Brilliant Earth

Subscribe to Brilliant Earth feed
Luxury with a conscience
Updated: 2 hours 34 min ago

Affordable Engagement Rings

Fri, 11/12/2021 - 17:00

An engagement ring is one of life’s most significant purchases, in more ways than one! At Brilliant Earth, we understand that an engagement ring is not only a monumental gift to represent a special commitment, but an investment too. 

One of the biggest factors in your engagement ring shopping experience is setting a budget and sticking to it. There are many beautiful and unique options available for affordable engagement rings. Of course, the meaning of “affordable” is subjective, and while budgets may differ, everybody has one—read on to make the most of yours! 

Our Favorite Affordable Engagement Rings Under $2,000  

 

Petite Shared Prong Diamond Engagement Ring 

This dainty ring features sheer sparkle that extends halfway around the ring. The center gem appears to float above the delicate band.

Petite Twisted Vine Diamond Engagement Ring 

This beautiful white diamond ring features a shimmering strand of pavé diamonds entwined with a lustrous ribbon of precious metal. 

Aria Diamond Engagement Ring 

 

Classic simplicity defines this delicate setting, which features a thin, precious metal band that gently tapers towards a pear-shaped diamond accent on each side of the center gem. 

Petite Elodie Engagement Ring

This elegant solitaire features an open basket with claw prongs that cradle the center gem. The petite band and yellow gold precious metal adds to the sleek, classic look of this ring. 

Elle Engagement Ring 

This timeless white solitaire diamond ring features a petite band that tapers up to embrace the center gemstone in delicate claw prongs. 

Ballad Diamond Engagement Ring 

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

Four-Prong Petite Comfort Fit Engagement Ring 

 

Petite and delicate, this classic yellow gold setting has a rounded inside edge for increased comfort. 

Willow Diamond Engagement Ring 

Wispy vines of precious metal entwine towards lustrous marquise diamond buds in this nature-inspired trellis ring. 

Tips for Finding an Affordable Engagement Ring 

 

1. Set your budget first

In our engagement ring guide, we recommend that you carefully consider your budget before shopping. Despite what you may have heard, there is no “rule” about how much you should spend on a ring. Everyone will have a different spending comfort level, and you should respect yours. It is important to understand what you can and want to invest in this purchase before you begin your search. Many customers choose to take advantage of Brilliant Earth’s financing and flexible payment options. Regardless of your budget, you will have a breadth of choices from which you can select your perfect engagement ring. 

2. Determine which of the 4 Cs matter to you  

Our diamond inventory is expansive, and specifically crafted to be inclusive of all price ranges and styles. Understanding the 4 C’s, cut, color, carat weight, and clarity can help you identify the diamond that is best for your budget and ring. To find the perfect diamond for you, we recommend selecting a diamond shape and then finding a balance between size and quality. Our jewelry experts are happy to help you select a diamond that offers the best value for your budget, and they have lots of insider advice to share to help you create your dream ring. For example, round brilliant diamonds make up about 75% of all diamond purchases, which means that, as a result of supply and demand, you can save up to 40% by selecting a stunning fancy shaped diamond, such as a cushion, oval, pear, radiant, or asscher cut diamond. Also, if you choose a yellow gold or rose gold setting you can choose a diamond with a lower color grade (and a lower price tag) and it will still look bright white.

3. Be open to different center stone options 

One way to save on your engagement ring is by opting for a lab diamond center stone. Lab-created diamonds are physically, chemically, and optically the same as naturally mined diamonds but cost less than mined diamonds of comparable size and quality (meaning you can get more for less). They are an excellent option for an affordable and sustainable engagement ring. Learn more about lab vs natural diamonds in our lab diamond guide.   

Consider opting for some color. A sapphire is a vibrant and distinctive choice for an engagement ring center stone that can help you obtain a larger stone while spending less money. Many brides-to-be are drawn to the deep blue hues of sapphire engagement rings, but keep in mind that sapphires also come in a range of gorgeous yellow, white, and pink hues. If you want a light-hued engagement ring, opt for a pale yellow or pink sapphire as your center gem. Sapphires pair beautifully with smaller accent diamonds to create a sensational ring. To see a variety of gorgeous colored gemstones that offer value in comparison to diamonds, browse our collection of unique colored gemstones, which includes sapphires in many colors, emeralds, garnets, morganites, and more.  

If you love the sparkle of a diamond and are not wanting to sacrifice carat size, opting for a diamond simulant such as a moissanite is a great alternative. Diamond simulants are manufactured to look like diamonds but are completely different gemstones that are distinguishable from diamonds with the naked eye. Moissanite is a popular diamond alternative that is beloved for its unique brilliance and extreme durability. Learn more about this unique gemstone born from the stars in our guide to moissanites vs diamonds.  

Many brides-to-be are choosing a non-traditional engagement ring that does not feature a highlighted center gemstone. These beautiful diamond bands are increasingly sought after as engagement ring alternatives. These rings do not feature a larger center gemstone but still offer extraordinary details and the gorgeous shimmer of diamonds. Many people seek out this option for a distinctive look, or for a style that is more compatible with an active lifestyle. Discover our collection of diamond-accented bands.  

4. Utilize a detailed setting

A surefire way to make an engagement ring more eye-catching while respecting your budget is to select a more detailed setting. Because the price of a center diamond increases with size, smaller accent diamonds are much more affordable than larger diamonds. Choosing an engagement ring design with diamond accents or side stones is a smart way to maximize sparkle while staying within your budget. One great option is a halo engagement ring, which features a center gemstone completely encircled by dazzling diamond accents that create the appearance of a larger center gem. Accent diamonds aside, choosing special details, such as hand-engraving, filigree, or milgrain, can make a ring look very luxe, even with a modest-sized center diamond and low cost.  

5. Consider all precious metals 

Platinum is a popular choice for engagement ring settings, due to its durability and appealing finish, but it is one of the more costly options. White goldyellow gold, or rose gold are all stunning precious metal choices that are more modest in price than platinum. If you love the silvery white patina of platinum, consider a white gold setting, which offers similarity in composition and appearance at a lower price.  

Final Thoughts  

Brilliant Earth has a completely personalized approach to jewelry, and we welcome you to consult with us by phone, online, or in one of our showroom locations to help you design your dream engagement ring within your budget. 

The post Affordable Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

53 Holiday Gift Ideas: A Guide to Holiday Jewelry Shopping

Wed, 11/10/2021 - 02:21

It’s that time of the year again, the holiday season is approaching!

When it comes to crowd-pleasing gifts, you can’t go wrong with sparkling fine jewelry. And what could be more festive than gifts of lustrous silver or gold? From classic diamond pieces that will never go out of style to personal gifts from the heart like personalized birthstone or engravable jewelry, explore our recommendations for the best gifts for everyone on your list.

Jewelry Gift Ideas for Her

The special someone in your life deserves a gift she’ll treasure forever. Whether you’re shopping for your best friend, sister, girlfriend or wife, these jewelry picks are standout pieces she will never forget.

Silver Sunflower London Blue Topaz Pendant

Petals of London blue topaz gemstones dazzle within a hoop of lustrous silver in this enchanting nature inspired look.

Willow Diamond Earrings

Shimmering diamonds cascade down lustrous vines of precious metal in these nature-inspired earrings.

Silver Petite Twisted Vine Diamond Cuff Bracelet

This beautiful cuff bracelet features a shimmering strand of pavé diamonds entwined with a lustrous ribbon of precious metal.

Her Diamond Necklace

This design was inspired by our donation to a non-profit organization that advocates for girls’ education and equality.

Jewelry Gift Ideas for Him

Men love to shine too! These timeless pieces are a beautiful way to show your love for the man in your life.

Engravable ID Bangle Bracelet

A stunning bar of precious metal creates this classic ID bracelet perfect for everyday wear and is a fabulous addition to any stack.

Vera Link Chain Necklace

Perfect on its own or paired with other necklaces in a chic stack, this trendy link chain is a fabulously unique fashion statement.

Summit Wedding Ring

A breathtaking landscape of Mount Everest adorns a brushed-matte band in this unique, nature-inspired wedding ring.

Apollo Sapphire Wedding Ring

This modern wedding band features a vertical baguette sapphire set against a matte brushed finish for a defining look. The softened inside edge provides increased comfort for daily wear.

Jewelry Gift Ideas for Mom

Your mom deserves the world, but we’re sure she’ll take diamonds as the next best thing. Classic diamond jewelry is the perfect addition to any mom’s collection.

Diamond Halo Pendant

This elegant diamond pendant features a gorgeous center diamond surrounded by pavé-set diamond accents.

Certified Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet

This eye-catching tennis bracelet embellishes the wrist with 5 carats of shimmering lab created diamonds individually set in lustrous gold links. An IGI lab grading report accompanies each bracelet.

Twisted Vine Diamond Hoop Earrings

These stylish and eye-catching earrings feature dazzling round diamonds prong-set in twisting vines of lustrous, precious metal.

Magnolia Diamond Earrings

Glimmering diamonds rest at the center of each arrangement of sculpted petals in these beautiful floral earrings. For an added personal touch, choose her sparkling birthstone as the center gem!

Jewelry Gift Ideas for Dad

So much better than another necktie or coffee mug! Think outside the box this holiday season with these lustrous jewelry gifts for dad.

Val Box Chain

Perfect on its own or paired with other necklaces in a chic stack, this classic box chain is effortlessly fashionable and uniquely timeless.

Round Diamond Stud Earrings

These beautiful earrings feature a matched pair of round brilliant diamonds secured in classic basket settings.

7mm Magnus Wedding Ring

This modern take on a classic silhouette features a meteorite exterior balanced with a black tungsten interior for a unique and bold look.

Horizon Black Diamond Wedding Ring

This modern band features a thin vertical row of black diamonds against a matte brushed finish for a stylish look. The softened inside edge provides increased comfort.

Jewelry Gift Ideas for Friends

These silver jewelry pieces are a sophisticated alternative to a classic friendship bracelet or necklace!

Teardrop Citrine Pendant

A pear-shaped citrine rests within a bezel setting with an open back to allow maximum light to reach the gem. This reversible pendant can be worn on either side making it the perfect option for everyday wear.

Solidarity Diamond Pendant

Strength in unity, resiliency, and hope define this diamond pendant that hangs elegantly from a lustrous cable chain. By donating to Feeding America’s COVID Relief Fund, we support hunger relief. In charity, sickness, and in health, we are better together—even from a distance.

Petite Spinel and Diamond Huggie Earrings

Black diamonds, grey spinels, and sparkling diamonds are set in scalloped pavé as they adorn each delicate hoop in this chic earring set.

Lab Created Alexandrite Bar Bracelet

This contemporary design features an elegant bar that rests gracefully along a classic cable chain adorned with a lab created alexandrite accent.

Jewelry Gifts Under $100

Beautiful and budget-friendly, these gift ideas are perfect for those looking to start their fine jewelry collection.

Heart Diamond Pendant

A true gift from the heart, this graceful and delicate pendant features an elegantly sparkling diamond, symbolizing the uniqueness and beauty of love.

Engravable Bar Bracelet

A lustrous metal bar is attached to a cable chain in this chic yet classic and wearable everyday engravable bracelet.

Moon Stud Earrings

These beautiful crescent moon earrings are the height of elegance and simplicity. Comfortable push backs keep these studs secure.

Olive Branch Bracelet

A symbol of peace and achievement, this captivating bracelet features elegantly sculpted leaves and olives made of lustrous precious metal.

Jewelry Gifts Under $250

These holiday gifts for under $250 feature classic designs that are made to suit every style and occasion.

Premium Akoya Cultured Pearl Pendant

This beautiful premium Akoya cultured pearl pendant hangs from a delicate cable chain. This elegant pearl features brilliant luster and shine with traditional grace and beauty.

London Blue Topaz Stud Earrings

Fashion forward with classic sophistication, these striking London Blue Topaz stones are set in comfortable basket settings.

Juniper Diamond Earrings

Delicate branches curve up the ear for a look of natural beauty. Glittering diamonds rest in lustrous metal in these stunning diamond earrings.

Premium Akoya Cultured Pearl Bracelet

Both classic and elegant, this bracelet features a lustrous Akoya cultured pearl held on a delicate cable chain.

Jewelry Gifts Under $500

All is bright in these beautiful fine jewelry pieces for under $500. Warm yellow gold and colorful gemstones make these stunning gifts truly memorable.

Hydrangea Earrings

A glittering cluster comprised of a sapphire, aquamarine, London blue topaz, and a shining diamond gathers together for a truly unique look in these earrings that make the perfect playful and colorful everyday look.

Classic Hoop Earrings

These favorited hoops are secured with simple and secure latch backs for effortless, everyday, and fashionable wear.

Maris London Blue Topaz and Aquamarine Bracelet

Stunning oval-shaped London blue topaz gemstones and round aquamarines float along the wrist in this delicate and beautiful bracelet.

Marquesa Strand Diamond Necklace

Diamonds shimmer from the center of kite-shaped designs evenly spaced along a delicate chain in this chic and elegant necklace.

Jewelry Gifts Under $1,000

Discover classic diamond jewelry for under $1,000 to gift this holiday season.

Round Diamond Stud Earrings (1/2 ct. tw.)

These earrings feature a beautifully matched pair of round diamonds secured in classic basket settings with push back posts.

Diamond Huggie Earrings

These captivating huggie hoop earrings feature a row of shimmering prong-set diamonds set in lustrous white gold. Secured with hinged latch backs, these diamond earrings are perfect for everyday wear.

Mina Lab Diamond Pendant

A shimmering line of dazzling lab diamonds lays elegantly on the neck in this sophisticated yet chic necklace that’s easily dressed up or worn daily for an added touch of sparkle.

Three Diamond Bezel Bracelet

Three diamonds glimmer within delicate bezel settings as they grace the chain of this elegant, everyday bracelet.

Jewelry Gifts Over $1,000

This year, give the gift of glamour. These dazzling diamond and gemstone gifts are heirlooms in the making.

Certified Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings (1 ct. tw.)

These beautiful earrings feature a matched pair of lab created round brilliant diamonds secured in classic basket settings with guardian backings. An IGI lab grading report accompanies each pair of earrings.

Diamond Tennis Bracelet (1 ct. tw.)

This eye-catching tennis bracelet embellishes the wrist with 1 carat of shimmering diamonds individually set in lustrous white gold links.

Marquise Diamond Solitaire Pendant

This lovely diamond pendant features a marquise-shaped gem that radiates brilliant, sparkling light. Sophisticated, captivating, and set in lustrous precious metal, this design is both sleek and eye-catching.

Sapphire Pavé Twist Pendant

Shimmering pavé diamonds in lustrous gold form a sculptural twist around a serene blue sapphire in this glamorous pendant.

Personalized Jewelry Gifts

One way to make your gift meaningful this season is to personalize it to the recipient. Colorful birthstone jewelry and engravable pieces are beautiful ways to show you care.

Engravable Disc Diamond Pendant

This pendant features a lustrous disc of precious metal encircled by glimmering diamond accent. Personalize this gift by engraving initials or a brief note.

Floating Solitaire Aquamarine Pendant

A beautiful aquamarine is set in this elegant pendant style that glides smoothly along a lustrous cable chain. Personalize this gift by changing out the center gem for the birthstone of your recipient!

Scorpio Diamond Pendant

A scorpion embossed on a gold disc adorned with three starlike diamond accents empowers this medallion and its wearer with the characteristics of the Zodiac water sign Scorpio: magnetism, passion, mysteriousness.

An impression in the symbolic shape of the Scorpio sign is carved into the textured second side while a single flush set diamond shines through from the front to the back, adding versatility to this powerful design. Al twelve zodiac signs are available in these gorgeous gold medallions.

Oval Diamond Locket

Perfect in a chic stack or as a meaningful heirloom to last a lifetime, this unique diamond-accented locket keeps those you love close by encasing a photo or a keepsake within a lustrous golden frame.

Unique Jewelry Gifts

Do you have someone on your holiday shopping list who loves to stand out from the crowd? Discover unique gifts that are sure to please your most discerning friends and family.

Mountain Range Diamond Pendant

This magnificent pendant draws inspiration from nature’s immense beauty. A sterling silver mountain range sparkles with a diamond accent and is gracefully suspended from a delicate sterling silver cable chain.

Riata Diamond Pendant

Four bezel-set diamonds are effortlessly suspended along a lustrous chain in this sleek lariat-style necklace.

Lilac Bouquet Earrings

A glittering gemstone cluster of amethysts, pink spinels, tanzanites, and diamonds gather together for a truly unique look. These gemstone stud earrings are chic, playful, and perfect for any occasion.

