Bridal Jewelry

Diamond Education

Shopping for diamonds and jewelry can be an overwhelming experience if one lacks basic knowledge on the subject. Well it shouldn’t be. At Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal we believe in presenting a basic yet comprehensive understanding on diamonds and other jewelry subjects so that our shoppers can shop with confidence. DRD Bridal’s education section will teach you everything you need to know so you can find that diamond or other piece of jewelry that is perfect for your loved one.

Anatomy of a Diamond

Anatomy of a DiamondIt is crucial to your understanding of diamonds to become familiar with the various parts of the diamond that are important in the diamond’s framework. The modern brilliant cut diamond consists of 58 facets. (57 if you exclude the culet). The top of the diamond, referred to as the crown, (top half of the diamond above the girdle) has 33 facets and the bottom half below the girdle, known as the pavilion, has 25 facets. Diamond reports from nearly all labs will identify numerous measurements and ratio’s referencing various parts of the diamond anatomy. Among the most important parts of a diamond to recognize are the total diameter, total depth and table. These three factors are most important because their combination is highly influential in determining a diamond’s cut.

The diameter of a diamond is its total width measured from girdle to girdle.

The depth of a diamond is the height of the stone as measured from the culet to the table.

The table of a diamond is the flat facet that faces up on the upper most part of the diamond. Table percentage is the ratio of the table width as compared to the total width of the diamond. For each shape, there is a desirable table percentage that results to the best cut.

Traditional Shapes of Diamonds

Diamond Shapes

Diamond Certification

Diamond CertificatesWhile most diamonds look the same to the naked eye, each and every diamonds is actually different and possesses a unique set of characteristics. That is why a diamond grading report is necessary(usually referred to as a “certificate”).

A diamond grading report is essentially an evaluation of the stone by an unbiased independent third party laboratory. The lab that grades the diamond has no financial interest in the particular stone. They are an independent third party that is merely grading a given stone according to a set of standards developed at the given laboratory.

The diamond is carefully examined by a trained professional and a report with a description of the diamond along with all its features including dimensions, proportions, color, clarity, polish, symmetry, and fluorescence is created for the individual stone.

All loose diamonds sold by Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal have been graded by the American Gem Society (AGS) or the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). While there are other labs that do diamond grading, GIA and AGS are held in the highest regard because of their unbiased grading and consistency.

 

Four C's of Diamonds

Cut

The cut of a diamond, also known as the “make” refers to the proportions and finish of a given stone. Most experts say that the cut of a diamond may be the single most determining factor of a stone’s value because it gives the stone its fire and brilliance. Well cut stones often fetch a high premium in the market and can increase the value of a stone by up to 25%. A well cut stone can often take a lower color stone, like J– K color, and make it look like a higher color because of the brilliance of the cut.

Diamond Cut

When a diamond is cut to the ideal proportions, it is generally symmetrical with a proper depth, table and finish. (see diagram for the anatomy of a diamond). The result is light entering the stone reflects internally from facet to facet and is totally reflected back out only through the top of the stone, creating the brilliance of the diamond. If a diamond is cut too shallow, light leaks out the bottom of the stone; too deep and light leaks out the side; if proportions are correct, light is reflected back out the top of the stone to create that fire and brilliance we are all looking for.

One often overlooked variable that factors into a diamond’s cut grade is it’s finish. Finish covers every aspect of a diamond’s appearance that is not a result of the diamond’s inherent nature when it comes out of the ground. It is essentially the quality of the cut by the diamond cutter. Finish is broken down into two subcategories: Polish and Symmetry. Polish refers to the surface of the diamond while Symmetry refers to the alignment and uniformity of the facets. Look for diamonds with Excellent – Good finish to achieve higher cut grades.

For each shape diamond, there is an optimal range of proportions which give the stone it’s ultimate luster and beauty. Both GIA and AGS now assign cut grades to diamonds based on a set criteria. Each lab has their own cut grading scale.

Diamond Rating Scale

At Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal, you’ll only find stones with the finest cut. We strongly believe that a well cut diamond is of utmost importance. No matter what size diamond you are shopping for, you should have fine cut stones at your disposal.

