Tag Archives: Diamond Rings

Diamond Bridal Rings – Diamonds in Your Wedding Band

Posted on Dec 22,2014

Engagement rings are special but it’s the wedding band that will really be worn most of the time. While most women wear both rings on a daily basis, many also choose to just wear their wedding bands for practical reasons.

Most women prefer to have diamonds on their bridal rings and understandably so, as diamonds can really make the band sparkle even when worn alone. Even women who prefer a simpler band design often choose to add a few small diamonds on the band as accents. When choosing diamond bridal rings, it’s important to choose not only in terms of style and aesthetic value but also durability, especially since you’ll be wearing your wedding ring everyday.

If you’re looking for the perfect diamond bridal ring to suit your lifestyle, you might find inspiration in the following styles:

Eternity Rings

Eternity rings are one of the most popular options for women because they complement solitaire engagement rings well. They are also just as beautiful when worn on their own. The ideal setting for eternity rings are either pave or channel because these settings provide extra protection for the tiny diamonds in between and are ideal for daily wear. However, some women prefer prong setting because they allow maximum brilliance for the diamonds. Eternity diamond rings are also symbolic of the commitment of marriage.

Round brilliant diamonds are often used for eternity rings but princess cut diamonds and emerald cut diamonds are also quite popular in many modern eternity ring designs.

Infinity Diamond RingHalf Eternity Rings

Half eternity rings are also quite popular. Instead of a full circle of diamonds like in a diamond eternity ring, half-eternity rings only have diamonds on the face of the wedding band. It’s a cheaper option compared to eternity rings because half the amount of diamonds are used unless you opt for bigger stones.

The half-eternity band style is ideal for bigger stones because diamonds are only used on the face of the band, making it more comfortable and practical for everyday use.

Eternity Diamond RingCurved Diamond Wedding Bands

A curved diamond wedding band has a slight curve in the face of the band to accommodate the main stone on the engagement ring. The curved design makes it so that when the wedding band is worn with the engagement ring, the main stone can sit nicely around the curved area. These rings are designed to complement the engagement ring and are often custom-made to suit the proportions of the stone on the engagement ring. Most bridal ring sets also come with curved wedding bands.

Curved Diamond RingDiamond Embedded Wedding Band

Wedding bands embedded with diamonds are suitable for those who don’t want too much sparkle on their wedding bands. These are also suitable for men because they are much more minimalistic than wedding bands completely studded with diamonds. The number of diamonds can be anywhere from one (placed at the center face of the band) to ten or more (dotting the circumference of the ring).

Diamond Embedded Wedding RingDiamond Bridal Sets

Some couples prefer to buy bridal sets (i.e. the engagement ring and wedding band are purchased together in a set) to ensure that they complement each other. Although for proposals, it may not always be recommended to purchase a bridal set unless you’re absolutely sure that the answer is “yes” and that the style is something the bride-to-be will not want to change. However, if you are purchasing the engagement ring with your partner, then diamond bridal sets are a great option especially since they are usually sold at a cheaper price than if you buy the rings separately.

Diamond Bridal RingsMatching Wedding Bands

There are some couples that prefer to get matching wedding bands to make the rings more symbolic. Most matching wedding band sets aren’t exactly similar, as the bridal ring is often designed to look more feminine and typically carry more diamonds than the groom’s ring. Although, there are also a lot of wedding band sets that are designed to look exactly the same, as some couples prefer to wear the same ring.

There is a wide-variety of diamond bridal ring styles out there and if you can’t find exactly what you have in mind, you always have the option to have your wedding band custom-made to suit your exact design preferences.

Matching Wedding Rings

Posted in  Diamond Engagement Rings |   Tagged 

 

Diamond Rings – Which is Better: A Larger Diamond Size or a Clearer Diamond?

Posted on Oct 28,2014

There are four basic parameters that diamond buyers must take into consideration when choosing a diamond, these are: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. While all these factors affect a diamond’s appearance, most people don’t mind sacrificing one or two qualities in exchange for a bigger diamond.

For instance, some buyers might not mind a diamond that shows a visible tinge of color as long as it is bigger in size. However, when it comes to clarity vs. carat weight, the decision might be harder to make. This is because visible inclusions can tarnish a diamond’s overall appeal especially if it is a big stone.

When cutting diamonds, diamond cutters try their best to conceal any inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are tiny defects or imperfections found inside the diamond. Some diamonds might also have some imperfections on the surface; these are called blemishes. Both inclusions and blemishes affect a diamond’s brilliance (i.e. how much light they reflect).

When it comes to diamond clarity, the size, number, and position of inclusions are all taken into consideration and affect a diamond’s value. This is why diamond cutters make it a point to hide them in strategic areas like the girdle or under the facets in the bezel where they won’t do much to affect a diamond’s visible appearance.

How Much Clarity Can You Sacrifice for Carat Weight?

