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The 9 colors of gold

Do you know why gold can have different colors? It can be white, yellow, pink, but also blue or purple. Learn about the colors of gold, even those that cause allergies ♦

It’s easy to say gold. The metal most used in luxury jewelry, considered the most precious asset for centuries, kept in ingots in bank vaults, actually has many faces. Because since it was used to make rings and necklaces, bracelets and earrings, gold has undergone several transformations. First of all, it can be more or less pure.

When a piece of jewelry is 100% gold it has 24 karats, while if it is 75% it is 18 karat. The remaining 25% is made up of other metals.

Trasformista, bracciale convertibile in oro 18kt e diamanti. Inciso manualmente utilizzando un bulino
Nanis 18kt gold and diamond convertible bracelet. Hand engraved using a burin

A percentage of 58% indicates a 14-karat alloy and, finally, when only 38% of gold remains, you have 9 karats. Furthermore, when it is alloyed with other metals, gold can change color, depending on the type of metal that is added. Everyone knows the three main shades: yellow, white and pink gold, colors that can be more or less intense. In reality, many jewelers use different percentages, which also give the gold completely different shades. In the diagram on this page we have summarized the main combinations that arise from the union of gold with other metals, in particular silver and copper.

In nature, in fact, gold has an intense yellow color, tending to orange, and is a very soft metal, which is easily deformed (1 gram can be transformed into a sheet of 1 square meter).

Anelli in oro giallo, rosa e brunito
Rings in yellow, pink and burnished gold

1 Yellow gold
The more intense yellow, the purer it is, as found in nature. The 99% pure gold is 24 carat and is exclusively deep yellow. Yellow gold is also the most used in jewelry. There are countries, such as India, which prefer gold in this color which is its natural hue. Yellow gold can also be of a less intense color, especially when alloyed with silver. Obviously the yellow gold with fewer carats, that is in alloy with other metals, has a more easily less intense color.

Collana in oro giallo di Amrapali
Yellow gold necklace from Amrapali

2 White Gold
It is an alloy with a white metal. When it comes to old jewels, it is often nickel (which however can cause allergies, on average to one in eight people), or manganese, palladium, but also silver. The alloy of gold and nickel is highly valued in jewelry because it makes the metal more durable for rings and brooches. On the other hand, gold with palladium is softer and makes setting stones easier. White gold is often not perfectly white, but has shades of yellow, brown or pink.

Anello Tourbillon in oro bianco e diamanti
Vhernier, Tourbillon ring in white gold and diamonds

3 and 4 Pink gold and red
It is an alloy that uses copper. It was very popular in Russia in the nineteenth century and has come back into vogue in recent years. The color difference between red and pink shades depends on the copper content. For example, a 18-carat gold red uses 75% gold and 25% copper. A 18K rose gold 75% gold, 20% copper and 5% silver. Some even add up to 15% zinc to give a dark yellow hue.

Tiffany, collezione T, bracciale in oro rosa
Tiffany T collection, rose gold bracelet

5 Green gold

Green gold was already known in ancient times: this shade is obtained by adding silver. The color of the metal with this alloy is greenish-yellow, sometimes also obtained with cadmium, a metal which, however, can cause allergies. The light green hue is obtained with an alloy of 75% gold, 23% copper, 2% cadmium. The more intense green color has instead 75% gold, 15% silver, 6% copper and 4% cadmium.

Anello in oro verde con cristallo di di berillio e diamanti verdi
Green gold ring with beryllium crystal and green diamonds

6 Gray Gold
The gray color is especially used for jewelry with a modern design. This color is obtained with a mix of yellow gold and palladium or silver, manganese and copper. If the other metals are added in minimal quantities, the color is closest to that of white gold.

Anello in oro grigio e diamante di Niessing
Gray gold and diamond ring by Niessing

7 Purple Gold
Violet or purple gold is obtained from an alloy that includes a particular type of aluminum. But purple gold is more fragile than other gold alloys and for this reason it is not often used: a sharp blow could cause the metal and, therefore, the jewel to shatter. Often purple gold is used only for small details of the jewels, together with gold (more robust) with other colors.

Jens Hansen, Replica ring, in oro rosa violetto
Jens Hansen, Replica ring, in violet pink gold

8 Blue gold
It is used rather rarely, but it is undoubtedly surprising. The gold of this color is obtained with an alloy with two metals little used in jewelry: alongside the yellow metal (46%), in fact, gallium or indium are added. in case, before buying it make sure you do not have allergies to these metals.

Anello in oro blu 14 carati con zircone
14K blue gold ring with zircon

9 Black gold
It can be produced with various methods: by electroplating, with a rhodium or ruthenium patina. Or with a coating that uses sulfur and oxygen or with a forced oxidation by chromium or cobalt. More recently, black gold has been created by creating nanostructures on the surface and laser treatment. It is a high-impact color, often used by jewelers over the past decade.

Dionea Orcini, anello con oro nero, diamanti neri, zaffiri rosa
Dionea Orcini, ring with black gold, black diamonds, pink sapphires

In this graphic scheme taken from Wikipedia you can see the mix of metals that add a hue of color to gold. They range from the very deep pink, which has more copper (boulder corner on the right) to the white one, usually obtained by adding silver. The top tip of the triangle instead tends to yellow.

La composizione dei colori più comuni dell'oro
The composition of the most common colors of gold

 

The secrets of Place Vendome

Place Vendôme, one of the most famous places in Paris and also one of the myths of jewelry. It is a privileged observation point for understanding trends, including marketing ones, for an object as sophisticated and privileged as high jewellery, the result of the combination of passion, manual ability and artistic sensitivity. In short, Place Vendôme is the virtual capital of jewellery, overlooked by the windows of jewelers with sometimes a century-old tradition behind them such as Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget or Cartier.

Van Cleef & Arpels, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Van Cleef & Arpels, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com

Secrets of jewelers

The topographical proximity of brands makes the competition more intense to attract customers willing to spend thousands, and sometimes millions of euros, on their creations. This is why the first challenge for jewelers is to make the purchase an extraordinary experience. Jewelery must please, represent luxury, but also tell a story. Customers increasingly want to know where, how and how they were designed and made. For some years now, the origin of the materials has also mattered: gold and diamonds must show off an impeccable pedigree, come from certified mines, where workers are not (excessively) exploited.

Chanel. Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Chanel. Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com

In any case, there is a piece of jewelry history in Place Vendôme. There are many large Maisons that are over a century old and that preserve precious archives with drawings, orders from wealthy and/or noble clients, ancient jewels, as evidenced by the Chaumet museum, where the work of the artistic director is also stored, Claire Dévé-Rakoff. And a stone’s throw from the square, in Rue Cambon, is the apartment where Mademoiselle Chanel lived, with camellias, lions and the designer’s lucky number, 5: the apartment is not open to the public, but can become a place to show high jewelry to the most selected customers.
Chaumet, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Chaumet, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com

The narrative of a jewel is a magnificent confection. But, of course, it is the value of the object that is in the foreground. For some years, for example, precious or semi-precious stones, with their colours, have been highly sought after, alongside classic diamonds. This is why selecting the gems to be set on the great jewels of Place Vendôme is essential. And the work of those who travel the world in search of extraordinary gems is the key to the success of Maisons like Bulgari, where Lucia Silvestri has successfully held this role for years. Or Thierry Robert, who holds the same role for Boucheron: making an assortment of stones available to the artistic directors by size or color, evaluating their inclusions, shades and strengths means enhancing the gem. Van Cleef & Arpels had the idea of ​​bringing together all his experiences in his school, which opened in 2012. The school allows you to attend technical or history lessons held by historians and experts. In this way customers become specialists who not only purchase a design or a sign of wealth, but also become aware of the work that goes into a piece of fine jewelry and understand its price. last but not least, they are willing to wait a few months for the object of their desire without grumbling. It is an idea from Nicolas Bos, who has just moved from the top of the Maison to the role of CEO of Richemont, the company that also controls brands such as Cartier, Buccellati, Vhernier.
Dior, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Dior, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com

The war between shop windows

There are those who enter a boutique already knowing what they want to buy. But a large part of customers linger in front of the shop windows and, sometimes, are fascinated by this or that jewel. It is one more reason that pushes those who take care of the design of the exhibited objects into competition, which cannot be put on display randomly in Place Vendôme. The care is extreme. The shop windows look like theatrical performances where the storytelling of the jewel or the Maison begins. In the past, for example, the windows of Annie Beaumel and Leila Menchari for Hermès were legendary. But even today the (armored) glass surface is a window onto dreams that every brand tries to best interpret with a work of imagination, whim, fantasy and colours. But it is not easy. The showcase is large, the jewels are small: there is a risk that they will disappear if the display is too lively. Soline d’Aboville, founder of the Manymany studio, which has designed shop windows for Boucheron and Chanel, for example, claims that attention must be captured from afar, but then it is the jewels that must be put in the foreground. Without forgetting the recognition codes, such as the color red and the panther for Cartier, the lion, black and white and the camellia for Chanel.

