diamonds

DIAMONDS ESSEX

Bonds of Brentwood is at the forefront of the diamond and jewellery industries. With over 70 years of experience, our passionate team is dedicated to ensuring that you get the most out of your experience and products from us. We are the only place for Diamonds Essex.

So what do we do? We are an international diamond wholesaler and we source and distribute diamonds from all over the world. With strong ties to Israel we can offer you a fantastic variety of precious stones and metals and we pride ourselves on supplying our customers with exactly what they want.

Whether it is an original piece of jewellery you want, or if you want to alter something you already own, we are on hand to help you get the best out of your jewellery whilst still getting the special buying experience.

So be sure to look through our stock and find yourself something special, whether it’s for yourself, or for someone special.

Making sure you purchase a certified diamond is integral. A diamond certificate is issued following an unbiased and professional examination of a stone to ensure a stone is what it says it is.

The stones’ carat weight, clarity, colour and exact measurements are all validated and in reference to the Round shape, the cut grade is also checked.

The reason certificates are so important is because they provide written evidence that proves or testifies a stones value. However with smaller stones (0.30ct or below) certificates are not always necessary. But any stone that is above that weight must be bought with a certificate so that you know the exact grade and value of your purchase.

Diamond clarity relates to the way a stone looks. It involves judging how many internal characteristics, known as inclusions and and surface imperfections (blemishes) a stone has. Diamond clarity relates to the four ‘Cs’ of diamond grading, the others being carat, colour and cut. See the other sections for more information on the other ‘Cs’.

Inclusions can be anything from crystals from a foreign material or another diamond crystal. They can also be structural imperfections such as minuscule structural defects, that look white and cloudy.
Even though most inclusions within stones don’t effect the structural integrity and performance of a stone. Some especially large clouds, that change the clarity of the gem can hinder the diamonds ability to project the sparkly look we all love.

It is important to get the highest clarity you can afford because it deeply effects the overall performance of the stone on your chosen piece of jewellery.

The colour of a diamond is determined by the amount of impurities or structural defects there are within the stone and pure diamonds are perfectly transparent and colourless. The name given to coloured diamonds is ‘fancy colour diamonds’, like brown, yellow and pink to name just a few.

The way a colour is graded is by using a system involving the letter ‘D’ which refers to the purest colour grade and ‘Z’ which is more of a yellow/ brown colour. The grade of a stone is determined in laboratories, all over the world, for example GIA and EGL, who both certificate stones. See Certificate section.

Diamond cutting is the process in which a diamond is cut from the ground and changed into the faceted gems we all know and love. The cutting process requires specialised equipment and skills in order to get the most out of the roughs (a diamonds original form) which is mined for, all over the world.

Diamond cutting is concentrated in a few cities around the world with Antwerp, Belgium handling over 80% of rough diamonds, and other important cities, including New York City, Tel Aviv and Gujarat in India.

When someone refers to a diamond’s cut it can mean two things, either it is the term used to describe the shape of a diamond i.e Oval, Round, Princess, see the Diamond shape section. Or it means the quality of cut within the shape of a stone. The quality of a diamonds cut will directly reflect on the overall price of a stone. The better the cut,the higher the price.

Because diamonds are one of natures hardest materials, specialised tools must be used to ensure the highest quality is obtained from the cut.

The Diamond Cutting Process
Planning

At the beginning of the cutting process, a rough is purchased and assessed on two factors. The first being, how much money can be made from its contents and the second being how a faceted gem can be cut from it. The inclusions within the stone are photographed and assessed and cutters use computerised systems, known as OGI machines to pin point the maximum that can be taken from the rough.

Maximizing value

When it comes to a stones value, cutters rely on two market factors, one being the consideration of what is popular in contemporary markets, for example the Round cut is popular within the engagement ring market. The other being, assessing how much money can be made from the potential weight and size of a stone, which refers to the process of weight retention. Another factor that has to be considered is the natural attributes of the rough and how they contribute to the gems that are cut from it.

Weight retention

The weight retention process analyses the best combinations of finished stones that can extracted from the rough stone. This process directly relates to the ‘per carat’ value of each of the combinations. For example, cutters assess what combinations could make the highest return, whether that combination is just one large stone, or several small stones cut from the large that could have a combined higher price.

There are usually two main rough shapes, an octahedron or a mades. Rounds and Princess shapes are the preferred shape with octahedron roughs, whilst mades roughs are more likely to produce better fancy cuts due to the natural inclination of the rough’s shape.

Other factors are taken into consideration in the planning stages of stone cutting, including colour retention and how quickly a stone will sell.

ROUND BRILLIANT

Brilliant Round, also referred to as Round, is the most popular shape in today’s market. Over the past 100 years the shape has been developed in order to get maximum brilliance and fire from the cut by using complicated formulas and light technologies. In addition to being the most researched and popular diamond shape on the market, you can get a lot for your money because the natural beauty of the shape itself, outshines other significant elements that make a stone more expensive. See Diamond Colour and Clarity sections.

To ensure you get the most from the brilliance of your Round cut you should choose one that is in two highest cut grades, ideal or very good. You should also choose ideal, very good or excellent polish and symmetry grades.

PRINCESS

The Princess cut is the second most popular cut, after the Round, and is also beautiful choice to be used on engagement rings. They are either square or rectangle shaped and even though they’re don’t have as much brilliance as the Round, they are classical and sophisticated alternative.

