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Diamond Guide

Here are a few diamond setting options that will help you get the sparkle you want, at the design you choose and the price you want.

Prong Setting
This is a classic setting, generally used to hold in place a solitaire. It features a single diamond held in place with four or six prongs, usually used in classic engagement rings or single stone diamond rings. Also known as the claw setting, this style of mounting minimises how much metal is used and so allows more light to pass through the diamond. Four prongs are generally the most preferred in setting princess diamonds.

Channel Setting
Used frequently to create breath-taking bands for wedding and anniversaries, the stones are set next to one other, with no separations. The diamonds are secured between vertical metal walls, to create a smooth channel. The outermost ridge of the metal used – gold or platinum is then worked over the edges of the diamonds so that the girdle is protected and a smooth appearance is created.

Bar Setting
This setting is similar in appearance to the channel setting and is used quite frequently in diamond necklaces and bracelets. A band of diamonds is created, where each stone used is held together by a long thin bar between two diamonds. This is perfect for a contemporary meets classic look.

Bezel Setting
A stone set with a bezel setting is embraced by a rim of metal that holds it together by the girdle, to secure it in place. This not only creates the illusion of a larger stone, but the bezels can be created in scalloped edges, straight edges, or can even be moulded and shaped according the shape you chose to fit the stone.

Bezel Setting
A stone set with a bezel setting is embraced by a rim of metal that holds it together by the girdle, to secure it in place. This not only creates the illusion of a larger stone, but the bezels can be created in scalloped edges, straight edges, or can even be moulded and shaped according the shape you chose to fit the stone.

Illusion Setting
To create the 'illusion' of a larger diamond, the illusion setting is used very interestingly. Smaller stones generally princess cuts are set next to each other. This is setting requires skill and intricacy from the jeweller to create the perfect piece.

Cluster Setting
A large centre stone surrounded by smaller stones, that's the cluster setting. It's a great way to showcase a larger 'hero' diamond and is perfect for rings or earrings.

Gypsy Setting
This is a popular setting used frequently in men's jewellery. Here, the band is generally one continuous dome shaped piece with a stone inserted in the middle. There are no prongs, providing a clean and smooth look.

Pave Setting
The pave setting uses tiny beads along with diamonds, creating a feeling of the jewellery being encrusted with stones.

Tips to buy your first diamond

So you've made the decision to buy diamond jewellery. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while buying diamond jewellery for the first time

Consider the occasion
Why do you want to buy diamonds? Buying your first diamond for yourself? Are you buying it for someone else – maybe gifting diamond jewellery for your wife or mother? Are you looking for stylish diamond earrings for a party, or do you want to buy an engagement ring? You may want to go heavy on diamonds or choose a simple solitaire. The type of occasion you are buying for, will guide you on how to buy the perfect diamond.

What's your budget?
Whether you are willing to splurge, or if you have a modest budget, making smart choices can help you get more value for your money. Fixing your budget is a good idea and a great starting point. Choose the right kind of setting for your diamond – it makes for the right kind of stage where your diamond can sparkle. Depending on what design you choose, you can opt for the right combination of the 4Cs – Color, Carat, Cut, Clarity, to determine which diamond you choose. For eg: if you want to buy a larger stone, you could focus more on the Cut instead of the Color, to bring out the brilliance of the diamond.

Certification
Since you're making a jewellery purchase for the very first time, make sure to have all your certification in place. Trust, and authentication is a must. The value of a precious stone is usually determined by factors like its natural rarity, gemological makeup and the quality of its finish. Diamonds and gemstones of similar appearance could be valued differently. A Certificate will clearly elaborate the details of the precious stone that it accompanies, and provides trust and confidence for both the seller as well as the buyer. Gems are certified from International Gemological Institute (IGI).

Types of Diamond

A Comprehensive Guide
In the word of jewellery, there is nothing more sparkling than diamonds. Even the smallest of diamond trinkets – for instance, diamond nose pins or rings – have a sparkle few other gemstones can match. All that sparkle on diamond jewellery has a story to tell. Although most diamonds look the same, they are not created equal. In fact, gemmologists have classified these gems into different categories based on their chemical and physical properties. To classify them, gemmologists evaluate the stones for their atomic makeup. This helps them analyse their colour, their growth, and whether they are natural or treated. In this article, we give you a comprehensive outline of different types of diamonds and their features.

