“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” – Oscar Wilde.
Diamonds are one of the world’s oldest and most valued treasures, and what better feeling than owning your very own precious stone… Formed billions of years ago, deep below the Earth’s surface, under extreme conditions, these glimmering rocks are a constant reminder… There is something about a sparkling diamond that remains fascinating.
Whether you’re wearing it as a symbol of love, sentimentality or prestige, we want to be a part of your journey to finding the perfect shape, size, colour and fit.
Here are a few steps to help you find the perfect one for you or your loved one:
1: The Budget
Before you even start, determine how much you are willing to spend on a diamond. Then again, diamonds are sparkly and they are forever…who can put a price on that?
2: The Shape
The shape of a diamond is tied to your personal style preference. Round Brilliant is the most popular shape while Oval, Princess, Cushion, Emerald, Pear, Marquise, Asscher, Radiant and Heart shapes are more unique.
3: The Cut
The cut is the proportion, polish and finish of the diamond. A well-cut diamond looks brighter and will also appear larger than its carat size.
4: The Clarity
This describes the purity of the diamond. Flawless diamonds or diamonds with external characteristics are rare. Those are the ones you’d definitely want to show off!
5: The Carat
The carat refers to the physical weight of the diamond and not how large the stone is. So do not think for one second that the larger the stone, the more expensive it is.
6: The Color
The most popular choice is colorless to near colorless diamonds. Pink, red, and green colored diamonds known as fancy colored diamonds are more expensive and far rarer than colorless diamonds.
7. The Alternative
Decide whether you want a mined diamond or a lab-made diamond.
8: The Unique ID
A laser inscription is a combination of letters and numbers etched onto a diamond. This combination serves as a unique ID to identify your diamond if it’s ever lost or stolen…fingers crossed that never happens.
9: The Grading Report
All diamonds come with an independent grading report. If the diamond comes with a GIA (Gemological Institute of America), you can verify the report details on Report Check, GIA’s secure, online database.
10: The Appraisal and Insurance
Now that your precious diamond is in hand, have an independent appraiser confirm that what you have purchased matches the paperwork and description of the seller. While small in size, a diamond can be one of the most valuable items to own. Make sure to insure it.
You never need a reason to want diamonds, they’re a necessity!
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Jewelry has always held a pivotal place in history, culture and tradition. Self-embellishment has brought about some of the last centuries’ most high-end, adored and priceless pieces that are more often than not considered works of art.
Some have become famous heirlooms or formed part of estate jewelry ranking as the world’s most classic, timeless and worthwhile investments that will only appreciate over the years.
We look at some of our favorite statement jewels designed by industry heavyweights that have been kept in families for years or found homes in some of the world’s most famous museums.
1. The Hope Diamond
Let’s start off with what is possibly considered the most famous jewel in the world… The Hope Diamond. It is the most expensive stone weighing 45.52 carats and is roughly worth $250 million. Popularly known for its unique color, this deep blue stone is speculated to have been mined in the Golconda region of India. It is rumored to be cursed, causing the owner or wearer to suffer misfortune to hype up the profile of diamond. It was at one point in the possession of King Louis the XVI.
2. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond
If you’re a classic lady, Audrey Hepburn will definitely be one of your fashion icons and inspirations. You’ll also love yellow diamonds and at some point, want to recreate Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond was discovered in 1878 and is one of the largest yellow diamonds weighing 128 carats, 2 and a half times the size of the Hope Diamond. The diamond is set in a breathtaking necklace, only worn once by Audrey Hepburn and on permanent display at the Tiffany’s 5th Avenue store in New York City.
3. Elizabeth Taylor’s Asscher-cut Engagement Ring
Elizabeth Taylor isn’t far behind as one of our favorite jewelry icons – boasting an extravagant collection of jewels. This star actress really knew her diamonds and owned one of the purest stones – a flawless 33.1 carat asscher-cut diamond engagement ring valued at $305,000 in 1968 from Richard Burton.
4. The Pink Star
Just ahead of the Graff Pink is The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat pink diamond ring. This ring holds the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid diamond ever graded by the GIA. It is the most valuable ring to ever be sold at auction, fetching a hefty price of $71.2 million.
