DIAMONDS AND GEMSTONES
I am able to source a wide range of precious gemstones and diamonds from a number of trusted suppliers. Further information on the different types of gemstones and diamonds can be found below.
TYPES OF GEMSTONES
Gemstones can be 'natural' (mined from the ground and then cut and polished before being set in jewellery), 'synthetic' (grown in a lab) or 'simulants' (artifical)
Natural stones come in a variety of colours and qualities and often have natural inclusions and cracks. These can add to the beauty of a stone or can be considered undesirable. For these reasons, natural stones can be very expensive and hard to match because of natural variations.
Synthetic 'lab grown' stones, such as moissanite, will have the same material composition and structure as their natural counterparts but without the naturally occurring inclusions. Contrary to popular belief they are ‘real’ and they are guaranteed conflict free.
Simulants such as cubic zirconia (cz) are very hard, cheap and can provide a superficially convincing substitute to a natural or lab made stone.
MOHS SCALE OF HARDNESS
Gemstones are measured on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness according to how scratch resistant they are against a harder mineral. Diamond is the hardest mineral on Earth. Below are a few examples of commonly used stones (where a stone is between grades, e.g. peridot is 6.5-7, I’ve noted them under the lower grade)
10 - Diamond
9 - Corundum (ruby, sapphire)
8 - Topaz (spinel, topaz, alexandrite)
7 - Quartz (emerald, aquamarine, amethyst, smokey quartz)
6 - Feldspar (moonstone, tanzanite, peridot)
5 - Apatite (star diopside, lapis lazuli)
4 - Fluorite (fluorite, malachite)
3 - Calcite
2 - Gypsum
1 - Talc
Much of my jewellery can be customised with your choice of gemstone. Many people find that choosing gemstones according to the birthstone of those close to them - family, children, friends - adds to the significance and uniqueness of their jewellery.
Each month of the year is associated with a birthstone, and can be incorporated into jewellery as a way to bestow good luck, healing or a particular meaning.
Birthstones and meanings (pdf)
Diamonds are graded on their cut, colour, clarity and carat weight
Diamonds come in many different cuts and sizes. The modern cut for round diamonds is the brilliant cut which is designed to maximise the light reflected off the facets giving exceptional brilliance.
D - Absolutely Colourless: Extremely rare diamond with no trace of colour.
E-F - Colourless: Appears colourless. Indistinguishable from D grade to the naked eye.
G-H - Near Colourless: Very faint tint but appears colourless to the naked eye.
I-J - Near Colourless: Faint tint only apparent when compared with higher quality stones.
FL-IF - Flawless/Internally Flawless. No inclusions visible even under 10x magnification
VVS1-VVS2 - Very very slightly included. Inclusions only just detectable under 10x magnification
VS1-VS2 - Very slightly included. Some inclusions, invisible to the naked eye
SI1-SI2 - Slightly included. Inclusions may be visible to the naked eye.
I1-I3 - Included. Inclusions are visible to the naked eye (sometimes noted as P1-3)
The carat weight is approximately the weight of the diamond; the higher the carat, the rarer the diamond. Weight gives you a rough idea of size but it isn’t exactly equivalent as the quality of the cut can also make a difference.