Monthly Archives: January 2018

  • 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.

  • CHOOSING A DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING FOR VALENTINES DAY

    Have you have found "The One" and decided that St. Valentines' day, the most romantic day of the year is the perfect day for your proposal? If so, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner you will no doubt have begun to consider choosing a diamond engagement ring to pop the question with that she will love and cherish just as much as she does you.  Here we have prepared a short guide to choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring for a Valentines' day proposal:

    Style and taste is a very personal thing and it has been said that no one woman will have exactly the same tastes as any other.  Therefore, as her prospective husband to be it is your job to decide exactly which diamond engagement ring is perfect for your Valentine knowing what her likes and dislikes are in jewellery and fashion.

    Which Style of Setting Will You Choose for Your Diamond Engagement Ring?

    This is possibly the first decision you will need to make as to which style of engagement ring setting is she going to want to wear for the rest of her life? Broadly speaking the styles of engagement ring settings can be categorised into two main engagement ring styles which are Solitaire and Multi-Stone.

    Solitaire SettingsAs the name suggest this refers to an engagement ring that is made from one diamond alone.  The Solitaire style is perhaps the most popular choice of engagement ring as it is simple, stylishly classical yet always fashionable, and its beauty will undoubtedly stand the test of time.  If you choose a solitaire setting for your fiancé, it's important to ensure your diamond is of the highest quality as the solitaire diamond will be the focus of everyone's attention that gazes upon her engagement ring therefore we strongly recommend that  you must go for the diamond that offers the best cut, colour and clarity within your budget.

    Multi-Stone Setting: this is a very general term that describes an engagement ring that is anything but a solitaire and they can be seen as giving you much more freedom to create a Valentines' engagement ring that will stand out from the crowd.

    One of the most popular of the multi-stone setting engagement rings is a ring with a three diamond setting which is often referred to as a ‘Trilogy’ or ‘Trinity’ setting. This classical design is the perfect choice for a lady who loves her jewellery with a lot of fire and sparkle.

    This setting has to be a strong contender for the title of "Perfect Engagement Ring for a Valentine's Proposal" as the multi-stone Trilogy engagement ring setting is said to symbolise the story of the journey that a relationship takes.  Many couples view the three diamonds within the ring as being symbolic of their commitment to being “my past, my present and my future”.  The larger middle diamond represents and the smaller stones either side represent the past and future.

    Which Metal To Choose? 

    Once you have decided upon the setting of engagement ring that will most suit your spouse to be’s taste and style, the next all important decision is which metal to choose for your engagement ring.  Each of our gorgeous diamond engagement ring styles is available in 18ct white gold, 18ct yellow gold or platinum, so your starting point and first dilemma is colour... Is your Valentine a fan of platinum or does she prefer White, or Yellow gold?  Take a look at what jewellery she already owns and then you can decide if you wish to complement or contrast her existing collection with your chosen engagement ring.

    If you loved one is more of a traditionalist then Yellow gold is likely to find favour as it has long been the choice of metal for diamond engagement rings and its rich burnished colour has been a symbol of wealth and prosperity for centuries.

    If you think your Valentine is more of a white metal girl, then the choice between White Gold and Platinum can be more complex so here is a quick guide:

    Platinum derives its name from the Spanish word platina, meaning "little silver."  It is a very dense metal that is more precious than gold.  Platinum is a beautiful metal and its stunning white silver finish instantly brings out the sparkle and shine in any diamond. Due to its rarity, Platinum has become synonymous with the expression of love, becoming the perfect metal for engagement rings.

    18ct White Gold is the result of combining yellow gold with white metal alloys such as silver and palladium, so as such is not actually a naturally occurring metal.  As gold is naturally a soft metal it has to be mixed so that the jewellery that it forms can withstand wear and tear.  The Carat (ct) measurement indicates how much natural gold is present in your White Gold engagement ring. White gold is very popular with modern fashionista’s as it has a very contemporary look possibly because of its metallic ice-like sheen. It will be a great choice of metal if your loved one prefers a silver finish but your budget will not stretch to a Platinum engagement ring.

    Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend

    The final component, but possibly the most important factor, in choosing your perfect Valentine engagement ring has to be the diamond.   There are a lot of factors that combine to make a beautiful diamond and it is very important that you know the basics, the all-important ‘4C's’ which colour, cut, clarity and carat.  We've dedicated a whole section of our website to help you understand quality diamonds. But if all this information makes you head spin, the highly experienced team here at Rêve Diamonds are diamond experts and we are happy to guide you through the process of creating the perfect engagement ring for a Valentine’s Day proposal.

    We even offer a bespoke engagement ring service whereby we will create a stunning engagement ring to your very own design to suit your budget, after all a Valentine’s Day proposal does demand a very special ring!

  • RED IS THE COLOUR OF LOVE AND ALSO OF THE RAREST DIAMONDS

    The colour red is generally associated with love, passion, and strength, therefore it is very fitting that the world’s rarest, most desirable and most valuable of the fancy natural coloured diamonds is the red diamond! Red diamonds are so rare that it is believed that thirty true ‘predominantly red’ diamonds are in existence, and most are smaller than half a carat - ‘predominantly red’ is the description given by the GIA that indicates that red is the primary colour in the diamond with no secondary hues such as purple.

    Here we take a look at the phenomenon of the world rarest diamonds – the red diamond:

    Why are red diamonds red?  

    In comparison to other natural fancy coloured diamonds there is very little gemological information about red diamonds largely due to their scarcity.  Colouring in diamonds is caused by various chemical impurities but as red diamonds are wholly comprised of pure carbon experts have long pondered how a gemstone with no such impurities attains such a striking and magnificent colour?

    It is believed that the red colour is due to rare deformities in the gemstones anatomical structure which resulted from increased stress during the formation of the diamond. These lattice defects internally bend and refract the light that enters the diamond so giving it the red colouration.  Given different sources and amounts of light passing through, red diamonds appear to exhibit different colours and they shine more brightly under natural daylight, and under florescent light they appear much different and dull.

    Often diamonds that may initially appear to be red to the naked eye are actually fancy deep or dark pinks. The difference between a fairly deep pink and a moderately dark red can be very subtle and almost undistinguishable to an untrained eye which is especially true under poor lighting conditions.

    Red diamonds really are the exception to the rule  

    All natural fancy coloured diamonds have their colours prefixed by terms such as ‘intense’ or ‘vivid’ when compared in a colour grading scale.  Red diamonds however are the only exception to this rule and the reason behind this is that most gemological laboratories consider the red colour to be unique, as well as, “intense” or “vivid” itself.  However, there have been red diamonds found with slight differences in depth of colour with hues ranging from a lighter and sweeter tone to those with a much darker and deeper tint.

    Where Are Red Diamonds Found? 

    The vast majority of red diamonds are found in the Argyle mines owned by the Rio Tinto company located in the East Kimberley region in the north of Western Australia and they are often featured in their famous annual Argyle tender. Red diamonds have also on rare occasion been found in the diamond mines of Brazil, Africa. Australia, Russia, and India

    How much are red diamonds worth?  

    Out of all the natural fancy colour diamonds, red is the most rare, even surpassing pink diamonds. Red diamonds are one of the most expensive and rare diamonds in the world and they will always continue to break records although they rarely appear at auctions. In 1987 the 0.95-carat Hancock Red Diamond was sold for $880,000 in 1987 (you can only imagine what it must be worth now!).  The 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red Diamond was sold for $8 million dollars in 2001 and in 2013, a 1.92-carat Fancy Red rectangular-cut diamond, sold for CHF3.15 million at Christie's, while the auction house also sold a 2.09-carat heart-shaped Fancy Red diamond ring by Moussaieff for HKD39.32 million in 2014.  Since this time, only a limited number of red diamonds have been revealed, increasing their mystique.

    What is the largest Red Diamond? 

