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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Types of Settings

An engagement ring today is not all about the diamond anymore.  Sure most ladies out there, want a diamond to show off their engagement, but more and more couples are spending the majority of their time shopping for settings.  After all, a diamond is only as beautiful as the piece of jewelry you create for it.  A perfect diamond in an poor quality setting just looks like a bad  engagement ring, while an average diamond in a gorgeous setting can often look spectacular!

Aside from the traditional solitaire (single stone) or three stone ring, settings today often contain a number of tiny diamonds either surrounding the center stone (halo) or that extend down the shank of the engagement ring.  These diamonds are set in a variety of ways to create the endless array of engagement ring settings we see today.

Prong settings are often times the sturdiest way to set small side diamonds, as each diamond has four points of contact on the ring to keep it secure.  Many rings today are what is known as "common prong" where adjacent diamonds share two of the same prongs.  This makes the diamonds appear to all connect and makes for a more complete looking ring.

Channel settings contain small diamonds that are arranged in a channel with metal on either side.  This style of setting is also very secure, however, you often see less of the diamonds because the edges of the stones are covered by the setting.  Alos their is usually a visible space between the diamonds, except for princess cuts that will appear flush.

Bar settings have the same appeal as common prong settings, since the diamonds share the "bar" that holds them on either side.  However, their is a clear separation between the stones that is not seen in other common prong bands.

The newest form of setting side stones is known as "pave".  This is where small holes are drilled throughout the ring where smal diamonds can be set with extremely tiny bits of metal holding them into the ring.  This makes for a ring that appears encrusted in diamonds.  A look that many women cherish.
However, due to the very delicate nature of the metal holding these diamonds in place, a great amount of care needs to be exercised when wearing these types of rings.  Even so much as an over zealous polishing can loosen stones and cause them to fall out.

Whatever style you covet in an engagement ring, just be aware of the risks and rewards are each to determine what setting is right for you.

Click the link below for a more detailed presentation about settings...

Styles of Settings

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Few Words About Cut

When shopping for a diamond many consumers are introduced to the 4 "C's" of diamonds to determine what sort of diamond they will ultimately purchase.  These of course are Color, Clarity, Carat Weight, and Cut.  The first three C's are fairly straightforward.  Color is the whiteness of diamond, Clarity is how free of inclusions and imperfections a diamond is, and carat weight is how much a diamond weighs on a diamond scale.  The fourth C however, is a little more complicated.  What exactly makes certain diamonds better cut than others?  A lot of it has to do with the what shape the diamond is, but other than that, many customers are unsure how to compare a diamonds based on cut.

Diamonds with laboratory reports will usually have some information pertaining to how diamond is cut.  The two characteristics most easily recognized are a diamonds depth percentage and table percentage.  Depth percentage refers to the "height" of a diamond top to bottom, and table percentage refers to the size of the topmost and largest facet on a diamond.  Both of these percentages are relative to the millimeter diameter of a diamond.  The ideal proportions of these characteristics vary depending on the shape the diamond, however,  for round diamonds 60% is generally accepted as a benchmark for both of these variables.  The GIA and AGS are currently the only laboratories that give cut "grades", and these are only given to round diamonds.

How these proportions determine how a diamond actually LOOKS is what is most important when shopping for a diamond.  Generally, diamonds with higher depth percentages look smaller than their carat weight suggests, and often have a darker appearance.  Diamonds with lower depth percentages look large, but sparkle less and appear glassy.  Smaller table percentages are associated with a greater degree of sparkle, whereas larger tables have a tendency to make the diamond appear too transparent.

Although these rules still apply to determining the brilliance of a fancy shape diamond, they are most consistent when comparing the classic round diamond.  Other shapes have a tendency to be cut deeper (mainly to save weight) than rounds so they often look smaller.

When shopping, be sure to understand how the cut of a diamond affects its apparent size and brilliance.  And how the various shapes of diamonds are typically cut.  You can click on the link below to learn some more about the various characteristics examined when describing cut.

What Determines a Diamonds Cut?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Engagement Rings and Color

Today's engagement ring shoppers aren't only looking for Diamonds.  More and more women today are looking for something colorful to show the world that they are getting married.  Although diamonds do come in "fancy" colors such as  yellow, pink, and blue, but fine quality stones in these colors are rare and often more expensive than colorless diamonds of similar quality.  That is why Sapphire and Ruby are some of today's most popular stones for engagement rings.

Many people are not aware that Sapphire and Ruby are actually the same mineral, Corundum.  Corundum comes in pretty much any color of the rainbow due to various trace elements and coloring agents.  When it is red, we call it Ruby, when it is any other color we call it Sapphire.  Most people think of the color blue when they hear Sapphire, but Sapphire can be pink, yellow, green, purple or any color really.  However, the other reason that the various hues of Corundum are popular for engagement rings is their durability.  Corundum is second only to Diamond on the Mohs Hardness Scale.  Which makes it a very durable stone for bridal jewelry that is typical worn everyday.  Other fine colored gemstones such as Emerald, Topaz, Aquamarine etc. are very appealing, but much softer.  When worn everyday these stones could easily be damaged, and are therefore better left to fashion pieces that are worn for special occasions.   

Here at Sydney Rosen we are specialists not only in Diamonds, but in Sapphire and Ruby jewelry as well.  Our website has a page dedicated to rings with Ruby and Sapphire side stones.  However, you can always contact us directly to discuss larger stones for engagement rings.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Timeless Allure of Diamond Studs

With Mother's Day around the corner, many sons and daughters are scratching their heads as they try to find a gift that will be remembered by their Moms.  Jewelry has always been a traditional Mother's Day purchase, but what kind of jewelry to buy Mom is always a tough decision.  Whenever customers ask me for suggestions as to gift ideas, my gut reaction is always Diamond Stud Earrings.  Diamond Studs are a simple "post" earring that appeal to any woman.  They can be worn everyday, or dressed up for a special occasion.  Most diamond studs earrings are lower clarity diamonds, so that women can wear larger whiter stones in their ears without the high price-tag.  Earrings are also some of the most frequently lost items and having lower quality diamonds in your ears takes some of the anxiety out of wearing them.  That being said, engagement ring quality diamond studs are still popular for those who can afford them.  Many people buy high quality GIA certified stones for their studs, with the intention to use give these diamonds to their children when they are ready to get engaged.  This appeals to Mom's because they feel as if they are contributing the next chapter of their children's lives.    

Every woman needs a pair of these classic earrings in their jewelry box.  So stop by Sydney Rosen Company and see our selection of Diamond Stud Earrings, that are sure to please the special ladies in your life.  Click the link below to see our online selection of stud earrings as well.