Repossi, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Repossi, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com

Christel Sadde, furniture designer, some time ago created an unusual and charming ensemble for Chaumet, with openwork gold medals. Mathilde Nivet’s virtuosic skill with paper, an extremely popular material for jewellery, was also used. Fred, Mellerio, Bulgari, Chaumet: many have turned to her work for her ability to sculpt, fold and transform paper into feathers, flowers, castles.

The Maison’s logo is equally important. For Louis Vuitton, the lucky four-leaf clover, the hot air balloon or, more recently, the letter V are the elements that characterize the brand. At Van Cleef & Arpels, however, he loves fairy tales, such as The Travels of Jules Verne, Donkey Skin and the world of ballet, among lights, colors and optical illusions.

Tiffany box
Tiffany box

The secret chest

The large Maisons on Place Vendôme, but the discussion can also be extended to those that do not overlook the large bronze column located in the centre, have another marketing weapon: the packaging, which is part of the art of gifting . Although a box with a jewel inside has a homeopathic value compared to that of its contents, the packaging is also part of the pleasure of purchasing a jewel. It must match the ring or necklace and be immediately associated with the brand. Like the classic and unmistakable Tiffany cases, with a green-blue shade that has a name: it’s called 1837 Blue, according to Pantone. Cartier, on the other hand, focuses on the red color with a gold lace frieze. The jewels of the Maison Vuitton, however, are enclosed in containers with the famous Monogram and are made in the house’s laboratories, in Asnieres.

Be careful: it’s true that a jewelry container has far less value than the ring or necklace it contains. But there are also cases made of poplar wood and lined in leather that can cost thousands of euros. And Solange Azagury-Partridge, a British designer who was the artistic director of Boucheron, had created a box with an interior lined with dark mink. They’re not the majority, of course. For this reason, most of the small leather and velvet-lined caskets now cost much less, even if they continue to represent the first thing that someone who receives a jewel as a gift sees and touches. In short, they remain very important because they represent the Maison.

Mikimoto, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Mikimoto, Place Vendôme. Copyright: gioiellis.com

Be careful: it’s true that a jewelry container has far less value than the ring or necklace it contains. But there are also cases made of poplar wood and lined in leather that can cost thousands of euros. And Solange Azagury-Partridge, a British designer who was the artistic director of Boucheron, had created a box with an interior lined with dark mink. They’re not the majority, of course. For this reason, most of the small leather and velvet-lined caskets now cost much less, even if they continue to represent the first thing that someone who receives a jewel as a gift sees and touches. In short, they remain very important because they represent the Maison. Furthermore, they are a guarantee in case you want to sell the jewel at a later time. Finally, the small chests can hide a pendant or love messages, perhaps a gift as welcome (almost) as the jewel.

The high jewelery of Staurino

The high jewelery by Staurino Fratelli, unlimited quality made in Italy ♦ ︎

You know that the high jewelery is one that is sold at four zeros. And the jewels of Staurino Fratelli are worth all the zeros you want to add. The pieces of the Maison of Valenza are destined almost exclusively to a range of customers with the means enough to enjoy the pleasure of buying exclusive jewels. But even though many rings, necklaces, or bracelets are made for Hollywood divas and go on Instagram, the company’s story starts from afar.

Bracciale a forma di farfalla en tremblant, in oro bianco, zaffiri. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Tremblant butterfly-shaped bracelet, in white gold, sapphires. Copyright: gioiellis.com

Staurino Fratelli, in fact, is at its fourth generation jewelers. The origins date back to more than a century ago, at the end of the nineteenth century, in a small jewelery and laboratory. The company in its present form, however, began in 1960 with the Paolo and Luigi brothers, who specialize in the production of jewelery, a tradition that continues with the new generation of the family. Just take a look at the firm production Staurino to immediately check that the production of the Piedmont Maison to know is alongside that of the great jewelery signatures.

Anello con zaffiri orange
Ring with orange sapphires. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Orecchini in ceramica, smeraldi, oro bianco. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Ceramic earrings, emeralds, white gold. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Anello con turchese e smeraldi briolette. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Ring with turquoise and briolette emeralds. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Collana con kinzite, granati mandarino, zaffiri rosa, diamanti. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Necklace with kinzite, mandarin garnets, pink sapphires, diamonds. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Stefano e Davide Staurino. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Stefano and Davide Staurino. Copyright: gioiellis.com

All about the rock crystal

What you need to know about the rock crystal, a very flexible gem, which can turn a jewel into a masterpiece ♦ ︎

It seems valuable, but it is only when it becomes a jewel: the rock crystal is a mineral that, when used for rings and necklaces, buys a certain value. But his nobility depends on treatment and, above all, from jewelry design. According to Wikipedia, the hyaline quartz, commonly also called rock crystal, it is a completely colorless variety of quartz. Usually it is perfectly transparent, with glass-like appearance and the artificial crystal, from which you can easily distinguish, as all other minerals, for the feeling of cold when you wise with his tongue. So if you want to know if a jewel is really made with rock crystal, you can try to give him a little lick.

Great Maison like Picchiotti, Chanel or Boucheron use rock crystal for high jewelery.

Anello con leone scolpito in cristallo di rocca, oro bianco e diamante
Chanel, ring with sculpted lion in rock crystal, white gold and diamond

Hyaline quartz, which is widespread all over the world, contains a great variety of inclusions. Unlike milky quartz, rich in various elements, rock crystal is completely transparent. For centuries it has also been considered a material with magical powers: this mineral was considered a stone with hypnotic and divinatory abilities, capable of inducing trance and for these reasons it was used in occultism. Today, however, it is used for jewelry, especially by designers who love very cold, minimal shapes. There are also colored varieties of quartz such as citrine, amethyst, smoky quartz, milky quartz, pink, which however have a completely different appearance. In any case, there are many jewelers who have decided to use rock crystal, with very different results.

Anello in oro bianco con cristallo di rocca e pavé di diamanti
White gold ring with rock crystal and pavé diamonds by Boucheron

Does rock crystal have benefits on the body and spirit? Absolutely not, except offering the satisfaction of wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry and, therefore, it can probably put you in a good mood. There is no need to believe in supernatural properties to appreciate a beautiful gem, wear it without asking yourself too many questions (and above all without listening to those who invent medieval nonsense).

Orecchini con cristallo di rocca intagliato di Suzanne Belperron e René Boivin
Carved rock crystal earrings by Suzanne Belperron and René Boivin

How do you clean rock crystal? Rock crystal is a rather soft mineral, so much so that it is often carved to take on the most diverse shapes. For this reason, care must be taken not to bump it or put it in contact with other jewels with harder stones, such as diamonds or emeralds, which could scratch or scratch the rock crystal. Cleaning, on the other hand, is very simple: soak the jewel in water with a scant drop of neutral liquid soap. Soak for ten minutes and then gently scrub the jewel with a soft toothbrush. Then, rinse off.

