While all diamonds are precious, those possessing the best combination of the FOUR Cs - cut, clarity, carat weight and colour - are the earth's rarest and most valuable.
At Townsend, all our loose diamonds are sourced from the top 25% of the world’s production of gem quality stones. And our very finest diamonds are in the top 1% of the world’s production.
Our in-house experts categorise our diamonds based on the quality and rarity combinations that nature and expert gem cutters provide.
Buying your diamond from Townsend’s means that its quality and value are guaranteed. That’s because our stones are graded according to internationally recognised standards. We don’t create our own grading classifications like some national chains of jewellers.
The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), the No. 1 gem-testing laboratory in the world, certifies most of the diamonds we sell. This certificate guarantees you that your diamond is independently recognised as possessing all the qualities specified in this report – unique to each diamond.
The best colour for a diamond is no colour at all. The absolute finest colourless stone carries a D rating, descending through each letter of the alphabet to Z, designating a diamond of light yellow, brown or grey.
Colour differences are very subtle and it is very difficult to see the difference between, say, an E and an F. Therefore, colours are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy.
Other rare diamonds with a pure colour, such as pinks, blues or greens, are also valuable and are known as ‘Fancies’. There is a separate colour grading system for fancy-coloured stones. This grading system takes into consideration various factors such as hue and saturation. Coloured diamonds are exceptionally rare and exceptionally expensive.
A diamond, more so than any other gemstone, has the ability to produce the maximum amount of lustre. But most diamonds contain tiny natural marks called inclusions. The number of inclusions, their size and location all affect the diamond’s clarity grade.
One that is free of interior inclusions or exterior flaws has nothing to interfere with the passage of light through the stone and as such, is of the highest quality. These stones are very rare.
While it is true that the clearer a diamond is, the better, minor inclusions will not diminish a stone’s beauty or endanger its durability.
No matter where you purchase your diamond, one of your most important considerations should be the cut and proportioning of your stone.
It is the cut that enables a diamond o make the best use of light. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is refracted internally from one facet to another before being dispersed through the top of the stone, giving that all-important sparkle and fire.
If the cut is too deep, some light will escape through the opposite side of the pavilion, too shallow ad the light will escape through the pavilion before it can be refracted. A master cutter ensures full light dispersion, maximising the beauty of the stone.
Different shapes of stones can have different effects when looking into the top of the stone. A Round Brilliant cut diamond for example has an intense sparkle to it, where as an emerald cut has a little bit more of a lined look to the reflections, due to the long flat cut sides.
The size of a diamond is measured in carat-weight. One carat is divided into 100 ‘points’, so that a diamond of 75 points, weighs 0.75 of a carat.
While carat-weight is the most obvious factor when assessing the value of a diamond, two diamonds of equal size can have very unequal values, depending on cut, clarity or colour.
So, bigger isn’t necessarily better! Diamonds of the finest quality can be found in all size ranges. Though, a diamond of one carat will be worth more and cost more than two diamonds of 0.50 ct each, as it’s a single stone and bigger.
Many high-street jewellers use their own colour-grading systems rather than the recognised industry standards. But why do they reinvent the wheel if not to confuse people? Townsend’s only use the GIA’s internationally recognised grading system, so our diamonds’ clarity is guaranteed. Any of our diamonds that don't have a GIA certificate, have been independently graded to the same quality and standards that the GIA use.
Clarity is what most untrained jewellers will advise you to look at when buying a diamond, because it is the easiest of the FOUR Cs to demonstrate. Anyone can put a diamond under a microscope and see if it has inclusions or marks.
But contrary to popular belief, higher clarity does not always mean more beautiful. If the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, a higher clarity does not improve the appearance of a diamond. Colour and cut both have a greater part to play in its beauty.
Any diamond of a grade SI2 and up is "eye clean", meaning that you need magnification to see any inclusion. So, a perfectly cut diamond of D colour and SI2 clarity will look just the same to everyone around you as a perfectly cut diamond of D colour VS1. We can help you make an informed decision about the clarity of the diamond you are buying.
Townsend’s don’t just sell on colour and clarity, as many jewellers do. Cut and proportion are what makes a diamond special. We source diamonds of the finest cut available and can show you the difference perfect cut and proportion makes to your diamond.
Let's face it, a diamond is meant to be flashy. The difference between a diamond that is flawless and colourless, and costs a lot, but looks dull and dead, and a bright, sparkly diamond is how well the diamond has been cut and proportioned.
Poor cut stones are cheaper. Stones cut to perfect proportions, with perfect symmetry and polish will be more expensive - and they will look more expensive! So when you shop at Townsend we can tell you about all FOUR Cs – not just clarity and colour. We’ll tell you and show you the difference.
We know that some customers want the extra ‘Wow’ factor a larger carat diamond provides. By cleverly balancing the many combinations of the all the four Cs, our experts can find you a larger diamond that represents excellent value for money, but does not compromise on the quality of the stone.