Latest Jewelry News

15 Amazing Facts about Diamonds

Brilliant Earth - Sat, 03/31/2018 - 18:30

 

 

Diamonds are the birthstone for the month of April, meaning that April-born ladies have an extra reason to ask for gifts of sparkling diamond jewelry (or buy diamonds for themselves).

To celebrate these dazzling gemstones, we’ve rounded up fifteen interesting facts and bits of lore about diamonds’ origins and history:

1

The ancient Romans and Greeks believed that diamonds were tears cried by the gods or splinters from falling stars, and Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds (perhaps the earliest association between diamonds and romantic love).

2

Diamonds are billions of years old—in some cases more than three billion years old.

3

Diamonds form about 100 miles below ground and have been carried to the earth’s surface by deep volcanic eruptions.

4

Diamonds are made of a single element—they’re nearly 100% carbon. Under the immense heat and pressure far below the earth’s surface, the carbon atoms bond in a unique way that results in diamonds’ beautiful and rare crystalline structure.

5

The word diamond derives from the Greek word “adamas,” which means invincible or indestructible.

6

Diamonds are the very hardest natural substance. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.

7

Diamonds have been valued and coveted for thousands of years. There is evidence that diamonds were being collected and traded in India as early as the fourth century BC. In the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny is quoted as having said, “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”

8

Ancient Hindus used diamonds in the eyes of devotional statues, and believed that a diamond could protect its wearer from danger.

9

Many ancient cultures believed that diamonds gave the wearer strength and courage during battle, and some kings wore diamonds on their armor as they rode into battle.

10

During the Middle Ages diamonds were thought to have healing properties able to cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness.

11

The countries that are the main sources of diamonds have changed over time. India was the world’s original source of diamonds, beginning in the 1400s when Indian diamonds began to be sold in Venice and other European trade centers. Then in the 1700s India’s diamond supplies declined and Brazil became the world’s major source of diamonds, until the late 1800s when a huge diamond reserve was discovered in South Africa.  Today, diamonds are mined in many parts of the world. All of Brilliant Earth’s diamonds originate from mines in Canada, Botswana, Namibia, and Russia.

12

The largest diamond ever discovered was called the Cullinan diamond, and weighed in at an amazing 3106 carats, or 1.33 pounds. Discovered in 1905 in South Africa, the mine’s owner and the South African leaders gave the diamond to King Edward. The Cullinan was eventually cut into nine large diamonds and 100 smaller ones, and the three largest of these are on display in the Tower of London as part of the crown jewels.

13

The first known use of a diamond engagement ring took place in 1477, when Archduke Maxmillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring featuring an M spelled out in diamonds.

14

Lab created diamonds display the same chemical structure and physical properties as diamonds mined from the earth. Even professional gemologists can’t tell the difference between lab created and mined diamonds without extensive testing using specialized equipment. Brilliant Earth carries a wide selection of lab created diamonds.

15

The most mind-blowing diamond facts of all: Scientists have discovered a planet that they believe is composed mostly of carbon, and is one-third pure diamond!  Discovered in 2004, the planet orbits a nearby star in the Milky Way, and is named “55 Cancri e” (which, in our opinion, is not a sufficiently glamorous name for such an extraordinary planet). Perhaps even more amazing, scientists have discovered a star that is essentially a diamond of ten billion trillion trillion carats.  They named the star Lucy after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” (We approve.)

While diamonds have clearly created a lot of joy for people throughout history, they have too often resulted in suffering in the communities where they’re mined. At Brilliant Earth we believe diamonds shine brighter when they’re sourced in an ethical, environmentally friendly way. Learn more about the issues surrounding diamond mining, and what we’re doing to bring about change.

Final Thoughts

Did you already know these facts about diamonds or were they news to you?  Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!

 

Sources:  Smithsonan.com, The Gemological Institute of America
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

British Police Make New Arrest in $20 Million Jewelry Heist

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 13:25
The suspect, 57, was detained in north London in a 2015 burglary carried out by a gang of graying thieves in London’s jewelry district.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Princess Cut vs. Cushion Cut: How to Decide?

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 00:19

 

When it comes to creating your engagement ring, typically one of the first priorities is selecting a center diamond shape.