    Red diamonds are so rare that there are only a handful of unmodified reds available on the market, with most of them weighing less than 1 carat in weight.   The world’s largest red diamond is the Moussaieff Red, which weighed in at 5.11 carats and sold for $8 million at auction in 2001 and is estimated to be worth over $20 million today!  It has a triangular brilliant cut sometimes referred to as a trillion or a trilliant cut and is rated in colour as a Fancy Red by the GIA.  Although this may seem relatively small when compared to other famous diamonds, in fact, the Moussaieff Red is the largest Fancy Red the GIA reports having valued.

    Other famous red diamonds 

    Undoubtedly the most famous and largest red diamond is the ‘Moussaieff Red’ also referred to as the ‘Red Shield’) but other famous red diamonds include the Hancock Red Diamond, the Rob Red and the Supreme Purple Star

    The Hancock Red Diamond is famous for its rare purplish red colour and weighs 0.95 carat. It is a round brilliant cut red diamond and was named after the famous collector, Warren Hancock who reportedly paid $13,500 for this diamond in 1956, which proved to be a great investment as he later sold it for $880,000 in 1987!

    The Rob Red is a 0.59 carat fancy red diamond which is pear shaped and exhibits VS1 clarity. GIA colour grading experts described the Rob Red as ‘the most saturated and purest red diamond measured visually and instrumentally to date in the world’.

    The Supreme Purple Star is a round brilliant cut deep purple diamond that weighs between 2 to 5 carats. The exact colour and clarity of this diamond has not been revealed but when viewing looking at the diamond from one angle, it appears to be of a deep purple colour, however when the diamond is rotated in the light, the colour changes to a very striking and lustrous deep to vivid purplish red colour.

  • PRETTY IN PINK – THE BEAUTY OF PINK DIAMONDS

    Whilst red diamonds are acknowledged as ‘the’ rarest of all the natural fancy coloured diamonds, pink diamonds are considered by experts to also be one of the rarest natural diamonds on earth (along with purple, green, blue, violet and pure oranges). Due to this rarity it is estimated by experts that pink diamonds can cost at least 20 times the price of its colourless (white) equivalent and they are highly sought after by diamond collectors and connoisseurs worldwide for their personal collections and bespoke items of jewellery.  So what is it about pink diamonds that makes them so impressive? Let’s take a closer look:

    Where in the world are pink diamonds found

    Pink diamonds have been found in diamonds mines within Africa and India but the Argyle Diamond Mine owned by the Rio Tinto company and located in the East Kimberley region in the remote north of Western Australia, is the world’s only consistent source of pink diamonds. This mine accounts for more than 90-95% of the world’s supply of pink diamonds and also yields the highly rare red diamonds, blue, brown, cognac and champagne fancy coloured diamonds.

    Despite only opening in 1985, due to the low yield of gem-quality stones, the Argyle Diamond Mine is expected to close by 2020 which further adds to the scarcity and rarity value of pink diamonds Argyle have estimated that “for every million carats of rough pink diamonds produced from the mine, only one polished carat is offered for sale by annual tender.” To put that in perspective, for every 200kg of rough pink diamond that is mined at Argyle, only 0.2g is offered for sale each year as part of the exclusive Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender.

    How are pink diamonds formed?  

    Considering the rarity of pink diamonds geographically, the obvious question has to be whether the formation of pink diamonds has a direct relation to factors that are peculiar to the Kimberley region where the Argyle diamond mine is located?

    Like white diamonds, pink diamonds are formed only of carbon within the kimberlite pipes of volcanoes. Pieces of carbon are transformed by extreme heat and pressure into the glass like diamond. In contrast to other natural fancy coloured diamonds which obtain their colouring from traces of chemical impurities e.g.  a blue diamond from traces of boron in the soil being incorporated into the diamond as it forms, and yellow diamonds are formed due to trace levels of nitrogen,  experts have been unable to identify any chemical impurities in pink diamonds.  Many leading scientists believe that that the pink colour may be a result of historic seismic activity causing the defects which refract pink light. Given that the seismic activity varies wildly from area to area, this could explain why Kimberley and the Argyle mine is the world’s only significant source of these pink diamonds.

