Questions you always wanted to ask

 ✩ What is better - white gold or platinum?

Platinum is better than white gold hands down. For centuries platinum was used to make the finest royal jewels. White gold, on the other hand, was developed during WWII as a cheap platinum substitute. Unlike white gold, platinum is hypoallergenic; wearing platinum jewelry will not cause an allergic reaction.

The platinum engagement ring contains 95% pure platinum. Compare it to 75% or even less pure gold in a white gold ring. Platinum has a beautiful color and sheen that white gold cannot replicate and platinum is much rarer than gold.

Contrary to the claim, lab-grown diamonds are not eco-friendly and do not offer any benefit for the environment. Their production requires immense amounts of energy created by burning fossil fuels. The claim of lab-grown diamonds' environmental benefits is patently false. There are many good reasons to buy a lab-grown diamond. But do not fool yourself into thinking that you are fighting global warming. You are not going to freeze the polar bear with his Coca-Cola bottle to death by buying the lab-grown.

Set your budget at the very beginning and do not go over, no matter what they tell you. The budget should be roughly an equivalent of 5% of your home's value, or of the one you will buy, and yes, if you spend less, you are cheap. If this calculation doesn't help, then check your fiancé's best friend's ring and spend 10% more. If her best friend is not engaged, what's the rush for you? Give it more time.

All diamonds have plenty of sparkles, it's the nature of a diamond, its physical property. A modern cushion cut indeed has more brilliance than a typical Antique cushion diamond. It does not mean that a modern cushion is superior. The amount of brilliance is only one of many diamond properties, and one can argue, not even the most important one. What people call "sparkle" is a combination of fire and brilliance. Antique cushions, much like step-cut emerald-cuts and Asschers, compensate brilliance with superior fire.

Asscher cut and Antique cushion cut are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the world. All diamonds in British, Russian, and other crowns scattered in museums around the world are antique cushions. The antique cushion is the nobility's diamond cut of choice. And the nobles were picky, after all. Each diamond they bought was paid with the blood and sweat of millions of peasants.

Yes, they are real. They are identical to natural diamonds in their chemistry, as well as optical and physical properties. Nobody can tell the difference between a natural and man-made diamond except gem labs armed with expensive equipment. However, lab-grown diamonds are not 3.2 billion years old like a natural diamond. An enormous amount of energy (generated by burning fossil fuels) is used to reduce a chunk of graphite into a synthetic diamond. But man-made diamonds are getting cheaper and cheaper, so they are a viable alternative for a natural diamond. Wait and you will be able to afford a diamond speed-shift knob for your Tesla.

Brilliance, to borrow Nabokov's description of human life, is a "brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness." When we cut a diamond, in addition to giving the rough crystal its shape, we also add facets. All facets act as miniature mirrors, small and large, facing in all directions. When the light hits a diamond, some facets reflect it back at us so they appear bright. Other facets appear dark because they reflect the light away from us.

Brilliance is the change of facets from light to dark when the diamond twirls. Even distribution of contrasting pixels is the chessboard effect (checkerboard for intellectually challenged) that is a cornerstone of excellent brilliance.

Yes. Any professional jeweler can size a platinum ring with ease. These days the sizing is mostly done without soldering, using laser welders instead. Platinum is easier to weld using a laser than gold is. CAD'ers - jewelers who are capable of working with CAD but not trained in traditional bench work will tell you otherwise..

When used to describe a finished piece of jewelry CAD and casting are the same thing. CAD is a tool for making a wax model. The model is used to make a form. The form is filled with liquid metal, called casting. Every CAD model is turned into casting, but not every casting model is created with CAD. A wax model can also be made with rubber molds or carved from a piece of wax.

Jewelers have been identifying their creations using emblems and signature marks for hundreds, even thousands of years. The hallmark communicates the identity of the master visually. A golden M vignette is the symbol of a secret medieval knighthood of merchandisers that Leon Mege adopted as its own at the end of the 20th century. The hallmark identifies every piece that leaves the workshop.

"A diamond is forever" is a famous marketing slogan coined by DeBeers. Widely used in popular culture, it seems to convey the diamond strength that, unlike your toaster, it will not require a replacement every few years. Thumbing its nose at the second law of thermodynamics the diamond refuses to deteriorate, degrade or wither, contradicting the natural laws of physics by its own existence. Is a diamond a supernatural substance planted by God along with dinosaurs' bones and some oil? Highly doubtful.

The longevity of a diamond means only that it will outlive you, your kids, your family, your cat, and this very planet. A very gruesome marketing message, indeed. Think better next time, DeBeers! Ironically, a diamond's life span came back to bite DeBeers in its capitalist ass. Since diamonds are 100% recyclable they are passed down from generation to generation, depriving the Cartel of new sales. No wonder diamond prices have been sliding for almost a decade. Everyone owns one already.

Conflict diamonds are illegal and unethical to buy. By buying a conflict diamond, you would subsidize a monster who is in the business of cutting off little children's arms. These "blood" diamonds come from war zones where crimes against humanity are committed daily. You should and will go to jail if you buy such a diamond. But thanks to Kimberley Certification Process conflict diamonds are barred from the marketplace, so there is a zero percent chance you will find such a stone. The Executive Order 13194 signed by President Bill Clinton makes it illegal to transport, buy, and use such stones.

