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christies green diamond
A 6.13-carat fancy intense green diamond set a new per-carat record when it sold at Christie’s on May 27 for a whopping $3.6 million, or $594,510 per carat. The square cushion cut diamond is the center of a rose gold halo style ring, accentuated by natural pink diamonds.
Next to red, green is the rarest of colors found in natural diamonds. For most colored diamonds, the color comes from trace amounts of mineral impurities or extreme pressure conditions while the diamond was forming. The tight chemical structure makes it very difficult for any impurities to enter, which is why colored diamonds are exceedingly rare. Small amounts of boron in the crystal lattice structure of a diamond, for example, will impart a blue hue; same goes with nitrogen for yellow, and hydrogen for violet. What gives a diamond a green hue however, is the presence of natural radiation over millions of years. Because the radiation exposure is an external force rather than internal force (such as mineral impurities and lattice defects), it acts on the surface only. As a result, green diamonds are not green all the way through; the color is concentrated on the outer layers and tends to be weakly saturated. That is why a fancy intense green diamond, especially one of a size like this one, is almost a once-in-a-lifetime find.
This spectacular diamond joins the ranks of other recently sold, record-breaking gems at Christie’s. At their Geneva auction just last month, there were three record-breakers alone. They include ‘The Blue’, a fancy vivid blue pear shaped diamond weighing over 13 carats, a 76.5 carat light pink square-cut diamond that sold for $10.2 million, and the ‘Ocean Dream’ – a 5.5 carat, vivid blue-green diamond that went for $8.8million.
Tags: Christie's Geneva, engagement ring, fancy deep, fancy intense, fancy light, fancy vivid, green diamond, Hong Kong, jewelry auction, natural diamonds, Ocean Dream, pink diamonds, rare, rose gold, The Blue, vancouver
March 20th marks Proposal Day, the day on which an estimated 50,000 couples will get engaged!
Is March 20th the day to pop the big question? Possibly, but this lesser known holiday was initially started for the purpose of giving a nudge to couples who have not yet taken the ultimate step of commitment. Interestingly enough, it was a man by the name of John Michael O’Laughlin who founded Proposal Day. After seeing his cousin being strung along for years by a boyfriend who wouldn’t commit, O’Laughlin decided enough was enough and decided to dedicate one day out of the year just for the act of proposing.
Proposal Day falls on the Vernal Equinox, one out of two days of the year on which the Earth’s North and South poles are both perpendicular to the Sun’s rays. This means that the Sun appears approximately an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth, so that day and night are equal lengths. O’Laughlin specifically chose the day of an equinox because he believed the equal day and night symbolized “the equal efforts of the two required to comprise a successful marriage.” The Autumnal Equinox falls about six months after March 20th, and is considered by some to be a second Proposal Day for that reason.
The holiday is an opportunity to start a conversation about the possibility of a future proposal, according to ProposalDay.com. Besides, nowadays couples wait longer before tying the knot; a recent poll found that roughly 27 per cent of women whose partners had popped the question dated their partner for three to five years. As an added benefit, talking to your partner about the proposal beforehand means that you can go engagement ring shopping together, which takes some pressure off of finding the perfect engagement ring!
Although it’s certainly not as widely recognized as Valentine’s Day, there are signs that Proposal Day is gaining traction. It has been creating a buzz in numerous social media outlets like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and has even been featured in the national news media.
Tags: 1 carat, 18K gold, amethyst, aquamarine, Autumnal Equinox, custom made, diamond ring, engagement ring, engagement traditions, gemologist, gemstone ring, perfect proposal, Pinterest rings, platinum, Proposal Day, sapphire, solitaire, Valentine's Day, vancouver, Vernal Equinox
What are engagement or wedding rings all about anyway? Who started this and why is it such a tradition? Since when did the ring become a symbol of love, romance, and marriage? Why is it the fourth finger on the left hand that is considered the lucky one to wear the ring? Here is some history of the engagement and wedding ring.
