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Latest Jewelry News

Cultured Pearls: Everything You Need to Know

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 07/14/2022 - 21:35

Cultured pearls are a popular alternative to natural pearls for their symmetry and their value. Natural pearls, formed within oysters in bodies of water, occur when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the gaps on the rims of the shell. This irritation forces the oyster to protect itself, producing a layer of substance called ‘nacre.’ Eventually, after anywhere between six months to three years, those layers form a shining pearl.

Cultured pearls on the other hand, require human intervention. They are also formed in water but aren’t naturally occurring – they are cultivated in pearl sacs within laboratories and are carefully monitored for uniform size and shape.

The size and shape are, therefore, the other main difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls. While naturally occurring pearls will have unique, organic shapes and are often rough to the touch, their alternatives will be uniform and seemingly ‘too good to be true.’

What is a Cultured Pearl?

A cultured pearl is a pearl is a pearl formed with any type of human intervention. They are made both in fresh water or salt water by inserting a piece of mantle tissue into a mollusk and then leaving it to grow. As the mussel grows, the foreign material will become covered in layers of nacre that give it a lustrous appearance. The process can take 2-3 years before the pearl is harvested and the tissue removed, revealing a perfectly formed cultured pearl.

History of Cultured Pearls

The first recorded history of ‘man-made’ pearls comes from ancient China during the Sung Dynasty. The cultivation method used was similar to the modern practice of inserting a foreign object (in their case a Buddhist figure made of lead) into the freshwater mussel shell.

In 1637 they made their way to Europe via the Silk Road and exploded in popularity among the wealthy. Fascinated European scientists, eager to understand the magic of pearl creation, spent the next two centuries diagnosing their formation and advancing technology for their production.

Mikimoto K?kichi, a Japanese entrepreneur, was the first to successfully patent a variation on cultured pearl production in 1916. The practice was immediately applied commercially and Japan’s famous akoya cultured pearls arose to prominence. Original akoya pearls were produced by a type of small oyster, Pinctada fucata. These days, hybrid mollusks are used to form akoyas in in both Japan and China. Wildly popular, akoya pearls are used in jewelry worldwide.

Types of Cultured Pearls

Akoya Cultured Pearls – as mentioned above, akoya pearls are the most popular type of saltwater manufactured pearls in western markets. They are characterized by white and cream colors and are the pearls most used in strand necklaces due to their symmetry.

South Sea Cultured Pearls – these saltwater creations are most often produced in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Their color ranges from white to golden to silver depending on the type of oyster used. As they can often take quite a while to fully form and ideal growth conditions are limited, this type of pearl can often come with a hefty price tag.

Tahitian Cultured Pearls – primarily found in French Polynesia, these saltwater pearls have a wide color range, from gray, black or brown, to blue, green, purple or pink.

Freshwater Cultured Pearls – the most mass-produced man-made pearls, this type of pearl is another used very commonly in jewelry production. They are grown in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and are often relatively affordable. Most often they are cultured in freshwater lakes and ponds.

Are Cultured Pearls Real Pearls?

No, cultured pearls are not natural pearls. They can be manufactured from the same materials as other artificial plastics but aren’t natural. Natural pearls form when a mollusk is irritated by a grain of sand or other objects that enters its shell.

They are created by inserting an irritant into a pearl oyster’s body on purpose so that it will produce a beautiful gem inside the oyster’s shell. The process takes about two years, and one in every three attempts produces a pearl. Cultured pearls are also less expensive than natural pearls, making them more affordable for the average customer.

What Is the Difference Between Natural Pearls and Cultured Pearls?

The difference between natural pearls and their alternatives is how they are made. Natural pearls are made in a natural environment when mollusks are irritated by objects that enter their shell. Cultured pearls are made when humans introduce an irritant into the mollusk’s soft body tissue.

Natural pearls and man-made pearls have different characteristics that include:

Shape Differences

Natural pearls are irregular in shape and vary from sphere to teardrop to cone. Cultured pearls are almost always perfectly round or half-spheres.

Color Differences

Both natural and cultured pearls are graded on a scale from A to D. But as they are artificial, which means they can be produced in any color that you desire. Natural pearls have some restrictions concerning color and shape. It’s possible to get cultured pearls in whatever hue you want, and they are often larger than their natural counterparts.

