Advice | Page 2

Category Archives: Advice

Advice | Page 2

Production Week: A week of informative blogs on how we make our rings!

Have you ever wondered how a diamond is set in a ring, or how a ring is resized? During the next week, we’re going to publish a series of blogs aimed at educating and informing the different processes our rings go through to get the fabulous finished product worn by all of our customers.

At 77 Diamonds we pride ourselves in quality production and manufacturing and we like you to know exactly what happens during the production process. From resizing a ring, to having a tired ring re-polished or re-plated, in the next week, we’ll show and tell you the journey your rings go on. From high heat to high pressures, from electrodes and hand saws, we’ll give you a glimpse of life in our workshops.

Working with jewellery is no easy task. Our highly skilled and trained professionals have years of experience and have worked with jewellers such as Debeers, Asprey and Boodles. A vast amount of precision and dedication goes into having such beautiful finished products. It also requires getting your hands dirty! You’ll notice in the upcoming images that dirty fingers are inevitable when working with raw metal and different elements.

So sit back, and enjoy a glimpse into the world of the workshop. If you have any questions about anything in the upcoming pieces, do not hesitate in getting in touch with us at [email protected]

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Advice | Page 2

Everything you needed to know about diamonds: CERTIFICATE

A diamond certificate is issued following an unbiased and professional examination to authenticate a diamond’s attributes. The carat weight, colour and clarity are all validated, together with the diamond’s exact measurements. Cut grades are also included for Round Brilliant cuts. Certificates are essential in determining or testifying a diamond’s value. Diamonds sold through Seventy Seven Diamonds have been graded by GIA, AGS, HRD, IGI, EGL (Internationl or USA). It is generally accepted by diamond industry professionals that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) sets the standard when it comes to diamond grading. At least three-quarters of the 200,000 diamonds listed on Seventy Seven Diamonds have been graded by the GIA.

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All you need to know about diamonds: FLUORESCENCE

Diamonds that are said to be fluorescent contain particles that emit a visible (usually blue) glow when exposed to UV lighting. In rare cases, high levels of fluorescence can make stones appear milky or hazy, although for the most part fluorescence does not generally impact beauty or sparkle and can even make some lower colours (I, J, K, L, etc.) appear more colourless or white. Nonetheless, fluorescent diamonds are usually cheaper and provided the effect is not readily visible may offer good value for money.

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Advice | Page 2

All you need to know about diamonds: CUT

The cut is perhaps the most fundamental attribute to consider when it comes to judging a diamond. However, it is also often one of the most complex and confusing terms. We have used cut in its most common form, which describes how well a diamond has been made from its rough form, rather than what shape it has been fashioned into, or the type of cut process applied by the diamond polisher (i.e. brilliant cut versus step cut).

How a diamond is cut and polished from its rough form is what determines its brilliance, fire and scintillation, or overall sparkle. For this reason, cut also plays a large part in determining the price of a stone and it is therefore important to be acquainted with all the factors that affect the quality of a cut before purchasing.

The cut is mainly influenced by the harmony between the table and depth percentages and crown and pavilion angels, either causing the diamond to dissipate light (poor cut) or optimally refract and reflect light (excellent cut). The table and depth percentages are calculated as follows:

Depth Percentage: The higher the number, the deeper the stone. The lower the number the shallower the stone.

Table Percentage: The higher the number, the bigger the table looks. The lower the number, the smaller the table looks.

Table and depth percentages affect how light travels within the diamond and impacts a stone’s brilliance. If a cut is too shallow, light escapes out from the sides and the diamond loses brilliance. If the cut is too deep, light is lost from the bottom and the diamond appears dull or dark.

GIA have developed a grading system, which take these and other important factors into account to provide a scientific assessment of a diamond’s sparkle. Seventy Seven Diamonds uses the GIA classification of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor (not displayed on the website) grades to help customers assess diamond quality. The table below displays the GIA grading classifications relating to cut.