Anello in oro con cristallo di rocca e madreperla
Gold ring with rock crystal and mother of pearl by Ippolita 
Spilla in oro bianco, diamanti, agata gialla e cristallo di rocca
Brooch in white gold, diamonds, yellow agate and rock crystal by Vhernier
Anello con cristallo di rocca intagliato e tanzanite sugarloaf
Ring with carved rock crystal and sugarloaf tanzanite by Ajoomal
Orecchini di Mr. Lieou in cristallo di rocca
Mr. Lieou earrings in rock crystal and diamonds

How to choose diamond’s ring

Round, square, heart-shaped … What is the shape of the diamond you like best? Here is a brief guide on how to choose the right diamond cut for rings.

How to choose the diamond for a ring? Small or large: it depends on the money available, all right. Well, of course, it is an important criterion, but it is not the main one: we have already talked about the characteristics of the stone, but now it is time to decide which cut is most suitable. Because, if the cut of a diamond is perfect, the stone reflects the maximum amount of light and therefore has a great impact on the final appearance of the ring, which should be adapted to the personality that receives it. Or the idea of ​​who gives it away. So what is the best diamond shape? Here is a small guide to the main diamond cuts.

Anello con diamante di 13,70 carati di Bulgari
13.70 carat diamond ring by Bulgari
  1. The quality of the diamond matters, but in some cases (especially for smaller stones) the difference between the different classes that serve to define the appearance of a diamond is imperceptible. For this, for example, there are also small and inexpensive diamond jewelry. Of course, for a 1-carat diamond the difference between color D and H can also be seen with the naked eye.
  2. Requires certification: diamonds must be guaranteed by a gemmology institute that certifies the weight and characteristics of the stone.
  3. The origin of the diamond is not a secondary aspect: there are more and more jewelry brands that guarantee that diamonds are extracted in an ethical and environmentally sustainable way.
  4. Don’t expect to find uncommon cut diamonds in low-priced jewelry: in most cases the stones will be circular in shape.
  5. A one-of-a-kind diamond jewelry is more expensive, but it can probably be worth more when sold.
Salvini, anello solitaire in oro bianco e giallo, con diamante
Salvini, solitaire ring in white and yellow gold, with diamond

Brilliant (round cut)

Why: The brilliant cut is the most popular in engagement rings because it offers perfect sparkle. In addition, it has a regular shape, which fits well into that of a ring. Furthermore, the circular cut of a diamond never goes out of style. Indeed, it can be said that the brilliant cut of a diamond is considered almost natural for this type of stone. In short, you can never go wrong with a diamond.

For whom: This diamond shape will certainly be appreciated by those with a classic taste and love of tradition. But, in reality, no one will ever turn up their noses in front of a solitaire who mounts a bright brilliant. Furthermore, a round diamond is often surrounded by a crown of small stones that serve to increase the reflections of the central stone: a device that works very well with a gem of this type.

Anello con diamante taglio princess
Ring with princess cut diamond

Princess cut

Why: The princess cut gives a superior shine to the round cut and is perfect for naturally elegant ladies, those who are immediately noticeable when they enter a room. In short, it is a very refined cut (not surprisingly it is called princess), but also quite rare. Also because not all rough diamonds are suitable for cutting in this way.

For whom: the woman who wants an unmistakable jewel will like it, perhaps combined with a wedding in grand style, like in fairy tales. But it is also a usually quite expensive cut.

Anello con diamante taglio cuscino
Ring with cushion cut diamond

Cushion cut

Why: the cushion cut resembles the boxy shape of the princess, but is softer. It has the shape of a pillow, in fact, and is much appreciated by the British for its slightly vintage taste. In short, it is a traditional cut, which fits well with rings with a classic design.

For whom: the person who wears a cushion-cut ring does not seek attention at all costs, but on the contrary loves a sober, not exhibited, but solid richness. A cocktail, a concert hall, an anniversary party for the wedding will be ideal occasions to wear a cushion cut diamond ring.

Anello con diamante taglio smeraldo
Emerald cut diamond ring

Emerald cut

Why: originally the emerald cut used only for colored stones, especially for emeralds of course. This rectangular cut was later adapted to diamonds as well, and with some success. The rectangular shape, with a wide top and four edges, however, is suitable for stones of a certain volume (and with a high cost). An aspect that needs to be carefully evaluated.

For whom: the emerald cut stands out immediately. It’s for a strong, spirited woman who likes to show off her wealth (or that of her partner).

Diamante blu da 12,11 carati, taglio marquise, montato su anello
12.11 carat blue diamond, marquise cut, set in ring

Navette or marquise cut

Why: the marquise (or navette) cut has the same number of facets as the brilliant cut, but it is less common, because it is more difficult to make. In fact, the central area is much brighter than that towards the tips, but if done correctly, the refraction of light, albeit asymmetrical, is of great value. It is said that it was invented at the behest of the Sun King who wished to have a stone in the shape of the mouth of the Marquise de Pompadour (for this reason it is called marquise). Certainly a stone with this cut has been set in the jewels of many royal and aristocratic collections. Also because it has the advantage of being able to be combined with other gems.

For whom: intended for those who want to stand out from the crowd and seek the highest quality. A marquise-cut diamond ring will always look great. It can be the ideal shape for women looking for a distinctive, rare, excellent piece of jewelry. It is expensive.

Diamante ovale impeccabile D Color da 102,39 carati
102.39 carat flawless D Color oval diamond

Oval cut

Why: the oval cut is liked because it breaks the monotony of the round cut, but without exaggerating. It is a modification of the traditional brilliant, but has one less facet. The advantage is that, compared to the brilliant, it makes a stone of the same carat weight appear brighter. On a solitaire ring it reflects light on multiple fingers and is suitable for small to medium hands. It’s not easy to find in small sizes, though.

For whom: It is a type of cut that is suitable for all women. Not too different from the brilliant classic, it is also suitable for those who love tradition and custom. At the same time, it also pleases those who want a little novelty.

Anello con diamante a pera su platino
Pear-shaped diamond ring on platinum

Pear cut

Why: The pear cut is one of the classic shapes for diamonds. It was once a cut used only for large stones, but today it is also accepted for medium carats in the case of the main stone of a ring. Often the pear cut is also used to compose jewels with different stones. To make the most of the diamond must maintain perfect symmetry between the apex and the bottom and the sides towards the tip (as small and sharp as possible) must have the same curvature.

For whom: It is a rather aggressive cut if intended for a single stone. A pear-shaped diamond stands out immediately: it is often worn with the tip facing outwards and this gives it an additional aggressive look, almost like a weapon. Resolute and determined women like it.

Heart cut

Why: The heart cut is not easy to find on the market, although there are brands that specialize in jewelry with this type of cut. The heart is a kind of romantic version of an oval diamond. Its particular shape is a perfect love dedication. But an equally proportioned and symmetrical stone can be difficult to find.

For whom: The heart, a typical fantasy cut, will be appreciated by a dreamer, romantic, sweet, sensitive woman. There are still some, thankfully.

Anello con diamante a taglio marquise
White gold ring with marquise cut diamond

Entice, teacher of luxury

Necklaces and earrings royals: the new diamonds by Entice shine even more.
Since 2004 Entice has become the brand of Indian family Kothari, from Jaipur, who with KGK Group has been active for decades (and still is) in the gems trade. The debut marked the high-end jewelery, and took place under the sign of luxury, precious stones, but also a design that does not yield almost never the oriental taste, sometime a bit too convoluted to please the Western women. And to say that Entice chose as an alternative basis to its Indian origin the city of Hong Kong.

Anello della collezione Hue con diamanti e rubini
Ring from the Hue collection with diamonds and rubies

La Maison has the advantage, however, to do everything alone, from the choice and the purchase of stones, to design, to the manufacture to make the jewelry, such as those presented. The activities of Entice are guided by the creative director, Manju Kothari, who also coordinates the five boutiques in Hong Kong and India (Jaipur, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore). Entice relies on two factors: the exclusive design and a competitive price compared to similar classes of jewelry, made of large diamonds, stones and high quality only.