If there were no budget constraints, anyone would be happy to receive a flawless diamond that is bigger than 1 or 2 carats in size but since diamonds in the flawless range can be incredibly expensive, sacrifices must be made to suit one’s budget.

Ideally, you shouldn’t settle for a diamond lower than VS2 (very slightly included). Diamonds in the VS1 to VS2 range normally have several inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification. Since you won’t be staring at your diamond under a magnifying glass all the time anyway, you’ll hardly notice the existence of these inclusions at all. It usually requires a skilled observer to view these inclusions even with magnification. Most diamonds sold in the market are of the VS1 to VS2 range.

However, if you are very particular about clarity, you might want to go a little higher by getting a diamond from the VVS1 to VVS2  (very, very slightly included) range. Diamonds in this range often appear flawless to the naked eye and even under 10x magnification, only a skilled observer should be able to notice the inclusions.

If you prefer a bigger carat size and you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of clarity to get the size you want, diamonds in the SI1 range should be ideal. Diamonds in this range have inclusions that may be visible upon close inspection even without magnification but the defects aren’t severe enough to affect the diamond’s overall appearance.

If size is your priority and your goal is a diamond that is bigger than 1 carat, a clarity value of SI1 should be your limit. This is because diamonds in the SI2 range tend to have visible inclusions for stones that are 1 carat and above. SI2 clarity is only ideal for stones that are less than 1 carat in size.

You should keep in mind that inclusions become mush more visible the bigger the diamond is. This is why it’s challenging to get a good balance between clarity and carat weight.

Most diamonds in the market are priced on a per-carat basis. The price of diamonds that are of the same cut, clarity, and color tend to double as you go up a carat. If for instance, the price of a diamond is $2,000 per carat, then you should expect to have to pay $4,000 for a 2-carat diamond of the same quality.

It’s okay to sacrifice clarity for carat weight just as long as you still find a good balance between the two. Diamonds, after all, are meant to be admired and it would be a shame if you cannot fully appreciate its beauty because you sacrificed too much clarity for size.

On the other hand, clarity is still a subjective matter. So if you do not mind a lower clarity range, then by all means go for that bigger stone. It’s your diamond to enjoy after all.

Posted in  Buying a Diamond, Cash for Diamonds, Diamond Colors, Diamond Cuts, Valuing Diamonds |   Tagged 

 

Comparing Princess Cut Diamonds & Radiant Cut Diamonds

Posted on Oct 24,2014

Princess cut and radiant cut diamonds share some similarities. Both are square cuts and both have a complete brilliant-cut pattern. When set on a ring, these two cuts can easily be interchanged at first glance.

Choosing between the two can be a difficult task, especially since both are superior when it comes to brilliance. You might want to compare two stones of the same carat, clarity, and color grade to determine which shape is more to your liking.

To determine the differences, let’s compare the two cuts based on the following factors:

Physical Characteristics

Princess cut is the second most popular cut next to the round brilliant. It is notable for its square shape and sharp corners. It is the first square cut to achieve the same brilliance as a round brilliant cut diamond.

While princess cut diamonds are traditionally square, there are some stones that are more rectangular than they are square. This depends on the length to width ratio of the diamond.

The radiant cut diamond is the second square cut to carry the same brilliant-cut pattern seen on round brilliant diamonds. Whereas the princess cut has sharp corners, radiant cut diamonds are square in shape with cropped corners. Its cropped corners may offer some practical advantages when it comes to stone setting.

Princess cut diamonds are always set on a prong stone setting to protect its corners from damage and chipping, an issue that is not present with the cropped corners of a radiant cut.

Princess cut diamonds also often have a larger table and more depth compared to radiant cuts.

Price and Demand

When it comes to pricing, princess cut diamonds are typically priced lower than radiant cut diamonds because there is very little waste when cutting a princess cut from the rough stone. This means that a diamond cutter can easily yield two princess cut diamonds from one rough stone with very little waste and as such, the market price is lower.

There is also a higher demand for princess cut diamonds compared to radiant cut diamonds so there is a bigger selection for the average consumer. Jewelers don’t stock up as much on radiant cuts as they do on princess cuts because of consumer demand so if you want more options, princess cut might be a more suitable choice for you.

Brilliance

A radiant cut diamond generally reflects more light than a princess cut diamond when viewed from the top. This is because when light enters a radiant cut diamond, it creates a circular pattern giving it more sparkle when it reflects light. Due to its cutting style, radiant cut diamonds also have more angles to let light in, allowing for more light to be reflected back to the surface.

Princess cut diamonds, on the other hand, are notable for its linear life. When light enters a princess cut diamond, the facets create an X in the center as a result of the contrast between light and dark facets. Due to the number of dark facets, princess cut diamonds don’t appear as sparkly as radiant cut diamonds when viewed from the top.

Radiant cut diamonds sometimes create a bow-tie effect as a result of the misalignment of facets in the diamond when light enters its surface.