Every natural pearl shimmers with a different combination of colors, depending on the seashell it’s made from. Even though cultured pearls can’t rival their natural counterparts in color variation, they come in colors that run the gamut from near white, to pinks and beiges as you move up into yellow and green hues.

Luster Differences

A natural pearl has a lot of luster and shine. On the other hand, cultured pearls have somewhat dimmer luster and not nearly as much shine.

Price Differences

When comparing these two types of pearls, one advantage that man-made pearls have over natural ones is that they are cheaper to produce. Hence you should be able to find them for less money than what you would pay for a naturally grown one.

How Do You Tell if a Pearl Is Cultured or Natural?
  1. The most common way to tell if a pearl is cultured is by looking at the surface of the pearl. If the character has a distinctive line, it’s a cultured pearl. The bar is from where the oyster was pierced to insert the nucleus. This line doesn’t exist with natural pearls because there isn’t anything man-made inserted into the mollusk.
  2. Another good way to tell if a pearl is cultured or not is by looking at how it reacts under ultraviolet light UV. Cultured pearls will emit a fluorescent glow, while natural pearls do not react under UV light.
  3. One way you can tell if it’s cultured is through purity testing, which analyzes impurities in the pearl for more accurate results.
How Are Cultured Pearls Produced?

Producing cultured pearls is similar to what happens when producing natural pearls. However, the difference is that man-made pearls are created by inserting a nucleus into the mollusk under controlled laboratory conditions.

It gives sophisticated pearl farmers the ability to make many more pearls than they could otherwise produce using natural processes. Some people feel that artificial pearls offer more value because they can be mass-produced and sold at lower prices than their natural counterparts.

Pros of Cultured Pearls
  • They are a more affordable, non-plastic option to natural pearls.
  • Cultured pearls are also durable and require very little maintenance.
Cons of Cultured Pearls
  • They are not as valuable as natural pearls.
  • Cultured pearls can also be hard to match in colors, shape, and size.
  • Man-made pearls are also more susceptible to nicking, chipping, and flaking than natural pearls.
  • You can also expect pits or dark spots if the pearls are not adequately cared for.

Cultured Pearl FAQs Are cultured pearls considered fake pearls?

Yes, cultured pearls are considered real pearls even though they are made with human intervention. Most pearl jewelry available today is crafted with man-made because natural pearls are much more rare, unique, and therefore, more expensive.

Are cultured pearls worth anything?

Though they are both considered real pearls, cultured pearls are much more affordable than natural pearls. They can be worth between $50 to over $165,000 USD and are grown in oysters in careful laboratory conditions in either freshwater or saltwater.

How do you tell if a pearl is natural or cultured?

Artificial pearls will look perfectly symmetric. Natural pearls, on the other hand, will be completely unique and organically shaped. When in doubt, use the tooth test: rub the pearl softly against your tooth. If it’s cultured, it’ll feel smooth. If it’s natural, it’ll be gritty and rough.

What is the difference between a culture pearl and a regular pearl?

Natural pearls are formed in bodies of water without human intervention. They are very rare and most often found in antique jewelry. Cultured pearls are much more common and can be produced in pearl farms as the direct result of human intervention.

Final Thoughts

Cultured pearls are perfect if you want the beauty of a pearl without the high price tag. They are also an excellent option if you’re looking for an eco-friendlier alternative to natural pearls or an option for those with sensitivities to natural pearls.

The only drawback to cultured pearls is that they’re not as durable and may need replacement earlier than natural pearls. Even so, they are an attractive, affordable option. Contact us for complete guidance and choosing the right pearl for you and explore our selection of cultured pearl jewelry.

The post Cultured Pearls: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Red, White and Blue Worldtimer

JustLuxe - Wed, 07/13/2022 - 22:02

Frederique Constant helps celebrate this July 4th with a red, white, and blue U.S.-exclusive limited edition worldtimer. 

...

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Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Perfect Push Present Ideas: Jewelry for New Moms

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 07/13/2022 - 20:37

Welcoming a new addition to the world is no small occasion and no small feat. Push presents are the perfect opportunity to commemorate a memorable moment in a new mother’s life.

From traditional diamond designs to unique gemstone pieces and plain metal silhouettes, gifting jewelry is a classic and ever-welcome way to recognize the awe-inspiring and difficult path to parenthood.

