GRADING DIAMONDS USING The 4 C's

 

CARAT
The weight, and thus the size, of a diamond is measured by carat. A carat is equal to 0.2gm, or 200mg. A carat is divided into 100 smaller units called points. So a diamond weighing three-quarters of a carat is 75 points.

COLOUR
The most valuable and rare colour of a diamond is white, or colourless. Absolutely colourless diamonds are graded with the letter “D”. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) diamond colour scale moves up to “Z”. Between these two extremes, diamonds display subtle coloured tones. 

CLARITY
Element welcome you to look into the diamonds in our diamond jewellery with a loupe. You’ll probably see small “inclusions”, or “nature’s fingerprints”. Usually invisible to the naked eye, you need to know that these inclusions can affect the diamond’s fire, but they also make your diamond unique and shouldn’t always be seen as a fault. As long as your diamond is graded above SI1, you can be confident that your diamond will sparkle.

F Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
IF Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
VVS1-VVS2 Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification.
VS1-VS2 Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
SI1-SI2 Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
I1-I2-I3 Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification, as well as to the naked human eye.

CUT
As the only characteristic of a diamond not influenced by nature, a well cut diamond is of vital importance in giving a diamond its brilliance. Each angle and finish affects its ability to handle light, through each facet, which leads to brilliance. A diamond cut to achieve good symmetry and proportion will sparkle more than one that has been cut too deep or shallow.

Cut also determines shape. The most popular diamond shape is the round. Others shapes include princess, emerald, pear, marquise, oval and heart shape. Many of the diamond rings in our designer engagement ring collections boast unusual cuts.

 

 

AN OVERVIEW OF ETHICAL DIAMONDS

THE KIMBERLEY PROCESS

As a member of the National Jewellers’ Association, Element supports the initiative of the United Nations and the World Diamond Council – The Kimberley Process.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme ensures that mining of diamonds is strictly supervised at government level and that legitimately mined diamonds, in their “rough” state (before cutting and polishing) are only transferred between participating countries under strictly monitored conditions, in tamper proof containers, and accompanied by the appropriate documentation.

To ensure that only these legitimate diamonds, when cut and polished, pass into the jewellery manufacturing process, and therefore into all Element Jewellery, we participate in the system of warranties and code of conduct issued by the World Diamond Council on 29 October 2002 and endorsed by the National Jewellers’ Association.

WORLD DIAMOND COUNCIL CODE OF CONDUCT
Under the World Diamond Council Code of Conduct Element Jewellery will:
  • not buy diamonds from firms who will not put a conflict diamonds warranty on their invoices.
  • not buy diamonds from suspect or unknown sources or from countries not participating in the Kimberley Process.
  • not buy diamonds from a source found to have violated government regulations on conflict diamonds.
  • not buy diamonds from regions where government advice indicates that conflict diamonds are emanating or on sale unless they have been exported under the Kimberley Process.
  • not knowingly buy or sell or assist others to buy or sell conflict diamonds.
  • ensure that all company employees who buy and sell diamonds are well informed about the Kimberley process and industry self regulation.

All of our suppliers have been advised that each invoice they send us covering diamonds (or jewellery which contains diamonds), must carry the following warranty and that if they fail to supply this warranty, we will not place further orders with them.

“The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.”

 
JEWELTREE FOUNDATION DIAMONDS

Element Jewellery can source diamonds above 0.20cts of known origin with known polishing centre practices, sourced through Open Source Minerals who are licensed to sell diamonds from the Jeweltree Foundation.

These diamonds will be from well-managed, sustainable and third-party audited mining sites. Some large scale industrial mines such as Ekati (Canada’s first diamond mine), Diavik (Canada) and Argyle, Western Australia; and some small-scale diamond mines such as Lesotho, Africa.
The Liqhobong Women Mining Cooperative was one of the first successful small-scale diamond mining cooperatives in Lesotho, Africa. The women miners who work there receive an additional premium for their diamonds.

All diamonds are polished in diamond polishing cooperative factories in Surat (India) and Antwerp. Polishing practices are disclosed and, where possible, undertaken by and directly benefitting local communities.

Jeweltree Foundation Statement

The Jeweltree Foundation guarantees supply chain transparency, social responsibility, ecological sustainability and community support. There should be no negative energy of suppression or misuse of people or environment attached to your jewellery and we make it our mission to guarantee that the diamonds, gems and jewellery we certify are extracted safely, manufactured under fair labour conditions and in total freedom.

Jeweltree Foundation Certification

All Jeweltree Certified diamonds are laser inscribed with a tracking number. Gems and Jewellery and accompanied by a Jeweltree certificate disclosing information about the social and ecological conditions in both mine and polishing centre. The tracking system confirms the origin and manufacturing standards of the diamonds, gems and metals used.

 

FAQs ABOUT NON-CONFLICT DIAMONDS

What are Conflict Diamonds

Diamonds are mined in parts of Africa, Canada, Russia and Australia. A few years ago the jewellery industry learned that in some parts of Africa, small scale diamond mining was being exploited by illegal militias to support civil war and conflict. These diamonds have been called “Conflict Diamonds” or sometimes “Blood Diamonds”.

Can you tell me about the Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process was designed by the United Nations and the World Diamond Council to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate jewellery supply chains. Around 70 countries now participate in the Kimberley Process to make sure that where they have diamond mining it is strictly supervised and that diamonds, in their “rough” state (before cutting and polishing) can only be transferred between participating countries in tamper proof containers, under strict controls and with the appropriate documentation. All shipments are reconciled internationally.

I've heard there's a film about Blood Diamonds

Yes, it’s called Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio as a diamond smuggler in Sierra Leone. It was first screened in January 2007. It is set in the nineties before the trade got to grips with the problem, so it doesn’t reflect what is happening now.

How can I be sure I'm not buying Conflict Diamonds

It’s highly unlikely- the Kimberley Process came into force in January 2003 and by now it covers over 99% of the world diamond trade.
Also, most of the conflicts in Africa are over now but the controls will stay in place to make sure rebels can’t get funds to fuel future conflicts.

What are Element doing to make sure you don't sell Conflict Diamonds

To prevent conflict diamonds getting into our supply chain we have written procedures to make sure we only buy from suppliers who give us a warranty on their invoices that they don’t buy conflict diamonds.

Can I see a copy of your procedures

Yes – we publish our procedures about non-conflict diamonds online.

Can I see your purchase invoices

No – they are confidential to the company.

Where do these diamonds come from

Diamonds come from Africa, Russia, Canada and Australia but before they are cut and polished they are usually sorted and graded by size, colour, quality and clarity and this means mixing up diamonds from different countries of origin to get economies in cutting and polishing.

Should I avoid diamonds from Africa if that’s where the problems are

For many parts of Africa diamonds are an important mineral resource. Mining diamonds provides jobs and money for housing, schools, healthcare and social programmes. Some countries are investing in cutting and polishing factories as well. So buying diamonds makes a positive contribution to the lives of people in these areas.

laboratory grown diamonds

Supremely Ethical

Imagine two diamonds. Both are stunningly beautiful, with identical physical and chemical properties. It is only the journeys these stones have taken to arrive before you that are different. In one diamond’s case, over 200 tonnes of soil had to be shifted to unearth it – a massive feat of brute force. It was not strength, but scientific brilliance, that gave us the newer of the two; a young stone whose journey begins with you.