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Latest Jewelry News

How Can You Tell If Pearls Are Real?

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 06/30/2022 - 21:28
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Real and Artificial Pearls?

There’s a big difference between a fake pearl and a natural pearl – aesthetically and in price point. Natural pearls, formed within oysters in the sea, 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. As pearls form naturally in the ocean, they are never completely perfect in shape, feel, and hue – this is the best way to tell if a pearl is real: it shouldn’t be too good to be true.

Synthetic pearls, also known as cultured pearls, are man-made from plastic, glass, or shells and are designed to look perfect. They feel incredibly soft and smooth because they lack the crystalline plates that form naturally in real pearls. As they are made with human intervention, they are grown to be whatever the size is in market demand – if you have a strand of pearls that are all completely uniform in size and shape, they’re likely fake.

How Can You Test if a Pearl is Real?

If you have a loose pearl or pearl jewelry (or are hoping to buy some!) you’ll want to ensure you’re aware whether it’s an imitation pearl or a real one. There are a few at-home tests you can perform to figure it out – but be aware that some tests may damage the pearl if it’s real or a fake ‘majorica’ pearl, so it’s always best to take it in to a jewelry professional to determine its authenticity. Here’s how you can tell if pearls are real:

  • Check for tiny irregularities
  • Feel the hardness
  • Scrutinize the size
  • Check the pigmentation
  • Inspect the color and luster
  • Perform the tooth test
  • Perform the rub test
  • Use the fire check

Now let’s dig in on how to perform the tests – we advise using a combination of two or more tests to determine the authenticity of your pearl.

Check For Tiny Irregularities

Natural pearls have tiny irregularities and ridges on the surface when examined closely due to the natural formation of the pearl’s mother. Even when well-matched, you can always see tiny differences in top-quality cultured pearl necklace. However, if the pearls look identical, then they are probably fake.

Feel the Hardness

Real pearls are hard—they don’t feel as soft and smooth because they have a natural rigidity with a core of nacre. In a fake pearl, however, the maker uses chips that are not consistent with the softness and may feel sticky when felt with fingers.

Scrutinize the Size

Real pearls will have a size range from one to several different sizes. On the other hand, fake pearls come in size, and shape fits all. Fake pearls are likely to break when you try them on your finger for a better feel.

Check the Pigmentation

Genuine pearls have an iridescent glow, reflecting the color spectrum with different quality pearls varying invisibility. An artificially produced gem peridot is less glistening and rough.

Many cheap suppliers hide their products by mixing them with other pearl materials or placing an overcoat to make them appear more appealing.

Inspect the Natural Color and Luster

A real pearl should have natural, unaltered color with a smooth surface and luster similar to a mother pearls’ natural color and brightness. A fake pearl will most likely have a discolored surface or be covered with a clear protective coating. It will also look duller than its true reflection due to the synthetic material used to create it.

Perform the Pearl Tooth Test

The pearl tooth test tis one of the most important ways to determine whether or not you are getting a fake pearl. It’s used to determine if a pearl is soft or durable.

The pearl tooth test involves taking a pearl and rubbing it along the biting edge of your teeth. If the pearl is natural, it should feel gritty. A fake pearl will feel slippery and smooth. Some fake pearls will not even massage because they have been created using glass or synthetic materials.

Rub Two Pearls Together

Another test you can perform to determine how you tell if a pearl is real or not is by rubbing two real pearls together. There is nothing wrong with brushing a real pearl or taking a magnifying glass to examine the pearl but only use gentler pressure when rubbing two real pearls together.

When two natural pearls are rubbed together, they will produce a pearl powder. If the pearls don’t have pearl powder and look clear, you can tell it is fake. Additionally, when two real pearls are knocked against each other, they produce a soft, unique thud-like sound, whereas when two fake ones are struck against each other, they sound dully empty.

Use the Fire Check

Another method is the flame test, where you hold a pearl against a naked flame. Natural pearls remain shiny and intact while not producing any odors, and a consistent flame causes a light pop sound, whereas fake pearls held on a naked flame have a bad burning smell and quickly lose their shine.

How Can I Judge the Quality of Real Pearls?

Natural pearls often come in beautiful, organic shapes and are prized for their luster. To determine if your pearl is considered ‘of quality’ consider the below.

