Diamonds Who Said They Are A Girls Best Friend?
I was surfing around on Amazon a few weeks ago, and I stumbled upon the most amazing diamonds. Yes I know on Amazon (LOL). I really was surprised to find some very costly engagement gems on the site. The little light bulb in head when on, I thought diamonds are an awesome topic to hub about. Traditional duos and contemporary couples alike admire the iconic beauty of a diamond solitaire engagement ring. With so few design elements, though, it's sometimes difficult to find the one engagement ring that stands out from the rest. Uncommon diamond shapes allow personal expressions of love while honoring the tradition of the diamond solitaire ring. For brides-to-be who want to express their individuality in a subtly sophisticated way, move beyond conventional diamond shapes and consider these beautifully unusual designs.
Four Cs of Diamonds
The basics of diamond grading--clarity, carat weight, color, and cut--will quickly become familiar to anyone shopping for a diamond engagement ring. The first three terms are easy to understand. A clear, large, white diamond is impressive to untrained eyes and jewelers alike. However, cut may not be as readily apparent despite being one of the most important characteristics of the gem. An ideally cut diamond refracts light through its table, the large facet that forms the top of the diamond. A stone with an overly shallow or deep cut allows light to disperse through the bottom of the gem. When discussing diamond quality, a gem's cut refers not to its shape, but to the skill with which the diamond-cutter has worked the stone. "Cut" may also refer to shape, but only in a general sense and not as a particular grade of gem.
A stylish variant on the emerald-like step cut, eight-sided Asscher diamonds are shaped like a square with its corners clipped. Some Asscher stones are closer to octagons than squares; natural variation in diamonds determines the gem's final shape. This style takes its name from the Asscher brothers who created it in the first decade of the twentieth century. One hallmark of an Asscher-cut diamond is its clean-lined look; the stone appears beveled like an Art Deco mirror. It's possible to find vintage Asscher diamonds, but as this elegant shape is enjoying a renaissance, new engagement rings may be easier to locate.
Clarity is key to a beautiful Asscher diamond, as the faceted steps in the stone's base reflect any cloudiness or inclusions. Prongs may hide small inclusions along the diamond's edge, but such an open cut requires the stone's heart to be clear. Expect to pay more for an Asscher diamond; this shape is difficult to produce. However, this elegant design may be worth the extra cost for a bride-to-be with sophisticated, but offbeat taste.
The square princess cut is one of the newest diamond shapes. Princess-cut gems combine the brilliance of a traditional round cut with the rectilinear shape of a classic emerald cut. A favorite of future brides who appreciate a sportier look, princess-cut diamonds look lovely in low-profile styles designed for active people. The sides of this square diamond may be parallel to the edges of the ring or set on the bias to make the diamond look "diamond-shaped" rather than square.
Look for ring designs that feature prongs at the corners of a princess-cut diamond. Although diamonds are the hardest minerals, they are still susceptible to damage if corners are unprotected. One advantage to the princess cut is its simplicity. The natural crystalline structure of diamond lends itself well to this cut, making it less costly than a gem with the same carat weight but a more complex shape. The complexity of its facets also allow a less-than-perfect stone to look like a perfect one in the right setting.
A Little Diamond History
The cushion cut first became popular in the Victorian era, but a few modern twists to cutting technique are bringing back this classic style. These diamonds derive their name from their overstuffed-pillow appearance; their shape lies somewhere between an oval and a square. The most famous example of a cushion diamond is the stunning Hope Diamond. Cushion-cut diamonds have more facets than a round diamond, giving them a more delicate fire than conventional cuts. The difference between them and other shapes may be subtle, but she'll undoubtedly notice the characteristic softness of this diamond's brilliance.
A cushion-cut diamond's extra facets demand precise diamond-cutting and a quality gem to look its best. Their cost is higher as a consequence. However, this shape is often available in estate jewelry or vintage pieces; look for them at estate sales and have the diamond reset as a solitaire if none are available in jewelry stores.
Heart-shaped diamonds might be the perfect choice for incurable romantics. Unlike most diamond shapes, hearts aren't radially symmetrical, giving the wearer a choice of ways to wear the ring. Wearing the diamond with the point of the heart toward the fingernail has a subtly slimming effect on the hand while wearing the point toward the wrist makes the diamond look more substantial.
The heart shape is a difficult one to cut with perfect bilateral symmetry, but it's important to ensure that the two lobes of the heart are equal in size and curve. These diamonds also show imperfections more readily because of the large table facet; a heart-shaped diamond must be clear at its center to look its best. Although heart-shaped jewelry is romantic, consider carefully before taking the plunge of buying one. Most women wear their engagement rings for life, and the sweet sentiment of a heart-shaped diamond may feel too youthful to her when she's decades past her wedding day. For the right bride, though, a heart may be the perfect shape.
The Pink Diamond
She would surely cherish a diamond engagement ring regardless of the stone, but choosing a diamond that has its own personality reflects beautifully on her unique style. Whether it's the Art Deco sophistication of an Asscher diamond or the romance of a heart-shaped stone, the timelessness of a cushion shape or the clean modern lines of a princess cut, the perfect diamond for her awaits.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Fierce Manson