Anello in oro rosa e diamanti
Ring in rose gold and diamonds
Anelli con diamanti bianchi e yellow
Rings with white and yellow diamonds
Collana con diamanti bianchi e yellow
Necklace with white and yellow diamonds

Nadine Aysoy, back to the gems

Precious stones, family affair: so Nadine Aysoy has returned to her passion of origin ♦ ︎

There is a whole jewelery category that was born literally surrounded by precious stones. The childhood experience, in short, has decided their destiny, favored it, and perhaps granted something more than others. It is part of this Nadine Aysoy patrol, born in the diamond world capital, Antwerp, in a family of precious stone traders. Her grandfather, PN Ferstenberg, was awarded the Belgian government with the title of Dean of the Diamond Industry. As a child, Nadine often visited her grandfather’s office and was fascinated by the stones. Yet, when she was 14, Nadine’s family moved to Switzerland.

Orecchini con zaffiri rosa e orange, smalto
Earrings with pink and orange sapphires, enamel

Life has gone another way: Nadine graduated in a leading business school and started working as an investment banker in Zurich, then in New York, Los Angeles, then settling in London in 2003. But, she says, her passion for jewels has never diminished. In 2008, the designer returned to Switzerland, where she finally had the opportunity to realize her dream: drawing and making jewels. Thanks to a return to her roots: in Antwerp met gemstone experts, grandfather friends and acquaintances. An experience that has allowed Nadine Aysoy to enter the main door of the jewelery world.

Anello in oro e gemme colorate
Ring in gold and colored gems
Collana in oro e gemme colorate
Necklace in gold and colored gems
Anello in oro e zaffiro rosa
Ring in gold and pink sapphire
Anello in oro 18 carati e rubino cabochon
18k gold and ruby cabochon ring

Shimmering Shay

The glitzy jewelry by Shay, a Californian brand specializing in jewelry with many zeros (in the price) 
One of the songs that have characterized the sixties was California Dreaming. Those who know this lyric, knows that nostalgia of colors, the bright sky, scented air has infected around the world. But the colors of California are not only in the sky: they are able to enter the soul. So in 2002 Ladan and Tania Shayan, mother and daughter, have brought the colors and the clear outlines of the Californian landscape inside of Shay, luxury jewelery that combines a sophisticated design with that a little bling of the rich citizens of Los Angeles County.

Anello a spirale in oro rosa e diamanti
Spiral ring in rose gold and diamonds

Handmade and without making economy with stones, gold and platinum jewelry, the jewels are quite showy, but without falling into excess (with minor exceptions). Maxi chains of gold studded with diamonds are imagined to wear at wrist of high and haughty ladies at a party on the terrace of a five star hotel. Multi-layer rings surround fingers capable of supporting their size. In short, dreaming California you can imagine the world of film productions, men in tuxedos and women with jewelry designer Shay. If you like baguette diamonds and jewelry that does everything to not be invisible, take a look at their collections. Prices, of course, are also Californians.

Orecchini in oro con smeraldi
Gold earrings with emeralds
Orecchini in oro giallo con pavé di diamanti
Yellow gold earrings with pavé diamonds
Anello in oro 18 carati con pavé di smeraldi
18k gold ring with emerald pavé
Bracciale in oro bianco e diamanti
Bracelet in white gold and diamonds
Anello in oro con diamante taglio pera e smeraldi
Gold ring with pear-cut diamond and emeralds

How to recognize the emeralds

The emerald is the stone linked to the month of May. It is one of the most precious stones, yet not everyone knows it thoroughly. Here are the essential things to know about the emerald ♦

How to recognize an emerald? It is easy to understand the value and quality? The answer is no. Only a survey conducted by an expert (or disinterested unpaid) can provide a serious judgment. But knowing the basics can help you figure out if you should pay for an expert opinion, and it helps to have an idea about the stone that interests you.

Anello in oro giallo con smeraldi
John Rubel, ring with white gold, emerald, sapphires and diamonds

Four C.  Emeralds, like diamonds, are evaluated based on four parameters (The Four C): color, clarity (clarity), cut (cut) and carat. Unlike diamonds, however, for the color of emeralds is the most outstanding feature. If you think it is also the only gem that gives a name to a color: emerald green.

Color. In the emerald hue and saturation of the color can vary significantly. A deep shade is most appreciated. Hence, the value is linked to the gradient of color: the more intense, the more sought after.

Anello in oro rosa con smeraldo
Vittoria d’Aste-Surcouf, rose gold ring with emerald

Sharpness. As for diamonds, in an emerald can be no inclusions or blemishes. Sometimes these imperfections are invisible to the naked eye : you have to use powerful lenses and watch against the stone. Among other things, these tiny tracks constitute a kind of ” fingerprint “. Obviously, inclusions, bubbles or scratches that internal influence the value of the stone.

Anello di Van Cleef & Arpels, diamanti e smeraldo
Ring by Van Cleef & Arpels, diamonds and emerald with the classic emerald cut

Cutting. The word cut (cut) refers to the way in which it was given shape in an emerald to optimize its beauty. A great emerald can be improved only with the experience of a good cutter. Many have a particular cut emeralds, roughly rectangular in shape that is called, in fact, the emerald cut.

The duPont Emerald, anello con smeraldo colombiano di 9,11 carati
The duPont Emerald, ring with a 9.11 carat Colombian emerald

Carat. It is a measure of the weight of an emerald. Of course, the larger an emerald, the higher its carat weight, and often the cost. However, it is not the main feature : better a smaller stone, but transparent and intense color that a large but full of imperfections.

Bracciale caratterizzato da un magnifico smeraldo cabochon ottagonale dello Zambia da 71,88 carati e da 41,06 carati di diamanti rotondi incolori taglio brillante incastonati in platino
Bracelet featuring a magnificent 71.88 carat octagonal cabochon Zambian emerald and 41.06 carats of round brilliant-cut colorless diamonds set in platinum

Provenance. The best emeralds are those of Colombia. Other mines are found in Zambia, Africa. Today about 40-50% of the emeralds mined come from Zambia, where these gems were formed 500 million years ago. Emeralds were discovered in the African country in the late 1970s and the first official auction by the Zambian government took place in 1982. But in those years the classification of emeralds was not like it is today. The lower grades weren’t in high demand and didn’t have a great rating. But now groups like Gemfields and Grizzly, with their new technology, are able to propose and classify stones in a better way.

Anello con oro brunito e graffiato, con al centro uno smeraldo
Antonini, ring with black and scratched rhodium-plated gold, with an emerald in the centre

Beware of treatments. The stones are often treated to improve their appearance. One of these techniques is the so-called heat-treatment (ie through heat): it consists in heating the stone to improve its color and purity. The Deep Diffusion Treatment instead consists in spreading in the stone additives such as beryllium, whose purpose is to obtain colors totally different from the original ones, generally rare in nature. For example, the orange color for sapphires. These two treatments are recognized by professionals, and are specified on the certificate of the gemmology laboratory that examined the stone.

Bracciale di Bulgari con diamanti e smeraldi appartenuto a Liz Taylor
Bulgari bracelet with diamonds and emeralds that belonged to Liz Taylor

Origin. In Buddhism, the emerald is considered one of the seven treasures and equated with wisdom. The word emerald comes from the Latin smaragdus, which in turn derives from the Greek word σμάραγδος (smaragdos). But the Greek word derives from izmargad, a Semitic term, or maragata, a Sanskrit term (ancient language of India), which means green stone.

Anello con smeraldo e zaffiri
Ring with emerald and sapphires by Manuel Bouvier
Anello con diamanti e smeraldo
Ring with diamonds and emerald
Il grande smeraldo del peso di 6,225 carati
The large emerald weighing 6,225 carats
Smeraldo con piccole imperfezioni interne
Emerald with small internal imperfections

Sauer’s playful jewels

In 1939 the French Jules Roger Sauer, 18, landed in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, in a large area where there are mines of precious stones. In 1941, nicknamed Jules Hunter, the stone hunter founded the company of him, then bought the largest aquamarine, baptized Martha Rocha, name inspired by the blue eyes of Miss Brazil: the stone weighed 36.5 kilograms. In 1963 Jules, with the expertise of the Gemological Institute of America, obtained the certification of the first emeralds produced in Brazil. His company, dubbed Amsterdam Sauer, and now only Sauer, quickly became one of the largest in the gemstone trade in South America. And in 1966 he won his first Diamond International Awards, the Oscar of diamonds with the Constellation ring, created by designer Marcel Küng.

