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Read Part 1: Can Diamonds be Chipped?  and Part 2: Tips to Prevent Damaging Diamonds

Accidents happen. It’s hard not to get upset when your diamond gets chipped, but understand that it’s not uncommon. It is part of the risk you take when wearing jewelry; although diamonds sustain less damage in everyday wear and tear than other gemstones, they are not indestructible.

First of all, you need to evaluate the chip(s) in your diamond. How big is it relative to your diamond? Is it instantly noticeable? Is it something you can live with? Keep these questions in mind when you bring your diamond ring to a specialist for an in-depth appraisal. A Graduate Gemologist and/or certified Appraiser will be able to assess the chip(s) effect on the diamond’s structural integrity, value, and can suggest viable options based on their evaluation.

If the chip is small and lies on the girdle edge, you may be able to reset the diamond with metal covering the area of the chip. The purpose of this is two –fold: the metal will act as a barrier to protect the chip from further stress which can lead to more extensive damage, and it will also hide the chip from view. Styles such as Bezel, Half-Bezel, Bypass, or even the addition of new prongs can achieve this effect.

Another option may be to recut the diamond. This option should be considered if your stone is of high monetary or sentimental value, as the process is quite costly. Not all diamonds are good candidates for a recut however. If the stone has chips in multiple places and/or the chip is large, it may not even be considered for a recut. Similarly, a stone would not be recut if its internal inclusions pose a significant damage risk during the process. This is a very specialized area of jewelry repair that needs to be done by a diamond cutter with great care. Talk with your jeweler to see if this would be possible for your stone.

If all else fails, you may consider replacing the diamond. Depending on your insurance policy or jeweler trade-up policy, this can also be a cost-effective option.

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Diamond BoxWe finished off with Part 1: Can Diamonds be Chipped?

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In taking care of your diamond jewelry, this is especially important. For something that can last you forever, it does require some amount of maintenance to keep it in its best shape.

Routine checkups at your jeweler (recommended is about every 6 months) is key. They have the tools and expertise to evaluate your jewelry for any compromise in the structure or integrity. Checking settings for loose stones, worn prongs or metal can prevent diamonds being exposed or even falling out.

After that, it’s all up to you. Be slightly more cautious when wearing rings, diamonds can chip when coming in contact with any hard surface such as doorknobs, kitchen countertops, or car windows. Ideally you would want to take your rings off when doing any manual work with your hands: lifting heavy objects, doing chores, cooking, gardening, and more. The more your diamond jewelry comes into contact with other objects, the more likely it is to damage. That’s why rings are the most susceptible and show signs of wear more easily; bracelets are a close second followed by necklaces and earrings, which are relatively safe.

As diamonds are most easily damaged by other diamonds, take care in storing your diamond jewelry separately when not wearing them. Every piece should have its own compartment and not be touching another diamond piece. For necklaces, lay them out carefully and store them in a spacious box, not a pouch where it can move against itself.

Another factor that contributes to the risk of damaging diamonds is present in the diamond’s structure: inclusions. Inclusions are the naturally occurring “imperfections” in the molecular crystal of the diamond, and come in many forms. Not all inclusions increase the risk of damage; it all depends on the size, location, and type of inclusion present. Inclusions to pay particular attention to are feathers, twinning wisps, or cavities that reach the surface close to the girdle, where impact is the likeliest to happen. It’s best to consult with your jeweler or someone with formal diamond training such as a GIA Gemologist to discuss the role inclusions play in your diamond’s integrity.

Read on to Part 3: What to Do With a Chipped Diamond

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GlitterAngFor the fabulously wealthy, gold is not limited to jewelry. Here are some of the more unconventional ways that gold is being put to use:

For the woman who has everything, here is the most glamorous and exclusive nail polish in the world: the Model’s Own Gold Rush from British jeweler, Frost of London. This tiny bottle comes with a handcrafted 18 karat gold lid embedded with 1,118 diamonds! The polish itself resembles liquid gold, a metallic, rich pure gold hue with iridescence. The cost of each bottle of Gold Rush is a whopping $130,000 – but it is sure to make the wearer feel like a million bucks.