  • Shape – freshwater pearls come in different forms, but the most difficult shape to culture is round, making it the most expensive shape. But, in some instances, specific perfect shapes of the oval may be more costly than round shapes. Baroque pearls (seed or tear shaped) are also incredibly rare and coveted.
  • Size – the larger pearls are rarer and more valuable than the smaller ones. They’re generally measured in millimeters and can rage greatly in size.
  • Color – white and yellow pearls are rarer and thus sometimes have a higher price than other colored ones, which are more plentiful. You can find fake and real pearls in hues of lavender, pink, and rose.
  • Weight – generally, pearl weight is measured in carat weight, but on some occasions, it can also be measured according to a troy scale for more accurate results. A natural pearl will have a weight to it, and fake pearls will be relatively light.
  • Luster – Another factor that determines pearl quality is luster. The luster of excellent quality is sharp and bright. Thus, pearls with high luster are worth more, and the luster depends on the properties of the substrate, like the color and purity of the water in which pearls were grown.
Importance of Buying Real Pearls from a Trusted Retailer

Once you’re confident on how to tell if pearls are real, remember to only consider buying pearls from a trusted retailer. It’s essential that you are able to trust them – so do your research in verifying that the company is legitimate. Here are the benefits of buying pearls from a trusted retailer:

  • Experience – A trustworthy and seasoned retailer will have plenty of experience with responsibly researched and sourced gold and pearls and will be able to guide you through the buying process.
  • Navigating the label and ingredients – They can help tell you exactly what you are purchasing and ensure you’re aware what kind of pearl it is, where it’s from, and what its specifications are.
  • Return policy – a trustworthy retailer gives a generous return policy should you need one. If required, a reliable retailer can provide a copy of their receipt under warranty. If you don’t like the pearl or suspect that it’s a fake, you should be able to take it back.
  • Setting – if you have a loose pearl, your jeweler can set it in a necklace, bracelet, or earrings by drilling holes into the pearl and inserting a peg into it (and don’t worry – this won’t damage the pearls’ internal structure).

In Conclusion

Of all the luxury jewels, pearls are one of the most beautiful and coveted possessions one can own. By doing your research, you can be confident that you’re purchasing authentic pearls and investing in a beautiful piece of wearable treasure from the sea.

The post How Can You Tell If Pearls Are Real? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Jewelry Designer Jennifer Fisher Returns to SoHo With a Flagship Store

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 06/30/2022 - 13:45
Jennifer Fisher, who started her jewelry business out of her SoHo bedroom, returns to the neighborhood with a brick-and-mortar store.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Complete Guide to Chain Lengths for Men

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 16:13

Jewelry is an important element of style and personality to any man’s wardrobe. Selecting the right necklace length is a key aspect when choosing jewelry. Read on to discover what chain and chain length can style the perfect look from our men’s jewelry line.

Different Types of Chains

Men’s chain necklaces come in a variety of types, lengths, and metals. The most common chains are available in yellow gold, white gold, and silver. Chains are a foundational piece of men’s jewelry that not only step up your style, but also enhance your look. Here are a few different types of men’s chains:

  • Box Chains: square chain links made from square or box shaped wires, each box is cut into four equal sides with a flat surface
  • Figaro Chains: classic piece of jewelry designed with a single elongated rectangular link followed by two or three smaller round links
  • Cuban Link Chain: Cuban link chains are very sturdy and tend to be much heavier because of thicker, rounder walls
  • Cuban Link Chain: curb chains are made up of oval links and have a flatter appearance
  • Cable Chain: popular chain typically meant for holding pendants or charms, made up of oval rings linked together
  • Rope Chain: series of links carefully woven together forming a twisted appearance or look
  • Snake Chain: closely resemble a snake’s skin, with small rings, plates, or bands joined tightly together forming a continuous chain
How to Choose a Chain Length

It is important to keep in mind height, body type, and neck size when choosing a chain length. A man’s neck size is the same size as a shirt’s collar size which is very important to know prior to making a purchase. The average length for most men’s chain is 20in, which falls at the collarbone. A helpful visual of where the average chain falls is between the top two buttons on a shirt, just below where the collarbone sits.

Overall, chain lengths range from 18in – 30in with each size corresponding to the look you are going for. Multiple chains of varying lengths can be worn for a layered look. If the chain includes a medallion, cross, or dog tag, a slightly longer length is recommended.

How to Choose a Chain Width and Thickness

There are a variety of chain width and thickness options for men. The most common are between 2mm – 6mm, corresponding to a man’s neck size, body type, and the purpose of the chain. Chain width is tied to how a chain will be styled (i.e. medallion, pendant) or if the chain will be worn by itself.

A 2mm width has a thickness on par with a small headphone cord, while a 6mm width has a thickness similar to a pen/pencil. A width length between 6mm – 10mm works for pendants and chains worn outside of the shirt. Anything above a 10mm length is a statement piece to draw all eyes on your chain.

