C J Vinten Jewellers Leigh-on-Sea

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Born billions of years ago deep within the earth, diamond is the hardest natural substance known to man.

The shape you select is a matter or individual taste. However, the precision with which each diamond is cut and polished determines its brilliance, fire and ultimate beauty.

For most people, buying a diamond is a new experience, but that doesn't mean it should be overwhelming.

Understanding a diamond's quality characteristics is straightforward and simple.Every diamond is unique. At first glance two diamonds may appear to look similar, but each has its own individual characteristics that determine the value. These are known as the 4 C's.

The 4 C's


A diamond's clarity is determined by the degree to which it is free from naturally occuring inclusions, often called 'nature's fingerprints'.

The Number, type, colour, size and position of the internal birthmarks can affect a diamond's value. However, many are invisible to the naked eye requiring magnification under a standard 10x magnification loupe before they become apparent. The fewer inclusions, the rarer the stone.


Carat refers to weight and therefore the size of the diamond. One carat is divided into 100 points. Therefore, a diamond weighing 50 points is half a carat. Size is the most obvious factor in determining the value of a diamond. But two diamonds of equal size can have very different values, depending on their cut, clarity and colour.


While most diamonds appear white, many of them display hints of colour barely discernable to the naked eye. The closer a diamond approaches colourless, the rarer and more valuable the stone.

Diamonds with a strong pure colour are extremely rare and are called 'fancies'. Amongst them can be found pink, blue, yellow, green and orange.


Cut is the only diamond characteristic directly influenced by man - the other three are dictated by nature. A good round brilliant cut releases the life, fire and sparkle of a diamond through the arrangement and proportions of its 57 or 58 facets (tiny planes that create angles to reflect light).

When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light will reflect from one facet to another and disperse through the top of the stone, resulting in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose light that spills through the side or bottom.

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