    Famous Pink Diamonds 

    Perhaps the most well-known pink diamond is ‘The Pink Star’, formerly known as the Steinmetz pink diamond, which in April 2017 became the world's most expensive gemstone, selling at auction at Sotheby's in Hong Kong for $71.2 million (£57.3 million) including buyer's premium.  This magnificent gemstone is a huge 59.60 carat and is the largest Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid pink diamond ever graded by the GIA.  It is rated as Internally Flawless as it has no internal inclusions, and is a Type IIa stone, the coveted classification given to less than two per cent of all gem-quality diamonds, which signifies chemical purity.  The Pink Star was cut from a 132.5-carat rough diamond mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999. It took two years of meticulous cutting and polishing to hone it into its current oval shape.

    Before the Pink Star sold, the record price for a pink diamond at auction was $46.2 million, achieved by the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, which sold at Sotheby's Geneva in 2010. The Pink Star is more than twice as big as the Graff Pink, and its colour rating, Fancy Vivid, is the highest possible grade on the scale used to assess coloured diamonds, and therefore considered the most valuable.

    The Graff Pink diamond falls in the top 1 to 2% of diamonds in terms of purity, according to the GIA. Its colour is exceptional and it features an emerald cut. This stone was previously owned by Harry Winston, a world renowned York jeweller who has possessed a number of famous diamonds. He kept it in his private collection for more than 60 years, when it was auctioned in 2010 in Geneva and purchased by Laurence Graff, a legendary diamond collector known as the “King of Bling.” He paid $46.2 million, which, at the time, was the most expensive diamond in the world. When Graff decided to buy this diamond he had planned to make it even more valuable than it was. Using cutting-edge technology, experts were able to eliminate potential defects considered as flaws, such as blemishes. Graff also planned to intensify the colour of the diamond, which can be achieved through cut.

    Equally famous is the Darya-ye Noor, or “Sea of Light”, a 182 carat diamond which is pale pink in colour and weighs an impressive 186 carats. It is said to originate from the Golconda mines in India.  It was originally part of the crown jewels and was worn by many kings as part of their ceremonial dress until 1739 when the Persian army retrieved it and returned it back to Iran where research teams believe that the diamond was part of an even larger diamond that was divided into two pieces. Now featured as part of the Iranian Crown Jewels, the Darya-ye Noor is currently showcased at the Central Bank of Iran, in Tehran.

    The Noor-ul-Ain pink diamond has also graced royal families. It is an absolutely stunning 60-carat oval brilliant-cut pink diamond which was given to Empress Farah Diba in the form of a tiara when she married Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran. The centrepiece of the tiara is the famous pink diamond, surrounded by hundreds of coloured diamonds.

    Other famous pink diamonds include The Martian Pink diamond which is a very rare 12.04 carat stone that was named in 1976 by US jeweller Harry Winston to commemorate the year that the Americans sent a satellite to Mars and was auctioned in Hong Kong for $17.4m (£11.1m).   The Rose of Dubai a pear-shaped Fancy Coloured Loose Pink Diamond weighing an impressive 25.02 carats, and the Princie Diamond which is a cushion cut fancy intense pink diamond boasting VS2 clarity which weighs 34.65 carat.

    Are pink diamonds a good investment?  

    The answer to this question has to be a definitive yes. Although pink diamonds are among the most valuable jewels today, 20 years ago they were little more than a geological curiosity. Sales have been driven by savvy marketing and a growing appreciation of their uniqueness. As the main source of pink diamonds the Argyle mine estimates that there are less than 500 tender quality diamonds yet to be unearthed in their mines, each day these extremely limited edition stones are becoming rarer still.  It is for this reason that those that weigh less than one carat can often command staggeringly high prices at auction reaching anywhere between $100,000 per carat to over $1,000,000 per carat, depending on the colour intensity, cut, clarity, and other given factors.

  • SHINE BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN WITH YELLOW DIAMONDS

    Are you the sort of person who likes to break the mould and turn heads wherever you go? Do you seek out the spotlight rather than shy away? Well if the answer to either these questions is yes then you may want to consider the choice of yellow diamonds for your engagement ring or other item of diamond jewellery.