5. The Dresden Green Diamond
The Dresden Green Diamond is said to bring good luck as the largest green diamond in the world. Rumored to have originated in India, this stone was owned by Polish royal family in the 1700s exhibiting power and wealth. In1768 it became part of a hat ornament surrounded by several white diamonds. It is now on display at the Met Museum in New York.
Diamonds are more than just ornaments, they tell stories. They have always had the powerful ability to capture the hearts and minds of people for thousands of years – from inspiring designers to crafting incredible myths to accompany the profile of the stones. While few of us will get to pull off wearing a 70-carat diamond, we can all take the time to appreciate these iconic jewels… and to dream!
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“I am fascinated by diamonds. When I put diamonds on my hands shake.” — Debra Messing
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – and what better than to have friends in every color!
There are 7 different types of colored diamonds: blue, pink, orange, green, red, brown and yellow. Here is what makes each of them so unique, so special and so sought after:
A blue diamond is extremely rare. In fact, they make up only 0.02% of mined diamonds in the world. Although they exhibit many of the inherent properties of a regular diamond, they boast the exquisite addition of blue color in the stone.
Blue diamonds are genuine and are formed completely naturally beneath the earth’s surface over billions of years. Authentic and genuine to the core – these stones are not enhanced or color-treated. It is the boron in the diamond’s carbon composition that exudes the mesmerizing blue, the more boron the more brilliant the blue.
Polishing and cutting of diamonds can influence their color, but blue diamonds are found with their beautiful blue color tone and no diamond collection is complete without a blue diamond making them highly sought after by diamond collectors around the world.
The Hope Diamond, now found at the Washington Museum is one of the most famous jewels in the world, weighing in at 45.52 carats it boasts ownership records dating back almost four centuries.
Pink diamonds are known as one of the rarest diamonds in the world today and for many years have been iconic in couture jewelry designs. Pink diamonds are considered Natural Fancy Color diamonds, they are extremely opulent and their popularity has driven their price up so much that they cost up to 20 times the price of a similar-sized white diamond. The more intense the color of the diamond, the higher the price. They also always come with a secondary hue which is why you will never find two pink diamonds that look alike.
More than 90% of the world’s supply of pink natural diamonds have been produced in the Argyle Mine in Western Australia but only 1% of this mine’s output is pink diamonds. Only a limited number exist, and it is estimated that only another 500 or so, remain to be discovered.
Unlike other precious stones, pink diamonds are sourced froma volcanic host rock lamproite pipe as opposed to kimberlite. They also differ from other diamonds where the color is caused by large amounts of Nitrogen, Boron, increased Hydrogen, or exposure to atomic radiation or radioactivity. In the case of pink diamonds, the cause of the pink color remains questionable.
One of the most famous pink diamonds is The Noor-ul-Ain also known as ‘the light of the eye,’ – a 60-carat oval brilliant-cut pink diamond that is believed to have been discovered in India’s Golconda mines. It was the centerpiece in Iranian Empress Farah Pahlavi’s wedding tiara in 1958.
The uncertainty of the origin of the orange color diamond makes it extremely rare and sought after. The defects that produce the orange hue have not been determined with certainty and may vary from one stone to another. From research, it is concluded that the defects in orange diamonds cause them to selectively absorb blue light and transmit an orange color.
Before the 14.82-carat The Orange Diamond was discovered, the cushion-cut Pumpkin Diamond of 5.54-carat was catching the eyes of collectors and sold at Auction in 1997. The Reporters at that time referred to the Pumpkin Diamond as “the only vivid orange diamond ever graded by the GIA,” and the Colored Diamond Encyclopedia referred to it as “the world’s largest fancy vivid orange diamond.”
Natural green diamonds are extremely rare, and the color develops when high-energy radiation emitted by nearby radioactive mineral grains penetrates colorless diamond formations. The radiation moves carbon atoms out of their position in the crystal lattice and causes the diamond to selectively absorb red light and transmit green. Green color can also be a result of defects produced by the presence of nitrogen, hydrogen, or nickel within the diamond crystal.
