How to Tell if Your Gold Jewellery is Genuine or Fake

Both jewellers and jewellery enthusiasts believe that gold has distinct properties that can be identified only through thorough examination.

This blog will discuss ways to help protect you from goldsmiths who are engaged in questionable practices. We encourage you to read on so that you can tell the real value of gold.

The Stamp Test.

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Make sure that you check for the Gold Jewellery Stamp (GJS).  This has to be accompanied by the Jeweller’s Stamp of Approval as well.  The GJS is a small stamp that marks the purity or the karat of the jewellery.

However, you need to be extra alert, as there are document forgers who can easily recreate these stamps. So, if you see either a Heavy Gold Plate (HGP) Stamp or a Heavy Electroplated Gold (HEG) Stamp, walk away. What they’re selling are either fake or ‘gold-filled.’

The Acid Test.

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Make a tiny scratch mark on your jewellery and drop a small amount of liquid nitric acid onto the same spot. If it turns green, then, obviously, it is fake. If the spot turns a bit milky, on the other hand, then what you have is a gold-over-sterling silver piece. If the tiny scratch mark didn’t change at all, then your gold jewellery is real.

The Magnet Test.

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Real gold are non-magnetic. For this test, you will need a stronger than average magnet. If the magnet attracts your piece of jewellery, then it is obviously fake. With the exception of plated clasps, of course. Some jewellery clasps can be magnetized. The links and the charms, on the other hand, should not be so.

The Float & Rust Test.

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Drop your gold jewellery in a cup of water. If it floats, then it isn’t real. Also, fake gold shows signs of rustiness following exposure to an excessive amount of moisture. However, if it stays at the bottom of the cup, then you are assured that your jewellery is the real deal. Simply because, genuine gold is heavy and not prone to rust.

The Skin Test.

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If you see either shades of black or green on your skin while wearing your jewellery, then your piece is fake. Gold jewellery is typically mixed with other precious alloys; however, the purity of gold must remain in each piece for it to be authentic.

Got other types of tests you want to share with us? We, at House of Diamonds, would love to hear them! Leave a comment below to get a great discussion going.

The Bold & The Beautiful: Uncovering Eye-popping Jewellery for Fashion-forward Women

Women love jewellery. It’s a known fact. Some like theirs traditional, while some of them like them eclectic. Some wear theirs to show their femininity, while some wear their choice pieces to be artistic.

We know of some women who wear glittery jewellery on their hands and body in honor of other women in their family – their mothers being the most popular one. While some wear jewelry to capture the attention of the men they desire.

Whatever the reason is, wearing jewelry of all sizes and designs speak of women’s impeccable sense of fashion. It helps them put their best foot forward wherever they may be, regardless of the occasion.

We don’t know about you but we favor BIG pieces of jewelry – hunks, chunks, sizeable, eye-popping blings, among other “pet names.”  Simply, BIG is bold and definitely beautiful. Especially if you know how to work it!  

That said, we’ve decided to go BIG on the pieces we will showcase on this blog post. Let it be a fun exercise for all women! Play up your style and let loose. Here we go.

The Bohemian Bold Neckie

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We have seen this particular style of neckwear on just about any woman we know.  What’s fascinating about this piece is that it can be paired with casual clothing but can also be coupled with classic corporate ensembles. The secret to making this look fly is in the neckline. The low-cut neckline gives the wearer the space she needs to make a statement. Wearing it BIG sends out a clear message, that women in general are not afraid to be themselves; and, that they are in a natural high when they can wear their true persona with pride.

Bead Us Up, Timmy!

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This is where women have fun! Take a good look at how the small, blue beads were strung together and joined by polished wooden fastens. Large enough to hold the pendant but light enough to be worn around the neck. That’s why we think this piece is pretty. Also, look at how tightly huddled the small turquoise nuggets are as they are cradled in vintage finish. Capping it off is a tassel of light blue beads, which skirts down the wearer’s chest when worn to an art gallery opening, for instance. It would seem as if the woman is telling you to look at her.  We don’t mind if we do.

A Hot Mesh

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It’s the kind of hotness that women desire for themselves when they put on jewelry, mind you. And, it helps them channel their inner goddesses by putting on thick, textured, braided strands of yellow gold, red gold, and white gold. Just like the beaded collection, this style is easy both on the eyes and on the wearer’s neck. It may shock you but this neckie is truly lightweight. But, a definite heavyweight when it comes to elegance and straight-up self-expression.

The Beach Babe Neckie

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We easily picture a woman in a bikini top-and-bottom ensemble, strutting her stuff on the sand while other women (and men) ogle her HUGE piece. No, not that piece; but, this wallop of a shell-pendant-and-link number. It sways with her natural flow without overwhelming neither her nor the onlookers. It isn’t a heavy neckwear either!  Remember, just because it is noticeable, doesn’t have to mean it is heavy. And it’s not the kind of piece that screams for attention. It epitomizes the saying, “bold and beautiful.” Precisely why we’ve decided to include this baby in our roster of featured chunky jewels. This piece can either be paired with casual clothing or with a  little black dress for a night of fun and drinks.

