The value of a gemstone is determined by its weight, colour, clarity and the degree of perfection of its cut. Such factors are established by experts using magnifying tools, very sensitive scales and by comparing stones to others of a certain agreed quality.
Trust has to be placed in a jeweller when a member of the public purchases gem set jewellery. You have to trust that the stone you are being sold is the same material, size and quality as its description.
The majority of the diamonds we sell are described as being VS G/H in grade. This means that we guarantee that they are VS 1 or VS 2 grade in clarity (clarity is judged by looking at a stones freedom from internal and surface blemishes) and G or H in colour (The ideal diamond is colourless). Therefore the diamond in your engagement ring from Nicholas Wylde will be somewhere in the range of VS1 G – VS2 H. Diamonds in this range are very clear and a good white colour which is why we choose to use them in our stock. However finer quality diamonds are available.
The best possible diamond grade would be ‘Flawless’ clarity and D colour. A diamond of this grade would cost more than a diamond of the same size that is VS G/H in grade, although very little difference between the two stones could be seen by a member of the general public. Stones of such a fine quality usually come with a ‘certificate’ from an experienced and respected international gem grading institution such as the G.I.A. (Gemmology Institute of America), the I.G.I. (International Gemmological Institute) or the H.R.D ( Hoge Raad voor Diamant). These institutes are recognised as the best, but there are many others within the jewellery trade.
A certificate from such an institute states the assessed carat weight, colour grade, clarity and standard of the cut of the stone. The certificate includes a ‘map’ of the stone, pinpointing any blemishes, and so can be used to identify the stone under magnification.
A certificate can add around a hundred and fifty pounds to the price of a stone but is proof of the exceptional quality of the stone.
Any diamond or coloured stone can be certificated and Nicholas Wylde can arrange this process for you. Of course, an element of trust still has to be placed in a jeweller when dealing with certificated stones, because only an expert could match the stone to its certificate. For this reason, certificated stones are often sealed into plastic packets containing a copy of the certificate.
Coloured stones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds are certificated to establish their origins, grades, and any treatments which may have been applied to them. Certificating coloured stones is something that Nicholas Wylde feels that the industry should encourage, in order to give its customers, you the general public, confidence in the stones they are buying. As yet, the practice of certificating coloured stones is not widespread which means that a customer must trust an experienced jeweller such as Nicholas Wylde.