The most famous green diamond ever found is the 41 carat Dresden Green which was cut from a 100-carat stone. The stone is named after the city of Dresden, the capital of Saxony in Germany where it has been on display for more than 200 years.
Red Diamonds get their beautiful color from impurities such as nitrogen and boron. These extremely rare stones are made purely from carbon, just like colorless diamonds. The red color is a projection of a rare occurrence in its atomic structure. Most would agree that red diamonds are the most expensive and the rarest diamonds in the world, even more so than pink and blue diamonds, as very few red diamonds have been found. Like other color diamonds, they have been subjected to stress which deformed the diamond crystal, causing carbon atom displacement. When light passes through the planes of displacement, the red wavelengths of light are selectively transmitted. The weaker the transmission of red light, the lighter the diamond color will appear – sometimes producing what seems like a pink diamond.
The Hancock Red is one of the most famous red diamonds and was the most expensive per-carat stone ever sold at auction in 1987 and sold for eight times its pre-sale estimate.
Brown diamonds are one of the more common natural color diamonds mined along with yellow diamonds – and the most affordable color diamond (besides black diamonds). The brown color develops when plastic deformation creates planes of missing and displaced carbon atoms in the diamond crystal lattice, known as glide planes. This is where the brown color is concentrated and can appear as a series of parallel color bands in the diamond known as “graining”.
The Golden Jubilee Diamond is the most famous of its kind, estimated to be worth approximately $12 million and weighs 545.67 carats. It is the largest faceted diamond, surpassing the Cullinan.
Yellow diamonds are the second most common natural-colored diamond getting its color from nitrogen atoms substituting for carbon in the diamond crystal lattice allowing the stone to selectively absorb blue light and transmit yellow.
The Kimberley Octahedral diamond is the largest naturally formed yellow diamond in the world, mined in the Dutoitspan Mine in Kimberley, South Africa. This is where diamonds were first discovered in 1871. The Kimberley octahedral diamond is also referred to as the “616 Diamond”, which is a reference to its carat weight. Because the diamond remains in its natural state, the uncut stone can only be referenced in terms of its shape, color and weight and not the usual color, clarity and type of cut applicable to cut and polished diamonds.
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“It doesn’t just tell time, it tells history.” Rolex
When you’re looking for a reliable luxury timepiece, in fact… the ultimate timepiece, Rolex immediately comes to mind for most people. The brand is so intricately linked to superiority and success that one can’t help but desire a Rolex!
Rolex owners have included known celebrities like Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, and Paul Newman to world leaders and public figures like Dwight D Eisenhower, JFK, and Martin Luther King. Essentially… all those who have truly “made it” in life!
Rolex really spoils you with choice – with more than 1,000 different models in the current catalogue, spread across men and women watches, split into Professional and Classic collections, and spanning more than a dozen different collections.
When doing your research, you will quickly see that Rolex has their own language. Before you buy a Rolex watch, look at the mechanisms, movements, terms, bezels and bracelets to know what you’re looking for in your piece.
Mechanism Terms Explained
Bezel: The exterior ring encircling the dial with several distinct types that offer additional functionality.
Caliber: The more formal name for the watch’s internal movement.
Chronergy: This offers an increase in efficiency and high resistance to magnetic forces.
Chronograph: The name for a watch that can also be used as a stopwatch.
Cyclops: The name Rolex gives to the small magnification lens set into the crystal above the date window to make the numeral easier to read. Provides a magnification of 2.5x
Hack: A feature on all modern Rolex movements that stops the second hand when the winding crown is pulled out. This feature makes it easier to set the time accurately.
Hairspring: An incredibly thin coil of metal that is mounted onto the balance wheel to form the watch’s oscillator, ensuring the watch’s timekeeping accuracy.
Index: Another name for the various hour markers found on dials.
Maxi Dial: A type of dial that has oversized indexes.
Mercedes: The unofficial name for the type of hour hand commonly found on Rolex sports watches. The design is close to the car manufacturer’s three-pointed star logo.
Movements on a Rolex
The movement (also known as the caliber) controls the model’s main hands but can also be constructed with various complications. A complication is any function above and beyond regulating the hour, minute, and seconds hands.