Excellent (or Ideal) Very Good Good
Diamonds classified as Excellent or Ideal cut offer the most sparkle, dispersion and fire and are considered to be of the highest quality. Light moving through an ideal cut diamond bounces almost fully back out the top of the stone and brings its brilliance into view. Diamonds classified as Very Good offer slightly less brilliance and scintillation than the excellent cut. However, as the difference between the two is almost indistinguishable to the unaided eye, very good cuts offer better value for money than excellent cut diamonds. Diamonds classified as “Good” usually allow some light to escape during the reflective process, although once again, the difference between this and the very good cut diamonds is small therefore good cuts offer great value for money and make for a more affordable option.
Fair/Poor

Light moving through a shallow cut diamond is lost out of the bottom of the stone and the lack of light play makes shallow cut diamonds appear lifeless. Light moving through a deep cut diamond escapes out from the sides, darkening all or most portions of the stone.The poor sparkle performance of Diamonds classified as Fair or Poor cut may be noticeable to the untrained eye, and are for this reason also less costly.

In order to understand diamond cut, it is necessary to know the anatomy of a diamond as well as how different proportions and percentages affect the movement of light through a stone. Based on these considerations, diamond cut is graded by a certification body; the GIA employs a five-point scale ranging from excellent and very good to good, fair and poor, while other laboratories such as the AGS may use alternate scales and terminology replacing “excellent” for “ideal,” for example. Excellent or Ideal cut grades are awarded to diamonds with the highest level of sparkle intensity, while Fair and Poor grades imply poorer light reflection and therefore less sparkle. Most laboratories and certifying bodies only provide cut grade for round diamonds although a few have extended grading to other diamond shapes.

For more information regarding diamond cut contact us at Seventy Seven Diamonds at [email protected]

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Advice | Page 2

All you need to know about diamonds: COLOUR

Colour is one of the fundamental attributes of a diamond and colour grades actually refer to how colourless or “white” a stone is. Diamond colour is graded according to the GIA* colour scale, from D to Z, where D is rated as the most colourless, and therefore the most sought after and costly.

Further down the scale, the colours become more yellow and finally brown. However, to the untrained eye, there is little variation in the D-H range and therefore slightly lower grades provide much better value for money while not necessarily appearing vastly different. Stones graded I and below alter in colour and any diamonds graded J and below will be slightly tainted.

 

Colour: D

D is the highest colour grade attributed to a diamond, denoting that the stone is completely colourless (white); as such, they are extremely rare and command the highest prices.

Colour: E

The colour difference between a D and an E graded stone is usually only visible to an expert gemmologist using master stones as a comparison, although E graded stones are slightly cheaper.

Colour: F

The colour difference between an E and an F is only visible to an expert gemmologist using master stones as a comparison. F grades are the lowest and therefore least expensive of the premium colours.

Colour: G

G graded diamonds are nearly colourless and a slight colour difference only become perceptible when compared to diamonds of grades D or E. G stones appear colourless especially once set and therefore offer excellent value for money.

Colour: H

H coloured diamonds are near colourless diamonds which still appear totally white or colourless if they are not compared side by side with higher colour graded stones. The H colour is generally considered the watershed between colourless diamonds and slightly tinted diamonds. As a result, the H colour is great value for money and unsurprisingly a very popular option.

Colour: I

I coloured diamonds are very slightly tinted diamonds, however, once set in jewellery, these stones may appear colourless. If you are looking to maximize your budget, then an I coloured diamond offers great value for money.

Colour: J

J coloured diamonds are very slightly tinted diamonds, however, once set in jewellery, especially in yellow gold, it is harder to see the slight yellow tint which the J grade produces. If you are looking to maximize your budget or if you have a preference for slightly yellow tinted diamonds, then the J grade is a great option, offering fantastic value for money.