Common Chain Lengths for Men 18 inch

An 18in chain length is meant for smaller neck sizes. This is generally the shortest chain length for men. At this shorter length, necklaces tend to be very tight and fall right around the base of the neck. This can be a good option for men wanting their entire chain visible without being covered by a shirt collar.

20 inch

A 20in chain  is the most common length for men, falling right beneath the collarbone. When wearing a shirt, the chain falls between your shirt’s first and second button and can also be worn inside or outside a shirt based on your preference.

22 inch

A 22in chain is the other common chain length for men. This chain necklace falls a few inches below the collarbone. At this length, other pieces of jewelry like a medallion or pendant can be added foradditional styling. It can also be worn inside or outside of a shirt depending on your preference.

24 inch

A 24in chain is another great length for men, as the chain length falls right in the middle of the sternum or several inches higher. If you plan to wear pendants like dog tags, crosses, or medallions this is a great length to maximize visibility. It is common for men to wear 24in chains outside the shirt since other pieces are attached to the chain.

30 inch

A 30in chain is the longest standard chain length for men. This length falls right at the base or just below the sternum, and is meant to be worn outside of the shirt. A 30in chain is generally paired with a larger pendant, medallion, cross, or dog tag along with a thicker chain width. These chains are worn as statement pieces and are attention grabbing.

How to Style Chains

When styling chains, have a primary chain serving as the attention-grabber. The primary necklace serves as the focal point, with the other chains are for support. Creating a distance of 2-4in between chains allows for better viewability.

If you like wearing two chains, the thicker one will usually serve as the primary piece followed by a thinner chain above. If you’re mixing pendant necklaces and chains, the pendant will get the most attention, and a thinner chain can complement a pendant well.

How to Clean Chain Necklaces

Caring for your jewelry will help preserve and protect your jewelry for years to come. You can clean a chain necklace with warm water and detergent-free soap, and a bristle-free brush to gently remove any debris. This can be followed up by using a soft cloth to buff and air dry the necklace.

Men’s Chain Length FAQs What is a good chain length for a man?

When choosing a chain length, height, body type, and neck size are very important factors to know. Most chain lengths chosen for men typically fall at the collar bone, which is usually 20 inches in length.

Is a 20 inch chain too short for a man?

The most common chain length for men is 20in and not too short. When deciding on a chain length, it is important to know your neck size and how far down you want your chain to fall.

Is a 24 inch chain too long?

A 24in chain is not too long and another great length for men who plan to wear other items such as pendants, dog tags, crosses, or medallions on the chain itself. The chain length falls right in the middle of the sternum or several inches higher on most men.

Are chains unisex?

Certain chains are unisex, however this varies on the necklace itself and the neck size of the individual. Men’s chains tend to be thicker and heavier in weight than a women’s chain which is more delicate and lighter.

Can men layer chain necklaces?

Layering chain necklaces is a statement men can make to enhance any outfit. To pull of layering, is to stick with 2-3 necklaces each varying length so they are not bunched up or close together. Having a base necklace followed by a longer necklace with a pendant is a common layering style.

What type of chain is the most durable?

Durability is impacted by shape and size of the chain links and patterns on a necklace. The wheat chain is considered the strongest chain, which is made up of 4 strands of intertwining oval links.

Can chain necklaces get wet?

Necklaces can get wet, however use caution when being active so no damage is done to your jewelry. For lighter weight chains and chains with pieces, taking these off prior to physical activity or going into water is a good idea to prevent any damage. Hot and humid temperatures may cause tarnishing to sterling silver, leading to additional upkeep over time.

Final Thoughts

Mix it up with with bold bevels, onyx inlays, and pieces that stand out from our necklaces and mens jewelry available at Brilliant Earth.

The post The Complete Guide to Chain Lengths for Men appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Thieves Hit TEFAF Art Fair in Daylight Heist

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 19:40
A gang used a sledgehammer to smash open a display case and make off with jewelry at the renowned Dutch art fair, as dealers looked on, aghast.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

What is the Meaning of a Promise Ring?

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 19:05
What is a Promise Ring?

A promise ring is a symbolic gift given to a significant other as a physical reminder of your commitment to the relationship. It signifies devotion, loyalty, and dedication to creating a future together. Promise rings are typically a precursor to an engagement ring and are gifted to symbolize the intentions to one day tie the knot and officially get married. Now that we’ve defined what I promise ring is, let’s figure out the next important question: what is the meaning of a promise ring?

What is the Meaning of a Promise Ring?