What is a Push Present?

 Often referred to as ‘baby baubles’ or ‘baby mama gifts,’ push presents are unique gifts given to new mothers from family members and loved ones in gratitude for giving birth after nine months of pregnancy.

To mark the special occasion, push present jewelry will stand out from other gifts as a symbolic, meaningful, and from-the-heart piece.

When Did Push Presents Become a Thing?

Hundreds of years ago, the idea and ceremony of ‘push presents’ was born in India. There, new mothers were (and still are!) showered with jewelry, gifts, and presented with a feast of fruits and sweets upon the birth of their baby. In other places, like Greece, gold has historically been considered an auspicious gift for new mothers at the end of their pregnancy journey.

Push presents became trendy in the United States in the 1990’s when celebrities adopted the historic tradition and added modern, extravagant twists. Now, push presents are commonplace in pop culture to commemorate the extraordinary efforts of pregnancy and childbirth.

How Expensive Should a Push Present Be?

Quality is as important as meaning when considering a push present. Choose an item built to last a lifetime – like a mother’s love for her child – so she can treasure it always.

It truly takes a village, and whether you are choosing a gift for your daughter, your wife, your dear friend, or your sister, all push presents should represent the confirmation that your support is ever-present and unwavering. Each time the new mother in your life looks at your gift she should remember that you will unconditionally have her back.

Our jewelry designs range from sophisticated and budget-friendly items to glamorous, dripping-in-diamonds designs. Either way, ensure the gift is personalized via our engraving services or a thoughtful, handwritten note.

Why Jewelry is the Best Option for a Push Present

When designed with meaning and high-quality materials, gifting jewelry is both practical and special.

When chosen carefully, jewelry provides a new mother with an affirmation of who she is as it can be worn anywhere—during playtime, to the office, on brunch dates, and through late nights taking care their little one.

A fine jewelry design also lasts through the early years of motherhood and beyond, serving as reminder of the beginning of a life-long journey.

Gifting jewelry as a push present also gives the gift of an heirloom, something a mother can pass down to her children and onwards through generations.

The Best Types of Push Present Jewelry
  • Necklaces: always a stellar choice, necklaces make the perfect push presents because they are suitable for everyday wear. From traditional diamond pendants to modern medallions, a necklace is a sure-fire way to please the new mom in your life. Choose a locket and add meaningful picture to it for a heart-warming gift.
  • Bracelets: classic tennis bracelets make amazing push presents as they are a classic yet understated choice. Often times tennis bracelets come with safety clasps, making them practical to wear in all phases of motherhood. Modern silhouettes, such as cuffs, also make the perfect push present for trend-forward moms and a gifter on a budget.
  • Earrings: a great pair of earrings adds style and flair to any outfit–from comfy clothes to a fancy night out. Classic diamond studs are always an excellent choice or choose a pair of gemstone earrings in a color she’ll love.
  • Charms: charms are an excellent way to make a strong statement—pair them with a simple necklace or bracelet and it’ll be treasured always.

Other Factors to Consider When Buying Push Present Jewelry

 When considering gifting jewelry to new mothers, it’s wise to consider the following:

  • Style: be sure the style of jewelry you choose is something that fits in with her unique flair. If she’s traditionally understated, chose an item that isn’t too bold. If she’s glamorous, get her something flashy. If she’s a yellow gold girl, don’t go the platinum route.
  • Design: beyond matching with her style, this gift should be designed with meaning. Choose a design that reflects a powerful emotion like gratitude, strength, love, or kindness.
  • Color: choose a color that holds meaning. Jewelry with red gemstones could signify love and gratitude. Blue gemstones could wish a new mother tranquility and peace. Yellow gemstones bring joy and warmth to any day.
  • Flexibility: choose an item a new mother can wear anywhere. Life will be full of tasks and chores but will also have moments of excitement, occasional date nights, and some fun. Ensure the design is flexible enough to compliment different types of activities.
  • Birthstones: consider gifting the new mother in your life a birthstone piece to commemorate the month she became a mother.
  • Heirlooms: gift a design that will last (and be fashionable for) a lifetime and beyond.

Gift Ideas for New Moms

Now that you’re familiar with all things push present, take a peek at our selections and gift the new mother in your life something special.

