When choosing your centre stone, it is vital to consider the 4 C’s.


At London DE we’re big believers in coloured stones as well as traditional diamonds. From Cleopatra to Angelina Jolie, through Maharajas and Catherine the Great, emerald jewellery has been a must have for celebrity ladies and is a big focus for us.

With stones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires, it is the colour that is the primary driver of the value of the gemstone (normally expressed in US Dollars per carat on the international market). With diamonds the colour is expressed with a letter from D-Z, D being the ‘whitest’ and Z the least ‘white.’

When the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) devised the colour grading system they deliberately left ‘A-C’ off the chart in case diamonds that are ‘whiter’ than a D were ever discovered in the future (none ever were). With coloured gemstones it is the intensity of colour that drives value the most, with descriptors such as ‘vivid’ and ‘intense’ denoting the best colour saturation.


Clarity refers to the transparency of the stone and the presence of inclusions (small imperfections caused by the presence of foreign objects in the stone’s crystalline structure). A gemstone is said to be ‘eye-clean’ if its inclusions cannot be seen with the naked eye. A ‘loupe-clean’ stone contains no inclusions visible under inspection with a loupe (a magnifying lens).

The GIA grade diamond clarity from Flawless (F) to Included 3 (I3). However, the grading of the clarity of coloured gemstones is slightly more subjective and clarity enhancement is far more common. The GIA recognise three levels of emerald treatment for example: F1 (minor); F2 (moderate); F3 (significant).


Cut refers to a gemstone’s proportions, symmetry and polish, and not to the shape of the stone (which is a commonly held misconception). The GIA assess a stone’s cut, polish and symmetry on a scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.


Carat equals the mass, not necessarily the size, of a stone. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams, which is approximately the same as the mass of a paperclip. The price per carat of most gemstones rises exponentially as the size increases and it ‘jumps’ around key sizes, such as 1.0, 1.50, 2.0 carats etc.

Better bespoke?

Bespoke engagement rings now account for almost half of all those sold. Choosing to become involved in the design process actually makes comparatively little difference to the overall price of an engagement ring, if purchased from the right source.

A good jeweller and gem dealer can source a wide variety of stones in order to accommodate any taste, style or budget. At London DE we are devoted to helping you create something completely unique. To find your perfect bespoke ring or to arrange a free consultation, visit http://www.londonde.com or contact us directly on +44 (0) 2078 594 754 / support@londonde.com.

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