A promise ring is just that – a promise. It’s an agreement between two people to not only eventually get married, but to also uphold the pillars of any successful relationship: honesty, loyalty, communication, and commitment. Promise rings can also hold special, more specific meanings unique to each couple’s one-of-a-kind relationship. If your partner accepts the ring, it’s a sign they are ready to commit to the relationship in a similar way you are.

Promise rings are also a recognition of the importance of your partner in your life and a symbol of gratitude for their presence. They are a physical reminder to your partner that shows that you are thankful for them and are a step above a traditional gift.

Promise rings are also an indication that you and your partner are entering a phase in your relationship that is a step above dating. When you give your partner a promise ring, you show the symbol of your relationship to the world and display the seriousness of your feelings outwardly but also show that you may not quite be ready for marriage. These rings are a convenient commitment symbol for your lover that also acknowledge the real-world complexities concerning finances, work, cohabitation, and marriage.

Though promise rings mostly symbolize romance, in modern times they have also been gifted not only to significant others, but to friends and family members as symbols of love and kinship.

The History of the Promise Ring

The answer to the age-old question ‘what’s the meaning of a promise ring’ has changed over the centuries. In olden times, promise rings were used more broadly than just in terms of romance. For example, Bishops wore promise rings that symbolized their spiritual and religious commitments. And in Venice, Italy heads of the city hearkened back to the historic ‘promise’ between the city, its canals, and the Adriatic Sea by tossing a ring into the water on the same day each year, having a new ring crafted, and a year later tossing it again.

It wasn’t until the Roman era that promise rings, as we consider them, became popular. Then, you were required to wait for a specific amount time before marriage, and promise rings were a sign of commitment to an individual to wait through that time period and eventually be married.

In the 14th century, the French adopted promise rings and called them posy rings. ‘Posy’ is derived from the word for poetry, and these rings were engraved with poetic phrases that signified romantic feelings of love. By the 19th century these phrases were no longer just engraved – they were cleverly and ornately spelled with small gemstones.

Is a Promise Ring the Same as an Engagement Ring?

A promise ring is not the same as an engagement ring. An engagement ring is a commitment ring indicating you are to get married in the near future. The intentions of giving someone a promise ring vary depending on whom you are offering, like a significant other, friend, or family member.

If you are giving the ring to your partner, the promise ring acts as a pre-engagement ring signifying you are committed to one another as a couple. For friendships and family, the promise ring symbolizes memories, bonds, love, and the strength of family ties. In all cases, a promise ring will act as a physical reminder of your promise and will remind you of the commitment you’ve made.

It’s also worth noting that a promise ring is not the same as a purity ring, which symbolizes an individual’s commitment to celibacy before marriage. Promise rings are meant only as a signifier of commitment to love and partnership.

What Does a Promise Ring Look Like? 

A promise ring can look like whatever your heart desires! As with engagement rings, promise rings can come in any style, shape, color, and size. It should be tailored to fit the taste of whoever will be wearing it and not be so over the top that it’ll outdo any future engagement rings.

  • Small diamond rings: choosing a simple band with a small diamond is a sophisticated choice that won’t upstage a future engagement ring that’s also set with a diamond.
  • Pearl rings: pearls are an excellent choice to symbolize your devotion. Long considered to represent wisdom gained through experience and good luck, these gems make perfect, meaningful promise rings.
  • Gemstones rings: a unique colored gemstone is an excellent way to celebrate your relationship with your partner. Choose their birthstone to represent your gratitude for their presence or another color that symbolizes your feelings for them (like red for love or green for luck).
  • Fashion rings: trend-forward rings make a unique statement as a promise ring. These rings are trendy enough to be worn on any finger and can up-level your partners look as well as the level of commitment in your relationship.
  • Eternity rings: choosing an eternity ring symbolizes everlasting love, making them one of the most meaningful promise ring offerings.
  • Stackable rings: choose a ring that’s easy to stack – that way your partner can wear it with a future engagement ring style or with other rings you chose to gift them in the future.
  • Three stone rings: these rings symbolize the past, present, and the future, creating a symbolic narrative that compliments their classic, sparkling silhouette.
How Much Should You Spend on a Promise Ring?

As mentioned, a promise ring shouldn’t upstage a future engagement ring. However, as a special, meaningful piece of jewelry, a promise ring should be carefully considered and crafted out of quality materials. When considering which promise ring to purchase, think about quality over quantity – a promise ring should signify your beliefs, preferences, and relationship, as well as consider the individual style of the person wearing it. A promise ring shouldn’t break the bank but should be valuable enough to treasure for a lifetime. 