The Love Quartz Bangle

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It would be impossible to ignore an arm candy this huge! And, besides, who would want to miss out on a sizeable rose quartz? We know we won’t. We’re also sure that no woman could ever a bangle this kind. It’s just too charming to pass up. This one can be worn with ANYTHING. That’s how BIG its accessorial value is. Besides, rose quartz is the precious stone for the flirty, if you get our drift. It attracts good fortune and, hopefully, good love prospects. Overall, it is THE stone that best represents a woman for all her worth.

The Rose Bangle

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An extension of a woman’s display for all things beautiful is to wear roses on huge blings like this one – the kind that warrants the right kind of attention. Even other women would find this intricate display of femininity hard to ignore. After all, we do not know of any member of the skirted species who wouldn’t fall for roses. Look at how clean-cut the chain links are? Pristine. And the braided leather? We love how everything melded together into this smashing bangle. Naturally, we won’t leave out the precious stones used on this baby – especially the sapphire ones. They just pop!

The Ruby Indian Cocktail Ring

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We are just blown away by this finger bling! Look at how detailed the lines and curves are. Absolutely amazing! Any woman with long, slender fingers would fancy wearing one of these. And again, as it is fashioned in gold, this can go with other pieces of gold jewelry, regardless of the occasion. The woman can be an advertising executive, a PR topgun, or even a history professor – it doesn’t matter what her passions in life are, so long as she gets the chance to show how BIG and different she is. That fact alone settles the fashion debate right there and then.

The Rock Lobster Ring

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Ooh, what a hunk! We adore the craftsmanship on this piece – how the lobster was transformed into a cradle for the topaz stone; and, how one of its pincers were fashioned to bed all the diamonettes? The way the band branches out to make way for the lobster’s legs? And, the way it holds onto the ruby-eyed-and-diamonette-scaled fish? Perfection. Any woman would want to have this on her finger. Forget the occasion.  Let the ring dictate what BIG celebration she wants so that she can wear it for as long she can.

The Ame-trapezoid Ring

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The amethyst stone steals the show here, ladies and gentlemen! It simply is eye-catching because of its innate charm. But what makes it a standout? The refined silver casing adds a striking finish to the appeal of the ring. We are sure that any woman who would put this on would feel like royalty in an instant.

The Vintage Gold Earrings

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The oddity of the inner shapes in this pair is what caught our eye. We thought it to be a representation of something historic. But, we reckon that the longer we look at these earrings, the more attractive they become. A woman can never go wrong with gold jewellery, like we always say. These ear jewels are retro, chic, and every inch a popper.  Also, this pair can be worn from the boardroom to the dancefloor.

The Pear-shaped Diamond Necklace

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Every woman deserves a beauty like this.  Simple, elegant and an undeniably BIG piece of diamond.  Need we say more?  This exquisite 0.5ct pear-shaped diamond pendant set in Platinum 950 with a 9ct white gold chain is just stunning and can go with any outfit you can think of.

What about you? What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Drop House of Diamonds a line, will you?

 

Diamonds & Colours: How to Tell a Gem’s Truest Worth

When it comes to diamonds, jewellery newbies as well as aficionados need to keep the  4Cs in mind – CARAT, CLARITY, COLOUR and CUT. On this blog entry, we will concentrate and discuss colour.

According to the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), a globally established name in gem and jewellery education, these elements are pivotal when it comes to pointing out subtle or otherwise noticeable in diamonds. It should come first before deciding on setting them in gold, silver, or platinum jewellery.

They also said that, “colour intensity – the deepness or richness of colour, is the most important consideration when purchasing a coloured diamond.

There is a grading system for diamond colours  as well. It ranges from D to ZD being the assigned value to diamonds which are extremely white and rare; and, Z for diamonds which have unwanted hues in them.

Let us walk you through the grades a little further. The diamonds which are rated D, E, and F are all colorless. On the other hand, the stones which were graded G, H, I, and J are nearly colorless.

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Diamonds of grade K, L, and M have some color to them – a diminutive hint of yellow, to be exact.

Diamonds graded N, O, P, Q, and R have a stronger tinge of yellow tints in them while grades S through Z graded diamonds are visibly tainted and, unfortunately, highly visible to the naked eye.

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The diamonds that fall into this bracket may even take on a brown appearance. They, too, take on a much different shade once they are mounted on particular precious metals.

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Getting well-acquainted with the grades will help both jewellery newbies and gem aficionados gauge a diamond’s truest worth.

We strongly advise that you ask your jeweller for a Certificate of Authenticity before you purchase loose diamonds and those which are already set in ready-to-wear jewellery.

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Also, it is just as important to keep in touch with a diamond expert. Call House of Diamonds London or send an email to receive more information about these precious stones.

 

Best Gift Ideas: How to Spoil Dad on Father’s Day

Fathers – one can never imagine an easier life without them. They stand taller than hedge stones. They speak mighty words that can calm even the most ill-tempered human being. They, too, will tame the most ferocious creatures to keep us as far away from harm as possible.

