Archive for December, 2015

Sapphires, Rubies and Emeralds, Oh My!

Posted on December 30th, 2015

Whether you want to compliment your diamond or are looking to show off your favorite color, sapphires, rubies and emeralds are spectacular feature stones for engagement rings and wedding jewelry. Just like diamonds, not all specimens are created equal. Learn how to shop for these gemstones to ensure you get the superior quality you deserve.4091-1D297074_1119_175_18k

Sapphires

Ranging in color from deep ocean blue with strong to vivid saturation to a very vibrant pink-orange hue, sapphires are members of the corundum mineral family. September’s birthstone has been a favorite of royalty for hundreds of years; in fact, Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with Lady Diana’s iconic 18-carat sapphire engagement ring.

Look for stones with a rich, dark color with violet undertones in a medium to medium dark tone, rid of any brown or yellow lines. Sapphires usually have inclusions, but less visible ones are more desirable. In fancy colors, like this pink sapphire eternity band, ideal stones have a bright, saturated hue.3802-1D4211_500_14k

Rubies

Rubies are July’s birthstone and, as a member of the corundum family, sapphires’ bold siblings. The finest and more valuable color of ruby is called “pigeon’s blood” which exhibits a deep red with a purple secondary hue. The hue forever links rubies with love, and pieces like a ruby and diamond ring will say “I love you” every time the stones catch the light.

Rubies should have naturally vivid color and ample light to play inside the stone. They can sometimes have dark or gray spots called extinctions that are obvious when held up to the light. Fewer extinctions mean a more valuable stone.3516-1D8146_085_033_14k

Emeralds

May’s birthstone and a member of the beryl family, emeralds were the favored stones of Cleopatra and are an enduring symbol of a couple’s devotion. These best color qualities of these stones range from a lush, blue-ish green to a pure green with vivid saturation.

As with rubies, transparent emeralds are much more valuable than opaque specimens are. Stones that are true green, not erring into blue or yellow, with saturated color are the most desirable. The iconic emerald cut is designed to protect this fracture-prone stone from damage.

Since most colored gemstones are chemically treated,  it is important to ensure you are getting a natural specimen with no chemical treatments before you make a purchase . As the show-stopping center or a subtle accent, a sapphire, ruby or emerald will add a colorful sparkle to your wedding ensemble.3939-1D49874_229_055_PLAT

Celebrity Engagement Ring Ideas For You

Posted on December 28th, 2015

Give your beloved the celebrity treatment when proposing by presenting her with a beautiful engagement ring fit for the stars. Take your inspiration right from the celebrities themselves by incorporating the latest celebrity engagement ring trends into the ring you choose for your fiancé.

Yellow Diamonds

Yellow diamond engagement rings are an intense and vibrant option with the larger and more vivid in color the stone is, the more rare and valuable it is. This look was made popular by many Celebrities like the gorgeous eight-carat radiant cut fancy yellow diamond ring gracing Olivia Palermo’s left finger. This style is truly striking as it is flanked between two sparkling trapezoid shaped white diamonds. Yellow diamonds are also a great option because they are incredibly bright, cheery and stunning when they catch the light. The popularity of yellow diamonds has been steadily growing the past few decades and could possibly be the right choice for you.4076-1D2200242_814_190_PLAT 4076-3

Halo Settings

Although a halo setting finds its origins in the Georgian and Victorian eras, it still remains one of the most popular and current styles to date. This setting is a timelessly classic way to showcase a sparkling center stone, as it will flatter your diamond perfectly. The smaller gems in the halo are stunning in their own right, but they also make the center stone stand out for all the right reasons, especially when the color of the halo stones or their setting provides contrast. Halo settings are also quite popular now with the in-crowd, like Natalie Portman’s conflict-free old mine cut double halo diamond ring made in an exquisite recycled platinum setting. This ring is truly glamorous as the double halo makes the four-carat center-stone appear larger than in is in actuality.3804-1D85179_142_115_18k 3804-2

Emerald Cuts

An emerald cut diamond engagement ring is an enchanting way to express your love. The clean step-cut lines and standard 49 facets create a wonderful sense of depth that absolutely captivates. An emerald cut stone is truly mesmerizing, which may be why it is worn by megastars such as Beyoncé whose astonishing 18-carat emerald-cut diamond ring set in a split shank remains one of the most popular engagement designs.