What Finger Does a Promise Ring Go On?

The short answer is – there is no answer! Promise rings offer the flexibility to wear them on whichever finger (or hand) is the most meaningful and comfortable for the wearer. Wearing it on the ring finger on the right hand is one of the most popular ways – as engagement rings are traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand, wearing a promise ring on the exact opposite side is a meaningful choice. Or, if the wearer is comfortable with it, they can choose to wear it on the left ring finger and replace it with an engagement ring when the time comes.

A Promising Future

No matter which ring you decide on, whichever finger it’s worn on, and what you discover the meaning of a promise ring is to you, they are a promising move: it shows that you’re committed to crafting a meaningful future. Browse our selection of promise rings to find your perfect match.

The post What is the Meaning of a Promise Ring? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Guide to Black Diamonds: What You Need to Know

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 06/23/2022 - 20:18

Black diamonds are gaining popularity as a fashionable choice for discerning customers looking for quality, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Their distinctive appearance sets them apart from conventional designs and they make wonderful options for anyone looking for something a little more special.

What Is a Black Diamond?

Black diamonds are real diamonds made of carbon, as traditional diamonds are, but have an opaque and high-luster appearance due to their inclusions. They also sometimes appear metallic due to their deep color and brilliant shine.

What is the History of Black Diamonds?

Natural diamonds considered to be black in color were discovered around 1840 in Brazil and were originally called carbonados. Though they are a relatively recent discovery, they are formed deep in the Earth 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago. Their popularity didn’t increase until the late 1990’s when jewelers discovered their unique, bold properties – it was likely around this time that laboratories began manufacturing them from real carbon particles. Diamonds, especially black ones but of all types, are now a valued stone used in solitaire settings, in combination with other gems, and in all categories of fine jewelry.

What Are Black Diamonds Good For?

As these diamonds are highly admired for their distinctive color, their uniqueness creates a stunning and desirable contrast in jewelry designs. They are bold, strong, and convey a sense of power. They are are a beautiful complement to platinum, white gold, or silver setting. You can also pair black gemstones with white diamonds for a striking look. An even bolder look pairs them with gold settings for a striking, trendy look.

The unique look of black diamonds can be found in all types of jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. In particular, black diamond engagement rings are becoming more popular for individuals who enjoy standing out and making a statement. They are an unconventional choice, which makes them perfect for anyone looking to show off their fashion sense and individuality.

These stones can be used in a dramatic and complex piece or kept simple to showcase their natural beauty. Choose a high-quality gemstone piece with a unique design or create your own delightful piece as a gift to bring joy you or your partner.

How Do Black Diamonds Get Their Color?

Black diamonds get their color from the large quantities of mineral inclusions that are responsible for the hue. These inclusions are typically formed of pyrite, hematite, and graphite. The same inclusions are present in white diamonds, just in much smaller quantities. Another reason for the black color is the presence of fractures within the stone that are stained to varying degrees.

The number of fractures and number of inclusions are directly responsible for the actual color of an individual diamond. Some are almost colorless, while others can appear black, brown, or shades of dark green.

Are Black Diamonds Valuable?

Black diamonds that are naturally occurring are one of the rarer colored diamonds. They are highly desirable, more valuable than other types of diamonds, and can become quite expensive. Due to their rarity, they are also more difficult to source, which drives prices up.

The actual value depends upon the origin of the diamond (natural or lab created), its one-of-a-kind hue, and its aesthetic qualities. Everyone has a unique taste, so it can be a good idea to view a range of options before selecting the specific style and color saturation that you like best.

Jewelry that contains these eye-catching black gemstones requires careful handling, as the diamonds can become more fragile due to the amount of inclusions present. They are also susceptible to breakage if struck hard. Even so, there is a wide range of fancy shapes to select from to include in a trendy piece or used as the focal point of a minimalist design.

Do Black Diamonds Come in All Shapes and Carat Weights?

Diamonds considered to be black come in all the diamond shapes and sizes that traditional ones do – round, oval, cushion, princess, pear, emerald, marquise, asscher, radiant, and heart. More often than not, they will be cut into round shapes as it has historically been the most popular. You will also often see them cut into emerald or pear shapes that flatter jewelry wearers with modern tastes. They also do have carat weights, though these may differ slightly to traditional white diamonds that contain minimal inclusions.

What Are the Various Types of Black Diamonds?

There are three types of diamonds with black hues used for creating jewelry. The one that you select depends upon availability and your preference.

Natural Black Diamonds

Naturally occurring diamonds are also referred to as “fancy black” and are similar to natural white diamonds as they both come from the earth. They are also made of carbon; however, natural black diamonds have a different structure and contain high amounts of inclusions, particularly graphite, that are responsible for the color.

