Monthly Archives: December 2017


    Diamonds are a girl’s best friend sang Marilyn Monroe in the iconic 1953 movie ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and there is no doubt that the love affair that women have with diamonds has survived decades.   Diamonds have an irresistible charm and a fascination that lasts eternity (even beyond a relationship in some cases!) as the lyrics of this song illustrate: “Men grow cold / As girls grow old / And we all lose our charms in the end / But square-cut or pear-shaped / These rocks don't lose their shape / Diamonds are a girl's best friend."

    When we think about an engagement ring or special piece of jewellery we automatically envisage the centrepiece being a stunning white diamond. But there are many other choices of fancy natural coloured diamonds such as black, yellow, red, even pale pink – practically a colour for every diamond lover.  But is choosing to have a fancy natural coloured diamond on your engagement ring or necklace a wise choice when there are so many beautiful coloured gemstones available such as stunning blue Sapphires, the passion of deep red Rubies, the delicate beauty of an Emerald etc., that can also look beautiful set in a ring or piece of jewellery? Putting to one side the difference in price between diamonds and gemstones, we look at how diamonds compare to gemstones and if they REALLY ARE a girl’s best friend?

    How and where are gemstones and diamonds formed and what are the differences in formation?

    Diamonds are in fact categorised as ‘gemstones’ this is because all gemstones are rare naturally formed crystals which are made from certain elements or compounds.  One of the differences between diamonds and gemstones is that gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, rubies etc are created in rocks found in the earth's crust approximately three to 25 miles beneath the earth's surface.  In contrast diamonds are formed much deeper in the Earth's surface, even as deep as 750km down into the Earth

    Gemstones are formed in rocks of which there are three kinds within the earth’s crust - sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic.
    Sedimentary rock is formed by the deposition and successive cementation of material at the Earth's surface within bodies of water. When water mixes with the minerals present on the Earth's surface rock is worn away.  Fragments of mineral rich water and wind seep down into the cracks and cavities within the Earth's surface where they deposit layers of minerals which over time are compressed so forming gemstones.   These gemstones include Opal, Zircon, Jasper and Malachite.

    Igneous rock can be formed either by the cooling and crystallization of magma beneath the earth's surface (intrusive/plutonic) or by lava flowing to the earth's surface (extrusive/volcanic).  Interlinking crystals grow within intrusive igneous rock, sometimes forming gemstones depending on (1) if elements are present (2) the cooling time and (3) the environment.  For example, in deeper environments, the slower the cooling time and therefore the larger the gemstone is. Gemstones are formed in extrusive igneous rock when molten magma with temperatures of between 700 °C to 1300 °C runs through the rock and then reach the surface as lava. If the magma doesn't reach the surface, it cools more slowly, crystallising and forming coarse-grained minerals. Gemstones found in igneous rock include Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Moonstone, Diamond, Tanzanite, Topaz and Zircon.

    Metamorphic rock is formed when intense underground heat and pressure change pre-existing minerals into something new. In essence, the underground pressure forces minerals and elements that are already there to form into beryls. These gemstones include Emerald, Aquamarine, Jade, Ruby and Zircon.

    One of the most significant differences between diamonds and other gemstones lies within the formation of a diamond. Diamonds are the only gem formed from highly pressurised carbon which is a single element.  Other varieties of gemstones are formed from compounds of two or more elements e.g. sapphires are a variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide. The sapphire's intense colour comes from traces of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium.

    What causes the price difference between diamonds and other gemstones?

    There is a notable difference in price between diamonds and other gemstones. The reasons for this are that the price of gemstones responds to normal market pressures of demand supply, but this is not the case for diamonds.  There is a monopoly on the price of diamonds, as they are held artificially high. Plus, a huge quantity of diamonds are also being held in storage in order to create a shortage and so keep the price up. This price manipulation is allowed in diamonds but prohibited for other gems and precious metals.

    The characteristics of diamonds ‘v’ gemstones also contribute to the difference in value. Whilst white (colourless) diamonds are the most common type, as has been noted previously natural fancy coloured diamonds are also found in different parts of the world. This makes diamonds very rare and the rarer the diamond, the higher the price will be. Traditionally, the value of a gemstone is determined using the naked eye. Aside from rarity, the value of a gemstone goes higher if it looks older. Diamonds, on the other hand, are analysed and valued using a more systematic system. This system is now being applied to other gemstones as well and is approved by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA)

    Are there any reasons that I should consider investing in gemstones as opposed to diamonds? 

    Following DeBeers’ exceptionally successful marketing campaign of the 1930s, diamonds became seen as the major investment gemstone. However, some experts believe that the tide may be turning in the world of investment gemstones.  In recent years white diamonds have not enjoyed the same increase in price as coloured stones like rubies and tanzanite. So, should you consider investing in gemstones? Here are some reasons why:

    • Economy and politics are fickle things and gemstones are welcomed as an alternative store of value for those wanting to diversify away from paper investments. Specialists argue that investors should expect to hold a gemstone for 10 years or more before seeing a sizable return on investment, as stones tend to go up at an average rate of 5% p.a.
    • Certain precious stones are very rare and therefore particularly valuable.  These include:

    Tanzanite which is especially rare as it is only found in a small area of four by two kilometres at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in the Mayara Region of North Tanzania.  The number of chance natural events that created this beautiful stone 585 million years ago means that finding Tanzanite anywhere else on earth is a thousand times less likely than finding a diamond.  Furthermore, at the current rate of mining, it is estimated that the available supply will be entirely exhausted within the next 25 years. As a result, tanzanite has been dubbed the ‘gemstone of a generation’ because this generation will be the last with the privilege of buying from the primary market before supply is exhausted.

    Rubies are less rare, as they are mined all over the globe. However, for a very long while pigeon blood rubies were only available in Myanmar, and so Burmese rubies still enjoy a certain pedigree. The term pigeon blood refers simply to the brilliant red of the gemstones mined from the Mogok region which is due to the chemical composition of the earth and the conditions of the climate. The incredibly rich cocktail of minerals infuses the earth with gem upon gem upon gem and this is the reason why Myanmar is noted as the original source of the ruby.  Tanzania and Vietnam now also boast small quantities of the gem, but Myanmar’s long-standing reputation protects Burmese pigeon blood rubies as the preferred option.   A particular ruby that is perfect as an investment opportunity is the Star Ruby. Star Rubies are rarer and therefore much more valuable than the average ruby: only one out of every one hundred rubies mined is a Star Ruby. The stone exhibits a very distinct six-ray star that moves across the surface as light passes over it.

    When considering choosing gemstones as an investment, as with diamonds, look at the four ‘c’s’ of carat, cut, colour and clarity.  Coloured gemstones, in particular, call for an analysis of hue, depth and brilliancy.  Brilliancy refers to the light a stone reflects in one position under normal light conditions. This measure of sparkle is highly dependent on skilled cutting. Depth is the height of the stone divided by its minimum width. The ideal range sits between 60%-80%. Below this percentage, the stone is considered shallow. A shallow stone with a light tone will find it tricky to hold on to its colour. On the other hand, a stone that has a dark tone, with a depth beyond this range might blackout. Hue is the gradation of colour. Finally, all serious stones should be accompanied by the appropriate documentation, certifying the quality of the stone as well as that it has been sourced responsibly.

