For most of us, diamonds aren’t on the weekly shopping list – so how are we supposed to know what’s quality bling or a cheap knock-off? Is the answer within the magical ‘4Cs’?
We caught up with diamond expert Casey Lai of JannPaul and asked him how amateur diamond buyers (most of us, right?) can make sure we choose a superior diamond. Here are Casey’s top tips:
Know your stuff
Strangely, diamond grading isn’t a subject offered at school. But you can’t go splashing cash without understanding quality. JannPaul offers free, one-on-one diamond education sessions, and we promise there’s no hard sell! Casey and his team are basically diamond geeks, passionate about all things sparkly. They’re on a mission to spread the word about what makes a diamond truly brilliant.
Certificates are good – but they don’t tell you everything
GIA certificates are a good starting guide, but they can’t differentiate average diamonds from great diamonds. Casey warns that ‘excellent’ is a loose term and to be sure a ‘triple excellent’ diamond (excellent cut, symmetry and polish) is your forever rock, you need more information. A triple Excellent diamond can still have severe light leakages. What this means is that two diamonds of the same grades and certificate can perform very differently!
For a professional grading, you need professional tools
He recommends a free online tool, the HCA (Holloway Cut Advisor), for a more meaningful score (from 0.4 to 10) based on a stone’s proportions. A score of 1.4 or below means that your diamond is cut proportionally well. However, to analyse its light performance, you would require the ASET and Hearts & Arrows scope.
Casey’s tool set looks a little different from a plumber’s, plus they’re a lot more fun to play with. Looking through kaleidoscope-like viewers and mini-magnifiers, it’s clear to see the perfect symmetry of a super ideal cut diamond. Casey points out the diamond’s stunning heart and arrow formations, optimum balance of colours, scintillation and light reflections.
When it comes to the ‘4Cs’, there’s really only one that matters
Many engaged couples (and lottery winners) find themselves suddenly speaking diamond language, fluent in the ‘4Cs’, or Clarity, Carat, Cut and Colour. Casey says, ‘cut is everything’ when it comes to choosing a special sparkler. Cut doesn’t just refer to the shape of a diamond, but rather the quality of the cut. A super fine balance of proportions and angles, gives a diamond its brilliance and sparkle. This is the most important feature when assessing the gem’s value and knock-out beauty.
Try before you buy and get this right
Apart from a house or a car, a diamond may be your biggest buy ever. Naturally, you don’t want to mess it up. JannPaul doesn’t want women bawling on their shop floor either, so they make up complimentary, hyper-realistic 3D renders of rings (or necklace, earrings etc) – they’re the only ones in Singapore to offer this. You can see exactly how it’ll look, even on you. To be super sure, a wax model is made for your approval before they go ahead with the real deal.
Express yourself in the finished piece
Yes, diamond quality is important, but so is reflecting your personal style. Casey is really proud (and rightly so) of JannPaul’s stunning in-house customisations. Design your own special piece of jewellery and their highly skilled jewellers will handcraft your bespoke setting at no extra cost. (All JannPaul’s white gold settings start from $550.)
Diamonds are for life, not just for Christmas (hint, hint)
That’s why JannPaul offers free lifetime warranty, two ring re-sizings, two white gold re-finishings, plus a laser engraving. They are also the only jewellers in Singapore to offer Hearts & Arrows diamonds in different shapes, other than the typical rounds.
JannPaul carries super ideal cut diamonds from 0.3 carats up. Their Super Ideal Cut diamonds start at $1,600 and take 4-8 weeks to handcraft (just saying…)
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