An element often overlooked by newcomers to luxury watch buying is the type of bracelet which has a huge effect on the look and feel. There are five official bracelet types, and each one has its own unique design and personality.
Jubilee Bracelet: The oldest type of bracelet Rolex still uses.
Oyster Bracelet: Only just younger than the Jubilee, the Oyster dates back to 1948. Its three flat links make it the most tool-like and casual of Rolex’s metal bracelets.
President Bracelet: As with the Jubilee, the President bracelet was made specifically for the launch of a new watch, and in this case it was designed for the Day-Date in 1956.
Pearlmaster Bracelet: With its five rounded, staggered links, the Pearlmaster was introduced in 1992 for the first of the Pearlmaster watches, and like the President Bracelet, the Pearlmaster is a premium bracelet option.
Oysterflex Bracelet: Rolex’s first rubber strap.
Leather Strap: These days, leather straps are only found on Rolex’s dedicated dress watch series, the Cellini. Available in black, brown, or blue and fitted with an 18k gold buckle to match the case of the watch, the straps are fully embroidered and stitched alligator leather.
Every Rolex watch has a bezel to secure the crystal on to the case to ensure a certain water-resistance. However, the bezel also offers the perfect opportunity to be both decorative and functional.
Rolex Decorative Bezels
These are fluted, smooth and gem-set.
Rolex Functional Bezels
These include timing bezels, dive bezels, GMT bezels, ring command bezels and tachymeter bezels.
Reasons to buy a Rolex:
It will last a lifetime and can be passed down to future generations.
It outperforms competition with strength, longevity, and reliability.
Recently, more watches have been purchased as investments, particularly vintage models.
Choose between The Professional Collection and the Classic Collection depending on your style.
Rolex watches are extremely versatile in their design and never look out of place. Pair your Submariner with your wetsuit or your Tuxedo and always have a timeless wrist piece accompany you.
And lastly… because Rolex is the Rolls Royce of timepieces ☺
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Buying a vintage watch can seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. But with the right tips and advice, you can start your own collection without any hassle. Modern watches may talk, but vintage watches speak to you and whether it’s a sentimental purchase or an investment, educating yourself before buying is very important.
Research your brands. Rolex and Patek Philippe are generally the priciest brands in vintage watch collections.
Contact the manufacturer. Most exclusive brands have an archive of watches produced and can provide information production year, country of origin, number of pieces produced, caliber number, and case and/or reference number.
Find a reputable watchmaker. Find either an independent watchmaker or one who works for a large retailer and ask if he can source replacement (or new) parts. Some parts of vintage watches are exceedingly difficult to source or are no longer available at all and need to be re-created from scratch.
Find the Right Price. Prices can vary on similar looking watches and across brands. Compare the watch you want to other collections and ranges so that you don’t overpay for your timepiece. Research the average market price, as specifications such as a dial or bezel can change the price dramatically. Find a reputable seller and ask about the guarantees – but keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult to give a warranty on a 50-year-old watch.
Know Your Movements. There are two movements: manual and automatic. Manual watches require you to turn the crown to “wind up” the watch daily and automatic watches gain momentum from the movement of your wrist and winds the watch on its own.
Think of Supplementary functions. Your watch will either have a perpetual calendar which tracks the day, month, and year accurately for decades or a chronograph – a stopwatch with sub-dials.
It’s all in the face. The dial of the watch can usually determine the price tag. Check that the face is an original and not a repainted or refurbished one.
Original is key! Look for watches with original hands, bezels, and movement, with unpolished cases and their original boxes, receipts, and manuals.
Metals. Get a feel for what metal looks good on your skin.
Size Matters. Vintage watches are generally smaller than modern-day designs, but some brands like Patek Philippe Calatrava come at 35 mm in diameter and can bring huge premiums.
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There are more than 200 different known varieties of natural gems that have been discovered. Alongside the more famous diamonds, ruby, sapphire, and emeralds are other semi-precious stones, so incredibly rare that their value outweighs some of the world’s most precious names. If you’re thinking of investing in some fascinating and rare creations from around the world, here are some interesting facts you didn’t know about these naturally occurring and beautiful works of art…
The diamond is the hardest stone and the largest diamond found in the United States, to date, is known as the Uncle Sam Diamond.