    Natural fancy coloured diamonds are rare and yellow diamonds are amongst the rarest. They have become increasingly popular over the last decade with many A-listers choosing these stunning gemstones over the tradition of white diamonds. Jennifer Lopez is reported to love yellow diamonds and is often seen wearing a stunning 30 carat yellow diamond ring on the red carpet. Heidi Klum, Hillary Clinton, Kelly Clarkson, Cheryl Cole, even American R&B star Usher all enjoy the beauty of yellow diamonds. Of course, the most famous wearer of yellow diamonds must be Marilyn Monroe. She wore a fabulous 24-carat yellow diamond, famously known as the Moon of Baroda, to the Hollywood premier of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The diamond belonged to the royal dynasty Gaekwad Maharajas and Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. It was reportedly cursed, and was said to have been the source of Monroe’s misfortune and ultimately, her death.
    Nothing makes a statement quite like a yellow diamond and this is perhaps the reason that this is one of the most sought after of the natural fancy coloured diamonds.

    Natural Fancy yellow coloured diamonds come in various intensities: light Yellow, fancy light Yellow, fancy Yellow, fancy intense Yellow (also called Canary Yellow) and fancy vivid Yellow. In addition, yellow diamonds are often found with high clarity grading. Both facts have obvious impact on their pricing. With that in mind, the nice thing about natural Yellow Diamonds is that they are considered relatively affordable when examining the niche of natural coloured diamonds. However, prices do of course increase as the colours reach higher intensity colours. Some of the yellows with the higher intensity of colour (e.g. Fancy Vivid Yellows) are as rare as blue and pink diamonds and this will of course be reflected in the astronomical price that they can command!
    Although faint yellow in white diamonds is viewed as undesirable, fancy intense yellow is highly prized and sought after. South Africa today is currently one of the main producers of these natural coloured gems, India did yield some yellow diamonds in the 16th and 17th centuries, but this supply has been exhausted in recent times. The first authenticated yellow diamond was in fact found in South Africa and was the 10.73 yellow Eureka. By the early 20th century, South Africa had also produced the 128.51 Tiffany, the 130 carat Colenso, the 228.50 DeBeers, and the 205.07 Red Cross.

    Why are Diamonds Yellow?

    One of the main contributors towards the colouration of yellow diamonds is the presence of Nitrogen molecules occurring in higher concentrations than any other element during the diamonds formation. These molecules of nitrogen absorb blue light making the diamond appear yellow, yellow being the natural complement to the colour blue. The secondary colours for yellow diamonds include grey, green, orange, brown and even olive.

    Famous yellow diamonds

    Perhaps the most famous yellow diamonds was that discovered in South Africa in 1877 - the Tiffany Yellow diamond. This diamond was cut into a cushion style and weighs an amazing 128 carats. Set in what is known as the ‘Bird on a Rock’ setting, the diamond was made famous by the iconic movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Today, the piece, still in the ‘Bird’ setting, is on permanent display on the ground floor of Tiffany’s, New York.

    Other famous yellow diamonds include the Kimberley Octahedron which is believed to be the largest yellow diamond. This incredible gemstone weighs a phenomenal 616 carats. It is the 14th largest, gem quality, rough diamond in the world, and was discovered in 1972 in the Dutoitspan mine, South Africa.

    The Sancy diamond is another famous example of a stunning yellow diamonds and it has a rather romantic history. Weighing in at 55 carats, this yellow diamond fluoresces yellow and pink. The romantic part of the tale lies in the legend of its origins as it is thought to be an Indian diamond which Charles, Duke of Burgundy is said to have lost in on a battlefield in 1477. The name of the diamond comes from its first verified owner, Nicholas Harlai of Sancy who was a French ambassador. He purchased the diamond in Constantinople in the late 1500’s. It passed back and forth, being sold between France and England, ending up with the Astor family, who sold it, in 1978, back to France and it now resides in the Louvre.