How Do We Classify Diamonds?
When buying diamond necklaces or rings or bangles, most people look for the cut, clarity, carat, and colour. (These features are called the 4Cs of diamonds. We will come to them later.) Seasoned buyers, however, also consider the type of diamond before they make a purchase. These sparkling gems are carbon compounds. They are basically made of pure carbon, but they often contain some trace elements such as boron and nitrogen. Such elements are acquired naturally during their formation. In some stones, they are intentionally added. This is often done during the process of synthesis or treatment in a lab.
Trace elements are not the only foreign bodies a diamond may contain. They almost always contain flaws in their carbon structure. Scientists refer to the presence of trace elements and flaws as optical defects. These defects are also called lattice defects. The presence, or even absence, of lattice defects affects its properties. The amount in which they are present also has an effect on the gemstones. Based on these aspects, there are two ways to classify diamonds, namely the consumer way and the technical way.

The Consumer Way of Classifying Diamonds
Most consumers do not get into the technical aspects of gemstones when they buy jewellery. Consumers often classify diamonds into four types based on their appearance.

The four types are as follows:
Natural diamonds What do you think of when you hear the word diamond? A white sparkling rock found somewhere in the mines, right? That's exactly what natural diamonds are! These naturally occurring gems are white or colourless. Treated diamonds These are artificially enhanced versions of natural diamonds. These gems are mined just like regular diamonds. However, we manipulate their attributes through different kinds of treatments to make them look better. One of the treatments they are subjected to is inclusion filling. In this treatment, special material is used to hide the inclusions in the stone. Another treatment is the colour enhancement. Treatments are usually done on diamonds that cannot otherwise be sold in their natural form. Treated diamonds are sold for dramatically lower prices that their natural counterparts. Man-made diamonds They are also commonly known as lab-grown diamonds. Man-made gems have become a trend recently. And their popularity is on the rise owing to the fact that they are technological products. With the evolution of technology behind man-made diamonds, their manufacturing becomes cheaper. They are only going to become cheaper in the coming years.

Natural coloured diamonds These are a rarity in the world of diamonds. They occur in a variety of colours, such as purple, blue, red, green, and black. The most common colours are, however, pink and canary yellow.

The Technical Way of Classifying Diamonds
As a buyer, it's important for you to be aware of the technical information of classification. Wondering why? It's because the presence of trace elements, even small amounts of them, can impact the stone's price drastically. They also cause the formation of impurities in the stone.

So what are impurities and how are they formed in a gemstone? In the carbon lattice structure in diamonds, nitrogen or other trace elements often replace carbon atoms. These carbon substitutes move inside the structure and often cluster together. This constitutes for chemical impurities, which are not visible to the naked eye. However, they affect the gemstone's appearance to a considerable extent. So here are the different types of diamonds based on their technical differences.

Type Ia: This type of diamonds has large clusters of nitrogen in the crystal lattice. As a result, the stones emit a yellowish tint. The nitrogen atom aggregates, especially the ones in groups of three, absorb blue spectrum wavelength of visible light. Therefore, the light they reflect appears yellow.

Type IIa: These are the most valuable diamonds sought by investors and collectors. They are rare and contain negligible or no nitrogen impurities. They form under high pressure for a long period of time. They have an uneven shape. The lack of impurities makes it reflect light as it is and gives it a spectacular appearance. Almost all of the world's most popular diamonds fall under this type. The Kohinoor is a famous example.

Type Ib: These are less common than the other types of diamonds. In type IIb diamonds, single nitrogen atoms are scattered in the lattice structure instead of clusters. This makes the diamond absorb blue spectrum wavelength of visible light. And therefore, these types of diamonds have an intense yellow, brown, or orange colour.

Type IIb: Diamonds classified as type IIb lack nitrogen atoms. Instead, they contain boron as the trace element. The presence of boron makes type IIb diamonds conduct electricity. It also makes them appear a shade of either blue or even bluish gray as boron absorbs red spectrum wavelength of visible light. This type of diamonds are also rare and, therefore, very valuable.

Types of Diamonds vs. the Four Cs: Read any write-up on diamonds and you are likely to come across the term 4Cs. What are 4Cs and how are they different from gemstone types? Most people think that the type of a diamond depends on its cut, colour, clarity, or carats. These features that make up the 4Cs are qualities of diamond grading. They are not the types of diamond.

Round, cushion, emerald, princess, baguette, oval, marquise, trillion, etc. are some of the popular cuts used for shaping a diamond. Based on the colour, diamonds are graded alphabetically such as D – F (totally colourless), G – J (near colourless), K – M (with slight tints), N – R (very light yellow), and S – Z (very light yellow or brown). Similarly, these gems can be divided into different clarity grades such as FL (completely flawless), VVS1 and VVS2 (very very slightly included), and VS1 and VS2. Stones of lower clarity come under the grades SI1, SI1, I1, I2, and I3.

