Reve Diamonds

  • ARE YOU GREEN WITH ENVY FOR GREEN DIAMONDS?

    Green diamonds traditionally symbolise peace, tranquillity, growth and fertility. They are amongst the rarest and the most highly-valued natural fancy coloured diamonds available ranking alongside blue, purple, pink, and violet diamonds in terms of rarity value. However, due to the popularity of blue and pink diamonds they have become somewhat obscured, although in actual fact they are rarer and this is largely due to the way in which green diamonds are formed.  Here we take a closer look at this most intriguing of the natural fancy coloured diamonds:

    How does a diamond get its green colour? 

    Diamonds are formed when organised carbon atoms are pressurised and bound together in the earth’s core. As we know colourless diamonds are chemically pure and structurally perfect.  Whilst in comparison natural coloured diamonds are formed when impurities occur in the chemical bonding, or defects in the crystalline structure. However, green diamonds are the exception. They acquire their unique colour from an extremely rare process of natural irradiation that occurs where carbon deposits in the earth contain highly radioactive material.

    A natural green diamond will be exposed to radiation over a period of thousands of years during its formation underground. The radiation, usually coming from uranium near the Earth’s surface, has the innate ability to displace carbon atoms in the diamond from their positions. This changes the stones ability to absorb and refract light which allows it to reflect the green colour on its surface. The longer the diamond is exposed to radiation, the more vivid the green colour becomes. The fact that these conditions have to be absolutely perfect for a green diamond to form is the reason that natural green diamonds are a genuinely rare occurrence and this is what makes this gemstone so intriguing.

    There is however no reason to be worried about the levels of radiation in green diamonds. Because this process takes place underground over thousands of years the actual diamond is rendered harmless. The green colour does not contain harmful chemicals and is merely the green light being reflected on the crystal, and the diamond retains only the radioactive stains NOT the properties of radioactivity.

    The majority of natural green diamonds are mined in Brazil, Venezuela and Zimbabwe

    How are green coloured diamonds graded?

    The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has a special colour-grading system for fancy coloured diamonds including green diamonds. This takes into account the hue, tone and saturation of the rocks.  The term ‘hue’ refers to the primary colour of the diamond, the tint which appears on the surface i.e., blue, red, green, yellow. ‘Tone’ refers to how light or how dark the colour is, with the faintest grade nearing transparency while the darkest leans to black. ‘Saturation’ refers to how heavy the colour appears on the stone. The more vivid, deeper colours are graded higher on the chart.

    How is a green diamonds colour intensity measured for grading?

    The longer a green diamond is exposed to radiation then the deeper into the gem the colour will have penetrated and this will also determine the hue.  As green diamonds are less affected with impurities, it is often difficult to classify these diamonds according to colour and they can range from faint green to fancy deep green. Pure green diamonds are graded as follows: Faint Green, Very Light Green, Light Green, Fancy Light Green, Fancy Green, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Deep.  Those classified Fancy Vivid Green are the rarest as they hardly ever occur so making them the highest priced.

    Very often green diamonds will also display two secondary colours these being blue and yellow.  You will therefore often see them colour graded as yellow, yellowish, blue, bluish, brown, brownish, gray, grayish, gray yellowish, and grayish yellowish.

    To establish the origin of colour green diamonds are always submitted to a gem laboratory. However even with today’s advanced technology it is not always possible for the lab to produce a satisfactory assessment.  Most of them are not green all the way through and many will show green radiation blotches or stains on the surface which get polished away during the cutting process, which lead to a loss of colour.  In these cases diamond cutters have to work their way around this in order to present the highest colour saturation in the best way.  It is highly unusual for a stone to be evenly coloured all the way through, but they do occur.

    What are Chameleon Diamonds? 

    To add to the intrigue, mystery and beauty of natural green diamonds some display another extremely rare phenomenon. This is their ability to change colour to suit their environment, hence the name given to this type of diamond - ‘Chameleon Diamonds’.

    Chameleon Diamonds are a variety of natural green diamonds that normally possess a green colour but can change from brown to yellow dependent upon their exposure to light and heat.  For example, when heated or kept in the dark, they can turn to bright yellow temporarily and as they cool down or are gradually exposed to light, they turn back to their original green hue. There is no exact explanation as to why this phenomenon happens and no other diamond possesses this ability which is the reason why Chameleon Diamonds are twice as rare and are highly sought-after by diamond enthusiasts.   A very famous Chameleon Diamond is The Chopard Chameleon which is a 31.31 carat oval shaped diamond.

    Famous natural green diamonds

    As green diamonds are so rare, only a handful of them are ever found.  Perhaps the most famous green diamond in the world is the ‘Dresden Green’. Believed to have been discovered in India in the 18th century this stunning green diamond weighs an amazing 41 carats.  It is the largest the known natural green diamond to have been discovered and has a clarity grade of VS-1, which was received by the GIA in 1988 as uniquely its colouration is uniformly distributed throughout.   It was acquired by Augustus, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony in 1742 and it remains on view in the Green Vaults in Dresden today.  It sets the benchmark for all stones of its kind because its colour is natural and homogenous all the way through.

    Also famous is the ‘The Ocean Dream’ whose name refers to its unique Fancy deep blue-green shade that resembles the crystalline image of a very, very deep ocean. It weighs 5.5 carats and was put on exhibition in the Smithsonian’s ‘Splendour of Gems’ exhibition.

    The ‘Aurora Green’ holds the title of the largest ever Fancy Vivid Green diamond weighing 5.03 carat. Its size is not the only remarkable property of this diamond is that it also has VS2 clarity and no fluorescence which is extremely rare for such a diamond.   It was auctioned by Christie’s Hong Kong on May 31st 2016 and sold for a very impressive $16.8 Million which makes the price per carat in excess of $3.3 million dollars!  This broke the record set at auction by ‘The Ocean Dream’ that sold in 2014 for $8.6 million, equivalent to $1.5 million per carat.

    As mentioned before another famous natural green diamond is ‘The Chopard Chameleon’ which was acquired in 2007 by Swiss jeweller Chopard. He revealed this stunning green diamond to the world in its delicate setting at Baselworld in 2008.  It is the centre piece of a ring surrounded by a delicate pavé setting of tiny fancy coloured diamonds and was designed by the renowned jeweller Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele. The Chopard Chameleon is the largest known chameleon diamond in the world, comfortably exceeding the previous record holder in size, a 22.28 carat chameleon heart shaped diamond.  It was estimated to be worth $10 Million in 2008.

    Famous celebrities who wear natural green diamonds 

    As green diamonds are so rare, they are not many who have been lucky enough to own/wear these amazing gemstones apart from royalty and the favoured few.

    The ‘Orlov Diamond’ is a bluish-green diamond which belonged to Catherine the Great of Russia and is set upon her Imperial Sceptre. There are a total of 180 facets on the diamond which features a rose-style cut and this diamond is said to have the proportions of half a chicken’s egg

    Queen Elizabeth is the lucky owner of a very rare chameleon diamond which was bought for Buckingham Palace anonymously. It is a very impressive 3 carat in weight and is heart shaped.

    In 2010 and in 2011, Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively was seen wearing a stunning green diamond ring which was designed by Lorraine Schwartz and consists of exquisite deep green coloured diamonds.

  • WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT, DIAMOND CLARITY OR COLOR?

    When couples come into Reve Diamonds to shop for an engagement ring we are often asked the question which is the more important factor to consider diamond clarity or diamond colour?   This question is often asked as the basis for a trade-off between these two factors when deciding upon a diamond. For example, should I choose between a diamond with SI1 clarity and G colour or and VS2 clarity and H colour?

    This is a hard question to give a straight answer to as there are circumstances when colour matters more than clarity and vice versa. However, what also must be borne in mind is that these are two unrelated attributes much as when going to buy a car for example the colour isn’t related to the fuel consumption, you need to consider both factors separately but meet both requirements to be happy with your purchase.   So in terms of diamonds a more educated approach would be to consider clarity and colour independently then decide what the minimum acceptable level is for each attribute. So to help you to do this let’s take a look at the facts:

    How is the clarity of a diamond determined?

    Firstly the diamond will be visually considered to see if it is ‘eye clean’. This means it will be examined with the naked eye from a distance of 9 – 12 inches without magnification to determine if any inclusions or flaws are present.  The diamond will then be more scientifically evaluated using a 10x magnification loupe to determine the extent of any inclusions, and also identify any additional flaws inclusions which may be present. The top clarity grade, FL (Flawless), is assigned to diamonds that have no visible inclusions when looked at with a 10x loupe. The lower a diamond’s clarity grade the more likely you are to see imperfections such as black spots or lines within the stone.

    How is colour graded in a diamond? 

    Diamonds are graded for an absence of colour, and then each colour grade represents a range of colour.  The scale begins with D-colourless which is considered to be the highest colour decreasing Z which is the lowest grade of colour and used to describe diamonds which are faint yellow. Diamonds are colour graded by placing them on a white tray upside down so that they are sitting on the table facet with the culet pointing up in the air.  This is under a diamond grading light which is controlled lighting that is colour corrected. They are observed from the side profile in a completely dark room, and then compared side-by-side with other diamonds known as a “master set” which have already been graded for colour.  The colour of a diamond is relatively easy to determine from a side profile under this type of controlled lighting environment but it is much more difficult to establish the true colour under normal lighting from the top-down.

    How to choose diamond colour and clarity

    Our first recommendation is that you ensure that the diamond is ‘eye clean’ so has no inclusions that are obvious enough to be visible to the naked eye. You do not necessarily need to go for the diamond with highest clarity as diamonds graded VS1-VS2 or SI1 can look just as clean as FL/IF-clarity stones if you choose a diamond that is pleasing to the eye.  If you are buying a round diamond for a yellow gold setting, you can safely pick a stone with a colour graded as low as J, K or L, possibly even an M and not worry about the visibility of any tints of yellow when the diamond is set into your engagement ring.  However, for other cuts of diamonds you may need to decide upon a higher colour grade such as I, J or K.  For a round diamond set in white gold or platinum or white gold then we recommend that you do not go any lower than the colour grades H, I or J. For other cuts G or H is a good choice, but don’t go lower than I colour.

    Should I focus more on clarity or colour when choosing the diamond for my engagement ring? 

    As we have previously said when shopping for a diamond engagement ring the focus upon clarity ‘v’ colour is very much down to your personal preference and quality of vision.

    If having an engagement ring with a white gold or platinum setting then selecting a high grade colour will be more important than having top clarity as it is very important for the diamond not to have visible tints.  If you set a diamond with slight yellowish tints in white gold or platinum, the yellow will stand out even more against the white backdrop, and the diamond will look darker than its setting. A small inclusion on the side of the diamond would spoil its appearance much less than the diamond’s low-grade colour in these circumstances.

    Clarity starts to matter a lot when it is too low. There is not much difference to the naked eye between a diamond graded IF or FL than one within the VS1-VS2 clarity range but diamonds with clarity graded below SI1/SI2 are very likely to have visible flaws.  Clarity is much more important when your engagement ring is to be yellow gold setting as this colour of metal can absorb the yellowish tints in a low-grade diamond making it look whiter in contrast to the gold. Therefor in this scenario you would be well advised to choose a diamond that looks clean to the naked eye rather than opting for a perfectly white colour.

    One selection factor that should be considered is the overall quality of the cut of the diamond. The reason for this is that the cut determines the amount of light that is refracted by the diamond which gives the diamond its sparkle and brightness.  So always choose a diamond that is cut to deliver the maximum volume of light return, brilliance and sparkle which will make it more difficult to locate inclusions. Plus well cut diamonds tend to look whiter than diamonds which are not so well cut.

    If you are still in doubt as to the importance of clarity and colour our highly experienced team here at Reve Diamonds are very happy to answer any questions and provide good advice on this, or any other diamond related matter.

  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRINCESS DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS

    The gift of an engagement ring is a very significant moment in your relationship as it represents your love and the commitment of your fiancé to spending the rest of his life with you. So, when you go to choose your engagement ring together it is very important to make the right choice, as this will be a piece of jewellery that you will wear for a lifetime.

    There are many different cuts of diamond to choose from but one of the most popular has to be the princess cut engagement ring. If you are a woman whose style is edgy and contemporary, this cut of diamond will undoubtedly appeal to you. Its combination of stylish angles and sparkling brilliance makes a princess cut engagement ring appear more distinctive, dramatic and modern. When wearing a princess setting engagement ring this design will make you stand out from the crowd!   Read on to learn everything that you need to know about princess diamond engagement rings:

    What is a princess cut diamond? 

    Princess cut diamond engagement rings were first introduced in the 1960s. However, it was not until 1979 that the princess cut as we know it today was created by Ygal Perlman, Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz, which means that it is a relatively recent entrant to the world of diamond cuts.

    The princess cut is the square equivalent of the brilliant round cut, hence why it is also known as the ‘modified brilliant cut’.  As the 'modified brilliant' name suggests, the facet arrangement of the princess cut is similar to the brilliant, although it is not the same.

    A princess cut engagement ring has four clean edges and displays a flat square or rectangular face, with an inverted pyramid profile. From the top view the princess cut diamond is square or slightly rectangular, while the underside is a 4-sided pyramidal shape. It contains 57 or 76 facets with a typical ratio of 1.0 to 1.05. Due to its exceptional distribution of light, the princess cut is the most brilliant of all the square shaped diamonds and offers maximum sparkle. It is this sparkle which earned the princess cut another name- the “radiant cut” and is undoubtedly the reason why the princess setting engagement ring is a highly sought after by brides-to-be.

    What makes a princess cut diamond engagement ring appear to sparkle more that some other diamond cuts?

    The pyramidal shape of a princess diamond engagement ring with its four bevelled sides creates more light dispersion than any other square shaped diamond cut. Its unique faceting style was designed to gain maximum brilliance from the diamond.  The combination of the brilliance of a round cut with the clean angles of a square shape and sharp, uncut corners create princess cut diamond engagement rings  whose sparkle  is unrivalled among other square cuts.

    Why do princess cut diamond engagement rings look bigger? 