    If you are seriously looking for investment gemstones you will most definitely need to have your wits about you as coloured gem prices have increased and decreased throughout history – this social luxury is subject to social change and fashions!  It should be noted that whilst other gemstones are beautiful in their own rights, white diamonds are still overridingly the winner in stealing the heart of every woman alive and therefore will always command the premium price and be seen as the best investment. All this said which do you prefer coloured diamonds or gemstones?


    In recent years black diamonds have grown massively in popularity to become one of the most popular of the fancy coloured natural diamonds.  The reasons for this may be that the demand for non-conventional engagement rings has grown significantly the styles of which perfectly suits the incorporation of black diamonds. Plus many celebrities are now wearing jewellery and engagement rings featuring black diamonds.   However, even though black diamonds are so popular, there is still a lot that is unknown about them and a lot of misinformation and misconception surrounding these stunning gemstones.  Here are answers to the five most asked questions about black diamonds:

    What is a black diamond? Is it real and what is the difference between black and white diamonds?

    Black diamonds re MOST DEFINITELY real!  If you ask a variety of experts in the diamond industry what is a black diamond?" this will result in several answers as there are in fact two types of black diamonds:

    Natural black diamonds (also called fancy diamonds or Carbonados). These are quite different than other natural fancy coloured diamonds and for that reason are widely considered to be rarer. The main difference is that natural coloured diamonds get their colour due to impurities that are attached to them during the formation process i.e. boron causes blue diamonds.  Black diamonds are created from an impure form of polycrystalline diamond consisting of diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon.

    Treated black diamonds. These are regular white diamonds that are usually of extremely low value due to the high amount of inclusions in them. Since they have so many inclusions, as white diamonds they would only want to use them as industry grade diamonds and not for use in jewellery making. However, with the help of treatments such as irradiation or heat they are transformed into "colourless treated black diamonds" also called "black coloured diamonds".  This type of black diamond is the cheapest type of black diamonds.

    Black diamonds and white (colourless) diamonds are almost the same. The main difference is that the black colour is produced by the inclusion of graphite in the crystalline structure during the diamond's formation, before the kimberlite deposits reached the Earth's surface. Therefore, the only difference between them is that black diamonds have the graphite inclusion and white diamonds do not. They are both formed by high pressure on the element of carbon under the Earth's surface, that produces a repeating geometric pattern in the crystal lattice. Black diamonds are completely real diamonds and almost exactly the same as white diamonds except for the colour.

    Are Black Diamonds rare and are they considered a good investment?

    Whilst they are by no means the rarest occurring colour in nature, natural fancy black diamonds are indeed more rare than common colourless diamonds and they are one of the most valued for their artistic beauty and dark allure, all of which means that they can command a higher price.  Within the jewellery trade blue, red and pink diamonds are considered the most desirable of natural fancy coloured diamonds for investment (where investment is defined as a diamond whose value rises considerably over time as their supply deteriorates and demand continues to rise).  A natural fancy black diamond would only be considered an investment item if it was considerably large or had a distinctive feature or factor that would make it in high demand in the market.

    Are Black Diamonds Expensive?

    The answer to this question must be yes and no. Treated or enhanced black diamonds are less expensive and the demand for them is relatively low as many people looking for a piece of jewellery or a ring incorporating a black diamond will prefer to opt for the real thing i.e. a natural fancy coloured black diamond.  Natural fancy black diamonds are in fact quite affordable, but obviously it depends on the size of the diamond and the quality.   Because black diamonds are heavily included and porous, they are often harder to polish.  This can result in blemishes and nicks in the surface that may affect the cut. When buying black diamonds make sure the surface of them is smooth and polished and that the diamond is not porous.   GIA certified natural black diamonds of a good quality can easily fetch $1,500-$3,000 per carat for diamonds weighing 1.00 - 3.00 carats, this is however still cheaper than a colourless white diamond which makes Black Diamonds an excellent cheap alternative to the conventional white diamond ring.

    Are There any Famous Black Diamonds?

    Possibly the most well know and famous black diamond is the Black Orlov. This was a cushion-cut 67.50 carat diamond brooch. The black diamond was surrounded by 108 white diamonds and suspended from a 124-diamond necklace.  The Black Orlov is also referred to as the "Eye of Brahma" as folklore has it that an uncut black stone of 195 carats was pried out of the eye of the statute of the sacred Hindu God Brahma, from a temple in Southern India.  Other famous black diamonds include the Korloff Noir, the Black Star of Africa, the Gruosi diamond, the Table of Islam and the Spirit of de Grisogono diamond.

    The largest black diamond in the world is the old Moghul-cut, 312.24 carat, black Spirit of de Grisogono which was mined in the Central African Republic.  The Black Star of Africa is a very impressive 202 carat Fancy Black diamond but sadly it was seen for the last time in Tokyo in 1971.   The Gruosi diamond was a heart-shaped, 115.34 carat black diamond that was discovered in India in 1998 and was cut by the world renowned black diamond cutting specialist, de Grisogono.  The Table of Islam is a Fancy Black square emerald cut diamond weighing in at an impressive 160.18 carats but little is actually known about this diamond. The 88 carat Korloff Noir diamond is currently located with the Korloff jewellers in France and is reputed to bring good luck to the owner.

    Do Black Diamonds Look Good as Jewellery? 

    If you love the allure and mystery that a black diamond possesses then you will no doubt agree that black diamonds, look stunning when used in jewellery and suit both men and women. Black diamonds are seen in many pieces of modern day from necklaces to cufflinks, engagement rings to bracelets and even in wedding rings. Many celebrities wear black diamonds one of the most famous being the black diamond halo ring engagement ring that Mr. Big gave to Carrie Bradshaw in the hugely popular tv show and movie Sex and the City.  Alternative fashion icon Carmen Electra received a black diamond engagement ring and Katherine Heigl, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Jennifer Lawrence, Lauren Conrad, and Sarah Jessica Parker have all been seen wearing black diamond earrings


    Congratulations he’s popped the question and you said YES! No doubt you will be bursting with pride and want to shout your good news all over social media, and of course show off that gorgeous engagement ring that your wonderful fiancé has placed lovingly onto your ring finger.

    Back in the day newly engaged couples announced their happy news with an engagement announcement in their local paper. Nowadays, love them or hate them selfies are THE way to share great news as it's all about shouting it from the rooftops on social media. Engagement ring selfies can be regularly seen plastered all over Instagram and Facebook.