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Round Cuts

Because there are 57 or more facets, nothing seems more sparkling and everlasting than the elegance of round brilliant cut diamonds which had its most modern cut version you see today perfected in the 20th century. These gems reflect light magnificently and look breathtaking when set in a classic solitaire. Although these diamonds could never be unpopular, they have recently been boosted by celebrity wearers like Keira Knightly who sports a round brilliant cut solitaire diamond engagement ring in a platinum setting that can truly transcend time.3386-1D3297257_545 3386-2

The Brilliance of Pear-Shaped Diamonds Throughout History

Posted on December 26th, 2015

Pear-shaped diamonds have graced the world with their elegant beauty since their creation in the 1400s and have been a popular choice ever since. Though the specifics of the cut and its uses have changed somewhat throughout history, its beauty has not. Pear-shaped diamonds are a popular choice today for couples looking for a diamond engagement ring.2788-6

Creation of the First Pear-shaped Diamond

The pear shape first came into being when Belgian diamond cutter Lodewyk van Berquem fashioned the shape in 1458. Van Berguem first invented the diamond-polishing wheel, which is what allowed him to shine eac
h facet of his new creation to coax the most brilliant sparkle from the stone. After the creation of the pear shape, many jewelers pierced holes in the narrow tips of stones shaped in this way to wear as pendants.4025-5

Progression of Pear-shaped Diamond Styles

As fashion progressed, pear diamonds were incorporated into rings and other jewelry, expanding their reach beyond pendants. Some modifications to the shape were made along the way, such as the addition of a table, with the modern pear shape coming into being in the 1900s. Today’s pear-shaped diamonds boast 56 to 58 facets with as many as 4 to 8 pavilion facets on each stone. All these surfaces allow pear-shaped stones to reflect surrounding light beautifully.
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The Largest Pear-shaped Diamonds on Record

Pear-shaped diamonds have beautifully adorned many classic women, but one of the largest and best pear-shaped diamonds known belonged to Elizabeth Taylor. This incredible diamond was cut from a stone that weighed a record-breaking 240.8 carats when it was brought out of the diamond mine. After being cut and perfected to adorn the classic pear-shaped engagement ring Richard Burton gifted to Taylor, at completion it weighed in at an astonishing 69.42 carats. The record for largest pear-shaped diamond, however, is held by the Cullinan I. This flawless, 530.20-carat diamond forms part of the British Crown Jewels and boasts a colorless and Type IIA quality grading (GIA).

Modern Twists on the Tennis Necklace Are Impressing New Buyers

Posted on December 23rd, 2015

Tennis necklaces go back decades, but your grandmother may have called them “eternity necklaces” instead. One of the draws of this classic style is their simplicity as well as the fact that they can be passed down through the generations without outdating themselves. With the recent return of simpler retro styles, the tennis necklace is once again in the spotlight.
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Delicate and Feminine Styles Abound

Recent trends highlight shapes that are feminine and flattering. Though these newer necklaces earn their name by circling the neck all the way around continuously with diamonds, they also offer subtle variations in cut and size at the back of the necklace versus at the front. These variations are just enough to show off the workmanship of the piece itself without losing its traditional appeal. Modern designs do a good job flattering the wearer by elongating the neck.
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Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds Continue to Dominate

There’s no reason to change a winning equation, as any fan of a round brilliant cut diamond will attest. Though the settings may vary as widely as the shape of the necklace itself, the round brilliant cut remains a favorite with everyone from young girls receiving their first diamond necklace to elegant mature women with firmly established tastes. Current trends strongly favor this cut, but the necklaces can still vary greatly.1325-2

Quality Over Size

Diamond lovers want to know they’re receiving the best stone their money can buy, and this is especially important when selecting a tennis necklace as the stones are the stars of the show. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting a piece with stones of the highest carat weight but rather getting as close to a series of matching stones as possible. Cut, color and clarity are as important as carat weight when selecting a piece of jewelry. In a jewelry design where the continuity is so important, finding a necklace where the stones match as closely as possible is critical. One discolored stone is enough to disrupt the never-ending circle of stones that makes up this style, so buyers should choose a trusted supplier to ensure high quality.
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The Importance of Insuring Your Jewelry

Posted on December 21st, 2015

Jewelry of any kind, especially diamonds, may be considered an investment with value that can be passed down to future generations. The amount of money tied to these pieces may be more than you could replace should something happen. It’s for this reason that many people pay for insurance that covers at least some of the costs in the event that something should happen to their items3794-6

Stolen Jewelry

With the exception of wedding bands,  jewelry can sometimes be stored in jewelry boxes in the bedroom. In the case of an unfortunate event, like a home invasion, this is often one of the first places thieves will look for valuables. It’s much easier to peddle stolen jewelry than it is to walk out with a television. Insurance can help you recuperate some of the losses experienced in such a scenario.