Carat Weight

Carat Weight is a unit of weight that describes the “size” of a diamond. One carat is the equivalent of 0.20 grams. Every carat is divided into 100 points. Therefore, a stone that is 50 points would be ½ Carat and 75 points would be ¾ Carat and so on. The carat weight of a diamond is NOT indicative of a diamonds quality, just merely a unit of measure.

Color

The color of a diamond is the degree to which a diamond is colorless. Grading of a diamond’s color is based on a scale of D – Z with D being colorless.

Diamond Color

Most diamonds, while they appear colorless, actually have slight tones of yellow or brown.
Most people are generally attracted to higher colorless diamonds in the D – F range, but such stones are also the most expensive. Diamonds in the G-I color range are considered near colorless and are often considerably less expensive. It takes a trained eye to distinguish colors and often times a well cut stone can make a stone look like it is higher color.

Fluorescence is often a term that is misunderstood and confuses people when buying diamonds. Some people even mistake it with color. Fluorescence is a natural inherent property of a diamond that is caused by trace amounts of the element boron in a given stone. The visible effects of fluorescence can only be detected when a diamond is exposed to UV light which stimulate the boron within the stone.

Diamond Fluorescence

Fluorescence is classified as none or negligible, faint, medium, strong or very strong. The presence of fluorescence can be either good or bad. The impact of fluorescence on any given stone depends on it’s noticeability. In some higher color stones, fluorescence can give a stone a milky or hazy appearance and lower the value. In some cases, fluorescence is hardly noticeable and has minimal impact on a stones fire and brilliance. To the contrary, fluorescence in lower color stones may add value because it gives the diamond a whiter and brighter appearance.

Approximate Percentage Change from Nonfluorscence

Color Fluorescence IF-VVS VS SI1-SI3
D-F Very Strong -10 to -15% -6 to -10% 0 to -3%
  Strong -7 to -10% -3 to -5% 0 to -1%
  Medium -3 to -7% -1 to -2% 0%
  Faint 0 to -1% 0% 0%
G-H Very Strong -7 to -10% -3 to -5% 0%
  Strong -5 to -7% -2 to -3% 0%
  Medium -1 to -3% -2 to -3% 0%
  Faint 0% 0% 0%
I-K Very Strong 0 to +3% 0 to +2% 0 to +2%
  Strong 0 to +2% 0 to +2% 0 to +2%
  Medium 0 to +2% 0 to +2% 0 to +2%
  Faint 0% 0% 0%

Clarity

Diamond’s clarity refers to the natural internal flaws and external blemishes that are found in or on a diamond. Nearly all diamonds contain these natural occurring internal characteristics called inclusions. The size, nature, location and amount of inclusions determine a diamond’s clarity grade. The GIA and AGS-USA use a detailed system of rules and standards to grade the clarity of any given stone

Diamond Clarity

Choosing the clarity that’s right for you is a matter of being comfortable with the imperfections in a given stone. Most diamonds in the world are not flawless; to the contrary, most diamonds have some level of imperfection to them. Diamonds which carry a VVS grade are excellent diamonds because even under high power magnification, imperfections are very hard to find. But one must remember that these diamonds are also more expensive. The best “bang for the buck” comes with diamonds that are “eye clean.” This means that to the naked eye you can’t see any imperfections. These stones are usually VS1,VS2, SI1 or SI2. In these grades, while imperfections may be seen under a tradition 10x loupe, once mounted in a ring, the inclusions are hardly noticeable to the naked eye. Another useful buying technique in terms of picking the clarity that is right for you would be to look out for the location of the imperfections. Try to find stones that have minimal inclusions in the center of the stone. Inclusions in the center of a diamond are easier to spot with the naked eye because they are seen through the largest facet, the table.

At Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal, we offer diamonds encompassing almost all levels of clarity (IF-SI2). We strongly believe that you should have all options at your disposal for you to make a decision as to what level is right for you.

 

Jewelry Education

When buying any ring, there are certain terms and aspect of a ring that one should become familiar with so that you can make an educated decision and shop with confidence. It all starts with understanding the construction of a ring and its many components.

