Choosing the Perfect Diamond
When it comes to choosing your diamond ring, there’s a lot to consider. Determining a diamonds quality can be complicated and confusing. To help you through the jargon, we have put together the Keanes Guide to Buying Diamonds to help you to choose the perfect diamond.
We hope that this guide makes your experience with Keanes all the more enjoyable by ensuring that you have the knowledge and understanding of what makes your diamond ring so special.
We stock all rings in the most common ring sizes. These can be resized at the point of purchase or at any point after.
Diamonds are graded by colour with all the major international laboratories having agreed to a standard 23 colour grading system. Colours are graded from totally colourless, to light yellow. The closer a diamond approaches colourless, the rarer and more valuable it becomes
The highest colour grade is D; for a diamond with no colour at all. The differences from one grade to the next are extremely subtle; while most diamonds appear colourless or 'white' many display hints of colour when examined by a lab, yet these colours typically would go unnoticed to the naked eye.
Diamonds with strong pure colour are extremely rare and are called 'fancies'. These diamonds can be found in colours including pink, blue, yellow, green, orange and even black.
The size/weight of a diamond is measured in Carats. One Carat is divided into 100 'points', so that a diamond of 75 points weighs 0.75 of a carat.
Whilst carat weight is the most obvious factor when assessing the value of a diamond, two diamonds of equal size can have very unequal values, depending on the cut, clarity and colour.
Bigger isn't necessarily better - diamonds of high quality can be found in all size ranges.
How a diamond is cut is an important consideration; the better the cut, the more the diamond sparkles. In the hands of a master craftsman, a diamond will make the most of the light, giving it a dazzling brilliance.
If perfectly cut, light entering the diamond will be refracted internally from facet to facet before emerging through the top of the stone, producing dazzling ‘fire’ that is unmatched by any other gemstone.
Cut can also refer to the shape of the diamond itself. The Brilliant or Round cut shape is the most popular and is used in most diamond jewellery. There are many other shapes available with other popular choices being Princess, Emerald, and Oval. At Keanes, we have a large selection of shapes available including those shown in the diagram below as well as radiant, Cushion and asscher cuts. The shape of a diamond is largely a matter of personal preference, as all are beautiful.
Diamonds are formed naturally, and as a consequence, most of them contain tiny blemishes, also known as ‘inclusions’. The number of inclusions, their size and where they are located, all influence how light passes through the diamond.
The clarity of a diamond is determined by viewing the gem under magnification. The less inclusions a diamond has the more beautiful the diamond will be, thus increasing its rarity and making it more valuable.
Platinum is a popular white metal. This is due in part to its ability to remain white, and so does not need to be rhodium plated. Platinum is denser than white gold, so it will be heavier & considered more rare than it's white gold counterpart.
Palladium is a naturally occurring metal that is 95% pure. It is hypoallergenic, therefore will not irritate sensitive skin. It doesn't need to be treated with rhodium, as white gold does, because it is a naturally white metal. For those not comfortable with the heavier weight of a platinum ring, palladium is the better choice.
White gold is a mix of natural gold and other white alloys including silver and palladium. When white gold rings are new, they are coated with another very hard white metal called Rhodium to make the white gold look whiter. To maintain a white gold ring looking its best it should be re- plated approximately each 12 to 18 months.
Yellow gold is made by mixing pure gold with alloys including copper and zinc. The percentage of gold within the combination determines the carat of the gold i.e. 18ct yellow gold has 75% pure gold. For everyday wear 18ct is the best choice for engagement rings and weddings bands as it is stronger and continues to look well over time.
A certified diamond is an assurance of a diamond’s authenticity and quality. The certificate itself details a diamond’s characteristic in terms of colour, cut, clarity and carat weight which have been appraised by an independent gemmology laboratory. At Keanes Jewellers our certified diamonds have been appraised by only the most established and reputable laboratories ensuring your peace of mind.
A valuation for insurance purposes is typically carried out on the finished piece of jewellery and will include descriptions of the weight, grade and dimensions of the diamond. The importance of a valuation is that it contains additional information to a certificate (which relates only to the diamond itself). A valuation will also include details of the setting and type of precious metal used in the ring.
If you cannot find the ring you desire in our current ring collection or if you want a ring of your own design, Keanes Jewellers offer a bespoke service where we can have the ring you want made especially for you.
We have an extensive range of unique settings and some of the best quality loose diamonds available in the country, so we can create your dream ring. This service is available across all ring types; engagement rings, wedding bands, dress rings and more.
Speak to one of our expert diamond consultants who will be delighted to take you through your options and create your uniquely special ring.
Caring for your Diamond
Once you have said 'I Do' to the perfect ring, it's important to care for your diamond in the appropriate manner. Everyday life can dull the sparkle of your precious stones with oils, debris and cosmetics forming a layer on the surface of the diamond. There is nothing quite like the mesmerizing sparkle of a freshly cleaned and polished diamond, and we have a few tips to help you to keep your diamond shining everyday, between professional cleanings.
At Home Ring Cleaning Solution
Day-to-day life can cause build up on your ring and dull it's shine. A simple at-home cleaning solution can bring your diamond ring back to life. Fill a small bowl with warm water and dishwashing soap or mild baby shampoo. Soak your ring in the solution for 20-40 minutes, and then delicately brush the ring with a very soft toothbrush. Rinse under running water and repeat as needed.
In-Store Diamond Ring Cleaning
There's nothing quite like having your ring professionally cleaned, and at Keanes Jewellers we will gladly do this for you in any of our 3 stores in Cork, Limerick or Killarney. We recommend having your ring professionally cleaned at least twice a year or more frequently if you have a high level of exposure to debris.