It just sounds better. The producers of synthetic diamonds cringe when they hear the S-word. They are way ahead of the drug cartels that never thought of calling heroin "lab-grown opium". "Lab-grown" label is supposed to trigger a vision of rows of diamonds peacefully ripening in a heavenly garden. While consumers are hallucinating about guilt-free diamonds, the factories are baking fake, ...oops... lab-grown diamonds in huge vats under hellish heat and immense pressure. Having all the physical, chemical and optical properties of their natural counterparts these stones should be called "synthetic", just like any other artificially produced substance.

Carat with a "C" is the unit of weight for diamonds and precious stones; it equals to 0.2 grams. Karat with a "K" is the measure of gold purity. 24 Karat is pure gold. Carrot is a vegetable.

Surprisingly not, but its affordability hinges on the overall budget. The higher the budget, the better your return. The relatively high cost of professional labor is getting offset by the value of the center stone. The budget level at which a bespoke ring starts being financially attractive hinges on many factors, such as ring style, etc. but typically begins at roughly $10K. However, if your priorities are craftsmanship and style, as opposed to diamond's size, $5K is your approximate starting point.

Karats are the number of equal parts (out of 24 total) of pure gold. The remaining parts are called "alloy" consisting mostly of copper, silver, and zinc. Pure gold has a vibrant yellow color, but it is too soft to be used in Western-style jewelry. Alloying makes gold harder and changes its color. It also makes gold cheaper since less gold is used. 18K gold is 75% pure gold. It is used in fine jewelry. 14K alloy contains only 58.5% pure gold, and it is used in commercial mass-production. Very cheap jewelry is made using 12K, 10K, and even 8K gold.

Diamond's scarcity is a myth perpetrated by the diamond cartel, DeBeers. Unless you are looking for a 5-carat plus high-grade natural diamond, there are plenty of stones for you to choose. Let's do the math. The population of the planet grows annually by approximately 80 million people. At the same time, 150 million carats of rough diamonds are mined annually. Out of 80 million newborns, roughly half are women. Most men do not wear diamonds so they are not included in the count. Not all women wear diamonds either, but we ignore that fact. The majority of the forty million women live in developing countries where buying diamonds is a luxury only a few can afford. Most live in extreme poverty, so a diamond is very low on the shopping list. So we can safely assume that only half is interested in a diamond, and the rest are busy finding a working toilet. The 20 million left in our calculation can afford a diamond, but will they?

Diamonds are very popular in the US, Canada, and parts of Asia, where the tradition of presenting a diamond engagement ring is not deeply rooted. No matter how many obnoxious Long Island housewives buy more than one diamond at once, they can't possibly offset the number of consumers who bypass diamond altogether in favor of a surrogate such as man-made diamond, a CZ or even a tattoo. Assuming that 150 million carats of rough yields 120 million carats of polished diamonds, divided between 20 million yearly newcomers, there are six carats for each. Not so rare after all..

There is no such thing as a "standard" prong. The term "standard" prongs come from illiterate bloggers. Professional jewelers call it "ball" prong because it is shaped on top like a tiny ball. A claw prong and eagle-claw prong is the same thing, "eagle" just sounds better. Center stones in high-end jewelry are set with claw-prongs, while small stones have round prongs. Round prongs are widely used in low-end jewelry, for all stones and sizes. Round prongs are easier and much faster to make.

No, it is not. The Holloway Cut Advisor is benign at best, malicious at worst proprietary tool predicting diamond optical performance. The HCA calculator is hosted by Pricescope and used as a tool to steal away sales from other vendors. With so many alternatives, such as Leon Mege optical score index, the HCA calculator is entirely irrelevant.

Why not diamond stilettos or pearl pumps? When Lyman Frank Baum wrote the Wizard of Oz in 1900 the most valuable gems in the world were pearls. However, ruby slippers were chosen to replace original Silver Shoes described in the book because red looks better in Technicolor. Ironically, some ancient cultures harbored beliefs that rubies can protect against evil spirits, such as flying monkeys or lawyers.

Our prehistoric ancestors prized shiny pebbles for their vivid colors and glossy surface. Tumbled smooth by the tide or running waters, gemstones seemed to possess mystical powers and unearthly energy. Eventually, people learned how to polish gems using abrasives, and the first cabochons were born. Cabochons, or cabs for short, are shaped like a button with a domed top and flat, or slightly convex bottom. A cab can be made from any gemstone except a diamond, which is too hard. Button-like diamonds with faceted domes are called rose-cuts.

There are 43 countries, including the U.S. and the European Community, that participate in the program that requires all diamonds to be certified that they have been mined and sold through legitimate channels. This program is designed to prevent conflict and illicit diamonds from entering the international diamond trade. We work solely with suppliers and diamond producers that adhere to the Kimberley Process by selling “conflict-free” diamonds and will never stray from this practice.

Herkimer Diamonds are very common and can be bought for about 5 bucks a carat. They are not diamonds but unusual quartz crystals that have pointy tips on both ends. They are found around Herkimer County in New York. If you want a Herkimer Diamond for your engagement ring we suggest fool's gold for the mounting.

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