The post Perfect Push Present Ideas: Jewelry for New Moms appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

4 Cs of Diamonds: Diamond Quality & Grading Guide

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 07/11/2022 - 23:27

You may know about the 4 Cs of diamonds, but what about the fifth C? Learn why conflict-free sourcing is an important consideration for your next diamond.

You have a perfectly unique piece of jewelry in mind and now you need the perfect diamond. There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a diamond – five in fact. You’ve probably heard of the 4 Cs of diamonds: color, cut, clarity, and carat. But what about the fifth C of diamonds: conflict-free. When you understand each of these factors, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a diamond.

The First C of Diamonds: Color

Traditionally, a diamond receives a color grade on the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) scale based on its lack of color. Experts consider a colorless diamond to be the rarest of all. A colorless diamond is worth more than a diamond with a yellow, brown, or gray appearance. The more color visible in a diamond, the less it is worth.

Of course, diamonds also come in all colors of the rainbow. But for the purposes of establishing a diamond’s value, actual-colored diamonds have a different scale. If you are shopping around for a colored diamond, be sure to ask if the color occurs naturally, or if the diamond was treated to achieve a color.

Natural and lab-grown diamonds come in a variety of colors. However, some natural diamonds are too yellow, brown, or gray to be worth much. These diamonds are often treated with various colors to make them more appealing to buyers. Ideally, as a buyer, you want a naturally colored diamond instead of a color-treated diamond.

Keep in mind that colored lab grown diamonds are considered not color-treated. In fact, lab grown diamonds are the preferred choice for many engagement ring buyers. They’re identical in every way to naked eye, plus they’re often more sustainable and the best value financially speaking.

The Second C of Diamonds: Cut

Part of the draw of a diamond is how it looks in the light. Various diamond cuts allow the light to reflect inside of the gem to make it look brighter and bolder, creating engagement rings that catch the light and the eye.

A diamond without a strong cut doesn’t trap light. Instead, the light escapes the diamond and looks dull. Experts assess a diamond’s cut based on several key factors. The first is brightness. Light bounces around inside the diamond and showcases rainbow colors in the light. The second factor is scintillation. This is when the light catches just right and appears to flash boldly.

Aside from light, experts also assess a diamond’s symmetry, polish, and proportions. For example, a brilliant round diamond contains 57 facets that work together to reflect the lightest. Different cuts have different facets and angles. Experts also take the size of the diamond into consideration in assessing the cut. You want the proportions of each cut to align with the overall size of the diamond.

The Third C of Diamonds: Clarity

Nearly all diamonds have internal markings that are also called inclusions. These tiny flaws may not be immediately visible to the naked eye. But experts can see how internal inclusions impact the way your diamond appears on the outside. If internal markings are big enough, they can block light and lessen the reflection and brilliance.

Inclusion may not impact value as much if it doesn’t change how light reflects inside your diamond. However, inclusions that are large, dark, or poorly placed can lower a diamond’s value. Keep in mind that even diamonds with the highest values have tiny inclusions and each diamond is unique. Experts rank clarity on a scale that ranges from flawless to included.

The Fourth C of Diamonds: Carat

Carat is perhaps the most well-known C of diamonds. While most may believe that carat weight describes the size of a diamond, it actually describes its weight. Weight is the biggest factor when considering size, however, so it’s an easy mix up.

Larger diamonds are usually worth more, but not always. The other Cs can also play a significant role in value. A larger stone may be less valuable if the cut, clarity, and color aren’t rated highly. A smaller diamond may be worth more if it has fewer flaws, a better cut, and more clarity. Each of the four Cs has an equal weight in determining a diamond’s value.

The Fifth C of Diamonds: Conflict Free

Many jewelers stop once they evaluate the 4 Cs of diamonds, Brilliant Earth considers the fifth C to be equally important. While this factor doesn’t impact monetary value, a conflict-free diamond does offer intrinsic value.

Lab-grown diamonds are often much more sustainable than natural diamonds. There’s a misconception that lab-grown diamonds aren’t “real” diamonds, but that isn’t true – they’re both made from the same particles, one is just grown in a lab. It’s difficult to tell the difference between a lab-grown diamond and a mined diamond. Both mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds can be conflict-free.