Anello in oro 18 carati, smeraldo, topazio blu, rubellite, citrino, onice
Ring in 18k gold, emerald, blue topaz, rubellite, citrine, onyx

Creative director of Sauer since 2013 is Stephanie Wenk, who is responsible for updating the codes of Brazilian jewelry with a contemporary language. After studying psychology and working in the fashion world Stephanie Wenk decided to follow her passion for the world of precious gems. The collections she signs for Sauer, such as Fireworks, are permeated with constellations, esoteric dimensions, bibliographic references, artistic movements and architectural and scientific studies that have advanced the world throughout history.

Anello in oro, smeraldo, onice e diamanti della collezione Fireworks
Ring in gold, emerald, onyx and diamonds from the Fireworks collection
Orecchini Venus, oro, perle, zaffiri, rubini
Venus earrings, gold, pearls, sapphires, rubies
Anello in oro, smeraldo, agata
Ring in gold, emerald, agate
Orecchini Legs, oro 18 carati, quarzo, diamanti
Legs earrings, 18k gold, quartz, diamonds
Anello in oro 18 carati, giada, prasiolite
Ring in 18k gold, jade, prasiolite

The Ziio’s fantasy globetrotter

Ziio’s news bijoux ♦

It is fashion or jewelry? It’s fun and the desire to be different? It is fantasy or ecelttismo? Maybe all of these things put together describe Ziio, brand has now reached maturity thanks to its creator, Elisabeth Paradon, who invented in the early eighties. Are silver jewelry, gold and semi-precious stones. But what distinguishes them is the unpublished work, which reflects the exuberant creativity of the designer. And not only they are produced by hand, but also uses a unique technique, “developed through experience gained over many years of traveling and working in different lands,” from Egypt to France, Elisabeth Country of birth, from the Greek islands to Thailand.

Bracciale Carré Mum in ottone placcato oro, perle di vetro di Murano, madreperla
Carré Mum bracelet in gold plated brass, Murano glass pearls, mother of pearl

In short, local ethnic cultures revisited in modern relevance. It is not an activity that has gone unnoticed: Ziio has attracted interest from Lacroix, Missoni and Studio Mendini for Swatch. But also of Queen Rania of Jordan. Since 1994, Elisabeth started to present two collections a year. Here are his latest creations.

Bracciale Element Liberty Fire in ottone placcato oro, corniola, granato, vetro di Murano
Element Liberty Fire bracelet in gold-plated brass, carnelian, garnet, Murano glass
Collana Dorée con ottone placcato, oro ametista, morganite, perle di vetro di Murano, perle di acqua dolce, opale
Dorée necklace with plated brass, gold amethyst, morganite, Murano glass pearls, freshwater pearls, opal
Orecchini tabyz  in ottone, vetro di Murano, argento, cubic zirconia, citrino,  granato, perle d'acqua dolce
Tabyz earrings in brass, Murano glass, silver, cubic zirconia, citrine, garnet, freshwater pearls
Orecchini Bombay in ottone placcato oro, vetro di Murano, argento, cubic zirconia
Bombay earrings in gold plated brass, Murano glass, silver, cubic zirconia

Jewelry and allergy

Do you have jewelry that causes skin allergy or irritation? Here’s how to solve your problem and avoid a nickel allergy ♦

Some argue that allergies are on the rise. As for jewels, unfortunately, they have always been a problem. The reason is simple: there are metals that cause allergic reactions when in contact with the skin. But there are also less dangerous metals for allergy sufferers, such as gold or steel.

Also read: How to avoid nickel allergies 

This is why allergy sufferers choose gold jewelry. The yellow metal, in fact, is hypoallergenic, that is it rarely causes reactions in contact with the skin. But then, why does it also happen who wears a gold jewel to suffer from redness or irritation on the part of the body in contact with earrings, bracelets or necklaces?

Come evitare allergie e vivere felici
How to avoid allergies and live happily

Irritation caused by jewellery: this is an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis and is caused when pure gold is not used. It is a problem that, according to some calculations, affects 10% of women. This metal, in its natural state (24 carats) is too soft and deforms easily. For this reason, jewelers have linked it together with other metals, such as nickel. In this way the gold jewel becomes more resistant. In Europe, however, for over 20 years now the EU has issued a directive, which has become law in the adhering countries, which drastically reduces the use of nickel in jewellery. Nickel, however, continues to be present in jewelry made before the new rules. In Italy, for example, the use of nickel must not only be within the limits of the law, but also indicated on the label.

Orecchino con allergia
Earring and allergy

However, nickel isn’t the only metal alloyed in jewelry that can cause an allergy. In fact, it must be remembered that all 18, 14 or 9 carat gold jewels are alloyed with other metals. 18-karat gold, for example, means that out of 10 grams of metal, only 7.5 are pure gold, while at 14-karat this drops to around 50%.

How to avoid allergies. How to avoid nickel allergy? The first answer is obvious: if you buy a vintage jewel, ask the jeweler if the metal alloy of the jewel contains nickel.

If you already have jewelry at home that causes skin irritation or allergies, a simple trick is to use nail polish: brushed on the jewelry will avoid contact of the metal with the skin. You have to use the transparent one, of course. This system doesn’t work well with chain necklaces, but it can solve the problem with a ring or bracelet. Just cover the inside of the jewel, the one in contact with the skin, with the enamel. This prevents the nickel from coming into contact with the skin of the hands or wrist. Naturally it is necessary to verify over time that the enamel is not consumed with the use of the jewel.

Gioielleria di Ponte Vecchio, a Firenze
Buying jewelry in Florence

Other metals. Another, more expensive way to avoid allergies is to choose platinum or titanium jewelry, two hypoallergenic metals. Copper, recommended by many, is certainly not a real alternative to gold: not only does it not have the same luster (even if it costs much less), but when in contact with sweat, it can ruin and dye the skin. Even silver, as long as it is sterling (92.5% pure) is often tolerated by those who have a nickel allergy, but must be constantly cleaned to prevent blackening.
Read also: Are cheap jewels dangerous? 

Sintomi allergici
Allergy symptoms

Black, Starr & Frost, America’s oldest jeweler

Few know this, but the oldest jeweler in the United States is not Tiffany, but Black, Starr & Frost. It was founded over 200 years ago (in 1810), and in the meantime it has provided splendid jewels to the American nabobs: Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Canegis, Guggenheim, but also to the Prince of Windsor. The Maison was founded in New York by the silversmith Isaac Marquand, who immigrated from France. In 1839, the jewelry was bought by Henry Ball, Erasmus Tompkins and William Black, and renamed Ball, Tompkins & Black. But only until 1851 when it became Ball, Black & Company. Finally, in 1876 it acquired its current name, Black, Starr & Frost.

Anello con smeraldo colombiano taglio pan di zucchero di 45 carati
Ring with a 45-carat sugarloaf-cut Colombian emerald

In short, the brand boasts the title of “America’s first jeweler” not by chance. The brand, however, is now owned by Alfredo J. Molina, also known as one of the top three gemologists in the world. And it’s based in Phoenix, Arizona. The most prestigious line of jewelry is called the President’s collection. They are jewels made with the most precious materials: platinum, 18 carat gold, and diamonds weighing between 0.33 and 53.58 carats.

