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Archive for July, 2011

Antique Diamond Engagement Ring

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Trying to find the right engagement ring for your girlfriend can be a difficult challenge, and requires a significant amount of time and effort. If you want your engagement to be very memorable and if you want to have something that is very beautiful then you should probably think about choosing an antique diamond engagement ring.

Antique, or “vintage”, engagement rings are procured in one of three ways, and each has their advantages and caveats. First, you may have access to a family heirloom jewelry piece that could serve as an engagement ring. In this case, you should be prepared to have a master jeweler clean, polish, and personalize it in some way to represent the uniqueness of your relationship. (You might upgrade the stone to a larger diamond, or add sidestones or gold detail around the shank of the ring.) Second, you may discover the perfect engagement ring from a source that sells actual antiques; estate jewelry resellers, pawn shops, and online retailers are a common source for these pieces. Finally, you might purchase a new engagement ring setting from a modern-day jewelry designer which is based on an antique style. This offers the convenience and quality of contemporary jewelry construction methods, with an appearance that matches your desired style of an earlier vintage. In this case, it’s most helpful to browse the selections of online jewelry vendors that offer jewelry customization options, so that your finished piece may still be “one of a kind”.

If you’ve found an actual antique piece of jewelry to serve as an engagement ring, it’s critical that you have it carefully cleaned and reviewed by a jewelry craftsman to make sure that it’s still in good, stable condition. Some early jewelry construction methods were not as good at securing their diamonds in place in the setting, and active use may cause stones to pop out and get lost. Considering the investment required to purchase a diamond engagement setting, it’s definitely worthwhile to guard against any accidents by making sure the piece is in reliable condition. Also, if it was originally produced as a white gold ring, it will likely show a heavily worn surface that’s no longer white or shiny. This can be easily corrected by having a coating of rhodium applied, which most jewelry stores are capable of.

Your choice of engagement ring will ultimately serve as a lasting representation of your loving relationship with your future spouse, and will be treasured for a lifetime! Every ounce of research about various diamond traits, the “4 C’s”, and diamond settings will be fully worthwhile as you are able to enjoy seeing the pleasure with which your girlfriend receives the ring. Bridal jewelry is meant to last, and it’s up to you to make a regular habit of extending love, generosity, and respect to each other and enjoying the fruits of your relationship for years to come.

Where do diamonds come from?

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Diamonds are made up of pure carbon atoms that exist deep in the ground, exposed to intense heat and pressure over billions of years. Over time, this pressure builds up and forces the diamonds and rocks up toward the surface in a volcanic-like explosion. The explosion creates a very deep, wide hole called a “pipe” into which most of the diamonds settle; these deposits of diamonds are known as primary deposits. Other diamonds are washed away by water or erosion, and often settle into the coastal waters of nearby bodies of water; these are alluvial deposits. These deposits occur in many places around the globe; however, the largest commercial deposits exist in Angola, Australia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Russia and Zaire, which produce 80% of the world’s diamonds.

Walking through the aisle of a jewelry store, you may not think diamonds are especially rare. But consider this: 250 tons (500,000 pounds) of ore must be mined and processed to produce just one carat of rough diamond. Since a rough diamond typically loses 40% to 60% of its weight when cut, that means that all these efforts are necessary to produce just one of the .50 carat polished diamonds you find in the store’s display counters. When you also consider the fact that only about one quarter of all rough diamonds are actually suitable for gem cutting, you can begin to appreciate the rarity and uniqueness of each diamond.

A quick, fun fact: The first diamond deposits were brought to the surface of the earth approximately 2.5 billion years ago. The most recent deposits are roughly 50 million years old. Your diamond is a truly unique piece of history.