Baguette and Round Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Glistening round and baguette-shaped diamonds create a unique and alluring twist on a classic tennis bracelet.

Trendy Jewelry Gifts

Finally, discover on trend gifts that will be on everyone’s lists this year.

Chelsea Paperclip Diamond Bracelet

Effortlessly chic, this golden bracelet features a lustrous diamond-accented carabiner clasp on the center link of the trendy paperclip chain.

Napa Hoop Earrings

Classic and sophisticated, these barrel hoops add the perfect hint of gold to any look.

Ana Diamond Necklace

Modern and edgy, this sculptural necklace features a single, sparkling diamond at the center of a lustrous v-shaped bar.

Lexi Diamond Earrings

Trendy and chic, these unique earrings add flair to any outfit with a lustrous chain that connects a bezel-set diamond to a push back post.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Finally, did you wait till the last minute or are you looking for a gift for that person who’s impossible to shop for? A gift card or gift certificate that will allow them to buy whatever sparkling piece of jewelry they love the most will always be a hit. A Brilliant Earth gift card will let you digitally send your loved one a gift they can choose for themselves.

Final Thoughts

Which of these beautiful jewelry gifts would you add to your holiday wish list? Share your favorites with us on our InstagramFacebookTwitter, or in the comments below!

The post 53 Holiday Gift Ideas: A Guide to Holiday Jewelry Shopping appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Our Favorite Non-Diamond Engagement Rings 

Sun, 11/07/2021 - 17:11

A center diamond is by no means a requirement for a beautiful engagement ring. 

Distinctive engagement ring styles featuring non-diamond center stones are becoming an increasingly popular engagement ring trend. Many brides are opting for a pop of color by choosing a vibrant gemstone as their center stone which makes a stunning and unique expression of their love. Gemstones such as sapphireemerald, and morganite are especially rising in popularity and beloved by celebrities and trendsetters alike. At Brilliant Earth, we are excited to offer a broad range of non-diamond engagement rings that are sure to make a stunning and colorful statement. 

Most Popular Non-Diamond Engagement Rings  

The most popular non-diamond engagement rings are those that are both beautiful and hold up very well to everyday wear. Most engagement rings are worn daily and rarely taken off, and some gemstones stand up to daily wear and tear better than others. For those that live an active lifestyle and want a lower maintenance gemstone ring, a sapphire engagement ring is an ideal choice. Sapphires score very highly (a 9 out of 10) on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which rates minerals on their ability to withstand surface scratching. In fact, one of the only things that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond (and we cannot imagine a scenario in which that would happen in your daily life!). Learn more about the care and cleaning of all types of gemstones in our guide to caring for gemstone rings.   

The most popular sapphire color is rich royal blue, most recently made famous by the sapphire and diamond engagement ring worn by Kate Middleton, and originally worn by Prince William’s mother Princess Diana. Brilliant Earth offers an extensive collection of sapphire engagement rings. You can also create your own sapphire ring on our website by first choosing your unique sapphire, selecting a ring setting, choosing a metal type, and then seeing your ring come to life by using our Virtual Try On Feature

While we commonly think of sapphires as being blue, they come in a wide array of colors including yellow, white, pink, green, teal, peach, and red. Along with colorful gemstones, diamond simulants are also becoming an increasingly popular engagement ring trend. Although they have different chemical, optical, and performance properties than diamonds, white sapphires are a prized diamond simulant loved for their bright, white brilliance and extreme durability.  

Discover some of our favorite sapphire engagement rings below! 

Sapphire Aria Diamond Ring 

Classic simplicity defines this delicate white gold setting, which features a thin, precious metal band that gently tapers towards a pear-shaped diamond accent on each side of the center gem.

Sapphire Nadia Diamond Ring 

This elegant ring features a dazzling cluster of round and marquise-shaped diamonds that rest upon the shoulders of the gently tapered band. The center gem is held by four claw prongs as it sits upon a slightly open gallery. 

Sapphire Waverly Diamond Ring 

This sparkling halo setting features beautiful scalloped pavé diamonds that encircle the center gem and adorn the band. A diamond-encrusted gallery makes this ring truly spectacular. 

Sapphire Versailles Diamond Ring 

Alternating round and marquise diamonds create an alluring pattern in this chic and distinctive engagement ring. 

Sapphire Demi Diamond Ring 

This elegant white gold engagement ring features a glittering hidden halo of diamonds that wraps around the center gem. A petite band complements the gallery for an elegant, chic look 

Antique-Style and Art Deco Non-Diamond Engagement Rings  

Inspired by the charm of the past, our selection of vintage inspired engagement ring settings are the perfect match for creating an heirloom worthy gemstone engagement ring. Whether through delicate, Victorian-inspired filigree designs or bold Art Deco styles, vintage inspired settings are made to be paired with colorful center gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, garnets, aquamarines, sapphires, topaz, and more. In the Victorian era, sapphires and other colored gemstones were frequently the focal point of engagement rings, and rings from the Art Nouveau era often feature dreamy center gems such as moonstone, amethyst, citrine, opal, and pearl. Choosing an antique style engagement ring is an excellent way to inspire the charm of the past. 

Famous Non-Diamond Engagement Rings 

Colorful gemstone rings have been beloved by celebrities and royalty for decades. Perhaps one of the most famous pieces in jewelry history, Kate Middleton’s royal sapphire engagement ring that was previously worn by Princess Diana has been making headlines for decades. Vibrant green, emerald engagement rings have also been a popular celebrity pick, some of the most notable being Zoe Saldana’s spectacular pear cut emerald engagement ring and Olivia Wilde’s Art Deco emerald stunnerJessica Simpson’s three stone ruby engagement ring was chosen for the ruby’s symbolic meaning. Red stands for love and passion while the ruby is also her birthstone. Celebrity engagement rings are a great place to start if you are looking for some gemstone engagement ring inspiration to add to your Pinterest boards.  

Diamond Bands as Engagement Rings 

If you love diamonds but simply do not want a traditional diamond ring with a prominent center gem, consider a ring that features multiple diamond accents but no large center diamond. Another popular bridal trend is diamond stacking rings. Consider opting for a diamond eternity band, which you can turn into a ring stack as you add your wedding band and commemorate future special occasions (anniversaries, babies) with diamond bands. Discover some of our favorite diamond bands below! 

Luxe Versailles Diamond Ring 

Alternating round and marquise diamonds wrap three-fourths of the way around the band creating an alluring pattern in this chic and distinctive ring. 

Sienna Diamond Ring 

This luminous ring is adorned with glittering French pavé-set diamonds that extend halfway around the finger, making it the perfect wedding or anniversary band. 

Olivetta Diamond Ring 

This beautiful ring evokes femininity and romance with scattered round and pear-shaped diamonds that shimmer along the top of the band. 

Riviera Eternity Diamond Ring 

Floating shared prong diamonds shimmer all the way around this delicate eternity style wedding band for a spectacular look. 

Gemma Diamond Ring 

Baguette diamonds in a scalloped pavé setting glimmer along the top half of this ring while the delicate, high polished band completes the look of timeless elegance. 

Non-Diamond Rings with Diamond Accents 

 If you like the idea of having some diamonds in your engagement ring but want a colored gemstone as the focal point, consider accentuating the center gemstone with diamond accents. For example, a halo style, which encircles the center gem in glittering diamonds, is a breathtaking way to highlight a sapphire or other center gem. Or you might choose to add side diamond accents or pavé diamonds in the band. Three stone settings are also a timeless way to add some extra sparkle to your engagement ring.  

Affordable Non-Diamond Engagement Rings 

Aside from being a unique engagement ring choice, non-diamond engagement rings also offer excellent value. Many couples love that they can purchase a non-diamond ring at a lower price point and get a larger gemstone and more look for less! With so many wedding expenses on the way, selecting a non-diamond engagement ring can be an especially appealing choice. 

Here are a few of our favorite non-diamond engagement rings under $2,500.  

Moissanite Petite Shared Prong Lab Diamond Ring 

This dainty ring features sheer sparkle that extends halfway around the ring. The center gem appears to float above the delicate band. 

Aquamarine Luxe 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 gem. 

Morganite Selene Diamond Ring 

Classic simplicity defines this delicate setting, which features a thin, precious metal band that gently tapers towards a diamond accent on each side of the center gem (1/10 total carat weight). 

Emerald Petite Elodie Ring 

This elegant solitaire features an open basket with claw prongs that cradle the center gem. The petite band adds to the sleek, classic look of this ring. 

Non-Diamond Engagement Ring FAQs   Can you have an engagement ring without a diamond?  

A center diamond is by no means a requirement for a beautiful engagement ring. Sapphires are the most popular gemstone chosen for a non-diamond engagement ring. Beloved by celebrities and royalty throughout history, sapphires add a stunning pop of color to any engagement ring while offering unmatched durability. 

What is a good alternative to a diamond?  

If you love the look of a diamond but are looking for a cost-friendly alternative, some of the most popular choices for diamond alternatives are simulants such as moissanite, white sapphire, and cubic zirconia. Moissanites especially are loved for their brilliant, fiery sparkle, durability, and value.   

What is a non-engagement ring called?  

promise ring is a form of non-engagement ring that is given as a gift and suggests your commitment to your partner. From your promise of a future engagement to a romantic gesture of your love and commitment, promise rings can mean any number of things.  

Final Thoughts  

Would you consider choosing a non-diamond engagement ring? Do you have a favorite center gemstone other than diamonds? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter or in the comments section below!  

The post Our Favorite Non-Diamond Engagement Rings  appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

8 Most Popular Engagement Rings for Holiday Proposals

Mon, 11/01/2021 - 15:34

Photo by @tinadoodles

What’s more romantic than a holiday proposal?

It’s no surprise that the holiday season and winter months are some of the most popular times to get engaged. From the festive spirit in the air, twinkling lights, and cozy nights by the fire, the season presents a wealth of special locations and activities perfectly fit for a proposal.

Here at Brilliant Earth, we believe in providing once in a lifetime gifts and shopping with care. For winter engagement inspiration, we’ve listed some of our most popular diamond engagement rings for holiday proposals.

Constance Hidden Halo Diamond Ring

A hidden halo of diamonds wraps the base of the gallery in shimmering light in this alluring ring while scalloped pavé diamonds extend half of the way around the glistening band.

Versailles Diamond Ring

Alternating round and marquise diamonds create an alluring pattern in this chic and distinctive engagement ring.

Waverly Diamond Ring

This sparkling halo setting features beautiful scalloped pavé diamonds that encircle the center gem and adorn the band. A diamond-encrusted gallery makes this ring truly spectacular.

Nadia Diamond Ring

This elegant ring features a dazzling cluster of round and marquise-shaped diamonds that rest upon the shoulders of the gently tapered band. The center gem is held by four claw prongs as it sits upon a slightly open gallery.

Luxe Ballad Diamond Ring

This classic engagement ring features sparkling scalloped pavé diamonds that extend three-fourths of the way around the ring. The center gem appears to float above the delicate band.

Elle Ring

This timeless solitaire features a petite band that tapers up to embrace the center gemstone in delicate claw prongs.

Capella Diamond Ring

Classic simplicity defines this luxe three stone setting, which features a thin precious metal band that extends towards an oval-shaped diamond accent on each side of the center gem.

Secret Garden Diamond Ring

Glistening marquise-shaped diamond buds rest on whimsical vines of precious metal winding towards the center gem for a look of natural elegance.

Final Thoughts

Which of these styles would you love to receive? Let us know in the comments below, or on our InstagramFacebook or Twitter!

The post 8 Most Popular Engagement Rings for Holiday Proposals appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The History and Meaning Behind December’s Birthstones

Tue, 10/26/2021 - 15:00

There are several different beautiful gemstones to choose from when it comes to selecting birthstone jewelry for the December birthday in your life! From the light, bright blues of turquoise, the rich hues of blue topaz, and the many shades of zircon, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for the December birthday in your life.

What is the Birthstone for December?

Those born in December are lucky enough to have four accepted birthstones: turquoise, zircon, blue topaz, and tanzanite. All of these gems are beautiful options for fine jewelry and give December babies a wide variety of styles and price ranges to choose from.

What Birthstone Color is December?

Although zircon, turquoise, tanzanite, and topaz are gemstones that come in a variety of hues, beautiful blue shades are the popular choice for December birthstone jewelry. For our December birthstone jewelry pieces, we prefer to use London Blue topaz for its rich and unique blue color.

Why Does December Have Multiple Birthstone?

December isn’t the only month that has multiple accepted birthstones, but it does have more birthstones than any other month. Turquoise and another famous blue gemstone, lapis lazuli, were the traditional birthstones for December. Today, the more brilliant blue topaz and zircon have become the most popular modern gemstones for December birthdays.

Turquoise Birthstone History and Meaning

Ranging in color from bright robin’s egg to pastel blue and bluish green, turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones. This December birthstone has been prized for thousands of years by cultures ranging from the Aztecs to the ancient Egyptians (who used it to decorate King Tut’s tomb) to the Persian empire. From ancient times to today, people have ascribed special powers to turquoise. Native American tribes of the Southwest wore turquoise as an amulet believed to offer protection, while in ancient Persia (and modern-day Iran) some believe wearing turquoise can ward off evil. Over the centuries, turquoise has acquired a reputation for protecting people from misfortune.

Although the gem itself is ancient, the name is relatively new: dating from thirteenth century France, the word “turquoise” meaning “stone from Turkey,” originated when the gems were brought from Turkey to Western Europe. Turquoise cabochons are often found in antique jewelry from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and Queen Victoria gave her bridesmaids turquoise embellished brooches as gifts.

Turquoise Jewelry Cleaning and Care Tips

As gemstones go, turquoise is a bit fragile, so we recommend taking special care when wearing turquoise fine jewelry. High heat can damage its surface or cause discoloration, and exposure to some chemicals, cosmetics and even skin oils can change its color. Clean turquoise with warm soapy water but avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaners. Our jewelry specialists would be happy to answer any questions on how to properly care for your turquoise jewelry pieces!

Zircon Birthstone History and Meaning

Zircon is another gem featured in dazzling December birthstone jewelry. Although Zircon isn’t as well-known as some other gems, this stone is a celebrity among geologists. The oldest rock ever discovered was a zircon found in Australia dating 4.4 billion years, nearly as old as the planet itself (the oldest diamonds are 3.3 billion years old). If you’re shopping for someone born in December, a piece of zircon jewelry would make for a timeless treasure!

Zircon can be found in a rainbow of colors, including blue, brown, green, orange, yellow, red and even clear. Clear zircon is one of the most brilliant non-diamond gems and was often used as a diamond alternative in the nineteenth century. According to the American Gemological Society, folk wisdom says that zircon has the power to relieve pain, protect travelers and prevent nightmares.

Zircon Jewelry Cleaning and Care Tips

Zircon is fairly durable, but it’s not as strong as sapphires and diamonds so you should avoid wearing or storing it in harsh conditions. If a zircon has been heat-treated to produce a certain color (many blue zircon stones have been), prolonged exposure to light could lead to the gem changing back to its original hue. Clean zircon with warm water and gentle soap, but don’t use steam or ultrasonic cleaners with this gem.

Topaz Birthstone History and Meaning

Topaz has been sought after for centuries, and many believe it got its name from the Island of Topazios in the Red Sea when it was discovered by ancient romans. Topaz becomes blue when it is heated, either naturally or artificially, and can vary in intensity. Throughout history, this beautiful blue stone was thought to have healing properties that brought peace and clarity and that could even dispel magic spells, sickness, and anger.

In more modern history, blue topaz has been a favorite among the European aristocracy. Kate Middleton regularly wears a pair of blue topaz and diamond earrings for social occasions, and celebrities like Cate Blanchett, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez have all worn blue topaz on the red carpet. London Blue Topaz is one of the richest and beautifully unique shades of blue, and this is the shade of blue topaz Brilliant Earth uses for its fine jewelry.

Topaz Jewelry Cleaning and Care Tips

Like all crystals, topaz can be brittle and should be treated with care. However, it still ranks 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness which is right behind sapphires. When cleaning topaz, avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaning. Instead, use hand-warm water and a bit of soap, and wash your topaz very gently with a cloth or a soft toothbrush, patting it dry afterwards.

December Birthstone Jewelry

Birthstone jewelry is a beautiful and sentimental gift that your friend, partner, or family member will treasure for years to come. See some of our favorite blue topaz birthstone jewelry to gift below!

