a member of the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) and adhere strictly to The Kimberly Process -Find out more here .