Starting all the way back in Egyptian times they were the first to use the circle shape as a symbol of eternity. The Egyptians also believed that the fourth finger on the left hand was connected to the vein of love and ran directly back to the heart. Although wearing a ring as a public pledge to honour marriage didn’t come about until the Roman times. Some of the first rings were made from iron, but by medieval days gold rings set with gems were fashionable. Popular gems were symbolic such as a blue sapphire to reflect the heavens or a red ruby as the colour of the heart, but the most powerful of all gems was the diamond.
Up until the 15th century only kings wore diamonds as a symbol of courage, strength, and invincibility. Over centuries the diamond has become a unique status of the ultimate gift for love. The word “diamond” comes from the Greek word “adamas” which means “the unconquerable” suggesting the eternity of love. Ancient Greeks believed diamonds to be delicate splinters of fallen stars and adorned them for the powers of protection they believed it offered the wearer. India is where diamonds were first discovered and they were thought to be a shield from forces of evil like theft, snakes, and poison. They have been associated to promote lasting love, ward off nightmares, symbol of innocence, power and protection. You can see why it has become such a precious gift of choice for couples.
How did an engagement ring come about? This first trend started way back in 1477 by Archduke Maxamilian of Austria who present his beloved Mary of Burgundy with a ring of engagement. The dual ring ceremonies were introduced by the Greek Orthodox Church in the 1300’s. It wasn’t until the 1940’s in US when both men and woman would wear a band. Due to World War 2 the custom caught on because soldiers had to leave their beloveds behind and in the separation and loneliness they wanted to wear a band to remind them of their loved one far away. In the height of the war 85% of marriages had a dual ring ceremony, and it continues today.
The tradition is still long lasting and both men and woman are more attached to their bling today than ever before!
Tags: adamas, ancient greeks, blue sapphire, circle shape, colour, diamond, dual ring, egyptian times, engagement ring, gold, gold rings, india, invincibility, jewel, lucky one, mary of burgundy, medieval days, precious gift, roman times, symbol of courage, symbol of eternity, symbol of innocence, tradition, ultimate gift, vein of love, wedding rings
Here we will only consider diamonds. If you are considering other stones, speak to a gemmologist to find out your options and get their recommendations. Remember: knowledge is power, know as much as you can about what you are spending your money on.
Diamonds are rocks that form naturally in the earth, so there is no ‘one size fits all’. It is like choosing between apples – size, sweetness, crispness, juiciness are categories you want to balance when picking an apple. It is similar for diamonds but with different criteria.
- Carat: In gold this word refers to the purity, with diamonds it is the weight/size. Bear in mind that diamonds are priced per carat digitally. In other words 0.5-0.99 is one price bracket, and 1.00-1.49 is another. Therefore it is possible to buy a 0.98 for the price of a 0.5 and it will look like a 1 carat. The other factors are also critical, however, so bear in mind that a 1 carat diamond can vary in price dramatically depending on the other variables.
- Clarity: Being an organic material, most diamonds have impurities known as inclusions. Inclusions are usually white or black and some can be seen with the naked eye. A stone without inclusions is called ‘flawless’ and carries a high price tag. Clarity is graded using letter-number combinations. For most rings the range to look for is either VS1 and VS2 which are very clear, then S1 and S2 have inclusions that can easily be seen with 10x magnification, but not so easily with the naked eye. Diamonds also possess blemishes such as tiny cracks which can make the diamond cloudy (see warnings below).
- Colour: diamonds vary in colour from colourless to brown and even black. Unless you are after a diamond that is noticeably coloured, you want to aim for as white as possible. Colour is graded using letters. D is colourless, through to zyx (noticeably tinted). Aim for D-G range for a quality diamond.
- Cut: this determines the overall shape of the stone (round, square, rectangle, oval, pear shaped etc) and sparkly (fire). The more facets the more the light is bounced around in the stone and is reflected back to you as sparkle. Round brilliant cut is the most popular and gives a lot of sparkle. Also more facets can hide impurities, for example, if you are in the market for a flawless diamond, this will be well seen in an emerald (rectangle) cut.