    For an engagement ring selfie, it is all about making your ring look its very best and showing off that beautiful diamond. Taking a great engagement ring selfie is a bit of an art and if you have ever tried to take a picture of your left hand you will totally understand that it’s not exactly easy. Taken from the wrong angle and you can make your fingers look like stumpy carrots and your beautiful engagement ring look very dull.  So if you are a newly engaged couple here are our five top tips for nailing an awesome engagement ring selfie that will be the envy of all your social media friends:

    The ring is the thing

    It is vital to remember that in the perfect engagement ring selfie the ring is THE thing.  It needs to be treated like a rock-star and allowed to shine and sparkle in all its brilliant glory. To do this you need to take a very close look at the design of your engagement ring. Decide what is special about it and what feature/s you want to emphasise to showcase this jewel in the crown. Is it a solitaire diamond that is perfectly set? Are there unique and romantic details in the profile view? Is there an engraving somewhere? Is your engagement ring custom made and you have not yet seen another quite like it?  You need to define what makes your engagement ring super special and ensure that the selfie that is taken really highlights this special quality.

    Experiment with the angle of your shot so that you capture the most amazing qualities of your ring.  But remember, there can be only two best angles to show off the ring - top down and direct from the top. These two angles will give the most real impression of your engagement ring, giving it best coverage in the shot. So for example if you love the ring setting then take a photo on an angle to highlight it.  To show off the shape of the diamond try an overhead shot without the flash.

    Treat yourself to a manicure 

    The ring has to be king in a good engagement ring selfie so do not detract from its beauty by having less than perfect nails that will attract more attention than the beauty of the diamond on your ring finger.  So treat yourself to a really good manicure and get those weather beaten hands looking silky soft and those overgrown cuticles cut short. Have your nails painted in a colour that suits your skin tone but preferably choose a neutral colour that is mild and gentle on the eye as this will make your engagement ring look even more stunning.

    If your hands are rather veiny, you can resort to the age old trick that many well know models use to make skin look fuller and plumper.  Hold your hand up, above your head for at least 30 seconds which will have the effect of draining the blood from your hand and thus making those protruding veins vanish.

    If your fiancé caught you by surprise when he proposed and you are overdue for a manicure but he is desperate to make that shout out on social media, then as quick measure put plenty of hand lotion on to soften your skin and get creative with your pose. For example, hold hands with your fiancé and keep your nails just out of the shot or even a fist pump with your nails firmly tucked into the palm of your hand!

    Lighting is everything.

    If it’s a diamond engagement ring then you will naturally want it to shine like no other diamond has shone before, to do this use light to your advantage.  The best time of day is the short period after sunrise or before sunset as many professional photographers know that lighting during this time makes everything look better. It is very flattering, not only for your ring, but also for your skin and your surroundings.

    Another reason why natural light is the best for an engagement ring selfie shot is that it will not take over the beauty of your ring.  Nor will it overemphasise the ring or add unnatural gleam to it. It will simply make the beauty of the ring shine out for all to see.

    If you do not wish to take your engagement ring selfie outside then set up your shot near a window to maximise natural light. If you take a photo with your mobile phone in a dimly lit room, you are pretty much guaranteed to get a blurry photo. Fluorescents and yellow bulb lights aren't much better, you want natural sunlight. Whether you take your engagement ring selfie inside or out, watch out for tricky shadows.  Also remember to take away all the accessories that are not related to the engagement ring.

    Get the right background 

    It is essential that you make sure that your chosen background emphasizes your engagement ring. Using the right prop or appropriate background is a much better idea than going for the sole ring shot. Stay away from cluttered backgrounds and use solid colours keeping a good distance between your hand and the background. Many girls like to use feminine details, like flowers or maybe try to use his hand as a background which is a very romantic gesture.

    Above all DO NOT use your bathroom or bedroom mirror as mirror selfies are anything but great.

    Do not use a flash or try to pull in the focus on the ring by zooming in on it as it will only serve to blur the image.

    Camera and Filters

    Photographs taken by mobile phones will never be as good as those taken professionally by a photographer who knows his art. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your time to get the perfect one.

    Firstly do not use the zoom function. If you want to take a close-up picture, with more details, bring your phone closer. Then, tap the screen so that the focus will be on your stunning diamond engagement ring. It is better to avoid filters, but if the no-filter quality doesn’t give you the look that you require then use one. The most commonly used filter is Valencia.

    It is crucial to try different poses and angles to get that winning image of your engagement ring.  Change the angles and try to see which highlights the centrepiece – the engagement ring. Keep trying until you find the picture that has the perfect shot, expressing your heart and mind. Keep it perfect, soft and romantic.


    Getting engaged is a major commitment and for the person making the proposal there are many things to think about.  The most obvious is finding and buying the perfect engagement ring and this can be a minefield as engagement rings come with unique financial and emotional expectations.

    One of the most often asked questions by our customers is ‘how many carats should an engagement ring be?'  The reason for this question tends to be that carat is commonly associated with both the size of the diamond and its price.  Couple this with a keenness to meet a woman's expectations and you can have a dilemma on your hands as deciding how much to spend rests in striking a balance between dazzling your beloved without tarnishing your future financial goals together.

    What's does the term Carat mean?

    A carat is a metric unit of weight equal to 0.20 grams, and is used as the standard unit of weight of diamonds and most other gems and pearls.  It is an indication of the size of the diamond when it is loose i.e. not mounted within a ring or other piece of jewellery.  If other factors are held equal, the more a loose diamond weighs, the more valuable it will be as prices are expressed as a price per carat.  The Carat weight has the biggest impact on the price of a diamond e.g. a two-carat diamond will be priced at more than double that of a one-carat diamond.  The vast majority of consumers have the common misconception that a larger carat weight signifies a bigger better diamond engagement ring, however for jewellery experts size is less important than the quality of the diamond, meaning that large carat weight alone does not always signify a better diamond ring.

    What is the average carat size for an engagement ring?

    The average diamond carat size (and therefore price) fluctuates from country to country. For example, in America the average diamond carat weight is 1.0 carat, in China and Europe it is 0.5 carats, and in the UK the average weight of a diamond in an engagement ring is 0.9 carats.  Perhaps the reason for this is that in these social media and celebrity obsessed times there is a lot more emphasis placed upon the size of the diamond, and this is being seen as an indication of a person’s love and commitment. For some this makes them almost ashamed to give a smaller diamond, especially when it is open to public comparison/possible criticism with the rings worn by friends and family on social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook

    Should carat size influence my choice and my budget? 

    Good advice would be to not let the carat weight of a diamond influence have any influence over your budget. Set a budget that you can comfortably afford without compromising yourself and do not to attempt to reach the average carat size if you do not have the financial means to do so. After all your chosen engagement ring is a symbol of your love and a new life together so starting out with the milestone of debt through buying an engagement ring isn’t a good idea, plus you can always upgrade at a later date!

    In addition, you may also find yourself sacrificing the clarity of the diamond to achieve a higher carat weight and therefore risking the quality of the diamond which could, as a result, be quite poor. We always recommend buying a smaller diamond with a much better quality of cut as this factor determines how brilliant and sparkling the diamond will be.  After all a stunning sparkling diamond can hide inclusions, disguise colour and even give the illusion of looking larger. Two diamonds with the same carat weight can appear to be different sizes depending on the depth or shape of their cut. If a diamond is cut very shallow, it has more surface area and so may appear larger, but it would lack depth and sparkle, and it would receive a poor cut grade.

