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The desirability and attraction towards diamonds is due to the unique physical and optical properties they possess. In their natural, uncut state, a handful of diamonds might resemble a handful of dull gravel. The role of the cutter in releasing a diamond's beauty therefore is highly important. Please find more details on this in our section on cut.

Physical properties
Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man. Their hardness is due to the way in which the carbon atoms bond to create its crystal structure. This allows a diamond to achieve a higher level of polish, which gives it greater lustre than any other gemstone. It also allows it to withstand abrasion. The fact that diamonds are so physically resilient makes them the perfect substance to use for industrial purposes, such as drilling.

Optical properties
When we describe the appearance of diamonds, we often refer to the high levels of 'brilliance' they display. This term describes the stunning effect of reflected light accompanied by a variety of colours that we see when a well-cut diamond catches the light.

The 4Cs - cut, colour, clarity and carat weight - are the characteristics that determine a diamond's rarity and value. They are the four basic criteria you should look at when considering your purchase. Understanding these will help you to realise why two diamonds of equal sizes are not always of equal value.

The quality of the cut is very important. It determines how well the diamond catches the light.

While most diamonds appear white, virtually all of them display barely-there tints of colour. The colour of a diamond is measured by the degree to which it approaches colourlessness.

Whilst a diamond is forming, tiny traces of minerals and gases may have become trapped inside. These are called "inclusions". The clarity grade of a diamond is determined by the presence, size and positioning of these inclusions.

Carat weight
The carat is a standard unit used to measure diamonds. One carat can also be referred to as 100 points. For example, if a stone is ½ carat, it can also be described as 50 points.

Which of the 4C's are most important?
The beauty and value of a diamond are dependent on a combination of all 4 factors. There is no straightforward answer to this question, as it comes down to a matter of personal taste. For many people size is the most important consideration and so they will buy the largest diamond they can afford. Others may feel more strongly about quality, and so are prepared to sacrifice some size so as to afford a stone of exceptional colour and clarity.

British hallmarks represent one of the earliest forms of consumer protection, dating back to over 6 centuries ago. Every piece of our jewellery is tested, examined and marked to give you peace of mind that your jewellery is, in fact, correct.
The standard hallmarks are:
750 (18ct) Meaning there are 750 parts of pure gold in every 1000.
375 (9ct) Meaning there are 375 parts of pure gold in every 1000.
585 (14ct) Meaning there are 585 parts of pure gold in every 1000.
850 (platinum) Contains 850 parts of platinum in every 1000.
950 (platinum) Contains 950 parts of platinum in every 1000.



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