Cut Quality

Princess cut diamonds are more abundant because manufacturers are able to maximize more of the rough stone during the diamond cutting process. As a result, there are more poor quality princess cut diamonds available in the market compared to radiant cut diamonds that focus more on preserving the aesthetic appeal of the stone over quantity.

Both cut styles have their own appeal and aesthetic value. In the end, it all boils down to personal preference. If price is the primary determining factor, however, princess cut diamonds are a better option because they have a cheaper per-carat price compared to radiant cut diamonds.

Posted in  Diamond Cuts |   Tagged 

 

Vintage Engagement Rings – Your Guide to Classic Diamond Rings

Posted on Aug 13,2014

Vintage engagement rings are prized not only for the stone and the metal used on the setting but also the intricacy of its design. Vintage engagement rings feature some of the most elaborate settings that the band is sometimes as valuable for the wearer as the stone. Carefully handcrafted by jewelry artisans of decades past, vintage engagement rings (whether they’re from as far back as the 1800s, the 1920s, or the 1960s) are a testament to the talent and craftsmanship of the artist. Of course, the older the engagement ring, the more buyers usually value it. As such, authentic vintage engagement rings from a particular period can be hard to come by.

Authenticity

There are generally two types of buyers of vintage engagement rings: those that value the ring for its past history and those that value the ring for the design alone. Of course, some people also value both. If you are interested in buying a vintage engagement ring, the first thing that you have to decide on is whether you want an engagement ring from a particular period or you want a reproduction of the design of a particular period. If you’re after authenticity, then you have to look in a lot of different places to find the ring you want but if you only want a reproduction of a particular design, then you can have virtually any ring from any period reproduced by a talented jeweler. Although, the intricacy of the design and detailing may pose a challenge for many, depending on your chosen design.

If you are intent on proposing with an authentic vintage engagement ring from a particular period, then the following tips might prove useful to you in your search for the perfect ring:

Period of Origin

When shopping for vintage engagement rings, it might be easier if you focus on one particular period. While some don’t really have a preference just as long as the ring is an antique and is aesthetically pleasing in design, others are more particular about the period the ring is from. Does your partner have a particular preference?

The most common inspirations for vintage engagement rings are the Victorian period (mid to late 1800s; rose gold was widely used in this era; popular cuts include the old European cut and antique cushion cut), Edwardian period (notable for the use of platinum as the base metal; popular cuts include the rose cut and the old European cut), the art deco period (from 1920s to 1940s, notable for its art deco and filigree designs; white gold has become a common material for rings; popular cuts included the round brilliant and old European cut), and the retro period (1930s to 1960s; wedding bands were typically designed to match the engagement ring).

Price

It is a common misconception among many first-time vintage jewelry buyers that vintage engagement rings are more expensive than modern ones.  Unless the ring had an important past and had very valuable components, vintage rings aren’t necessarily more expensive. Price depends on the physical aspects of the ring (i.e. the current state of the stones and the band, the presence of visible damages). While most vintage jewelry sellers will have restored the ring as much to its former glory as possible, any damages can still have a big impact on the price. More often than not, going vintage is a much more cost-effective option when buying an engagement ring. Plus, you get to enjoy the craftsmanship of a particular period in history.

Quality and Durability

Authentic vintage engagement rings that still carry all the stones from the original ring are a testament to its craftsmanship. When buying a vintage engagement ring, it’s important to ask the seller beforehand if any of the stones on the ring have been replaced. Engagement rings that carry multiple stones might not always withstand the test of time. As such, jewelers sometimes replace missing or damaged stones from the original ring. In some occasions, only the band is kept and the stones are replaced with new ones.

If the ring you are buying is from the Victorian era or the Edwardian era, it’s extremely important to make sure of its durability because of its old age. Although, stones from the Edwardian era are said to be superior when it comes to cut and durability.

Ring Setting                                                                                         

Vintage engagement rings are highly notable for the intricacy of their settings. Since some of the settings are really delicate, it’s important to check the stones on the ring. If any of the stones seem loose or can easily be dislodged with your finger, it probably won’t withstand too much use anymore.

Ring Size

Not all vintage engagement rings can be resized without affecting the original design. The really intricate ones can cost a fortune to resize, especially if you need to add more material to the ring to make it bigger. Ensuring that the detailing and the metal are similar can be difficult for modern jewelry makers so you have to make sure to get the size right or at least make sure that it is possible to have it resized. You can also ask for a quote for resizing ahead of your purchase to ensure that you stay within budget.

The Stone

Most importantly, examine the stone (or stones) carefully and decide whether it is something you really want to keep. It is important to remember that cutting methods have significantly evolved over the years. Improving the cutting process has made it possible to maximize the fire, brilliance, and scintillation of modern diamonds. Vintage diamonds, however, tend to be less sparkly than their modern counterparts.

When shopping for a vintage engagement ring, you can’t rely too much on what it says on paper about the diamond’s cut, clarity, color, and carat weight because there were different cutting standards in the past. Also, it can be difficult to find a vintage engagement ring with a proper certificate. While you can have it evaluated yourself, you should still keep in mind that you should set different standards when it comes to a diamond’s 4Cs.