Floating Solitaire London Blue Topaz Pendant

A beautiful London blue topaz is set in this elegant pendant style that glides smoothly along a lustrous cable chain.

London Blue Topaz Stud Earrings

Fashion forward with classic sophistication, these striking London Blue Topaz stones are set in comfortable basket settings.

Maris London Blue Topaz and Aquamarine Bracelet

Stunning oval-shaped London blue topaz gemstones and round aquamarines float along the wrist in this delicate and beautiful bracelet.

Mazarine London Blue Topaz and Aquamarine Earrings

Sparkling in hues of luscious blue, these elegant earrings feature glistening cushion-cut London blue topazes atop breathtaking emerald-cut aquamarines for a chic and stylish look.

Teardrop London Blue Topaz Bracelet

A beautiful bezel-set pear-shaped London blue topaz rests on a lustrous chain in this unique bracelet. Modern and elegant, this design is perfect for effortless everyday wear and features a sizing station at 6′ for individual comfort.

Teardrop London Blue Topaz Earrings

A pear-shaped London Blue topaz rests within a bezel setting, an open back allows maximum light to reach the gem, and a classic French wire setting adds movement to these perfect everyday earrings.

Hex London Blue Topaz Stud Earrings

Gleaming London Blue Topaz gems are set in a hexagonal-shaped frame in these studs that are perfect for elevated everyday wear.

Delmar Hue Ring

This unique ring showcases a stunning line of sapphire, London blue topaz, swiss blue topaz, and white topaz that emit a radiant aura of light.

Petite Signet Cerulean Ring

Glistening sapphires, aquamarines, and London Blue topazes are channel-set in this elegant and timeless blue-hued signet ring.

Azule Earrings

A shining gemstone cluster of aquamarine, London blue topaz, and a diamond gather together for a chic statement perfect for any occasion.

Melanie Earrings

A glittering cluster comprised of a sapphire, aquamarine, and London Blue topaz, stem from a shining diamond to complete the perfect playful and everyday look.

Siren Huggie Earrings

These glamorous huggie hoop earrings feature a row of dazzling prong-set diamonds, freshwater cultured pearls, London Blue topazes, and aquamarines set in lustrous gold. Secured with hinged latch backs, these earrings are perfect for elevated every day wear.

Hydrangea Cuff Bracelet

A glittering cluster comprised of a sapphire, aquamarine, London blue topaz, and a shining diamond gathers together for a truly unique look in this cuff that is the perfect playful and colorful everyday piece.

Coastal Ombre Ring

Shimmering diamonds, sapphires, aquamarines, lab alexandrites, london blue topazes, and sunstones create an eye-catching ombre effect that wraps half of the way around this chic, whimsical ring.

Marina Diamond Ring

This unique ring showcases a stunning cluster of sapphire, London blue topaz, aquamarine, and diamond gemstones that emit a radiant aura of light.

Rae London Blue Topaz Ring

A single London Blue topaz rests within a band of precious metal in this sleek and elegant ring.

Joelle London Blue Topaz Ring

Floating shared prong marquise London Blue topazes shimmer from the top half of this delicate and dazzling band for a spectacular look.

Marseille London Blue Topaz Ring

Floating shared prong London Blue topazes shimmer from the top half of this delicate and luminous band for a spectacular look.

Soiree London Blue Topaz Huggie Earrings

Perfectly sophisticated yet effortlessly cool, these huggie hoop earrings feature glistening London Blue topazes pavé-set in a stunningly chic teal-blue row.

Sunflower London Blue Topaz Earrings

Petals of London blue topaz gemstones dazzle within a hoop of lustrous silver in this enchanting nature-inspired look.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a December baby, what do you think of your birthstones—do you have a favorite?  Do you own any birthstone jewelry?  Let us know your thoughts on  FacebookInstagram, or Twitter or in the comments section!

The post The History and Meaning Behind December’s Birthstones appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Best Jewelry Picks for Scorpios

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 18:45

We are celebrating Scorpio season!  

Those born between October 23rd and November 22nd belong to the passionate water sign, Scorpio. Known as natural trailblazers, independent thinkers, extremely passionate and keenly perceptive, this water sign knows what it wants – and is sure to go after it. Read on to discover the best jewelry gifts for a Scorpio and learn more about one of the most misunderstood signs in the zodiac!  

What is the Zodiac sign for Scorpio? 

This intense water sign is the eighth sign in the zodiac and is represented by the scorpion. Although they do not like to show it, Scorpios are tender-hearted and may occasionally last out to protect themselves. Much like a scorpion, this sign has a tough outer shell but once you get past, Scorpios are loyal, deeply loving, and intensely passionate.  

What stone is associated with Scorpio?  

The two birthstones that belong to Scorpio are topaz and citrine – the gemstones associated with integrity, love, passion, and purpose. Both topaz and citrine come in a wide array of colors ranging from shades of yellow, blue, red, green, brown, purple, and pink. 

What is Scorpio’s color?  

Black is the power color associated with Scorpio Zodiac. While Western culture may associate the color black with some negative or dark connotations, for much of history, black has been associated with strength, influence, sophistication, and power. Black is also a fitting color for one of the most mysterious signs in the zodiac.  

What are the personality traits of a Scorpio? 

Intensely passionate, undoubtedly forthright, and often the first to set a new trend, Scorpios are commonly mistaken for a fire sign. One of their best attributes is a Scorpio’s deep sense of self, which allows them to know exactly what they want and go after it. While other signs may spend time beating around the bush, you can always count on a Scorpio to be direct and face any conflict head on. Their intense nature may seem intimidating to some at first, but under the surface in an extremely soft heart that shows unparalleled empathy, warmth, and commitment to their friends and partners.  

Scorpios passionately pursue their goals, leading them to be some of the most loyal partners and enthusiastic of friends. They do not get intimidated easily and will always persevere any challenge that comes their way, whether in love or in life. Indicative of the scorpion, this water sign often has a hard protective shell at first, but when they decide to put their hearts on display, there is nothing that can stop them from achieving their goals!  

What type of jewelry is best for Scorpios?  

Scorpios’ sophistication often gravitates them towards classic jewelry pieces with a bit of edge. Scorpios tend to surround themselves with others that reflect their passion, sophistication, and forthright nature – which can be seen in their refined jewelry taste. We also recommend gifting a Scorpio a beautiful piece of November birthstone jewelry.  

 Scorpio Necklaces and Jewelry Gift Ideas  

Read on to discover some of our favorite jewelry gift ideas for the Scorpio Zodiac in your life!  

Scorpio Diamond Pendant  

A scorpion embossed on a gold disc adorned with three starlike diamond accents empowers this medallion and its wearer with the characteristics of the Zodiac water sign Scorpio: magnetism, passion, mysteriousness. An impression in the symbolic shape of the Scorpio sign is carved into the textured second side while a single flush set diamond shines through from the front to the back, adding versatility to this powerful design. 

Scorpio Constellation Diamond Pendant 

Full of personality and charmingly chic, this Zodiac-inspired pendant features the Scorpio constellation mapped out in glistening diamonds. Perfect for you or the Scorpio in your life, this necklace dazzles like stars in the nighttime sky. 

Siren Huggie Earrings 

These glamorous huggie hoop earrings feature a row of dazzling prong-set diamonds, freshwater cultured pearls, London Blue topazes, and aquamarines set in lustrous gold.  

Diamond Tennis Bracelet  

What better gift to celebrate the sophistication of a Scorpio than a diamond tennis bracelet? This eye-catching tennis bracelet embellishes the wrist with 2 carats of shimmering diamonds individually set in lustrous white gold links. 

Astra Diamond Ring 

This exquisite ring embodies the spontaneity of love with a constellation of periodically placed diamond accents on a lustrous precious metal band. Style this ring on its own or curate your own ring stack.  

Citrine Twist Pendant 

Celebrate the Scorpio in your life with the gift of November birthstone jewelry. This spectacular pendant features a lustrous citrine centered in a delightfully sculptural twist. Discover our full selection of citrine gemstone jewelry.  

Marigold Hue Ring 

This whimsical ring shimmers with citrines and sapphires in lustrous precious metal. Discover our full selection of dazzling November birthstone jewelry.  

Pear Lab Created Diamond Halo Pendant 

This classic pendant features a glistening pear-shaped lab created diamond as its center stone and a dazzling lab created diamond halo that wraps the center gem in an aura of light. 

Premium Akoya Cultured Pearl Bracelet 

Both classic and elegant, this bracelet features a lustrous Akoya cultured pearl held on a delicate cable chain. 

Padma Ring 

Inspired by the aesthetic and symbolic beauty of the lotus petal, this chic ring wraps the finger in lustrous light for an edgy, statement worthy look. 

Final Thoughts 

Which look is your favorite for Scorpios? Let us know your favorite styles in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

The post The Best Jewelry Picks for Scorpios appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Best Jewelry Picks for Scorpios

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 15:33

We are celebrating Scorpio season!  

Those born between October 23rd and November 22nd belong to the passionate water sign, Scorpio. Known as natural trailblazers, independent thinkers, extremely passionate and keenly perceptive, this water sign knows what it wants – and is sure to go after it. Read on to discover the best jewelry gifts for a Scorpio and learn more about one of the most misunderstood signs in the zodiac!  

What is the Zodiac sign for Scorpio? 

This intense water sign is the eighth sign in the zodiac and is represented by the scorpion. Although they do not like to show it, Scorpios are tender-hearted and may occasionally last out to protect themselves. Much like a scorpion, this sign has a tough outer shell but once you get past, Scorpios are loyal, deeply loving, and intensely passionate.  

What stone is associated with Scorpio?  

The two birthstones that belong to Scorpio are topaz and citrine – the gemstones associated with integrity, love, passion, and purpose. Both topaz and citrine come in a wide array of colors ranging from shades of yellow, blue, red, green, brown, purple, and pink. 

What is Scorpio’s color?  

Black is the power color associated with Scorpio Zodiac. While Western culture may associate the color black with some negative or dark connotations, for much of history, black has been associated with strength, influence, sophistication, and power. Black is also a fitting color for one of the most mysterious signs in the zodiac.  

What are the personality traits of a Scorpio? 

Intensely passionate, undoubtedly forthright, and often the first to set a new trend, Scorpios are commonly mistaken for a fire sign. One of their best attributes is Scorpio’s deep sense of self, which allows them to know exactly what they want and go after it. While other signs may spend time beating around the bush, you can always count on a Scorpio to be direct and face any conflict head on. Their intense nature may seem intimidating to some at first, but under the surface in an extremely soft heart that shows unparalleled empathy, warmth, and commitment to their friends and partners.  

Scorpios passionately pursue their goals, leading them to be some of the most loyal partners and enthusiastic of friends. They do not get intimidated easily and will always persevere any challenge that comes their way, whether in love or in life. Indicative of the scorpion, this water sign often has a hard protective shell at first, but when they decide to put their hearts on display, there is nothing that can stop them from achieving their goals!  

What type of jewelry is best for Scorpios?  

Scorpios’ sophistication often gravitates them towards classic jewelry pieces with a bit of edge. Scorpios tend to surround themselves with others that reflect their passion, sophistication, and forthright nature – which can be seen in their refined jewelry taste. We also recommend gifting a Scorpio a beautiful piece of November birthstone jewelry.   

Scorpio Necklaces and Jewelry Gift Ideas  

Read on to discover some of our favorite jewelry gift ideas for the Scorpio Zodiac in your life!  

Scorpio Diamond Pendant  

A scorpion embossed on a gold disc adorned with three starlike diamond accents empowers this medallion and its wearer with the characteristics of the Zodiac water sign Scorpio: magnetism, passion, mysteriousness. An impression in the symbolic shape of the Scorpio sign is carved into the textured second side while a single flush set diamond shines through from the front to the back, adding versatility to this powerful design. 

Scorpio Constellation Diamond Pendant 

Full of personality and charmingly chic, this Zodiac-inspired pendant features the Scorpio constellation mapped out in glistening diamonds. Perfect for you or the Scorpio in your life, this necklace dazzles like stars in the nighttime sky. 

Siren Huggie Earrings 

These glamorous huggie hoop earrings feature a row of dazzling prong-set diamonds, freshwater cultured pearls, London Blue topazes, and aquamarines set in lustrous gold.  

Diamond Tennis Bracelet  

What better gift to celebrate the sophistication of a Scorpio than a diamond tennis bracelet? This eye-catching tennis bracelet embellishes the wrist with 2 carats of shimmering diamonds individually set in lustrous white gold links. 

Astra Diamond Ring 

This exquisite ring embodies the spontaneity of love with a constellation of periodically placed diamond accents on a lustrous precious metal band. Style this ring on its own or curate your own ring stack.  

Citrine Twist Pendant 

Celebrate the Scorpio in your life with the gift of November birthstone jewelry. This spectacular pendant features a lustrous citrine centered in a delightfully sculptural twist. Discover our full selection of citrine gemstone jewelry.  

Marigold Hue Ring 

This whimsical ring shimmers with citrines and sapphires in lustrous precious metal. Discover our full selection of dazzling November birthstone jewelry.  

Pear Lab Created Diamond Halo Pendant 

This classic pendant features a glistening pear-shaped lab created diamond as its center stone and a dazzling lab created diamond halo that wraps the center gem in an aura of light. 

Premium Akoya Cultured Pearl Bracelet 

Both classic and elegant, this bracelet features a lustrous Akoya cultured pearl held on a delicate cable chain. 

Padma Ring 

Inspired by the aesthetic and symbolic beauty of the lotus petal, this chic ring wraps the finger in lustrous light for an edgy, statement worthy look. 

Final Thoughts 

Which look is your favorite for Scorpios? Let us know your favorite styles in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

The post The Best Jewelry Picks for Scorpios appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

White Sapphire Engagement Rings

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 02:06

When thinking of sapphires, royal blue gemstones typically come to mind, but have you heard of white sapphires?

What Is A White Sapphire?

Mined from the earth, sapphires are a type of aluminum oxide. While the best-known color for sapphires is a rich blue, slight differences in the chemical properties of the stone’s composition cause variations in the color, resulting in the icy white color of some stones.

Are White Sapphires Good for Engagement Rings?

Yes! While not as brilliant as diamonds, white sapphires are prized for their bright, white glow and durability. Because of their beauty and strength, white sapphires are suitable for everyday wear in jewelry like engagement rings or wedding bands. Whatever the ring style, white sapphires make for a stunning choice.

Do White Sapphires Turn Cloudy?

Over time, any gemstone will collect residue from things like makeup, lotion, household cleaners, and daily exposure to the elements. Because of their colorlessness, white gems like white sapphires tend to get cloudy faster than colored gems. However, regular at-home cleaning is an easy and quick solution to combat a cloudy appearance. You can clean sapphires with warm soapy water and a soft cloth or toothbrush.

Are White Sapphires Like Diamonds?

With a similar look to that of diamonds, a white sapphire ring can offer a beautiful, more affordable alternative to the traditional engagement ring center stone. However, there are distinct differences in the durability, brilliance, and appearance of the two gems.

Will People Be Able to Tell That My Engagement Ring is a White Sapphire and Not a Diamond?

White sapphires and diamonds have slight visual differences, and people may be able to tell that your sapphire is not a diamond when looking at it. However, if you love the idea of a white sapphire, don’t let that deter you! Both gems have their own unique beauty.

White Sapphire vs. Diamond Appearance

One of the biggest differentiators between white sapphires and other white gems like diamonds and moissanites is its unique brilliance. White sapphires will have a very silvery gray glow to them, as opposed to the fierier rainbow flashes seen in diamonds and moissanites.

Durability

Both sapphires and diamonds are hard gemstones and are suitable for jewelry that will receive everyday wear, including engagement rings. Because of this, both gems will have crisp and clean faceting since the stones are hard enough to be cut precisely. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone with a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, and sapphires are right behind them with a 9 on the Mohs Scale. Both gems will be durable and resistant to chipping, cracks, and cleavage.

Brilliance

White sapphires have a more silvery/white-gray sparkle while diamonds will reflect a mix of white and rainbow brilliance. This is because white sapphires reflect less light than diamonds do, but also because their light refraction highly favors white light over colored light or “fire.” Diamonds have a high refractive index and dispersion – meaning they are optimal for refracting and reflecting light for maximum sparkle. Sapphires have a lower refractive index than diamonds, meaning that it is tougher for light to sparkle through things like dirt and residue on a sapphire.

Price

If you are looking to purchase a large center gem for a ring within a budget, a white sapphire might be the right choice for you. White sapphires are typically significantly more affordable than diamonds of comparable size and quality. If you like the silvery look of a white sapphire and want a large center gem for your ring, choosing a white sapphire vs. a diamond could potentially save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.