Lab-Grown Black Diamonds

Lab-created diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural ones do. The only difference is that these diamonds have different origins. They are “grown” in a controlled lab using high-temperature technology to crystallize carbon. This type of diamond is the responsible choice as there is no mining involved.

Treated Black Diamonds

The third type of black diamond is the treated diamond. These are technically white diamonds that have high inclusions, making them unsuitable for jewelry in their original form. Irradiation or heat treatments are used to give these diamonds a black color.

Are Black Diamonds GIA Graded?

The usual standards of cut, color, clarity, and carat that are used to grade white diamonds don’t apply to these stones because they are opaque. Instead, they are called “fancy black” diamonds and are graded under the GIA scales for colored diamonds that rate gemstones on the intensity of their saturation, their tone, and their hue. While they are not be accompanied by the same certifications as traditional diamonds in the market are, they may come with documentation that provides insight into their unique specifications and gradations.

Final Thoughts

Still deciding between a colorless diamond, a brightly hued gem, or a fancy black diamond? Peruse our unique black diamond designs and get inspired.

The post A Guide to Black Diamonds: What You Need to Know appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

How Much Money Should You Spend on a Ring?

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 21:29

Shopping for engagement rings and wedding rings can be stressful, confusing, and time-consuming. Read on to ensure you’re making a smart, practical decision that factors in average cost, style, and budget while enjoying one of the most special moments in your journey as a couple. And if you’re wondering ‘how much money should you spend on a ring?’- let’s dig in on how to figure it out.

What’s the Difference Between an Engagement Ring and a Wedding Ring?

Engagement rings usually feature a diamond or unique gemstone center stone. They’re the ring traditionally proposed with! The engagement ring purchase process should be a carefully considered but exciting occasion – whether you’re surprising your partner or picking out the ring together.

Wedding rings are purchased in addition to the engagement ring. As a rule of thumb, people wear wedding rings underneath the engagement ring and also on the left ring finger. Wedding rings are traditionally purchased for both partners in the relationship and are the rings used during the wedding ceremony to symbolize your commitment whether you’re eloping, celebrating with friends and family, or throwing a destination wedding.

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Engagement and marriage are among the most special moments in life. It’s a tremendous landmark to propose, tie the knot, and begin building a life with your significant other. This process can be stressful, however, especially if you’re debating on how much to spend on an engagement ring. Are you supposed to spend one months’ salary or three months’ worth? What is the national average in terms of purchase price? While these are important factors to consider, and we’ll cover them in this article, it’s also important to focus on and remember how exciting it all is rather than getting wrapped up in tradition and societal rules.

Purchasing the engagement ring will be one of the largest chunks of money you spend when preparing to get married. Most people only buy a diamond engagement ring once in life so terms like cut, color, carat, clarity, metal type, and fair trade are often mystifying as they aren’t something we usually consider in daily life. As these are major factors that will affect the price of your ring, let’s walk through them:

  • Cut: cut is a crucial element to consider when selecting a diamond. It refers not to the shape of the diamond, but the balance of proportion, symmetry and polish achieved by the diamond cutter. Cuts range from ‘fair’ to ‘super ideal’ with diamonds on the lower end of the scale (fair) generally being less expensive than diamonds with super ideal cuts.
  • Color: it’s often assumed that diamonds are completely clear – however, that’s not always the case. As diamonds come from the ground, they usually have yellow, brown, or gray colors. Diamonds are rated on the color scale from J – D based on hue, tone, and saturation. J color diamonds contain the most color, while D color diamonds are the closest to white (and are therefore the most expensive).
  • Carat: Often confused with visual size, carat refers to the unique weight of a diamond – it’s a unit of measurement that references density. Diamonds with larger carat weights will of course be pricier than their smaller counterparts.
  • Clarity: clarity refers to the purity and rarity of the stone – the degree to which it presents blemishes and inclusions. Stones are rated on a scale from SI1/2 – FL (slightly included to internally flawless). The more inclusions a stone processes, the cheaper it’ll be, and the opposite is true for flawless diamonds – which are incredibly rare.
  • Metal Type: generally, rings are offered in white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, and platinum. As platinum is more durable and less prone to tarnishing, it is typically more expensive than any shade of gold.
  • Fair trade: refers to how a diamond is sourced. It’s super important to only purchase a diamond you can feel confident in – a diamond sourced with zero conflict. While these diamonds are typically more expensive, they provide moral comfort.

