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Our guide to Diamonds

Because buying a diamond is always something special and an important financial purchase, we at Nicholas Diamonds are dedicated to give you the best advice possible and guide you to your perfect match.
At Nicholas Diamonds we serve clients over 3 generations with always the same quest for client satisfaction. You will find here some information to guide you and give you some information before you make a first choice.
Nicholas Diamonds only offers non manipulated certified natural diamonds from GIA or other major labs so we can guarantee the quality and the origin of all our diamonds.


The 5C

Why are the 5Cs - Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat and Certification - important to you?
The 5Cs are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the highest 5C ratings are rarer and consequently more valuable.
Light is the element which ignites a diamond's brilliance and fire. The interplay with each of the 5Cs will help explain why one diamond can appear more beautiful than another. The good news is that you don't need to buy the rarest diamond to find one that speaks to you.


A diamond’s cut is one of the most important (and visual) aspects to consider when grading a diamond, as it directly determines the diamond’s fire, brilliance and scintillation. Often confused with a diamond’s shape (round, princess, emerald, cushion, etc.); the cut of a diamond refers to how well the diamond has been cut and polished, regardless of its final shape.
While high grades of color, clarity, and carat weight also contribute to a diamond's appeal, it's the cut that determines the symmetry of the stone's facets, its overall proportions, and its ability to reflect light. An expertly cut diamond will achieve high levels of brilliance, sparkle, and durability. Even if a diamond is graded well in other areas, a poor cut can result in a dull, muted effect.
For the best results, proportions of its facets, symmetry, the relationship of its weight to its diameter, girdle thickness, and quality of its polish have to come together in just the right way.
Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately value.



The Shape

Shape is an important consideration when buying a diamond as it directly influences price. Round diamonds, the most popular diamond shape, tend to be priced higher than other shapes (referred to as fancy shapes) because of market demand, increased manufacturing costs, and their incredible brilliance.

Fancy shaped diamonds include all diamonds other than round.

Buying Tips:





The GIA diamond color scale is the leading industry standard of diamond color grading. Before this was the standard, other color grading scales used A, B and C, so GIA started their scale at D to avoid confusion.

There are six categories on the GIA diamond chart, with color grades that range from absolutely colorless to light in color. Diamonds rated D are the most devoid of color and very rare (1%), whereas G color diamonds and H color diamonds are near colorless, and since they’re priced lower they are excellent value diamonds. The more you move down the color chart, the lower the color grade is, and the more noticeable the light yellow hue become

In addition to the D – Z colour scale, natural fancy colour diamonds such as deep yellows, pinks, greens and blues lie outside the white diamond colour range and are extremely rare and valuable. See our Guide to fancy Diamonds here

Diamond Color Buying Tips

If you're looking to buy fine diamond jewelry such as an engagement ring, it's important to understand how diamond color affects price. Here are a few buying tips and things to know about diamond color.

Diamond Color is The Second Most Important Factor : When it comes to diamonds, less color means higher quality. While brilliance is the first thing you notice about a diamond, color is the second. The higher the color grade, the less color there is, and the more expensive it will be.

Near Colorless Diamonds are the Best Value : For the best value, choose G-J diamond color grades in the Near Colorless category. With these diamonds, the naked eye can’t discern any color. The visible difference between diamonds of one color grade (G-H or I-J) is so minor it's difficult to detect with the unaided eye, but the cost savings can be significant. Keep this in mind when choosing your diamond color grade. In general, to avoid a pale yellow color, choose a diamond grade H or higher. For the purist, look for a D to F grade colorless diamond, which will have no discernible color under magnification.

Diamond Shape, Size and Ring Metals Matter : Diamond shape, size and your ring’s metal setting can visually impact diamond color. Ring Setting — Pairing diamonds with similar toned metals can neutralize color in the diamond. Consider setting higher color grade diamonds like Near Colorless diamonds (G-J) in yellow gold and Colorless diamonds (D-F) in white gold or platinum. A gold setting may show through a colorless diamond. Diamond Shape — Some diamond shapes may show or mask color to varying degrees. For example, brilliant-cut shapes such as round and princess reflect more light, which means more color is masked. Step-cut diamonds (emerald and Asscher cuts) may show more color because they are cut with fewer facets, resulting in bigger "windows" through which to see the color.

Fancy shaped diamonds, like pear and marquise may also show slightly more concentrated color at their points.

Diamond Size — Color is easier to see in larger diamonds. If you want a diamond above 1 carat, choose a G or H colored diamond. I-J color diamonds are best when just under a carat.




Just as a diamond’s color is graded on the absence of color, the diamond’s clarity is graded on the absence of inclusions and blemishes.

Inclusions are natural identify characteristics such as minerals or fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like crystals, clouds or feathers. They are nature’s fingerprint and give each diamond its unique character. 

To view inclusions, jewelers use a magnifying loupe. This tool allows jewelers to see a diamond at 10x its actual size. In 1953, Richard T. Liddicoat and colleagues established the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond grading system and clarity scale. The GIA diamond grading scale is divided into six categories and eleven diamond clarity grades.

Even with a loupe, inclusions in the VVS (Very,Very Slightly Included to VS (Very Slightly Included) range can be difficult to find.

Blemishes refer to imperfections that occur on the surface of the diamond as a result of the cutting and polishing process.

Though inclusions have a negative effect on the value of diamonds, there are two positive aspects of their existence:

    Inclusions give diamonds their unique characteristics. Diamonds are produced by nature, and like all things in nature, imperfections are common, and sometimes even welcomed. Just like each snowflake is unique, there are no two diamonds on Earth that are exactly the same. Inclusions contribute to a diamond’s individuality and are often helpful in identifying a gem. They also provide scientists and gemologists with valuable information about how a diamond was formed.

