While we agree that nothing sparkles quite like a natural gemstone, we are also certain that you will not find a better alternative than CARAT*. Many jewellers have admitted that they
have difficulty telling our gems apart from naturals because of their very similar optical characteristics.
It takes around nine months to train a single technician in the stages of sawing, pre-forming, faceting and polishing CARAT* gems. In fact, each stage of the process from beginning to end is the same as those found in fine jewellery making. Each step is performed with precision and care, so as to achieve the ideal proportions that will yield the most brilliant CARAT* stones.
We hand cut and polish every stone with meticulous attention to detail and our gems are never mass-produced by machine. Because we only use highly trained and experienced stonecutters, we create high-quality gems that are second to none.
Measuring an impressive 8.5-9.0 Mohs (the scale of mineral hardness), with only diamond measuring the maximum 10 Mohs, our stones are close to sapphire and ruby in terms of hardness. Whilst being very durable, our stones still demand the same respect you would give their natural inspirations. Keep them clean and try not to knock the mountings and they will last a lifetime.
All our stones normally exceed Gemological Institute of America (GIA) accepted “Ideal” cutting tolerances. By doing this we ensure they are some of the most beautiful simulants in the world.
Normally when scored against the GIA diamond colour scale, our stones are an equivalent of D or E in colour (D being the very top of the scale).
Typically we yield a clarity of "IF" (Internally Flawless) although VVS1 (Very Very Small Inclusions) can be noted in some larger CARAT* stones. The vast majority of CARAT* stones will appear flawless to the naked eye. By definition, you will need a jeweller's Loupe to see inclusions in CARAT* stones.
CARAT* CUTTING STYLES
The Round Brilliant, or Brilliant Round, is what comes to mind for most people when they think of a diamond. It is one of the simplest yet most dazzling expressions of a cutter's wheel.
With 58 facets to refract and reflect light on, the round brilliant cut represents the most popular form of cutting in the 21st century.
Second in popularity to the Round Brilliant is the Princess cut. Slightly modified from traditional cutting, it reveals the true potential of its brilliance. Full of fiery scintillation, Princess cut stones burst with reflected light.
Another Brilliant cut, Pear cut stones bear many of the facets of a round except their proportions are elongated along the tip. One of the keys to cutting a good Pear shape is reducing the bow-tie effect that appears in the lower
mid section of the stone. Additional facets are also added to the tip of the stone, known as French tipping. This facets counter light leakage in the area. Through superior cutting techniques,
we have been able to achieve a brilliantly proportioned Pear that will outshine most others.
Yet another Brilliant cut, Oval cut stones borrow faceting techniques from the Round Brilliant. Additional facets are added to eliminate the bowtie effect in the stone’s midsection. The overall effect is a stone that
is more often seen as the exclusive domain of the very rich, since they look a little different from the ubiquitous Rounds.
This stone is another adaptation of the 58-facet Round Brilliant. Previously the domain of royalty, Marquise cut stones have a unique shape that particularly suits long, slender fingers. The crown is modified in the
Marquise to form what is called a French Tip, where the bezel facet at the point of the stone is eliminated. This allows a more even spread of scintillation along the length of the stone.
The Emerald cut is classified as a step cut; with larger facets, which act like mirrors. The Emerald cut has fewer facets than most cuts. Because of the angle, size and shape of the facets, the Emerald cut shows less
brilliance and fire (dispersion) than other Brilliant cut diamonds. However, the Emerald cut stone reveals a sense of classic beauty and elegance not seen in other cuts.
Our Radiant cuts have 70 facets and the stone is truly one of our most brilliant cuts. The crown section includes a Brilliant and Step cut arrangement. The pavilion section of each Radiant cut stone is styled similarly to
Brilliant stones in that they have a slight step styling in the upper sections just below the girdle. The overall look is one of bewildering light and colour.
The shapes of Asscher cut stones are nearly identical to those of Emerald cut stones, except that they are square. Asscher stones also have pavilions that are cut with rectangular facets in the
same style as the Emerald cut. The original Asscher cut was very popular in the early 1900s, before the Great Depression. The eventual invention of modern diamond sawing machines, however, made
them uneconomical to cut. Nonetheless, their beauty is breathtaking and thus the cut has been revived and improved with the addition of 16 extra facets that add even more brilliance and life to this outstanding cut.
Another Brilliant cut and a slight variation of the Pear cut, Heart cut stones have a small slice removed from their top sections, revealing a sparkling symbol of love. Our attention to detail ensures that the removed
section is also hand polished for maximum brilliance. Something you will find lacking in many other simulants.
Starting in 1830, the Cushion cut became one of the most popular cuts. For 70 years, until the early 1900s, most diamonds were cut in this style. The Cushion cut is often referred to as the "Pillow" cut because
of its slightly rounded corners. The Cushion cut was cut to sparkle in candlelight, which was common in that era. Till today, Cushion cut diamonds continue to hold their own in a room full of Round stones.
This cut is an example of a modified Round Brilliant, and as a result, it is comparable, if not superior, to the best Round cut or Princess cut diamonds. It is becoming a more popular way to cut rough diamonds
as it yields a relatively higher carat weight than equivalent Round Brilliants or even Princess cuts.