As a buyer, collector, or investor, taking your diamond knowledge to the next level only has advantages. Knowing the different types gives you an upper hand to make informed choices. Being aware of both the physical and the chemical properties underlying their classification will help you invest in the right stones.

Tips to Buy a Solitaire

Is it possible to buy a solitaire on a budget? Don't let the price put you off! Gift yourself or your loved ones a solitaire, here's how you can make sure to buy a cheap solitaire and still get the best value at the price you choose.
Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat all contribute to how a diamond looks and how much it will cost.

Color Diamonds are graded based on color. According to your budget, you can pick from different color grades. A pure white colour stone (Grades D-F), would be more expensive than lower grades – diamonds with a brownish and yellowish tint. Most colour variances are barely visible to the naked eye, so check the diamond you want to buy to see how it looks on you.

Cut if you prefer to buy a larger stone, you can choose to focus more on its cut rather than its color, for a less expensive option. Different shapes reflect colour differently, so consider the appearance of the diamond and color with the shape you've chosen and the metal you want to mount it in – white gold and platinum tend to reflect their white colour onto the diamond, while yellow gold could lend a yellowish tint to the stone.

Clarity Perfectly flawless diamonds are extremely rare and therefore can be extremely expensive. Most naturally occurring diamonds have some birthmarks or inclusions. Most inclusions become visible under the microscope lens and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Based on how flawless a diamond is, certain grades are assigned to it - VS1 and VS2 being acceptable grades. The grade you choose will also determine the price you pay. Keep in mind that inclusions can also get covered by the prongs or the way the diamond is set.

Carat weight and size
A diamond's carat refers to its weight. While choosing carat weight, keep in mind that factors like depth that affect the price. A diamond that's deeply cut carries more of the carat weight "hidden" in its depth as opposed to its width. Your stone may lose some of its weight after it's polished, so don't forget to ask your jeweler for the final weight of your diamond so that in the end you will be paying for only what you get.

When choosing the size for your stone, one money saving trick is stopping just short of major size thresholds for example, choosing point differences like 1.5 over 2.0, may not make much of a visual difference, but will certainly affect the price. While purchasing solitaires, regardless of the price you finally settle on – make sure that you look at many stones before you set your heart on the perfect one that looks the way you want it to, within the budget you have chosen.

Tips to buy Gold Jewelry

Buying designer jewelry is a carefully considered purchase. To make sure that you get the best value out of the jewelry you've bought, make sure to get answers to these important questions.

Is my jewellery certified? Make sure that the jewellery you buy has the trusted BIS Hallmark. This is an assurance you of the purity of gold in your product. The diamond jewellery you choose to buy preferably should come with a certificate of authenticity from prestigious laboratories such as IGI, SGL etc. Solitaires should ideally carry a certificate of authenticity from world renowned laboratories such as IGI and GIA.

Are ethically sourced diamonds being used in my jewellery?
Ask to know if your diamonds are conflict-free and obtained from legitimate sources certified by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

What are all the things I am really paying for when I buy my jewellery piece? Want to know how the charges of your jewellery piece are defined? Don't be afraid to ask for a complete break-up of gold price, diamond price, coloured stone/gemstone price, making charges and VAT.

How to Buy Platinum Jewellery

Once upon a time, gold was considered the epitome of luxury. The yellow metal marked all special occasions, including birthdays and weddings. It was purchased, gifted, and handed down from one generation to another.

The scene is slowly changing. People still buy gold, both as jewellery and as an investment. But when it comes to buying jewellery to mark special occasions, another metal has taken the place of gold. Yes, platinum! Do you know that this white metal is called the Metal of Kings? It is renowned for its rarity, luster, strength, and versatility. No wonder, people are increasingly choosing platinum rings for their engagements and weddings. A durable metal to mark the beginning of a durable relationship, you see.

