Diamond cutting styles

The love of diamonds and our admiration of their fire and brilliance has meant the creation of many different cuts for diamonds. There are still  some of the earliest styles of cuts – such as round and emerald-cut, but nowadays there are many more – some having been patented by their designers and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The round, brilliant cut is still the most popular cut for a diamond ring today. It was developed in Venice in the 1600’s. It is still the preferred cut when the raw crystal is in an octahedral formation. During the cutting of this style, up to half of the stone can be cut away in the process.  More unusually-shaped stones are used for fancy cuts, such as a marquise, pear or heart-shaped diamond.

The earliest brilliants or diamond cuts had 17 facets on the top of the stone. This was termed the double-cut.   This was later improved and stones were then cut with 33 facets – triple-cut brilliants.

In the 19th century, better gem-cutting tools were developed, which led to more diamond cutting styles being developed.

In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky combined the art of cutting with the science of light and refraction and published his book, Diamond Design. The calculations and ideas from this book formed the basis for much of diamond cutting work today. This also led to other, more precise mathematical models being created to enhance the fire and brilliance of diamonds.

There are now newer cuts such as the princess cut, trillions, ovals, pear and heart-shaped. Some innovative cutters have even fashioned star or butterfly-shaped diamonds!  One patented cut, the Ashoka diamond, is an oblong cut with rounded, brilliant ends, and requires a stone 3 carats or larger. Tiffany has also patented a cut of diamond called the Lucida cut.

Sterling Silver Jewellery Basics

Sterling silver is gradually coming back in to fashion, as more and more shoppers will already  know. This affordable jewellery is making a comeback at the expense of the more traditional silver and gold jewellery.

Sterling silver jewellery has been around for a long time. The main problem is that sterling silver is not as robust as gold and is less likely to stay in good condition over a protracted period – unlike gold. Sterling silver jewellery is very much for the “now”.

With darker colours used by the modern fashion industry, the lighter and elegant sterling silver is a fantastic accompaniment. A role that it fills economically as one of the more affordable metals on the market.

It is well known that silver is the most common of all the precious metals, but sterling silver is perfect for use in the jewellery industry as it is strong enough to work with.

Sterling silver costs much less than gold and therefore whilst gold is perhaps more favoured by the older generation and from a value perspective, the current generation favour the sterling silver for its a lower price and for the attractive and stunning sterling jewellery styles that are available.

One issue with the sterling silver is cleaning. Sterling silver is durable and looks good, but it needs regular cleaning. This problem can be exacerbated by makeup. But this is a minor issue

Do not be deterred by the need to clean the sterling silver jewellery. Just like most other metals it is at its best when cleaned and maintained well, and sterling silver jewellery will keep shining as long as you take good care of it.

Sterling silver jewellery, can often just be referred to as Sterling or just “.925”.  Because it is relatively easy to work with, sterling silver can be processed and designed in many ways, giving rise to a wide range of sterling silver jewellery such as rings, earrings, bracelets.

Sterling silver jewellery is becoming the sensible choice to those of us who do not want to spend a lot of money on jewellery yet still want to be wear fashionable jewellery. Sterling silver is gaining a lot of popularity because of its features. So it looks like  sterling silver is here to stay.

Silver and Gold for Jewellery

There are several metals commonly used in making quality rings. Two of the most popular metals that are used are gold and silver.

The most popular of the two, by far, for rings is gold. There are many varieties of gold , ranging from yellow to white. Gold, by itself, is too soft to be used as a ring. Hence it is mixed with other metals to make it serviceable. Pure gold is 24 carat, and the least gold measurement is 10 carat. An 18 carat gold ring is therefore  18 parts gold and 6 parts of other metal or metals -thus forming an alloy with  75% gold.

Silver is the counterpart to gold and has always played second fiddle to gold. In a few societies in history such as ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages in Europe, silver was considered to be more valuable than gold. Nowadays, silver jewellery, because of its beauty, quality and inexpensiveness has become a highly sought-after commodity. Like gold, silver is a soft metal and in practice is used with other metals for hardening purposes. A 100% silver would simply be too soft to use in usable jewellery.  The finest rating for silver is fine and is 99.9 per cent pure. Sterling silver is just below fine in ratings and is 92.5 % silver, 7.5% copper.  The main drawback to silver is its tendency to tarnish. This is caused by a layer of corrosion that develops naturally on the silver when it is exposed to oxygen in the air.  Scientists have tried to prevent tarnish by adding different alloys which have helped decrease the tendency for tarnishing to take place.

Silver jewellery is gaining popularity with a consumer public which is interested in affordability, style and quality. When polished, silver shines as gloriously as white gold.

Bridal Jewellery: Fulfilling a Wedding Tradition

‘ Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.’ This is a saying that many brides recount when considering their wedding accessories. From wedding dresses, accessories and motifs, brides from all walks of life have tried their best, throughout the years, to follow this formula. It’s interesting to note that bridal jewellery can also mirror this saying.

‘Something old’ is most often a piece of bridal jewellery that has been passes down the family. Occasionally the groom might give his bride a ring or jewellery item from his side of the family.

‘Something new’ is easy. There are thousands of bridal jewellery stores, both on line and on the High Street, offering a dazzling array of rings, necklaces and accessories to make the bride shine on her wedding day. This in turn can become ‘something old’ for future generations.