Speak to a jeweler who knows their stones. If your priority is high purity, then maybe you can go down on the carat size or colour etc.
Not enough emphasis can be made on the importance of buying from a reputable retailer. It is really important that you trust who you are buying from as not all jewelry is what it seems.
- Castings of the ring mounts when machine made can be porous (tiny bubbles in the metal); the claws that set the stones can be loose, and these rings will not last.
- There are imitation diamonds on the market, so be sure to get a certification so that you know you are not buying a cubic zirconia or moissanite when you want a diamond.
- Especially when buying jewelry unseen, such as on the internet, be aware that even if the dealer is obliged to state colour, clarity and carat value, it is not obliged to state cloudiness or treatments that have been made to artificially enhance the stone. These include laser drilling where tiny pin holes are made into the inclusion to bleach it white or dissolve it. These can look like natural flaws and don’t necessarily impair the appearance or structure of the stone. Fillers, however are not considered permanent and the substance used (usually glass) has different properties to diamonds and can appear as colour flashes unusual to diamond. Also, heat and sunlight can effect this substance over time darkening or eroding it. Even though diamond is the hardest substance, cracks (especially unfilled) are weaknesses and make the stone vulnerable to cracking. There is nothing wrong with buying a treated stone (it can make a lesser quality stone appear better), but make sure that this is disclosed when you purchase so that you know you are paying the right price.
You are now armed and ready to browse those jewelry stores and know what you are looking at! This is all very technical information, as you browse you will find that some diamonds “speak” to you more than others. Don’t be held down by the numbers – find a stone you love and a setting that compliments the stone and your personality. And shop around for the jeweler you trust.
Tags: 1 carat diamond, bear in mind, blemishes, clarity, colour, cubic, cut, diamond, diamond treatments, digitally, engagement ring, gemmologist, gold, how to pick a diamond, impurities, inclusions, knowledge is power, magnification, moissanite, naked eye, number combinations, organic material, platinum, price bracket, price tag, quality diamond, rectangle, ring, silver, solitaire, sweetness, tiny cracks, vs1, vs2, zirconia
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and when it comes to the season of love, pulling out all the stops for your loved one includes popping the question. In fact, the latest American Express report found that six million couples are likely to get engaged on February 14. Once the actual proposal is planned out, finding the perfect engagement ring for your partner is essential in getting that desired response.
Here are five tips to help you get through the daunting task of picking out the ring:
1. Know your budget. You don’t need to have the exact number in mind, but a range will make the selection process a lot easier for you and the jeweller.
2. Know her style/taste. Take a peek into your loved one’s jewelry box and take note of the type of jewelry she already wears. Is she more classic or modern? Feminine or sophisticated? What would go well with her wardrobe and her lifestyle? You can also be sure to take note of any references she makes about jewelry, fashion and style.
3. Know the 4 Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat. You don’t need to walk in with a gemology degree but a basic understanding of what contributes to a diamond’s value and appearance is helpful. There is a fifth “C” which is confidence in the jewelry supplier/retailer. A reputable jeweler who is a member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS) can advise you on your purchase.
4. Know each other. Decide whether or not you want to shop with your partner or shop alone and if the surprise element is important for your proposal. This is a big decision but there is no right answer.
5. Know your jeweller. The last tip is perhaps the most important. It is crucial that you go to a jewelry store with a trusted and reputable jeweler. You should feel comfortable asking questions with your jeweler and discussing the entire process with them. Jewelry can be customized to fit a variety of lifestyles, budgets and circumstances. Be sure that you get exactly what you want through consultations and strong communication.
Tags: Advice, american express, american gem society, daunting task, desired response, Diamond Rings, engagement ring, exact number, fifth c, gemological institute of america, gemological institute of america gia, gemology degree, Gifts, jeweler, jeweller, jewelry box, jewelry fashion, jewelry store, jewelry supplier, popping the question, selection process, surprise element, valentine s day, Valentines Days