Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. The creation of the Diamond 4Cs meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.
Diamond is a naturally occurring form of carbon crystallized at extremely high temperature & pressure. In nature, diamonds were formed approximately 200 kilometres below the earths surface approximately 3500 million years ago just after the formation of the earth. Diamond is by far the hardest of all known natural substances.
The Cut Grade measures how the individual proportions combine to affect the beauty of a diamond. Diamonds with a high cut grade will have a high degree of brightness, fire (rainbow colours) & scintillation (sparkle). High cut grades include “Excellent”& “Good”, midrange includes “Fair” & low end includes “Poor”. A diamond’s proportions affect it’s light performance which in turn determines it’s overall appearance and beauty.
Diamonds are graded using the G.I.A & HRD colour grading scale (D-Z). Most diamonds are colourless to slightly yellow.
The highest grade is “D” or colourless/exceptional white and extends to “Z” or light yellow.
The GIA colour scale ranges from D to Z and represents how noticeable colour (usually a yellow or brown tone) is in a diamond.
Diamond weight is measured in carats and 100pts = 1 ct..
The carat refers to the weight of a diamond, which correlates very closely to a diamond’s size.
Most diamonds contain imperfections. The very best, & rarest, clarity is Flawless (FL). Because many inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, diamonds are graded under 10x magnification. Inclusions are a natural characteristic found in virtually all diamonds, the clarity grade reflects the impact of the inclusion on the appearance of a diamond.
Diamonds and Coloured Gems can be cut in various shapes. Fancy shape is the term given to non round shapes. Round Brilliants are by far the most popular shape, being the shape of a classic Diamond solitaire ring. Diamond shapes are loosely put into two groups, brilliant cut stones that are generally more scintillating due to more facets such as ovals and marquise shapes, and step cuts that tend to be a cleaner more modern look due to more geometric forms and less facets such as Emerald and Asscher cuts.
Whilst we work predominantly with natural diamonds and would always suggest if your budget allows that we look at an ethically sourced natural diamond first, Lab grown diamonds are a great cost-effective option to upsize to a larger stone, or have something made that you maybe wouldn’t normally splash out on.
The lab diamonds Filigree works with are certified and graded in the same way a natural diamond is and they are chemically identical to natural diamonds. The key difference is that natural diamonds are rare and finite – whereas lab grown diamonds are infinite. Advancement in technology is now simulating what takes place in nature over billions of years, in days and weeks. However, if you are looking for a beautiful, affordable piece of jewellery without concern for the long-term investment they offer a great alternative to a natural diamond.
When gemstones, both precious and semi-precious are being used within a design, it is important to evaluate their practicality in terms of wear. Knowing how durable a particular gemstone is will help you determine how and when to wear it, and most importantly – how to care for it.
The Mohs scale ranks gem and mineral hardness on a scale of 1 to 10 but hardness is only one factor in determining gem durability. Three factors need to be considered, Hardness, Toughness and Stability. Size and Shape are also important aspects in choosing suitability for a design as well as parameters for budget. Some stones come in particular shapes, being most suited to cutting from their natural crystalline structure. Colour is also particular to certain gemstones with some coming in a huge array of colours and others being singular in their hue.
Filigree has a huge array of gemstones in-store which our clients can view and be guided on their selection.
It is important to understand the metal used in creating your piece of jewellery as this will effect both the appearance and the wear long term. The type of metal selected for your jewellery depends on when it is to be worn, where it is on your body and also budget. The purer the metals in general the more expensive the cost. All the factors would be discussed in consultation with our experienced jewellery designers to ensure the right selection.
Gold jewellery is a mix of Gold and other metals, such as Silver and Copper. The actual Gold content is measured in Karats (K) or Carats (ct). This is just describing the proportion of pure Gold to the other metals in the material. 18ct Gold (75 percent pure Gold) is ideal for engagement rings as it wears well and is not too soft.
Yellow Gold is the alloy of pure Gold, Silver and Copper.
White Gold is the alloy of pure Gold and white metals such as Silver and Palladium. It is actually more grayish in colour and so is normally plated with Rhodium to give it a white look.
Rose Gold is the alloy of pure Gold and a high proportion of Copper.
Platinum is the rarest and most expensive of the metals, it is very durable, will never tarnish. Making this an ideal material for Settings for Stones being proud on the ring and finer in detail, assuring better wear.
Is a cost effective, durable and long lasting but is much softer than Gold and Platinum, it is also prone to tarnish.
Oxidized silver is a process that many jewelers use to give sterling silver a black patina. It gives the jewelry an antique or tarnished look. The process consists of taking clean sterling silver and using a chemical (liver of sulphur) to treat it to speed up the tarnishing effect.
Wearing a piece of jewellery, every day or for special occasions only, will expose the design to a variety of metals and surfaces – from skin, perfume and lotions to doorknobs, kitchen counters and laptops. Precious stones and pearls are organic materials that risk damage or even corrosion when exposed to the chemicals of everyday life. Consequently, they require regular cleaning and must always be stored in a secure place keeping them dry and safe from heavy objects. To maintain the appearance of your jewellery and to reduce scratching, store items separately in sealed plastic bags. Store your jewellery in a discrete place for security purposes.
For a light clean, wipe jewellery with a soft lint free cloth. Use soft fabrics such as velvet and cotton, as rougher materials like paper and polyester will impart fine scratches.
To clean jewellery more thoroughly, soak it in a diluted solution of detergent/dish washing liquid and warm water for five minutes.
We recommend that you have your fine jewellery examined by experts once a year in order to make sure that claws, clasps and fittings remain in perfect condition.