    Due to their the growing popularity of yellow diamonds, more and more brides to be are changing their preference from the classic diamond engagement ring to yellow diamond engagement rings - adding a little touch of NOW to the classics. Here at Reve Diamonds we offer a superb selection of yellow diamonds in a variety of shapes and cuts to suit all tastes and budgets, and provide a bespoke engagement ring design service should you be looking for that something just a little more special incorporating your very own ray of sunshine – a yellow diamond!

  • ALL THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YELLOW GOLD

    Is Yellow Gold better than White Gold?

    As gold is a soft metal the higher the karat of the gold within your piece of jewellery, the more easily it will get scratched. Yellow gold can of course be polished, but this does remove a layer of the metal along with the scratches. In contrast, when white gold gets too many scratches, you can always polish them out and have the piece replated with rhodium, restoring the jewellery’s surface layer.

    Lower karat yellow gold is more durable, but if you are allergic to the nickel in gold alloys, a 10 karat or even a 14 karat piece may not work for you.
    Both yellow and white gold have their disadvantages, and while white gold fairs slightly better in terms of overall durability, neither is a perfect choice in this respect. This is the main reason as to why you should make your choice primarily based on colour. If you have a diamond of a lower colour grade (such as K or L), for example, have it set in yellow gold so that the diamond’s yellowish tint doesn’t stand out as it would in white. In contrast, if your diamond is graded Colourless (D-E-F grades) or Nearly Colourless (G-H-I-J grades), it would be a better idea to have it mounted in white gold, which will add to the stone’s white brilliance.

    In recent years yellow gold may have taken more of a back seat in popularity to other precious metals such as platinum. However, with the recent engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and their much talked about trilogy engagement ring set on a yellow gold band, this beautiful metal is set to make a resurgence in 2018. So, let’s take a look at yellow gold with our guide as to all that you need to know about yellow gold:

    What is Yellow Gold and how is it created?

    Yellow gold is gold in its purest form. The purest yellow gold being 24 karats at 99.9 percent, which is very soft and can be easily dented or scratched, therefore making it too soft to be used in jewellery making on its own. As gold is a highly malleable metal, it is easy to combine it with other metals to make it stronger and durable for the purposes of jewellery making. To make gold more durable it is infused with metals such as silver, copper and zinc in differing proportions to create an alloy which is harder than pure gold. The metals added to yellow gold make it more resistant to scratching and denting as well as adding to the overall appearance.
    Regardless of which metals are added to the gold alloy, its purity is measured in the same way as the percentage of pure gold to other metals determines the karat value of the gold. For example, nine karat yellow gold contains more silver, copper and zinc than 18 karat gold i.e. nine karat gold generally consists of 37.5% gold, 10.3% silver and 52.2% of other metals e.g. zinc and copper which give jewellery its characteristic yellowish tint. 14 karat yellow gold is generally 58.5% pure gold, 18 karat yellow gold jewellery is generally 75% pure gold and 24 karat gold is 100% pure gold.
    14 karat yellow gold jewellery is stronger and usually costs less than 18 karat yellow gold jewellery. However, 18 karat gold jewellery gives a more luxurious and heavier feel when worn and because you get more gold within an 18 karat gold item of jewellery, this makes it a better investment piece.
    Of course, the higher the karat value of the piece of jewellery (hence higher percentage of pure gold), the more care needs to be taken in looking after the item as yellow gold can be easily marked and dented. To keep the stunning shine and clarity of your piece of jewellery, yellow gold needs to be regularly shined and polished.
    The history of Yellow Gold

    Throughout history yellow gold has been treasured and admired by countless ancient civilizations across the globe, from the Greeks to the Mesopotamians, the Ancient Egyptians Pharaohs to Roman Emperors etc. Many cultures have imagined gold to represent the sun with its natural colouring and radiance and in fact the Incas referred to gold as the "tears of the Sun."
    Homer, in the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," makes mention of gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans. In Genesis 2:10-12, we learn of the river Pison out of Eden, and "the land of Havilah, where there is gold: and the gold of that land is good?"

    Yellow gold is a timeless style that evokes opulence and wealth and across the centuries it has been worn in bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces, made into crowns, used in art, woven into thread and even inlaid in coffins and death masks.