However, lab-grown diamonds can often be more sustainability sourced so it’s easier to prove that they are conflict-free. If you choose to purchase a mined diamond, ensure that your jeweler knows the supply chain and can guarantee an ethically sourced diamond.

Many people associate diamonds with love, strength, and health. While diamonds can be expensive, they are a meaningful investment. No two diamonds are alike, so yours is one-of-a-kind – whether mined or lab-grown. Diamonds traditionally hold their value over time when well cared for. Your diamond can also hold even more personal value based on the setting you choose and the occasion you’re celebrating.

When you understand the 5 Cs of diamonds you can better understand diamond pricing and value. This helps you make a smarter investment based on what you want and need. After you determine a budget for your diamond you can choose a diamond that fits into your budget.

4 Cs of Diamonds FAQs What are the Cs of buying a diamond?

The four Cs are cut, color, clarity, and carat. Cut refers to the symmetry of a diamond, color is a scale that ranges from colorless to a fancy colored, clarity refers to the number of inclusions within a diamond, and carat refers to weight.

What are the best 4 Cs for a diamond?

A healthy combination of all: aim for a diamond with good cut, color, clarity, and carat. Preferences and budget will dictate what’s most important: if you want a big stone on a budget, you may need to consider a diamond that has a lower grade for cut and clarity.

What is the order of importance for the 4 Cs of diamonds?

It depends on what you’re going for! Cut is most important for brilliance, proportion, and symmetry. Color is a personal preference choice that varies from white to more yellow or brown. Clarity is important for a clean appearance. Carat weight is important when factoring in size.

The post 4 Cs of Diamonds: Diamond Quality & Grading Guide appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon Shines With Diamonds

JustLuxe - Fri, 07/08/2022 - 22:55

Arnold & Son expands its much-heralded Perpetual Moon collection with a new edition

...

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Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Gucci Celebrates 50 years of Gucci Swiss Timepieces With Its Second High Watchmaking Collection

JustLuxe - Fri, 07/08/2022 - 21:35

Half a century ago, in 1972, Gucci Swiss Timepieces presented the world with a new horological design proposition – watches that were a combination of unparalleled Swiss technical know-how and Italian design. This year Gucci presented its se

...

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Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Richard Mille Teams with Ferrari for Ultra-Thin Record

JustLuxe - Fri, 07/08/2022 - 00:48

Measuring a wispy 1.75mm thick, Richard Mille’s new RM UP-01 Ferrari 

...

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Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Culinary Retreat in the Berkshires

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 07/07/2022 - 13:00
Plus: beauty tips from the chef Daniela Soto-Innes, zoological rugs and more recommendations from T Magazine.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

How Can You Tell If a Diamond is Real?

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 21:52
Real Diamonds vs. Fake Diamonds

Natural diamonds, shining stones formed in the depths of Earth, are rare, precious, and coveted. For centuries, the scintillating beauty of a well-cut, barely included stone has reigned as the symbol of both affluence and romance. Their popularity and price point, however, have been cause for dupe and replication – there are several stones that look physically quite similar to natural diamonds, such as lab created diamonds, moissanites, cubic zirconia, and white sapphire which have different chemical properties (and a very different price point).

Real diamonds make beautiful white gold mounted engagement rings or shining wedding bands and are often used to craft fine jewelry. And as many stones can mimic the appearance of a real diamond, it is imperative to purchase high-end jewelry only from reputable sources, like GIA certified jewelers or well-known retailers.

If you’re unsure as to whether your diamond is real or not, the best way to verify it is to bring it in to a local jeweler who can use professional equipment to confirm its authenticity. If you’re short on time, there are several at-home tests that can help indicate if your diamond is real or not.

How Can You Tell If a Diamond is Real at Home?

There are seven at-home test that can help indicate if your diamond is real:

  • The Water Test: does it sink?
  • The Fog Test: does it clear quickly?
  • The Scratch Test: is it scratchable?
  • The UV Light Test: is it fluorescent blue?
  • The Loupe Test: is it included or inscribed?
  • The Heat Test: does it maintain its structure?
  • The Flashlight Test: how much does it sparkle?

Now let’s dig in on how to perform each of these tests in the comfort of your own home.

How Do You Tell if a Diamond is Real with Water?

This is one of the most simple tests you can conduct anywhere quickly. The only ingredients you will need are water, a glass, and the loose stone in question.