Does the Center Stone Affect the Price of an Engagement Ring?

Another important factor that will affect the price of your engagement ring is the type of center stone you choose:

  • Natural diamonds: choosing a natural diamond will come at the highest cost as they are sourced from the Earth.
  • Lab diamonds: a lab diamond center stone looks the same as a natural diamond to the naked eye, but they come at a much more affordable price point – generally about 30% less than natural diamonds of the same quality.
  • Colored gemstones: the price of colored gemstones ranges greatly but in most cases are much more affordable than either a lab or natural diamond – especially if the gemstone is lab created itself.

When determining how much to spend on an engagement ring, it’s important to consider the above factors to make the appropriate choice. Prices range greatly, but hitting the sweet spot between excellent cut, color, clarity, carat for diamonds will yield the price that’s right for you. If you’re drawn to a colored gemstone (for both their beauty and their price point) ensure that its internal qualities are excellent. Whether you’re spending your life’s savings or making a practical choice, ensure that the style of the ring will excite your partner enough to treasure it for a lifetime.

The Salary Rule Myth about Engagement Rings

The salary rule states that two months salary is the best answer to the ‘how much money should you spend on a ring’ question. Another version of the rule says that its traditional to spend three months’ salary. In reality, neither of those rules stem from any sort of esteemed tradition.

In fact, until the 1930s, people used many different types of rings, and spending varied widely, but this changed with a De Beers advertising campaign. The company controlled 60% of diamond output around the world and sought to boost diamond sales during the Great Depression, which they did by implying that a diamond was the way to get your love to say yes. From there, the rule remained that a diamond should cost a months’ salary until the 1980s. De Beers launched a new advertising campaign insisting that two months’ salary is the way to a woman’s heart, and the tradition changed accordingly.

However, people have happy marriages with diamond rings of every price range, all the way from two weeks’ salary to three months and beyond. Rather than sticking to ironclad rules and tradition, average spending on wedding rings tends to reflect the times and economic conditions. In 2014, a survey of newlyweds that World of Wedman commissioned indicated that only 10% of diamond rings had a price of two-months’ salary – there is no exact calculator to determine the cost of a typical engagement ring – prices are always in flux.

What is the Average Cost of an Engagement Ring? 

Today, the average price of a wedding ring ranges between $3,000 to $5,000. This means that while most people purchase rings priced between $3,000 and $5,000, plenty of people purchase rings that are both below and beyond that price.

One way to reap the rewards of a large purchase is to buy your ring from an online retailer with a credit card. If you’re responsible enough to pay it off in a timely manner, it may be the best way to pay for your ring – that way you’ll receive points or rewards your card offers and hopefully offset some of the costs.

How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Ring?

Wedding rings can be significantly less expensive than engagement rings as they typically do not feature large center stones. Styles do vary in price, however, from simple plain metal bands that are more affordable to large diamond eternity rings that can get quite pricey. There’s certainly a large range on how to answer the how much money should you spend on a ring question.

For wedding bands, it’s a good idea to think about style versus how much you should spend – the most important questions to consider are: what is the style of wedding ring that my partner will like? Which wedding band will match with my partner’s engagement ring? For example, if you chose a solitaire engagement ring, your partner may want to add more sparkle to their stack by choosing a diamond-accented band. If the engagement ring is already quite luxe, a simpler band may be of want.

How Much Should You Spend on a Man’s Wedding Ring?

A man’s wedding band is as important as a woman’s engagement and wedding rings. Typically, a men’s wedding ring ranges in price from $1,000 – $2,500 but this can vary depending on style and metal type. Plain gold rings tend to be on the lower end of the spectrum, while platinum rings with diamond or gemstone accents tend to have a higher price point.

Why Choose Brilliant Earth? Ethical Sourcing and Sustainability

Before 2003, as many as 25% of all diamonds came from conflict zones that featured child labor and civil war. That figure has dropped to 10%, but even supposedly legitimate retailers still use loopholes to avoid new restrictions. With most jewelers, it’s impossible to know where your diamond has really come from and how ethical it really is.

At Brilliant Earth, we take measures to track our diamonds back to the source and ensure true fair trade across our entire supply chain. A diamond ring is  a symbol of love, and shouldn’t be tainted by unethical mining that diamond companies tolerate to improve their profit margins. You can count on your Brilliant Earth wedding ring being as pure and genuine as the love that underpins your marriage itself.

Now that you’ve had some food for thought on the ‘how much money should you spend on a ring’ question, explore our collection of diamond wedding and engagement rings today to find the perfect match for the one you love.

The post How Much Money Should You Spend on a Ring? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

What is a Composite Diamond?