    What are the key benefits of Yellow Gold?

    The key benefits of using yellow gold within piece of jewellery are as follows:
    The warm tone of yellow gold is classic and sumptuous and is very complimentary to warm skin tones
    Yellow gold looks great with white gold, silver, and platinum
    Yellow gold will always be popular and maintain value
    Yellow gold doesn't tarnish

    14 karat yellow gold is very popular, less expensive and has a warm look
    18 karat yellow gold is more popular globally and more valuable, it is purer and heavier and has rich, buttery tone.
    What is the difference between Yellow gold and White Gold?

    The key defence between yellow gold and white gold is that white gold is produced when yellow gold is infused with silver, nickel or palladium. The yellow gold used in jewellery is made in the same way, and the difference is only in the mixture of the additional metals used. For example, white gold has more zinc which makes the alloy look whiter than the typical yellow gold alloys which generally contain more nickel. However, even with zinc mixed in, white gold still has a yellowish tint. What makes white gold different is its plating, which is made of rhodium. This is a white metal that is used as a coating in jewellery and is actually the metal that gives white gold its colour. Rhodium also makes white gold more durable by covering the softer yellow gold alloy with an additional protective layer.

     

  • WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NATURAL AND LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?

    If you have been considering buying a piece of diamond jewellery, perhaps an engagement ring or a pair of diamond earrings, you will no doubt have been doing your homework on the world of diamonds.  So you may well have come across the term ‘lab grown diamonds’ or seen information upon the comparison between lab-grown diamonds and naturally formed diamonds.

    Some sources may refer to lab-grown diamonds as being ‘fake’, ‘imitation’ or a ‘simulant’, but this is actually incorrect.  The reason for this common misunderstanding is that the vast majority of lab-grown diamonds are chemically and physically the same as a natural diamond that is produced by the geological processes of time and Mother Nature.  In comparison moissanite and cubic zirconia which to the untrained naked eye both look similar to diamonds, in fact exhibit very different chemical and physical properties, and therefore are in fact imitation or simulant diamonds.

    Here at Reve Diamonds we like all our valued customers to be equipped with the right knowledge that allows them to make the right purchasing decision based on the correct facts about diamonds. So here is our short guide to the similarities and differences between naturally formed diamonds lab grown diamonds and imitation diamonds such as cubic zirconia and moissanite that we hope will help you be well informed;

    How are natural diamonds made and how are lab-grown diamonds created?

    Very simply a natural (or organic) diamond is formed at high temperatures and pressures at depths of 140 to 190 kilometres (87 to 118 mi) in the Earth's mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source and the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centred cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. The growth of a diamond occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years (25% to 75% of the age of the Earth). They are delivered to Earth’s surface by deep-volcanic eruptions by magma, which cools into igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites which are sought after by diamond prospectors.

    Not all diamonds are created equally due to the extremely rigid lattice of the diamond formation meaning that it can be contaminated by a small number of impurities, such as boron and nitrogen that mix within the carbon structure.  Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) give the diamond its colour i.e. blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red.

    Lab-created diamonds are grown in highly-controlled laboratory conditions that reproduce the Earth’s natural growing environment: high pressure and high temperature. These man-made diamonds have essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure, optical and physical properties of diamonds found in nature. They aren’t technically “synthetic diamonds” since their chemical composition is that of naturally occurring diamonds; and they usually exhibit the same fire, scintillation and sparkle as organic diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are categorized as either high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamonds, depending on the method of their production.

    Lab-grown diamonds (which are also referred to as cultured or engineered diamonds) are, as their name suggests, grown in highly controlled laboratory environments and take approximately 6 to 10 weeks to develop. Technologically advanced and controlled processes replicate the conditions that natural diamonds develop within when they form in the Earth’s mantle of either extreme pressure and heat or a special deposition process.  These lab-gown diamonds are formed from tiny carbon seeds of pre-existing diamonds arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure. As they are formed of the same material as natural diamonds, they therefore show the same chemical and optical properties.

