"Only the fines stones are fit for a Boodles piece of jewellery."
Each diamond, however small, must be a certain quality to make the Boodles grade. This was the case 200 years ago, and still remains the same.
Diamond buying expertise
A family-run business for more than two centuries, our diamond-buying expertise has been passed down from one generation to the next. Buying diamonds is fun, but it is also a serious job. We inspect thousands of diamonds every year that, on paper, have a sparkling future, but we reject 95% of what we see.
To put that into perspective, the equivalent of 20 double-decker buses of soil is pushed out of the ground to mine one carat of diamond. Of that one carat, 20% is used for jewellery. Less than 1% of these are good enough for Boodles.
The 4Cs is the industry standard for assessing diamonds. Cut, colour, clarity and carat weight are the key factors that determine the quality of a diamond. When we are buying, we carefully consider all these factors and plenty more besides to ensure that your heart skips a beat when you glimpse our diamonds for the first time.
Cut & shape
A diamond is a true wonder of nature – a rare and beautiful thing – but it is only when a master cutter gets to work that its true brilliance is revealed. Diamond cutting requires great artistry and accuracy, and we source our diamonds from a close network of suppliers who excel at both. Even our melee diamonds – the small shoulder stones we use in clusters – are top “Collection quality”, the whitest, brightest and cleanest diamonds you can buy, with the full number of facets (57, just so you know).
The cut of a stone also refers to its shape. We use the round brilliant cut the most. Its multi-faceted, symmetrical design gives an exceptional sparkle and it works especially well on engagement rings. We incorporate a huge variety of cuts into our jewellery – brilliant, oval, emerald, pear, marquise, cushion, heart, princess, briolette and radiant – and we are always on the hunt for exciting new ones. Most recently, we sourced some stunning Flanders cut diamonds, which are similar to a princess cut but with more light-reflecting facets, we are also using Ashoka cut diamonds in our designs which are rarely seen in the UK.
The Ashoka is the most difficult diamond cut to produce and there are only a few cutters in the world who have mastered the art. Modified from the antique cushion cut, the Ashoka has 62 scissor-cut facets – more than any other diamond – and rounded corners, which gives it a brilliance beyond compare. We are the only jeweller in Britain to offer Ashoka diamonds, which we source from a single cutter. This year, we have expanded our Ashoka jewellery range with some wonderfully sparkly engagement rings.
The Oval cut is a modern take on the Round-Brilliant cut, since the two cuts possess a similar enchanting fire and brilliance. This is a relatively new shape, developed in the 1960s by Lazare Kaplan the cousin of Marcel Tolkowsky who was instrumental in developing the round brilliant cut. Set in the Boodles Classic Vintage setting, the Oval cut looks exceptional.
For a more contemporary style, the Princess cut offers an edge to simple elegance and is the most popular fancy shape diamond. Square or slightly rectangular in shape with pointed corners and an array of intricate facets that increase the diamond’s inherent sparkle.
Popular for more than a century, the Cushion cut has a soft, romantic look. First developed in the 19th Century, where it was given the name ‘Candlelight Cut’ because of the way it reflected the domestic lighting of the time. With its rounded corners and larger facets, the Cushion cut is renowned for its remarkable fire and brilliance. The Boodles Vintage setting compliments this cut beautifully.
The Emerald cut has a timeless, elegant look with its long, lean lines reminiscent of vintage glamour. This rectangular cut, which has a relatively larger open table (top, flat surface) and fewer facets, highlights the clarity of the diamond more than any other shape. The Emerald cut produces a hall-of-mirrors effect, with the interplay of light and dark planes.
The Clean, classic and versatile Round-Brilliant cut is by far the most popular diamond cut available today. A well cut round brilliant shaped diamond is capable of returning nearly all the light that enters it and is therefore the most brilliant of diamond cuts, since it is symmetrical. Its 57 facets bring out the most brilliance, fire and sparkle of all the shapes.
Unique to Boodles in Britain, the rarity of these stones cannot be contested. Taking their name from a remarkable Indian Emperor, Ashoka, who owned a now legendary diamond, these stones are renowned for their brilliance and fire. With 60 facets and distinctive rounded corners the Ashoka cut combines the elegance of an emerald cut with the radiance of a brilliant cut.
The Pear shaped diamond offers a delicate, feminine look. This multi-faceted cut combines the soft, rounded end of an Oval shape with the sharp, tapered point of a Marquise shape. Wearing the point of the diamond towards or away from the hand is completely personal preference.
This rare, symbolic cut is ever the romantic choice. A Heart shaped diamond is an extremely complex cut, and only a skilled cutter can determine the beauty of this cut. This cut is rare and distinctive, possibly the ultimate symbol of love.
Often described as a square emerald, the Asscher cut evokes an art deco feel from the 1920s and ‘30s. This cut of diamond was first produced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothesr of Holland. Today Asscher cut diamonds have more facets and the step cut corners add to the shape’s geometric appeal. This shape highlights the clarity of the diamond, but tends to have more brilliance than the emerald cut.
Finest quality white diamonds
Using colour to describe a diamond is something of an anomaly. Graded on a scale from D to Z, the finest-quality white diamonds are D which are colourless.
Purity of colour
It is this absence of colour that intensifies the flashes of fire visible in the very best diamonds. D and E colour diamonds are frequently referred to as "exceptional whites", F and G's as "rare whites", and only an experienced gemmologist can distinguish between them.
Put simply, we are looking for purity of colour, and we keep our standards consistently high: every Boodles white diamond is an “exceptional” or “rare white”. We also love working with fancy coloured diamonds, so you'll find natural yellows and pinks in our jewellery. Both are extremely rare and extremely precious, with most of our pink diamonds coming from, Argyle in Australia.
Each diamond is unique, like a snowflake. Nearly all contain crystals or minerals, formed during their creation in the earth and visible to the trained eye as minuscule specks. It is these tiny blemishes, known as inclusions, which affect a diamond's clarity and make it possible to compare two diamonds of exactly the same cut, carat and colour. Ranked on a scale of clarity, the most perfect “flawless” diamonds are renowned for their rarity and value. At the other end of the spectrum are mottled diamonds, the least precious and pretty to look at. We are very stringent when it comes to clarity – all Boodles diamonds are perfect to the human eye, and any inclusions are barely discernible even when magnified by 10 times.
Carat weight is the factor that everyone's most interested in: how big? But it is not that simple, since carat is a measure of weight, not size, and the cut of a diamond can make it seem bigger or smaller than it actually is. Sometimes, higher-carat diamonds appear more brilliant because the greater surface area refracts more light. Also, it does not necessarily follow that a two carat diamond will be twice as expensive as a one carat stone of identical cut, colour and clarity. Larger diamonds occur less frequently in nature, making them rarer and much more valuable. For reference, and as a guarantee, all of our diamond rings have the carat weight engraved inside the shank.
Beyond the 4Cs
We have been working with the world's greatest diamond-cutting centres for generations — most of our diamonds come from these centres and they are well-informed about what we look for. Our team of specialists will check a diamond's credentials: the 4Cs. All of our diamonds over 0.75 carats are, generally, certified. Every diamond is inspected and, if it hasn't got that special something, it will never make it on to a Boodles piece of jewellery. All Boodles certified diamonds are personally checked by Jody Wainwright, Head of Gemstone buying. It's all about personality and liveliness – we only buy stones that charm and delight. If you're going to be wearing a diamond every day, why settle for anything less than extraordinary?
Our policy on conflict diamonds
All of our diamonds are purchased from legitimate sources that are not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. We deal with suppliers we have known for a long time, who guarantee their diamonds are non-conflict.