Diamond Education

How to select The Best Rock

Dubai Rocks has designed a simple and easy to understand education process in order to give you, the consumer, the power to make an informed purchase. The end result of our education programme, whether you buy a rock from us or elsewhere, is that you will know how to spot a great deal!

Dubai Rocks 3 key rules to buying a rock are:
Only buy certified rocks
Ensure your diamond is Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certified (Dubai Rocks only stock GIA rocks)

Don't forget rules 1 and 2!

If you forget everything you read throughout the education process but remember the 3 rules outlined above, you will not go far wrong

The 4 key features (the ‘4C’s’) are Certification, Carat (weight), Cut, Colour and Clarity. All of these features drive the appearance and the value of the rock.

 

Shape

Diamonds come in several different shapes. And whilst different people prefer different forms, the round diamond is by far the most popular: Eight out of ten engagement rings contain a round diamond. Whatever your taste or preference, however, Dubai Rocks apply the same standards across our entire selection. We have access to one of the largest fine selections of diamond rocks in the world.

The basic diamond shapes are outlined below. Detailed information about each of these shapes will help you to make the selection that is right for you. The diamond shapes are ordered in terms of popularity from left to right.

Round

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The round shape is by far the most popular diamond shape. Approximately eight out of every ten diamonds sold is a round shaped diamond. The round diamond tends to be the most popular shape since it sparkles more than other shapes. Many customers also feel that round stones offer more value: a 1 ct round stone will appear to be larger than a 1 ct princess cut, pleasing both the buyer and the receiver of the diamond! The round shaped diamond has been refined by mathematicians over hundreds of years using sophisticated theories and techniques of light refraction to ensure that the fire and the brilliance of the rock is maximised to its highest possible level of beauty. Due to its popularity, the selection of round diamonds available is far greater than any other diamond shape.

Princess

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The princess shape is the second most popular shape. Like the round diamond the princess shape is naturally brilliant in the way its fire sparkles. The princess cut is named as such since it is historically the most popular choice of stone for princesses’ engagement rings! The modern day “celebrity” princesses undoubtedly have a soft spot for this particular shape due to its distinctiveness and its historic connection with royalty. The princess cut, whilst appearing to be square, is not uniformly so. The princess shape diamond can be both square and slightly rectangular in appearance. A square shaped princess diamond has width ratios of 1-1.05, whilst rectangular shapes have ratios of 1.10 plus. Preference for the square or the rectangular shape is purely a matter of individual taste.

Cushion

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Like the princess shape, the cushion shape has been popular with royalty and celebrities for many years. The cushion shape (sometimes referred to as a “pillow” shape) has a strong brilliance, or sparkle, which is one of the many reasons for its popularity. In contrast to the princess shape, the cushion shape has more rounded corners and slightly larger facets (flat bits!). This means that customers have to be careful when selecting this shape in the SI clarity grade due to possible visible inclusions (very small bits of carbon visible under a microscope). As with the princess shape, the cushion shape diamond can be either square or slightly rectangular in appearance. A square shaped princess diamond has width ratios of 1-1.05 whilst rectangular shapes have ratios of 1.125 plus. Preference for the square or the rectangular shape is purely a matter of individual taste.

Oval

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The oval shape is a cousin of the round diamond in brilliance and beauty. And, like the marquise shape diamond, the oval shape has the natural effect of making a finger look long and slender. Some of the most famous rocks in history have been oval shaped: The shape has been used as the leading jewel at the centre of many a crown due to its natural fire, sparkle and brilliance. The classic length to width ratio of an oval shape lies between 1.31 and 1.67.

Pear

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The pear shape also resembles a ‘tear drop’ and is often referred to as such. Like the oval shape, the pear shape diamond has adorned some of the most famous pieces of jewellery in history. The shape has been used as the leading jewel at the centre of many a crown due to its natural fire, sparkle, brilliance and impact. The preferred length to width ratio of this stone is between 1.44 and 1.76.

Emerald

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The emerald shape is a uniquely shaped diamond with regular “steps” leading up to a rectangular plateau in the centre of the stone. In simple terms, the emerald shape is an extended rectangular version of the asscher shape. Because it has a large flat central plateau, customers need to be careful to choose a higher clarity grade to ensure that inclusions do not spoil the appearance of the rock. When buying an emerald shape you should ask to see its certificate, showing the extent of its inclusions. The classic emerald cut shape has a length to width ratio of between 1.25 and 1.45.

Marquise

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The popularity of the marquise shape stems from the way the shape maximises size for any given carat weight, giving the diamond a larger appearance. For example a 1 ct marquise diamond has the presence of a 0.9 carat round diamond - although the marquise diamond does not have the brilliance or fire of the round shape. The distinctive shape works well with ring settings containing side stones. The shape of the marquise diamond has the natural effect of making a finger appear long and slender. The length to width ratios which maximise the beauty of this stone are generally between 1.71 and 2.23.

