Education

Our Diamonds

Here at A&S Jewellers we pride ourselves in stocking only the whitest and clearest of diamonds all of which cut to the highest of standards. We strive to ensure that no matter what your budget you will end up with a beautiful, high quality diamond that you will cherish for a lifetime.

All of our engagement rings come with GIA accreditation, the Gemological Institute of America is the worlds leading gemstone grading laboratory. GIA is renowned for its high-tech methods and strict grading guidelines, enabling you, the consumer, to buy with confidence. Our team of buyers search the world laboriously for the finest diamonds at the most competitive prices, enabling us to pass these savings on to you.

But price isn’t our only concern, we work exclusively with a small number of carefully selected suppliers that are not involved in funding conflict and who adhere strictly to the Kimberly Process. We pride ourselves as being one of Hatton Gardens only stores not to buy in second-hand jewellery from the public or from the trade. By doing this we can not only guarantee the origin of all of our diamonds but we can sleep well at night in the knowledge that we are not cashing in on others misfortune.

Colour

While most diamonds appear to be white, many of them display hints of colour. The closer a diamond approaches to colourless the more exceptional and more valuable it becomes. Letters are used to denote the colour of a diamond. The whitest or most colourless diamond is said to be a D colour, they then progressively become more tinted the further down the alphabet you go, with each colour grade representing a range of colours. Upon reaching an I colour, a diamond is said to be slightly tinted white, and may start to show a slight yellow or brown colour when being viewed in a standard lighting environment.

It is due to this that we only stock, and always recommend that our clients’ select diamonds that are in the colour range D-H (colourless to white).

Although most are white, diamonds can come in a whole rainbow of colours, these are know as fancy coloured diamonds. the stronger the saturation of colour the rarer and more expensive the diamond is. Any of the coloured diamonds sold at A&S will be natural fancy coloured ranging from light to vivid in their intensity. We do not deal with and do not recommend colour enhanced diamonds.

Clarity

Clarity is where most people get a little confused. Diamonds are graded for their lack of imperfections, either naturally occurring or those that have been caused during polishing The cleanest diamonds are referred to a being Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF) in clarity. Those with Very Very Small Inclusions (Imperfections) are denoted as being VVS1 or VVS2, 1 being ever so slightly better than 2, it is almost impossible even for a trained gemologist to see anything inside a VVS clarity stone even when using a 10x magnification loupe.

Down from the VVS’s are VS1 and VS2, diamonds with a Very Small Inclusions – slightly more visible than a very very small one, the average layperson will struggle to see a VS1 or VS2 using a 10x magnification loupe. SI1 and SI2 are next on the list, Small Inclusions, although the Inclusions can be seen using a 10x magnification loupe, diamonds that are SI1 in clarity are still clean to the naked eye and look no different to those that are Flawless. Those that are SI2 are borderline and the inclusions can sometimes be seen with the naked eye. I1,I2, and I3 are the lowest clarity used in jewellery, these are heavily included diamonds with blemishes seen easily with the naked eye.

All of the diamonds at A&S are hand selected by our experienced team of buyers and are chosen only if they are clean to the naked eye. We do not stock anything lower than SI2, and make sure that any SI2 that we do have in stock is on the better side of the spectrum.

That being said, clarity is somewhere where you can compromise so long as you cant see any inclusions with the naked eye. This allows you to either make a saving on your purchase, or to prioritise your budget and put your money into something that can be seen, like the colour or the size.

Carat-Weight

As with all precious stones, the weight and therefore the size of a diamond is expressed in Carats. One carat is divided into 100 parts, each part known as a point, so that a half of a carat diamond is described as 0.50Ct or 50 points. Size is the most contributing factor in determining the value of a diamond, and unfortunately the price per carat goes up exponentially, meaning two half carat diamonds are a lot cheaper than one full carat of the same quality.

Although the carat weight should have an impact on the dimensions of your diamond, this is not always the case. To maximise the yield of a piece of rough the diamond polisher may cut the diamond deeper than its ideal proportions. This means that the finished stone will look smaller than it should. We only select well-cut diamonds that have been cut to the correct measurements.

Cut

The cut of a diamond is the only characteristic attributed by man, it determines both the shape and life of the stone. When a diamond is cut to the correct proportions, light will reflect, internally, from one facet to another, dispersing through the top of the stone, resulting in a display of fire and brilliance. On round stones Cut is graded on a scale ranging; excellent, very good, good fair and poor, all of our diamonds will have either and excellent or a very good cut grade.

Finish refers to the quality of a diamonds polish and symmetry. The quality of polish is the grade given to the overall condition of smoothness on the diamond’s surface. The symmetry is the exactness of its outline and the placement and alignment of its facets. Both polish and symmetry are also graded on the same scale – excellent to poor, and as with the cut grades we only use the better makes of stones.

Fluorescence

Some diamonds emit visible light when subjected to ultra-violet radiation. The strength of the fluorescence is graded as None, Faint, Medium, Strong and Very Strong. The higher the degree of fluorescence the lower the quality and the cheaper the diamond becomes. We never recommend, and try not to stock diamonds with any degree of fluorescence. Diamonds that have a strong or very strong fluorescence can appear to be cloudy or milky in a standard lighting and viewing environment.

Conflict Free

Conflict diamonds, sometimes called blood diamonds, are those that are sold to fund the unlawful and illegal operations of rebel, military and terrorist groups. A&S Jewellers make every effort to ensure that the diamonds used in our jewellery are conflict-free We buy polished diamonds only and work exclusively with a small number of carefully-selected diamond suppliers that are not involved in funding conflict and who adhere to the Kimberley Process*.

We are one of Hatton Garden’s only jewellers not to buy second hand jewellery in from the public, only by doing this do know the origin of each and every piece that we sell and stock and only by doing this can we state that all of our diamonds are ethically sourced.

*The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a scheme that requires that all rough diamonds crossing international borders are transported in a tamper-proof container with government-validated certification stating that they are not conflict diamonds.