Pros of White Sapphire Engagement Rings
  1. White sapphires are a great value and will allow you to get a large, show-stopping gem for a reasonable price.
  2. White sapphires are a unique choice for someone who wants a white gemstone but is interested in a non-diamond option. Sapphires are a beautiful and valuable alternative to diamonds.
  3. Sapphires are sturdy and durable gems that can last a lifetime and are heirlooms in the making.
Cons of White Sapphire Engagement Rings
  1. White sapphires are not as brilliant or sparkling as diamonds.
  2. Because of their low refractive index and colorlessness, white sapphires do require frequent cleaning and regular upkeep.
  3. If the look you are truly wanting is that of a diamond, a white sapphire will not be a perfect match or “dupe.”
Our Top 10 Favorite White Sapphire Engagement Rings 1. Waverly Diamond Ring

This sparkling halo setting features beautiful scalloped pavé diamonds that encircle the center gem and adorn the band. A diamond-encrusted gallery makes this ring truly spectacular.

2. Demi Diamond Ring

Diamond accents, like the pavé diamond band on this dazzling modern ring, help bring the diamond sparkle and highlight a white sapphire center gem. This elegant engagement ring also features a glittering hidden halo of diamonds that wraps around the center gem.

3. Four-Prong Petite Comfort Fit Ring

When highlighting a show-stopping gemstone, you can’t go wrong with a classic solitaire design. Petite and delicate, this classic four-prong setting has a rounded inside edge for increased comfort.

4. Selene Diamond Ring

Classic simplicity defines this delicate three stone setting, which features a thin precious metal band that gently tapers towards a diamond accent on each side of the center white sapphire.

5. Nadia Diamond Ring

This elegant ring features a dazzling cluster of round and marquise-shaped diamonds that rest upon the shoulders of the gently tapered band. The center white sapphire is held by four claw prongs as it sits upon a slightly open gallery.

6. Versailles Diamond Ring

Alternating round and marquise diamonds create an alluring pattern in this chic and distinctive engagement ring.

7. Petite Twisted Vine Diamond Ring

This beautiful nature inspired ring features a shimmering strand of pavé diamonds entwined with a lustrous ribbon of precious metal.

8. 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.

9. Luxe Sienna Halo Diamond Ring

Elegant French pavé-set diamonds form a stunning halo, surrounding the center gem in a ring of brilliant light. Dazzling diamond accents adorn the band and gallery for a truly glamorous effect.

10. Secret Garden Diamond Ring

Glistening marquise-shaped diamond buds rest on whimsical vines of precious metal winding towards the center white sapphire for a look of natural elegance.

Final Thoughts

Which of these white sapphire engagement rings do you like the most? Share your favorites with us on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

The post White Sapphire Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The History and Traditions of Irish Engagement Rings

Thu, 10/21/2021 - 15:00

 

You don’t have to be from the Emerald Isle to love Irish engagement rings. These beautiful, detailed rings are overflowing with history and symbolism, making them highly sought after for their enchanting appeal.

Irish engagement rings encompass a wide array of designs, from the knots and braids of the ancient Celts to the more recent style of Claddagh rings. If you are looking for a ring that symbolizes enduring love, these Irish rings are the perfect choice.

There are two main styles of Irish engagement rings. The first is the ever popular Claddagh ring. This ring can be worn four different ways throughout a lifetime, and they make beautiful family heirlooms. The second style features mesmerizing Celtic knots. These knots are looping and infinite, representing an endless path or never-ending love. These styles are beloved as engagement rings because of their romantic symbolism and charming designs.

Claddagh Engagement Rings

Though rings with Claddagh-type elements have reportedly been in existence for thousands of years, the traditional Claddagh ring was rumored to be created in 1700 by a young Irish man by the name of Richard Joyce. Joyce supposedly learned his trade of crafting fine jewelry overseas, but returned home to Ireland to marry his sweetheart and set up a jewelry shop selling the first Claddagh rings.

There are quite a few legends such as this, so jewelry experts continue to disagree on the Claddagh ring’s true origin. For the foreseeable future it will remain shrouded in mystery, making Claddagh rings even more desirable.

Claddagh rings follow a simple style guide. At the top of the band, two hands clasp a heart, and on top of that heart is a crown. Once again, what these three images symbolize is not official, but this ambiguity allows you and your partner to create your own meaning.

Claddagh Ring Styles

Simple Claddagh rings are made of precious metal and commonly include milgrain detailing around the crown. Both men and women opt to wear Claddagh rings, though the style is most popular among women.  If you want a bit of sparkle added to the ring, you can incorporate diamonds and gemstones in a variety of ways. Turn your Claddagh into an elegant solitaire diamond ring by replacing the heart with a round or heart shaped diamond or colored gemstone.

How to Wear a Claddagh Ring

Those who understand how Claddagh rings work will glance at your finger and make assumptions based on how you are wearing your ring. There are four options: single, in a relationship, engaged, and married. There’s no “it’s complicated” option, so you’ll have to leave that for Facebook! As can be expected, wearing the ring on your right hand indicates that you are either single or in a relationship. If the crown is pointing toward you, it means you are single. If it is pointing away from you, it means you are in a relationship. When the ring is worn on the left hand, the crown pointing toward you means that you are engaged, and away from you means that you are married.

If you are going to give or receive a Claddagh engagement ring, make sure that you are in the know!

Celtic Knot Engagement Rings

Used primarily as decoration by the ancient Celts in Insular Art (the art produced in the British Isles in the centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire), these endless knots were typically used as adornments in Christian books and statues, such as the Book of Kells. These symbols have come to represent the nation of Ireland, and they have made their way into the hearts (and onto the rings) of millions worldwide.

Simple Celtic Knots

A beloved Celtic knot called the trinity knot is a simple looping pattern that comes to three points and forms a triangular shape in the middle. Those three points have been said to represent a variety of things, such as earth, air, and water; life, death, and rebirth; and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Like the Claddagh ring, you can allow the three points to stand for whatever forces are most meaningful to you. For your engagement, they could possibly represent the past, present, and future of your relationship.

Braided Celtic Knots

Beautiful and complex, braided knots are perfect for the shank (the band) of the ring. They take the traditional eternity ring—a ring with a design that continues around the ring’s entire circumference—and take it to the next level by making the design itself represent infinity. If you choose a strand from the braid and follow it around the ring, you will never encounter an end.

 

The History and Tradition of Celtic Knots

The Celtic knot symbolizes the union of two people in love. It’s believed that people used the knot as decoration on wedding bands in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales during the 17th century. The design became popular by Queen Victoria when she had her wedding rings engraved with intertwined knots.

Types of Celtic Knot

There are many types of Celtic knots, including single interwoven lines and three-dimensional forms. The most widely known today has no beginning or end; it’s repeated in both directions until the ends meet. A Celtic knot is known as a “love knot,” and it symbolizes eternal love — two forever intertwined together, no matter what happens in life.

Cultures that Embrace the Celtic Knot

The Celtic knot is common today in many cultures, such as India, which signifies the connection between male and female deities. In Africa, it represents unity and balance between man and woman. People also refer to Celtic Knots as trinity knots, a common symbol of Christians and pagan heritage.

Custom Irish Engagement Rings

If you have a unique vision of your perfect Irish engagement ring, you may want to work with a custom jewelry design expert to bring that vision to life! For Claddagh rings, a popular option is adding a heart shaped diamond or colored gemstone to the center. You can line the entire ring with diamonds, or put very small ones in the crown. A beautiful option would be to create a pave heart, the small diamonds creating a solid expanse of sparkle. Many pay homage to Ireland by including stunning green emeralds in the ring, representing the island’s beautiful green pastures.
If you prefer Celtic knots, try drawing your own knot that we can wrap around the band or highlight at the top. This is a great way to express your creativity! Brilliant Earth’s custom design experts will be happy to make your dreams a reality.

Alongside the shamrock and the harp, Celtic knots and Claddagh rings have become representative of Ireland. If you are looking for a way to express fidelity and eternal love, Irish engagement rings are the way to go!

Final Thoughts

Do you love Irish engagement rings? Tell us why on InstagramFacebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

The post The History and Traditions of Irish Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

5 Sparkling Rings Like Kourtney Kardashian’s Engagement Ring

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 23:40

via Instagram @atianadelahoya

Congratulations to Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker on their engagement!

Kourtney’s stunning ring features a large oval diamond that our team estimates to be a 10 to 12-carat elongated oval diamond, and is potentially worth $1 million! Based on videos posted to her sister Kim Kardashian‘s social media, the ring setting appears to be a solitaire on a diamond accented band in white gold or platinum.

Ovals are a classic shape that offer a soft feminine look that elongates the finger and, like other fancy shapes, helps extend the diamond well beyond the band. Oval diamonds have been a growing celebrity trend that we anticipate will be popular for years to come. Just in the past few years, major stars like Ariana Grande, Jasmine Tookes, and Hailey Bieber have all received brilliant oval diamonds in their engagement rings. Because of their flattering shape and unique beauty, it’s no surprise that more and more celebs are choosing oval diamonds for their rings. 

If you love the look of Kourtney’s dazzling sparkler, see some of our favorite similar oval diamond engagement ring styles below!

Luxe 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 gem.

Petite Shared Prong Diamond Ring

This dainty ring features sheer sparkle that extends halfway around the ring. The center gem appears to float above the delicate band.

Demi Diamond Ring

This elegant engagement ring features a glittering hidden halo of diamonds that wraps around the center gem. A petite band complements the gallery for an elegant, chic look.

Luxe Ballad Diamond Ring

This classic engagement ring features sparkling scalloped pavé diamonds that extend three-fourths of the way around the ring. The center gem appears to float above the delicate band.

Poppy Diamond Ring

This eye-catching ring features a beautiful center gem lofted above a glistening diamond band. The chic, elegant design is further enhanced by an open gallery that cradles the center gemstone within six lustrous claw prongs.

Final Thoughts

Would you choose an oval diamond ring like Kourtney Kardashian’s?  Let us know on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter, or in the comments section below!

The post 5 Sparkling Rings Like Kourtney Kardashian’s Engagement Ring appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Rings: What’s the Difference?

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 14:47

Wedding and engagement rings symbolize love and declaration. They mark the beginning of a new phase in the life of two people in love. The message and goals aren’t far apart, but they are entirely different when you take a deeper look. Engagement rings open a new chapter in the lives of two people in love by preparing them for marriage. Wedding rings seal the decision by lovebirds to become lifelong partners. Read on to learn more about the differences between engagement rings and wedding rings.

Engagement and Wedding Bands: The Differences and History Behind Them

Rings given during marriage proposals and the marriage ceremony are unique symbols in the life of couples. You or your partner-to-be can decide to give a marriage-proposal ring at any time. These engagement rings are an ideal symbol to prepare couples for matrimonial ceremonies. Although not mandatory, engagement rings have become a staple in modern times. Historically, bands made for marriage proposals had unique stones with multiple styles of bands. The modern engagement band comes in numerous stone-band styles and depends on the wearer’s preferences.

The engaged couple often exchanges wedding bands to seal their marriage during the wedding. The wedding bands are a physical symbol to remind the couple about the vows they made to each other. As for the pre-marriage engagement rings, traditionally the recipient of the proposal wears the engagement ring. However, it is becoming increasingly popular for both partners to wear an engagement ring if they so choose! And in the case of wedding rings, both partners wear bands.

Engagement rings tend to be more costly since they feature a center stone and are sometimes custom designed. So, unlike engagement rings, wedding bands typically have no large or intricate centerpiece gemstone. In addition, wedding bands have less overall carat weight compared to engagement rings. However, some wedding bands can be complex with intricate metal details, such as diamond sets, milgrain, and paves.

Engagement Rings: What Betrothal Rings Mean

Betrothment rings are considered one of the fundamental aspects of a proper wedding announcement. Historically, betrothal rings signified that the bride’s dowry had been paid. Today, these rings are more of a romantic symbol. Partners use engagement rings to propose and promise marriage, and by accepting the ring, the recipient promises to commit themselves to the relationship.

Traditionally, the common belief was that the ring finger connected directly to the heart. And a betrothment band’s circular shape indicated that the relationship will be bound to eternal love, infinity, and faithfulness. So as an indicator of perpetual connection and immeasurable love, the engagement band was made to connect the two and prove that they will soon be married.

Wedding Rings: Meaning of the Marriage Ring

The wedding band symbolizes and publicly professes marriage. The ring signifies love, fidelity, and that the two have devoted their lives to love each other. The vows given before partners exchange rings are virtually the same in all cultures and traditions worldwide. As the couple promises to stick by each other for the remaining part of their life, the circular shapes of the bands indicate eternal love for one another.

Is It Necessary to Have Both Rings?

No, this depends on preference. If you or your partner love simplicity, then you might find it unnecessary to buy and wear an engagement ring. You and your partner can decide to throw a ring-less engagement party or not hold an engagement party at all. You can also opt for twin rings, where one of you wears the engagement ring before the marriage while the other wears the ring once you have completed the wedding ceremony.

Should You Wear a Proposal or Marital Ring First?

When it comes to the order in which the two rings should be worn, it’s also subject to personal preference. Traditionally, it is said that the wedding band should be worn closest to the heart. So, most people put their wedding band on first and then their engagement ring. That’s the standard ring etiquette, but it’s not mandatory to stick by this well-known method of organizing your rings. There is no rule that dictates how you or your spouse should wear their rings.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, your engagement ring and wedding band boils down to you and your spouse’s happiness. How and what you choose to wear is completely up to you! Interested in learning more about our bridal sets? Our jewelry specialists would be happy to help! You can reach them through the live chat on our site. Share your engagement and wedding rings with us on our Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

The post Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Rings: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

15 Fun Facts About Diamonds

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 18:30

While there are a lot of things to consider when selecting the right diamond for your engagement ring such as the 4 Cs, diamond shape, and sticking to your budget, have you ever wondered about the meaning and origin behind the diamond?   

The most prized precious stone on Earth, this alluring gemstone has been coveted for centuries and steeped in myth for its breathtaking brilliance and symbolic meaning. To help you learn more about this rich history of the diamond, we have gathered up some of our favorite fascinating facts and bits of lore surrounding this truly unique gemstone.   

Where do diamonds come from?  

Diamonds are the hardest natural stone on earth that are formed naturally from extreme temperatures and pressure beneath the Earth’s crust. Rough diamonds are brought to the Earth’s surface through volcanic activity. Natural diamonds are sourced from all around the world with the majority of supply coming from South Africa, Russia, and Canada.  

Brilliant Earth goes above and beyond the current industry standards to offer Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds with a listed origin of Canada, Botswana Sort, or Russia. Our select group of diamond suppliers demonstrate a robust chain of custody protocol for their diamonds and have the ability to track and segregate diamonds by origin. We also offer lab created and recycled diamonds, both of which require no new mining. 

Learn more about Brilliant Earth’s responsible sourcing here

What is a diamond known for?  

Diamonds are known for their extreme hardness, unmatched brilliance, and rich sentimental value. They are made of nearly 100% carbon atoms and are so durable that the only other mineral that can scratch a diamond’s surface is another diamond.  

Why is a diamond so precious?  

Diamonds are nearly as old as the Earth and are increasing in rarity as they take billions of years to form. The formation starts in the depths of the Earth and very few of these carbon crystals actually make it to the Earth’s surface where they are then mined. 

 Interesting Diamond Facts  

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 nearly as old as the earth and take billions of years to form deep in the pit of the earth. Very few diamonds survive the trip from the depths of the earth to the crust where they can be mined. No two diamonds are the same and carry their own unique properties such as internal inclusions and color.  

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 are nearly 100% carbon. Under the extreme 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. Which makes sense because… 

6. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth ranking a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The only thing that can scratch a diamond’s surface is another diamond. 

7. Diamonds have been valued and coveted for thousands of years by the likes of royalty and mythical beings. 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. Brilliant Earth goes above and beyond the current industry standards to offer Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds. 

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 diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds. They are sustainable diamonds that have minimal environmental impact and require no new mining. Lab diamonds are created in a lab using advanced technologies that simulate the formation of a natural diamond beneath the earth’s crust. Discover Brilliant Earth’s collection of lab 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 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 are mined. At Brilliant Earth we believe diamonds shine brighter when they are sourced in an ethical, environmentally friendly way. We go above and beyond the current industry standards to offer Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds that have been selected for their ethical and environmentally responsible origins. Learn more about the issues surrounding diamond mining, and what we are doing to bring about change. 