Procedure:

  1. Set the glass on a flat surface.
  2. Fill it ¾ with water.
  3. Drop the diamond into the glass full of water.

Results: If the gem floats, it is a fake diamond

If it sinks, there is a high chance it is a real diamond.

Rationale: A diamond has a higher density than water. Consequently, if your jewelry is a diamond, it will sink to the bottom of the glass of water.

However, do not sigh in relief just yet because the gem has passed this test. Some other materials have a higher density than water and will also sink in water.

For example, carefully cut glass or cubic zirconia can fool the eye in terms of appearance. It also has a higher density than water and could easily pass the water test.

The results from this test are therefore inconclusive. You will need to use a different test to confirm that you have the real thing and not any other stone.

How Do You Tell if a Diamond is Real with Fog?

This is another easy way to test your stone without specialized equipment. First, clean up your diamond to ensure that it isn’t covered in dirt or oils (check out our full jewelry care guide here!).

Procedure:

  1. Bring the diamond close to your mouth.
  2. Breathe on it to make it foggy.
  3. Observe how fast the fog clears out.

Results: If the fog clears out in a second or two, then there is a high chance it is a real diamond. If it takes more than three seconds for the fog to clear, you have a fake diamond.

Rationale: Real diamonds are excellent conductors of heat; thus, they do not remain fogged up.

However, it is essential to note that some fake diamonds, such as moissanite, disperse heat at the same rate. Hence, they could easily pass this test.

Therefore, this test cannot guarantee that you have a real diamond. You still need to visit a diamond specialist for expert tests and opinions.

How Do You Tell if a Diamond is Real by Scratching It?

This outdated test was traditionally widely used to spot fake diamonds.

It involved scratching the diamond against a mirror or glass surface and observing which of the two got a scratch. It is considered a real diamond if the diamond does not get a scratch. This test evaluates the stone’s hardness and relies on the fact that real diamond is harder than glass.

However, this test is unreliable since other stones such as moissanite, quartz, and cubic zirconia are harder than glass and will also scratch the glass or mirror.

In addition to using the gem, you are testing to scratch a mirror or glass; the scratch test can entail scratching an unverified diamond with a known real diamond.

This test relies on the idea that a real diamond can scratch a fake diamond. You can therefore spot a fake diamond by trying to scratch it using a real diamond. It is most likely a fake diamond if it gets a scratch.

However, this test is not reliable because it ignores the fact that a real diamond can scratch a real diamond. This means that you might damage a real diamond while conducting this test if the gem you were testing is a real diamond.

How Do You Tell if a Diamond is Real with UV Light?

This test involves viewing the diamond under UV light (or black light). The effect that UV light has on diamonds is called diamond fluorescence. While you might see some colors such as green, white, or yellow, diamonds’ most common fluorescent color is blue.

This fluorescence comes about when the elements within the diamond’s crystalline structures absorb the UV energy and re-emit it as visible light.

All diamonds do not fluoresce the same. There are different types of diamond fluorescence which have grades according to the intensity of the glow:

  • No Fluorescence- These diamonds do not glow when viewed under UV light.
  • Faint fluorescence- Diamonds produce little glow when viewed under UV light.
  • Medium fluorescence- The diamonds produce a quite visible glow.
  • Strong fluorescence- The diamonds produce a pleasantly intense glow.
  • Very strong glow- The diamonds have a bright, intense glow

After conducting this test, you cannot pronounce a diamond fake because it was not fluorescent since some real diamonds are not fluorescent. Once again, visit a diamond expert to authenticate if the stone is genuine or a synthetic diamond.

How Do You Tell if a Diamond is Real with a Loupe?

A loupe is a small magnifying glass that a professional jeweler uses to check for inclusions within the diamond.

An inclusion is an imperfection within the diamond that results from the high pressure and heat experienced during the formation of diamonds. The nature and location of the inclusion determine the clarity of the diamond.

Procedure:

Place the diamond under a loupe magnifying glass and observe.

Results: The types of inclusions you are likely to see include:

  • Pinpoint inclusion- small black spots within the diamond
  • Diamond cavities- small holes within the diamond
  • Feather inclusions- small cracks on or inside the diamond

Rationale: Flawless diamonds are scarce. Real diamonds are therefore often identified by their inclusions. Usually, fake diamonds will be perfect with no flaws, making them easy to spot.

