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Archive for October 2014

Diamond Education – The 4 C’s – CLARITY IN DIAMONDS

Posted in: Diamond Education, Jewellery Tips

Diamond clarity refers to the level of natural inclusions or blemishes in a diamond. The clarity scale ranges from internally flawless to heavily included. Only about 1 % of gem quality diamonds are flawless, the other 99% have some level of inclusions or blemishes. Clarity grades are reported on all diamond certificates. Clarity grades can influence the price of engagement rings and diamonds significantly.


After flawless, you have very very slight inclusions, VVS1 and VVS2, inclusions in these stones will never to seen with the naked eye and are very difficult to see even with magnification.

You then have the next level, very slight inclusions, VS1 and VS2, once again you will not see inclusions with the naked eye but under magnification it becomes easier to see inclusions but still difficult to find them. Be careful as some diamond shapes may have visible inclusions at VS2 levels, Emerald Cut Diamonds have less facets and therefore are easier to look into, so always check for visible inclusions with this diamond shape. Always ask jewellers if the stone is eye clean I.e. no visible inclusions with the naked eye. You may not notice the day you buy your engagement ring, but if there is a visible inclusion you will notice one day and once you see it and know where it is, you will notice it for ever more!

The next level on the clarity scale is slight inclusions, SI1, SI2 and S13. This is where you can get the best value for money when buying engagement rings in Ireland or abroad. Slightly included diamonds are still eye clean but easier to see inclusions under magnification. Most jewellers in Ireland recommend SI clarity stones.

Included clarity is next on the scale, I1, I2 and I3. These stones will have visible inclusions, tiny little black or white marks on the diamond that you will easily see with the naked eye. Prices for engagement rings with visible inclusions cost alot less than eye clean stones. Be careful with inclusions located at the sides of stones as these can weaken the structure of the diamond and may cause the diamond to crack or chip if the diamond is knocked against a hard surface. Or indeed when the diamond is being set in an engagement ring, the jeweller may damage the diamond if there are large inclusions close to the claws.

Reputable jewellers in Ireland will always advise you when you are buying your diamond jewellery as to the clarity of the diamonds. Check Voltaire Diamonds’ website

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What is a Diamond Certificate and what does in contain?

Posted in: Diamond Education, Engagement Rings

A Diamond Certificate is a “blueprint” of “fingerprint” of a diamond,
it provides all details about the diamond you are purchasing. No two
diamonds have the same characteristics. This certificate is an
independent evaluation by a third party.

A Diamond Certificate contains the following information about the Diamond:

1) Certification Body

2) Shape of Diamond

3) Date of Issue

4) Dimensions of the Stone in mm

5) Carat Weight

6) Colour Grade

7) Clarity  Grade

8) Cut Grade

9) Fluorescence

10) Polish & Symmetry Grades

Diamond CertificateThere are several Certification Bodies, GIA, HRD, IGI, EGL, AGS, DGL,
etc. All bodies have different grading standards and prices can vary
depending on who certifies.

Bear in mind that an appraisal is completely different from a
certificate. If there is a monetary value on the report, this is an
appraisal and not a certificate. An appraisal is not independent
unless it is carried out by an independent valuation company.

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Top Tips When Shopping for Wedding Rings in Ireland

Posted in: Jewellery Tips

Rule Number 1 – always consider your wedding ring style when you are buying your engagement ring. I meet so many clients who did not realise they would need a shaped wedding ring when they were purchasing their engagement ring.

Your wedding ring should always complement your engagement ring, it should not take away from your engagement ring, so sometimes less is more!

wedding rings dublin

Match the metal quality of your wedding ring with your engagement ring. In Ireland, the gold used is 18 kt, however if you buy your engagement ring abroad it may be 14 kt gold. Always check with the diamond retailer what the carat of the gold used in your engagement ring is. If you mix metals, the stronger metal will wear away the weaker metal.

Palladium Wedding Rings – you can use a palladium wedding ring with a platinum engagement ring. Palladium is from the same family of metals as platinum, it is just as hard as platinum. Only real difference is palladium is 30% lighter than platinum. Palladium is also less than half the price of platinum.

Generally ladies will select a wedding ring the same width as her engagement ring or slightly wider. As I mentioned earlier, your wedding ring should compliment your engagement ring not take from it.

If your engagement ring has diamond set shoulders, try and match the setting styles in both rings. Most jewellers will recommend this. The most common diamond settings are pave set, channel set, grain set or scallop set. Also, try and match up where the diamonds finish on each shoulder.

Some clients also like diamonds on the walls / sides of he ring, consider having these diamonds on one side as you will not see the other side when wearing both rings.

Match the diamond quality on your wedding ring with those on your engagement ring. If the diamonds are colourless on your engagement ring, buy the same quality for your wedding ring. A good jeweller will advise you on this.

Try your wedding ring on without the engagement ring, how does it look? Bear in mind, several ladies will not wear their engagement ring when they have very young children in case the ring scratches the baby.

Plain wedding rings are also very popular. The price will be dictated by the number of grammes of metal in the ring. If you are on a budget, consider ring styles that are not too heavy/deep. So you could find that there are big differences in prices despite rings all being the same width, eg 2 mm wide.

Given that you will wear your wedding ring 7 days a week, buy quality. Be careful with rings that are very thin at the bottom, you may be saving money on less grammes of metal but over time the ring will go out of shape after small knocks etc.

Final Tip – once again, if it is too good to be true it probably is!

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