‘Engagements’ Category

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).

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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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.

The Four Ways Color is Described in Sapphire Engagement Rings

Posted on November 21st, 2015

Since Princess Kate wore a sapphire engagement ring before marrying Prince William, the deep blue stone has become more popular year after year. Sapphires are gorgeous, and when it comes to hardness, these gemstones are second to the diamond. Before choosing a sapphire, however, it is important to understand how sapphires are evaluated based on color. Here are four things to look for when choosing a sapphire engagement ring:1.80ct Asscher Cut Diamond and Sapphire Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

The Hue of the Sapphire

Most people know the stunning blue color associated with sapphires, but this gemstone is available in all of the colors of the rainbow. The hue of the sapphire is the term that gemologists use to describe the actual color of the stone. The hue of many sapphires is blue, for instance, but a gemologist may also share a secondary color such as yellowish orange or bluish green.5.35ct Cushion Cut Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

The Tone of the Sapphire

Another aspect of a sapphire’s color is its tone. Gemologists use the term tone to describe how dark or light the sapphire is. Tone is an important factor when it comes to determining the value of a sapphire, and stones that are too dark or light are valued lower than their medium-colored counterparts. Since not all sapphires are naturally medium in tone, they may be heat treated in order to darken or lighten the gemstone.3.18ct Round Brilliant Cut Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

The Saturation of the Sapphire

The third way to describe the color of a sapphire is the saturation of the gemstone. This refers to how intense the color is. To determine the saturation, a gemologist must use a saturation modifier. In sapphires that are green, violet or blue, for instance, a gray modifier is usually used, but in pink, yellow or orange sapphires, a brown modifier is used. You’re able to see the modifying color when saturation is low, which is when you’ll notice hints of brown or grey. Saturation is another vital element that contributes to the value of a sapphire.

The Cut of the Sapphire

3998-5Since the cut of a gemstone affects the color, gemologists use this element to bring out the brilliance and color of the stone. There are a number of cuts that can bring out the color of a sapphire, such as a radiant cut. The cut will also affect the brilliance and luster of the gemstone.

Though there are other aspects to consider before buying a sapphire, most consumers are concerned with the most important feature of the gemstone, the eye-catching, breathtaking color.

Our Most Popular Diamond Cuts for the Modern Bride

Posted on November 20th, 2015

We know how important it is for today’s brides to have engagement rings that reflect their personal tastes and styles. Of course, the diamond is what sets each ring apart as unique. Whether you or your fiancé is choosing the ring, start with this helpful guide to some of the most popular contemporary diamond cuts.

The Timeless Option

The brilliant round cut diamond features the first modern diamond cut, although it mimics some older European cuts. First designed in 1919, today’s round cut design continues to be perfected. Its numerous facets and angles create unsurpassed brilliance in catching and reflecting light. You may prefer it because it works well in virtually all ring settings.2715-6

The Newer Rival

Some contemporary brides prefer the more subdued brilliance of the symmetrical princess cut diamond, first designed in the 1960s. This diamond is typically a perfect square but can occasionally be a rectangle and is perfect in settings that protect its pointed edges. Princess cut diamonds also reflect light superbly.3479-5

Other Popular Contenders

While round and princess cut diamonds dominate the top spots on the modern bride’s wish list, you may be interested in some of the other, more luxurious options. The emerald cut diamond is loved for its simplicity and hall-of-mirrors effect. With a large table, it is the perfect choice for extremely clear diamonds.3577-5

Another choice for the sophisticated bride is the cushion cut diamond. Resembling a square, this diamond has rounded corners, which soften its effect. Most of these diamonds have numerous facets and reflect the light with a crushed ice look. Although this cut was most popular in the early 1900s, it has gone through a revival with an increasingly modern look.3287-5

As you shop for the perfect diamond engagement ring, you’ll have numerous choices available. However, the choice of diamond cut is one of the most personal of all and should be made with much thought. Our wide selection of all the most popular modern and retro cuts will give you just the look you have always craved.

The Perks of Buying an Engagement Ring Online

Posted on November 19th, 2015

An engagement ring is an important purchase, which is why you should explore the options thoroughly before making a final decision. Browsing online is a great way to do this as it gives you access to a much wider selection of diamonds and settings at your convenience. When it’s time to buy, remember that making your purchase online has several advantages as well. Online engagement ring shopping helps many find the perfect diamond at a comfortable price point. Consider the benefits of an online purchase when you’re ready to start shopping.

Hassle-free Shopping

2854-5Reputable online jewelry dealers have customer service representatives available either online or via telephone if you need to chat, but the contact with the gemologist or salesperson is initiated by you. This makes the buying experience much more relaxed and pressure-free. You can spend as much time as you like browsing without interruption online.