How Do You Tell if a Diamond is Real with Heat?

This test requires a source of fire, fireproof gloves or a pair of pliers, the diamond you want to test, and cold water in a jar.

Procedure:

  1. Wear fireproof gloves or use a pair of pliers to hold the diamond.
  2. Heat the diamond for about a minute.
  3. Drop the diamond into cold water.

Results: A natural diamond will remain intact, while a fake diamond will shatter.

Rationale: Real diamonds quickly disperse heat. Hence it does not experience sudden expansion and contraction. On the other hand, a fake diamond expands while being heated by the source of fire and then suddenly contracts when put in cold water, causing it to break.

Therefore, this testing method is relatively reliable in determining whether your diamond is real or fake.

How Do You Test if a Diamond is Real with a Flashlight?

When bathed in the light of a flashlight, any real diamond will shine brilliantly and if it’s cut well enough, it’ll reflect rainbows and shining white light across the room. If you shine a flashlight onto a stone and it doesn’t shine, you likely have a diamond replication. As always, it’s best to bring the stone in to a reputable jeweler to do an official test with specialized equipment.

What’s the Difference Between Diamonds and Moissanite?

Moissanite is a rare naturally occurring mineral that have the same covalent bonding structure as diamonds. These similar properties make it difficult to tell it apart from real diamonds. Using the jeweler’s loupe, an expert can identify the naturally occurring inclusions that distinguish the real diamond from moissanite. Moissanites are also presently other-worldly rainbow refraction – if there’s too much rainbow shining from your stone, it may very well be a moissanite.

What’s the Difference Between Diamonds and Lab Diamonds?

Simply put, ‘real’ diamonds come from the Earth and lab diamonds are created in a lab. As they both come from carbon particles, natural and lab diamonds often look identical so it’s extra important to have a jeweler test a stone you suspect to be a lab diamond. Often times diamonds are inscribed with their certificate numbers that you can match to GIA documents online.

What’s the Difference Between Diamonds and Cubic Zirconia?

It is a diamond stimulant, meaning that it mimics the appearance of diamonds but has significant differences. For example, cubic zirconia does not contain any carbon elements like diamonds. It also has notable differences in hardness and refractive index compared to diamonds.

You will observe a sparkling white reflection and a slight rainbow reflection for real well-shaped diamonds. On the other hand, cubic zirconia reflects a little orange light which is nowhere close to the diamond’s sparkling white reflection.

What’s the Difference Between Diamonds and White Sapphires?

White Sapphires are colorless but their glow is not close to that of natural diamonds. There is generally more of a blur to white sapphires than the clean-cut lines of a real diamond. There will also be a lot less sparkle.

In Conclusion

If there’s anything you’ve learned from this article, we hope that you’ve understood the importance of verifying a diamonds authenticity with a reputable source. While at home tests are fun and often times informative, the best route to figuring out if your stone is a natural diamond is by heading down to your local jeweler to get their expert opinion!

The post How Can You Tell If a Diamond is Real? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Necklace Sizes Chart: Find the Right Necklace Length

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 18:32
What Are the Different Necklace Sizes?

Necklaces range in size from trendy choker-like styles that measure at 14 inches, traditional, elegant pendants that rest at the average 18 inches, while many strand styles and men’s necklaces reach 30 inches and beyond.

Necklaces generally range in length from 14 inches to 36 inches. Choosing the right necklace size depends solely on personal style: do you prefer something that rests just above the collarbone? Or something that rests further down the chest? Or you may decide to wear multiple different chain lengths at once to create a chic stack.

As a note, we haven’t broken this up by gender. We recognize that the size, shape, and needs of a person’s body and style vary greatly across the population and we aim to give the most informative information possible based on where necklaces rest on the human form. Let’s dig into the different sizes and where they’ll rest on your chest!

What Are the Standard Necklace Lengths?

Necklaces come in standard sizes of 14”, 16”, 18”, 20”, 22”, 24”, 30” and 36”. Though all necklaces are standardized in size, each length will rest differently on different body types.

14 Inch Necklaces

Generally the shorter length of necklaces for women on offer, 14 inch chains rest around the neck like a choker, making this length a trendy choice for those ready to make a statement. 14 inch necklaces also pair incredibly well with other chain lengths as they won’t get tangled at the base of your neck.