Theft can also occur in social situations. It takes mere seconds for a visitor to drop a diamond ring into a pocket and walk away. It could be months, if not longer, before you realize that a particular ring or necklace is missing. At this point, it becomes exceedingly difficult to recover the piece

Accidental Damage

While many rings can be built to withstand a great deal of pressure, accidents are still capable of destroying these valuable works of art. Accidental drops, scrapes and other instances can cause damage to the piece that may be irreparable. Insurance policies may be able to help pay for replacements or repairs depending on the extent of the damage. At Mark Broumand, we recommend getting quotes through homeowners or renters insurance3121-4

Protecting Customized Settings

Customized settings can require a greater monetary investment as well as more time to create the ring. Insurance may be able to help you financially should something happen to this one-of-a-kind item. It’s difficult enough when the customized jewelry is damaged, destroyed or stolen. Financial security can help you recreate the customized piece without heavy out-of-pocket expenses.

Insuring your jewelry can be vital to financial recovery. Every day your diamonds go uninsured is another day the investment is at risk. Consider what can be lost in the event of natural disasters, accidents or theft before deciding to forgo insurance on your high-end pieces. We recommend a company called Jewelers Mutual that offers great service in jewelry insurance.2118-5

Radiant or Cushion Cut: Which Is Right for Me?

Posted on December 16th, 2015

After the detailed process of sorting through a vast collection of diamonds, you’ve finally settled on two cuts. They have a similar look and style, but the jeweler informs you that one is a cushion cut and the other is a radiant cut. You take another moment to inspect both pieces and find yourself stumped in regards to which you should choose.2777-5

In the search for diamonds, the choice between a cushion cut and radiant cut is a common dilemma. At first glance, their marked similarities are enough to confuse a novice eye. Luckily, there are several distinctions that make it easier to tell the two cuts apart. Having a clear understanding of their unique features will help you to get the best value from your purchase.

The Fundamentals

The overall shape of both radiant cut and cushion cut stones is the most substantial similarity the pieces share. However, both cuts have distinct differences in appearance. A radiant cut diamond is known for its angular corners, characterized by a straight lines around its edges. The cushion cut is a bit more round, with its shape resembling a fusion between a rectangle, or a square and a circle together. You’ll also find that the center facets of both stones are not as transparent as other cuts
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The radiant and cushion cuts are categorized as brilliant cuts, which means they display a cutting style composed of triangular and kite-shaped facets radiating from the center outward. The cushion cut diamond dates back to the 1830s. Its standard 58 facets aid in its characteristically pillow-like shape. Created in 1977, the radiant cut diamond contains 70 facets. The distinctive sparkle of a radiant cut diamond is sometimes described as having the appearance of crushed ice. They also tend to be more forgiving of inclusions, exhibiting a higherclarity. It’s important to note that some modern cushion cuts are created with hard-to-discern facets, resulting in a similar “crushed ice” appearance.
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The Decision

Choosing between the two cuts is essentially a matter of preference. Many diamond connoisseurs enjoy the classic appeal of the cushion cut while the vibrant fire and sparkle of a radiant cut is a draw for others. The best way to make your decision is to try on a piece that suits your taste on your ring finger and see how its beauty perfectly compliments your hand.
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Understanding How White Gold and Platinum Are Different

Posted on December 14th, 2015

Whether you’re getting engaged, a collector of fine jewelry or just routinely involved with investing in high-end custom jewelry, you may benefit from learning more about the differences between white gold and platinum. Though the two metals look fairly similar, the natural white color of the platinum will never fade. With time, the white gold’s rhodium plating can fade and give way to the slightly yellowish tinge of white gold. In order to regain that white allure again, the gold would have to be rhodium plated every so often, depending on wear and tear.3317-3

Differences in Structural Integrity

Rhodium is able to give the bright gold alloy appearance because it shares many of the same properties as platinum. The natural color of white gold is actually closer to light grey. To keep the white color from fading, most jewelers recommend replacing the rhodium plating every 12 to 18 months. Unlike white gold, which is an alloy composed of several metals, platinum is often 95 percent pure when it’s used in jewelry. When you invest in an engagement ring with the perfect stone, you’ll want to ensure that the metal in the ring is everlasting as well.4029-1D192887_222_055_PLAT

Differences in Quality

Platinum is denser than white gold, so these types of rings typically feel heavier than those made with white gold. Excluding the cost of the actual diamond, platinum and white gold rings have a price difference, with platinum being slightly more expensive than white gold. However, once white gold has been plated with rhodium, it’s nearly indiscernible from platinum by sight.3588-1D143796_251_100_18k