See It All Together

Gemologists that make custom jewelry are happy to show3868-5you the setting and stone you like next to each other, but you won’t be able to see exactly what the stone will look like when mounted in the setting. Computer software doesn’t suffer this limitation. Once you’ve selected the diamond and the setting, the computer will put it all together for you so you can see exactly how the custom design of your ring will look.

Better Selection

You want to find a stone as sublime as she is, but your selection will be limited at brick-and-mortar stores. Jewelers who conduct most or all of their transactions online have a lower overhead and purchase diamonds on a much larger scale. This translates into both better selection and lower prices for you

Comparisons Are Easier

If you’ve narrowed the field to two or three candidates, comparing the stones side by side to make a final decision is much easier online. Offline, you may have to drive back and forth between two different stores multiple times to decide which stone you like best.

3749-5The process of purchasing fine jewelry online is a smooth and safe one. Simply choose a name you trust, verify that returns and ring sizing are both offered and boot up your computer to start shopping. Once you’ve made your selection, sit back and relax. Soon the perfect expression of your love for her will arrive conveniently at your home and you can start planning a proposal that will leave her breathless. Let Mark Broumand offer the superior shopping experience you are hoping for. It will be our pleasure to help.

Why Custom-designed Rings Might Be Right for You

Posted on November 17th, 2015

Shopping for an engagement ring is one of the most exciting moments that couples share. If you want to pop the question in an unexpected way and get her to say yes, you might consider buying the ring long before you ask her to marry you. While you will find a number of different rings available in stores, you may want to look at the benefits of a custom-designed ring that you make just for her or that you design together.

A Ring Like No Other

Designing a custom engagement ring lets you create a ring she’s never seen before. Though professional
designers work hard to produce rings that appeal to different types of shoppers, designing your own ring puts you in complete control. You can add in small elements that remind her of important moments you shared together, a colored diamond that appeals to her sense of style or other details to showcase her personality.

Cut, Clarity and More

When designing a custom engagement ring, the decision as o how the final ring looks is up to you. Though you might think you can’t afford an elaborate ring, your designer can work with you to make the finished ring look amazing and still fit within your budget. You can draw inspiration from antique-style engagement rings that you see online or from specific shapes like oval-cut rings. Not only do you get to decide on the cut you want to use, but you can also select the clarity and the number of karats used in the diamond as well.3693-5

Show Your Commitment

Proposing to your loved one shows your commitment. It shows that you took the time to think about your relationship and choose a ring that is just as special as your future spouse. Whether you use a princess cut ring as your inspiration or any other type of design, the right ring makes it even more special when you pop the question. She’ll look forward to telling everyone about the time you spent designing the perfect ring just for her.1.45ct Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

How Millennials Are Creating New Engagement Traditions

Posted on November 16th, 2015

The Millennial generation represents a large number of the people getting married today as more begin to settle down. Although Millennials still have many of the same engagement and wedding traditions as previous generations, some have come up with new unique traditions, from staging proposal photography to designing unique engagement rings.

Mutual Proposals

One trend that many couples follow is mutual proposals that are planned. Women feel more involved in the engagement process, and both work to plan a memorable event. Some couples, rather than focusing on the proposal itself, enjoy treating their engagement as a day-long event with a lot of surprises for each other.4.10ct Three Stone Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

Unique Ring Ideas

Because there are so many ring options available today, many couples like to add new twists to classic ideas. Handcrafted rings offer the flexibility that many couples want. Some of the popular options that many couples choose include heart-shaped rings and custom engagement rings in bright colors.3373-5

Photo Opportunities

There are many photo-sharing sites available that provide opportunities for showcasing a new engagement ring. Many couples forgo a traditional studio portrait and choose an outdoor photo shoot instead. Some of the top highlights from a photo shoot might include the proposal as well as other events that will happen during the engagement.3.54ct Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand

Selfies have become a major part of announcing the happy news surrounding a couple’s engagement. Selfies provide easy ways for brides-to-be to showcase their rings for distant family members and friends. Many brides-to-be use extra creativity when taking selfies with their rings, including getting a manicure or using glitter polish on their nails to highlight the sparkle of the brand-new ring.

The Future of Engagements

Millennials live in an age where treasured traditions and exciting new trends come together, and the entire experience can be shared with friends and family at the touch of a button. Selecting the perfect ring for an engagement is one step on an exciting journey toward a happy future, and couples today have more options than ever for custom-designing a ring that reflects their style and history together.1.69ct Halo Fancy Yellow Radiant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring | Mark Broumand