Locked in their affection and love, we realize how grateful we are that we have been blessed with men who will never give up on us.

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Aside from our favorite sports, academic activities, and what have you, our dads are the best go-to guy when it comes to love and relationships, too. A father may look really tough on the outside. But what really makes up for his whole person is his innate ability to listen and guide us.

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So, we often find ourselves wondering, especially now that Father’s Day is coming, how to give back and show them how much we appreciate them and the little and big things that they have done for us. We know it is a challenge! After all, our dads have been 100% supportive of all our aspirations; and, cheered us on each time we pursue our goals in life.

Which brings us to settling the score – they deserve countless treats on Father’s Day. So we’ve got tips to let you shower him with affection from thereon.

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Let your dad know that you’ve got his back. Be there for him as he has been there for you when you were younger. Your love for your father comes in strongly each time you provide him with the emotional support that he may not ask, but sure needs.

Talk to him regularly. There is a good reason why we have phones at home and smartphones in our pockets. It’s always good to swap pleasantries as well as seek his advice on matters, which are important to you. He’ll be bowled over by the fact that you still value him and his thoughts after all these years.

Treat him to a picnic in the park and a throw of frisbee. Relive your childhood moments as well as release your dad’s inner child. Nothing beats the feeling of sitting on a warm blanket, flanked by sandwiches and dessert, and a bottle of his favorite wine.  Reminisce and snap photos, too!  We’re sure you’ll be glad that you did.

Go bowling or shoot hoops like you used to back in the day. There are plenty of recreational and sports arenas in your neighborhood. So, why not set a fun date with your dad and go there for Father’s Day?

Take him to his favorite pub. It’s a guy thing. A pint or two while you and your dad talk about school – undergraduate or graduate, work, or even your lady love. Time slows down with a cold one at hand. And, made even more special with a great drinking buddy – YOU.

Give your dad a painting of your favorite dad-and-I photograph.  A uniquely sweet take on surprising your old man on Father’s Day. We think that nothing can top this one.

Of course, if you feel like spending and giving your dad much more on this special occasion, then there’s nothing stopping you, is there?

That said, in honour of the most special man in our lives, we give you some of the best gift suggestions that will tickle them pink.

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The Man Bauble Kit. Time is precious and deserves to be captured with an equally classic jewellery that best represents your dad.  Match it with a bracelet that has his name engraved on it and, voila!  Dad’s the dashing hero you’ll be gushing about for the rest of your life. Throw in a personalized signet ring to suit the occasion. Remember, choose an insignia that best personifies him and all that he stands for. And, as he suits up, do the honors by accosting him with cufflinks that will match his signet. And, for the final touch, have your old man unwrap a custom-made neckwear. You can choose to pepper the pendant with diamonds or other precious gems in various shapes and sizes.

Men’s Perfume & Hygiene Gift Bag. We are sure your dad has an uber favorite scent that he can never get enough of. That said, why not have a gift bag arranged with your dad’s favorite perfume as the centerpiece? Complemented by an aftershave cologne, hand cream, and what have you. Now, that’s a wow factor your dad will remember for all time.

A Movie Library. You’ve inherited your dad’s passion for movies. In that case, round up his favorite films and group them according to genre – spy films, action-packed flicks, thrillers, suspense, love stories, documentaries, comic relief, et cetera. Throw in a bonus by putting up a wall-mounted DVD shelf right in his viewing room. Just make sure that it compliments the rest of your dad’s furniture. Don’t forget to have it varnished or painted as well.

Rock ‘n Roll Concert Tickets. Okay, we’re sensing that this might be a tall order if your dad’s a Beatle fan. But, as there are plenty of other bands who put rock and roll together beautifully, then we can confidently say that this gift suggestion will make your dad sing to his heart’s delight. Don’t forget to get him the limited edition, autographed CD on your way out of the coliseum.

The latest golf club collection. Sign up for an exclusive country club membership on behalf of your dad and surprise him with a tee-off right there and then. Now that’s how you sink your love for your old man. “Hole in one!”

Got any more gift suggestions? What do you plan to get your dad for Father’s Day?  Send us a line and we’ll be happy to exchange notes with you.

 

Weddings, Engagements, and Rings: What You Ought to Know Before Saying ‘I DO’

A mutual promise to get married to one another – that is the very essence of an engagement.  Likewise, the term fiancé comes from the French verb se fier, which is the equivalent of the Latin word fidere (to trust).  This is how the concept of engagement evolved.

Prior to the wedding ceremony, a guy drops on one knee to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage.  Though it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will get married right after their engagement.  In fact, there are a lot of couples who prolong their engagement until the time is right to get married.  It all depends on the couple, as they need plenty of time to think about pre- and post-wedding preparations.

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But, as the girlfriend agrees to marry her boyfriend, an engagement party is thrown in honor of the couple.

But how exactly did engagement parties come about?

Dating back to Greek practices, a couple’s engagement was not even welcomed with merrymaking. Rather, it was treated like a business transaction, which required both families to  enter an oral or a written agreement. This means that the father intends to betroth his daughter to the groom. And, the bride-to-be doesn’t even have to know about it.