Colour: K

K coloured diamonds are slightly tinted diamonds, however, once set in jewellery, especially in yellow gold, it is harder to see the slight yellow tint which the K grade produces. If you are looking to maximize your budget or have a preference for slightly yellow tinted diamonds, then the K grade is a great option, offering excellent value for money.

Colour: L – Z

Seventy Seven Diamonds currently offers only stones in the higher range of D-J, as these are the only grades we recommend, however, lower clarity grades can be made available on special request.

For more information regarding colour contact us at Seventy Seven Diamonds at [email protected]

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Advice | Page 2

All you need to know about diamonds: CLARITY

Diamond clarity is so very important as in spite of the many grades, when you know what each mean, you will learn that you don’t need the top clarity grade for something beautiful for engagement rings.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond clarity on an 11 point scale ranging from Flawless and Internally Flawless (FL/IF) to Included (I1, I2, I3). These categories are founded upon the ability to see the inclusions under 10x magnification. FL/IF to VS2 categories are referred to by diamond experts as “eye clean” and are the categories of the highest clarity. Diamonds classified as “eye-clean” are considered to have no imperfections visible to the naked eye.


Flawless or Internally Flawless: FL or IF

Flawless and Internally Flawless certified diamonds are extremely rare. The difference between the two is that internally flawless diamonds (IF), like the FL, are 100% flawless from the inside but IF diamonds will contain surface graining on the outside. These are not technically considered a flaw, but consist in the only point of differentiation between the extremely rare Flawless and the very rare IF clarity grades. FL or IF diamonds may also be referred to as ‘LC,’ meaning “Loupe Clean.”

Very Very Slightly Included 1: VVS1

A diamond of this clarity grade would have one tiny inclusion that can only be located using a powerful microscope. This clarity grade guarantees that the inclusion is invisible even under a 10x magnification loupe. This clarity grade is almost as rare as the IF clarity and as such is highly regarded although not quite as expensive.

Very Very Slightly Included 2: VVS2

These diamonds would only have two tiny inclusions and consistent with the VVS1 grading only a microscope would identify inclusions. However, expert graders may be able to locate a VVS2 inclusion using a 10x magnification loupe but VVS2 still offer a very high level of clarity and are less expensive price than a VVS1.

Very Slightly Included 1: VS1


VS1 diamonds have one small or a few very tiny inclusions that are not visible to the unaided eye (eye clean) and can only be located, often with difficulty, using a 10x magnification loupe. VS1 clarity diamonds are an excellent choice as they are still eye-clean whilst being less expensive than the VVS categories.

Very Slightly Included 2: VS2

Usually VS2 diamonds have a series of tiny inclusions that like the VS1 grade can only be located using a 10x magnification loupe. VS2 clarity diamonds are an extremely popular as it is the last grade which virtually guarantees an eye clean diamond. In 95% of cases VS2 diamonds are eye clean. Rare exceptions, may include VS2 diamonds on EGL or IGI certificates (extremely rare on IGI) and in certain cases, Emerald and Asscher cut diamonds, which may not always be eye clean, even on GIA certificates. The type of inclusions here would generally be two small inclusions or a series of tiny ones.

Slightly Included 1: SI1


SI1 graded diamonds have two medium or many small inclusions that will almost always be visible to the unaided eye and are easy to locate using a 10x magnification loupe. Depending on how well placed and lightly coloured the inclusions are the stones can appear almost eye clean and therefore SI1 clarity diamonds can offer exceptional value for those wishing to maximise their budget. An SI1 diamond on a GIA, HRD or AGS certificate will in over 50% of cases be eye clean depending on the chosen shape. However, as with the VS2, this grade of diamonds probably won’t be eye clean on Emerald and Asscher cuts, on any certificate.

Slightly Included 2: SI2


SI2 diamonds have a greater number of inclusions that will almost always be visible to the unaided eye. As with the SI1 clarity diamonds, they can offer great value for money and depending on the inclusions it can be possible to find an eye clean stone at a fraction of the price of higher clarity grades.