Make sure to have the ring appraised before buying. You can bring a diamond valuation expert with you to a store to ensure that you are getting what you are paying for. You can also choose to have the ring appraised after purchase, just make sure the store has a reasonable return policy.

When choosing a vintage engagement ring, it’s really all about personal preference and how you feel about the ring. Whether you are choosing it with your partner or buying it as a surprise, the ring should represent the personality of the wearer.

Posted in  Buying a Diamond, Valuing Diamonds |   Tagged 

 

Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings – Classic, Timeless Ring Styles

Posted on Jul 14,2014

There’s nothing quite like a solitaire engagement ring setting to emphasize the beauty and brilliance of a diamond. It is one of the most popular styles when it comes to engagement rings because of its classic appeal and elegance. Many women prefer the solitaire style because it suits just about any diamond shape.

If you’ve chosen to propose with a diamond solitaire engagement ring, you’ve made the right choice. Not only is it one of the safest options if you’re not sure about the recipient’s style preference but it is also the easiest style to find in jewelry stores and other venues.

Choosing the perfect diamond solitaire engagement ring can be a daunting task especially with the number of options available to you from different venues. The key to finding the perfect ring is setting some parameters before making a purchase. Shopping around online and viewing different styles will allow you to make a much more informed decision when it comes to the stone and the setting of the ring. Below are some factors to consider aside from the 4Cs (carat, color, clarity, and cut) when buying a solitaire engagement ring:

Stone Shape

Since a diamond solitaire engagement ring only features one diamond, the shape of the stone is one of the most important things that you should consider. It is best to have this aspect set before the buying process begins so that you won’t be overwhelmed with the number of available diamond shapes once you do start to view rings.

Without a doubt, the most popular stone shape for solitaire engagement rings is the round brilliant. Over half of engagement ring purchases are round brilliant solitaires. Since a solitaire setting puts special emphasis on the stone, you’ll probably want to choose a stone that has exceptional brilliance. Brilliant cuts like the round brilliant and princess cut are excellent options. Other brilliant cut stone shapes include oval, cushion, heart, and marquise.

The beauty in the solitaire style is that it suits just about any stone shape available even step cuts like the emerald cut and the asscher cut so it really is just a matter of style preference. If you are unsure about the style preference of the recipient, the round brilliant would be the safest option for a diamond solitaire engagement ring.

Stone Setting

Another important factor when choosing a diamond solitaire engagement ring is the stone’s setting. This aspect goes beyond aesthetics, as you’ll also have to consider functionality (i.e. whether the setting will be able to hold the stone safely even with everyday use). The type of stone setting you choose will depend on its size and its shape.

The most popular stone setting for round brilliant solitaire engagement rings is the prong setting because it is not only practical but also minimalistic in design, giving the stone extra emphasis. Prong settings usually come with either four or six prongs (tiffany setting) but for diamond shapes like the heart, a three-prong setting is ideal to emphasize the shape of the stone.

Another popular setting is the cathedral setting, named as such because the arches that hold the stone resemble the vaulted ceilings of old cathedrals. This stone setting is ideal for smaller diamonds, as it offers the diamond more visibility, making it look bigger in size.

Modern stone settings for solitaire engagement rings include the bezel setting and the tension setting. While the bezel setting is more popularly used in earrings and pendants, it has gained popularity for engagement rings as well, particularly for round brilliants and square cuts like the radiant cut or emerald cut.

For the perfect diamond solitaire engagement ring, you might want to consider choosing a loose stone and then choosing the setting separately instead of buying a pre-designed ring. This will make it easier to design a ring that would suit the recipient’s personality and preference.

Posted in  Buying a Diamond, Diamond Cuts, Diamond Engagement Rings, Types of Diamonds |   Tagged 

 

Pink Diamond Engagement Rings

Posted on Jul 02,2014

Pink Engagement RingsWhile colorless diamonds are still the most popular option for many people, there is an increasing interest in fancy color diamonds like pink diamonds due to their rarity and unique appeal. Most fancy color diamonds obtain their coloring from impurities but unlike colorless diamonds which are prized especially for their flawlessness, fancy color diamonds are highly prized for the presence of color even with the presence of some inclusions.

Pink diamonds come in a range of colors, some appear brownish pink, purplish pink, orange pink, and some fancy deep pinks appear almost red. Most pink diamonds in the market are very pale as they are more common than intense pink diamonds.

Like other fancy color diamonds, the more intense the color in a pink diamond, the more expensive and rare it is.

Selling Pink Diamond Engagement Rings

Due to their rarity, pink diamonds are very much prized by jewelers and collectors. If you have a pink diamond engagement ring that you want to sell, you’ll certainly be able to find many interested buyers. However, pricing still depends on a variety of factors including the intensity of color, carat weight, clarity, and cut.

