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Making the Grade – Diamond Picking

Today I have locked myself away in my office upstairs here at Charles Nobel so that I can focus all of my time on picking out the next set of diamonds for our jewellery collections. You might wonder why we go to effort of picking out small groups of diamonds from large parcels of cut stones instead of buying everything pre-made from a manufacturer.

I’ll explain.

It’s simple really, we want to be able to offer our clients a range of products that aren’t always available elsewhere, that are competitively priced and offer our clients an outstanding balance between beauty and value. We have traded like this for 45 years and it is this attention to detail and knowledge base that have allowed us to offer expert and unrivalled advice and product knowledge. It also has our name on it and nothing is more important than meeting and surpassing our clients’ expectations for the Charles Nobel brand.

How do we pick out our diamonds?

As you can see from the picture, we often start with a large number of loose stones just to make up one five stone diamond ring and there are a number of stages to the process before choosing the final five!

1) Calibrating the size.

Each stone will be measured twice on a set of callipers so that we can ensure the millimetre sizes match each other and that they will ‘fill’ the setting of the mount perfectly. Only those stones that match and are the correct size for the mount will then make it to the next round of selection.

2) Colour grading.

Each parcel of stones will have a small spread of colour grades in them, so we group the stones in to the various ‘colours’ that we can identify within the group. This way we can check that when the stones are set they all look identical.

3) Clarity grading.

When we have narrowed the stones down based on the colour, we will then compare them based on the presence and location of natural inclusions within the diamonds themselves. We always endeavour to pick those stones with as few inclusions in them as possible and where they have no significant impact on the appearance of the finished item of jewellery.

4) Cut grading.

To my mind, this is the most important of all the stages in the selection of our diamonds. It is the cut of the diamond that produces the sparkle and brilliance that we see in the stones, and irrespective of the other qualities a poorly cut stone will always look dull and lifeless. We will only set stones that match, so we now grade them together based on their brilliance and the faceting of the stone.

Yes we are perfectionists, but only so we can give our clients excellent, quality jewellery at the very best value and price.

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