    Princess cut diamond engagement rings give the optical illusion of looking bigger than a round brilliant diamond of the equivalent carat weight.  This is because their square shape has a larger diameter of up to 15% when measured from corner to corner. Also a princess cut diamond that has the same width as the diameter of a round brilliant diamond will weigh more. This is due to the fact that it has four corners which would otherwise have been cut off and rounded when creating the round brilliant cut. However, it should be noted that if a princess cut diamond has not been expertly cut and the light does not reflect off the diamond as it should, then it can appear smaller. This is why it is vital that when selecting your princess diamond engagement ring that you choose a diamond with a high quality cut.

    Are princess cut diamond engagement ringavailable in more than one shape?

    There is a lot of variation in the length to width ratio of princess cut diamonds which gives them their unique ability to accommodate different shapes, even though they are generally thought to be square-shaped.  For a square look princess cut engagement ring choose a length to width ratio of 1 to 1.10. If your preference is for a princess setting engagement ring that has a more rectangular appearance, then opt for a length to width ratio of 1.10.  Please be aware that the square shapes of princess cut engagement rings are the more expensive variant of this cut of diamond.

    What clarity grading should I choose for my princess cut engagement ring?

    Unlike square cuts such as emerald, baguette and asscher, the princess cut does hide inclusions fairly well.  Therefore for a small princess cut diamond you can go down to VS2 and still have an excellent clarity grading, and for a larger diamond stone, VS1 will still give you excellent clarity. Due to the fact that princes cut diamond engagement rings  are often cut from top quality rough diamonds, low clarity grade (SI1-I) diamonds are not often found.  However, you may be able to find an eye-clean lower clarity grade diamond for your princess setting engagement ring which would offer good value for money.

    Are princess cut diamonds good at hiding inclusions?  

    The simple answer to this question is yes, princess cut diamonds are excellent for hiding inclusions. Due to its shape and extra facets which allow greater dispersal of light throughout the diamond, inclusions are hidden more efficiently than any other cut. This means that when choosing your princess cut engagement ring you can drop down a couple of grades in terms of clarity and colour and still have a perfect-looking diamond. However we always advise that while the clarity grade is important, what is more critical is where the inclusions are located on the diamond.

    Are princess cut engagement rings affordable?  

    Due to the fact that when cutting a princess cut diamond there is very little waste this makes them one of the more economical of the diamond cuts which is reflected in their price.  To give you an example a round brilliant cut rough diamond generally yields around 40%, whereas a princess cut rough diamond will yield anywhere between 80% and 90% which means that a diamond cutter can produce two princess cut diamonds from a single octahedron of a rough diamond meaning a more affordable price is achievable.

    Which settings work best with for princess cut engagement rings?

    Princess cut diamonds are known for their versatility and they work well with most settings, from simple to elaborate. As a solitaire princess diamond engagement ring the design will have a classical and elegant feel.  If used within a halo design with accent diamonds a princess setting engagement ring will be a real show stopper with maximum sparkle and brilliance.

    What must be borne is that the princess cut, by its nature, has sharp points and these can be susceptible to damage if not correctly protected by the setting. Therefore we advise when choosing a princess cut engagement ring that you opt for a four-prong V-shaped setting which will hold the diamond securely in place and ensure that the edges are safe. Also be aware that if there are inclusions near the edges, this can weaken the diamond and make it vulnerable to chipping.

  • FAMOUS DIAMONDS – INTERESTING FACTS

    For many centuries there has been a global fascination with diamonds and they are widely regarded as one of the most intriguing gemstones on the planet. The famous slogan 'Diamonds are Forever' popularised by De Beers in their advertising campaigns, perfectly captures the essence of diamonds forged billions of years ago and surviving the forces of nature to be brought into our possession.  Throughout history diamonds have been revered for their mystic powers and incredible beauty and we are attracted to their innate brilliance sparkle and fire.

    Perhaps part of this fascination with diamonds throughout the years is their scarcity value which makes them even more sought after. Plus, from time to time there appears on the world stage a diamond that is so exquisite in its beauty, clarity, weight and/or brilliance that it is a real show stopper, and truly deserves to be remember in a ‘diamond hall of fame’.  Some diamonds do of course deserve to be more famous than others, and here we would like to celebrate five of the world's most famous, and greatest diamonds.

    The KOH-I-NOOR diamond

    The most famous and one of the world’s largest diamonds must be the Koh-I-Noor which in Persian means ‘Mountain of Light’. It is widely believed whoever owns the Koh-I-Noor ‘rules the world’, and as the most famous diamond of all time this is a very apt statement.

    This breath-taking diamond has a long and bloody history, starting, according to legend as far back as 6,000 BC, although it was officially discovered in 1304 and the first recorded owners were the Kakatiya Dynasty of South India.  It is believed that the Koh-I-Noor was found at Kollur Mine in India and weighed an incredible 186 carats in its rough state.

    This truly majestic diamond changed hands between various parties in India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan until it was given to Queen Victoria after the 1849 conquest of the Punjab by the British. The Koh-I-Noor was originally of a similar cut to other diamonds of the Murgal era which can be seen in the Iranian crown jewels. It was displayed at the famous Great Exhibition in London in 1851 but it failed to impress as it was said to be of lacklustre appearance!  Following the exhibition Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert ordered that the Koh-I-Noor be re-cut into the shape of an oval-brilliant and after this process the Koh-I-Noor now weighs 108 carats.

    The Koh-I-Noor is surrounded by superstition and as its history involved much fighting and blood shed amongst men, the British Royal family believed that only women should wear this exquisite diamond. It has been worn by Queen Victoria as a brooch and a circlet, by Queen Alexandra the wife of Edward VII when it was set into a crown and then subsequently by Queen Mary as her crown and finally by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1937. This striking diamond is now on public display in The Jewel House at The Tower of London as part of the English Crown Jewels of England and still sits within the Queen Mother’s Crown.

    The Blue Hope Diamond

    As its name suggests, this diamond is an exquisite and much admired rare blue colour which is due to the presence of trace amounts of boron atoms and weighs an impressive 45.52 carats. The Blue Hope Diamond is one of the most talked about diamonds in the world. The story of this diamond has fascinated many people for many years hence why it is considered by many to be one of the most famous diamonds in the world.

    So, beyond its innate beauty, why is this diamond so famous – the answer is for its curse! Legend tells the story that in the 17th century The Blue Hope Diamond was plucked from the eye of an Indian statue of the Hindu goddess Sita, by the French merchant traveller Jean Baptiste Tavernier. A curse was placed upon the diamond in revenge for this act of theft, bringing bad luck or death to all who touched it.

    This curse has of course been dismissed as superstition and as a story invented in the late 19th century to enhance the mystique surrounding this diamond in order to generate publicity and to enhance its market value. Many claims were made of those who had met a gruesome end when owning The Blue Hope Diamond including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who were guillotined; the Russian Prince Ivan Kanitovski, killed by Russian revolutionists and who also shot his sweetheart; Sultan Hamid who was thrown from a precipice along with his wife (and child) the Folies Bergère actress, Mademoiselle Ledue, whilst she was wearing the jewel on stage; and also Tavernier himself, said to have been torn to pieces by wild dogs in Constantinople. Many of these claims have not withstood the test of time or scrutiny but of course add to the diamonds fascination

    The facts that are known are that The Blue Hope Diamond was discovered in India in the Kollur mine in Golconda by Tavernier. In the rough it weighed around 112 carats and was a crude triangular shaped stone, which he described as a ‘beautiful violet’. Today the GIA have officially classified The Blue Hope Diamond as being fancy dark greyish blue (rare). A further test using a very sensitive colourimeter has shown that there is a very slight violent component to the deep blue colour that is indiscernible to the naked eye.