Collana a cascata con zaffiri blu per 75,85 carati e diamanti per 51,24 carati
Cascading necklace with blue sapphires for 75.85 carats and diamonds for 51.24 carats
Collana con smeraldi e diamanti
Necklace with emeralds and diamonds

Collana di 68 rubini birmani sangue di piccione e diamanti
Necklace of 68 Burmese pigeon blood rubies and diamonds

Black, Starr & Frost, Phoenix, Arizona
Black, Starr & Frost, Phoenix, Arizona

Rings for those getting married in New York

Engagement or marriage rings in New York: a tradition for the specialists A. Jaffe ♦
If you’re looking “get married in New York” on Google, you’ll find something like nearly 13 million pages identified. Marrying in New York, or getting an engagement ring under the Empire State Building, is a romantic dream of many women (and some men). So it’s not surprising if jewelers specializing in engagement and wedding rings are found in New York. One of these is A. Jaffe. Letter A stands for Abraham, who opened a shop in downtown New York in 1892.

Anello con motivo ripetuto di diamanti rotondi incastonati in una forma rotonda e marquise
Repeating pattern ring of round diamonds set in a round marquise shape

Even today, those of A. Jaffe are highly sought-after and appreciated rings. One of the distinctive signs of the engagement or wedding rings of the Maison is a slight shank squaring to minimize twists and maximize comfort. It takes up to 80 hours to create a single ring. The rings are classic, that is, gold or platinum stem with a diamond on top, but with an infinite number of variations. Those looking for a classic solitaire or a more elaborate model find it in the extensive catalog of the company. Once you have chosen, you just have to get married. Margherita Donato

Anello in oro rosa con diamante
Rose gold ring with diamond
Anello in oro bianco con corona di diamanti
White gold ring with diamond crown
Anello in oro rosa e diamanti
Ring in rose gold and diamonds
Anello della collezione Metropolitan
Ring from the Metropolitan collection
Anello della collezione Season of Love
Ring from the Season of Love collection

How to remove the ring from the finger 

Here’s how to remove the ring that no longer comes out of your finger: watch the movie to discover this little trick ♦

The right system for removing a ring that will not slips away from your finger. Sooner or later it happens: a sudden swelling, or the pounds that accumulate day after day and go (also) on the hands. Result: the ring that they always carry, maybe the wedding ring, refuses to be removed. The traditional remedy is the soap, you know. With a bar of soap slight around the area is easy that the ring is able to slip off without too many problems. Yet it is not always possible. There are cases in which the ring resists any attempt. In this video we show you how to solve the problem. You need just a lanyard, better if slightly elastic, and a little ‘patience, but you have to hurry so as not to stop the blood.

Anello stretto
Ring too tight

But the circumference of the fingers can change from day to day. If the temperature rises, for example, the hands tend to swell. If you are stressed, your blood pressure may increase, even increasing the size of your hands. Furthermore, it is not strange to notice that a ring that you have not worn for a long time has become tight. And if you try to put on a tight ring, in addition to the difficulty, you also risk preventing or slowing blood circulation. That’s no good.

How narrow? Sometimes though, the ring is not so tight that it can’t fit. To find out if a ring is too tight, try rotating it around your finger: there should be no marks on the skin. If the ring leaves a mark it means that it is too narrow. Obviously you don’t even have to feel pain or tingling at the base of the finger when you take it off. And of course, even if you can’t pull the ring off it means it’s too tight.

Il sapone: un metodo che spesso funziona
Soap: a method that often works

In practice, we proceed like this: you pass one end of the cord under the ring, using a small pair of scissors or another metal tool. Then it is rolled very tight string around your finger towards the nail. At this point you turn the terminal part of the string that is passed between the ring and the finger in a circular motion in order to “undo” the ring from his finger. It works.

 

Problema risolto!
Problem solved!

Burma multicolor

The proposals by Burma, the French queen of bijoux: fake jewels that seem true ♦

About the twenties, in Paris, they have written many, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and of course, the French authors. But several pages of the Jazz Age has also was been written by a Maison specializing in jewelry: Burma. In Paris is a synonym of jewelry created with elements that seem valuable, but they are in half. For example, vermeil (gold-plated silver), or cubic zirconia instead of diamonds. But Burma has specialized in this capacity to bring large pieces of jewelry without the need to use always real gemstones: its jewels are from nearly a century of valuable pieces with a zero in the least.

If a large ring with sapphires and rubies might cost, say, 20,000 Euros, by Burma with the same appearance it could cost 2,000 or 200.

Collana, bracciale, anello in oro bianco e burmalite
Necklace, bracelet, ring in white gold and burmalite

From Gaston Doumergue, who inaugurated the Maison, to Josephine Baker and the Folies Bergères, something has changed nowadays. For example, Burma invented and patented Burmalite, a synthetic stone, zirconium oxide, similar to diamond. But it costs a lot less and doesn’t look like an unnatural gem to an untrained eye. The colored stones of the Maison, with this material, are a real show. Seeing is believing.

Anello in argento rodiato con cristalli di burmalite gialla e bianca
Rhodium-plated silver ring with yellow and white burmalite crystals
Bracciale tennis in oro bianco 18 carati e burmalite bianca
Tennis bracelet in 18k white gold and white burmalite
Anello della linea Art Déco con cristalli di burmalite verde e bianca
Ring from the Art Déco line with green and white burmalite crystals

How to recognize the facets of a brilliant diamond

A quick guide to learning and recognizing the facets of a brilliant cut diamond

The brilliant cut diamond, round, is the most requested especially for the rings, but there are several aspects that it is good to know before buying one, or to learn more about what you already have. If you are interested in knowing how they are cut and what are the different points of a brilliant cut diamond, that is the classic round-shaped gem, you can first of all consider the ability to reflect light.

1 diamante taglio brillante
Brilliant cut diamond

A diamond must be perfectly cut to be able to fully reflect the rays of light that hit it. If a diamond is not cut symmetrically, for example, its brightness will also be altered. This is why the arrangement of the facets is important, and consequently how the light is reflected inside the stone. It is the reason why diamonds are cut in a precise way, which has evolved over time. The most common cut, the brilliant, that is, circular in shape, was codified only in the last century.

Diamond map
Diamond map

So a perfectly cut diamond will reflect better and be more beautiful. If you show that you know the most desired stone in the world well, you will make a great impression with your friends and, perhaps, you will be able to impress the jeweler who wants to sell you a ring. Who knows I won’t give you a discount …

Solitario con diamante taglio brillante e corona di piccoli diamanti
Solitaire with a brilliant cut diamond and a crown of small diamonds

Facets These are the flat surfaces that form the exterior of the diamond after cutting. Each facet is angled, shaped and cut to produce a particular lighting effect. Objective: to better reflect the internal crystalline structure of the diamond. Each type of cut (bright, cushion, pear and so on) produces different reflections. The refraction inside the diamond itself increases the shine and reflections in output towards the surface of the diamond.

Girdle It is the name for the widest part of the diamond, its circumference. That’s where the belt is measured. The common practice today involves also faceting the belt itself, even if the resulting surfaces are not included in the final count of the diamond facets.

Anello con diamante De Beers
De Beers diamond ring

Depth It is the height of the entire diamond. It is measured from the table to the lower tip (the culet). The depth of the diamond helps to set the ratios for cutting the gem. A diamond too deep in relation to its size will have a reflection that tends to be dark. On the contrary, a diamond that is too shallow will not be very bright.

Table. It is the widest facet of the diamond. It is located in the upper part of the diamond, and serves as the main point of entry and dispersion (fire) of light. But, of course, it must have the right proportions to capture the maximum light, but without reducing the surface of the lateral facets.

Il diamante da 102 carati taglio brillante
102 carat brilliant cut diamond

Diameter. The measure of the width of the diamond at its widest point (belt). Of course the diameter must be proportionate to the size of the stone.

Crown. The crown refers to the part of the diamond above the belt. It is the section of the diamond that goes from the widest point to the table.

Anello trilogy, oro bianco e diamanti taglio brillante
Trilogy ring, white gold and three brilliant cut diamonds

Pavilion. The pavilion is the counterpart of the crown, that is, the lower part of the diamond. The area that goes from the belt, or wider section, of the diamond to the bottom (or culet) is defined as the pavilion.

