Diamonds are formed deep within the earth (100-200 miles), as long ago as 3.3 billion years! They are the result of immense, almost unimaginable pressure and heat acting on crystals of carbon.  Volcanic activity has forced the diamonds up close to the surface where they are now mined. Mining for diamonds can be a very difficult activity and an estimated 250 tons of ore may produce just one carat of diamond.  The majority of diamonds come from Africa, Australia, Russia and Canada.

Once a diamond has been cut and polished, it will be sent to be graded according to the ‘Four C’s’ – colour, cut, clarity and carat (weight).

The Four C’s

Diamond Cut

A diamond’s colour is a product of nature, but cutting the diamond reveals its unique sparkle and brilliance.  For a perfect cut, the proportions of the diamond must be such that the rays of light entering it are reflected by the centre (table) from facet to facet.  Cut also refers to the shape of the stone.  You can see from the chart the most popular shapes.  The cut with which most people are familiar with is the round, brilliant-cut, often found in solitaire diamond engagement rings.

Tip: ‘Round cut’ has a more traditional look and feel, ‘princess cut’ or ‘marquise cut’ are more modern and ‘heart cut’ is great for a romantic.

Diamond Colour

Colour is crucial when judging the beauty of a diamond, the whiter and more colourless a diamond is, the more beautiful it is considered to be.  Although most people associate diamonds with being white, coloured diamonds do exist in varying intensities of yellow, pink, blue, green and even red.

Diamond Clarity

The clarity of a diamond is decided by the number of naturally-occurring tiny impurities that affect its transparency.  Perfectly clear or flawless diamonds are extremely rare and therefore the most valuable.

Diamond Carat

Carat is the measure used when weighing diamonds and nothing to do with their size.  The larger the diamond the rarer it is and a four carat stone will be worth more than two Diamonds weighing the total of four carats.

At Bradley Hatch Jewellers, we have the experience and knowledge and will be more than happy to help guide you in your purchase.


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