The style of the cut is classic and relatively new having found its way on to the market in the 1960’s. In recent years it has become the popular, less expensive alternative to the Round because when it’s cut, it retains roughly 80% of the rough diamond, whilst Round’s retain a much smaller 50%.

CUSHION

Like the Princess cut,the Cushion cut is a square or rectangle shape. However unlike the Princess the corners of the stone are rounded, a bit like a cushion. The Cushion cut has a colourful history and resembles a cross between the Old Mine Cut, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, and a modern Oval cut. Although the cut isn’t as vibrant as more modern cuts, if you’re looking for a truly vintage and classical style, the Cushion cut is perfect.

The Cushion cut doesn’t usually fall below 1.10 carats and has developed as a shape over the years to such variations as the Cushion Modified Brilliant cut that boasts an extra row of facets on the pavilion that actually enhances the overall beauty of the stone.

OVAL

The Oval shape is a very young shape because it didn’t hit the market until the late 1950’s/ early 60’s. The shape was marketed as a variation on the Round and has often been described as having the same brilliance and fire as the Round, therefore making it a great alternative.

Oval shapes are also very popular within today’s market as there are lots of variations in their width and length. The Oval shape can cater to anyone’s needs and is perfect if you are looking for an individual shape that compliments your own unique style.

Like the Pear and Marquise cuts, Oval shapes can fall victim to the ‘bow-tie’ effect, which is a dark shadow usually found at the centre of a stone, which is caused by different light behaviours. However, this is quite an obvious imperfection and can be easily detected in different lights and from different angles.

RADIANT

This shape does exactly what it says on the tin. If you love the radiance of a Round and the traditional style of the Emerald cut, the Radiant cut will be exactly what you’re looking for. Trimmed corners are what sets this cut a part from the others and this is what makes this particular shape so popular.

There is no rule when it comes to the measured lengths and widths of Radiant shapes, so when you’re shopping be sure to pin point whether you want your radiant to be more of a square or a rectangle.

Radiant shapes are very popular for engagement rings at the moment, but they must have a minimum of a four pronged setting so when you start looking keep that in mind.

HEART SHAPED

What better way to tell someone you love them than with a diamond shaped like a heart. Although this is the rarest stone to find online because of its unique nature, this diamond shape could be a beautiful tribute to someone you love on Valentines Day.

It is important with the heart shape that you get highest colour grade you can afford because sometimes the colour can be obvious on the corners of the shape. Also, the diamond cutter must be highly skilled in order to produce the perfect shape for your jewellery.

ASSCHER SHAPED

The Asscher shaped diamond cut was first produced in 1902 by the Ashcer brothers of Holland. They peaked in popularity in the roaring 20’s but lacked demand until 2002 where they made a glittering come back within the engagement ring industry.

It’s almost identical to the Emerald cut, except it’s square. It’s almost octagonal outline enhances the brilliance of the stone in comparison to other shapes within the fancy shaped family and makes for a very unique addition to any piece of jewellery.

PEAR SHAPE CUT

The Pear shape is one of many fancy cuts that are extremely popular within the industry, especially for diamond jewellery. It unique shape makes it perfect for earrings and pendants.

The shape of the stone, which can also be known as the ‘Tear drop’, is a combination of the Round and Marquise Brilliant cuts and usually has a facet brilliant pattern.

The most famous of the Pear Shape cut diamonds is called the Sun-drop diamond. This stone was found within a Kimberlite pipe in South Africa in 2010. And what makes it even more interesting, when the stone was tested they found the diamond was formed between 1 to 3 billion years ago.

MARQUISE

The name of the Marquise shape derives from the Marquise de Pompadour, who was a Lady of the French Court and official mistress to King Louis XV. The King had the shape specially designed to resemble her perfectly formed mouth.

The Marquise shape has one of the largest crowned surfaces of any diamond shape, carat to carat. However they can suffer from the ‘bow-tie’ effect, which is common amongst Pear and Oval cuts. These shadows are created by a shadow cast by the light shining through the diamond.

When used in a ring the Marquise shape is especially known for flattering the finger by elongating the look of it.

The colour of a diamond is determined by the amount of impurities or structural defects there are within the stone and pure diamonds are perfectly transparent and colourless. The name given to coloured diamonds is ‘fancy colour diamonds’, like brown, yellow and pink to name just a few.

The way a colour is graded is by using a system involving the letter ‘D’ which refers to the purest colour grade and ‘Z’ which is more of a yellow/ brown colour. The grade of a stone is determined in laboratories, all over the world, for example GIA and EGL, who both certificate stones. See Certificate section.

Diamond Colours

White, Steel Grey, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Brown, Red, Green, Black & Pink

The more traditionally known white diamond is graded differently in comparison to other colours. Because the colour is so popular it’s graded separately in order to determine how colourless a stone is. D is the highest grade and Z is the lowest, both grades are extremely rare.

White Diamond Colour Grading

D
Absolutely colourless: The highest colour grade where there’s absolutely no colour present within the stone. This colour grade is extremely rare.

E-F
Colourless: Some tiny traces of colour can be identified by an expert. This stone is still very rare.

G-H
Near-colourless: The traces of colour are difficult to detect unless the stone is placed side by side next to another stone of a better grade. This stone is fantastic value.

I-J
Near-colourless:Some traces of warmth and tone but is still brilliant value.

K-M
Noticeable Colour: Visibly noticeable colour.

N-Z
Noticeable Colour: Visibly noticeable colour.