    Lab-grown fancy coloured diamonds are formed when small amounts of specific trace elements are present during the growth phase of the diamond as with natural fancy coloured diamonds. In both white and fancy coloured lab-grown diamonds, the exact composition of trace elements may differ from their natural diamond counterparts. Lab diamonds can only be distinguished from natural diamonds using specialized equipment that can detect the minor differences in trace elements and crystal growth.

    Unless you are a trained expert gemologist you will not find any visible differences between natural and lab-grown diamonds.

    Are the flaws/inclusions in lab-grown diamonds the same as those in natural diamonds and are they graded in the same way?

    Both lab-grown and natural diamonds will generally exhibit flaws or inclusions that will affect their clarity.  Every certified diamond gets assigned a clarity grade by the GIA or the AGS and these grading indicate how large and noticeable that particular diamond’s inclusions are. It should however be noted that the scale used to grade clarity in lab-grown ‘v’ naturally formed diamonds is a different.

    As lab-grown diamonds are cultured in a molten metal solution as a result they will have metallic inclusions which can usually only be identified with 10x magnification so are not visible to the naked eye. These metallic inclusions do not occur in naturally formed diamonds.

    Natural diamonds contain inclusions like crystals, feathers, clouds and pinpoints which are caused by violent volcanic eruptions and all kinds of elements as they rise towards the surface of the Earth. Only the rarest diamonds emerge with no inclusions in perfect condition.

    The grading system used for lab-grown and natural diamonds is different. The GIA does not grade lab-grown diamonds in the same way that it grades natural diamonds.  The GIA issues a ‘Synthetic Diamond Grading Report’ for all lab-grown diamonds, which is quite different from the standard grading report.  As previously mentioned, lab-grown diamonds display visual characteristics such as colour zoning, metallic inclusions, weak strain patterns, and colours of ultraviolet fluorescence to differentiate them from natural diamonds and so the Synthetic Diamond Grading Report offers a more general description of colour and clarity.  After a lab-grown diamond is graded, the diamond’s girdle is laser-inscribed with its report number and a given statement that the stone is laboratory grown.

    So which diamond offers the better value – natural or lab-grown? 

    Many retailers of lab-grown diamonds claim that these diamonds cost approximately 30% less than natural diamonds of a comparable quality and size.  However, inventories of lab-grown diamonds are often quite limited compared to natural diamond inventories, therefore making your choice of the perfect diamond more limited. When you consider that many more natural resources and work go into delivering a natural diamond to the jewellers shop than the lab-grown diamond, this is not a surprising figure.  However what must be borne in mind is that lab-grown diamonds have no resale value whilst natural diamonds at the very least retain their value, and in some cases show an increase, and can be sold on at a later date if desired.

    What are imitation or simulant diamonds such as Moissanite or Cubic Zirconia?

    Natural Moissanite originally came from space and was created by a meteorite that fell to Earth being composed of crystals of silicon carbide. Natural Moissanite is incredibly rare, so Moissanite is now created in the laboratory-created and engineered to look similar to a natural diamond, but is physically quite different from an organic diamond.

    Cubic Zirconia (also commonly referred to as CZ) was first created in a laboratory in 1976.   It was made to offer a low cost alternative to natural diamonds that is durable but with a similar sparkle to that of a natural diamond. Cubic zirconia is a synthesized (man-made) crystalline diamond simulant mineral that is colourless, hard, and flawless.

    Both of these diamond simulants are not made of carbon crystals, and therefore do not have the same brilliance as diamonds and for that reason, simulants sell at much lower prices than lab-grown diamonds.

    Whilst naturally formed and lab-grown diamonds are chemically exactly the same, their qualities and brilliance is judged somewhat differently by diamond experts.   Natural diamonds were formed in nature between 1 billion to 3.3 billion years ago and this reason alone makes them a very valuable commodity as they are artefacts of our relationship with the Earth on which we live.  The symbolism behind that and how many years natural diamonds have been in formation, for many people makes them the only choice for a jewellery item that is to be given in love and cherished  for many years to come.

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