    Tavernier sold The Blue Hope diamond to King Louis XVI in 1668, and it was recut by his court jeweller, Sieur Pitau. The diamond was suspended on a neck ribbon which the King wore on ceremonial occasions and called the French Blue ‘Le bleu de France’.  It was stolen in 1791 during the French revolution, and in 1830 it was bought by the Englishman Henry Phillip Hope and was recut with the

    largest section acquiring its "Hope" name. The Blue Hope then resurfaced and changed hands several times until 1909 when the diamond was bought by Pierre Cartier. He had it recut and set as a cushion antique brilliant diamond with a faceted girdle and extra facets on the pavilion (weighing in at 45 carats). This is the form in which the diamond appears today, and it was done to aid Cartier in the sale of the diamond to the American mining heiress and socialite, Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean, and her husband Edward who despite protracted wrangling’s bought The Blue Hope Diamond in 1911 for $300,000.  On Mrs McLean’s death, the stone was purchased in 1949 by New York gem merchant Harry Winston Inc. He exhibited The Blue Hope around the world and in 1958 donated the diamond to The Smithsonian, Washington’s National Museum of Natural History  where it has since remained on permanent exhibition.

    The Great Star of Africa

    The Great Star of Africa diamond is both the largest clear-cut diamond in the world and the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing a jaw dropping 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g) in its rough state. What is even more amazing is that many crystallographers believe that the diamond that was discovered was only a cleavage fragment of a considerably larger stone! The Great Star of Africa was discovered in the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905. It is also referred to as ‘The Cullinan I’ in honour of Sir Thomas Cullinan who was the owner of the mining company that found this amazing diamond.

    This stunning diamond was cut by the world-famous cutter Asscher in Amsterdam. After cutting it weighed 530.20 carats and exhibited an extraordinary number of facets - 74 in total!  In 1907 The Great Star of Africa was sold to the Transvaal Colony who then gave the diamond to King Edward VII as a 66th birthday present.  It has now taken its rightful place in the hallowed halls of the Tower of London as part of the British Crown Jewel’s as it is set in the Spectre of the King.

    The Excelsior

    This diamond with a stunning blue-white tint is the third largest rough diamond of gem quality ever found, originally weighing an amazing 995.2 carats (194g) – it was the largest known diamond in the world from the time of its discovery in 1893 until 1905, when the larger Cullinan diamond was found.

    The Excelsior has quite an interesting story surrounding how it was found. The diamond was discovered on June 30, 1893 at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa by an African worker. He found it in a pile of gravel whilst he was unloading his truck, but he was frightened to tell anyone of his discovery so kept it secret until he could deliver the diamond direct to the owner of the mine. The delighted and very grateful mine owner rewarded him richly with £500 cash and a horse with a saddle and bridle.

    On the day that The Excelsior was discovered the contract between the mining company and the London based syndicate which purchased its diamonds expired. The diamond’s discovery was never reported in any of the well-known British newspapers, despite its remarkable size and properties, and this could have been the reason.  In 1895 another very large diamond was found in the Jagersfontein Mine which was originally called named after the President of the Orange Free State the Reitz Diamond and later renamed the Jubilee Diamond, in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.  It is not entirely clear as to why the Jubilee Diamond which weighed only

    650.80 carats eclipsed The Excelsior in terms of infamy and many have speculated that the reason for this could be that The Excelsior was felt to be far too large and of a quality that was too superior for any prospective buyer.  Consequently, The Excelsior was sent to I. J. Asscher in Amsterdam, in 1903, to be cut into ten pieces with the three largest cut diamonds weighing a very respectable 158, 147 and 130 carats.

    The Orlov (Orloff)

    Described as having the shape and proportions of half a hen's egg, this is the third world's largest cut diamond weighing more than 194 carats. The Orlov is a very rare diamond as it has retained its original Indian rose-style cut and its colour is widely described as white with a faint bluish-green tinge. It was discovered in Golkonda, India in the 17th century.  According to legend, this diamond was once used as the eye of an idol in the Temple of the Brahma in Mysore until it was stolen by a French deserter, who escaped with it to Madras. Others believe that the history of the Orlov extends to the middle of the 18th century, when the diamond belonged to the King of Persia - Nāder Shāh. After his assassination it was stolen and sold to an Armenian millionaire named Shaffrass.  Whichever version is correct, The Orlov diamond was purchased in 1774 by Count Grigory Grigoryevich Orlov, who in an unsuccessful attempt to regain her favour, presented it to Empress Catherine II the Great. Catherine then had the diamond mounted in the Romanov Imperial Sceptre, and it is now part of the Diamond Fund of the Moscow Kremlin.

    The Orlov diamond should not be confused with the "Black Orlov diamond", called the Eye of Brahma, which according to legend was stolen from a Temple near Pondicherry.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • THE BEAUTY OF BLUE DIAMONDS

    The basic rule of economics is that supply and demand dictates price, and in the world of diamonds this is undoubtedly true where rarity equals value. Take for example, natural fancy coloured diamonds which account for less than 0.1% of the number of mined diamonds. Prices for these fancy coloured diamonds are determined by the rarity of the diamond’s colour and how hard it is to obtain it.  Whist coloured diamonds present in 12 different colour variations with more than 90 secondary hues, 9 intensity levels, and over 230 combinations of colour, natural fancy coloured diamonds can basically be divided into four main groups based on their prices, these are:

    Ultra-High - Red diamonds which are the rarest of the coloured diamonds and therefore the most expensive.

    High price range – Blue, Pink, Purple, Violet and Green diamonds.

    Mid-price range - Vivid and Intense Yellow Diamonds and Orange Diamonds.

    Relatively affordable - Grey, Brown and Fancy Yellow Diamonds.

    As can be seen, blue diamonds are amongst the rarest of the fancy coloured diamonds. They stand at the tip of the second rarest group and are rarer than pink diamonds but less than violet and purple diamonds.  Of course what must be borne in mind is that as with all coloured diamonds, not all blue diamonds are equally rare - the strongest the colour, the more rare the diamond.

    Blue diamonds are not only extremely attractive and highly desired, but they are also one of the most fascinating gemstones in existence.  This is due to their unusual chemical makeup and rich role in history and this is why there is more to blue diamonds than meets the eye.

    How blue diamonds are created

    Quite simply the colour blue is created by the presence of boron.  Whilst the diamond is forming in the earth’s crust, boron particles can become trapped inside the crystal lattice. It is this substance that absorbs yellow light, thus reflecting the stunning blue colour.  The more boron that is present within the diamond, then the deeper the colour of blue.   Like any other coloured diamond, blue diamonds can exhibit a wide range of hues, from pale shades to intense and the modifying colour will be referred to in their gemological grading reports. For example, one of these diamonds may be classified as gray-blue or greenish-blue. It is very common to see blue diamond’s referred to with names regarding their shade, such as midnight, navy, baby, or royal blue.