Final Thoughts 

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

 

The post 15 Fun Facts About Diamonds appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Jewelry that Gives Back: The Who, What, When, and Where

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 02:49

We believe in creating jewelry you can feel good about wearing, without ever compromising between quality and conscience. Doing better by people and the planet is at the center of all that we do. Several of our exclusive jewelry collections and pieces provide an opportunity to gift a piece that gives back by supporting causes that contribute to efforts such as responsible sourcing, community empowerment, and environmental protection.  

Who  

Caring about the planet and its people is part of who we are. That’s why we created the Brilliant Earth Foundation, to help build a brighter future in mining communities and in the communities in which we operate. We contribute to programs that are dedicated to improving social and environmental practices, including Feeding America, the Rainforest Alliance, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. We support initiatives for education & vocational training, fair mining practices, protecting children from child labor, and restoring land that has been destroyed by unregulated mining.  

What  

Discover our favorite jewelry gifts that give back to support causes we care about. 

Gold for Good 

These pieces from our Limited Edition Fairmined Collection contribute to the socioeconomic development and environmental protection of artisanal and small-scale mining communities. 

Fairmined Tierra Diamond Pendant 

A line of diamonds flows across the surface of this lustrous pendant while an engraved Fairmined stamp on the opposite side signifies its responsible origins. 

Fairmined Tierra Diamond Hoop Earrings 

 

A line of diamonds flows across the surface of these lustrous earrings while an engraved Fairmined stamp on the opposite side signifies its responsible origins. 

Fairmined Chain 

Classic and lustrous, this chain is engraved with a Fairmined stamp, signifying the gold’s ethically sourced origin. Pair with pendants, in a stack, or on its own for a chic, sophisticated look.  

Fairmined Oro Earrings 

These chic earrings make a sophisticated statement of simplicity while an engraved Fairmined stamp on the opposite side signifies its responsible origins.  

Simone I. Smith 

By donating to the NAACP LDF, we support their mission to seek structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice through litigation, advocacy and public education. 

Simone I. Smith Honeycomb Hoop Earrings 

Chic and striking, these honeycomb-inspired earrings feature gleaming hoops of lustrous precious metal in a breathtaking design.  

Simone I. Smith Textured Hoop Earrings 

Breathtakingly textural, these earrings feature lustrous hoops of precious metal in an alternating accent design.  

Diamonds that Care 

Exclusive to Brilliant Earth, Diamonds that Care pieces support hunger relief by donating to groups like Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. 

Grace Light Brown Diamond Strand Necklace  

Bezel-set earth-tone diamonds are evenly spaced along a delicate chain in this classic and elegant necklace.  

Inner Compass Light Brown Diamond Pendant 

Follow your heart with this unique, compass-inspired pendant with earth-tone diamond accents creating sparkle from every direction.  

Audra Light Brown Diamond Earrings 

Chic paperclip-shaped designs dangle from a row of earth-tone fancy diamonds for an effortless and edgy look.  

Evening Star Light Brown Diamond Pendant 

Emanating harmony, charity, and goodness, three gleaming earth-tone diamonds represent the connection of the Sun to the planets set in a satin finish disc of rose gold.  

When  

When do these collections end? They don’t. This is an ongoing initiative of Brilliant Earth, and we will continue adding more pieces and expanding our efforts in giving back.   

Where  

Read on to learn more about our fine jewelry pieces and collections that give back to specific organizations and causes. 

Gold for Good 

With unique silhouettes, intricate diamond designs, and crafted with only ethically minded gold, each purchase from this collection helps transform mining into an active force for good. The Fairmined collection supports creating a positive environmental legacy and wellbeing in the mining community by providing safe and stable jobs for miners, guaranteeing fair wages, protection over gender equality and child labor, ensuring operations with low environmental impacts, and protecting water supplies.   

Diamonds that Care 

Exclusive to Brilliant Earth, this jewelry collection features modern and elegant designs that are mindfully and ethically sourced with brown diamonds. Each purchase from this collection supports hunger relief by donating to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.  

Simone I. Smith 

This collection supports social change by donating to groups like the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice. 

Rainforest Necklace 

In support of raising awareness around climate change and the destruction of the rainforest, this handcrafted pendant was designed in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance and is inspired by the iconic curves of the Amazon River. A lustrous silver forest and a shimmering diamond accented river are mirrored by empty space, representing the undetermined future that we have the power to change. By donating to the Rainforest Alliance, we support their mission to create a more sustainable world in the Amazon and beyond. 

Solidarity Necklace 

Strength in unity, resiliency, and hope define the Solidarity diamond pendant that hangs elegantly from a lustrous cable chain. By donating to Feeding America’s COVID Relief Fund, we support hunger relief. In charity, sickness, and in health, we are better together—even from a distance. 

Final Thoughts  

Which gift that gives back would you choose? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!  

The post Jewelry that Gives Back: The Who, What, When, and Where appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Can You Tell Which Diamonds are Lab Grown?

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 15:44

 

Although grown by scientists instead of created in the earth’s crust, lab diamonds are absolutely real diamonds—they display the same chemical and optical properties as natural diamonds.

Even expert gemologists can’t tell the difference with the naked eye, but just for fun we’re offering you the chance to guess. The engagement rings on this page either feature a lab grown or natural mined center diamond. See if your instincts can determine which is which! Learn more about lab diamonds.

Lab Grown Shapes: Classic and Fancy

If you’re looking for a lab grown diamond in a classic round brilliant cut, you’re in luck, because we have an expansive selection of round lab diamonds. When the process of growing a diamond was first invented, labs were only capable of creating small diamonds, but today you can purchase lab diamonds in large sizes well over 3 carats! And if you’re a lover of fancy shaped diamonds, don’t fret! We have something for you as well. Lab diamonds are also available in a variety of shapes including emerald, oval, cushion, radiant, pear, marquise, princess and asscher.

(This picture of our 14K rose gold Twilight Diamond Ring features a naturally mined round diamond.)

Lab Grown Colors: Natural Diamonds vs. Synthetic Diamonds

If you love colored gemstones, consider a lab created colored diamond in fancy shades like yellow, pink, blue, and orange. Organic diamonds come in all colors thanks to various trace chemicals that can become trapped in the diamond as it grows. The rarity of the occurrence of the extra mineral or chemical involved in natural diamond formation corresponds to the rarity of the “fancier” colors of diamond outside of classic white like pink, yellow, or blue.

Lab created diamonds can also be grown in different colors such as white, pink, blue, yellow, and green. However, depending on the process used, grown diamonds may become a brownish color, which will need to be de-colorized. Then they can be color-treated if desired.

(This is our 14K rose gold Willow Diamond Ring set with a lab created emerald diamond.)

Lab Grown Created Accents

If you’d like your ring to feature lab created diamonds or gemstones, you can have a lab diamond set in a ring featuring lab accent diamonds. We also offer wedding bands set with lab created gemstones and diamonds.

(This 18K white gold Soleil Diamond Ring is set with an oval lab created diamond with lab diamond accents.)

Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

If you couldn’t tell the lab diamonds from the natural ones, we’re not surprised—and if you could you’re just a lucky guesser! Lab diamonds are created in high-temperature, high-pressure chambers that reproduce the conditions in the earth’s crust. The result is carbon atoms arranged in the structure of a diamond crystal and diamonds that are every bit as magical as the ones created naturally millions of years ago and mined today.

(Our 18K yellow gold Primrose Diamond Ring set with a natural princess diamond.)

Lab Grown Prices

Lab diamonds usually cost about 30% less than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality. But these diamonds are every bit as luxurious as their natural counterparts, since their dazzling beauty and durability are the same. It is important to know that there’s a big difference between lab created diamonds and diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite. These simulants are not made of the carbon crystals, and do not possess the same brilliance as diamonds. For that reason, simulants sell at much lower prices than lab created diamonds.

11 Lab Grown Diamond FAQs 1. Are there physical differences between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds?

To the naked eye, there are no differences between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds. Diamonds grown in a lab have the same physical and chemical properties and exhibit the same optical properties as those found in the earth. However, nearly all diamonds have inclusions. By examining them under a microscope, a gemologist may be able to discern whether a diamond is natural or lab created. There are a number of different inclusions that occur in natural diamonds, such as pinpoint inclusions, feathering, and cloud inclusions.

Metallic inclusions, on the other hand, only occur in the lab produced gems. If an expert spots telltale signs of this in a diamond, they can reasonably assume it is artificial. Another physical difference that may give away a natural diamond is the presence of nitrogen. Abundant amounts of nitrogen sometimes give earth-grown diamonds a yellow color, but it is never present in those grown in a lab.

Further physical characteristics that distinguish lab grown diamonds include weak strain patterns, color zoning, and ultraviolet fluorescence.

2. Do lab grown diamonds look and shine like real diamonds?

Yes. Lab grown diamonds look and shine every bit as much as real diamonds, and they can be made in nearly all the same color and look combinations. If you put one artificially made and one naturally made stone of similar color, clarity, carat weight and cut next to each other, it would be virtually impossible for a customer to tell the difference between them.

Diamond vendors that sell either will usually ask a customer what they are looking for in terms of “look” and “sparkle” and give them options from either category.

3. Are lab grown diamonds as strong as real diamonds?

Because their physical and chemical makeup is nearly identical, lab grown diamonds are indeed every bit as strong as natural diamonds. They can be subjected to much the same pressures to be created out of carbon. Only with manufactured diamonds, the process is accelerated. Both kinds will have the same physical properties if subjected to tests for authenticity and will likewise both pass a diamond tester.

4. How are lab grown diamonds made?

Natural diamonds are formed when pockets of naturally occurring carbon are subjected to super-high temperatures (over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressures in the Earth’s mantle over billions of years. Due to volcanic or tectonic activity, these diamonds are eventually brought to the surface.

On the other hand, lab grown diamonds are created here on the surface, of course in specially designed manufacturing centers. There are two primary methods of producing artificial diamonds:

  • Chemical Vapor Deposition Diamonds: Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is when a “seed” crystal or a small diamond is placed in a small chamber filled with heated gasses. At a certain temperature, layers of carbon will begin to form around the seed diamond, growing a more substantial one.
  • High Pressure High Temperature Diamonds: The second method is known as High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT). As you might have guessed, this method mimics the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed inside the earth. A large machine is fed a certain amount of natural graphite that it then crushes under extreme temperatures and pressures.
5. What’s the difference between lab diamond vs. cubic zirconia vs. moissanite?

Lab diamonds are created from carbon, just like real diamonds. But other manufactured crystals exist that simulate diamonds. Two of the most common are moissanite and cubic zirconia.

  • Moissanite: While natural moissanite does occur, it is very rare. That is because it is not from Earth – it comes from space in meteorites. Thus, moissanite that you can purchase is also lab created. It can look similar to diamonds but is not physically the same at all.
  • Cubic Zirconia: Cubic zirconia (CZ) is another example of a synthetic crystal that is sometimes used in the place of diamonds. But while it has a reasonable amount of durability and sparkle, it does not quite match the brilliance of diamonds and will show some wear and tear over time. It is sometimes used as a placeholder in jewelry until a stronger stone can be added.
6. Can a jeweler tell if a diamond is lab created?

Professional jewelers and gemologists cannot tell the difference between a lab created diamond and a natural one just by looking at it with the naked eye. They will have to use a microscope to look for the tiny differences in its inclusions that indicate how it was formed. Also, when lab grown diamonds are created, their synthetic status and report numbers are frequently laser-etched into the girdle they are placed in. So a jeweler might be able to look for this as well.

Manufacturers, jewelers, and vendors are required to report information about synthetic diamonds anyway. So when you buy one, it should come with a certificate stating where the diamond came from.

7. What is the difference between a lab created diamond and cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is diamond-like but does not achieve the same sparkle as a lab created diamond. Neither is it as durable as synthetic diamond since it simply has a different composition and structure.

8. Do lab diamonds shine like natural diamonds?

Yes, lab diamonds may have the same shine as organic diamonds. Like organic diamonds, lab created diamonds vary in grade, size, color, sparkle, and clarity, but two similar diamonds with different origins can appear virtually identical.

9. How long does it take to “grow” a diamond?

Manufactured diamonds take between six and ten weeks to fully develop. Compare that to the 1 to 3 billion years of age the diamonds on the surface today have. Yet, they are still the same thing. Neither can you tell the difference between diamonds made by CVD versus HPHT just by looking at them.

10. Are lab created diamonds graded the same as real diamonds?

Lab created diamonds are not graded the same as naturally occurring diamonds. The latter is subject to the GIA Colored Diamond Grading report, while the GIA issues a different Synthetic Diamond Grading Report for artificial diamonds. The synthetic grading report covers everything the traditional report does, but it also includes information about the diamond’s general color and clarity.

11. Are lab grown diamonds “real” diamonds?

Even though we sometimes say “real” diamonds to mean organic or naturally made diamonds, lab grown diamonds are still real diamonds in every sense of the word. All that differs is the process that formed them, but what results is the same product. That said, no two diamonds are ever exactly alike (even though you might not be able to tell). This holds for both natural and synthetic diamonds. Just because you own a lab grown diamond does not mean it is not every bit as unique as any other diamond on the planet.

Final Thoughts

Browse our collection of lab created diamonds, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for do not hesitate to contact us and we can help you source your ideal diamond.

Do you wear a lab diamond engagement ring, or would you? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!

The post Can You Tell Which Diamonds are Lab Grown? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds: What’s the Difference?

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 03:02

As lab diamonds and diamond simulants continue to rise in popularity, this growing interest brings an increased number of questions!  

There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information about the difference between diamond simulants and lab created diamonds. Despite what you may have heard, diamond simulants and lab created diamonds are not the same. To help you sort through any confusion and better understand your options available, we’ve created a complete guide to understanding the difference between lab diamonds and diamond simulants.  

What are diamonds?  

Diamonds are a mineral composed of pure carbon that creates a crystal. A natural mined diamond is formed naturally, from high temperatures and pressures beneath the Earth’s crust. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals on earth, meaning that a diamond holds up extremely well over time and is highly resistant to surface scratching and breakage. This durability makes a diamond an ideal choice for an engagement ring center stone.  

What are simulated diamonds?  

Diamond simulants are gemstones manufactured to look like diamonds but are both visually and compositionally different than diamonds. Simulated diamonds, such as cubic zirconia (CZ) or moissanite, look like diamonds but are not real diamonds. Simulants do not have the same chemical and physical properties as diamonds and therefore sell at a lower price point. Simulants can be distinguished from natural or lab grown diamonds using only the naked eye due to their fiery sparkle.  

What are lab created diamonds?  

Our lab created diamonds are grown from the tiny carbon diamond seeds of pre-existing diamonds. Advanced technology – either extreme pressure and heat or a special deposition process known as CVD – mimics the method of natural diamond formation. Brilliant Earth’s lab created diamonds  have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as natural mined diamonds. Even when using professional gemological equipment, lab created diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds and can only be identified with extensive scientific testing using specialized equipment. Lab created diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality and are a sustainable choice for a diamond engagement ring as they require no new mining.  

What’s the difference between simulant diamonds and lab created diamonds?  

Unlike diamond simulants, lab created diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural mined diamonds and are considered real diamonds. Lab diamonds are visibly indistinguishable from natural mined diamonds without specialized equipment to detect minor traces in the difference in crystal growth. Diamond simulants such as moissanite or cubic zirconia (CZ) are physically, chemically, and optically different from lab diamonds. They are visually distinguishable from lab diamonds with the naked eye due to their fiery sparkle and rainbow refractions. Lab diamonds rank a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness making them one of the hardest and most durable minerals on earth. Moissanite ranks 9.25 and cubic zirconia ranks 8.5, making them both durable simulants suitable for everyday wear, but more susceptible to surface scratching and wear over time.  

Lab diamond engagement rings are an affordable alternative to natural diamonds as they cost 30% less on average compared to natural diamonds of similar size and quality. Lab created diamonds are graded and vary in price based on based on shape, carat, cut, color, and clarity. Diamond simulants such as moissanite, are lower in price of both lab and natural diamonds and vary in price only based on size and whether the stone is Premium or Super Premium.  

Diamond Simulants   

About   

Today, diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia and moissanite are synthetic stones manufactured in laboratories. They are made to simulate diamonds but are compositionally and optically different from diamonds and can made from several different materials and gemstones.  

Appearance  

Diamond simulants can be differentiated from diamonds due to their optical properties. Moissanite for example, is double refractive while a diamond is single refractive. This causes the moissanite to emit a fiery rainbow sparkle that is easily differentiated from a diamond with the naked eye.  