I1 or lower

These diamonds will always have inclusions clearly visible to the naked eye, even on the strictest certificates, such as those of the GIA. Even though it is still possible for us to source such diamonds upon request, we would recommend choosing SI2 clarity diamonds or above

An “eye-clean” diamond is one that has no imperfections visible to the unaided eye. They offer excellent value, being much less expensive than flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) diamonds, which are extremely rare and therefore command a higher price. 

Imperfections in diamonds graded Slightly Included (SI) are often not visible to the unaided eye, making them excellent value for money, however the location of the inclusion is important. Therefore, it always advisable to speak to a diamond and jewellery consultant to check that the stone is eye-clean, if you’re considering a diamond of this clarity grade.

For more information regarding clarity contact us at Seventy Seven Diamonds at [email protected]

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Advice | Page 2

All you need to know about diamonds: CARAT

Diamond terminology can be quite confusing and sometimes intimidating and can often over-complicate the process of buying engagement rings. That is why we have decided on a series of blog entries to highly the main areas that can help you understand further in order to choose the perfect stone for you!

“Carat” is the term used to refer to the weight of a diamond (not to be confused with the term “karat” that refers to the purity of gold). One carat is defined as one fifth of a gram or 200 milligrams, approximately the weight of a five pound note. A carat can be divided further into “points,” where one point is equal to 0.01 carat.

While the size of a polished diamond is related to its carat weight, it is important not to confuse carat weight with size, as there are other aspects of a diamond that can affect how large an individual stone actually appears—most importantly, the cut and shape of the stone. Proportions to which an individual diamond is cut, such as table and depth percentages must be taken into account, as shallower stones can appear larger than deeper stones of the same weight. Similarly, diamond shapes can have an impact, as elongated shapes tend to maximise carat weight, making them appear larger than rounded stones of the same weight.

Furthermore, the appearance of a diamond’s size can also be affected by how the stone is set in a piece of jewellery, as well the size of the wearer’s finger (in the case of rings), therefore it is important to take all of these aspects into consideration when choosing a stone.

CARAT WEIGHT & SIZE

It is important to consider individual measurements of diamonds not necessary carat weight For example:

A 0.90 carat diamond with measurements of 6.22 x 6.18 x 3.64 is similar in table measurement to a 1.0ct diamond that is 6.23 x 6.20 x 3.94 however as carat is weight and not size, the 1.0ct is deeper thus carrying more weight in its depth and therefore being heavier. The 0.90ct will appear exactly the same in measurement once set in jewellery without the cost premium of a 1.0ct stone.

Dimensions play an important role in the appearance of a diamond. In addition to the carat weight, the distance across the top of the diamond must also be taken into consideration. A common misconception is that half a carat is half the size of one carat. In fact, a half carat is half the weight of one carat, but the millimetre difference on a round stone is only 1.35mm. The average measurement for a 0.50ct stone is 5.00mm, while the average 1.00ct stone measures at 6.35mm. Download PDF guide here.

While carat weight may indicate a diamond’s size, the shape and cut of a stone also play a large part in determining how large or small the stone appears. An elongated shape such as the Marquise cut may appear larger than a rounded shape such as the round brilliant even if the two stones share the same weight.

CARAT WEIGHT & PRICE

Carat weight is one of the fundamental factors in determining the price of a diamond. As a general rule, the heavier the diamond, that is, the larger the carat weight, the more expensive it becomes. Price per carat is one of the best ways to compare the cost of similar diamonds. To calculate this, simply divide the cost of each stone by its carat weight. Because they are scarcer, larger diamonds are in much higher demand than smaller stones and therefore command much higher prices per carat. A diamond that is double the size of another can be up to four times the price. For example, a one carat diamond solitaire ring is nearly always more expensive than a diamond ring made up of smaller multiple diamonds whose total weight is one carat.