    It is estimated that less than one-tenth of a percent of all fancy coloured diamonds are rare blues - Type IIb blues.  Even rarer than these are the Type Ia blue diamond’s where the colour of blue is created by the presence of hydrogen within the gemstone which if present in in sufficient quantity creates  a blue-grey or grey-violet colour which is similar to that caused by boron.

    The colour of blue diamonds can also be influenced by exposure to radiation exposure and those that have been exposed are usually described as green-blue. There is another characteristic that sets natural blue diamonds apart for mother gemstones, and that is that they are the hardest conductors of both heat and electricity on Earth.

    Where do blue diamonds come from?

    As blue diamonds are a rarity they are found in very few mines. The Cullinan Mine near Pretoria in South Africa is the primary source of blue diamonds. Owned Petra Diamonds this mine has been the source for some of the most interesting discoveries and sales of blue diamonds. The Argyle mine in Australia, the Golconda mine in India and the Lesteng mine in Lesotho have also yielded blue diamonds but on a less common basis than The Cullinan Mine.

    The value of blue diamonds  

    Due to their inherent rarity natural blue diamonds are highly sought after by diamond collectors and as we said before, scarcity and demand pushes up value!  The NCDIA has reported that prices for natural blue diamonds have been consistently increasing at a rate of 12 to 17% during the last decade irrespective of the saturation level.  So whilst fancy vivid blue diamonds may be less commonly found and more highly sought-after, even fancy light blue diamonds are being sold for some quite astounding prices. In fact in recent years there have been many record-breaking sales of blue diamonds.  As only about two to four important blue diamonds come to market annually this has created a fervour amongst diamond collectors and investors that has inflated the prices achieved at auction.  Of course, as with any diamond, the carat weight, clarity and cut of a blue diamond will also have an impact on the value.

    Famous blue diamonds

    Undoubtedly the most famous blue diamond has to be The Blue Hope Diamond.  This stunning diamond was discovered in the Kollur mine in India by Jean Baptiste Tavernier. When found it weighed a very impressive 112 carats and was described as being a beautiful violet. The GIA have classified The Blue Hope Diamond as a rare fancy dark greyish blue.

    The Blue Hope Diamond was sold to King Louis XVI in 1668, and was recut for the King to wear on a neck ribbon for ceremonial occasions. It was then named ‘Le bleu de France’ (the French blue). In 1830 this incredible was bought by Henry Phillip Hope and was recut and acquired its name as The Blue Hope Diamond.  After numerous other owners The Blue Hope Diamond was purchased in 1949 by New York gem merchant Harry Winston who donated it to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington where it remains on permanent exhibition and is insured for a staggering $250 million!

    Other impressive blue diamonds include The Star of Josephine a 7.0-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid blue and internally flawless diamond that was found in 2008. This diamond sold at a Sotheby's auction in 2009 for $9.49 million, the equivalent of $1.35 million per carat setting a world record at the time for the highest price per carat for any gemstone at auction.

    The Tereschenko diamond a 42.92-carat pear-shaped stone is the second largest fancy blue stone in the world after the Hope.

    Blue diamonds can’t be discussed without mention of the famous Wittelsbach-Graff, which was discovered sometime in the mid-1600s. After being bought, recut and repolished by Laurence Graff, it weighed an impressive 31.06 carats and fetched $24.3 million in 2011.

    More recently, a blue diamond called ‘The Blue Moon’ broke the world record as being the world’s most expensive diamond. It was auctioned at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in November 2015 for $48.5 Million Dollars the equivalent of over $4 Million Dollars per carat!  This diamond is an internally flawless 12.03 carat fancy vivid blue and is the highest colour grading and of the highest clarity.  It was discovered by Petra Diamonds in the South African Cullinan mine and was sold to Cora International for $25.6 Million dollars as a rough diamond.

  • WHY DO WOMEN LOVE DIAMONDS SO MUCH?

    When the iconic actress Marilyn Monroe sang ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ in the movie ‘Gentleman Prefer Blondes’ she could not have been more true.  

    A truly beautiful diamond is breath-taking, and undoubtedly the fascination that women have had with diamonds for many centuries will never fade – unlike the love for some male suitors!  Who could fail but to yearn to possess one of the most stunning natural phenomenon? Irrespective of class every woman would love to have at least one diamond. Even non-westernised women, and those from cultures where wealth is not coveted, cannot fail to admire and be impressed by a piece of exquisite diamond jewellery.  Receiving the gift of a fabulous diamond engagement ring fills the daydreams of many young women, and even those who already a diamond engagement ring or other pieces of diamond jewellery, cannot fail but to be excited at the opportunity of adding to their collection.  So, what is it about diamonds that makes women love them so much – here are our thoughts: 

    Just what is it about diamonds!  

    The exact reason that women love diamonds is to be truthful unknown. It could be any one of many factors that create this affection and it is hard to pinpoint just one thing about diamonds that make them so irresistible. We think that at least one of the factors below helps to create this long-standing love affair:  

    Diamonds have always been surrounded by an air of mystique and wonder.   Possibly it is because of the formation process that diamonds go through that makes them one of the most desired commodities worldwide.  Whilst they are made of an ordinary everyday material – carbon, the process through which the carbon is transformed into a diamond and in some cases colours laid into the stone, is extra ordinary! 

    The formation of natural diamonds takes many thousands of years requiring extremely high pressure and temperatures.  Exactly the right environment is needed to create a diamond which is one of the hardest substances, and one of the most indestructible, on our planet.  So, maybe another reason that women love diamonds is that the time that is taken to form the perfect diamond, and the strength of this gemstone, can be seen to be akin to forming the perfect relationship between two human beings that will not break under pressure.  

    This symbolism of an indescribable connection between two people is part of the romantic message that diamonds express as the ultimate symbol of eternal love. For this reason, diamonds are the most popular choice of gemstone for engagement rings as nothing quite says, “I Love you, you are the one, please marry me!” than a diamond does.  Placing a diamond engagement ring on a woman’s finger tells her that you want to spend the rest of your life with her and symbolises to the world that she is loved and cherished as a diamond is the ultimate gift of love. Perhaps it is this symbolism and expression of deep love that we all crave that makes women love diamonds so much.  

    Does the expensive nature of diamonds have a part to play? 

    Whilst it may be seen as verging on crass to talk about diamonds in terms of the price that you will pay, perhaps ironically one of the reasons that they are so desired by so many women is that they are expensive. Of course, the expense of a diamond is related to its size, the brilliance of its colour, and the quality of its cut—the larger the diamond, the more brilliant the colour, the better the cut, then the more expensive the diamond. Correspondingly the more attractive and desired the diamond will be therefore price does play a part.   

    For some women the fact that their partner, fiancé or husband has spent a significant amount of money upon the gift of a piece of diamond jewellery signifies how great his love is. The gift makes a validation for the world to see of that woman’s worth in his eyes, so somehow cost can be compared to the value-added component in a love affair. 

    It is a well-known fact that women love to be admired by other women. Wearing a stunning diamond will certainly draw attention and satisfy that desire, and of course the more quality the diamond the more it will be a head turner. So, whilst it is impossible to say which of those attributes is the most important, the beauty of the diamond or its price tag, deep down we all know that cost does play a vital role (or a combination of both).  In today’s society there is still some degree of importance placed on material wealth, so no woman can truly be blamed for loving and coveting a diamond not only for its beauty but also for its value. 

