The Ultimate Diamond Guide
Masterpieces of creation. The diamond is one of Nature’s true gifts. The hardest known natural substance, it consists of pure carbon. Precisely how diamonds were crystallised in the earth’s core, under enormous pressure and unimaginable temperatures, is something we still do not fully understand. However, something we can say with certainty is how it obtains its consummate form : through Bucherer Fine Jewellery’s craftsmanship. Like you, we too are fascinated by the magical sparkle of precious gemstones. Our goldsmiths draw on all their artistic talent and years of expertise to transform ideas for designs into superb pieces of jewellery. After this comes the crowning glory –and it takes a steady hand – as the setter painstakingly positions the gemstone in its mount. And if the diamond in question happens to be a solitaire for one of our 1888 rings, he will carry out the assignment not only with pride and respect, but also more than a little love.
SIX GOOD REASONS TO CHOOSE BUCHERER FINE JEWELLERY DIAMONDS
Tradition and reputation
Founded in 1888, Bucherer is a family-owned firm and one of Europe’s most traditional watch and jewelry retailers. With 33 stores in Switzerland, Germany, England, Austria and France, Bucherer is the biggest retailer of high-quality diamond jewelry and has an excellent reputation worldwide. Advice from professionals. All Bucherer stores have sales personnel with gemological expertise who are able to provide our customers with professional advice and answers to their questions, no matter how complicated.
An unmatched choice
Our choice of diamond jewelry and quality loose diamonds is enormously wide and varied. Among them are uniquely beautiful rare stones, some weighing over ten carats. Tested and certified. Our specialists test every single diamond using the very strictest criteria. All details relevant to their quality are attested to by an internationally recognized certificate (GIA / HRD) and confirmed on the receipt.
Thanks to the company’s scale, Bucherer Fine Jewellery can rely on its own diamond experts, who buy in stones direct at the world’s diamond exchanges, thus eliminating intermediaries. They are familiar with the complex criteria used to select diamonds and guarantee top quality at attractive prices, from which our customers profit.
Close to you
With 33 stores at some of the best-known and most beautiful locations in Switzerland, Germany, England, Austria and France, there is certain to be one very close to you.
QUALITY CRITERIA – THE 4 CS
Together, these four quality criteria determine the value of a diamond. Our specialists are often asked which of the four Cs is the most important. We believe it is the cut. Mother Nature provides a diamond with almost everything it needs: the colour, clarity and size of the raw crystal are givens. The cut alone is the work of an individual, who turns the rough diamond into a masterpiece or otherwise. The polisher, then, has an enormous responsibility. His work has little influence on the colour and clarity, but he does play a decisive role when it comes to the quality of the cut. After all, what good to you is a stone with the highest possible colour and clarity grading if the cut is mediocre and fails to reflect incident light effectively? We would be happy to explain to you the points to which we attach particular importance when buying diamonds.
The symmetry can be assessed using the following criteria: does the diamond have an exact shape: for example, is a brilliant diamond perfectly round? Are the facets symmetrically arranged and correctly positioned? Is the number of facets correct? Do the upper and lower halves of the diamond fit together properly?
Correct proportions are vital to the cut of a diamond. We can understand why the polisher will use all the means at his disposal to keep the weight of the stone over, say, 1 ct. The reason is that he will be able to charge more for a 1-ct stone than for a 0.90 one. In economic terms, it makes double sense for the polisher (higher carat price, greater weight). Unfortunately, however, the brilliance often suffers. For this reason, we do not purchase diamonds with poor proportions.
If a 1-ct brilliant diamond does not have a diameter of ± 6.5 mm, it may well show 1 ct on the scales but, optically speaking, it is not! If a 1-ct brilliant diamond has a diameter of 6.2 or 6.3 mm, the proportions are incorrect (although you would expect it to be cheaper). Overall, a brilliant diamond like this one is too high. It may well be that the upper half is too high, the lower half too deep, or both together; otherwise, the girdle may be extremely thick (> 5 percent). The overall height of a brilliant diamond should be between 59 and 62 percent of the diamond’s diameter. At 57 percent, the stone is definitely too
flat, from 64 percent upward definitely too high. Whether it is too flat or too high, it has a detrimental effect on the brilliance. Incident light exits the stone either downward or to the side and is no longer optimally reflected back to the observer.
Over the course of many years, the table size in brilliant diamonds has undergone a change. The table is the largest facet on any diamond. Back in the 1970s and 80s, tables were often 63, 64 or even more percent, this figure today is ideally between 55 and 60 percent. Successive reduction of the table size has created even greater brilliance and a more sparkling fire. Cut in correct proportions,the diamond reflects the light from one facet to another, which causes it to go directly back to the onlooker. If the diamond is cut too deep (i. e. too thick), part of its light is lost inside the stone. And if the cut is too flat, the light is not reflected and escapes downward.
Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. The various grades are:
flawless: these have no inclusions or outer blemishes (very rare)
internally flawless: these have no inclusions
vvs1 / vvs2
very very slightly included: minute inclusions that are difficult to detect even for a trained gemologist (it really is sometimes extremely difficult to spot a single, tiny pinpoint of an inclusion)
vs1 / vs2
very slightly included: very small inclusions that only a practiced specialist will see
slightly included: small inclusions that are easy for a practiced specialist to see
I1 to I3
imperfect pronounced inclusions : the inclusions are clearly visible (often to the naked eyed) and can adversely affect the diamond’s brilliance.
The term “inclusion” may not always be entirely appropriate. Very often, a diamond’s clarity may be impeded by cleavages, fractures or cracks. Classic inclusions are crystals in the form of foreign bodies, such as garnets, spinels or peridots: on rare occasions, another diamond may be present as an inclusion on the inside.
Often, when talking about colour and clarity, people – unfortunately – very often refer to inferior colour or clarity. There is no such thing as “bad” colours or “poor” quality. The highest ratings for colours are D, E and F, for clarity fl, if, vvs1 or vvs2, and there are low-grade colours and clarity.
For many years now, the colour of diamonds has been graded on a scale running through the letters from D to Z. The highest colour rating is indicated by the letter D, the lowest by Z. When referring to diamonds from D to H, jewelers speak of “white diamonds”. From colour rating I, the stones gradually become yellower. High-grade colour or high-grade clarity?
If ever you are faced with this question, you should always opt for higher-grade colour. The reason for this can be seen from our example: If we put two diamonds in front of you, one colour rating D and the other K, and we ask you which of the two diamonds appears whiter, you will almost certainly point to the stone with the D rating. But if you had to decide which of the two diamonds was flawless and which vs2, you would certainly have to guess. The reason for this is that you can only see the difference if you look at them under 10x magnification.
Coloured diamonds are a genuine rarity. They are available in colours of all nuances: in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, gray and black. Here, too, Nature has given us an incredible array of possibilities. It is interesting to note that a polisher of white diamonds and a polisher of coloured diamonds have two completely different professions. When coloured diamonds are cut and polished, there is one criterion that stands out head and shoulders above the rest: the colour. Rule number one for the polisher is to ensure that the colour is retained in the stone.
Everything you have read regarding the symmetry, proportions, table size or overall height of white diamonds plays a subordinate role in the case of coloured diamonds. The one and only factor that really counts is colour. You will find that the radiant cut or cushion cut are very often used with coloured diamonds. Both cuts admit less light, with the result that the stone retains its colour moreeffectively. Rarer occurrences are pear- or heart-cut diamonds, and even rarer, princess-, emerald- or brilliant-cut stones.
The weight of gemstones is shown in carats to an accuracy of two decimal places. The usual abbreviation is ct. 1.00 ct is equivalent to 0.2 grams. Modern electronic carat scales even show carat weight in thousandths of a gram. The rounding-up rule for diamonds is intriguing. Rounding up is permitted only when the third decimal place is a nine. If a diamond weighs 0.998 ct, the weight is shown as 0.99 ct on the certificate.
Bucherer Fine Jewellery and a very large section of the diamond trade put their trust in certificates issued by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and HRD Antwerp. We will be delighted to issue with a GIA or Bucherer Fine Jewellery certificate for your diamonds.
0.50 ct ± 5,1 mm 0.75 ct ± 5,9 mm 1.00 ct ± 6,5 mm
1.50 ct ± 7,4 mm 2.00 ct ± 8,2 mm 3.00 ct ± 9,3 mm
1888 – THE UNIQUE SOLITAIRE DIAMOND
Deep-felt emotions are often so powerful that they are difficult to express in words. nThe unique 1888 solitaire diamond is therefore the perfect gift to express your affection for the person you respect, admire and love above all others.
As precious as your love itself
The creation of the 1888 is undoubtedly the crowning glory to Bucherer Fine Jewellery’s incomparably multifaceted range of diamonds. Designed in the company’s own workshops, this bewitching solitaire ring has a simple design and is made of finest-quality platinum with a six-prong setting that sets off this most precious of all precious stones to its best advantage.
A collection with no compromises
The unique brilliant-cut diamond satisfies the highest-possible quality criteria for the 4 Cs (cut, clarity, colour and carat). Without exception, the stones selected are flawless or internally flawless and hold one of the highest colour ratings (D, E or F). The cut, polish and symmetry are all outstanding. The exquisite diamonds for the 1888 are available in various sizes from 0.3 carat.
All quality details have been checked by our diamond buyers and are confirmed by an internationally recognized GIA certificate.