Reve Diamonds

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND – BUT HOW DO THEY COMPARE TO GEMSTONES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What causes the price difference between diamonds and other gemstones?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Are Black Diamonds Expensive?

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

    Are There any Famous Black Diamonds?

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

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

    Do Black Diamonds Look Good as Jewellery? 

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

  • 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:

    The ring is the thing

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

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

    Treat yourself to a manicure 

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

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

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

    Lighting is everything.

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

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

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

    Get the right background 

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

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

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

    Camera and Filters

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

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

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

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