But modern times changed the approach. Engagement parties are real special occasions and announced as such so that whoever is invited may bring gifts for the couple. At the same time, select members of the couples’ families or closest circle of friends take turn in giving speeches, wishing them well for a life of true love and togetherness. Lastly, a toast is given in honor  of the newly engaged couple.

Of course, in today’s setup, engagement parties are often decided by the couple themselves. Some even go as far as hosting their own.

On the other hand, there are couples who choose not to have, much less host, engagement parties, as these are not mandatory to getting married. And, of course, by reason of economics, some couples choose to save money for the wedding itself and the future.

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Here’s more!

Traditionally, the mothers of the soon to be married couple would meet before the ceremony to discuss and set the wedding date.

As a common practice, it is the bride’s parents who need to host the ceremony. The husband-to-be would send beautiful flowers to his fiancee in the morning of the engagement day; and, of course send a more classical bunch of flowers to the mother of the bride.

Generally, as far as spending for the ceremony is concerned, the bride’s family would offer to host the celebrations while the groom’s family or the groom himself would offer to give bride-to-be the most show-stopping engagement ring.

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Speaking of engagement rings, have you a need for one?  We’ve got some of the most distinguished cuts and setting which you can lay your eyes on.  Check us out – House of Diamonds London.

Spark it Up! Your Corporate Getup Coupled with Your Favorite Ring-bling

A woman is never without accessories. She always has a set for every place and occasion – the office, a night out with her man, a night out with her lady friends, and the outdoors.

Today, we shall concentrate on women who are as much of corporate warriors as they are jewelry lovers – ring lovers to be exact!

We came up with easy-to-follow tips on how to pair your office outfit with your rings. Read on and learn, ladies.

 

Find a RING that COMPLIMENTS your attire.  

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This is a very basic principle – lay down a great corporate wear, say a pinstriped skirt-and-blazer ensemble paired with a white inner blouse. Pay attention to the buttons of both the blouse and the blazer. If both are white, then go for a white gold ring. Much better if it has a solitaire diamond on it!

However, if the buttons are yellow, make sure to pick out a gold diamond solitaire ring. Remember, the key word is COMPLIMENTARY. You want to look well put-together and fashion-forward, NOT CLUTTERED and mismatched.

Lastly, based on the attire and ring, put on a pair of earrings, a bracelet, neckwear, and a wristwatch to complete that smashing corporate attire of yours.

 

Let your RING SHINE.

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Fancy a white, silky blouse-and-pencil-cut-skirt number? That’s easy. White blouses and skirts are often paired with either a silver or a white gold ring, alongside other pieces of jewelry.

Silk blouses make a diamond ring set on a white gold band pop! That will make your whole look smashing; and, can easily take you from boardroom meetings to dinner parties later in the evening.

Complete your look with a pair of stud earrings, a simple necklace, a bracelet, and a watch – all of which has to be in white gold or silver.

 

Do the REVERSE pairing.

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Say, you have a House of Diamonds 5-Stone Brilliant Moissanite Engagement Ring in white gold and you want to wear it to work. Here’s what you should do. Let the ring guide you on what to put on for the day.

We’re sure that you’re allowed a day to dress down and look casual. For some offices, especially advertising agencies and publication houses – denims paired with flirty blouses are acceptable.

That said, take out your favorite pair of skinny jeans and match it with a cute-but-romantically styled cotton-candy pink blouse. Finish the ensemble off with nude stilettos.

Now, your ring has to be in good company – a simple pair of earrings, a thin-chained neckwear, a thin-link bracelet, a wristwatch, and YOUR RING. And, you’re all set!

Got any other tips on how to find the right ring for your office attire?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Leave us a comment and we’d be more than happy to swap notes with you.

What You Need to Know About Birthstones

There is not one woman on this planet who does not know what her birthstone is. The truth of the matter is that there is a story behind birthstones and a meaning for each one of them.

So, let us get well-acquainted with birthstones, alongside some facts about why these beautifully colored stones are set in most women’s earrings, pendants, bracelets, and, at times, wristwatches.

Brief History

We enjoy hearing interesting stories about the origin of our birthstones. And, we believe that wearing them – may they be paired with our favorite office attire or weekend outfit – may bring us luck, improve our aura, and even protect us from harm.

These practices date back to early civilization – the Assyrians (1400 BC) to be exact. The Assyrians were invested in rare and beautiful gemstones with magical properties because they believed that some minerals contained a force or possessed certain values and supernatural powers.

Tradition associates a gem with each sign of the zodiac based on a color system, as a particular color was believed to unleash the power attributed to each stone.

Over time, the birthstones became associated with calendar months rather than the zodiac. And, people began to select birthstones based on colors.

And, more importantly, the wearers must take extra care not have these gems scratched, subjected to hard blows, or even exposed to extreme temperature changes.

Check out the full account of these birthstones and how each was believed to be of great importance.

THE BIRTHSTONES

1.  GARNET – the birthstone for the month of January and is the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s second year of marriage.