While round diamonds are always a popular choice, couples are increasingly turning to non-round or “fancy shaped” diamonds to add an element of distinction to their engagement ring. Each diamond shape has its own unique characteristics and is cut to different specifications, which impacts the overall look of the stone. Cushion diamonds and princess diamonds are two of the most well-known fancy shapes.

Cushion Cut vs. Princess Cut

Although princess cut and cushion cut diamonds both offer a square center focal point to engagement ring settings, the two are very different. Cushion cut diamonds feature soft, rounded edges which lend to a more romantic feel. In contrast to the understated romance of a cushion cut, princess cut diamonds offer a more modern and geometric look to engagement ring settings. When it comes to deciding between cushion cut vs. princess cut, it call comes down to personal preference as both diamond shapes look uniquely gorgeous in many engagement ring settings.

Cushion Diamonds

The cushion diamond is a square shape with softly rounded corners that make it subtly resemble a pillow (hence the name). This timeless gemstone shape originated in the nineteenth century and was originally referred to as the “mine cut” diamond.  The proportions of a cushion cut can vary with the individual diamond, some appearing more long and narrow, others closer to square. Cushion cut engagement rings are sought after due to their enduring sophistication. Especially popular in halo rings and vintage inspired settings, a cushion cut center diamond is an elegant choice.
Joy Diamond Ring

A glittering softened halo of diamonds surrounds the center cushion diamond in this elegant setting. A scalloped pavé split-shank band adds a stylish, dazzling effect.
Petite Twisted Vine Halo Diamond Ring

This enchanting halo ring features a strand of diamonds entwined with a high polished ribbon of precious metal for a captivating, nature-inspired look.
Circa Diamond Ring

This lavish setting is adorned with shimmering diamonds along every angle. Two rows of pavé diamonds sparkle on the contemporary split shank shoulders, while surprise diamond accents in the gallery complete the glamorous look.
Vienna Diamond Ring

This beautiful setting features scalloped pavé diamonds that rise up the gallery and encircle the center cushion cut diamond in a halo of luminous sparkle.
Lissome Diamond Ring

Scalloped pavé diamonds embellish the top of the band and gallery in this classically beautiful engagement ring. The shoulders rise to a cathedral setting and showcase a center cushion diamond secured by chic claw prongs.
Ballad Diamond Ring

This classic engagement ring features sparkling scalloped pavé diamonds that extend one half of the way around the ring. The center cushion diamond appears to float above the delicate band.

Princess Diamonds

Invented by Arpad Nagy in the early 1960’s, the “princess cut” was originally called the “profile cut”. For many years princess cuts were considered the second most popular diamond shape, and have been compared to round brilliant diamonds so often that they are sometimes referred to as “square modified brilliants”. Princess cut engagement rings are sparkling, modern, and glamorous all rolled into one, making it the perfect cut for those who want it all. Possessing the sparkle of round brilliant diamonds in a chic square shape, princess cuts definitely make a statement. Whether set in a solitaire or three stone settings, these gems dazzle and bring a modern allure any engagement ring style.
Delicate Antique Scroll Solitaire Ring

This exquisite antique-style setting is adorned with an engraved scroll pattern on the top and sides, flowing around the band for a charming and romantic look.
Reverie Ring

At once feminine and contemporary, this ring divides into graceful ribbons of precious metal that intertwine and embrace the center princess cut diamond, securing it with claw prongs.
Three Stone Petite Twisted Vine Diamond Ring

A nature-inspired twist on the classic three stone ring, this design features entwined vines shimmering with pavé diamonds.
Odessa Diamond Ring

An intricate halo of pavé-set diamonds embraces and accentuates the center princess diamond in this brilliant ring. French pavé diamond accents on the band add a truly dazzling effect.
Viviana Diamond Ring

This classic engagement ring features sparkling scalloped pavé diamonds that extend three-fourths of the way around the ring. A diamond adorned gallery and graceful claw prongs embrace the center princess cut diamond.
Luxe Willow Halo Diamond Ring

This glamorous halo ring features curving bands of sparkling pavé diamonds and marquise diamond buds for a captivating, nature-inspired look.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to princess cut vs. cushion cut, which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below or on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

 

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

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