Are you planning to buy platinum rings, chains, or pendants? There are a few things you should know. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed choice. A Metal of Kings

While platinum may have gained fame recently, it is not a new metal. It was discovered centuries ago, but was not used to craft jewellery until about 200 years ago. It is believed that the ancient Egyptians were the first to forge things out of platinum. However, the technique of working with this metal was lost as time progressed.
. The metal was discovered once again in the 1600s by the Spanish Conquistadors. This time, people misunderstood it as an unusable form of gold. It was much later that jewelers found new ways of moulding platinum into jewellery.
One of the first recorded instances of jewellery made in platinum was in the French King Louis XVI's court. It soon began to be associated with Kings and royalty. In fact, King Louis even declared that this metal is fit only for kings.
The King of Metals Platinum is not just the metal fit for kings. It is the king of all precious metals too. So, what makes this metal so special and valuable? Read on to know more.
The dearth of this metal is one of the reasons why it is so valuable. Do you know that it is considered 30 times rarer than gold? To produce one ounce of pure platinum, 10 tons of platinum ore need to be mined.
Rarity is only one feature that determines the value of this white metal. It has many other properties that make it popular as well. Here are some of them. It does not fade.
Surprised? Yes, it is true! In its natural form, platinum has a white luster. This may make it appear similar to white gold. However, there is an important difference between how these two metals look. White gold has a yellow undertone and must be coated with rhodium to achieve its white look. With time this coating wears out. Thus, white gold jewellery needs to be re-plated every few years.
That's not the case with platinum.
It will never lose its shine. Whether it is new or handed down from one generation to the next, it will always shine brightly. This means your beautiful platinum earrings or rings will look as good down ten years as they do today!
. It is the purest metal used to make jewellery
Gold in its raw form is 24 carat. But pure gold is soft and cannot hold its shape for long. Hence, it must be mixed with other metals such as nickel or copper. Gold jewellery usually has 58% or 75% purity. That is, 22k is the highest purity of gold used to make jewellery, followed by 18k and 14k, On the other hand, platinum is a hard metal, so it doesn't have to be mixed with other metals. Jewellery made from this metal usually has 95% purity. On its own, platinum is hypoallergenic. Hence, jewellery made of this metal is ideal for those with sensitive skin.
It is durable
Some forms of jewellery such as rings and bangles see more wear and tear as compared to others like earrings. For this reason the intricate details of gold rings tend to get 'rubbed off' with time
However, platinum is a dense metal that is very durable. This is ideal for everyday jewellery and will not wear out. The details of a vintage platinum ring will be as clear today as they were when the ring was first made.
It is strong
The strength of this white metal makes it an ideal meat to set diamonds and other precious gemstones. In a prong setting, you can rest assured that platinum prongs will never break or loosen. Tips and Tricks to Identify Platinum
Platinum is expensive and hence you must be sure that the jewellery you are buying is in fact platinum. If you are not careful, you may buy white gold or silver in place of platinum. Here are a few tips to help you identify the metal.
The Platinum Hallmark - One of the first things to look for on a piece of jewellery is the platinum hallmark. This is written either as Pt or PLAT. It may be preceded or followed by numbers such as 900,950 or 999 to indicate its purity. In India, most platinum jewellery is marked as Pt950. Also, insist on a quality assurance card with each piece of jewellery you purchase.
The Scratch Test - This test helps distinguish between platinum and silver. Platinum is a hard metal as compared to the latter. When you buy jewellery, run your nail along the surface. If the metal scratches, it is not pure platinum. It may be silver or platinum alloyed with silver.
The Magnet Test - Do you know that precious metals such as platinum are nonmagnetic? So, you can use the magnet test to determine whether the metal you buy is real or not. To test the purity of your platinum, bring it near a magnet. If it reacts, the jewellery is not platinum or is a platinum alloy.
Caring for Platinum: Let It Shine Forever
Platinum does not fade with time but it will take on a patina as it ages. With proper care, platinum jewellery can last for generations. Here are a few tips to help you care for your trinkets:
Avoid wearing platinum rings while doing manual work such as gardening. You should also take your jewellery off while handling abrasive chemicals. While the metal itself may not be damaged, this kind of work can damage stones studding the ring.
Store your platinum pendants, rings, and earrings jewellery in fabric-lined boxes with individual pockets. Alternatively, you could store each piece in a small fabric bag. This ensures that your jewellery does not rub against other pieces.
If your platinum jewellery needs to be repaired or resized, use pure platinum stock for the same. Many jewelers use white gold to resize jewellery. This can lead to dark marks along the places where the metals have been soldered together.
Clean your platinum jewellery regularly. For this, all you need to do is soak your jewellery in a warm water and soap solution for a few minutes. If dirt is still embedded in the jewellery, use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean the same.
Platinum takes on a natural patina finish. If this does not appeal to you, you can either have it buffed every year or plated with rhodium. The latter may also need to be repeated every six months or annually.
Now that you know everything (almost everything) about this white metal, why not buy a piece of jewellery made of it. Typically, people buy it to make special occasions. But guess what? Platinum will make every occasion special. So, don't wait till your wedding or engagement to own a piece of platinum.