    How do I choose the best engagement ring for my money?

    We understand that you will want to buy the largest diamond engagement ring that you can afford – that is only human nature of wanting to meet, or even exceed, your bride-to-be’s dreams and expectations.  But we strongly urge you NOT to make the sacrifice of quality just to buy a ring with an extra 0.2 of a carat and we would like to suggest a few ways in which you can buy the best diamond engagement ring for your money with no compromise to quality:

    • Ensure that you buy a diamond engager ring with the best cut that you can afford within your budget.  We cannot over emphasise how important cut is in determining the brilliance of a diamond. Always remember that even the highest quality diamond will not meet its potential in terms of brilliance and shine if the cut is poor. It will just appear as a dull relation!  Choosing the best cut means that you can make savings on the other factors of clarity and colour.


    • To save money one of the best ways is to select a diamond that is graded lower in clarity.  The naked eye will not see the vast majority of flaws or inclusions in a diamond.  You could save a substantial amount of money by choosing SI1 or SI2 diamonds.


    • Think carefully about the metal that you are choosing for the engagement ring band and setting. Choosing yellow gold,  which is predicted to be very on trend in 2018, or rose gold, will make a saving over platinum or white gold.


    • Choosing a diamond that is graded lower in colour will also allowing for huge savings. Most diamonds have slight tints of yellow, which are often impossible to see with the naked eye, and since most tints are extremely difficult to see, a higher grade for colour does not make much difference in quality. It can, however, make a huge difference in price. So, to save money choose diamonds rated H and G which are considered white, with G representing the top-quality white. Note that, while these diamonds appear completely colourless, they do have a light-yellow tint against a bright white background. That said, this tint disappears when set into a metal band, as no metal is solid white. Though still white or colourless against most backgrounds, J - M diamonds run from "top silver" (J) to "light cape" (M), a cheaper silver colouring. When set on a coloured band like yellow gold, they appear colourless, though they may have a tint on whiter metals like platinum.

    Even today the giving of a diamond engagement ring is seen as the ultimate expression of commitment, the symbol of how big your love is for your partner. With all the factors you must consider when buying a diamond, that nagging question still remains: Will the diamond I buy be big enough?  Does the size of the diamond really matter when buying an engagement ring?  

    Historically there is a common misconception in society that the bigger the stone, the bigger the love.   Maybe we should blame this on the very first person to give a diamond engagement ring, Archduke Maximilian when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a stunning diamond engagement ring in the shape of an “M”.  Since then, an engagement ring seems to be incomplete without a stunning and enormous, diamond sparkling out for it.  

    The common misconception of many people is to only judge a diamond by its carat weight as this is the easiest factor to spot, they equate carat weight with the “size” of a diamond.  When a sensational diamond engagement ring is seen on a woman’s hand, they immediately ask themselves ‘how many carats is that diamond?’  The truth is, you can achieve some of that same impact and dazzle by not only considering the carat weight but by focusing on other diamond factors that we call the ‘4cs of diamond grading’.   

    The ‘4cs of diamond grading’ will help any diamond amateur to judge if the stone is worth the investment. The basic 4 c's of diamond grading are colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight.  While the rest of the world think that carat weight alone should be the basis of defining the value of the proposal ring, this is not the case. There are other factors to consider before you choose your engagement ring – it is not all about the carat weight! 

    Diamond Colour 

    The "colour" part of the four C's of diamond grading, not surprisingly, refers to a diamond's colour. A diamond is priced also based on the "whiteness" of the stone. The top grade given to a diamond is the letter D, meaning the diamond is very white and conversely a Z-grade is given to diamonds with tints of yellow, grey or brown.  

    The vast majority of diamonds sold range between F and J. While a whiter diamond doesn’t necessarily compensate for size, it makes for a more beautiful and impressive diamond. However, differences between colour grades are very slight and hard to see with the naked eye, which means you can compromise a little on colour and still buy a beautiful diamond. 

    Diamond Clarity 

    In addition to its colour, a diamond is also graded based on its "flawlessness."  The grade "clarity" is given to determine the blemishes and internal inclusions that a diamond has.  The clearer the diamond, the more light has a chance of passing through it smoothly which is what causes the beautiful sparkle that many people desire.   However, if a diamond has a considerable number of flaws and inclusions, it could greatly influence its glimmer. Some people may have smaller diamond stones, but they can be very clear and very sparkly or another way to save money is to focus on well-cut diamonds of good colour that have a lower clarity grade. 

    Diamond Cut 

    For many women when it comes to diamond size and diamond sparkle, they will opt for the more brilliant stone.  A diamond engagement ring with a great cut can capture the attention of many admiring eyes even from a distance, as the way that a diamond is cut and proportioned directly affects how the light shines through it to cause the desired sparkle.   The more intricate the cut of the diamond ring, the more glimmer it will give out.  For example, in round diamonds, well-cut diamonds tend to be more expensive, but they also sparkle more, allowing you to compromise on carat weight and still get impact that will absolutely bring many "oohs" from admiring friends.  You  can make a big impression with your diamond engagement ring by choosing a well-cut centre stone flanked or surrounded by smaller and less expensive diamonds. 

    Other factors 

    Also consider the influence of shape of your diamond.  If you are going for the illusion of size, a fancy-shape diamond such as emerald, pear or marquise gives you a larger table size, or top surface area. This makes the diamond look larger, regardless of carat weight. Some settings, such as a halo, can also make diamonds appear larger. 

    So now that you have an overview of the 4 C’s it is your decision as to which factor holds most importance to you.   For example, if size is what really matters to you then you may give that the most priority and move down on the gradience with other C’s of course based on your budget. However do bear in mind that as we have pointed out diamond quality matters just as much, if not more, than size — in fact, the bigger the diamond, the more poor quality shows.  

    If your budget requires you to make trade-offs, always err on the side of quality to make a big impression with your diamond engagement ring.  For example, you might consider a high-quality (but smaller carat weight) centre diamond flanked or surrounded by smaller and less expensive diamonds. This can create the big wow factor you’re looking for, while still working within your budget. At the end of the day whatever your decision it is the thought and love that has gone into choosing your perfect diamond engagement ring that is much more important. 


    With the flurry of excitement over the royal engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, many couples are now deciding to make a formal commitment to one another by getting engaged. So if you have finally decided to pop the question to your other half this Christmas you will no doubt want to find the perfect engagement ring beforehand.  Here is where it gets interesting!  Considerations such as how much should you be spending, what style of ring to choose, size of diamond…. and many more questions will no doubt be going through your head. But don’t worry we are here to help you choose an engagement ring for your bride-to-be that is on trend and that she will fall instantly in love with. Here are our predictions for the hottest trends in engagement rings for 2018:

    Trilogy engagement rings 

    The royal engagement ring is a stunning trilogy design with a trio of diamonds comprised of two round-cut diamonds and a central cushion cut diamond set on a yellow gold band.  The royal family have a lot of influence when it comes to trends and fashion. Much as Kate Middleton and Princess Diana’s engagement rings sparked a trend, so we expect to see a resurgence in popularity of the three-stone engagement ring.  A trilogy engagement ring is the perfect design to represent your eternal love for your partner as the three stones are said to symbolise friendship, love and fidelity, the necessary ingredients for a happy relationship and marriage. So if you are a couple looking for an engagement ring with a deeper meaning in your the three stone trilogy engagement ring could be just the right choice.