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When most people think of garnet, they picture the dark red bohemian stone that was popular during the Victorian times. But, did you know that garnets are found in every color except blue? These include brilliant green tsavorite garnet, raspberry pink rhodolite garnet, and orange malaya garnet. Bright red “anthill” garnets are found in Arizona. The Tsars of Russia favored rare green demantoid garnets, on the other hand.

Garnets offer a variety of appearance to suit every taste as well as an outstanding price range to suit clients with discriminating taste in jewels.

Did you know that Noah was believed to have hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination?

A garnet birthstone gives its wearer guidance at night as well as protection from nightmares. The Egyptians believed it to be an antidote for snake bites and food poisoning. It was also thought to have a special affinity with blood due to its rich color.

Garnets are durable and brilliant, and give years of contentment to its owners. These are found in the U.S., Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and India.

2.  AMETHYST – the birthstone for February and, at the same time, the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s sixth year of marriage.

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The amethyst is a variety of quartz; and, comes in pale lilac to rich, deep purple hues.  Ideally, it is a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes that give amethyst its beauty and fire. It is readily available in all shapes and sizes; and, is durable and can be worn every day.

The Greeks believed that the amethyst can prevent intoxication when worn. It leaves a sobering effect on the wearer – not only those who indulged in liquor but also on those who are overly excited by love’s passion. This explains why it became the most desirable gem.

The amethyst also symbolizes peace, protection and tranquility. Some believe that it prevents baldness and improves one’s complexion; and, protects the wearer from treason and deceit.

Did you know that royal families have always adored the color purple? This explains why amethysts are abound on all ornaments of ancient Greeks and Egyptians as well as that of the British Crown.

The amethyst can be found mainly in Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia.

3.  AQUAMARINE – the birthstone for March and is the anniversary gem for a couple’s 19th year of marriage.

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The ideal color of aquamarine is a refreshing pastel sea blue. It is believed that aquamarine gems with a clear blue color (without green or gray hues) are generally the most valuable.

The aquamarine is readily available in larger sizes; thereby, giving a dramatic effect to the wearer, especially when cut in rectangular or oval shapes.

Did you know that the aquamarine is a member of the important beryl family, which also includes emerald? This piece of information may come in handy for fans of chunky gem-encrusted jewelries.

It was believed that the stone aided seafarers. Therefore, it would make an excellent gift for family members and friends who are into boating and  cruising.

To dream of the birthstone itself signifies making of new friends. To wear aquamarine as earrings may bring the woman love and affection. It is a universal symbol of youth, hope, and health.

The aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar, and Ukraine.

4.  DIAMOND –  the birthstone for the month of April; and, is the most popular choice for a gem in ENGAGEMENT and WEDDING RINGS.  The diamond is also the anniversary gem for a couple’s 10th and 60th years of marriage.

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The name “diamond” comes from the Greek word “adamas,” which means unconquerable. It also suggests the eternity of love. In fact, diamonds have been the traditional symbol of love since ancient Greece. Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from the stars, which took the form of crystallized lightning and hardened dew drops.

Although diamonds are highly associated with being colorless, they are occasionally found with a strong, bright color-green, red, pink, blue, canary yellow, and amber. These fancy-colored diamonds are always of high value.

Diamonds are laser-drilled to improve their appearance and, at times, a foreign substance is used to fill surface cavities or fractures. Diamonds may also be irradiated and/or heated to induce the “fancy colors” effect.

Diamonds are the most durable of all gemstones; but, extra care is needed to prolong its beauty and use. It must be kept away from household chemicals, as it may discolor and, eventually, damage the stone itself.

Cleaning diamond jewelry is easy. Just use a jewelry cleaner, lukewarm soapy water, and a small bristle brush. Soak it in a half-and-half solution of cold water and ammonia for 1/2 hour; or, use a home ultrasonic machine with its recommended cleaner. Or, seek us out for more professional tips to learn how to care for your precious diamonds.

5.  EMERALD – the birthstone for the month of May and is the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s 20th and 35th years of marriage.

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Emerald is one of the most highly-prized gems. The name comes from the Greek word “smaragdos,” which means green stone. The most valuable kind of emerald is pure grass green.

This birthstone is characterized by a jardin – a garden of crystals trapped right inside the stone.  Under magnification, you will see all sorts of lovely patterns resembling a foliage in a garden.

A flawless, clear emerald is very rare and is usually found only in small sizes. So, small to medium-sized stones are often faceted in a step or emerald cut. It can also be fashioned into a cabochon form or a dome shape. Emeralds, are, at times, carved for that exquisite appeal.

Legend has it that an emerald rids the wearer of a wide range of ailments, which includes having a low intelligence quotient (IQ), poor eyesight, and infertility. It is also believed that the wearer can predict the future.

Emeralds, prior to setting, are immersed in colorless oil or resin so small voids won’t be as noticeable.

Emeralds are found mainly in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

6.  PEARL – the birthstone for the month of June and is the anniversary gem for a couple’s 3rd and 30th years of marriage.