Undersize and oversized diamonds

Diamonds are usually cut to a rounded number in their carat weight, for example 0.70ct or 1.00 carat, rather than 0.69 or 0.99. Because of this, diamonds weighing just under the weight ‘barrier’ (e.g. 0.68ct or 0.69ct.), are scarce but highly recommended as they cost less than diamonds whose weight has been rounded up. Similarly, diamonds whose weight slightly exceed the barrier are referred to as “oversized” and also offer great value for money as they have not been rounded up.

JEWELLERY SETTINGS & FINGER SIZES

When choosing a diamond for a ring, it is also important to consider the length and width of the ring finger since a stone will appear larger (and therefore of heavier carat weight) on a longer and slimmer fingers.

Comparatively, shorter and wider fingers tend to make stones seem smaller. Similarly, when deciding on a diamond for a particular jewellery setting, the appearance in size and weight can be altered depending on the type and proportions of the setting. Delicate and slender settings tend to enhance the size and prominence of diamond centrepiece while larger and more solid settings can make the stone appear smaller.

For more information contact us at: [email protected]

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Advice | Page 2

Just because it’s not a diamond doesn’t mean it’s not as beautiful!

When Sarah Jane Allen contacted Seventy Seven Diamonds last month, her request for a bespoke engagement ring came out of the blue… Aquamarine blue!

The brief, a Vintage style engagement ring, but with an Aquamarine centre stone!

After already breaking with tradition and proposing herself to her boyfriend Jack with a beautifully engraved keyring, Sarah came to us to design her engagement ring. She told us that as Jack isn’t the diamond ring kind of guy, it gave her the freedom to choose her own ring; “I believe wholeheartedly in equality so we decided to go halves on the ring, as he doesn’t get one it seems unfair to make him pay for mine” – which meant the budget got to be slightly more generous than it would have been!

 

Jack’s Keyring and Sarah’s Engagement Ring

But why an Aquamarine, we know the old saying “something old something new, something borrowed, something blue” – but isn’t that for the wedding? Sarah explained that she wanted something unusual and coloured and Aquamarine is Jack’s birth stone. “I also love the colour; it is the same colour as his eyes. As Aquamarines are not as reflective as say diamonds I wanted an unusual cut, Jennifer (our bespoke designer) showed me a range of Aquamarines and I just fell in love with an 8mm cushion cut chequerboard finish stone. Now all I had to do was decide how it should be set.”

“Jennifer was amazing. We emailed images backwards and forwards at first and each one was wildly different from the one before. She was so patient and practical. The thing with gemstones is they are softer than the traditional diamond or sapphire which will not scratch. I was worried my Aquamarine would get scratched or go dull over time so Jennifer suggested we go for a diamond surround to enhance the sparkle of the ring and if I ever want to get the Aquamarine replaced I still have over 50% of the original ring. I love the more vintage looking rings so the diamond halo we decided on in the end is just perfect! When I came in to see her she let me try on loads of styles and was really honest about what was achievable and the costings of each setting. I cannot thank her enough for helping us design the perfect ring!”

 

The happy couple, Jack and Sarah Jane – note the beautiful Aquamarine blue eyes!

With her ring complete and beautifully bestowed upon her hand, I asked her what advice she would have for anyone wanting a bespoke ring of their own, and Sarah Jane says:  “Do your research. I spent hours looking at ring websites, there is such a plethora of ideas out there and the point of getting a bespoke ring is to get something no-one else will have. This can be slightly daunting, so start simple. What metal do you like? Which stone do you want? Also try on loads of styles. Your hand has a personality of its own and what looks lovely in a well lit, white photo may look totally different on your finger. My partner had no pre-conceptions of what he liked so I had free reign, this sounds great but it is sometimes nice to have his input as it should symbolise both of you. This is why I went for his birth stone, so I am always reminded of him when I look at my beautiful ring.”

For more information about Aquamarines or other gemstones, and how to create your own bespoke ring setting, please contact us at [email protected]

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