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 20:30


Looking for an affordable diamond ring that meets your budget? Keep reading to learn about composite diamonds, what to look for when shopping for a composite diamond, and if this is the right style of ring for you.

What are Composite Diamonds?

Composite diamonds are several diamonds carefully set together creating a large diamond cluster or diamond shape. The diamonds themselves can be fused, glued, or set very close together. They are often fused together with two or more diamonds of equal or different, forming a unique pattern. While traditional rings offer a single diamond center stone, composite diamonds often have multiple stones and offer an elegant vintage look with intricate detail. This creates the look of a larger diamond without compromising the sparkle and brilliance of your diamond, often at a lower price than a traditional diamond ring.

Carat Weight vs Total Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to the unique unit of weight measurement or gemstone. This is the psychical weight of an individual diamond or gemstone, and one of the 4Cs – color, cut, clarity, carat weight. This is not to be confused with total carat weight, which is an entirely different measurement.

Total carat weight represents the total weight of all diamonds or other gemstones in a piece of jewelry when more than one stone is used. It is important to know the total carat weight in a composite diamond ring, which can then be compared against the individual carat weight of a single diamond to see how the prices compare. Sets of jewelry, or jewelry sold in pairs, are typically sold using TCW.

One carat is typically 200 mg, so a lower carat weight is a factor that goes into a diamond or gemstone’s price. Because composite rings are made up of smaller diamonds that are lower in carat weight, they tend to be priced lower than a standard diamond ring.

Pros of Composite Diamonds
  1. Affordability and Price – if you are on a budget and still want a gorgeous ring it’s hard to find a better value than a composite diamond
  2. Variety of Designs and Diamond Shapes a Single Stone Ring Doesn’t Offer. You can often find unique designs or shapes like a flower, oval, halo, chevron, or a cluster.
  3. Multiple different stones, and gemstones can be incorporated into a composite ring, imitating the appearance of a larger stone
  4. Everyday wear to compliment an existing solitaire diamond ring or wedding band in a solitaire color
Cons of Composite Diamonds
  1. Higher Repair Costs since there are often multiple diamonds or gemstones in different sizing clustered together
  2. Future value can be limited due to not having one single diamond, and instead multiple diamonds in a variety of sizes
How to Take Care of a Composite Diamond Ring

Basic care for your ring will help preserve and protect your composite diamond ring for years to come. Use dishwashing soap and warm water over your ring for best results. After rinsing, storing it in a cloth-lined jewelry box is ideal when you’re not wearing it.

At Brilliant Earth, we offer a free ring cleaning once a year on all rings bought from us. We also offer a complimentary ring resize within 60 days of a purchase, if your ring does not fit properly.

When considering a composite diamond ring, consider future repair costs for loose or missing stones. A Brilliant Earth protection plan can help with any unexpected or needed repairs to your ring.

Composite Diamond FAQs Are composite diamonds more affordable than solitaire diamonds?

Typically composite diamonds are more affordable than solitaire diamonds due to the sizing and carat weight of the diamonds used.

Are composite diamonds lab grown or natural?

Composite diamonds can be made up of natural diamonds or lab diamonds. They can also be made up of moissanite, cubic zirconia, or lab-grown diamonds. You can have a combination of natural only, lab only, or mixed diamonds.

Do composite diamonds maintain their value?

Composite diamonds value can fluctuate, however tend to retain their value over time if there are no blemishes or defects to the diamonds. It is a good idea to routinely get your diamonds / jewelry appraised.

What qualities should I consider when searching for a composite diamond?
  1. Maximizing sparkle and brilliance based on the arrangement of the stones
  2. Variety and Uniqueness of Design – are you a minimalist or looking for a ring that catches the eye immediately?
  3. Do you intend to wear every day, or formal occasions only? A composite diamond ring can be worn every day to complement your wardrobe, as well as pair perfectly for your next night out.
Do the 4 Cs matter for composite diamonds?

The 4 Cs play an important role in the selection and pricing for composite diamonds. You will want to know how many diamonds comprise the center stone along with their total carat weight vs. carat weight of a single stone. Please read our diamond guide, for a complete and in-depth guide going into greater details on diamonds and the 4C’s.

What is a doublet?

A doublet is when two diamonds or gemstones are fused to convey the appearance of a standalone diamond or gemstone, often conveying a larger appearance.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a large diamond ring without the hefty price tag? A composite diamond ring could be the answer. These are our favorite stunning composite diamond rings offering the same sparkle and shine as a solitaire diamond ring

The post What is a Composite Diamond? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News


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