Diamond Jewellery

  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRINCESS DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS

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

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

    What is a princess cut diamond? 

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

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

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

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

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

    Why do princess cut diamond engagement rings look bigger? 

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

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

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

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

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

    Are princess cut diamonds good at hiding inclusions?  

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

    Are princess cut engagement rings affordable?  

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

    Which settings work best with for princess cut engagement rings?

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

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

  • WHY DO WOMEN LOVE DIAMONDS SO MUCH?

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

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

    Just what is it about diamonds!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Does the answer lie somewhere between ancient history and eternal hope 

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

  • 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 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.  

  • 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 ee 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

    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.

    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.

  • THE GREAT PRETENDER - HOW TO TELL IF A DIAMOND IS FAKE

    As diamond experts one of the questions we get frequently asked is how to tell if a diamond is real or a fake! The bad news is that if you are not familiar with the structure and components of a diamond you may be led to think that a gemstone is a diamond when it is in fact an entirely different stone such as moissanite or cubic zirconia. In addition, it is almost impossible to spot a fake from areal diamond with the naked untrained eye as there is virtually nothing that you can feel or see to help you spot the difference. For this reason it is essential to know how to spot a fake diamond and the good news is that there are a number of simple tests that that you can carry out that can help you to spot a fake diamond. Of course no single at-home test should be regarded as conclusive proof either way, and we always recommend that you contact an expert such as the highly experienced team here at Reve Diamonds as we have professional experience and equipment to confirm if a diamond is real or fake.

    Here are some simple tests that you can carry out to help you spot a real from a fake diamond:

    Look at the diamond and setting through a loupe

    A loupe is a magnifying glass that you can buy at most jewellers and this piece of equipment will let you take a closer look at your prospective diamond and its setting. When looking at real diamond you will notice that due to the fact that diamonds are created by natural processes there will be some imperfections in the carbon. A fake diamond would not show such inclusions and would look to be perfect. It should be noted that laboratory grown diamonds will also appear to be perfect when viewed through the loupe, and therefore you need to exercise some degree of caution when discarding perfect gems as fakes so ensure that you bring the stone to an expert.
    Also observe closely the edges of the diamond as a real diamond will have sharp edges whilst a fake will show some rounded edges and fake diamond generally show abrasions or scratches.
    Lastly look at the settings and mounting of the stone in question. Take note of any marks that show what metal was used and if the metal is gold plated or silver there is a very high possibility that it is not a real diamond as no jeweller worth his/her salt would mount a true diamond in a cheap metal. The vast majority of diamonds are mounted in gold or platinum. Look inside the ring’s centre for markings e.g. the notes 10K, 14K, and 18K indicate the type of gold used and the markings PT and Plat refer to platinum. If you see a number such as 585, 770, 900, and 950, those markings also indicate platinum or gold as well. A ‘C.Z.’ stamp or engraving indicates that the gemstone is a cubic zirconia, and not a real diamond. In addition if the setting itself looks to be of poor quality, this probably indicates that it is not going to be a real diamond.

    The fog test

    For the fog test, hold the diamond or ring between two fingers and breathe on it with a puff of air the same way that you would if you were fogging up a bathroom mirror. A light fog will form on a fake diamond for a short time due to the moisture and heat in your breath, whereas a real diamond will not because it won’t retain the heat as real diamonds effectively conduct heat and therefore disperse heat quickly.

    The rainbow test - hold the gemstone in the light to see how it sparkles

    Diamonds reflect light in a very unique way. Inside the stone, the diamond will sparkle gray and white which is known as ‘brilliance’, while outside of the gem, it will reflect rainbow colours onto other surfaces and this effect is referred to as ‘fire’. A fake diamond will have rainbow colours that you can see inside the diamond and in fact moissanite and cubic zirconia, the two most common diamond simulants, actually throw more rainbows and more fiery stuff than a real diamond ever will as they are both slightly more refractive than real diamonds, hence that extra fire.

    The water test

    Find a normal sized drinking glass and fill it ¾ of the way with water. Carefully drop the loose stone into the glass. If the gemstone sinks then it is a real diamond but if it floats underneath or at the surface of the water, you have a fake diamond. A real diamond has high density, so the water test shows if your stone matches this level of density.

    Heat the stone and see if it shatters

    Diamonds are made of incredibly strong material and are unresponsive to high heat. To carry out this test use a glass full of cold water and use a set of plyers or heatproof gloves hold the stone. Heat the stone with a lighter for approximately 40 seconds, then it directly into the glass of cold water. If the stone shatters, it is made of weaker components and is not a real diamond. This is due to the quick expansion and contraction of heat, and weak materials like glass or cubic zirconium will crack and break. A true diamond will show no reaction as diamonds are one of the strongest materials on the planet so by their nature are resistant to such heat tests as they will disperse heat quickly and be unaffected by the change in temperature.

    Test the stone’s refractivity

    This test is most effective on loose diamonds. To test the diamond’s refractivity you can simply use the newspaper or ‘read-through’ effect. Place the stone flat side down onto the page of a newspaper with lots of text/lettering. Ensure the lighting is bright and that no objects or people are casting a shadow on the diamond. If you are re able to read the letters of the newspaper, even if it is a bit blurry, the diamond is a fake. If the diamond is real, its facets will refract the light in different directions, rather than in a straight line and due to this refraction of light, you will not be able to clearly see through the diamond to read the newspaper.

    Alternatively if you do not have newspaper to use, then the dot test is an excellent alternative. Place a white piece of paper on a flat surface and draw a small dot with a pen. Lay the stone onto the dot with the flat side down. Look down onto the paper through the pointed end of the diamond. If you can a circular reflection inside the gemstone, the stone is a fake. If you cannot see the dot or a reflection in the stone, then the diamond is real.

    While various tests can be used to tell if a diamond is real, we strongly advise that you use the services of a professional diamond expert assist you in determining if a diamond is genuine. Bringing your stone to a diamond professional will give you peace of mind, because several proven methods and tools are used to determine if a diamond is real such as using a thermal conductivity probe (aka “The Diamond Tester), testing with high profile weighing, using electrical conductivity, examination under a microscope or by x-ray. Of course the way to avoid buying a fake diamond is only to buy from a reputable source and to ensure that your diamond or item of diamond jewellery comes with a legitimate GIA or AGS certificate and to ensure the diamond matches the certificate.

  • THE FIVE MOST ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BLACK DIAMONDS

    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: 

    1. 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:  

    1. 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.  
    1. 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.  

    1. 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.  

    1. 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. 

    1. 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. 

    1. 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   

  • TOP 5 TIPS FOR TAKING AN ENGAGEMENT RING SELFIE

    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: 

    1. 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.  

    1. 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! 

    1. 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. 

    1. 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.   

    1. 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.  

  • HOW MANY CARATS SHOULD AN ENGAGEMENT RING BE?

    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. 
  • DOES SIZE REALLY MATTER WHEN BUYING A DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING?

    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. 

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