Amber is the softest stone.
After diamonds, pearls are a women’s favorite jewel, and it takes up to three years to grow a matured pearl.
The garnet was named after the seeds of a pomegranate.
One of the largest sapphires is known as the Star of Asia, which is currently housed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
Tanzanite is a variant of the mineral zoisite and is only found in a small area near the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The stone was only commercialized after the 1960’s. and has become increasingly popular since then.
Painite was once the world’s rarest gem. A British gemologist discovered it in 1951 and for many years it was the only specimen in existence. 53 years later, there are still fewer than two dozen painite gems. With only 1000 stones, this gem is still scarce and extremely valuable with a carat costing approximately $60,000.
Red beryl, also known as a red emerald, is so rare that for every 150,000 diamonds, one red beryl is mined. Pure beryl is colorless and only gains its bright hues from impurities in the rock: manganese adds the deep-red color to create red beryl. This stone is only found in Utah, New Mexico, and Mexico, and most of the stones found are just a few millimeters in length, too small to be cut. Those that have been cut are generally less than a carat in weight.
Austrian-Irish gemologist Count Edward Charles Richard Taaffe discovered Taaffeite by chance in the 1940’s when he bought a box of cut stones from a jeweler in Dublin. At first, he had no idea where the mineral naturally occurred, but the source of the stone was tracked down to Sri Lanka, and a handful found in Tanzania and China. It is thought that less than 50 taaffeite stones exist, making this gemstone so rare that the ordinary public are unlikely to ever encounter it.
The Sergio Diamond is a black carbonado diamond, discovered in Brazil in 1893. The 3167-carat diamond is a true spectacle as black diamonds are exceptionally rare and there is still a lot of debate over their origins.
Did these facts make you fall in love with gemstones all over again? There is still so much we don’t know about the exquisite stones that fill our jewelry boxes but in some way there is also magic in that mystery!
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“Jewelry is like the perfect spice; it always complements what’s already there.” – Diane Von Furstenberg.
Like every kitchen needs staples, so does a woman’s jewelry box. There’s nothing better than a few basic, but exquisite pieces that can dress up or down an outfit. There’s beauty in simplicity and this means making a statement with your pairings whether you’re going for a classic, eclectic or even glamorous look. No matter what the occasion, you can mix and match the same items and create absolutely new looks each time. Your jewelry must have a claim on your heart and include pieces you won’t tire of, want to give away or hand down any time soon. Statement earrings or a pair of cufflinks can really illustrate your personality and complete your outfit.
Whether you’re wearing a little black dress or a sundress and espadrilles, you won’t have to spend too much time deciding on accessories (a must for any lady). We keep these five classics on the top of our trinket tray – diamond earrings, a simple neck piece, a tennis bracelet or plated bangle, and we absolutely love a variety of precious stone rings – but here are some more essentials for those who of us who need a little more choice:
A simple, yet beautiful watch like a Tag Heuer Formula 1 or an Omega Speedmaster 38
A pair of diamond studs (the little black dress of your jewelry box)
A pair of pearl earrings – freshwater pearls can take any outfit to a 10 without even trying and they come in the most beautiful range of colors from white to cream to blush.
Whether your color of choice is silver or gold, a simple or stacked necklace of choice is an everyday essential. You can transform a workwear dress into an evening wonder by simply adding a thin string of pearls, diamonds, or casual cord and pendant. This one essential is something you can have tens of – they’re classic and sophisticated and you’ll need them in every length, thickness, color and style.
A cuff is the perfect pairing to your watch, and this is why you’ll need it in silver, gold and rose gold.
Rings, rings and more rings. There’s not much need to motivate why your hands should always be adorned with jewels. It is one of the most feminine pieces and you can wear them in so many different ways. You can never go wrong with a classic diamond eternity ring, precious stones, and pearls.
Keep it classy:
Layer your jewelry wisely. Do not make it look too busy.
Don’t mix different metals.
Choose one statement piece.
A Final Tip:
Make sure you store your jewelry in a case that is made with high quality materials that can prevent moisture build up so that your jewelry doesn’t tarnish.
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