Since fancy color diamonds are graded primarily for their color before other factors are considered, it might be best if you sell your pink diamond engagement ring to a buyer who has a good understanding of fancy color diamond grading. While you can always approach a pawnshop or your local jeweler to get a quote, if you want to get a good price for your engagement ring, it’s better to sell to someone who has a lot of experience in fancy color diamond grading. Not only will they have a better idea of your diamond’s worth but they’ll also be able to offer a better price.

A good choice, especially for fancy color diamonds and other rare stones, is to sell to an online diamond buyer. Most reputable online diamond buyers have diamond valuations experts who will be able to value your fancy color diamond properly and offer you a fair price for it.

Buying Pink Diamond Engagement Rings

Buying a fancy pink diamond for engagement rings is not only a good option for those who are looking to veer away from the more common colorless variety, but it is also a good investment. As fancy color diamonds don’t wear out as easily as colorless diamonds, they increase in value overtime. Pink diamond engagement rings aren’t only valuable for their unique color but as well as for their financial appeal.

If you are in the market for a pink diamond engagement ring, then you might want to consider the following diamond grading factors when choosing the stone:

Color

Like all fancy diamonds, the value of a pink diamond increases the more color it shows. While clarity, carat, and cut are still important factors to consider when choosing a pink diamond, color is the most important consideration.

Pink diamonds are graded according to the intensity of color. The terms used for color grading are: faint pink, very light pink, light pink, fancy light pink, fancy pink, fancy intense pink, fancy dark pink, fancy deep pink, and fancy vivid pink. Other jewelers use very specific terms when referring to a pink diamond’s color. For example, you might find descriptions like “fancy deep brown pink”, “fancy light brown pink”, and “fancy vivid purplish pink” to refer to pink diamonds.

Since majority of pink diamonds in the market are of the pale pink variety, it is easier to find light pink diamonds especially for engagement rings. They are also more affordable than darker pink diamonds.

Carat

When choosing a pink diamond engagement ring, the most important consideration you should keep in mind next to color is the carat weight. Since most recipients of engagement rings have a very specific idea of how big they want the stone to be, it is best if you stay as close to their ideal size (as your budget would allow). Bigger diamonds also show more color than smaller ones especially in the case of light pink diamonds.

Clarity

The clarity of a pink diamond will depend on the shape you choose. Brilliant cuts are more forgiving of inclusions and step cuts show more inclusions. However, darker pink diamonds conceal inclusions better than lighter pink diamonds so it is often okay to sacrifice a bit of clarity for color when it comes to fancy pink diamonds.

Treated Diamonds

A cheaper option for those who want a pink diamond engagement ring is to buy a lab-treated diamond. There are different treatments used to add color to a regular diamond. However, since most color treated diamonds are of a lower grade, you should be more particular about pricing. Color treated diamonds should be cheaper than colorless diamonds and fancy color diamonds so they should be priced accordingly. Make sure not to overpay for such stones, as they are generally of the poor variety.

Color treated pink diamonds typically go through a process called annealing. Color treated diamonds should also come with a certificate stating their origin and the method of coloring used.

Where to Buy:

Amazon

Amazon carries several pink diamond engagement ring options, ranging from color treated diamonds to natural pink diamonds. You can find them in a variety of settings and styles. Below are a few notable options from their selection:


Blue Nile

Blue Nile also carries a few fancy pink diamond options, although all of their pink diamonds are of the expensive range. If you’re looking to really splurge on your engagement ring, then these options might appeal to you. You can purchase the diamond as a loose stone or choose your ideal setting on the site.

Marquise Cut

Purple Pink Radiant Cut

Orange Heart Shaped Diamond

Posted in  Diamond Colors, Diamond Engagement Rings |   Tagged 

 

Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

Posted on Jun 25,2014

The demand for cushion cut engagement rings have significantly increased in the past years, making it the third most popular cut next to the round brilliant and princess cut.

The cushion cut has been around for close to two centuries, its most defining characteristics being its larger culet and the pattern it creates when it reflects light. Cut improvements applied to the cushion cut in the 1920s led to significant increase in its fire and brilliance, a larger table size, and a smaller culet. The modern cushion cut is noted for its exceptional fire due to its larger facets and its antique appeal.

Cushion cut diamonds are traditionally square with rounded corners, hence its name. Modern variants, however, may be more rectangular than square as some people prefer the rectangular variant to the traditional square cushion cut.

Due to its popularity among celebrities, public interest on cushion cut engagement rings has also increased. Cushion cut diamonds set on a halo setting is especially popular as the setting adds brilliance to the center stone and makes it appear bigger than its actual size. A cushion cut set on a halo setting combined with a pave setting is also a very popular choice for many people.

Selling Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

Due to the high demand for cushion cut engagement rings among the diamond buying public, diamond buyers including individuals, jewelers, and those that buy diamonds online are much more willing to offer better prices for cushion cut engagement rings with relatively good grading.