Cost   

The cost of many popular diamond simulants is often much lower than both natural and lab diamonds. Simulants are an attractive cost-friendly option for many couples as you can create your dream engagement ring without veering outside your budget or compromising center gemstone size.  

Ethics  

As most popular diamond simulants are lab grown using advanced technology, they require no new mining to produce and are a sustainable option.  

Pros of Diamond Simulants   
  1. Simulants are an affordable option for many couples as they cost significantly less than both natural and lab diamonds.  
  2. Most diamond simulants are a sustainable option as they are lab grown and require no new mining.  
  3. If you love sparkle, many diamond simulants have a different refraction pattern than diamonds that emits a heightened fiery brilliance.  
Cons of Diamond Simulants   
  1. Although most simulants are suitable for everyday wear, they are not as durable as diamonds and are more susceptible to surface scratching and wear over time.  
  2. Many diamond simulants emit a rainbow sparkle that is noticeably different from a diamond. The larger in size of the simulant gemstone, the more noticeable that it is not a diamond. Although this can be a con for some couples, simulants are increasing in popularity and their unique sparkle is beloved my many.  
Lab Created Diamonds

About   

Lab diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using technology that duplicates the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop. Brilliant Earth’s lab created diamonds  have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as natural mined diamonds. 

Appearance  

To the naked eye, lab diamonds emit the same sparkle and optical properties as a natural diamond. The only way to differentiate the two is by using specialized equipment that can detect traces in crystal growth.  

Cost   

Lab created diamonds offer excellent value and are slightly more affordable than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality. They are a more affordable option for couples to create their dream ring without sacrificing their design preferences or budget.  

Ethics  

Lab diamonds are a sustainable choice as they require no new mining.  

Pros of Lab Created Diamonds   
  1. Lab diamonds give off the same fire, scintillation, and sparkle as natural diamonds and are indistinguishable with the naked eye.  
  2. Lab diamonds cost less than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality.  
  3. Lab diamonds are an ethical choice that requires no new mining.  
  4. Lab diamonds are compositionally the same as natural diamonds and hold the same quality and durability properties.  
  5. Lab diamonds hold their value extremely well throughout time and are prized heirlooms.  
Cons of Lab Created Diamonds   
  1. Although each lab diamond holds its own unique characteristics like a natural diamond does, some may not see lab diamonds as rare or “one-of-a-kind” as mined diamonds.  
  2. While lab diamonds do hold their value over time better than simulants, natural diamonds ultimately hold and often increase their value over time at the highest rate of any gemstone.   
Simulant Diamond FAQs    Are simulated diamonds worth anything?  

Diamond simulants can be a stunning alternative to diamonds but are not compositionally and optically the same as diamonds, meaning that they often do not hold their value as well over time.  

Is a simulated diamond good quality?  

Many popular diamonds simulants on the market today are extremely durable and are suitable for everyday wear. It is important to do your research on the different properties of each diamond simulant to determine which is most suitable for your unique lifestyle.  

Is a simulated diamond a cubic zirconia?  

Although cubic zirconia is a widely known simulant, there are several other options for diamond simulants. Diamond simulants such as moissanite and white sapphire are becoming increasingly popular diamond alternatives.  

Final Thoughts  

Are you interested in learning more about lab diamonds and diamond simulants? Share your questions with us on our InstagramFacebookTwitter, or in the comments below! You can also schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with one of our jewelry specialists to learn more!  

The post Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Gemstone Meanings: The Surprising Symbolism of Your Jewels

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 15:46

We’ve all heard that diamonds symbolize true love, but what are the symbolic meanings of other popular gemstones? From ancient times to today, gems of every hue have been imbued with significance and special powers by cultures around the world. Read on to discover the legends associated with some of the world’s most treasured jewels.

What is the definition of a gem?

A gem is a stone that is considered precious or semi-precious, particularly when it is polished or cut. Stones that have come to be defined as “gems” are well known for their unique beauty, color, patterns, or clarity. Gemstones are also typically stones considered fine enough to use in jewelry.

What do different gemstones symbolize?

Throughout history, different gemstones have been attributed with different powers, charms, or meaning. Many of these associations stemmed from mythologies from Egypt, Ancient Greece & Rome, Asia, and even the Bible. Read on to learn more about the specific meanings of some of the most popular gemstones!

What is a gemstone for love?

Many people consider pink rose quartz to be the classic stone of love. This semi-precious gemstone is believed to open the heart to love and draw romance into your life by putting you in the right state of mind to receive love – both from yourself and others.

What are gemstones for luck?

Beautiful golden hued citrine is the gemstone for luck. Its sunny yellow and amber colors have been associated with health, energy, and general good energy for centuries. Its transmutable properties are thought to reverse bad luck and bring in good luck. Citrine is also sometimes called the “lucky merchant’s stone” because it is believed to bring prosperity, wealth, and protection.

What are gemstones for healing?

Most gemstones that have been attributed with power are believed to offer healing and protection in some way. For example, aquamarines are thought to aid the nerves, liver, stomach, teeth, eyes, throat, and ears. Beads of amber are thought to help with memory loss and headaches. Jade has been used for centuries in healing meditative and massage practices. Turquoise is likewise considered a powerful healing and balancing stone. However, one of the most popular gemstones used for healing is amethyst. This purple quartz is believed to help those who suffer from insomnia, pain, arthritis, circulatory issues, and more. Because of lore surrounding its rich wine color, ancient Greeks and Romans also believed that amethyst promoted sobriety and mental clarity, helping avoid the effects of drunkenness or hangovers.

Types of Gemstones

Gemstones and semi-precious stones are typically fashioned and prepared using a few distinct methods, and people believe that these unique ways of presenting your crystals imbue the stones with different abilities or beauty.

  • Clusters & Geodes: Some gemstones, particularly types of quartz like citrine or amethyst, will be presented in sparkling clusters. In addition to being beautiful to look at, many believe that gemstone clusters have powerful calming and purifying effects on the room where they are kept.
  • Points or Towers: If you have ever gone into a crystal shop, you are sure to have seen sleek towers of semi-precious gemstones. Those who use crystals for healing believe that this pointed wand shape is excellent for transmitting energy.
  • Slices: Stones that have beautiful marbled cross sections and patterns, like agate, will often be sold in polished slices. This allows the inner beauty of the stone to be displayed to full effect.
  • Raw or Rough: Some prefer to buy their gemstones raw as untouched chunks of stone that come from the earth without being polished or cut. The belief is that when the stones are in their natural state, you will be able to connect to their energy on a deeper level.
  • Polished or Cut: When displaying a gemstone’s clarity and brilliance, they will typically be cut into facets that allow them to refract light and show off depths of color. This is the most popular form for gemstones being used for fine jewelry.
Gemstones by Color

While certain gemstones are well known for one specific color, most gemstones actually come a variety of many hues. For example, diamonds are available in every color in the rainbow, and sapphires are available in every shade except red. Tourmalines are one of the most color-diverse gems and are even frequently found with multiple stripes of color in one stone.

Because color greatly affects the beauty and popularity of a gemstone, it only makes sense to categorize the most popular gemstones by color.

  • Pink gemstones: Morganite, rose quartz, pink sapphire, pink tourmaline, pink garnet, kunzite, pink topaz, and pink diamond.
  • White gemstones: Diamond, white jade, moonstone, opal, pearl, moissanite, white quartz, white sapphire, white tourmaline, and zircon.
  • Yellow gemstones: Citrine, yellow garnet, yellow sapphire, yellow topaz, yellow tourmaline, amber, and yellow diamond.
  • Purple gemstones: Amethysts, purple diamonds, purple garnet, purple jade, purple sapphire, purple tourmaline, spinel, and tanzanite.
  • Blue gemstones: Sapphire, aquamarine, lapis lazuli, blue topaz, blue tourmaline, and blue diamond.
  • Green gemstones: Emerald, jade, peridot, malachite, green tsavorite garnets, green agate, and green bloodstone.
  • Red gemstones: Ruby, garnet, rubellite or red tourmaline, carnelian, and red diamond.
  • Orange gemstones: Amber, orange sapphire, sunstone, agate, and orange diamond.
  • Peach gemstones: Morganite, peach sapphire, peach diamond.
  • Brown gemstones: Brown jade, amber, tiger’s eye, brown tourmaline, citrine, smoky quartz, and brown diamond.
  • Black gemstones: Obsidian, onyx, black opal, black pearl, black sapphire, black tourmaline, and black diamond.
  • Gray gemstones: Tahitian pearl, gray tourmaline, gray sapphire, and gray diamond.
24 Gemstones and Meanings
  1. Agate Gemstone Meaning

Agates are stones that have beautiful interior marbling and stripes, not unlike the growth rings on a tree. These crystals are used to represent courage, strength, security, and safety. Agates are also thought to enhance mental concentration and give the user a centered and calm mind.

  1. Alexandrite Gemstone Meaning

Alexandrite is one of the birthstones for June and has a unique color changing ability. The stone was first discovered in Russia in the 1830s by miners who mistook them for emeralds because of their deep blue-green hue. However, when they shined light on the stone and the colors changed to deep purples and reds, they knew they had discovered a new gemstone. They named the stone after Alexander II, the Tsar of Russia at the time of its discovery. Because it is a relatively new stone compared to many of the others on this list, it is not steeped in as much history and lore. However, Alexandrite is considered by many to be a good omen. Because of its color changing properties, for some it also represents the balance between the physical and spiritual.

  1. Amethyst Gemstone Meaning

Because of its color, the ancient Greeks associated amethyst with the wine god Dionysus and believed that the gem could prevent drunkenness. In fact, the word amethystos meant “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Amethyst has also been thought to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Famous artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethysts enhance intelligence and protect against evil thoughts. Buddhists have believed that amethyst enhances meditation, and the gem is often used for Tibetan prayer beads. Various cultures have associated amethyst with peace, balance and courage, and ascribed to it the ability to cure insomnia and relieve pain.

  1. Ametrine Gemstone Meaning

Ametrine is a naturally occurring variety of quartz that is a mixture of amethyst and citrine, with pops of purple, yellow, and orange. Because of these combinations, ametrine is believed to be the perfect balance of the qualities of amethyst and citrine, making it a powerful healing energy stone. Those who believe in the metaphysical claim ametrine has detoxifying properties.

  1. Aquamarine Gemstone Meaning

Aquamarine is believed to provide courage, mental clarity and good health. Because of its association with water, aquamarine has been said to keep sailors safe at sea, as well as purify water and work as an antidote to poison (we don’t recommend testing that theory, however). The stone is also closely tied to mythologies of sirens and mermaids, and some legends say that aquamarines first washed up to shore out of sirens’ treasure chests.

Browse our collection of aquamarine engagement rings, loose gemstones, and fine jewelry.

  1. Citrine Gemstone Meaning

This gem is also known as “healing quartz,” because legend has it that citrine promotes vitality and energy in whomever wears it. And according to the Chinese feng shui philosophy, citrine creates wealth and abundance. The name for “Citrine” comes from the Latin root for “lemon,” and it’s no wonder that this sunny and golden stone has been thought to be a healing crystal that brings happiness, health, energy, good luck and prosperity. For hundreds of years, citrine has also thought to ground and remove negative energy— so this is the perfect gemstone for those seeking good vibes only!

Browse our collection of citrine fine jewelry.

  1. Diamond Gemstone Meaning

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.” 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). During the Middle Ages diamonds were thought to have healing properties able to cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness. Ancient Hindus used diamonds in the eyes of devotional statues and believed that a diamond could protect its wearer from danger. Additionally, 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.

Learn more about diamonds in our diamond education guide.

  1. Emerald Gemstone Meaning

Emeralds are the stone of intuition and foresight. Legends have said that placing an emerald under your tongue gives you the ability to foresee the future (but we do not recommend that!), and that emerald protects against evil spells and can cure disease. Emeralds have also been seen as symbols of truth and love throughout time. In ancient Greece and Rome, emeralds represented the goddess Venus who was the goddess for love and hope.

Browse our collection of emerald engagement rings, loose gemstones, and fine jewelry.

  1. Garnet Gemstone Meaning

Garnet has long been associated with clergy and nobility. In ancient Egypt the pharaohs wore red garnet necklaces, and in ancient Rome rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax on important documents. Garnets also have ties to Ancient Greece, as the pomegranates the goddess Persephone ate in the underworld are believed to be the source for beautiful deep red garnets. Garnets are also one of the oldest stones to be used for spiritual protection throughout time. Glimmering red garnets are also thought to encourage passion and sensuality.

Browse our collection of garnet fine jewelry.

  1. Lapis Lazuli Gemstone Meaning

Lapis Lazuli is known as the wisdom stone because it is said to protect from psychic and mental attacks. This celestial blue gemstone is believed to bring peace, harmony, honesty, and self-awareness. When it comes to healing properties, Lapis Lazuli is thought to help with various ailments including inflammation, insomnia, depression, and vertigo.

  1. Moissanite Gemstone Meaning

Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered microscopic particles of the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to Earth. He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide.

Learn more about moissanite in our moissanite vs. diamond guide.

  1. Morganite Gemstone Meaning

This pink variety of beryl is believed to bring positive healing energy, inner peace joy, confidence, and unconditional love. It is also supposed to soothe anxiety and stress. Morganite was first discovered in the early 1900s by gemologist George Kunz, who proposed that the stone should be named after American financier and gem enthusiast J.P. Morgan. Morgan was one of the most prominent gem collectors of the early 20th century, so it makes sense he would eventually get a gem named after him!

Browse our collection of morganite engagement rings and loose gemstones.

  1. Opal Gemstone Meaning

Because opals can exhibit so many different colors within a single stone, it has long been thought to possess supernatural powers. In ancient Rome, this gem symbolized love and hope. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. Europeans have considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity, and truth for centuries. Once, it was even thought to have the power to preserve the life and color of blond hair.

Browse our collection of opal fine jewelry.

  1. Pearl Gemstone Meaning

The oldest precious gem, pearls are known for their beautiful shimmering color and delicate beauty. In ancient China, pearls were believed to protect against fire, and in Europe they were associated with chastity and purity. Pearls retain that association with innocence today.

Browse our collection of pearl fine jewelry.

  1. Peridot Gemstone Meaning

Peridots have long been associated with Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians thought that peridot protected against nightmares and brought the wearer confidence, good luck, and health. In fact, it’s believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridots.

Browse our collection of peridot fine jewelry.

  1. Rose Quartz Gemstone Meaning

Rose quartz is a healing crystal that is believed to give off powerful vibrations of love. Rose quartz stones are often used to support emotional and relationship health. They are primarily believed to make the user more open and available to receive love in their life.

  1. Ruby Gemstone Meaning

Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered rubies to the god Krishna would be emperors in a future life. People in India and Burma have also believed that rubies offered safety and peace, and medieval Europeans thought that these gems guaranteed health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.

Browse our collection of ruby engagement rings and fine jewelry.

  1. Sapphire Gemstone Meaning

Blue has long been considered the color of fidelity, and sapphires were once the preferred gem for engagement rings (before diamonds claimed that honor in the early 20th century). Sapphires are also very closely associated with royalty, as they were one of the most popular stones used in royal jewels. Sapphires are believed to attract abundance and blessings, invite spiritual clarity, promote health, and guard innocence.

Browse our collection of sapphire engagement rings, loose gemstones, and fine jewelry.

  1. Spinel Gemstone Meaning

Spinel is a gemstone that is believed to bring hope, energy, and joy for life. It is considered a high energy and healing stone that is mean to heal energy blockages and bring more vigor and vitality.

  1. Tanzanite Gemstone Meaning

For those who believe in the metaphysical, tanzanite is the ideal stone for opening your third eye and reaching a higher consciousness. Along these same lines, tanzanite is supposed to encourage perception and intuition. There are some who believe that tanzanite can also help detoxify the body and improve physical energy.

  1. Topaz Gemstone Meaning

Topaz symbolizes love and fidelity and is said to bestow strength and intelligence on the person who wears it, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Although topaz comes in several colors, orange topaz has been associated with fire in many cultures and eras. Like other golden stones, topaz is thought to bring good fortune and confidence.

Browse our collection of topaz fine jewelry.

  1. Tourmaline Gemstone Meaning

Tourmaline comes in a wide variety of colors and is considered a grounding and protective gemstone. Tourmaline is also believed to be a stone of reconciliation and is said to help heal broken hearts and mend friendships and other relationships. In feng shui, tourmaline crystals are often used for protecting the energy of a room.