Culet. It is the bottom of the diamond, the smallest facet. The culet has a huge effect on the rest of the diamond: correctly cut, this part of the stone allows the light that has entered to exit effectively through the surface (the table) and dazzle with its reflections. A too large cut culet can cause a negative effect: if it reflects too much light it can have the effect of having a hole inside it. The culet, on the other hand, must be quite small. But it is not uncommon for a diamond not to have a pinnacle entirely.

Anello in platino punzonato Bulgari con un diamante old cut centrale di circa 3 carati, contornato da diamanti taglio brillante e baguette per altri circa 3 carati,
Ring in Bulgari hallmarked platinum with a central old cut diamond of approximately 3 carats, surrounded by brilliant and baguette cut diamonds for another approximately 3 carats
Anello di fidanzamento Venus in oro giallo e diamante sintetico taglio brillante
Alessa, Venus engagement ring in yellow gold and brilliant cut synthetic diamond
Anello Maglia, ispirato alle reti dei pescatori. Diamante a taglio brillante (1,01 carati EVS1), 104 diamanti (1,16 carati), oro grigio perla
Mesh ring, inspired by fishermen’s nets. Brilliant-cut diamond (1.01 carat EVS1), 104 diamonds (1.16 carat), pearl gray gold
Anello trilogy, oro bianco e diamanti taglio brillante
Trilogy ring, white gold and brilliant cut diamonds
Diamond map
Diamond map
tiffany
Sketch of Tiffany ring setting with diamond
Il diamante rosso De Young con taglio a brillante
The De Young Red Diamond
Orecchini con un diamante taglio circolare, del peso di circa 22,60 e 22,31 carati, e diamanti a forma di scudo, montati in platino. Stima: 7-10 milioni dollari
Earrings with a circular cut diamond, weighing approximately 22.60 and 22.31 carats, and shield-shaped diamonds, set in platinum

Short guide to diamonds

Do you know how to distinguish diamonds? What are the four Cs? How are the diamonds evaluated? Here is a quick guide to solve any doubts about diamonds ♦

Diamonds are the most precious stones. But how much are the diamonds of a ring, earrings or necklace really worth? They are all the same? How to recognize and judge them? Gioiellis.com helps you with this exclusive guide, which you can print and save. With a premise: understanding does not mean being able to make an assessment yourself. For a safe and definitive evaluation of a diamond it is better to contact an expert who can view the stone directly.

The Rock, diamante a forma di pera da 228,31 carati
The Rock, 228.31 carat pear-shaped diamond

WHAT IS A DIAMOND?
The substance is one of the many forms in which carbon can occur. In scientific terms, the diamond is constituted by a crystalline lattice of carbon atoms arranged according to an octahedral structure. The name derives from the ancient Greek ἀδάμας, that is, adámas, which means indestructible, just or even immutable.
Diamonds are the deepest material of our planet that has ever reached the earth’s surface and are considered an open window inside the Earth. A material that can not be obtained by any other means. Far beyond their economic value, they have a higher scientific value, because they are able to tell many things about the evolution of the Earth.

Diamanti grezzi
Rough diamonds

THE ORIGIN
The existing diamonds for 94% were formed between 1 and 3 billion years ago at depths between 150 and 200 kilometers, where the very pure carbon, subjected to enormous pressure, generated these stones of great charm. The remaining 6% of diamonds is even more interesting and originates in the “transition zone of the Earth”, between 660 and 2,900 kilometers of depth. They are called super-deep diamonds.

Medaglione Ellesmere, composto da 478 diamanti
Ellesmere medallion, composed of 478 diamonds by De Beers

FEATURES
The diamond is the prince of jewels thanks to the dispersion of white light in the colors of the spectrum, one of its main characteristics. The hardness of the diamond is its other peculiarity, which makes it useful for many industrial applications. Today the global production of rough diamonds is estimated at around 130 million carats (26 tons) per year, of which 92% is cut and polished in India, mostly in the city of Surat. After the first processing, about 85% of rough diamonds, 50% of cut diamonds, and 40% of those for industry are traded on the market in Antwerp, Belgium. The reason is that in the late Quattrocento in Antwerp a new technique was introduced to polish and give shape to the gems. There are more than 12 thousand cutters and polishers at work in the diamond district.

Diamanti
Round cut diamonds

SHORT HISTORY
Diamonds have been known for hundreds of years and have been used as decorative elements since ancient times: the first references have been registered in India. Today the most common use of diamond in jewelry is for the engagement ring, but few know that it is a fairly recent convention, which became popular in the first half of the twentieth century thanks to an advertising campaign by De Beers, the company leader in the diamond trade. More generally, however, diamond rings have been used at least since the fifteenth century to symbolize a commitment.

Anello Dôme di Buccellati, con diamante taglio smeraldo
Dôme ring by Buccellati, with emerald-cut diamond

THE EVALUATION
Diamonds are not all the same. To evaluate them they are classified according to four «C», taking into account the English language: carat (carat), cut (cut), color (color) and clarity. But there are also other characteristics: for example, the presence or absence of fluorescence, which can influence the choice in use for a piece of jewelry and value.

carati
The size of the carats (in proportion)

CARAT
Carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is 200 milligrams. The price per carat increases with weight, since the larger diamonds are rarer and more in demand as precious stones. In contrast, the value does not increase linearly in the same way with the dimension. For example, a diamond of 0.99 carats can have a much lower price (always per carat) than a 1.01 carat analogue: the difference is caused by the difference in demand.

I gradi di trasparenza del diamante
The degrees of transparency of the diamond

CLARITY
Clarity measures the internal defects of a diamond, called inclusions. Inclusions may consist of crystals of a foreign material, or structural imperfections, such as small cracks or, finally, as a whitish halo. The number, size, color, relative position, orientation and visibility of inclusions can affect the relative clarity of a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (Gia) and other organizations have developed systems to define the degree of clarity, starting from inclusions that are visible to a professional with a diamond observed at ten magnifications. Only about 20% of all the diamonds extracted have a sufficiently high clarity score for use in jewelry. The other 80% is relegated to industrial use. Of that first 20%, a significant share contains one or more visible inclusions. Stones that do not have a visible inclusion are known as “eye-clean”, clean to the eye, and are obviously the favorite pieces. Attention, sometimes inclusions are hidden under the frame of a piece of jewelry: to find out, you should deconstruct the jewel to examine it. Most of the inclusions present in a diamond, in any case, do not affect the structural integrity of the gem. However, the so-called “clouds” of large dimensions can affect the ability of a diamond to transmit and diffuse light. And large cracks near the surface increase the possibility of a fracture.

Le sfumature del diamante
The nuances of the diamond

COLOR
What is the best color for a diamond? Simple: what is not there. In fact, the most precious variety of diamonds is totally colorless. Also in this case there is a classification, which should be certified by those who sell the jewel: the totally colorless diamond, therefore of the best quality, is classified as D. The next grade, certified with the letter E, has an almost invisible trace of color , which can only be observed by experts in a classification laboratory. The scale continues: even the F diamonds are almost transparent. The stones that, instead, show very small traces of color are classified as G or H. Again: the slightly colored ones are classified as I or J K and up to Z, with a bright yellow coloring. The latter, even if they are at the end of the scale, are however quite rare and therefore very appreciated. Diamonds with unusual coloring are sometimes labeled as fancy (fantasy). Some, like the pink ones, are very rare. The color of a diamond can be caused by chemical impurities and / or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the shade and the intensity, the color of a diamond can diminish or increase its value. For example, intense blue diamonds (like the one baptized by Hope) are remarkably precious. However, these are exceptional pieces. Most diamonds used as gems are fundamentally transparent, with a small tinge, or white diamonds. The most common impurity, nitrogen, replaces a small percentage of carbon atoms in the diamond structure and causes a yellowish or brownish color.