If you have a cushion cut engagement ring that you want to sell, you can compare offers by getting price quotes from both retail jewelers and online diamond buyers. While online diamond buyers generally offer better prices when buying diamonds, it’s still a good idea to get a price quote from a local jeweler that buys used diamond jewelry just so you have an idea of how much they are willing to offer for your cushion cut engagement ring. This will help you in negotiating price offers.

You can also get an appraisal from a local pawnshop. This is strongly recommended if your diamond does not come with a GIA certificate or any other certificate indicating the diamond’s grade. Knowing how valuable your cushion cut engagement ring is will give you an idea of how much you should get for your ring and how much you should settle for.

Buying Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

If you’re in the market for a cushion cut engagement ring, setting certain parameters when it comes to cut, carat, clarity, and color is a smart way of ensuring that you get your money’s worth. Below are some tips for choosing cushion cut engagement rings:

Cut

While there are more variations of cut when it comes to cushion cuts compared to other diamond shapes, there are some recommended guidelines so that you can get the best stone for your money.

Cushion cut diamonds don’t have as much brilliance as brilliant cuts like the round brilliant and the princess cut but they do show more fire than any other cut.

Classic cushion cuts are square shaped with a length to width ratio of 1.00 to 1.05 but shape is largely subjective, as others may prefer a more rectangular shape. Those who prefer slightly rectangular cushion cuts should look for a length to width ratio of 1.10 to 1.20. While square cushion cuts are more expensive, this should not stop you from getting the shape that the recipient wants.

Carat

Carat weight is perhaps one of the most important physical characteristics to consider when choosing an engagement ring. It’s best to ask the recipient for their personal preference, as even the best cushion cut can disappoint if it is much smaller than the preferred carat weight of the recipient. Cushion cuts that have more depth percentages are generally smaller when viewed from the table but since cushion cuts can vary significantly, it’s best to examine the physical descriptions of the stone to find out how big it will look. You can go as low as 10% smaller of your preferred carat weight and there won’t be much difference when it comes to the physical size of the diamond.

Color

Color is also a subjective characteristic when it comes to cushion cuts but most people prefer colorless stones to those that show a bit of a yellow tinge. For stones that are .50 carats and below, a minimum of H is recommended. For bigger stones, however, especially those that are 1.00 carats and higher, D to F is recommended.

Clarity

Since cushion cuts have larger facets compared to other shapes, flaws and inclusions are much more visible on cushion cuts. Despite its exceptional fire, it’s still easier to spot inclusions on a cushion cut than it is on a round brilliant or a princess cut. As such, a minimum of VS2 clarity is recommended for stones that are above .50 carats. For smaller stones, however, a minimum clarity of SI1 or even SI2 can still conceal inclusions.

Where to Buy

Blue Nile

Blue Nile has a wide selection of cushion cut diamonds ranging from the exceptional variety that makes up the signature ideal collection to more cost-efficient options. Their selection of cushion cut engagement rings are sure to suit any style, preference, and budget. You can also choose your ideal setting based on personal style and budget. We’ve preselected a few options below for your consideration:

http://www.bluenile.com/cushion-shaped-halo-diamond-engagement-ring_41112

http://www.bluenile.com/cushion-cut-diamond-1-carat-signature-ideal-cut-g-color-vvs2-clarity_LD03901999

http://www.bluenile.com/cushion-cut-diamond-1-carat-or-less-very-good-cut-g-color-vs1-clarity_LD04480675

Options from Amazon.com

Posted in  Diamond Cuts, Diamond Engagement Rings |   Tagged 

 

Princess Cut Engagement Rings

Posted on Jun 18,2014

Princess cut engagement rings rank second as the most popular option for consumers next to the round brilliant cut. Popular for its versatility and lower price range (compared to round brilliant cuts), the princess cut is highly preferred by many especially by those who want to veer away from the traditional shape of the more popular round brilliant cut. Princess cuts are generally priced cheaper per carat because the cut wastes the least material from the rough stone after cutting.

The princess cut, also known as a square modified brilliant, is popular for its fire and brilliance. Its extra faceting adds extra brilliance and scintillation to the stone, making it one of the best options for engagement rings.

Selling Princess Cut Engagement Rings

Since princess cut engagement rings are one of the most popular options amongst today’s consumers, it’s fairly easy to get a good price for a decent stone. If you have a princess cut engagement ring that you would like to sell, you can sell to different venues and get a decent price. Jewelry stores that buy used jewelry have a high demand for popular cuts like round brilliants and princess cuts.

However, if you want to get the best price for your stone, one of your best available options is to sell to an online diamond buyer. They buy all sorts of diamonds of different shapes and grades. They also offer better prices for diamonds because they have lower overhead costs and they have access to a bigger market.

Since princess cut diamonds have extra faceting, they hide flaws and inclusions better than other cuts and as such, it’s easier to sell lower-grade princess cut stones than step-cuts like emerald cut diamonds or asscher cut diamonds.

Buying Princess Cut Engagement Rings

Princess cut engagement rings are a good option for those who want the fire and brilliance of a round brilliant cut but want a square or rectangular stone instead of a round one.