    Yellow gold

    Yellow gold is reportedly Meghan Markle's favourite metal and this was reflected in Prince Harrys choice of a yellow gold band trilogy diamond ring. We predict that this will kick-start a trend with yellow gold rings likely to becoming a popular choice for 2018 much as the Duchess of Cambridge's engagement ring caused an influx of requests for white gold engagement rings.  While yellow gold is by no means new, in recent years it has somewhat lost favour but it is the a very flattering colour for many skin tones and is said to add warmth to diamond rings, with the contrast between cool bright diamonds and the gold band a winning combination.

    The Split Shank

    Trilogy rings are not for every couple and one trend in engagement ring trend that is set to be very popular in 2018 is the split shank ring. This style usually features a solitaire diamond and the band either side is split which leave a gap that shows the finger.  This design gives has a very modern feel to a solitaire ring that is generally considered as a simple and traditional style.

    With the split shank style of engagement ring customisation is a definite option for those that wish to create an engagement ring that is uniquely special. For example, the gap can be made larger on the east and west points and then narrow and closer together at the diamond.  If your fiancé is a fan of all things vintage then a split shank engagement ring will definitely appeal to her as many vintage-inspired engagement rings feature a split shank and the band will often be a French-set or set with diamonds.  In addition for those who love ‘bling’ splitting the band provides more space to add smaller pavé diamonds which give the illusion of added brilliance and sparkle to the engagement ring.   It is also possible to have a variety of diamond shapes for this type of ring.  For example, to create a classic look with an art deco twist why not choose  a round diamond halo style where the split in the band is very subtle and blends into the centre being positioned close to the diamond.

    Many fashionistas and jewellery experts are predicting that this engagement ring trend is sure to dominate in 2018 as vintage fashion is still very much on trend and yellow gold is a great option for this ring style.

    Geometric Silhouettes

    Adding a geometric shape around your solitaire or oval diamond halo ring is becoming very fashionable as many brides-to-be are moving away from feminine lines towards contemporary designs that surround the diamond with a hexagonal frame. The geometric setting makes a very eye-catching statement whilst not detracting from the beauty of the centrepiece diamond.  This style is just perfect for those who embrace cutting edge styles and perfectly complements the 2018 fashion trends for strong metallics and sharp lines.

    On trend shapes

    When choosing the perfect engagement ring for your spouse-to-be it is very important to consider carefully the shape of the centre stone. Pear shaped diamonds are a must have trend for 2018. The elegant cut of per-shaped diamonds will add that extra something to a plain band and give the appearance of slimmer and slender looking fingers.

    Princess cuts are falling in popularity as diamonds with rounded edges are considered the way forward. The oval diamond is very on-trend and it the perfect choice for a look that is far more subtle and has more clarity and depth. Not only do oval diamonds appear larger in a carat by carat comparison with a round diamond, but they also have the bonus of costing less too!

    Fancy Coloured Diamonds 

    Coloured diamonds have become a very popular choice in 2017 and their popularity looks set to increase making it a hot trend for 2018.  If your partner likes to stand out from the crowd why not choose an engagement ring that features a yellow or black diamond as these are set to the stand out colours for 2018.

    Black diamonds are also very much in vogue as they add a slightly frosty feel with a mysterious edge to an engagement ring.  The trend for black diamond engagement rings first became popular back in 2010 when Carrie of Sex and the City was proposed to by Mr Big. Black diamonds are totally natural and offer a very unique brilliance and shine.  They are now being worn by some of the world’s biggest celebrities including Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez.

    Yellow diamonds are reminiscent of warmth and vibrancy and this colour has long been associated with feelings of happiness and positive energy, promoting love and hope.  Yellow diamonds are said to offer spiritual positivity and to provide relief from tiredness and the associated negative emotions.   Yellow diamonds are set to become increasingly popular in 2018 as they are a little different to the brilliant white diamond, and emit more warmth than a black diamond.

    If you decide to choose a coloured diamond for your engagement ring you must be very aware of selecting a band that will complement the diamond otherwise you will end up with a clash of colours.


    As diamond experts we are often asked the question as to whether or not diamond fluorescence is good or bad. The real answer has to be that it very much depends upon your viewpoint as the buyer of the diamond, as like all of the factors that we term the 4cs  (colour, cut, clarity and carat) it is all about individual tastes, compromise and budget. Essentially fluorescence can enhance or detract from a diamond depending upon how you view this element.

    This natural phenomenon is an important consideration when buying a loose diamond, so let’s take a closer look at diamond fluorescence, its advantages and disadvantages to help you choose your perfect diamond:

    What is diamond fluorescence and do all diamonds fluoresce? 

    Fluorescence is very simply the reaction of trace minerals within the diamond that cause it to emit a soft coloured glow when exposed to ultraviolet light (UV light).

    Diamonds contain elements such as aluminium, nitrogen, and boron and when these elements are subjected to UV light, they absorb that energy and this causes them to move to a higher energy state. In order to stay physically stable, these elements have to emit all the excess energy which they do by releasing photons or the light which is perceived as fluorescence.

    Not all diamonds fluoresce; in fact only about 25% to 35% of diamonds exhibit some degree of fluorescence. The most common colour seen in fluorescence is blue which applies to around 98% of all diamonds with fluorescence.  When a diamond fluoresces blue it has a tendency to appear higher in colour than its true body colour.   Also found are white, yellow, green, and even pink fluorescence. However, ultimately the colour is decided by the physical make-up of the diamond’s inner atomic structure.

    What are the Levels of Fluorescence?

    The GIA views diamond fluorescence as an identifying characteristic NOT as a grading factor like colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight are. There are however different levels of diamond fluorescence and the GIA Diamond Grading Reports and Diamond Dossiers describe a diamond’s fluorescence by its intensity - None, Faint, Medium, Strong and Very Strong (this fluorescence is in comparison to master stones used in the laboratory).

    Obviously, None refers to the absence of fluorescence, so the presence of this feature starts with Faint. Diamonds graded with Faint fluorescence are never hazy. This means that you can always choose a diamond with Faint fluorescence and it will not make any difference. This grade is best with a G or higher colour as it can save you money without losing the diamond’s overall brilliance.

    Diamonds in the level of Medium fluorescence are usually not hazy. For diamonds graded H-K in colour you should consider medium blue fluorescence. Since the glow is usually blue and blue complements yellow, diamonds with H-K colour can appear whiter. This effect will always be evident when you view your diamond under the sun as the H-coloured diamond (for example) with medium fluorescence will appear whiter than the one without fluorescence.