16 Inch Necklaces

These necklace lengths rest just above the collarbone and are the shortest necklaces not considered chokers. They also pair well with others and are not quite as bold as chokers –they’re trendy but still chic.

18 Inch Necklaces

This length is what’s considered the average necklace length. It’s certainly the most common and rests just below the clavicle – you’ll often see this length worn with a traditional pendant for a sweetheart look.

20 Inch Necklaces

More often than not, this is the shortest length on offer for men’s chains. For both men and women, this length falls an inch or two below the collarbone and can easily be worn beneath higher-cut shirts and sweaters.

22 Inch Necklaces

These necklaces rest about halfway between the clavicle and the sternum. For women, this length is often worn with a pendant over the clothes in a trend-forward outfit. For men, this length is often chosen for statement chains that can be worn on top of or underneath clothes.

24 Inch Necklaces

Reaching towards the top of the ribs, 24 inch necklaces are one of the longest necklaces you’ll see worn by both men and women that aren’t doubled over. They stack excellently with other chains for a glammed-up look. They’re also the most popular necklace length for both men and women in religious and sentimental items.

30 Inch Necklaces

Most often, these necklaces are doubled over. If worn as-is, they almost reach the stomach. The long length provides flexibility – in doubling it over you can have two necklaces of the same size or split the lengths so one strand is choker-length while the other dangles below.

36 Inch Necklaces

Also a popular necklace size to be worn doubled over, 36 inch necklaces are generally the longest on offer. These can reach past the belly button on both men and women.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Necklace Lengths

Height

Most average-height or taller people can wear any length necklace. If you’re taller than average, a shorter necklace may not be best to balance out your look. The opposite is also true: if you’re petite height-wise, an extra-long chain may fall even lower on you than on the average person.

Neck Size

Some people’s necks are narrower than others – in this case, a short chain will fall a little lower than the average. For example, a 16 inch chain may appear to fall at the 17 or 18 inch range if the neck in question is thin.

For people with thicker necks, a longer chain length will have the opposite affect: it’ll make the necklace look shorter. If your neck is thick, we recommend choosing the next longest length so that you can achieve the style you’re looking for and also be comfortable!

Outfit and Styling

Different necklace lengths work best with different outfits. For example, a super plunging blouse may want to wear a longer chain to fill the space. Long chains also look fabulous on top of more flowy blouses and many people choose to also add a large pendant for extra oomph.

These days, stacks are all the rage: no matter what kind of shirt or neckline: stack, stack, stack. The most popular stack combination is wearing 16, 18, and 20 inch necklaces all together so that the pendants and chains rest closely together without touching.

Other people choose to not only mix lengths but also mix metal. Wear a 16 inch silver necklace with a heavy 20 inch gold one for a bold, adventurous look.

You can also mix and match different chain widths. A 14 inch dainty, minimalist pendant pairs excellently with a thick, 16 inch statement necklace.

How Do I Know My Necklace Size?

There are two ways to measure the length of a necklace.

If you already have a necklace whose length you love, you can use its measurements to decide the length of your next purchase. You can take the measurements of your existing necklace using either a string or a tape measure by laying it down and straight on a flat surface and taking the measurements.

The second way is to take a flexible tape measure and put it around your neck as if you were wearing a necklace. Then adjust it to the desired length then note down the measurement.

Alternatively, you can use a string to take measurements in the absence of a tape measure. put a marker on the string at the point you want your necklace to reach. You can then measure it later against a tape measure or a ruler then note it down.

What’s a Good Necklace Length for Women?

Women’s necklaces usually range between 16 inches and 20 inches, with the most popular length measuring at 18 inches. The way the necklace rests will be determined by the unique shape of a women’s body – so we recommend taking in factors like neck size and torso length.

In Conclusion

The best necklace lengths will depend on the day, your styling choices, and the size of your body. Luckily enough, the sizes are standardized across the jewelry industry and apply to both men and women – there’s no convoluted and confusing metrics, you just need to figure out what works best for you. We recommend using the above measurement tactics to determine what looks best or visiting a jeweler and trying on different lengths. To each their own!

The post Necklace Sizes Chart: Find the Right Necklace Length appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

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