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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.