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Jewellery 101

 

Our Story – “Our signature is quality.”

Our signature is our personal touch where commitment, quality and a positive customer experience are of utmost importance in serving our valued clients both in person and online. We have been a local London, Ontario jeweler for more than 25 years, with a team of experts that have a combined jewelry experience well over 60 years. For three generates we have provided high quality jewelry to our customers, ranging from high-end jewelry, to Canadian cut diamonds, to watches and of course custom designed jewelry pieces for our customers. At Your Signature Jeweller, we have the resources and high quality product lines to meet all of your needs, as you make the extraordinary decision of having us as your personal goldsmith. For all your celebrated moments in life “YSJ is Your Signature Jeweller.”

This is our signature. Quality and satisfaction is our guarantee.

Canadian Diamonds

Canadian diamond exploration began as early as the 1960’s with little to no success until a breakthrough was achieved in the Lac de Gras area of the Northwest Territories in 1991 where the Canada’s first large diamond deposit was found. Following strict Canadian Government guidelines for safe and ethical mining, the EKATI diamond mine was finally opened in 1998. Canadian diamonds are the highest quality and only Government certified diamonds free of conflict (blood diamond) and follow the international diamond bylaws set by the Kimberley accord which prevents the distribution of war-zone diamonds. Canada is the 3rd largest diamond producer behind Russia and Africa, but have the only diamonds that are 100% conflict free.

All Canadian diamonds are documented at every step: mining, cutting, appraisal, distribution and finally each Canadian diamond has a serial number laser inscribed on the edge of the diamond, visible with 10X magnification. The safety of the miners, low environmental impact, and serial number tracking of all Canadian diamonds make them the most value diamonds in the world. The EKATI mine suplies only 3% of all diamonds in the world but represent 10% of the diamond wealth.

IMPORTANT FACT – Mined and cut diamonds in Canada are documented and have their certificate number laser-inscribed on their girdle along with a trade logo such as a maple leaf or polar bear. This laser inscription assures consumers of their diamond’s origin, connects it to the certificate.
SAFETY – Canadian Diamond mines have some of the world’s highest environmental standards the proceeds of the mines go to legitimate companies with no forced labor theft or exploitation. The regulation of Canadian Diamond products involve the Canadian Government. Canadian diamonds are conflict free. The certification process allows the stones to be tracked from mine through manufacturing, wholesaling and to the retail consumer.
HIGH VALUE – Diamonds produced in Canadian mines are of very high quality, holding a high average price per carat, compared to rough produced in other parts of the world, Canadian Diamonds are an great investment and asset to hold. With the strong Canadian market and demand, Canadian Diamonds are superior to all else.

Diamond Education

Diamonds are the rarest precious stones formed over millions of years from extreme heat and volcanic pressures. Uncut rough stones are extracted from deep mines; these rough stones can vary in color and sizes, often we do not know the quality of the stone until it has been cut. The clarity and radiance of the stone cannot be determined until they are surgical carved out to form the classic diamond shape. When it comes to the quality of the diamond, there are only the 5 C’s that you need to know: CUT, COLOR, CLARITY, CARAT and CANADIAN.

CUT (Shape)

The first important feature of a diamond is the cut and shape, the level of precision is determined by the craftsmanship and based on the quality of the rough stone, the cut of the diamond can be carved out. The most common cut is a round brilliant diamond. A diamond cut refers to the placement and proportions of facets (sides) in a diamond, measuring the extent in which they maximize the following three features: Brilliance (light return), Scintillation (Sparkle) and Fire (Flashes of Colour). Other fancy shapes consist of oval, pear, marquise, heart, emerald, radiant and princess cut diamonds.

Round Brilliant cut

Oval cut

Pear cut

Marquise cut

Heart cut

Emerald cut

radiant cut

princess cut

The width and depth of the diamond cut affect how light travels through and exits a carbon structure. What constitutes as ideal or perfect set of angles and proportions is not the same in each stone. Since each stone has natural blemishes, as determined by clarity, it is up to the jeweller to determine the best angles for the facet to use in a way that causes as much light to reflect upwards as possible. When a diamond is to shallow, the light exits through the bottom. When a diamond is too deep, the light will exit through the side. The quality of the diamond cut is ultimately determined by the appraiser following the GIA and AGS standards.

shallow cut

well cut

deep cut

Color

Color plays a critical role in the evaluation of a diamond’s quality with subtle differences ranked using a letter system from D to Z. Diamond color starts from the highest color purity of D TO F which represent the colorless spectrum. The entire surface and depth of the cut diamond is assessed to determine this ranking. The next level of ranking is G to J for diamonds that are considered nearly colorless. Lastly K-M and N-Z have noticeable coloring in the diamond. Each diamond is compared to a master set of diamonds where D colorless stones are extremely rare and valuable. As a comparison, E grade indicates almost no traces of color and F indicates slight traces of color. In the extreme spectrum of N-Z some colored diamonds are highly valued such as pink diamonds, as long as the color is consistent throughout the entire stone.

diamond color grid

Clarity

clarity

The majority of diamonds will contain impurities, in consideration that the diamond is cut from a larger stone; the size of the diamond to be cut is based on the amount of “flaws” the jewellery is trying to avoid in the final cut diamond. These impurities are known as “inclusions” which can detract from the diamond’s beauty and block light reflection. The size of these inclusions, number of occurrence and location of imperfection in the diamond significantly changes the quality. The standard ranking of diamond clarity starts from F (flawless even under microscope) and go down to I3 (visible heavy inclusions to the naked eye).

F and IF
F means internally and externally flawless. IF means internally flawless, a scratch on the surface of the diamond may need to be removed. F and IF diamonds are very rare and expensive.

VVS1 and VVS2
VVS means very, very slightly included. This means it is very difficult to see the impurities, even with 10X magnification. The numbers represent levels within this grade – VVS1s are cleaner than VVS2s.

VS1 and VS2
These diamonds are very slightly included, with impurities that are not visible to the unaided eye. VVS and VS diamonds highly valuable and inclusions are only visible with 10X magnification.

SI1 and SI2
These diamonds have slight inclusions which are visible using a 10X magnifying glass and may be visible with the naked eye, location of the inclusion may not significantly impact light reflection which makes it valuable and the minimum standard of most engagement rings. Some the inclusions can be hidden by a gold mounting (claw), thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. Visible inclusions that are found on the center of the diamond will always be less than diamonds with imperfections that are located on the side.

I1, I2 and I3
These diamonds contain visible inclusions with external blemishes.

Carat

A diamond’s carat is the standard measurement of the weight of the stone. One carat is divided into 100 points. So a half-carat diamond is 50 points, and is expressed as 0.50CT. A one-and-three-quarter carat diamond would be 1.75CT.

Although it is true that the larger the diamond, the higher the price, it is not true that a one-carat diamond is twice the price of a half-carat diamond. Larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, so a one-carat diamond actually costs much more than twice the price of a half-carat diamond of the same quality. Likewise, a smaller stone with of higher quality in cut, color and clarity may be valued more than a larger stone with lesser quality. Remember that quality can be more important than size.

photo of diamonds - carat

carat photo