In general, a ring is comprised of a shank, the bridge, (upon which a head is set) a setting (sometimes a head or otherwise a built in portion), and a center diamond. Some engagement rings are plain mounting (solitaires) while others have diamonds set in the shank (semi-mountings).

Metals

Gold CastingMost gold jewelry sold in the United States is made out of 14K or 18K gold. Pure 24K gold is not used in jewelry because it is too soft to be worn everyday and can’t withstand the daily wear and tear. Instead gold is alloyed with other metals such as nickel, silver, and zinc to give it strength, resulting in different Karat purities of gold.

The karatage of gold indicates the percentage of pure gold with 24K being pure gold. So 18K gold is 75% pure gold mixed with various alloys to give the metal strength. 14K gold is 58.5% pure gold mixed with various alloys for strength.

Platinum is the other most popular metal of choice for jewelry. Platinum is a pure (usually 90-95% pure), naturally white metal which is especially desirable for jewelry because it doesn’t cast any of its color on to the diamonds. Platinum is an especially durable metal due to its density and won’t wear away so that diamonds will be held firmly and securely in place for a lifetime of wear.

Further, platinum is such a pure metal that it is naturally hypoallergenic and is perfect for people with sensitive skin

At Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal, we use only the finest alloys available in the jewelry industry. Our special gold alloy retains its beautiful color over time for easier maintenance and long life. Our platinum is 90% pure for beautiful white color that is ideal for jewelry and extends the durability for a lifetime of wear.

Setting Styles

Channel setting is one of the most popular setting styles available to set diamonds in engagement and wedding rings. Channel setting involves placing diamonds into a continuous row with a wall of metal on each side to hold the stones in place. To channel set diamonds, first a grove is cut in the wall. Then, the diamond’s girdle is placed into the groove and the top of the wall is “hammered” down to secure the stones in the setting.

Prong Setting - This style of setting is most often used to set center stones or larger complimentary diamonds so as not to interfere with light getting to the stone to maximize brilliance. With prong setting, thin wires of metal are spaced around to stone (usually 4 or 6) and are used to secure the stone in place. This allows the stone be secured while allowing the most possible light to reach the diamond. In order to accomplish this goal, each prong is grooved at a certain point and the girdle of the diamond is placed in that grove and the remaining metal is folded over the stone to secure it in place. Prong setting can also be seen in different forms:

  • Shared Prong – a common set of prongs is shared between two stones to secure both stones in place. This technique allows maximum light to reach the diamond while also making them appear to be set side-by-side with nothing blocking the view between them.
  • V-Prongs is a setting style used to offer protection for pointed edges of diamonds or gemstones. V-Prongs are utilized on certain shape stones such as marquis, princess cuts, pear shapes and heart shapes.

Bead Setting is one of the oldest setting styles. With bead setting diamonds are placed in holes drilled out of the shank and tiny “beads” are raised from the metal to secure the individual stones in place. More often than not, each stone is secured with four beads evenly spaced around the diamond

Micro-pave is a setting style very similar to bead setting. With micro-pave diamonds are place into holes drilled out of the shank of the ring. The setter, using a high-powered micro-scope raises tiny prongs around the diamond to secure the stone in place. Today, models of rings are often made with the “beads” pre-raised so as to make the job of the setter easier, resulting in finer setting and a cleaner look.

Bezel Setting has a metal rim that encircles the sides of a gemstone and extends slightly above it. A small groove is drilled into that metal rim and the girdle of the diamond is placed into that groove and the top of the rim is then “hammered” down to secure the stone. Diamonds can be set in full bezels (rim stretches around the entire circumference of the stone) or half bezel (rim only goes around a portion of the stone). Bezel setting is generally very protective due to it’s low profile and can also be utilized to cover chips or inclusions in a gemstone.

Burnish Setting or flush setting is similar to bead setting, but after the stone is inserted into the space, instead of using a graver to lift beads, a rubbing tool is used to push the metal all around onto the stone, not very different from bezel setting. The stone will be roughly flush with the surface, with a nice rubbed edge around it.