Frequently asked questions
Diamonds are natural stones mined from deep inside the earth. Only after millions of years they are formed out of carbon. Carbon is the source of all life. Not a single other material harder than diamonds is to be found in nature, meaning that only diamonds are able to scratch diamonds.
Only after cutting, a raw diamond will reflect light, allowing it to sparkle and shine so amazingly as no other gemstone. Cutting really is craftsmanship as it will determine the brilliance of this prestigious stone. The polished surface will never turn matt. The brilliant cut reflects the most light, for that reason the brilliant is nearly always set in our rings. The different cutting shapes are Round Brilliant, Oval, Marquise (elliptical), Pear, Heart, Emerald (rectangular with cropped corners), Princess (square) and Radiant (square with cropped corners).
The 4 C’s determine the quality and therefore the value of diamonds. Diamonds always keep their value and are also used as an investment.
· ‘Cut’ or cutting shape strongly determines the brilliance and reflection of the light. The different cutting shapes are Round Brilliant, Oval, Marquise (elliptical), Pear, Heart, Emerald (rectangular with cropped corners), Princess (square) and Radiant (square with cropped corners). We mainly work with brilliants, but we also have models set with Princess stones.
· ‘Colour’ is a way to express the colour grade of the stone. Most diamonds are colourless to slightly yellowish. The highest grade is the colour D (exceptionally white) to the colour L (tinted white). We always work with the colours G-H. There are also diamonds ranging from brown to bright yellow, purple or pink, red and blue. In addition to the colour, the fluorescent characteristics are expressed in a colour scale from M to S-Z.
· ‘Clarity’ is a grade describing size, number, location and visibility of the natural imperfections (inclusions) that are both visible and invisible to the naked eye or the x10 magnifying glass. This ranges from stones having the most visible inclusions P3 (Pique 3) to LC (Loupe-Clean), the purest stones. We either work with VS (Very Small Inclusions) or SI (Small Inclusions).
· ‘Carat’ is a way to express the weight of diamonds. This is actually the size of the stone. The trade language divides the weight or carat into 100 points and always expresses this in two decimals, for example, 0.24 carat or 24 points.
Gemstone laboratories like the Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD) or the Gemnological Institute of America (GIA) can define the exact value, and issue a certificate for the stone. Usually this concerns 1.00 carat stones or larger ones. For our rings we seldom work with stones larger than 0.50 carat per stone. Our diamonds have certificates of origin according to the Kimberley Process. They are neither mined in conflict zones, nor are they blood diamonds.
We only set the best diamond quality, both for the smaller and larger stones. Our selected diamonds always have the beautiful white colour G-H. For the Mémoire, AURODESIGN, tessina, Pre Weddingringcollection and f’OrU collections we nearly always set brilliants having the VS (Very Small Inclusions) clarity. For Traditions and Amici we set brilliants having the SI (Small Inclusions) quality. Longstanding relationships and reliable suppliers guarantee us the exquisite, stable quality regarding colour, inclusions and stone size.
Although other manufacturers use less labour-intensive, so cheaper, methods for setting diamonds in rings, at VdB&VR every stone, how small it may be, is meticulously handset by means of a microscope. We believe this allows the brilliant to sparkle much more and that this working method ensures a higher quality of the jewel.
The way in which a stone is locked into the ring, is called ‘setting’. There are different kinds of settings. Our Traditions collection allows you to choose from 12 different settings.
If half of the total circumference of the ring is set with brilliants (or other stones), this is called half set.
If the total circumference of the ring is set with brilliants (or other stones), this is called fully set.
Although the stone is extremely hard, the hardness depends on the Clarity. The more incisions (natural imperfections in the stone), the less hard and more fragile the stone will be. This means that diamonds could break in the event of abnormal use or very excessive shocks.