    Does the answer lie somewhere between ancient history and eternal hope 

    Diamonds have played a significant part of ancient history right back to Egyptian times and maybe even earlier. When a woman wears a diamond engagement ring (or any other piece of diamond jewellery) she is making a connection with the past. Plus, she is forming a partnership with the miners, diamond cutters and jewellery retailers who have all had a part to play in that diamonds’ heritage. From raising the diamond from the earth, to cutting and fashioning it, to presenting that valuable piece of jewellery that it is today for purchase.  All these factors are interconnected with that diamond engagement ring.  Of course, there is also the element of eternal hope that the gift of a diamond engagement ring brings for a woman  - symbolising the beginning of a new life with her soulmate and hope for eternally happy times which long after she’s gone will still live on in that diamond ring, because as Shirley Bassey famously sang “Diamonds Are Forever”……. 

  • WHAT IS AN EYE-CLEAN DIAMOND

    Have you ever been in a jewellery store and heard the phrase “eye-clean diamond” and wondered what exactly it means and should you be investing in one? Here is a short guide to “eye clean diamonds” to help you better understand this terminology and its implications in your choice of diamond:

    What Is An Eye-Clean Diamond?

    “Eye-clean” is a term that is used in the jewellery trade associated with diamond grading.  It is used to describe the clarity of a diamond that is visibly clear to the naked eye when looked at from the top and without magnification i.e. a diamond that has no visible inclusions that can be seen unaided.  When looking for a good quality diamond this is an important consideration as some diamonds can disappoint with noticeable inclusions apparent when viewed with the naked eye.

    How Are Diamonds Graded For Clarity? 

    Diamonds are graded for clarity using a 10x magnification loupe which makes it easier to view naturally occurring clarity characteristics or inclusions.  The clarity of the diamond is evaluated on the specific internal inclusions and external blemishes which are then further assessed on their location, orientation and overall visibility.   The less inclusions/flaws that are found in a polished diamond the more rare the diamond becomes and in turn more expensive.

    Clarity should not be confused with brilliance and this is a common mistake.  Investing in a higher clarity diamond such as a VVS2, IF or VVS1 will not necessarily mean that you will have purchased a sparkling diamond.   It is the cut of a diamond that determines the amount of light that is reflected from the diamond so caused brilliance and only rarely does clarity affect transparency, so therefore diamond clarity should be solely viewed as a rarity characteristic.

    Is the term “Eye Clean” Subjective?

    Using the term “eye clean” to describe a diamond does bring with it an element of subjectivity relating to how precise and robust the definition of the term is.

    The reasons for this are that firstly visual perception and sharpness varies from person to person i.e. some people will be able to see tiny inclusions whilst others will require the assistance of glasses to enable them to detect flaws within a diamond.  Secondly, some inclusions can only be seen in certain levels of lighting which will also affect the brilliance of the stone - more brilliance means fewer visible inclusions, whereas less brilliance makes flaws more visible.  Therefore whether a diamond appears “eye clean” can vary dependent upon kind of lighting that the diamond is exposed to.  Thirdly,  the distance from which you view the diamond plays an important factor in that the closer you get to the diamond the more likely it is that you will see an inclusion.

    How Do I Establish If A Diamond Is Eye Clean”?

    Having said that the term “eye clean” carries a certain level of subjectivity, there is a method in which a diamond can be established as being within this category.   If you view the top of the diamond in broad daylight with a naked eye at a distance of approximately 20-25 centimetres if you cannot clearly see any inclusions or flaws such as clouds, lines or black dots  then that  diamond can be considered “eye clean”.

    What Clarity Grades On The G.I.A. Scale Are Considered” Eye-Clean?

    When matching the lower end of the “eye clean” clarity range to G.I.A. clarity grades the line is drawn at SI clarity, and more specifically SI2. Therefore any diamonds stones graded I1 and lower will not be considered “eye clean”.

    Diamonds with clarity grades of VS1 and above do not have visible inclusions and are always visually clean to the unaided eye.  Diamonds that are SI2 and higher will generally look relatively “eye clean” when viewed by the naked eye. It should be remembered that you may see some inclusions in SI2 diamonds when looking from the top depending upon the lighting. For the most part these inclusions will be quite hard to spot without using a 10x magnification loupe and therefore generally, SI2 diamonds will appear “eye clean”.  This is however considered a borderline grade and it separates the diamonds that are definitely eye clean (SI1 and above) from those that are definitely not (I1 and below).  However, please bear in mind that the term “eye clean” refers to viewing a diamond from the top only with the naked eye therefore in some cases a SI2-clarity diamond when viewed from the side may show some inclusions.

    It should be borne in mind that the clarity can vary dependent upon whether you choose a Step-Cut diamond (Emerald-cut, Asscher-cut, Baguette-cut etc.) in which it is easier to see inclusions, or a brilliant-cut diamond.  For step cut diamonds we recommend VS1 clarity to ensure the diamond is visibly clear to the naked eye and for brilliant-cut diamonds SI1 clarity. However each diamond is unique and must be evaluated individually.

    Does The Size Of The Diamond Have Any Influence On It Being “Eye Clean”? 

    The answer to this question is YES, the clarity of an “eye-clean” diamond does depend upon diamond size. For example at SI2 clarity or possible lower, a tiny 2mm diamond will appear “eye-clean” the reason for this is that the characteristics that define clarity are harder to detect within small diamonds.  In comparison when viewing a larger diamond e.g. of 3 or 4 carats that is graded SI1 flaws will be more easily noticeable due to the larger table size of the diamond and this is accentuated when there are small inclusions present directly below the table facet.

    Is Buying An “Eye Clean” Diamond A Good Investment

    As each diamond is as unique as the person purchasing it, there really are no hard and fast rules for buying a diamond, as they say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. However, as diamonds are mainly bought to be part of an engagement ring or other piece of jewellery, like many people you will most probably want to be sure that you get want best bang for your bucks!

    As the factors of carat weight and colour are more visually obvious to an onlooker, buying an “eye clean” diamond is an appropriate guideline as you will want to see a diamond that appears clean when viewed under normal conditions. Therefore perhaps place more importance upon the diamond you choose being “eye clean” rather than obsessing over its actual exact clarity grade.  To illustrate this it is easier to see the difference between a 1.00ct and a 2.00ct diamond just as it is to see the difference between a ‘J’ coloured and a ‘D’ coloured diamond with the naked eye.  However, if you compared a VS1 diamond with an IF diamond visually you would not be able to see the difference. This is what makes “eye clean” diamonds the most economical choice and the easiest compromise to make when choosing your diamond.

    It should always be remembered that “eye clean” is not an official grading category, and this is why you should decide whether a diamond is worth the price asked based on the clarity as graded and certified by an official body such as the G.I.A. .  We always recommend that you check the official grade of the diamond as to the untrained eye two different grades of diamond can look equally clean but in fact the higher graded diamond may be far more expensive. To avoid overpaying for additional clarity that cannot be seen to the naked eye, opt for the lowest grade diamond that is still “eye clean” in the range of SI1-SI2.