    Inclusions can also help a gemologist to separate a real diamond from an imitation. It can be difficult to separate a flawless diamond from an imitation diamond, but when natural inclusions are present, it indicates the authenticity of the stone’s origin.

Buying Tips

In the market for an engagement ring or fine diamond jewelry? Here are a few things you should know about what diamond clarity means when it comes to diamond quality and how different clarity grades affect price.

All Diamonds Are Imperfect: Because they’re made underground, most diamonds have small inclusions and blemishes. When referring to inclusions, diamond experts often use the term “internal characteristics” instead. Internal characteristics of natural diamonds are what gives the diamond its character and uniqueness.

VS Diamonds and SI Diamonds are the Best Value: For the best value, select a diamond with inclusions that can’t be seen through the crown without magnification (also known as eye-clean diamonds), such as an SI or VS clarity grade. These diamonds are much less expensive than the extremely rare Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds.

When diamonds are graded, they are magnified 10x. The clarity grade of a diamond is based on the most noticeable inclusions when magnified by 10x. Any inclusions or characteristics that don’t get factored into the grade may still be noted on what’s called a diamond plot chart.




The term carat originates from the seed of the carob tree. In ancient times, before scales and units of mass were invented, diamond traders compared the weight of a diamond to the seeds of the carob tree. Each carob seed had a uniform weight, equal to 0.20 grams or 200 milligrams and hence determined the weight of the diamond. The carat metric was officially adopted by the United States in 1913, with other nations soon following suit. Today, the carat is a universal metric measure, with all nations adhering to the exact same measurement. That means that when you purchase a diamond, it will have the same carat weight everywhere in the world.

Carat is the standard unit of weight used for gemstones. 1 carat = 0.2 grams, or 200 milligrams. The higher the carat, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. Just as currency is divided into smaller units, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, half of a carat will weigh 0.50 carat (ct). A quarter of a carat will weigh 0.25 carats (ct), and so on

Does size matter? Large diamonds are rarely found in nature so they are more valuable than smaller diamonds of the same colour and clarity. This means that the price of a diamond will increase exponentially as the carat size of the diamond increases. Diamonds of one carat or larger are so rare that they represent only 1% of all the diamonds mined worldwide.

However, big does not necessarily equal better. While the size of a diamond has the greatest influence on the price, the cut, colour and clarity will affect a diamond’s brilliance and beauty. A diamond with a large carat weight, but with a low colour, cut and clarity grading could, for example, be more less valuable than a diamond of lower carat weight, but with exceptional colour and clarity.


Similarly, two diamonds of equal carat weight could vary significantly in price if one were to have a higher cut, clarity or colour grading.

Though the carat weight of a diamond gives an indication of its size, weight and size should not be confused with one another: The size of a diamond is also dependent on its cut and shape. It is quite possible for two diamonds of the same carat weight to appear to be different sizes. Each individual diamond’s proportions (such as the table and depth percentages) must be considered to determine its size. A shallow diamond with a wide table may appear larger than a diamond with a deeper cut, and a narrower table, yet they may have an equal carat weight. An elongated shape such as a Marquise tends to maximize carat weight, as it makes the stone appear larger than that of a traditional round shape of a diamond of equal weight.

When selecting a diamond size for an engagement ring, it is important to take the wearer’s ring finger into consideration. A long, slender ring finger will make a diamond appear larger, while a shorter finger could make it appear smaller. Similarly, the diamond’s setting can also have an impact on the appearance of the diamond’s size. A delicate setting tends to enhance a diamond’s size and prominence, while a bulkier setting could make the diamond appear smaller. Whilst it is important to take these factors into consideration when selecting a diamond size, one must remember that they only have an effect on the appearance of the size of the diamond; they do not alter the carat weight in any way.

Buying Tips

    Carat is the most misunderstood of the 5Cs. It actually refers to a diamond's weight, not the diamond’s size.

    Consider cut and carat together; a larger carat diamond with a poor cut grade can appear smaller than a smaller diamond with a higher cut grade.

    To maximize your budget, "Buy Shy," which means selecting a carat weight slightly below the whole and half carat marks. For example, instead of a 2.0-carat diamond, consider buying a 1.9-carat weight. This will save a considerable amount of money and the slight size difference will never be noticed.




Diamond Certification (most commonly from labs GIA, HRD, IGI,  and GSI) is a document you receive from an objective 3rd party lab that describes a diamond in all of its characteristics.

Along with each diamond you’re considering, you should receive and review its lab certification. This lab report or certificate will be issued by a grading entity and describes various elements of the diamond, such as Color, Clarity, length and width. Trained professionals evaluate, scrutinize and measure the diamonds using professional tools, such as a loupe or microscope.

Because diamond certificates are not created equal, the price and value of diamonds are not comparable across varying certifications. Ensure that you purchase a diamond with a certificate from a highly reputable grading entity—and that you review the diamond closely before purchase. A Diamond Certificate provides a good way to objectively compare the unique physical properties of a diamond, but the numbers can't describe a diamond's mysterious and captivating beauty. The Diamond Certificate should only be a small part of your choice. There is no certificate that will explain why she loves one ring more than another.

Buying Tips

Always ask to see a certificate from one of the major lab when considering buying a stone, not a certificate from a dealer or reseller.

Nicholas Diamonds only sells certified diamonds by the major labs