    Strong or Very Strong fluorescence will usually makes a diamond appear hazy. We would recommend that buying such a diamond is not advisable unless you can inspect it first! Diamonds within the D – F range are very prone to appearing hazy when combined with strong or very strong blue fluorescence.  On rare occasions, even lower colour grades can look hazy or milky if they have Strong Blue fluorescence, although the lower the colour grade, the less likely the diamond will be to appear cloudy.

    Can the untrained eye tell the difference between diamonds that fluoresce and those that don’t? 

    The GIA undertake in depth studies into the effect of blue fluorescence on diamond appearance. They screened four sets of six diamonds, with each group representing a different colour grade (E, G, I, and K). The diamonds in each set were as similar as possible in all respects except the intensity of the blue fluorescence. Diamond graders, trained professionals, and average observers viewed the diamonds in controlled conditions to make a judgment about their appearance. The GIA found that for the untrained eye (an average observer) the average observer representing the jewellery buying public, no systematic effects of blue fluorescence on the face-up appearance of the groups of diamonds were detected. Interestingly even the experienced professional observers did not consistently agree on the effects of fluorescence from one diamond to the next.

    They concluded that blue fluorescence has a negligible effect on the face-up appearance of diamonds in the colourless or near-colourless grade ranges (grades D through J) with the exception of the rare instances of very strong fluorescence intensity.

    So is fluorescence in a diamond good or bad?

    As we said at the beginning for this article, diamond fluorescence is neither good nor bad as like many things in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You may like it, or you may not!

    Let’s look at the good and bad points of diamond fluorescence:

    The good thing about fluorescence is that in diamonds where fluorescence does not cause any haziness, it can only be seen as a positive.

    One of the benefits is that most colourless (D-F) fluorescent diamonds are cheaper by 10% – 15% than a comparable gem without the blue fluorescence as for some they see this as a defect, but if you see this as part of the diamond’s natural beauty then this price drop is in fact a bonus!.

    If you are considering a diamond with bluish fluorescence, take the time to look at it under different kinds of lighting, including natural daylight, and compare it to other diamonds of the same colon to see if you notice any difference.  The effect of fluorescence cannot always be seen in usual lighting conditions, but once the diamond gets exposed to UV, it will shine in an icy blue way. The fluorescent effect under UV light can be pretty impressive as it can make your diamond look exceptional!

    Diamond fluorescence can be bad because it can sometimes cause haziness in a diamond. This would translate to milky spots that can be seen even with our bare eyes. Such gems are also referred to as “over-blue diamonds”. In addition, diamonds with blue fluorescence tend to be cheaper because of their bad reputation that is actually completely unfounded. It started some decades ago when so-called “blue white” diamonds with blue fluorescence were sold at a premium price. It was originally applied to high quality diamonds, but was later on used to market lower quality gems with blue fluorescence. This lead the American Federal Trade Commission to ban the “blue white” label. Since this time diamonds with blue fluorescence are branded with a bad name – especially by those who don't do their homework.

    Possibly the reason that diamond fluorescence sparks so much controversy and conversation, is because its effect is subjective and open to personal opinion. All things considered, there is no doubt that the icy-blue effect of fluorescence definitely adds to the soul of the diamond. It can only be a nuisance if your chosen diamond has a Strong Fluorescence in D-F colour or Very Strong Fluorescence in G-H colours – since they don’t have sufficient body colour to counterbalance the level of fluorescence.


    Buying a diamond engagement ring can be a very tricky business. When you do finally make your grand proposal and unveil the diamond engagement ring that is supposed to sit on your loved ones left hand for the rest of her life, you naturally want the ring that you have chosen to have the ‘X factor’! You want her to reaction to be one of overwhelming joy and for her to love her diamond engagement ring as much as she does you. But how do you do this without breaking the bank?  We have some helpful tips to help you choose the best diamond engagement ring and still get bang for your bucks – and it’s all about the 4C’s:

    Carat weight buying tips

    The most popular carat weights for diamond engagement rings are between one and two carats. If you are working to a budget then look for diamonds that are just under the popular carat weights such as 1/2 carat, 3/4 carat etc.  As these diamonds fall just under the popular weight, they are often sold at a slight discount compared to diamonds of full weight.  For example, a 0.75 carat diamond will typically cost less on a price-per-carat basis than a full one carat diamond.  Visually, they are difficult to distinguish; in fact a smaller carat weight diamond may have a diameter equal to that of a heavier diamond, making it appear the same size when viewed from above. If you do opt for a diamond that is less than 0.75 carats, consider a marquise cut which, due to its elongated cut, will give the illusion of looking larger than other shapes of equal carat weight.

    Colour buying tips

    To the untrained eye colour grades of diamonds are difficult to distinguish within one grade above or below unless diamonds are compared side-by-side in a controlled environment.  Even when side-by-side, changes in colour are difficult to detect in I colour and higher diamonds.

    Once a diamond is set into a ring and placed in an environment that contains colour (as opposed to the all-white background used in laboratory controlled colour grading) variations in colour become even harder to detect.   For example, an H colour diamond may look as colourless as a D when set in a ring under normal lighting conditions, especially if the two diamonds are not in comparison side by side.

    When shopping to a budget the best value for money in what would appear to the naked eye as a colourless diamond are G-J grade diamonds this is because colour is easier to detect in larger diamonds. Therefore choosing colour grade G-H for diamonds over 1 carat in weight, and I-J for those under 1 carat is the best option.  Once placed in a ring setting set in a ring, these diamonds will look just like higher colour grade diamonds. So rather than investing in higher colour, invest in a higher cut which will ensure that the very most is made of the diamond’s brilliance. As diamonds with more facets reflect more light, they tend to hide colour better than other shapes. So, consider round, princess or other modified brilliant cuts over step cuts such as emerald or asscher if you are concerned about colour.

    If your first consideration is about carat weight, and you are on a budget, then you would do well to consider a yellow gold setting and a brilliant cut diamond in the K-L colour range. The yellow gold will complement the faint body colour of the diamond.

    Another suggestion when looking for a diamond engagement ring with the ‘x factor’ on a budget is to would be to consider buying Colourless (D-F) fluorescent diamonds. These sell at a 5-15% discount to non-fluorescent diamonds since some people perceive fluorescence as a defect, but like anything beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is only a matter of opinion.  In addition the fact is that the visible effects of faint to medium fluorescence are visible only to a gemologist using a special UV light source and not to the naked eye of anyone admiring your engagement ring.

    As the glow of fluorescence glow is usually blue (which is the complementary colour to yellow) fluorescence can make diamonds of I-M colour appear up to one grade whiter. For this reason, I-M diamonds tend to sell at a slight premium when they possess Medium to Very Strong fluorescence.

    Overall, fluorescence should not be a major factor in the diamond purchase since its effects on appearance are negligible, if not slightly positive. The exception would be to exercise caution in purchasing a diamond with strong or very strong fluorescence in D-H colour diamonds (which do not possess enough yellow colour to offset the blue fluorescence).

    Clarity buying tips

    If you are a perfectionist and really cannot tolerate imperfections, even those which you cannot see, then you will need to select a diamond in VVS2 or better - about 10% of all diamonds sold fall into this category.

