Have you ever wondered why diamonds are so popular?
They have been the most coveted gemstone for centuries, and are widely used in jewelry and engagement rings to this day. Diamonds possess three main qualities that make them desirable: beauty, durability, and rarity. In a well cut diamond, an array of colours, referred to as fire, glitter from within. Since diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth, they can be cut and polished with sharp facets to emphasize this captivating sparkle. Their superior durability also means they’re resistant to scratching and chemical damage, even with daily wear. Not only are they beautiful, but diamonds are fascinating miracles of nature as well. It takes between 1 billion - 3.3 billion years for them to form beneath the earth’s crust.
This month, our blog is all about alternative diamond options. You may be used to seeing jewelry set with traditional colourless round-cut diamonds, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we at True Bijoux love diamonds of all shapes, sizes, cuts and colours. Keep reading as we highlight salt and pepper diamonds, black diamonds, rose cut diamonds and artisan cut diamonds.
Salt & Pepper Diamonds
Salt and pepper diamonds have been increasingly popular in jewelry and engagement rings. Sometimes referred to as galaxy diamonds, these beauties are simply diamonds with visible inclusions. They’re fun alternatives to traditional white diamonds, as each one is unique with different patterns. Galaxy diamonds have visible grey-black toned speckles inside them, thus the salt and pepper nickname. These features are actually mineral crystals that have been trapped inside the diamond during formation. We like to think of them as birthmarks; individual characteristics that make them easy to identify.
Apart from their one of a kind appearance, another benefit to salt and pepper diamonds is that they are much less costly than inclusion-free white diamonds. This means that you can purchase a much larger diamond for a fraction of the price. Keep in mind that if a diamond is too heavily included, it will be weaker than inclusion-free diamonds, so avoid wearing it in conditions where it i will be knocked around too much
Black diamonds are similar to salt and pepper diamonds in that they both contain a high concentration of inclusions. The difference is that salt and pepper diamonds display distributed specks, while black diamonds’ inclusions are so compact that the entire gemstone appears dark. This midnight hue typically comes from natural graphite inclusions, or diamonds that have been enhanced by irradiation or heat treatments to darken them.
These onyx-coloured beauties offer a striking contrast to their colourless counterparts. You can get a bold, powerful look and still have the hardness and rarity of white diamonds. In fact, black diamonds are known to be even harder than the majority of colourless diamonds, and are much more scratch-resistant than other black gemstone alternatives like onyx, jet or tourmaline. We think these dark diamonds look great in yellow, rose and white toned metals. Use them in a one of a kind engagement ring, an alternative pair of diamond studs, or any other style of jewelry you’d like for a modern look. The design possibilities are endless.
Rose Cut Diamonds
Rose cut gems can come in any colour you want — it’s the cut and shape of the stone that is special. They were made popular in the 16th century during the Georgian Era. This was a time when diamonds were still cut by hand, contrary to today’s technology driven industry. Due to the equipment available at that time, the composition of a rose cut diamond is more simple than that of a modern round brilliant cut. Rose-cuts are famous for having flat bases and a domed top with triangular facets, reminiscent of the petals of a budding rose. They’re basically the opposite of a round brilliant cut, which features a flat top and a pointed base. The result is a diamond with a warmer, more subtle shine and transparent appearance than modern cuts.
We’ve seen a resurgence of rose cut diamonds in today’s jewelry market. Unfortunately, many original rose cuts were re-cut into more modern styles to keep up with the current demand for ultra sparkly diamonds. Though they’re more difficult to find these days, we at True Bijoux have access to both vintage and new rose-cut diamonds for you! These beauties look particularly romantic in engagement rings, and their low profile makes them a comfortable and attractive cut for daily wear.
Alternate and Artisan Cut Diamonds
Rose cuts are not the only uniquely shaped diamonds out there. Though the round brilliant cut is the most popular on the market, there are plenty of other options available. Some more common alternatives include princess-cut , marquise-cut, emerald-cut, and oval-cut. Each diamond shape is cut to different specifications, and possess different qualities.
Many of our clients love to purchase unique and custom engagement rings and jewelry. The era of personalized jewelry and design has resulted in the rise of the kite cut diamond. This gem cut looks exactly how it sounds: like a kite. A diamond in a literal diamond shape created by four sides. This elongated shape has often been used as side or accent stones in design, but is now having its moment in the spotlight as the centrepiece. Edgy and geometric, we love the modern look of this diamond cut, available through us at True Bijoux.
To contrast the edgy look of the kite-cut, we carry a vintage artisanal style: the old-cut diamond. They’re antique diamond cuts that were prevalent from the 1890s until the 1930s. To some, old cut diamonds look similar to brilliant cuts. Both are round in shape with triangular facets, flat tops and pointed bottoms. However, like rose-cuts, old cut diamonds were shaped, cut and polished by hand. This means they lack the symmetry and precision that’s seen in modern cuts. It’s common for an old cut diamond to have irregular outlines and misaligned facets, but that is part of their charm. Their vintage, hand-finished aesthetic reminds us of a bygone era where all jewelry was carefully handcrafted by masters of the trade. Today, old cuts are increasingly rare - True Bijoux is proud to have a large selection to choose from in-store and online.
All in all, the most important thing when shopping for an engagement ring or any diamond jewelry is to choose something you love. Salt and pepper diamonds are unique, black diamonds are rare, kite cuts are modern, and old cuts are pieces of history… but those are just 4 out of many options. You can get pink diamonds, yellow diamonds, cushion-cut diamonds, radiant-cut diamonds and more. Consider hues and shapes you like as a starting point, then let our team of jewelry professionals guide you along the way. We love doing custom jobs, and are able to source diamonds and gemstones depending on your personal preferences. Stop by our storefront in Ottawa at 206 Sparks Street or click here to book a consultation with us now. We’re looking forward to working with you. ♥