I tipi di taglio del diamante
Some diamond cuts

CUT
The cut of a diamond describes the way in which a diamond was formed and refined by its rough stone shape. In fact, it describes the processing quality and the angles to which it is cut and is often confused with the concept of form. The cut is not accidental: there are mathematical guidelines for determining angles and length ratios in order to reflect the maximum amount of light. The techniques for cutting diamonds have developed over hundreds of years. But the best results were obtained in 1919 by the mathematician and passionate of gems Marcel Tolkowsky: it is he who developed the brilliant, round cut, calculating the ideal shape to diffuse the light. The brilliant has 57 faces (polished), of which 33 on the crown (the upper part) and 24 on the pavilion (the lower half). The belt is the thin central part. The function of the crown is to refract light in the colors of the iris, while the function of the pavilion is to reflect light through the top of the diamond. The culet is instead the smallest surface in the lower part of the diamond: it should be of a negligible diameter, to avoid the loss of light from the bottom.

Il diamante battuto da Sotheby's per 13,8 milioni di dollari
Oval diamond sold at Sotheby’s for 13.8 million dollars

VALUE
If you want to be updated on the market price of diamonds you can follow the Rapaport Diamond Report (in English), which is published every week by Martin Rapaport, CEO of the Rapaport Group, in New York: it is considered the de facto reference point of the retail price. In the wholesale diamond trade, the term carats is often used to define a sale or purchase. For example, a buyer can place an order for 100 carats (20 g) of 0.5 carats (100 mg), with certain characteristics. In this case the Total carat weight (T.c.w.), ie the total carat weight is used to describe the total mass of diamonds or precious stones in a piece of jewelry. The “solitaire” diamonds for earrings, for example, are usually expressed in Tcw, indicating the mass of diamonds in both earrings and not of every single diamond. Tcw is also widely used for diamond necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry. A quick indication: look at the overall diameter. Typically a 1.0 carat round brilliant (200 mg) should have a diameter of about 6.5 mm. Mathematically, the diameter in millimeters of a round brilliant should correspond to about 6.5 times the cubic root of carat weight, of 11.1 times the cubic root of weight grams, or 1.4 times the cubic root of weight point. In short, to evaluate the true value it takes very precise instruments and a good eye.

Modella con collana composta da 374 diamanti bianchi e gialli
Graff, model with a necklace made up of 374 white and yellow diamonds

Gold and stones, De’ Lazzari’s successful marriage

De’ Lazzari Oro Addosso, the story continues with new jewels. ︎ 

After 40 years, the yellow metal continues to be at the center of De Lazzari Oro Addosso (means worn gold). The brand was founded in 1982 in Casale Monferrato (Alessandria), in the gold district of Valenza, and has never ceased to represent that type of jewelery that manages to combine a high, but not unattainable, level. In short, a quality compromise between fine jewelery and what is really possible to buy. The brand has thus managed to pass unscathed through fashions thanks to its transformation into an accessory that can always be worn, not only on special occasions, and winks at the world of fashion. And, precisely for this reason, experienced as a dress that can be changed lightly.

Anelli in oro, con prasiolite e due acquamarina
Gold rings, with prasiolite and two aquamarines. Copyright: gioiellis.com

Gold and large colored stones are used alongside traditional diamonds.

Lina and Vittorio De Lazzari, therefore, continue on their path, with jewels with precise but also soft geometries, ready to be re-proposed in a different way season after season, mostly sold on international markets. Gold, diamonds, but also colored stones are the classic elements reworked according to the Maison’s own style, which brings with it a bit of the Eighties, as evidenced by the latest pieces offered.

Anelli in oro con prasiolite e acquamarina
Gold rings with prasiolite and aquamarine. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Oro Addosso, collana con tormalina, prasiolite, ametista, peridoto. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Oro Addosso, necklace with tourmaline, prasiolite, amethyst, peridot. Copyright: gioiellis.com
Orecchini a cerchio in oro bianco e diamanti
Hoop earrings in white gold and diamonds
Anello in oro bianco con ametista e diamanti
White gold ring with amethyst and diamonds
Anello in oro rosa, diamanti e tormalina di 10,25 carati
Ring in rose gold, diamonds and tourmaline of 10.25 carats

How to spend a little for a diamond ring

How to spend as little as possible on a diamond ring?

If you want to buy a ring, here are the tips not to spend too much and choose well. When you give at her an engagement ring or, in any case, an important jewel to your partner, girlfriend or wife, you don’t have to be stingy. A jewel lasts over time and is something that she will often look at, and think of you every time (or almost) she wears it. In short, it is better to put your hand in your wallet and choose well. Also, keep in mind that you are going to give (or buy) a precious object: it is a small investment that could become useful in case of difficulty. It will be easier to sell a ring with a beautiful diamond, of good workmanship, rather than a ring of a few euros or dollars.

Anello e orecchino della collezione Diva di Leo Pizzo
Ring and earring from the Diva collection by Leo Pizzo

This, however, does not mean being silly. A purchase can be done intelligently, because you have to spend your money well. So here is some advice on choosing a ring: how to get the most out of your budget and spend as little as possible. That is, spending the right amount without throwing money away. Because there are aspects that you need to consider when buying a diamond ring (but it also applies to another type of jewel). Here are three things to keep in mind.

Crieri, Firmamento collecction worn
Crieri, Firmamento collecction worn

1 The choice of metal. The classic 18-karat white, yellow or rose gold is the most used metal for rings. But if you want to spend less, well polished silver is a good alternative. Of course, bear in mind that it will need maintenance: it must be cleaned often, because it tarnishes more easily and tends to oxidize. And when it turns black or green, silver doesn’t make a good impression. An alternative is to choose a gold ring, but with a lower number of carats: you can go down to 9 carats, the minimum to still be considered gold. The price, in this case, is significantly lower. But it is still gold, even if in a smaller percentage than, for example, 18 carats. 9-karat gold is 37.5% pure gold and 62.5% other metals, such as silver or copper. An 18-karat gold ring, on the other hand, is 75% pure gold. But be careful: in reality, for a diamond ring, the cost of gold affects the total price relatively little, what really costs a lot is the weight of the stone. Another alternative to spend even less is to look for a designer ring that combines a precious stone with an inexpensive metal, such as steel. But in this case the design has to be really special.

Anello con solitario di Conte Diamonds
Conte Diamonds solitaire ring

2 The diamonds that cost less. Let’s say it right away: you shouldn’t choose poor quality stones. A certificate from a gemological institute, which is usually issued for stones weighing more than 0.3 carats, is a guarantee. Also remember the classifications of diamonds to choose well (you can find them here). But it is possible, however, to look for diamonds that are less expensive than others. For example, the brilliant cut (round) is the most used for solitaire rings, the classic engagement rings. However, it is also considered the most expensive cut. A diamond with a less frequent cut could save you up to 20% of the price compared to the brilliant. Two tips: the cushion cut or the Asscher cut yield a lot compared to the carat weight and are more convenient. Cuts such as marquise, oval or emerald can also be less expensive, always considering in proportion to the carat weight. Another tip: choose a weight that is not a simple number. For example, a 0.44 carat diamond will be a little cheaper than a 0.50 carat stone and will have the same effect on the eye.

Ring by Giorgio Visconti
Ring by Giorgio Visconti

3 The color of money. Money has a color when it comes to diamonds. If you want to spend a lot, choose colored stones: yellow, pink diamonds, up to red and blue ones if you have a bank account with nine zeros. Colored diamonds, so-called fancy, are impressive, but they are very expensive. But the colorless ones are also very expensive, especially brilliant cuts, if they are of good quality. However, there are diamonds that cost less than others. For example, the brown, champagne, gray, black ones (the heated ones, we explain it here). Their cost is up to 40% lower than the more transparent and colorless white diamonds. Also in this case, however, take into account the famous «4 Cs»: in addition to the color, the degree of clarity and the type of cut chosen also count. Again: if you want a colorless diamond at all costs, you can choose those classified as color G or H. Compared to those D, E or F, those G and H cost less and used on a jewel they are indistinguishable from those who are not a expert gemologist.

Anelli indossati con diamanti by Messika
Rings worn with diamonds by Messika
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