Asscher

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This beautiful shape is simply a square version of the emerald shape with regular “steps” leading up to a rectangular plateau in the centre of the stone. In simple terms, the asscher shape is a square version of the emerald shape. Because it has a large flat central plateau, customers need to be careful and choose a higher clarity grade to ensure that inclusions do not spoil the appearance of the rock. When buying an asscher shape you should ask to see its certificate, showing the extent of its inclusions. The classic asscher cut shape has a length to width ratio of between 1 and 1.06.

Radiant

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The radiant shape is similar to the princess shape but without corners. This diamond shape has been a popular choice for celebrities recently due to the natural fire and sparkle of the diamond. The radiant shape, whilst appearing to be square, is not uniformly so. The radiant shape diamond can be either square or slightly rectangular in appearance. A square shaped radiant diamond has width ratios of 1-1.05 whilst rectangular shapes have ratios of 1.10 plus. Preference for the square or the rectangular shape is purely a matter of individual taste.

Heart

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The heart shaped diamond perfectly conveys feelings of love and happiness. The shape is generally used in ‘occasion’ pieces of jewellery , an anniversary or Valentine’s day for example, rather than being part of an engagement ring. The length to width ratio of the heart shape is important – the best length to width ratio is between 0.89 and 1.12.

 

Certification

When choosing a diamond you really need to take into account the certification of the diamond and which institute it has been graded by.

There are many institutes such as IGI, HRG, EGL and AGS however it is GIA (The Gemmological Institute of America) who have set the worldwide standards in diamond grading since 1931. GIA was the first of its kind and today stillexcels the other institutes in diamond grading. For example, when GIA grades a diamond as a D then the diamond is a D, when other institutes grade a D colour GIA may not consider the diamond a D as it may not be up to the right standard as the GIA. This also stands with the other 4c’s so it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the 4c’s prior to purchasing a diamond.

All diamonds at Dubai Rocks are only GIA certified diamonds, this is so we can ensure we’re giving our customers the very best according to international standards set by GIA.

 

Cut

The cut of a diamond has the single biggest impact on the overall beauty of the diamond and is, therefore, considered to be the most important aspect of the selection process. The better the cut the more the diamond sparkles (the greater the brilliance). Customers should try to maximise the cut specification selection within their own budget.

Please remember:

  • The cut has the largest impact on the brilliance (sparkle) of a diamond
  • The cut has the biggest impact on the beauty of a diamond
  • The cut is considered to be the most important characteristic of a diamond
  • The Dubai Rocks gemologist team recommend putting “cut” as the most important variable in the selection process
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The diagram below demonstrates how the cut influences the sparkle (brilliance) of the diamond by differential rates of light refection in the rock

The Excellent cut sparkles more than a Deep cut as the angles of the stone refract the light in such a way that it rebounds, energised, out of the stone and sparkles with brilliance and fire. Cuts which are too Shallow or Deep still sparkle. The efficiency of the refraction, however, is not as efficient as that in an Excellent cut and some sparkle is lost.

The cut grades are as follows:

  • Excellent cut
  • Very Good cut
  • Good cut
  • Fair cut
  • Poor cut

Excellent cut

The Excellent cut accounts for approximately the top 5% of all diamonds using the ‘cut’ as the parameter for quality. If you refer back to the ‘cut’ diagram you can see how rocks with an excellent cut maximise the refraction of light back out of the stone on a vertical axis, ensuring the diamond’s brilliance and sparkle. A diamond with an Excellent cut is beautiful, rare, and priced at a premium.

Very Good (VG) cut

Diamonds with a Very Good cut account for approximately 20% of all diamonds using the ‘cut’ as the parameter for quality. Diamonds with a Very Good cut refract almost as much light as a diamond with an Excellent cut. The difference between an Excellent cut and Very Good cut is barely visible to the naked eye. Whilst you still pay a premium for VG rocks there is a significant difference between ‘Ideal’ and ‘Very Good’ from a pricing point of view. With a Very Good cut you get almost exactly the same brilliance as an Excellent cut but for much less. This is an important factor to consider whilst trying to maximise your value for money.

Good cut

Diamonds with a ‘Good’ cut account for approximately 30% of all diamonds using the ‘cut’ as the parameter for quality. Diamonds with a Good cut refract most of the light entering a diamond, ensuring a superb level of brilliance and a strong sparkle. A diamond with a Good cut represents amazing value as it is significantly less expensive when compared to a ‘Very Good’ cut.

Fair cut

Diamonds with a ‘Fair’ cut account for approximately 35% of all diamonds using the ‘cut’ as the parameter for quality. Diamonds with a Fair cut refract a good portion of the light entering a diamond ensuring a consistent level of brilliance and a firm sparkle. The difference in brilliance between a fair cut and a good cut is not necessarily visible to the naked eye. The difference between a fair cut and a Very Good cut would be visible to the naked eye. A fair cut represents excellent value.

