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The Diamond Guide

Get to know the 4Cs, Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut.  Because sticking to your budget is going to mean prioritizing!

Carat weight is the actual weight of a diamond and does not necessarily correlate with dimensions.  A carat weighs exactly 0.2 grams.    

Colour is the lack of colour subjectively graded from D to Z.  Diamonds with less colour are rarer and more expensive.  Champagne diamond generally fall within the K-R colour range with champagne colour undertones.

Clarity is the lack of natural inclusions or blemishes and is graded from Internally Flawless "IF" to "I" Included.  The “less included” the diamond the more expensive.  Salt and Pepper diamonds generally start within the “I” included clarity range.

Cut is important because it's responsible for how the diamond looks and reflects light or “sparkles.”  Cut is really a personal preference.


Vintage Engagement Ring_Brockton Gems_Toronto_Clarity Guide

Vintage Diamond Cuts

I’m biased.  Vintage diamond cuts are my favourite.  I love collecting and repurposing old diamonds.  Each has an individual character imparted decades ago by a skilled diamond cutter who would have applied his skill to cut each diamond by hand and eye without the exacting tools of modern technology. The result is a tiny faceted piece of art.  Some of my favourite old diamond cuts include:

Vintage Engagement Ring_Brockton Gems_Toronto_Diamond Guide
The Old Mine Cut
One of the oldest diamond cuts, I love old mine cuts for their subtle elegant sparkle. They are similar in appearance to modern cushion cut diamonds, with a squared outline and gently rounded edges. But they have a juicier chunkier look with broader facets, a higher crown, smaller table and larger open culet. The old mine cut diamond is one of the most common cuts found in Georgian (1714 – 1837) and Victorian era (1837 – 1901) jewellery.
The Old European Cut
Probably my favourite of all the vintage diamond cuts for their romantic yet bright sparkle. They are the precursor to today’s modern brilliant cut diamonds, with the same number of facets and a round outline but thicker broader triangular facets and often a larger open culet.  The broader faceting pattern is often referred to as flower or checkerboard like as opposed to the more slender or splintery faceting found in the modern cut diamond pavilion. They were commonly used from the late Victorian eras through the Edwardian era (1901 – 1915) and Art Deco periods.
The Rose Cut
A truly timeless style, the rose cut diamond has been used for over five centuries. Like its namesake flower, the rose cut diamond was named for its petal like appearance. The cut has a distinctive multi faceted dome shape with a flat bottom. We love this cut for its understated and soft sparkle.
The Emerald Cut
Love the long elegant lines and minimalist look of the emerald cut diamond. Popularized in the 1940s, with a large table and stepped faceting they throw bright flashes of light in dramatic style.
The Modern Cut Diamond
The formula for the ideal modern brilliant cut was calculated in 1919 and continues to be the gold standard today.  Cut with mathematical precision to give you the maximum amount of sparkle and light reflecting back out of the diamond (technically called scintillation).  The larger table and elongated facets show you a tighter, brighter, sharper mosaic pattern of contrasting elongated splinter like flashed of light and dark.  The modern brilliant cut diamond is the clear winner if you are looking for a disco ball of a diamond.

Ring Sizing

I use the standard US ring size measurements.  You can generally resize most engagement rings up or down about 3 sizes without interfering with the integrity of the setting.  Rings with diamonds or engraving around the band may not be sizeable. Please ask first and I’ll confirm if we can size your ring.  Please note that we are able to size most vintage rings but the sizing process will result in the loss of the rings patina as the ring will need to be polished to complete the sizing work.  


Your ring should slide on fairly easily but need a slight wiggle to remove.  For most accurate sizing I recommend taking a few different measurements at different times when your fingers are not swollen or cold. I’m happy to help local customers find the perfect size at the studio.  For online customers, send me a note and I’ll mail you a home resizing kit.


Trying to figure out your partners’ size without him/her knowing? Here are a few ways you can estimate size on the down-low (1) Borrow an existing ring and measure the internal diameter in (mm).  It helps to trace the internal diameter or press the ring into something soft like playdoh for the most precise measurement.  Send me the internal diameter (not external) and I can estimate ring size. (2) Put one of their rings on your finger and draw a pen mark around your finger at the point where the ring fits you.  Later measure the circumference of your finger at that point with a string in (mm).  (3) Or you can bring one of their rings to the studio for us to measure for you. 

When in doubt size up! You don’t want to ruin the moment if the ring doesn’t fit. You can always size the ring smaller later.

Love Me - Jewellery Care & Maintenance

Jewellery requires care and maintenance.  Care should be taken to protect items against scratching, heavy wear, hard knocks, extreme temperatures and chemicals.  Do not wear your jewellery when lifting weights, carrying hard or heavy objects, working with your hands or playing contact sports (even diamonds can chip).   Clean your diamond jewellery in a small dish with warm water, dish soap and a soft cloth.  Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive materials.   You should have you jewellery professionally checked by a jeweller every 6 months to confirm the stones are secure in their settings and clasps are functioning properly.  If jewellery is not properly maintained, you risk losing a stone or the entire piece which really sucks:(.  Loss or damage to your gemstone(s) is not covered under warranty.  We highly recommend getting insurance for your jewels to cover this such loss and damage.  Insurance can be purchased from your own insurance provider or via Jeweler’s Mutual.

Form and Function - How to Choose the Right Engagement Ring Setting

Not all settings are created equal.  Choose one that fits your lifestyle.  Keep in mind that jewellery strength is really just a matter of physics.  Generally the thicker the metal the less maintenance will be required overtime.  

Band Thickness

We all love the look of a delicate band but need to remember a thinner band is not as strong and will require more maintenance.  If you workout with weights, carry heavy or hard objects or work with your hands a thin band can bend more easily and we would recommend that you be cautious or remove your jewellery.   

Claws Vs. Bezel

A bezel setting is a ribbon of metal that wraps all the way around a gem and holds it securely in place.  It is our go to favorite setting for durability and generally requires less maintenance.  It protects in two ways, it cushions the gem from bumps and everyday wear and tear and its smooth surface reduces the likelihood it will get snagged or catch on something and result in damage to your jewellery.  If you work with your hands or lead an active lifestyle a low profile bezel setting is a great choice. 

Number Of Claws

Claws are important because they are what holds your gemstone in place securely. Generally, the thicker and more claws you have the more secure your gemstone will be in its setting and the less maintenance your jewellery will require.  If you are hard on things, we recommend choosing a piece of jewellery with a bezel setting or thicker more numerous claws.  It is common for claws to bend or even break with everyday wear.  We highly recommend that you check your claws regularly and also have your jewellery professionally inspected every 6 months so that repairs can be made if necessary.   It is also important to purchase specialized insurance for your jewellery that covers against loss or damage to your gemstone as this is not covered under warranty.

A Note on Metal Finish

Bright Polish Vs. Matte or Brushed Finish

Think of your metal’s finish as a starting point.  Over time a bright polish will develop a lovely patina.  A brushed finish will gently become polished with everyday wear. 

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