Choosing the right diamond for you

Whether you are preparing for a surprise proposal or choosing your stone together, the experience of choosing a diamond for your engagement ring should be a fun, hassle-free and truly memorable experience. This is such an important time in your life and we are so excited to be part of your story.

At Carolyn Codd's we have qualified Diamond graders who teach our clients what to look out for when choosing diamonds, with no obligation.

We have a large selection of loose stones in-store which our clients are welcome to examine at any time. If you are looking for a particular shape or after after something very specific we would encourage you to call us ahead so can order a selection in for you with no obligation.

We always recommend that you look at more than one diamond at once, with a 10x loupe and under a daylight corrected lamp. Only by examining diamonds side by side, with a jewellers loupe and in the correct lighting to detect any colour variations can you really start to appreciate the difference between them.

Understanding the 4 C's before your appointment

The best way we have found that our clients understand what to look for while choosing diamonds is after a chat with our qualified diamond experts. However we understand that you may want to do a bit of research before you visit us in Nottingham.

You may have heard of the "4 C's" when researching diamonds: ColourClarityCut and Carat.

Firstly Carat is purely a unit weight and is not to be used as an indication towards the quality of a diamond. Large diamonds are not rare, but truly fine quality diamonds are.


The most common colour in diamonds is yellow, closely followed by brown. These subtle colours appear in most diamonds due to trace elements within the crystal. Completely colourless diamonds are the rarest, which therefore makes them more valuable.

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) developed the International Colour Scale to bring consistency in labelling diamond colour and uses letters ranging from D to Z to measure the degree of yellow, brown, or grey in a stone. To grade a diamond colour you place the diamond face down on pure white paper. Diamonds with a D rating must be totally colourless, while those with a Z rating have a very yellow hue.

We source colourless and near-colourless diamonds (G and above) because they show the most brilliance and fire.

We find that many of our clients have been told that they will not be able to see the difference between D, E, or F colour grades themselves. We can show you that you can!


Simply put a diamonds cut refers to the proportions of the diamond. This is a crucial factor in how light works within the diamond however there is much more to a diamonds cut.

Diamond cut is one of the most crucial elements to consider when selecting a diamond. The cut refers not to the shape of a diamond, but the balance of proportion, symmetry, and polish achieved by the diamond cutter. The extent of how well the diamond is cut is directly correlated to the diamond’s overall beauty. The better a diamond has been cut, the greater the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light. Modern diamond cutters understand how light moves through diamonds and have established a set of specific proportions and angles to best optimize the diamond's inner brilliance.

Before they are worked, natural diamonds resemble two square pyramids arranged in an eight-sided octahedral. A point-cut diamond is still in its natural shape and polished. While still quite beautiful, this cut does little to maximize the effects of light moving through the stone. 

Three proportion factors directly impact a diamond's ability to reflect light correctly: table, width, and depth. The table size and depth of a diamond relative to the diameter dramatically impact the light return from a diamond. At the same time, the proper width ensures that light hits the critical refraction angle. 

A well-cut diamond design is proportioned so that most of the light entering the gem exits back through the top of the stone, perfectly balancing the white light (brilliance) with intense flashes of colorful fire (dispersion). 

On the other hand, a diamond cut even a few degrees out of proportion can tunnel light out of the bottom of the diamond rather than redirect it back up towards the table, a phenomenon known as light leakage. This leak creates a diamond with poor light performance, dulled brilliance, and a dark center that cloaks its natural sparkle.

The Finest Quality

The minimum grade of Diamond we offer is a G (colour) VS (clarity). We only buy from reputable Diamond merchants and therefore the diamonds we offer are conflict-free.

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