By now you’ve learned the very distinct distinction between diamond ‘cuts’ and diamond ‘shapes’ (you’ve been religiously reading this blog, right?). So now we are ready to dig a little deeper into the different diamond shape varieties and their diverse and dynamic origins. There are 10 major shape classifications, each one shapelier than the next.
Let’s start with the obvious: the good ole, reliable Round. The Round is, and has been for quite some time, the most widely sought after diamond shape. It’s #1 use is in engagement rings, as a solitaire stone (meaning, “one”), giving a sparkling manifestation to the phrase “it’s lonely at the top.” Rounds of all sizes are often featured in earrings, pendants, brooches and wedding rings as well. In fact, the GIA reports that 75% of all diamonds sold on the open market are round. Sometime in the 18th century, enterprising diamontaires developed the cut “round brilliant,” which showcases the rounds’ resplendency to the highest degree. Somewhere down the road, roughly in the middle of the 19th century, diamond cutting maverick Henry Morse (no, he didn’t invent the “Morse Code” – that’s Samuel Morse…) perfected the round brilliant cut, and it has remained essentially the same since then. A cocky cutter named Marcel Tolkowsky made some minor tweaks to the round brilliant cut in 1919, in a vain attempt to get his name in the diamond history books (*the fact that he was arrogant may or may not be true/may have just been made up for the sake of this article.) All in all, the ubiquitous rounds have made an indelible mark in the diamond world, and no one knows how long they will reign supreme in all their circular glory. Continue reading Get in Shape! The History of Diamond Shapes→
Everyone knows a few words and phrases associated with diamonds. “Clarity” is obviously how clear a diamond is. “Brilliance” refers to its sparkle. A “blood diamond” is …just bad. But what in the heck is a “bort?”
Here is some dazzling insider terminology that you can use to impress friends at parties and knock the socks off of any jeweler you come into contact with.
If you want to sell things, you need advertising. This rings true for everything from motor oil to diet books to iPhones. Here is a collection of various marketing campaigns throughout the ages that attempt to sell diamonds and diamond jewelry. We start in the 40’s, when diamond advertising first became prominent (thanks primarily to a tiny company called “DeBeers”) and move all the way to today, where precious gemstone ads are just as prevalent, if vastly different from the past. Each decade of designs says a lot about our mentality as a country. The rampant sexism of the earlier decades would be replaced by what can be considered sexy, empowering images and motifs. Eventually things take a turn for the ironic, with beauty taking a backseat to the conceptual, oblique and even grotesque. Finally, we are faced with a series of recent pitches that have a throwback or “vintage” slant.
Whether it’s for a loved one or the one you love the most, yourself, it’s time for a new diamond ring. The natural temptation is to swagger into a large department store that’s offering a massive sale, dump your old ring on the counter for a quick exchange, and then stroll off into the sunset with a new glittering rock on your finger. The reality is that this is a surefire way to either get flat out ripped off or to end up compromising and purchasing an ultimately disappointing diamond.
Earlier we talked about treatments that enhance the clarity of diamonds and why you should probably stay away from them. Today we’re talking about the other enhancement: color treatments. These treatments are generally performed on diamonds that would receive a low color grade from the GIA. They can turn a diamond white or colorless, or if desired, can create fancy colored diamonds. Just like clarity enhancements, both the World Jewelry Confederation and the Federal Trade Commission require any color treatments to be disclosed at the time of sale. So what are these color treatments? And are they to be avoided like clarity enhanced diamonds? Let’s start with the different types of treatments. The three most common color treatments are coating, irradiation and “High Pressure, High Temperature,” or HPHT.