In its natural form, platinum’s color tends to be a little whiter than white gold when they are compared with one another. Because platinum maintains its white color well after years of wear and tear, you may decide it could be the right choice for you. Although platinum is most commonly used in women’s engagement rings and couples’ wedding rings, it is a much rarer metal than white gold. Ladies with platinum engagement rings are more likely to follow suit with an investment in a platinum wedding ring as well. Due to its higher retail value, platinum is seldom used on dress rings, and it’s even more rare to find on necklaces, bracelets, pendants and earrings.3888-4

Christie’s Breathtaking, Record-breaking Blue and Pink Diamonds

Posted on December 13th, 2015

Christie’s auction house is synonymous with opulence, and it is only fitting that the organization has auctioned several record-breaking diamonds throughout the years. The diamonds in its record books represent all the colors of the rainbow, but the pink and blue paragons are the things daydreams are made of. A paragon is a perfect diamond — flawless and without inclusions. In the 16th century, a mass of twelve carats was sufficient to qualify for this designation, but today the threshold lies at 100 carats.

The Sweet Josephine

Surrounded by a halo of clear diamonds, the Sweet Josephine cushion cut pink diamond center stone is glorious enough to leave royalty in awe. Its facets reflect the light brilliantly out of the pure pink 16.08ct heart. While the band is platinum, rose gold prongs hold the stone in place while complementing its hue. d5945871x

(Photo Credit: Christie’s)

On November 10, 2015, Sweet Josephine broke the record for the highest final sale price for a pink diamond at auction. The anonymous new owner paid $28.5 million for the honor.

The Winston Blue

The world’s largest flawless blue diamond, the Winston Blue, is the color of a crisp blue. The 13.22ct diamond is pear shaped and is flanked by glittering, clear diamonds on each side. Christie’s dubbed it “The Blue,” but its new owner renamed it the “Winston Blue.”

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(Photo Credit: Forbes)

On May 13, 2014, the Winston Blue sold for $23.8 million. That is a sale price of nearly $1.80 million per carat, the most a blue diamond has ever sold for. No need to dream about owning a fancy color diamond. These options below are rings that are exquisite yet attainable.

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The Vivid Pink

Fancy-colored diamonds are sometimes on the small side, making them ideal for multi-stone bands like this round brilliant cut diamond wedding band from Mark Broumand. Smaller does not have to mean less extraordinary, and the Vivid Pink proves it. At 5.00ct, it is not the largest diamond Christie’s has ever sold, but the cushion cut stone astounds with its cherry blossom pink hue. Clear diamonds twinkle like snow at its sides, and yellow gold prongs add a final kiss of color to the piece.3690-1D16148_030_18k

The Vivid Pink continues to hold the highest price per carat record for a pink diamond. It sold for $10.78 million, or $2.15 million per carat, on December 3, 2009.

Many diamonds sold at Christie’s end up in a collector’s display, but your diamond engagement ring will be daily reminder of love and commitment. It does not have to break records to be worth more than all the diamonds in the world to you.vivid_pink_diamond_ring

(Photo Credit: Jewels Du Jour)

Select the Right Ring for a Surprise Proposal

Posted on December 1st, 2015

Planning to propose to the love of your life is exciting for everyone, but that doesn’t mean each couple approaches the process in the same way. Some couples have looked at rings together for months, and both parties even have a strong inkling as to when the proposal is arriving. For others, however, the planning is a bit more difficult since they want to truly surprise their beloved.4062-5

Do Some Detective Work

Some elements of the ring can undergo alteration. Poke around to see if your sweetheart has saved any webpages with images of rings or has marked off particular pages in a magazine with favorable designs. By engaging this simple detective work, you may find that your significant other has stored away plenty of photos of princess cut rings. If so, you’ll know where to start.1.20ct Princess Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

Find the Right Size

Size is an element that can get adjusted later if necessary. However, you don’t want to propose only to discover that the ring doesn’t fit at all. Placing the ring on your significant other’s finger is part of the proposal process after all. Sneaking one of your sweetie’s rings to the jeweler when he or she is away for a weekend trip or out at work for the day can best help you to determine the size. You may also want to talk to a trusted relative or friend to help you get the right size. Remember, however, that some people are eager to tell when an engagement is near, so you need to make sure this individual is able to keep quiet.1.61ct Three-Stone Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

Consider Alternative Options

If you’re not a traditional couple, then the traditional ring-buying process may not be for you. For example, you can select a customized ring to buy a piece that truly fits with your loved one’s style. Also, you may have a significant other who would prefer that you propose first. Afterwards, the two of you can shop for rings together and pick out the perfect fit that is truly a symbol of your love.1.60ct Marquise Cut Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

Planning a surprise engagement isn’t an easy task, especially in a world where so many people know the proposal is happening before it does. However, if you’re willing to do a little bit of extra work, you can get a ring that your loved one will cherish forever.

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