A Guide to Diamonds

Being an antique and modern jewellers we have a wide variety of Diamonds some of which are over 150 years old. Below are just a few of the cuts of diamonds we stock:

Old mine cut:
The old mine cut Diamond is circular/ cushion shaped with a variety of facet structures. The Diamond has been hand cut without the use of machinery and each Diamond is individual. From the 18th century to the 19th century, the old mine cut was the most common Diamond cut available. It is recognisable as an old mine cut diamond by its squarish shape: it has 58 facets (like a round brilliant cut).  
Old Mine Cut

Round brilliant cut:
The brilliant cut Diamond is round in shape with a facet structure that interacts with the light. It is one of the most popular cuts of diamond and has a white light reflection known as ‘brilliance’. It features 58 facets.

Round Brilliant
Marquise cut:
The Marquise cut Diamond is elongated in shape with a point on each end and is curved on each side. Due to how it is cut the Marquise cut Diamond can appear to be larger than other cut of Diamonds that are of the same carat weight.
Marquise Diamond

Emerald cut:
The emerald cut diamond is rectangular in shape with stair like step facets and a broad and flat table. The term 'emerald cut' has been used since the Art Deco period, before that it was known as a 'table cut'.

Princess cut:
The princess cut diamond is square in shape with four bevelled sides. It is known for its Pyramidal shape that reflects the light. The princess cut is known as a ‘square modified brilliant cut’ Diamond on certificates.
Princess Cut


Diamond Certification
Diamond Certification is a strict process where a Diamond will undergo a series of examinations by one or several different Gemological Institutes or laboratories. This will be carried out when a Diamond is loose as it cannot be examined once mounted.

Each Diamond will be given a full detailed report including the 4C’s -  clarity, cut, colour and carat weight. Other factors may also be included in the report such as the location of where the diamond was mined. 

The history of Diamond certification started in 1931 when the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was founded by Robert M Shipley. After many years as a jeweller he had noticed the industry was lacking standardisation and scientific background that other industries had. In the 1940s, Shipley began informally teaching about the 4 C’s of Diamond quality and jewellers began using this term. In 1953, the GIA formally created its Diamond grading system using the 4C’s and by 1955 the GIA presented its first Diamond grading report, which became the hallmark of grading reports in the Diamond industry.  Click here to read our guide on the 4 C's

There are many Diamond grading laboratories around the world all of which produce their own grading reports, however there are three which produce the most popular and common reports:

Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
The GIA is one of the most well known having graded some of the world’s most famous Diamonds. 

International Gemological Institute (IGI) 
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is also very well known, founded in 1975 its headquarters is based in Antwerp, however, they have offices all around the world. It is the largest independent Gemological laboratory worldwide. Each year they issue more reports for Diamond certification than any other laboratory or institute. 

European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) 
The European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) was established in 1974 and founded in Belgium. They are known for their complete diamond classifying reports and for issuing reports on loose polished diamonds. 

European Diamond Reports (EDR)
The European Diamond Reports (EDR) has a fully equipped diamond laboratory, located in Hatton Garden, London. The EDR Diamond Reporting Department issues quality reports for loose polished diamonds, describing the unique measurable features of a stone based on scientific grounds and according to international standards.