  1. Turquoise Gemstone Meaning

From ancient times to today people have ascribed special powers to turquoise. Native American tribes of the Southwest wore turquoise as an amulet thought to offer protection, and in ancient Persia (and modern-day Iran) some believe that wearing turquoise can ward off the “evil eye” (other people’s ill will).

  1. Zircon Gemstone Meaning

Folk wisdom says that zircon has the power to relieve pain, protect travelers and prevent nightmares. In the Middle Ages, this gem was thought to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, and promote riches, honor, and wisdom.

Final Thoughts

Do you buy into the idea that gemstones have special meanings or powers? Do you wear a gem as a good luck charm? Let us know on Instagram, Facebook , Twitter, or in the comments section!

Sources: Gemological Institute of America, American Gemological Society

The post Gemstone Meanings: The Surprising Symbolism of Your Jewels appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The History and Meaning of November’s Birthstones: Topaz and Citrine

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 15:30

November babies are a lucky bunch because the November birthstones, citrine and topaz, come in a dazzling array of colors and are relatively affordable. So November babies, go ahead and drop hints about a beautiful piece of birthstone jewelry in the color of your choice! With a wide range of hues and styles, there are plenty of options to choose from. For the low-down on everything you need to know about these richly-colored citrine and topaz gems, read on.

Where are topaz and citrine found?

From the mountains of Russia to Finders Island, Australia, topaz is found all over the world. Pakistan, Brazil, and Sri Lanka are some of the leading sources of topaz. And fun fact: Topaz Mountain in Utah was named after its abundance of the mineral!

Like topaz, citrine is found across the globe, as it is a variety of quartz. And quartz is the most abundant mineral on earth.

Why does November have two birthstones?

The idea of birthstones traces back to ancient times with the 12 stones of the High Priest’s breastplate mentioned in Exodus. For a while, it was common practice to wear one stone each month throughout the year. In 1912, the Jewelers of America wanted to standardize the birthstones. Modern birthstones are based on what is easiest to sell in large quantities. This is why November has two birthstones. Topaz was the original birthstone, but citrine was later added as a more affordable option.

Facts About Citrine: Health & Wealth in Rich Colors

Citrine is a quartz gemstone found in golden shades ranging from pale yellow to deep brownish orange. As one of the more affordable gems, citrine makes for a good choice if you want an eye-catching ring or pendant with a larger gemstone. Citrine appears frequently in Edwardian and Art Deco engagement rings.

This gem is also known as “healing quartz,” because legend has it that citrine promotes vitality and energy in whomever wears it. And, according to the Chinese feng shui philosophy, citrine creates wealth and abundance. While we can’t guarantee health and wealth will be gifts with purchase, we do think Fire Citrine Stud Earrings make an excellent birthday present for passionate November-born Scorpios.

The name for “Citrine” comes from the Latin root for “lemon,” and it’s no wonder that this sunny and golden stone has been thought to be a healing crystal that brings happiness, health, energy, and prosperity. For hundreds of years, citrine has also thought to ground and remove negativity — so this is the perfect gemstone for those seeking good vibes only!

Facts About Topaz: Symbol of Love in Favorite Hues

Topaz is a hard silicate mineral which gets its color from impurities or defects in its crystal structures, which turn it gorgeous shades of yellow, blue, red, green, brown, violet and pink. Topaz can also be colorless, and colorless topaz is often heated to create blue gems (most blue topaz isn’t natural—the color is created through treatment). The most valuable and expensive shades of topaz are deep orange with pink undertones called Imperial topaz, named after the Russian czars of the 19th century, and yellowish brown hue called sherry topaz.

The topaz birthstone symbolizes love and affection, and is said to bestow strength and intelligence on the person who wears it, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and a gift of blue topaz is said to be a promise of love and fidelity.

Topaz and Citrine’s Famous Fans

Both of the November birthstones have a royal advocate in the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton (who was born in January, but maybe garnet isn’t her favorite?).  If you glimpsed her engagement photos with Prince William you may have assumed that her glittery pavé drop earrings were diamond, but they were actually made of white topaz (the “Hope Egg” design by Links of London). The Duchess also has a favorite pair of cushion-cut citrine drop earrings by Kiki McDonough, a popular British (but of course) jewelry designer, and has appeared in white topaz and blue topaz earrings by McDonough.  We think topaz and citrine are a perfect fit with the Duchess’s down-to-earth elegance, because they’re nearly as dazzling as more expensive precious gems but with a more sensible price tag.

Citrine has also had bursts of popularity in the Victorian Era, when queen Victoria added citrine elements to her collection of royal jewelry. In the golden age of early Hollywood, global stars like Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford famously wore glamorous citrine pieces.

Topaz and Citrine Care and Cleaning Tips

Although topaz and citrine are both hard stones, their shape can often lead to chipping. When wearing topaz or citrine jewelry, try not to knock it against hard surfaces, and keep it stored away from other stones. Also, don’t allow the jewelry to come into contact with harsh chemicals, including hand lotions and sanitizers.

To clean, soak the stone in a water solution and mild dish soap for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, gently remove any remaining dirt with a soft cloth and pat dry.

Final Thoughts

Are you a November baby? Do you prefer citrine or topaz? Let us know on InstagramFacebookTwitter or in the comments section!

Sources: Gemological Institute of America, American Gem Society

The post The History and Meaning of November’s Birthstones: Topaz and Citrine appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Vintage Jewelry Guide: Historic Eras and Antique Diamond Cuts

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 01:09

Antique jewelry can be both a beautiful investment and a fascinating glimpse into the style of the past.

From intricate engraving and milgrain details to shimmering colored gemstones and fantastical geometric designs, there are many design elements from history that continue to inspire jewelers today. Read on to learn more about some of the most distinctive hallmarks of the vintage jewelry design eras!

The 7 Vintage Jewelry Design Eras: At a Glance

Learn about the seven historical periods that make antique jewelry so distinctive:

1. Georgian: 1714-1837

Opulent and regal. Early styles were ornate while later styles ranged from Neoclassical to Gothic. Georgian jewelry is extremely rare today.

2. Victorian: 1837-1901

Named for Queen Victoria of England. Jewelry from the era is as exquisite as it is varied, reflecting Victoria’s changing tastes.

3. Art Nouveau: 1890-1910

Soft and mystical. Art Nouveau jewelers, thinking of themselves as artists, took extra care to craft beautiful settings.

4. Edwardian: 1901-1920

Graceful and elegant. In the Edwardian era, jewelers used filigree techniques to give their jewelry a wonderfully lacy look.

5. Art Deco: 1920-1930

Stylish and fun. Bright colors and geometric patterns expressed the confident and free-thinking tenor of the Roaring 1920s.

6. Retro: 1930s-1950

Bold and dazzling. With Hollywood in its golden age, jewelry became bigger, almost larger-than-life.

7. Modern: 1950s to Present

Light and textural. Modern jewelry designers had the ability to work with advanced tools and technology which created evolved designs based on pivotal fashion statements of past eras. Many of our Modern era pieces are previously owned, and some are newly made reproductions of past eras, as described on the product page.

Vintage Jewelry Design Eras: A Closer Look

Georgian Jewelry Era

Learn about Georgian jewelry, which is as rare as it is regal and ornate.

History & Style

Jewelry from the Georgian era, defined as the period between 1714 and 1837, has an opulent and regal flair. During the Georgian era, named for Kings George I, II, and III of England, fine jewelry was worn almost exclusively by the wealthy. These were the years of the American and French Revolutions, but the world of Georgian jewelry might best be imagined as the England of Jane Austen. As her heroines participated in the elaborate courtship rituals of the time, they adorned themselves with stately, hand-crafted Georgian jewelry.

The Georgian era spanned more than a century, and for this reason its jewelry is as varied as it is sumptuous. An ornate and playful style known as Rococo was favored in the early part of the era, while Gothic and Neoclassical designs took precedence later on. Diamonds initially were the gemstone of choice, with the most prevalent cuts being the rose cut and old mine. Colored gemstones such as emeralds, sapphires, and rubies became more common beginning in the mid-1700s. A distinctive feature of early Georgian jewelry is the use of closed back settings where gemstones were mounted in a way that enclosed their entire pavilion, or bottom half. To help reflect light and adjust a gemstone’s coloring, foil was sometimes placed underneath the mounted stone.

Rarity & Value

Sadly, few pieces of Georgian jewelry have survived to the present. Never mass-produced and sometimes falling victim to jewelers who valued it mainly for its components, Georgian jewelry has become extremely rare and precious. Brooches and rings are the most common types of Georgian era jewelry still in existence. Earrings and necklaces remain available to a lesser extent.

Victorian Jewelry Era

Learn about the Victorian era and its confident, joyful designs.

History

The Victorian period is named for Queen Victoria of England, the monarch who presided over the British Empire for more than six decades between 1837 and 1901. Until Victoria’s reign, fine jewelry had been mostly the province of aristocrats. However, during these years, jewelry became more broadly accessible, as an emerging middle class in Europe and the United States began to wear jewelry that was luxurious enough to be fit for kings and queens.

The Queen’s Influence

Because jewelry happened to be one of Victoria’s favorite realms, her exquisite taste helped guide public preferences. Victorian jewelry styles mirror the phases of Victoria’s life, as she moved from joy, to despair, and then back to joy again. In the Romantic Period, from 1837 to 1861, Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were deeply in love. Jewelry from these years expressed confidence, serenity, and romance. Hearts, bows, flowers, and birds were common motifs, as were enameled serpents and snakes.

Upon Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria entered a long period of mourning. During the Grand Period, from 1861 to 1880, jewelry became darker and more melancholy. Black jewelry made of jet, a fossilized coal, became popular, as did jewelry made of black onyx and black enamel. It was also during this period that revivalism became a trend; Victorian jewelers adopted designs inspired by ancient and Renaissance art. Eventually, Victoria emerged from her mourning. The Late Victorian period, from 1880 to 1901, was characterized by a return to more whimsical, buoyant designs. Stars, dragons, griffins, and crescent moons made their way into jewelry, and Japanese influences were notable.

Metals and & Gemstones

An important factor behind the evolution of Victorian jewelry was increased availability of gemstones and precious metals. By the mid-1800s, a series of gold discoveries had reduced the price of gold. Victorian jewelers were freed to try techniques, such as engraving and filigree, which enabled them to create splendid pieces of gold jewelry. Although silver was also becoming less expensive, it was gold that became the era’s preeminent metal. Diamonds, likewise, were becoming more abundant. The discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1867 permitted diamonds to become a favored gemstone in Late Victorian jewelry.

Art Nouveau Jewelry Era

Learn about the romantic, nature-inspired designs of the Art Nouveau period.

History

As the 20th century was approaching, an imaginative and original style of jewelry-making burst forth from the vibrant European arts scene. The Art Nouveau (literally “New Art”) era, lasting from 1890 to 1910, overlapped with the Edwardian and Victorian eras and was relatively brief, though it made a lasting contribution to the meaning of magnificent jewelry. Art Nouveau was actually a broad artistic movement, with one of its key tenets that art should be a part of daily life. Thinking of themselves as artists more than jewelry-makers, Art Nouveau jewelers took extra care to craft exquisite, breathtaking jewelry.

Inspiration & Style

The mood of Art Nouveau jewelry is soft, mystical, and romantic. Pale colors and flowing, undulating curves helped to establish a soothing aura. Victorian and Edwardian jewelers often borrowed ideas from ancient and classical art and architecture. Art Nouveau jewelers, greatly influenced by depictions of nature in Japanese art, looked to the natural world for inspiration. Orchids, irises, lilies, ferns, snakes, dragonflies, and butterflies were all prevalent motifs in Art Nouveau jewelry, as were depictions of the female form.

Metal & Gemstones

The established viewpoint during the 1800s had been that a gemstone was the most important element in a piece of jewelry. Breaking from tradition, Art Nouveau jewelers placed more emphasis on settings. This philosophy gave jewelers license to experiment with beautiful enameling techniques as well as with different gemstones and materials. Diamonds were used cautiously, while moonstone, amethyst, opal, amber, citrine, peridot, and freshwater pearls became common in Art Nouveau rings and jewelry. Materials such as horn, shell, and copper also were sometimes used, all in pursuit of the jeweler’s artistic vision.

Edwardian Jewelry Era

Discover the classic and refined appeal of graceful Edwardian designs.

History

Light, graceful, and elegant designs were characteristic of the Edwardian era, named for King Edward of Britain. Running from 1901 to about 1920, the Edwardian era is perhaps best known for extensive use of filigree techniques. By applying threads of gold, platinum, and other precious metals to the surface of their settings, Edwardian jewelers gave their jewelry a wonderfully lacy look. A piece of Edwardian jewelry was thus the perfect complement to the Edwardian woman’s ensemble, with her dress of lace and silk and hat topped with feathers.

Inspiration & Style

The Edwardian era was a time of both continuity and change. Although the 20th century was beginning, the culture of Victorian times had not completely receded, and jewelry was still designed to convey femininity and decorum. Edwardian jewelers preferred simple, classic motifs and palettes able to highlight a gemstone’s inherent beauty. Roman, Ancient Greek, Napoleonic, and French Baroque influences were all evident in Edwardian jewelry styles. Tassels, bows, laurel wreaths, garlands of flowers, and scrolls were also prevalent motifs that illustrated the refined yet energetic sensibility of the era.

The Edwardian Trio

Diamonds, pearls, and platinum were key components in Edwardian rings and jewelry. Pearls and diamonds were prized for their understated elegance, and jewelry was designed to showcase their natural beauty. Platinum, likewise, was an Edwardian favorite. Strong yet lightweight, it permitted jewelers to create “invisible” settings in which little metal was needed to secure a gemstone. Together, diamonds, pearls, and platinum—or some combination thereof—were an unbeatable combination. The white-on-white appearance was considered the epitome of sophistication and class.

Art Deco Jewelry Era

Learn about the Art Deco era, a period of expressive, bold and high-spirited styles.

History

The Art Deco era, running roughly from 1920 to 1935, was a high-spirited era of gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. During the Roaring Twenties, the economy boomed and jazz blossomed just as Prohibition heightened the urge to cast aside Victorian restraints.

Inspiration & Style

Art Deco jewelry is stylish and fun. Jewelry, like other areas of fashion, became a realm in which women felt free to express their individuality. Styles became bolder, sharper, and more masculine than in previous periods. The lacy, filigree patterns of Edwardian jewelry and the soft pastels and curves of Art Nouveau jewelry gave way to brighter colors and straighter lines. A signature characteristic of Art Deco jewelry is the use of futuristic motifs and geometric forms, reflecting the confident and free-thinking spirit of the times. The soaring Empire State Building and Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso perfectly embodied the new design choices of the Art Deco era.

During the Art Deco era, advancements in cutting techniques, including the advent of the modern round brilliant cut style, allowed for diamonds to become more dazzling and scintillating than ever before. Meanwhile, prosperity was permitting more people to afford diamond jewelry and engagement rings. New casting techniques further increased accessibility, as jewelers discovered more efficient ways to produce the most intricately detailed of settings. With platinum becoming a popular material, jewelers began using white gold—an alloyed form of gold—that was more affordable than either platinum or yellow gold though with a hue that was nearly identical to platinum.

Retro Jewelry Era

Learn about the retro era jewelry and its larger-than-life spirit.

History

Retro jewelry, sometimes called “cocktail jewelry,” refers to the style of jewelry that became popular beginning in the mid-1930s and continuing through the end of the 1940s. With the twin crises of economic depression and war, it might be expected that Retro jewelry would be minimalist and restrained. In fact, jewelry from the era was bigger, bolder, and more exciting than ever. In the midst of hard times, women sought jewelry that was eye-catching and extraordinary. This was also Hollywood’s golden age, and women wanted jewelry that reflected the glitz and glamour they saw on the big screen.

Retro jewelry was dazzling, almost larger-than-life. Cocktail rings, bracelets, and necklaces tended to be oversized, lending the jewelry a playful and whimsical dimension. However, larger did not mean less feminine. As World War II brought women into the work force and required them to adopt straight-fitting business attire, they chose jewelry that allowed them to express their femininity. Retro jewelry is characterized by curved designs and feminine motifs such as bows, ribbons, ruffles, and flowers—but almost always on a grand, Retro-era scale.

Metals & Gemstones

Creativity went hand-in-hand with Retro boldness. Partly this was due to war-time realities. A scarcity of platinum led jewelers to use more gold, but when they did so they experimented with exquisite new alloys. By mixing yellow gold with other metals like silver and copper, they produced gold with beautiful shades of rose and green. Budget-conscious jewelry shoppers as well as a limited supply of precious stones during the war fostered greater use of synthetic rubies and sapphires. Semi-precious stones such as aquamarine, citrine, and topaz were also prevalent in Retro rings and jewelry.