    Buying Tips For Eye-Clean Diamonds 

    1. The most prevalent inclusion in diamonds are crystals. We recommend that you choose a white/translucent or grey crystal over a dark/black crystal inclusion.
    2. It is generally preferable to select a diamond that does not have inclusions directly under the main table facet as this facet is the largest and easiest to see through.
    3. Choose a diamond which has small scattered inclusions rather than more concentrated inclusions.
    4. In S1 diamonds twinning wisps are quite common but they are almost always impossible to see without magnification so buying a diamond with these wisps is a great way to save money.
    5. Buying an eye-clean SI2 diamond stone doesn’t mean that its flaws won’t be seen from the side but if you wish to have this diamond set in a mounting that will hide its sides, then this would not be an issue. However, if the side view of the diamond is to be a feature of your chosen engagement ring or jewellery item, you would be well advised to opt for an SI1 diamond.
    6. I1 diamonds often have visible inclusions and are sometimes referred to as ‘prongable’ which means that an inclusion can be easily covered by a jewellery prong.  However, pay special attention to I1 or lower clarity grades as these can be more vulnerable to damage through wear and tear.
    7. “Eye clean” diamonds with lower clarity grades can offer tremendous value for money. Just remember, when it comes time to making your final decision on the purchase of a diamond, always consult with a diamond professional such as the expert team here at Reve Diamonds to ensure that your diamond is visibly clean and not vulnerable to breakage.
  • THE TIMELESS APPEAL OF ART DECO STYLE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

    One of the most popular styles in vintage jewellery must be Art Deco and for those who have a passion for fashions from the past, Art Deco style engagement rings have a timeless appeal. An Art Deco engagement ring is a unique statement piece that in comparison to a more classic design such as the solitaire engagement ring, is quite unconventional hence its appeal to those women who dare to be different.  Let’s take a look at the world of Art Deco jewellery and engagement rings:

    When did the Art Deco style of design emerge? 

    The Art Deco period of design began in France during the 1920s and 1930s as a direct follow on from the outgoing Art Nouveau style. Leading fashionistas had become bored of the twisted lines and faded colours of Art Nouveau and replaced these with the direct contrast of geometric lines and bold colours that characterise Art Deco style.

    This was an era of great decadence, luxury, extravagance, and high society. Women began to cut their hair short, went out to work and partied hard like their male counterparts.  During this period the values of traditional femininity went out of style and the radical designs of Art Deco jewellery very much reflected the frivolity and energy of this period.   Art Deco influenced not only jewellery and fashions but its influence spread into architecture, interior designs and many other lifestyle areas.

    What is the Art Deco Ring Style? 

    The Art Deco style could be said to be are very similar to those of their predecessors the Edwardians in the use of platinum, and diamonds as the focus of the designs. However, the Edwardians preferred a more intricate design style and Art Deco jewellery is very far removed from this focusing upon modern clean lines and geometric shapes. It is believed that the fascination with expeditions to Egypt in the 1920s, such as Howard Carters discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, was an influence upon Art Deco jewellery designs and similarities can be seen in the use of coloured gemstones and clean-cut angles and lines.

    The style of Art Deco jewellery is far from being understated in appearance utilising grand yet elegant geometry, long curved lines, motifs and bold colours. Round and oval gemstones which had been traditionally used in pieces of jewellery were replaced with squares, rectangles, triangles, and trapezes with new types of cut introduced such as the baguette cut which emerged in the late 1920s. Metal was not visible due to a new method of fixing stones that was developed during this era.  Typical Art Deco settings for engagement rings were prong, cluster or box. Platinum and 10k or 18k white gold were the most popular metals during this era. White gold was first introduced around 1915 when it was invented to combat rising platinum costs and to meet the demand for a light-coloured metal. Yellow gold was very much out of style in Art Deco jewellery.

    A typical style of Art Deco engagement ring would be a square cut centre gemstone surrounded by triangular stones or rectangular baguettes or all set into a bold geometric pattern. You will not see cuts such as modern round brilliant diamonds in authentic Art Deco jewellery but will find other stunning antique diamond cuts such as the old European, ​ antique cushion cut, transitional cut, and Asscher cut.  Calibre cut stones were a key feature in the design of Art Deco jewellery design and these are gemstones that are custom cut specifically to fit into a jewellery design. They are tightly spaced together against other stones or metal to give maximum impact to the overall design. Filigree work was another important feature in the Art Deco era as this technique was perfected in the late 1920's through the use of die-cast machines which made it readily available by the early 1930's.

    It was not uncommon for coloured gemstones to be used in Art Deco designs. Rubies, blue sapphires and emeralds were especially popular as they very much represented the style of the era with their bold bright decadent colouring and they were occasionally complimented by the addition of pearls.

    To possess an Art Deco engagement ring with its sparkling diamonds or bright gemstones in a platinum setting was the dream of every flapper girl and even today Art Deco style remains a timeless classic still being a popular for engagement rings or other pieces of jewellery.  Here at Rêve Diamonds we make the original jewellery designs from the Art Deco era to bring you your very own piece of this iconic era.

  • THE PERFECT PRESENT FOR ST. VALENTINE’S DAY

    Valentine’s Day is less than a month away so it’s time to start thinking of the perfect gift to give your special someone. Officially the most romantic day of the year this is the perfect opportunity to show the person that you care the most about just how special they are to you with a thoughtful gift that marks your adoration and love.

    St Valentine’s Day originates back to 270 A.D. and has always been on the 14th February as this was the date on which Saint Priest Valentine was executed in Rome.  Saint Valentine was a deeply religious man and wholly believed in the sanctity of marriage. He was imprisoned when Emperor Claudius found out that he was performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. It is said that during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.

    The first time that St Valentine’s Day became romantically associated was in the 14th century when courtly love was in abundance. During the 18th century gifts began to be sent on  this special day  such as flowers, sweets and greeting cards which in these times were called ‘valentines’ , and this was the beginning of ‘Valentine’s Day’ as we know it today.

    Here at Reve Diamonds we have a superb selection of gift ideas that are just perfect to give to your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Here are some of our suggestions:

     The ultimate Valentine’s Day gift – a diamond engagement ring

    With Valentine’s Day being the most romantic day of the year if you are ready to pop the question then why not use this opportunity to create some memorable moments and present your beloved with a diamond engagement ring.  As diamonds are the ultimate symbol of love this is the perfect choice of gemstone for a Valentine’s day proposal.  Whatever your style of engagement ring we have a superb selection of stunning engagement rings for you to choose from in both contemporary and traditional styles, and we also offer a bespoke service.  Of course, with the very recent ‘royal’ engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the trilogy setting is VERY popular right now and is very apt for giving on St Valentines as the three stones are said to symbolise friendship, love and fidelity.  We offer a selection of stunning handcrafted trilogy setting diamond engagement rings using certificated diamonds ranging from 0.50ct up to 10.00ct in various cuts and crafted in either 18k white gold, 18k yellow gold or platinum.