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Did you know that pearls are developed as part of an oyster’s defense mechanism? When a foreign irritant enters an oyster by natural methods or is introduced either by man (cultured), the oyster immediately surrounds itself with layers of a substance called nacre. This forms the pearl, which is later on culled for jewelry and ornamentation.

Pearls come in a wide range of colors and should be relatively free from any skin blemishes. The rounder the shape of the pearl, the better it is for setting and usage on jewelry. The higher the luster – otherwise known as orient – the higher the value of the pearl. And, of course, the larger it is, the greater the price.

Besides the popular round shape, there are stylish mabe (large hemispherical cultured pearls), fresh-water (elongated in interesting shapes and colors), and South Sea pearls (large cultured pearls 10mm and up from Australia’s and Indonesia’s waters), to name a few.

Pearls have been recognized as the emblem of modesty, chastity and purity. They have come to symbolize a happy marriage.

Pearls are found in Brazil, Madagascar, Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.

7.  RUBY – the accepted birthstone for July and is also accepted anniversary gemstone for a couple’s 15th and 40th year of marriage.

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Ruby is known as the “Lord of the Gems” because of its rarity and beauty. The word ruby comes from the Latin word “ruber“, which simply means red.

Ruby, like sapphire, is a variety of jewels and stays true to its red color. The finest colored-stone appears to be vivid, with an almost pure spectral red with a very faint undertone of blue, as seen in Burmese rubies (which are considered the finest).

The highest quality rubies are believed to protect their owners from all kinds of misfortune; and, ensures the wearer harmonious relationships with his neighbors. It may also protect his stature in life, his home, and his land. Its protective powers are intensified when set in jewelry and worn on the left side. Rubies are believed to possess an inner flame, which burns eternally.

Rubies are heated to improve their color and appearance. This seals its fashioning process for good.

The finest rubies emanate from Burma, having been mined there since ancient times. Other sources include Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and India.

8.  PERIDOT – the birthstone for August and the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s 16th year of marriage.

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Peridot is of a lively lime green shade and must be without a brownish or olive cast. This gemstone is a child of volcanic action. Tiny peridot crystals are sometimes combed from the black sands of Hawaii.

Legend has it that pirates favored peridots – especially when set in gold – because they can be powerful amulets, which can ward off all evil. Thereby, protecting the wearer from the terrors of the night. They were believed to be medicinal as well. They are fashioned onto a chalice from which medicines are taken from. Medicine men believed that the peridots intensified the effects of either the potion or the drug.

The peridot is abundant and is available in larger sizes. It is found in Burma and in the U.S. The most important source of peridot in the world is the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation near Globe, Arizona, where it is mined by native Americans. Large sizes are mined in Myanmar (Burma) and in China.

9. SAPPHIRE – the birthstone for the month of September and the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s 5th and 45th years of marriage.

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Sapphire, a variety of jewels, comes in all colors except red. This stone is especially popular in a deep blue hue. Fancy colored sapphires, which includes pink, green, orange, and golden yellow, are magnificent when fashioned into a neckwear or a bracelet.

Prince Charles chose a blue sapphire for Princess Diana’s engagement ring because of its durability, alongside its captivating beauty. Needless to say, it was an eye-catching alternative to a diamond-encrusted engagement ring.

It was believed that ancient priests and sorcerers honored sapphire above all gems because it enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future. Likewise, the Ancients believed that the Ten Commandments were written on a sapphire tablet.

Married couples put great faith in the stone. A telltale sign of unfaithfulness is when the saffire’s luster dims out. Simply because a sapphire refuses to shine when worn by a wicked or impure person.

Just like rubies, sapphires are fashioned by heat to seal their colors permanently.

Sapphires are found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Kasmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China, and the U.S.

 

10.  OPAL – the birthstone for the month of October and is the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s 14th year of marriage.

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Pliny, a Roman naturalist, once described the opal as a stone “made up of the glories of the most precious gems… the gentler fire of the ruby, the rich purple of the amethyst, the sea-green of the emerald, glittering together…

A white opal has a white or light body color with flashes of many colors. A black opal, on the other hand, has a combination of dark blue, green, and gray hues with vivid flashes of red, pink, and bright green.

An opal symbolizes hope, innocence, and purity through the ages. In fact, young, fair-haired girls in the middle ages wore opals on their hair to protect its luscious blonde color.

Medieval writers believed that opal could render its wearer invisible whenever necessary. It was also said to have a beneficial effect on one’s eyesight. Lastly, the opal was believed to have the ability to banish evil spirits as well as favor children, the theater, amusements, friendships, and feelings.

Opals are found in Australia, Mexico, and in the U.S.

11.  TOPAZ – the birthstone for the month of November and, specifically, the blue topaz is the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s 4th year of marriage.  The imperial topaz, on the other hand, is for their 23rd year of marriage.

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Most people think of topaz as a transparent golden yellow gemstone. However, this stone appears to be and, at the same time, a combination of orange-yellow, red, honey-brown-to-dark-sherry, light green, blue, and pink.