Modern Jewelry Era

Learn about the modern era jewelry and its sleek sophistication inspired by the past.

History

Modern era jewelry, also known as the Contemporary Era, spans a significant amount of time starting in the 1950s and spanning to present day. Unlike more micro trends like Art Nouveau or Art Deco, modern estate jewelry encompasses diverse styles spanning many decades of transformation. For example, stylish cocktail parties became fashionable between the 1950s-1960s, leading to the rise of the cocktail ring. These Mid-Century styles were larger than life and often featured oversized colorful gems. In the 1990s and 2000s, the joyful excess of mid-century designs were scaled back for sleeker and more modest styles. This era of jewelry history is still continuing and evolving, and we will better be able to define it when looking at it in the future.

Inspiration & Style

There are many factors that have affected and inspired jewelry styles of the Modern Era – including every style trend that preceded it. The 1950s were heavily inspired by “atomic” culture after WWII, and there were many rings, earrings, and brooches that featured shimmering precious metal rays that loosely resembled the structure of an atom. The advent of television also greatly affected trends and allowed people more access than ever before to celebrities, advertisements, and world news. Classic pearls like those worn by Lucille Ball and Donna Reed on their favorite sitcoms were on trend.

Another notable factor that affected women’s fashion in the Modern Era was the early feminist movement and the dramatic increase of women in the workforce. Because of this societal change, casual pieces became more in-demand from women who wanted everyday jewelry they could wear both to the office and on the town. “Day to night” looks and adaptable pieces dominated fashion magazines for decades. Bangles were a must-have for the 1960s, and “flower power” inspired a resurgence in floral, nature-inspired jewelry and natural materials like wood, amber, and ivory. The 1960s also reinterpreted many of the styles that first became popular during the Art Deco era. The decadent 1970s saw a renaissance for Art Nouveau styles, with an emphasis on carved, molded, and textured fashions. The earthy hippie culture inspired many to wear crystals like amethyst and quartz or Native American inspired pieces in silver and turquoise. The excess of the 1980s favored large and chunky pieces in bright colors. Big hair is best balanced out by equally large earrings, after all! Cocktail rings came back in style during this decade as well, and often served as a symbol of wealth or financial independence as a right hand ring. In the 1990s, styles returned to more muted and classic styles with a focus on creating a wardrobe with essential basic pieces. In the 1990s and beyond, the arrival of internet culture – and internet shopping – encouraged more self-purchasing and personalized pieces than ever before. Today, self-expression is the most important hallmark of the Contemporary era. There are no strict rules, and access to more culture and media than any other period of time allows us to pick and choose the styles we love the most for ourselves from everything that has come before.

Metals & Gemstones

Modern jewelry has the benefit of all the precious metals and gems of previous decades, plus even more options. While different metal types have been in vogue in different decades of the Modern era, shades of white gold, platinum, yellow gold, and rose gold were and are widely popular. From the mid-1990s through the early 2010s, white gold reigned supreme as the metal of choice for diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. When fictional style icon Carrie Bradshaw on the show Sex and the City complained to her friends in dismay that her boyfriend bought her a yellow gold engagement ring, it was a cultural moment that cemented the idea that stylish modern women wouldn’t be happy with anything less than the silvery tones of platinum or white gold. However, the tables have now turned with yellow gold seeing a booming resurgence in popularity in the past few years. Rose gold also had a strong moment with romantic brides in the 2010s who loved the warm golden hues that were unique to what they were used to seeing from the older women in their family. The Modern era has also been the most flexible when it comes to mixing different metal types. Actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn famously received identical textured white gold and rose gold engagement rings from actor Mel Ferrer, who knew that Audrey would not be happy tied down to only one metal color. From meteorite and tungsten to ceramic and resin, even more materials are being creatively used to make rings and fine jewelry today.

White diamonds have been the most popular and sought after gemstones of the Modern era by far, with some notable celebrity exceptions. One of the most famous jewelry pieces of the Modern era is Princess Diana and Kate Middleton’s stunning 12-carat blue sapphire diamond halo engagement ring. Actress Elizabeth Taylor was world famous for her stunning jewelry collection which featured a literal treasure trove of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. We have seen more and more celebrities in the 2010s through the present choosing colorful gemstones or colored diamonds for their engagement rings, as well, including Katy Perry, Elizabeth Olsen, Blake Lively, Lady Gaga, and many more. White moissanite, a gemstone with a similar appearance to diamonds but with a more flashing rainbow brilliance, is also becoming a popular gemstone choice in the Contemporary Era.

Alternatives to natural diamonds first became available during the Modern Era, and continue to increase in popularity. The first lab created diamonds were invented by General Electric engineers in the 1950s for commercial use, but it wouldn’t be for a few more decades that the process would be refined enough to create diamonds of high enough quality to be used in fine jewelry. Now, more and more people are opting for lab created diamonds as a more responsible alternative to mined diamonds.

Learn About 5 Antique Diamond and Gemstone Cuts

Diamond cutters in past centuries used techniques that are no longer common today. Often cutting diamonds by hand, they gave diamonds shapes and dimensions that capture the character and essence of their eras. Diamonds cut using the old techniques may exhibit less fire and brilliance, though they sometimes are preferred for their warmer, more romantic glow. In recent times, antique diamond cuts have enjoyed a renewed popularity. Diamonds cut using the old techniques are becoming increasingly sought after and desirable.

1. Single Cut

A single cut diamond has a large table and an octagonal girdle. The culet, or bottom edge of the diamond, may be pointed or it may be flat. A single cut diamond usually has 18 facets. The single cut is an extremely old diamond cut dating to the 1300s.

2. Rose Cut

The rose cut features a flat bottom with a dome-shaped crown, rising to a single apex. With anywhere from 3 to 24 facets, a rose cut diamond resembles the shape of a rose bud. The rose cut dates to the 1500s and remained common during the Georgian and Victorian eras.

3. Old Mine Cut

Diamonds with this cut possess a squarish girdle with gently rounded corners. Old mine cut diamonds have a high crown, a small table, and a large, flat culet. They are similar to today’s cushion cut. The old mine cut dates to the 1700s and was most prevalent during the Georgian and Victorian eras.

4. Old European Cut

Like the old mine cut, diamonds cut into this shape possess a high crown, small table, and a large, flat culet. However, the old European cut has a circular girdle. With 58 facets, it is the predecessor of today’s modern round brilliant cut. The Old European cut dates to the 1800s and was used mostly during the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Nouveau eras.

5. Modern Round Brilliant Cut

In the early 1900s, diamond cutters began to experiment with new techniques. A breakthrough came in 1919 with the introduction of the round brilliant cut. Due to its ability to maximize fire and brilliance, the round brilliant cut has become the standard and most popular way to cut diamonds. Like the old European cut, a round brilliant cut diamond has a circular girdle and 58 facets. However, the round brilliant cut lacks a culet. The round brilliant cut became prevalent during the Art Deco and Retro periods.

Final Thoughts

Do you have a favorite era when it comes to vintage and antique style? Let us know in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

The post Vintage Jewelry Guide: Historic Eras and Antique Diamond Cuts appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Best Jewelry Picks for Libras

Tue, 10/05/2021 - 15:39

It’s Libra season! Learn more about this charming air sign, and our top recommended gifts for Libras.

What is the Zodiac sign for libra?

The balanced and harmonious sign of Libra is represented by scales. In fact, “libra” means “scale” in Latin. Libras are also part of the air family of zodiac signs, and are the only sign represented by a non-living symbol.

What month is a libra Zodiac sign?

Libras are born between September 23 and October 22.

What is the Zodiac stone for libra?

Although Libra ranges between both late September and October, the seventh sign in the zodiac takes October’s birthstone of opal as its lucky stone. Other stones associated with Libra include October’s other birthstone, tourmaline, as well as sapphire, peridot, and lapis lazuli.

What are the personality traits of a libra?

Like other air signs, Libras are intellectual and inquisitive. Their love for art and beauty also makes them natural stylists and designers – Libras’ eye and taste are unmatched by any other sign in the zodiac.

As their symbol implies, Libras are also fixated on balance and harmony in their lives and in their relationships with others. Libras care deeply about the people around them, including their family, friends, a romantic partner, and even casual acquaintances. Due to their people-pleasing nature, Libras are sometimes in danger of spreading themselves too thin or giving the same high amount of energy to everyone they know, vs. the most important people in their lives. However, because of their innate empathetic abilities, charming Libras are blessed with the ability to navigate nearly any social situation.

Because of their focus on balance and justice, Libras like to approach ideas or problems from every angle. This makes them great listeners and sounding boards for their friends, but it can also cause them to be indecisive in their own lives as they get stuck comparing pros and cons. Libras are encouraged to learn to trust their own intuition and natural intelligence to help them become more decisive.

What type of jewelry is best for libras?

Libras are the aesthetes of the zodiac and are discerning connoisseurs of art, beauty, intellectual pursuits, style, and luxury. Libras love to surround themselves with stunning pieces that reflect their refined taste. The best jewelry for Libras will be stunning one-of-a-kind pieces that follow their personal style, rather than passing trends.

Libra Jewelry Gift Ideas

Our 14K yellow gold Libra Diamond Pendant and silver Libra Constellation Diamond Pedant beautifully show off Libra’s symbolism. A scale embossed on a gold disc adorned with three starlike diamond accents empowers its wearer with the characteristics of the Zodiac air sign Libra: fashionable, romantic, and diplomatic. An impression in the symbolic shape of the Libra sign is carved into the textured second side, while a single flush set diamond shines through from the front to the back, adding versatility to this special design. Full of personality and charmingly chic, our silver Zodiac-inspired pendant features the Libra constellation mapped out in glistening diamonds.

Balance Through Symmetry

With balanced scales representing this sign, it’s no wonder that Libras are fascinated by balance and harmony. Those born under this sign will always be seeking equilibrium in their life. Sleek and symmetrical jewelry pieces will be a perfect fit for this fair-minded air sign. Balanced pieces like our Chelsea Diamond Pendant and Zuri Huggie Earrings are sure to appeal to the Libra in your life.

Classic Beauty

Glamorous Libras are the intellectuals of the zodiac, and they gravitate toward high art, beauty, and culture. Luxe diamond encrusted styles beautifully represent Libras’ sparkling wit and intellect. Libras will appreciate luxurious and classic diamond pieces that transcend fleeting trends and never go out of style. A diamond tennis bracelet or diamond tennis necklace, like our Melrose Diamond Necklace, should be staples in any Libra’s wardrobe.

Joyful and Colorful

Joyful and colorful gemstone jewelry is sure to be a hit with the Libra in your life. Libras are peacemakers and value keeping everyone in their friend group happy and engaged. This social sign is well-known for their optimistic outlook that brings people together. Beautiful colored gemstone jewelry will reflect the happiness Libras bring. Something multi-colored, like our Rainbow Pavé Bar Bracelet, or a piece that comes in multiple color options, like our Mazarine Earrings, would be an excellent gift idea for a Libra.

Perfect Pairs

Creative and imaginative, Libras will be drawn to unique styles that reflect the core of their personality. Unique shapes, colors, and setting styles will help a Libra express their individual style. Libras are also more “we” than “me” oriented and seek balance through partnership or companionship. Pairs of earrings, or jewelry sets with matching styles, mirror the matched compatibility Libras seek in their personal relationships. Our Uptown Diamond Earrings featuring geometric diamond adorned rectangular shapes would make the perfect addition to any Libra’s collection. When looking for matching jewelry, look at larger collections like our Signature Collection, which will feature similar design motifs stylistically linking each piece together.

Final Thoughts

Which look is your favorite for Libras? Let us know your sign in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

The post The Best Jewelry Picks for Libras appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Anatomy of a Ring

Thu, 09/30/2021 - 23:06

If you are just starting to engagement ring shop or just collecting inspiration for your Pinterest boards, you may have encountered some new lingo or terminology about engagement rings. While an engagement ring might seem simple, there are several design features that go into each setting. Knowing how to differentiate these parts can help you to fully explore your options during the buying process and communicate those preferences to a jewelry specialist or your partner. Read on to learn more about the anatomy of an engagement ring with our guide! 

What are the different parts of a ring called?  Center Stone 

The center stone is the largest diamond or gemstone that sits directly in the center of the setting. It is the star of the show and one of the most highly considered parts of the engagement ring. While the most popular shape for a center stone is round, fancy diamond shapes including oval, pear, emerald, cushion, marquise, and radiant cut diamonds are becoming an increasingly popular choice. 

 Side and Accent Stones 

Side or accent stones are the stones that flank the sides of the center gem and are attached to the shoulders or the shank of the setting. Side stones can either be made up of diamonds or gemstones and can come in any range of fancy shapes for a truly unique look. Accent stones can either span just a portion of the ring or fully encircle the entire band in an “eternity” style. 

Setting 

Engagement ring settings include every part of the engagement ring but the center stone and refer to how stones are set or mounted on to the band. The setting’s purpose is to support and highlight the beauty of the main center stone. The style of your setting can dramatically affect the overall final look, performance, and maintenance of your engagement ring. Settings are often broken down into distinctive style categories. Below are six of the most common: 

1. Solitaire 

Solitaire engagement ring settings are classic and eternally popular. They feature an all-metal band and a singular center stone, placing all the focus on the center gem. Solitaire settings can easily be made more stylized by pairing them with a diamond-accented wedding band.  

 

2. Halo 

Halo engagement ring settings feature a singular enter stone that is completely encircled by smaller gemstones for a dazzling look. Halo engagement ring settings often make the center diamond appear larger in size and are ideal for someone who is looking for showstopping sparkle.  

 

3. Three Stone 

Three stone engagement ring settings are highly sought after for their added sparkle and symbolic meaning. This setting features a main center gem with two smaller accent diamonds on each side. The three stones represent the journey a couple takes together – past, present, and future. 

 

4. Hidden Accent 

Engagement ring settings featuring hidden diamond accents are becoming an increasingly popular choice. The accents can be found hidden in a halo under the center stone, diamond accented bridge, or a diamond adorned gallery. Hidden accent engagement ring settings sparkle from every angle for a truly dazzling effect.  

 

5. Bezel 

Bezel engagement ring settings are the most secure as the outer edge of the center stone is completely enclosed with a layer of precious metal. This securely holds the center stone in place and creates a contemporary look.  

 

6. Pavé 

Pavé engagement ring settings feature a band that is mounted with tons of tiny diamonds that are set close together for a diamond encrusted look. This setting is perfect for the bride looking for an extra pop of subtle sparkle. 

 

Head 

The head is located at the top of the engagement ring and refers to the part of the engagement ring that holds up the center stone. The head includes the prongs and gallery. 

Prongs 

Prongs are the small metal tips that hold the center stone in place. They are either claw prongs which have pointed ends, bead prongs which are rounded, or sometimes V-shaped depending on your setting and center stone shape. Engagement ring settings most often feature four or six prongs, although some fancy diamond shapes such as a pear may require an odd number.  

 

Gallery 

The gallery is part of the head and refers to the detail on the underside of the ring center stone that you can see from the side profile. The engagement ring gallery is a place to feature intricate design details such as hidden diamond accents that add to the unique beauty of the ring.  

Bridge 

The engagement ring bridge is the part that rests on top of the finger and can be found under the head. The bridge increases support for the head and is often a place that includes added design details such as diamond accents or a milgrain pattern.  

 Shoulder 

The engagement ring shoulder refers to the top sides of the engagement ring that form the beginning of the shank. The shank can be twisted, flat, curved, or included other unique design details. 

Shank 

The engagement ring shank, commonly referred to as the band, is the metal part of the engagement ring that encircles your finger. The shank starts at the end of the shoulders and is typically all-metal, but can feature diamond accents that extend around the entirety of the shank – which is called an eternity band. The shank is an important design element affecting both the appearance of the ring and how it feels to the wearer. 

Sizing Area 

The sizing area is the bottom portion of the shank where the ring can be cut and sized to your exact fit. Sizing an engagement ring consists of cutting the sizing area and either adding or removing metal to make the ring larger or smaller.  

Final Thoughts 

For further questions about the elements of an engagement ring, our expert jewelry specialists are always happy to answer questions and help you explore your style preferences. You can visit one of our specialists in person at one of our showrooms, by booking a virtual appointment, or by chatting with them live on our site. Have more questions about the different parts of an engagement ring? Let us know in the comments below! 

The post The Anatomy of a Ring appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Pages