As previously mentioned, princess cut engagement rings are generally cheaper per carat weight than round brilliant cuts because there is very little wastage when it is cut.  While princess cut diamonds have a smaller crown surface compared to round brilliants, a princess cut diamond of the same carat weight as a round brilliant will still appear bigger due to its square shape and pointed corners, which is bigger than the diameter of a round brilliant cut. This makes princess cut engagement rings a good option for those who want the appearance of a bigger stone without having to get a bigger and heavier one.

When buying princess cut engagement rings, pay attention to the following qualities and parameters to get the best value for your money:

Cut

As with any other diamond shape, when buying a princess cut engagement ring, it’s important to pay attention to the cut quality of the stone as this greatly affects its physical appearance.

Table and Depth Percentage

The table percentage value of a very good to excellent princess cut stone is within 56% to 70% and the table percentage should be within 58% to 75%.

Length to Width Ratio

Princess cuts are traditionally square but there are also princess cuts that are rectangular. While perfect square cuts are more expensive, some people prefer princess cut diamonds that are more rectangular than square. If you prefer a square princess cut, look for a length to width ratio of 1.00 to 1.05. If you want a stone that is visibly rectangular, look for a LW ratio of 1.08 and above.

However, if you’re adding side stones, you can get a stone with a LW ratio of 1.08 and it will still look square.

Color

Like with other diamond shapes, colorless princess cuts are more expensive because there is a higher demand for them. If you prefer a colorless diamond to a diamond that shows a bit of yellow, look for a color grade within the D to F range. A G-color grade is the minimum grade recommended for larger stones and H-color for stones that are less than .50 carats.

Clarity

Princess cut diamonds conceal flaws and inclusions much better than step-cuts like emerald and Asscher because of the extra faceting that provides more fire and brilliance. Since princess cut diamonds are more forgiving of inclusions, you can go as low as SI1 for stones that are less than a carat and still a get a pretty decent stone. For bigger stones, however, a minimum of VS2 is recommended.

Where to Buy

Blue Nile

Looking for the perfect princess cut engagement ring? Blue Nile offers a wide-selection of princess cut diamonds. You can manually select the diamond that goes into your setting of choice, giving you a more personalized and versatile shopping experience. If you’re not sure what to look for, consider the following options below:

Build a Princess Cut Diamond

Build a Carat Princess Cut Ring

Build a .5 Carat Princess Cut Diamond

Options from Amazon

Amazon also carries a wide-array of princess cut engagement ring options suitable for different tastes and budgets. We’ve preselected a few options below:

Princess Certified Ring

Classic Princess Engagement Ring

Solitaire Engagement Ring

Posted in  Diamond Cuts, Diamond Engagement Rings |   Tagged 

 

Asscher Cut Engagement Rings

Posted on Jun 05,2014

The asscher cut diamond has regained its popularity over the last decade due to improvements made to its cut. The modern day asscher cut has more fire and brilliance than the classic asscher cut. Its square shape, large facets, and its elegant and regal appeal have made it a popular choice especially for engagement rings.

Asscher cut diamonds are stepped-cut, undergoing a similar process of cutting to emerald cuts. As a result, asscher cut diamonds are very similar to square emerald cuts; both have 58 facets and have cropped corners.

Selling Asscher Cut Engagement Rings

The rising popularity of asscher cut engagement rings is good news for sellers as it means that prices have also increased. However, since step cuts like the asscher cut and emerald cut emphasize a stone’s clarity, inclusions are more visible compared to round brilliant cut diamonds so it might be harder to get a good price especially for lower grade stones if you sell to a pawnshop.

If you have an Asscher cut engagement ring that you want to sell, it’s best to consider several options so that you can get a fair deal for your diamond. As with selling any diamond, knowing the exact specifications of your stone will make it easier for you to find a fair deal. You can have your stone appraised at a local pawnshop and jeweler to get an idea of its value and what you can get for it. However, if you want to get the best deal out of the transaction, one of your best options would be to sell to an online diamond buyer. Online diamond buyers offer better prices for diamonds because they have lower overhead costs and all reputable ones have expertise in diamond valuations. Transactions are also a lot more convenient since everything is done over the Internet.

Buying Asscher Cut Engagement Rings

If you’re in the market for an engagement ring and you have your heart set on an Asscher cut diamond, knowing the ideal specifications will help you out a great deal when choosing the ideal ring suited for your taste and your budget.

Cut

The original asscher cut diamond did not have much fire and brilliance, which is why modern ones have undergone many improvements to add more fire and brilliance to the stone. Modern asscher cut diamonds are very similar to square emerald cut diamonds except that an asscher cut diamond, cut to modern standards, typically have larger facets, a smaller table, and a taller crown height. Many people prefer a well-cut asscher cut diamond over an emerald cut because the former, when cut to exacting standards are capable of more brilliance than emerald cuts.

The length to width ratio of an asscher cut diamond is 1.00 but the GIA’s range for a square diamond is 1.00 to 1.05.