The word topaz is of Greek origin, which means “to shine”. It also suggests “fire”. Orange-red imperial topaz stones and pink colored ones are rare and the most valuable.

The lore, magic, and romance of the topaz dates back to thousands of years. It is believed to be distinct and in possession of the widest range of curative powers. The Greeks, for one, felt that the stone gave them strength.

In addition, the topaz is said to cool tempers, restore sanity, cure asthma, relieve insomnia, and even prevent sudden death. It is also said to make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. Lastly, the topaz changes in color as proof that is in the presence of something poisonous. Thereby, protecting the wearer from unhealthy associations.

The topaz is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and China.

12. TURQUOISE – the birthstone for the month of December and is the anniversary gemstone for a couple’s 11th year of marriage.

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The hues of a turquoise range from sky blue, which is the most desirable color, to blue green and apple green.

The word turquoise means “Turkish stone,” which explains how the gem found its way to Europe – en route Turkey.

The best qualities of a turquoise are found in northeast Iran (the Persian turquoise); however, the southwest region of the United States southwest is currently the world leader in the stone’s culling and production.

The deposits in Sinai were already worked out by 4,000 BC. At that time the stone was used for jewelry, amulets and in the preparation of cosmetics.

And in the 16th century, the turquoise was used as currency by the Southwest Indians. They believed that the gemstone could bring spoils to the warrior, animals to the hunter, and happiness and good fortune to all.

 

Of Romance and Engagements: How to Tell if She’s the One

So, the two of you have been dating for quite some time now. And, you can’t stand being away from each other – not even for a minute. We totally get it! There is no doubt in your mind – and in ours – that to seal the deal is the ultimate solution.  Get down on one knee already, chap.

Your imagination could hardly contain what you feel inside. Because, you can almost see how things would turn out. The atmosphere will be symphonic as you pop the question. Of course, you hope with all your heart that she smiles and gives you her hand to slip the ring onto. That will make a good story to tell your children, right?

It’s alright to feel nervous before asking for your girlfriend’s hand in marriage. It’s a moment which you can never recreate, after all. So, it is best that you do it with aplomb.

Still feeling a little weak-kneed? Don’t worry, chap. We got your back. Let us help you figure out how ready you really are.

 

You know you’re ready to propose when you openly discuss finances with your girlfriend.

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You love each other and there is no question about that. But, when it comes to relationships, money matters are just as serious as the bond between you two.

Even if you’re both filthy rich, you should be in the know of both your financial situations. Money matters like debt or being cash-strapped could be a source of contention in your marriage.

Okay, you really don’t need to know each other’s salaries – right down to the dime. But, it would make your union more meaningful and trusting if you’re open about your savings, at the very least.

 

…when you share ALL your milestones with her.

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That cannot-wait-to-tell-her-about-it feeling is a surefire way of gauging your readiness to propose. Desiring to tell her how your boss praised you for all your hard work? Wanting to call her up as soon as you get a raise? These thoughts tickle you pink as you go about your office duties or while you drive home.

They send tingling sensations down your spine and that’s good! You know why? Because, you are open to sharing with her ALL that is important to you and to the family that you will raise together.

 

…when you have had talks concerning the future.

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Have you ever talked about going on a vacation together this summer? What about your plans for the next ten years?

If you and your girlfriend speak naturally and sincerely about your future together, then that clearly gives you the green light to propose! Just the thought of spending the rest of your lives together sends you to the moon. Better think about what ring to surprise her with.

 

…when she is FULLY AWARE of ALL your ambitions.

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We all have ambitions in life – from quitting smoking and liquor to pursuing a graduate degree, for instance.

If your aspirations do not pose any form of conflict with those of your girlfriend, then, chap, that is another sign that you are ready to put a ring on her finger. And wow, have we got the most intricately-designed rings guaranteed to blow her away. Check them out here.

Whether you’re planning to invest your savings to start your own business or thinking about killing time in the Sahara Desert, it’s best to let your girlfriend in so that she knows what she will get herself into right after the wedding.

 

…when your friends cheer you on and push you towards the wedding zone.

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Let’s face it, my man. We’ve gotten to know a few women whom our friends do not approve of. Whether the reasons were made known to you or not, your relationship with your girlfriend and your guy friends hang in a critical balance when they don’t get along. That’s going to put on a strain on you as well.

So, a strong indication of your readiness to propose is this – that the woman you are currently with is THE woman you strongly feel you can grow old with and, at the same time, is in healthy terms with all your friends.

 

…when you know in your heart that she will say YES.

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This may seem obvious, especially since you have been a couple for a long time.

Here’s the deal – if you feel that the chance of her accepting your proposal is a bit off the radar, then it’s best to ask at another time. Don’t try to steady the ups-and-downs of your relationship by popping the question. If you propose just to fix some things, then, chances are, she might turn you down. Or, she might accept but regret having done so later on. We don’t want you to get your marriage-ready heart broken so be careful and pay attention to your proposal’s timing.

Simply put, ask for her hand in marriage when you know you’re both on the same page about spending your lives together and NOT when you’re trying to save a relationship that has gone bad.