    Heart shaped diamond pendant 

    If you and not yet ready to propose but nevertheless want to show you partner that she means the world to you and has your heart, then a beautiful heart shaped diamond pendant will send that message and more.  The heart is a traditional symbol of love which makes this stunning piece of jewellery the ideal gift for Valentine’s Day to really show that you care. It is the perfect accessory for any occasion and will undoubtedly be treasured forever with a special place in her heart.  The heart shaped diamond pendant has a 0.3carat SI1 princess cut diamond and hangs from a 16-inch curb chain which is 0.8mm wide.  Dependent on your partner’s individual tastes you can choose from platinum, 18k white go or 18k yellow gold.  We also offer a bespoke service whereby you can order this heart shape diamond pendant with a 0.50ct up to 5.0ct certificated heart shape diamond if you are looking for something a little different.

    Diamond stud earrings 

    What women could fail to fall in love with a pair of classical white diamond stud earrings which are truly one of the best Valentine’s Day gifts for several reasons.  Not only are they one of the most versatile of jewellery gifts but one size fits all so you do not have to worry about factors such as ring sizing or wrist size etc. Also, earrings are worn by the vast majority of women and diamond stud earrings will suit almost all tastes and personalities taking the guesswork out of your choice of present.

    Nothing says classical beauty quite like 18k white gold diamond stud earrings and we find this to be the most popular choice of metal for the setting of our diamond stud earrings.   We offer a wide selection of exquisite white diamond stud earrings in both classic and contemporary designs with styles ranging from traditional four-claw settings to a diamond halo surround. Our diamond stud earrings are the very epitome of sophistication and will be a timeless gift that will be admired each time they are worn.

    Diamond eternity ring 

    If you are in a long-term relationship but not yet ready to propose or have decided not to get married, or you are already married, the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your other half is a diamond eternity ring. A diamond eternity ring is the accepted symbol of everlasting love and commitment and has to be the ultimate gift of love – a gift that isn’t just for one romantic day of the year, but one that will be worn every day of the year, for the rest of your loved one’s life.

    We offer a stunning range of beautifully handcrafted diamond eternity rings to suit all tastes, styles and budgets including channel settings, pave settings, micro settings, claw and rub-over settings.  Whether your partner loves the timeless elegance of a single row of diamonds, or loves a bit of bling with maximum sparkle and shimmer, we have a design to please every eye.  Or for something more special, take advantage of our bespoke service where our master craftsmen will make your design and vision become a reality for Valentine’s Day.

  • A GUIDE TO HALO ENGAGEMENT RINGS

    Halo engagement rings are very much on trend for today’s modern bride-to-be looking for an engagement ring that makes a modern and distinctive statement yet is also a classically timeless design.

    Halo engagement rings feature a central round diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds (round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds) or other gemstones, which give it a ‘halo’ effect. Not only is the halo setting a beautiful design that demand attention, but it also offers the benefit of making the central diamond look up to half a carat larger than it actually is!  This makes the halo engagement ring the ideal choice for couples who are working to a budget as means that a smaller diamond can be chosen without the sacrifice of perceived size and still retaining that ‘wow factor’ of a show stopping piece.

    For this reason alone it is easy to see why Halo engagement rings are so popular, but there is more to the design than just good looks. It has a very interesting history that has been inspired by many design movements and trends throughout the decades. What to find out more? Let’s take a look in more detail at Halo engagement rings:

    The origins of the Halo Ring

    Whilst halo engagement rings are often considered to be a very modern design, in actual fact the origins of the halo design can be traced back as far the early Georgian era of 1714-1837. Halo engagement rings during this period in history had smaller diamonds or even pearls surrounding the central stone. During the Victorian era of 1837- to 1901 the halo design became very popular. The design metamorphosed to become the imitation of a flower where coloured gemstones such as sapphires were used as the central stone and the smaller surrounding diamonds were triangular cut to give the illusion of petals.

    The history of halo engagement rings in more recent decades

    The halo engagement rings that we see in our jewellery stores today originated in the frivolity of the Art Deco era of the roaring 20s.   The Art Deco movement was all about symmetrical patterns and geometric lines combined to create show stopping items of jewellery. This made the halo design especially suitable for adaption with its concentric circles surrounding a centre stone perfectly suiting the Art Deco style.

    Halo engagement rings of the Art Deco era featured cushion cut or rounded diamonds at the centre of the ring with an intricate pattern of tiny round diamonds providing an elegant frame. Jewellers of this era also used coloured gemstones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires for the central stone and it was also during the Art Deco period that they began to use the techniques of filigree and milgrain for the small diamonds which are still seen in many modern Halo Engagement Ring designs.  These elegant designs of halo engagement rings were indicative of the Art Deco era which was all about opulence, decadence and luxury and it was the aspiration of every flapper girl of that era to own a halo engagement ring.

    Fashion trends came and went in the past they do today and the popularity of the halo engagement ring was no exception.  The Great Depression was a time of austerity and so sales of halo engagement rings declined as with many items of jewellery. The glamour of Hollywood during the 1930s to 1940s saw this iconic design remerge as all the showbiz and glitz surrounding this time was epitomised by the sparkling brilliance of the halo design.   Word War Two saw sales of halo engagement rings fall once more as hard times hit once again but resurgence in popularity for halo engagement rings was just around the corner when Art Deco styles once more became on trend in the 1950s and ‘60s. During this time the style of halo engagement rings was far more opulent and eye catching than previously and the designs included flashes of coloured gemstones harking back to the designs of Victorian times.  From the late 1970s to the 1990s halo engagement rings once again started to decline as the choice of brides-to-be but with the resurgence in popularity of all things vintage in the past decade halo engagement rings have once more become the design of choice for many modern day couples. Currently halo engagement rings are showing no signs of going away and sales of halo engagement rings remain strong.

    Halo engagement rings of today

    Modern day designs of halo engagement rings are still very much reminiscent of the original designs from the Art Deco period but with an added modern twist accommodating any cut of diamond that a couple wants. The design of halo engagement rings continues to evolve with double halos, bold shapes and asymmetrical patterns with a nod to vintage inspired engagement rings and bold dramatic sparkle created by the addition of pave diamonds.

    Selecting the perfect halo engagement ring

    When choosing a halo engagement ring there are a few factors to consider. Firstly decide upon the style that you feel will best suit the shape of your hand and fingers. For example a hexagonal halo is ideal if you would like a more vintage look, for total dram go for a double halo or for those who love maximum bling and sparkle a round diamond will give the illusion of looking very much larger than it is when set in a cushion-shaped halo.

    Next is your choice of cut for the centre diamond. Part of the beauty and appeal of halo engagement ring is that they can be designed around many different diamond cuts such as Princess, Round, Oval, Cushion, Emerald, Marquise etc.  It is up to you which cut suits your style and tastes and of course matches your budget.

    The metal setting for your halo engagement ring is another consideration and this is very much dependent upon personal choice as halo engagement rings look fabulous in either 18ct White Gold, Platinum or 18ct Yellow Gold. Currently two-tone settings are very popular for those who love a truly modern twist in this classic design.

    Halo engagement rings on the red carpet 

    Many A-listers have been seen wearing their halo engagement rings on the red carpet including Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johannson, Mary-Kate Olsen, Kaley Cuoco Katherine Heigl, Molly Sims and Nicole Richie. But perhaps one of the most recently famous is halo engagement rings was the fabulous Art Deco inspired halo vintage engagement ring that James Matthews  gave to fiancé Pippa Middleton on their engagement.

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