If you’re buying an asscher cut diamond engagement ring, you should also take note of the following parameters when it comes to cut to get the most ideal stone for your budget:

Depth Percentage

When shopping for Asscher cut diamonds, look for a depth percentage within the 60% to 68% range.

Table Percentage

Asscher cuts that have a table percentage within the 60% to 68% range are considered very good to excellent. While the ideal range would be around 65% to 67%, these can be difficult to find.

Color

Step cuts like the asscher cut show more color than round brilliants and princess cuts so if you’re looking for a diamond that is colorless or as near colorless as possible, we recommend you set a minimum standard of H. While any color above H is better, price can significantly go up the more colorless the stone especially for asscher cuts. While color is subjective, most people prefer colorless diamonds to those that retain color.

Clarity

Since the classic asscher cut does not have as much fire and brilliance than round brilliant or princess cut diamonds, flaws and inclusions are much more visible on the surface. This is why clarity is of utmost importance when choosing an Asscher cut diamond. Setting a minimum standard of VS2 is recommended if you want the stone to appear as flawless as possible to the naked eye.

Where to Buy

Blue Nile

Blue Nile offers a wide selection of asscher cut diamonds. Those who want a truly excellent asscher cut would find the Blue Nile signature asscher cut to be a worthy option.  Their signature cuts have smaller tables, taller crown heights, and wider corners, which allow the diamond to capture more light and produce more brilliance. Below are some suitable options from Blue Nile:

http://www.bluenile.com/asscher-cut-diamond-1-carat-signature-ideal-cut-d-color-vs1-clarity_LD02089612

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-search?keyword_search_value=asscher+cut#diamonds_pid=LD04384105

Choices from Amazon:

Amazon features several asscher cut diamond engagement rings that suit different budgets. We have preselected a few options below:

Posted in  Diamond Cuts, Types of Diamonds |   Tagged 

 

What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

Posted on May 28,2014

Cushion Cut DiamondA cushion cut diamond, also known as pillow-cut, is a square-shaped diamond with rounded corners. Unlike other fancy cuts that are relatively newer, the cushion cut has been around for almost two centuries and before the round brilliant cut rose in popularity; the cushion cut was the cut of choice among many diamond buyers.

Today, due to its popularity especially with celebrity engagements, the cushion cut has become the third most popular diamond cut next to the round brilliant and princess cuts.

The primary appeal of a cushion cut diamond, aside from its unique shape, is its fire and brilliance. Cushion cut diamonds have larger facets, which increase their brilliance and showcases their clarity.  For more information on the 4C’s, you can take a look at our diamond grading page.

Characteristics

Cut

Traditionally, the cushion cut had a bigger culet but this has been decreased over the decades as a result of cut improvements. While cushion cuts are traditionally square, some may prefer more rectangular cuts but the rounded corners remain a key feature.

The ideal length to width ratio of square cushion cuts is 1.00 (a perfect square) but anything within the 1.00 to 1.05 range is still considered an ideal square.

Those who prefer slightly more rectangular cuts should look for a length to width ratio of 1.10 to 1.20. The basic range for table and depth percentages for cushion cuts is 54% to 62% and 59% to 64%, respectively.

However, since cushion cuts have more variety when it comes to its characteristics, some may prefer table and depth percentages within 58% to 67%. It is recommended that the table percentage be smaller than the depth percentage but this is also a matter of personal taste.

Since small to no culets are preferred in modern cuts, a very good cut should have a very small culet and an excellent cut should have no culet.

Loose Cushion Cut DiamondColor

Like other fancy cut diamonds, color is subjective in cushion cut diamonds. If you prefer colorless cushion cuts or as close to colorless as possible, look for diamonds within the D to G color range for stones less than .50 carats. As for stones bigger than half a carat, look for diamonds within the D to F range. Some people may prefer more color in cushion cut diamonds because it adds to its antique charm.

Clarity

Since cushion cuts have larger facets that emphasize its clarity, inclusions are more obvious in cushion cuts than they are in round brilliant cuts. If you’re purchasing a diamond within the SI range clarity, make sure that the inclusions are not in the visible areas. Depending on your setting, you can conceal more obvious inclusions with accent stones such as in a halo setting. As with most cuts, diamonds that are smaller than .50 carats within the SI range are still considered “Very Good” but the bigger the diamond, the more obvious the inclusions. So if you are considering a bigger stone, you have to pay close attention to where these inclusions are located within the stone.

Setting

While solitaire cushion cuts are also relatively popular, the most popular setting for cushion cuts for consumers is the halo setting, as it makes the main stone look bigger. A halo setting also gives it a more elegant, regal charm. Some may also prefer a halo setting along with a pave band to give the ring more sparkle. When placed in a halo setting, some people may prefer the bezel set design over the prong set design, although this is also a matter of personal preference.

Posted in  Diamond Cuts, Diamond Engagement Rings, Types of Diamonds |   Tagged