Choosing a diamond

The purchase of a diamond is a serious decision.

In order to give you complete confidence in buying from H.L.Brown, we provide an independent diamond report from internationally respected gemmological laboratories to accompany your purchase. This we supply with all new diamonds weighing 0.50 carats and over. Our expert staff will be happy to guide you through the report and answer any queries.


Cut is the most important of all the quality criteria. A good cut will unlock the potential of a diamond to sparkle to its full effect.

There are different types of cut such as pear shape, heart shape, princess cut, emerald cut and many more. However, what we are concerned with here is the quality of cut, not the type.

The quality of cut varies considerably and is often poor for commercial considerations, usually to avoid loss of weight. We at H.L.Brown have the expertise to assess cut and take care to buy only well-proportioned, or as we say in the trade ‘well-made’ diamonds.


The best colour in diamond is no colour at all or, as we say in the trade, white. However, almost all diamonds are slightly off-white. The internationally recognised system of grading rates diamonds from letter D to letter Z, the former being the whitest and the latter the most tinted.

When we talk about colour in diamonds, it is the body colour that is being assessed, free from the rainbow colours associated with the sparkle and fire. In order to grade colour, the loose diamond must be viewed upside-down in north-facing daylight (as opposed to direct light) and graded against a set of ‘master stones’.


A diamond's clarity is determined by the degree to which it is free from naturally occurring inclusions, often called ' nature's fingerprints'.

Large or numerous inclusions are not only unsightly but will also interfere with light entering the diamond and light attempting to return to the viewer, resulting in diminished sparkle.

Below is the international clarity grading chart, illustrating the clarity as viewed under 10 x magnification by an experienced diamond grader.


The carat weight relates more correctly to the size rather than the quality of a diamond. The metric carat is equal to 0.200 grams.

Taking care of your diamond

Because they are so durable diamonds need very little looking after. However, you will need to make sure that they are clean and that the settings holding them are secure.

Diamond grading

As specialists, we have the in-house expertise to explain how diamond grading is carried out. We have four gemmologists on our staff. In addition, two members of staff at each branch have attended diamond grading courses. A visit to one of our stores will be sure to give you the confidence to purchase your diamond jewellery at H L Brown.

A Brief History of Diamond Cutting

We cannot know just when our ancestors first picked a shiny diamond crystals from the sands of a river. But their extraordinary hardness would have thwarted any attempts to cut and shape them. Indeed our word diamond derives from the Greek "Adamas", meaning unconquerable.