Just short of bathing in the metal, a floor length couture gown made entirely of gold sequins by designer Zac Posen will set you back approximately $1.5 million. Such a dress was worn by Caroline Correa for a Magnum Gold marketing campaign titled “As Good as Gold”. Handcrafted by the designer himself, the dress had pure 24 karat gold foil applique on each of the thousands of sequins.

GoldLady Gaga recovered recently from an emergency hip surgery, which rendered her incapable of walking for a few weeks. So of course, she commissioned a custom black leather and 24 karat gold plated wheelchair for her to ride around in style. Dubbed “The Chariot”, it looks more like a throne than a wheelchair. It comes complete with luxurious italian leather and gold plating on all of the delicate framework, with a removable canopy and full recliner. The designer, Ken Borochov, reportedly gave only a week to complete the entire project. The chair is both fashionable and fuctional – it has accompanied Lady Gaga all over Manhattan, from window shopping to shopping for a new apartment.

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The cherry blossoms are out and this beautiful city is coming alive as the clouds come and go revealing a bright blue sky dotted with pink and white flowers. April is Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival season with many events celebrating the beginning of spring from dance and biking events to Japanese poetry and guided walks.

These delicate beauties are a popular inspiration for jewelry and fashion designers. This year at the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Awards, Vancouver born jewellery designer Gregore Joailliers (now based in Santa Barbara, CA) won the business/Day wear category with his 18K white gold earrings that elegantly feature pink opal Japanese plum blossoms accented with black and white diamonds. It is easy to believe that this piece was inspired from his upbringing in this city.

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Perhaps you have a design in mind that encaptures the beauty of this city? Why not find a local jeweler to make your vision a reality. Look for custom jewelry designers in your area.

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A StoreShopping for engagement rings can be a highly emotional and daunting task. Jewelry stores can be intimidating. Don’t be put off by the seemingly endless styles and confusing prices. Let’s make it easier and break it down. Once you have an idea of what is important to you, find a reputable jeweler that you trust, preferably with gemmological qualifications, who can source stones and who works with a good goldsmith so that you can guarantee good product and service. It is well worth spending the time to find the right retailer as this ring is for life, not just for the proposal, and just as any other long wearing item, it will need upkeep – claws that hold the stone in place will need tightening, white gold will need rhodium plating, polishing, cleaning, resizing, insurance validations are all things you may need to follow up with.

So what variables do you need to consider to make your shopping experience easier? Take a note of your priority in each category and bring the list with you when browsing:

The fundamentals are Style and Material. Here we will focus on diamond engagement rings only.

1: STYLE:

  • 1 stone is called a solitaire, it is very popular – it says “you are the one and only”.
  • 3 stone rings stand for “I Love You” or “Then, Now, Always”.
  • Other designs are less conventional but always beautiful: the halo design is a single stone surrounded by a ring of smaller stones. This can look stunning if they are all diamonds as it makes the overall effect of a larger diamond, also if the centre stone is coloured, the halo frames that stone and makes it really stand out.
  • When diamonds are set in a line either part or all the way around the ring in a band, then this is called an eternity ring. This is popular when the knuckles are larger than the base of the finger and your rings tend to spin around, it is a more popular choice as the wedding band.

2: METAL:

Depending on skin tone and preference there are silver and golden coloured metals.

  • Silver is very soft and not very appropriate for setting precious stones.Ring Styles
  • White gold is a good alternative. The higher the carat value, the more gold content, and the higher the price. More gold usually means softer, except for 19K which has a different alloy and is extremely hard, and does not need rhodium plating as often. Gold will always want to revert to its original yellow, so over time a 14K gold ring will tarnish and need plating every 2 years or so to bring it back to the bright white, and of course when you do this the ring will look brand new again! Rhodium plating typically costs $60, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
  • Platinum is the hardest and whitest of the white metals. It does not scratch as easily as gold and will never need plating. However, over time, with constant wear, the ring will eventually collect scratches. As the metal is harder, normal jewelry polishing wheels at retail shops may not be able to polish off all marks.
  • Yellow and rose gold will have more colour with higher carat value, but will be softer.

 

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Diamond RingValentine’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.

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