    However for those on a budget, the most popular range is the VS1-VS2 diamond. These diamonds appear flawless to the naked eye, and are a fraction of the price of a truly flawless diamond. Almost half of all diamonds purchased fall into this range.

    The next most popular range is SI1, where the inclusions are usually not significant enough to impact the appearance of the diamond to the naked eye.  Many people will opt for this clarity range in exchange for a higher cut or colour grade. This combination often results in a beautiful, lively diamond with imperfections detectable only upon close inspection. In diamonds under 1 carat, the same can be said for an SI2 grade. In diamonds over one carat (where clarity is more important, and SI2 inclusions are often easier to detect), an SI2 is often half the price of a VS1 diamond. About one third of diamonds sold fall into the SI1-SI2 range.

    If your primary concerns are size and price, I1 may be your best clarity option. While the inclusions are visible to the unaided eye, you may well find the sacrifice for what it affords in size to be worthwhile.

    It always follows that the larger the diamond, the easier imperfections are to detect and it is her that Clarity really does become an important factor.  For diamonds over two carats, a clarity grade of VS2 or higher is a wise choice to help you avoid any signs of visible inclusions. In diamonds between one and two carats, clarity grades of SI1 or better will not have inclusions easily visible to the naked eye. In diamonds under one carat, clarity should be considered the least important of the traditional 4 Cs.

    Brilliant-cut diamonds (such as round, princess, cushion, oval, pear, and marquise) hide inclusions better than step cuts (emerald, asscher). When purchasing a step-cut, move up one clarity grade, for example choose a VS2 diamond instead of an SI1 if you desire the lowest grade that has no visible inclusions.

    Cut and Shape buying tips

    Cut and shape are two terms which are often confused by diamond buyers.  The cut of a diamond is the most important part of the equation when it comes to creating an engagement ring’s stunning sparkle as the quality of the cut determines the stone’s overall beauty and dazzle.  A diamond has to be cut to create its shape. But what’s referred to as the diamond’s cut isn’t the same as its shape, they are not the same but do complement each other.

    The diamond’s cut is one way of grading it.  How a diamond cutter cuts facets and angles on a diamond to let the light shine through is vitally important as it has a big impact on the beauty of your diamond in three important ways: proportion, symmetry and polish. These three factors interact with and against each other affecting the way light moves within the diamond.  It is akin to the sun hitting a mirror and reflecting onto another wall, except there are numerous little reflective surfaces and facets bouncing the light all over the inside of the diamond.

    In a well-cut diamond, light enters through the top, or table, and reflects off the angles between the flat places (the facets) on the sides (known as the crown and the pavilion) and exits back out the top. All that light bouncing around within the diamond creates the factors of brilliance, fire and sparkle:

    • Brilliance which is the brightness created by a combination of the white light reflections on and in the diamond.
    • Fire being the flashes of colour you see within the diamond.
    • Sparkle this happens when a diamond or a light source moves.

    These three factors are the reasons that a beautiful diamond catches really catches the eye and why it appears to have an inner glow.

    In a badly cut diamond, the light goes in the top, leaks out through the sides and ends up looking dull.  It may even be a bigger diamond by carat weight (and thus be more expensive), because not enough of the material was cut away to give you the sparkle everyone looks for in a diamond.

    The diamond shape is usually the first thing most people think about when choosing a diamond engagement ring and most women will have a preference. However, if you are unaware of her preference or a liking for a particular shape has been expressed, then consider a round diamond (known as a round brilliant) or square diamond (known as a princess) for the engagement ring. Generally speaking, the round diamond is more traditional and is generally the most popular cut of diamond chosen for engagement rings with the princess-cut running a very close second being a more modern shape for diamond engagement rings.  Both these cuts are known for their higher level of brilliance and sparkle than many other shapes; they accommodate almost any ring setting, and never go out of fashion.

    Length to width ratio has a major impact on the shape of a diamond. Every diamond that Rêve Diamonds sell is shown in its correct length to width ratio so that you can easily see the difference between diamonds of the same shape (e.g. a a square vs. a rectangular princess cut).  If you are not sure about your preferences, search for a shape you like, and then view diamonds of various length to width ratios within that shape until you find what you like. Then, focus your search on diamonds that are within roughly 10% of your ideal length to width ratio (e.g. if you decide that your ideal radiant cut diamond has a 1.50 L/W ratio, focus your search on radiants between 1.35 and 1.65).

    Other options are known as fancy shapes, and include diamond shapes like pear, marquise, cushion and heart. Depending on how these shapes are cut, all of them boast the dazzling sparkle you’re seeking for your chosen diamond engagement ring.


    Whether you love to be up to date with the latest trends, prefer timeless classic elegance did you know that the shape of the diamond within your engagement ring may reveal something about your personality and tastes?  Here we take a fun look at what some of the most popular cuts and shapes of diamond might say about you! 

    Round Brilliant Cut Diamond  

    This classical shape is possibly the most popular choice for engagement rings, and it is not hard to see why. A round brilliant cut diamond has a sparkle to rival many other cuts. This is due to its 58 facets and 360-degree symmetrical shape which reflect and radiate light to produce a fire and brilliance that is very eye catching. The circular shape of the cut is also said to symbolise never ending love which makes it the perfect choice for an engagement ring which celebrates your love for one another. 

    Women who favour the shape of a round brilliant cut diamond are usually traditionalists at heart, they are drawn to the dream of traditional romance, of hearts and flowers and a happy ever after.  These women are somewhat conservative and like simple elegance, they  hold in high esteem the values of honesty, faithfulness, and loyalty but can also be a little reluctant to accept change. 

    Princess Cut Diamond  

    Second in popularity for brides-to-be is the princess cut diamond. The princess-cut diamond is the ‘hopeless romantic’ of the shapes. It is a favourite among brides who love a combination of a classic traditionally shaped engagement ring, with the added touch of modernism.  Its square cut with clean chic angles produce a sparkle which is much admired.  

    The lady who chooses a princess cut diamond engagement ring loves traditional values but accepts change of modern times embracing all different cultural  influences to have a well-rounded view of her world. As the extravagant sparkle of a princess cut diamond demands attention, so the woman who chooses to wear this cut for her engagement ring may not be afraid to be centre stage and will not shrink from the spotlight. She is happy to take risks in life and act as a leader bringing life, vitality and energy to all that she does.  

    Emerald Cut Diamond 

    Being a step cut with rectangular facets that are arranged parallel to each edge of the diamond, the emerald cut diamond is designed to draw attention to a diamond's shine with its clean cut rectangular top and chiselled corners. The Emerald cut is currently enjoying a huge revival in diamond jewellery and is now the third most popular choice of diamond for engagement rings, after the round brilliant cut and princess cut.  

    Confidence is a must when wearing an Emerald cut diamond ring as fewer facets make this cut susceptible to revealing any flaws that the diamond may have, therefore it is a confident woman that choses this shape of diamond.   

    Brides-to-be who favour this retro-inspired design are open to taking risks and embrace the unexpected. Some of the most glamorous of Hollywood movie stars including Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly have chosen Emerald cut diamonds as this cut is classy, sophisticated and catches attention at every turn. Modern day women who choose an Emerald cut diamond engagement ring may have a yearning towards glamour and glitz of retro times as this cut perfectly combines contemporary lines with vintage flair.  