‘Something borrowed’ at first sight, doesn’t seem relevant to bridal jewellery. A bride would most probably want to wear her own jewellery and not want to borrow and then return them. But maybe there is a particularly valuable piece of family jewellery that can be ‘borrowed’ – just for luck.

Finally, for that ‘something blue’ in a bridal jewellery ensemble, there are several gemstones that fit the bill. The bride can opt for a necklace, bracelet, or earrings that are accented with sapphires, aquamarines or blue pearls. Hair ornaments or tiaras with other blue-tinted stones such as agate and topaz are also beautiful accessories for the bride.

The bride is rightly  the focus of attention on her wedding day and it is important that she looks her best.

Bridal jewellery, chosen tastefully will complement her wedding dress and make her look as radiant and as beautiful as any bride should be.

 

 

Diamonds and Bridal Jewellery

Jewellery (or jewelry in American English) refers to ornamental devices that people wear,  and which are usually made from precious metals which can have gems added.  Costume jewellery is made from less valuable materials. However, jewellery can and has been made out of almost every kind of material. Typical examples include bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings. It can also include the less popular items like hair ornaments or body piercing jewellery. If the jewellery is made with precious materials, then it is usually classed as being valuable and desirable.

Of course you can also use expensive and collectable jewellery as a means of storing large amounts of wealth. Jewellery can also be symbolic: for example , married couples wearing wedding rings.

Diamonds

And what can be more appropriate in expressing this  love and, of course, symbolising the wedding  than a diamond?  Four characteristics are used to grade diamonds : these are the 4 C’s : cut, carat (weight), clarity, and colour. All four of these properties determine how much a diamond is worth.

Cut

What are the proportions of the diamond? Round brilliant diamonds are usually cut with 58 facets. The better proportioned these facets, the more light will be reflected back from the diamond to the viewer’s eye. This is something that is very important. When cut properly, the diamond will sparkle more. The cut also refers to the shape of the  cut such as: round, oval, and pear.

Carat

What size is the diamond?  A larger diamond will often be more per carat due purely to its size. There are 100 points to a carat. Hence a 50 point diamond is 1/2 a carat. (There are 5 carats in a gram.)

Clarity

How clear is the stone? Clarity ranges from flawless (perfect) to I (included). Here is a summary:

Colour

Diamond colours generally range from D – X for white and yellow diamonds. D is the whitest. Around S they become “Fancy” yellow Diamonds. Diamonds that have inclusions are sometimes filled with glass to make them appear clearer. An inclusion is an internal imperfection in the diamond.  Filling the diamond does not repair the inclusion, but just makes it less visible.
Finally, once you have that precious stone, you need to take care of it. Diamonds are often thought to be unshatterable. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The toughness is good compared to other gemstones, but nevertheless they would shatter if you hit them hard with a hammer (not that we are encouraging you to try and check this out).   On Moths scale of hardness they score the highest figure of 10.
So store a diamond separately from other jewellery as a diamond could scratch other jewellery, as they are the hardest of materials. This is not to be confused with strength.  So a diamond could scratch a softer material but might not be as strong..
Cleaning: The best method for cleaning is to a jeweller’s polishing cloth.

Birth Stones

Every month has one particular gemstone that is associated with it.  Because they are so personal, birthstone rings have become cherished items.

The birthstones associated with each of the months is as follows

January – Garnet

The gem of faith and truth; protects from poisons, thought to stop bleeding, cure sickness of the blood and infections.

February – Amethyst

Aids soldiers in battle, control evil thoughts, helps hunters to catch animals, and helps the owner be good in business.

March – Aquamarine

Sailors used aquamarine to gemstones to keep them safe and to prevent seasickness. It gives the wearer courage, foresight and courage

April – Diamond

Symbol of strength, courage, and invincibility. It is the ultimate gift of love. In 1477 Archduke Maxmillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring, thus starting the tradition of diamonds being given as engagement rings.

May – Emerald

Sharpened the wearer’s eyesight and mind. Travelers used them as protection against the hazards of long trips. The green color is said to give the owner power to predict the future.

June – Pearl

Freshwater pearls give the power of love, money, protection, and luck. It is said they give provide wisdom through experience and protect children from harm.

July – Ruby

Its red color is related to sex, passion, strength, health, physical energy, courage, and protection. It is associated with blood, birth, and death

August – Peridot

It is thought to bring the wearer good luck, peace, and success. Its powers include health, protection, and sleep. It attracts love, calms anger, eases anxiety and negative emotions

September – Sapphire

Its powers include spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. It is said to aid in the healing of rheumatism, colic and mental illness

October -Opal

It has healing powers that aid inner beauty, faithfulness, and eyesight. It also aids in remembering past lives.

November – Yellow Topaz (Sanskrit for fire)

In the Middle Ages was thought to heal both physical and mental illnesses and prevent death. Citrine – also for November – Aids the kidneys, heart, digestive tract liver, and muscles. It promotes creativity, personal clarity and eliminates self-destructive tendencies.

December – Blue Topaz (Sanskrit for fire)

In the Middle Ages was thought to heal both physical and mental illnesses and prevent death. Turquoise – also for December – It attracts money, success, and love. It gives protection, healing, courage, friendship, and luck. It eases the mind and mental tension.

Birthstone rings make wonderful gifts.  The idea of having a ring with a stone associated solely with one’s month of birth can add value to it. People love having something that was picked out personally with them in mind and birthstone rings fit that description perfectly.  The ring is a gift that will be cherished for many years to come.