Poor cut

To ensure maximum levels of customer satisfaction Dubai Rocks does not sell diamonds with a Poor cut classification. Dubai Rocks Brilliant Recommendations. Dubai Rocks has put together some selection parameters which demonstrate excellent value for money within a variety of budgets. Our selection recommendations are sensitive to the budget and 4C’s selection criteria:
 

Carat

Weight in Carats

Width in MM

Carat is the most commonly referred to of the 4C’s, since it relates to the weight of the diamond. Generally speaking the weight of the diamond is directly linked to the size of the rock…..so yes, size does matter!

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Whatever anyone says, human instinct places a huge emphasis on size. This is reflected in the pricing of diamonds. The price of a 1ct rock is approximately 30-40% more expensive than a 0.9 ct rock, even though the naked eye will not be able to easily differentiate between the two rocks. The premium reflects the customer’s desire for 1ct diamonds – they are a status symbol and have a wow factor!

There are 100 points in a carat. “Points” are sometimes referred to as cents.

Like everything in life, biggest is not always best! Here are some important considerations which merit attention when searching for your perfect diamond:

  • A heavier diamond does not necessarily look larger when viewed from the above
  • Ct needs to be carefully balanced with ‘cut’ when selecting a rock
  • A smaller ct with a better cut often looks bigger due to the added brilliance and sparkle
  • Sometimes it’s better to leave the carat selection until after you have selected your desired ‘cut’
  • The price of diamonds jump with every additional 50 points in carat even though small differences in weight are almost impossible to detect
important considerations:
  • If your partner has small fingers, the diamond will appear to be larger!
  • Find out what you partner wants from a size-wise
  • Consider whether you want the ring to have side stones or infinity style diamonds
  • If size really matters, you might consider reducing the specification of other 4C elements such as colour and clarity
 

Colour

DEF

Colorless

GHIJ

Near Colorless

KLM

Faint Yellow

NOPQR

Very Light Yellow

STUVWXYZ

Light Yellow

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The diamond colour scale starts at D (there is no reason for this – it should really start at ‘A’!). D colour is actually ‘colourless’ and is the most valuable colour within the grading system. The further down the colour scale you go, the more colour is inherent in the rock and the less value there is attributed to the rock. D is the ultimate colour whilst Z is the lowest in the scale. The colour scale diagram below demonstrates the scale.

To ensure the continuous satisfaction of our customers (a diamond is for life after all!) Dubai Rocks only stocks diamonds J colour or better.

It is widely considered that colour is the second most important criteria in the diamond selection process. Having said this, even though E and F are down further down the scale than the D colour, once a diamond of this colour is set in a ring, it is not really noticeable to the naked eye.

It is important to consider the following factors when choosing your colour criteria:

  • The larger the rock the more important colour becomes
  • Once set in a ring the naked eye would find it difficult to distinguish between an F and a D colour.
  • Whilst an F and a D may look the same they certainly don’t cost the same!
  • D - Absolutely colourless. The highest colour grade. Extremely rare.
  • F – E – Almost colourless. Minute traces of colour can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.
  • H – G - Near-colourless. Colour difficult to detect unless compared side-by-side against diamonds of better grades. Excellent value.
  • J-I - Near-colourless. Good value with slightly detectable warmth or tone.
 

Clarity

The 'clarity' of the diamond is a measure of the tiny Imperfections (inclusions) which are Contained within the rock. Such Imperfections are tiny specs of carbon fragrwent which remain from the diamond formation process. Simply put, the fewer the number of imperfecfions, the higher the price a diamond commands. Dubai Rocks clarity standard ensures that the clarity of all at our rocks is within a good range.

Points to remember:

  • The clarity of a diamond has the least impact on a diamond's, brilliance
  • Most imperfections are not visible to the naked eye when the diamond is set in a ring
  • Clarity is less important (visible) in round shaped rocks, Whilst it is more important (visible) in emerald shaped rocks
  • In order to maximise the value of a purchase, a customer will often decrease the clarity of the rock, since this has the least impact on the diamond's, appearance, brilliance. fire and sparkle.

FL, IF - Flawless,
Internally

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Flawless: No internal or external imperfections. Internal Flawless: No internal imperfections. These rocks are exceptionally rare and carry a high premium

VVS1, VVS2 - very,
Very Slightly Included

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Very defficult to see imperfections under 10k magnification. A very high quality diamond. VVS2 has slightly more inclusions than VVS1.

s

VS1, VS2

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Very Slightly Included: Imperfetions are not typically visible to the unaided eye. The VS range is less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades and represents good value. VS2 has slightly fewer inclusions that VS1.

SI1, SI2

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Slightly included: imperfections are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible to the unaided eye. The SI clarity range offers exceplionally good value for money, particularly in a round stone, since once the diamond is set into a ring the inclusions are often invisible to the naked eye.

I1, I2,I3

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These stones fall outside of the Dubai Rocks quality guidelines - Dubai Rocks does not stock these stones.

How do I select a clarity that maximises value for my money?

Selecting the correct clarity largely depends on your budget, your shape preference and your clarity preference. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Dubai Rocks offers the following guidelines to help you with your selection process:

  • Try to select a diamond where the imperfections are not noticeable to the naked eye
  • Selecting a "round shape" diamond improves your ability to maximise value from your selection