    Cushion Cut Diamond 

    A Cushion cut diamond takes its name from the rounded corners and curved sides that make it appear softer than a princess-cut diamond but not as circular as a round brilliant cut diamond, hence the shape of a cushion.  This cut is feminine and subtle in design but is also very stylish and on trend and is the perfect cut when looking for an engagement ring that has a soft look but exudes a lot of sparkle. 

    The lady who chooses a Cushion cut diamond engagement ring is not afraid to show her soft romantic side and her love for her partner.  She craves adventure and seeks romance in all that she does, is modern yet has traditional values and is bold enough to show that to the world. 

    Asscher Cut Diamond  

    The Asscher cut (referred to as a Square Emerald) is a vintage-inspired unique shape with prismatic brilliance and a rectangular-faceted pavilion in the same style as the emerald cut. The standard number of main facets on an Asscher cut is usually 58 and it has a deep pavilion, faceted culet, high crown and small table which allows for tremendous sparkle lustre and creates a fascinating optical illusion known as the “Hall of Mirrors” effect. 

    In recent years the Asscher cut has become very popular among the fashion-conscious crowd following Carrie Bradshaw modelling an Asscher cut engagement ring during her brief engagement  to Aidan Shaw on the worldwide hit television show ‘Sex and the City’.  

    Women who choose an Asscher cut engagement ring are usually very self-confident and outgoing with many friends and a hectic social life. They are not afraid to both follow and define fashion trends, are sophisticated yet relaxed, and are always impeccably dressed, charming and muchg admired.  

    Marquise Cut Diamond  

    The Marquise cut diamond is named after the legend that King Louis XIV of France (the Sun King) was in search of a stone polished into the shape of the mouth of his mistress, the Marquise of Pompadour.  Marquise cut diamonds are not currently one of the most fashionable of styles, but have the very big benefit that because of their shape, these diamonds often appear larger than life.  This cut is therefore perfect for accentuating long, slender fingers. The shape of the stone is made to maximize carat weight, which can appeal to brides with a flair for drama.   

    Brides-to-be that choose Marquise cut diamonds are seen as determined and strong and not afraid to ooze sex appeal.  Extroverted women chose Marquise cut diamonds that have a love for life and all things vintage and glamorous.  

    Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s up to you to find a cut that fits you and our personality best. Think of it this way: what do you want to wear on that left hand of yours? Because it’s going to be there for a long time.



    Fantastic news this week that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have at last announced the news that the nation has been waiting for – they are officially engaged to be married!  The engagement ring is, as expected, absolutely stunning with Prince Harry thoughtfully choosing a trilogy design with a trio of diamonds. The ring sits on a gold band and the centre stone is from Botswana (where the couple recently holidayed together) and is flanked by two diamonds from the personal collection of Princess Diana, Prince Harry's mother. Prince Harry explained to the press at their official engagement announcement that this ring is ‘symbolic of life’s crazy journey that they are embarking upon together’.   

    Like many couples Prince Harry chose a diamond engagement ring to symbolise his commitment to his future wife.  But have you ever stopped and wondered why do we give and wear diamond engagement rings?   

    The origins of diamond engagement rings 

    There are several trains of thought as to the origins of the engagement ring. Some believe that engagement rings were a custom which begun in Ancient Egypt about 4,800 years ago! The Ancient Egyptians regarded a ring as the ultimate symbol of love and eternity and the central hole signified never ending and immortal love for the woman wearing the ring. They fashioned engagement rings and wedding bands from sedges, papyrus and reeds but as these materials wear away relatively quickly, they were often replaced with a ring made from other natural materials such as bone, ivory or leather or bone. The more expensive the material that the engagement ring was fashioned from signifying the wealth of the giver.  Archaeologists have found several mummies dating around 2800 BC that have been buried with silver and gold rings on the ring fingers of their left hand.   

    The more modern history of engagement rings began back in 1215 when Pope Innocent III established a waiting period between the promise of marriage, and the actual marriage ceremony and the giving of an engagement ring signified the couple's devotion to one another. During this period in history engagement rings would often represent the couple's social and economic position in society with only the very rich incorporating precious metals and jewels. Other less wealthy couples marked their engagement by the giving of an item. In England for example, a couple would break a piece of silver or gold and each of the couple kept one half, cementing the decision by having a glass of wine. Once married the item would be re-joined together to symbolise their joining together in marriage.  In America, some women were given thimbles. Once they got married the thimbles would have the top cut off so they could wear them as rings.  

    The word diamond is originated from ancient Greek translated to mean "unbreakable" - the perfect adjective when to describe the bond of love that marriage creates. At the time, diamonds were thought to be the strongest material on earth, which meant giving your other half a diamond as a symbol of your love and devotion was a truly romantic gesture. 

    The modern era of the diamond engagement ring 

    Our current lover affair with diamond engagement rings has been attributed to Archduke Maximilian of Austria who in  1477 proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a stunning diamond engagement ring comprised of thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an "M”. He blazed a fashion for diamond engagement rings amongst his contemporary European Aristocracy.  

    Diamond engagement rings did not become widely available though the jewellery industry until the 1870s when diamonds were discovered by miners in South Africa.  Diamonds then began to flood world markets, and people started to realise that they were relatively pretty common (which could have damaged their high price).  So in 1888 several major diamond mines formed together to create De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd which allowed them to control the flow of diamonds globally from South Africa. In turn this allowed them to make diamonds appear scarcer and therefore more valuable hence how a diamond became thought of as a rare, inherently valuable commodity.  

    The popularity of diamond engagement rings is all down to clever marketing. Once De Beers had increased the the price of diamonds, they faced a new challenge: the poor economy of the 1920s had led to a massive decline in diamond demand.  To ‘create’ demand De Beers hired an advertising agency N.W. Ayer to help them communicate just one message that would change the history of diamonds and make them an aspirational ‘must have’ item in the eyes of consumers. Frances Gerety, a copywriter working for N.W. Ayer, came up with the slogan: ‘A Diamond is Forever.’ Their marketing campaign focused upon portraying diamonds as a symbol of everlasting love, and made diamond engagement rings the ultimate way to show your commitment and it worked - diamond engagement rings are the number once choice of couples all over the world.

    Why do we wear an engagement ring on the ring finger of the left hand 

    This custom can be traced back to traditional beliefs held before the discovery of the human circulatory system worked. It was believed that a vein, known as the vena amoris or the ‘vein of love’, ran directly from the heart to the ring finger on the left hand. The special connection between the hand and the heart meant that wearing the engagement and wedding ring on this finger symbolically showed the love between the couple.  

    After the discovery of the circulatory system, medical experts realised that the scientific theory was incorrect because all fingers have a similar vein structure.  Married couples from the UK and many other Western countries wear their engagement and wedding rings on their left hand. However, couples from other European countries such as Austria, Denmark and Germany wear the rings on their right hand instead.  

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