 

…when she brings up House of Diamonds and other bridal things and you’re okay with it.

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And why not? You yourself ARE getting ready to propose to her! It would be truly helpful if she drops hints on what kind of ring she would like to see on her finger.

Is it a diamond ring she dreams of? How about a birthstone engagement ring? How many stones do you think she is into? What color band would she prefer? How radiant-looking  will she be on your wedding day?

These things don’t bother you, no sir. Not one bit.  In fact, you welcome the hints with a song in your heart, as you endeavor nothing but her happiness and your anticipation of your life as a married couple.

A fine gentleman such as yourself shouldn’t feel nervous about asking your lady love if she is ready for marriage.

Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, pick the best time to ask, and drop on one knee. We guarantee that it will be one of the sweetest things you two will experience and more.

Best of luck!

 

One’s Weight in Gold: How to Tell if You’re Being Scammed by Your Jeweler

This age-old saying holds true for just about any aspect in life – especially when choosing and buying jewelry for your special someone. So, we are here to educate as well as equip you in order for you to defend your loved one’s honor and your hard-earned money against bogus jewelers.

 

The Blue-White Diamond Trick

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This is a very old term that scammers use. Here is what the dealer does – he will probably tell you that it IS a better diamond.  But, truth of the matter is,  it is NOT.

“Blue-white” refers to the fluorescence that results in natural light; and, appears to have ultraviolet wavelengths. Further, the fluorescence can make a colorless diamond look a little oily or milky against the light. This scam can get you to buy a sub-standard diamond since it is not of the real value.

The solution? WALK AWAY. Avoid jewelers of this kind, as it is obvious that they have scammed a lot of customers.

 

The Carat-Total-Weight Sham

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You’ll see this “tag” in plenty of jewelry retail stores of diamonds in a ring. They make sure NOT to enlist the center stone separately. It’s just impossible to compare prices with several other rings IF you do not know the REAL weight and quality of the main diamond.

Pay attention because this is crucial. One large diamond is worth MUCH MORE than 6 small ones that total the same weight.

For example, if you have one G/VS2 diamond which weighs 1.00 carat, then it has to cost over £3,000. But, ten smaller G/VS2 diamonds totalling 1.00 carat might only be worth a little over £1,000. So, there’s your scam right there! Simply because the smaller diamonds in most stores are of lower quality – much lower than this example, actually.

The solution? Ask for the weight and quality of the center stone itself, in writing. Don’t be afraid to head for the exit if they refuse to do it. After all, it is best to put your interest on top of theirs.

 

The 50%-Sale “Offer”

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This isn’t a sweet deal. Chances are, the jeweler is DESPERATE to make a sale. And, if you’re not careful, you will fall victim to this kind of scam and may part with a good amount of money. Honestly, there is nothing romantic about this setup.

Rumor has it that a major jewelry store in Florida, U.S.A. marked up their gold chains up from $100 to $500 AND THEN marked them half-price down for a sale. That said, a customer ended up paying for $250 for an item which was originally pegged at only $100.

Things are no different when it comes to diamonds on sale. Liquidation and “going out of business” tactics are usually employed by most jewelers, particularly in New York City. It’s been going on for 15 years, in fact.  But, hey, don’t expect them to tell you that!

The solution? Don’t fall for any of these sale offers. Go for the regular-tagged jewelry and negotiate with the store wisely. Better yet, get in touch with the REAL EXPERTS in diamond-and-gold crafting! We aren’t called House of Diamonds for nothing, after all.

 

The “Bait-and-Switch” Act

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This trick is as old as the blue-white diamond scam and is still being employed by many stores. The Office of Fair Trade (TOFT) has outlawed such scam. Unfortunately, it still happens as it is hard to keep track of all 25,000 jewelry stores in the U.K. and in U.S.A.

The scam takes place when a store advertises a diamond at a great price.  But, as soon as you get to the store, your dream find is tagged “sold.” What the jeweler will do is offer you an item, which looks “more exquisite” and more expensive.

They bait you with a fake offer AND switch you to a piece of jewelry that brings them the highest profit.

The solution? If the item you want is unavailable, don’t settle for something else. If the store can’t give you exactly what you came for, then head straight for the door. It is your right as a buyer.

 

The “Light-Makes-White” Scam

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Selling diamonds is likened to going out on a date. The man puts on his best behavior to please the woman he sets his eyes and heart on. The jeweler applies the same “dating concept.” This time, however, he shines his brightest light on the diamond-encrusted-gold band you have set your eyes on for a higher price. Now, that’s heartbreaking.

You see,  bright lights make each piece of jewelry look better. Of course, every jeweler wants to show his diamonds in the best light; but, there are some lighting tricks you should avoid.

Some bulbs have a strong blue-color component that makes yellow stones look whiter. Other jewelers use special bulbs with strong ultraviolet wavelengths that make most diamonds fluoresce blue. This trick can also whiten some stones of lower color ranges.

The solution? ALWAYS ask if the diamond has fluorescence; and, ask to see the piece of jewelry without the bright lights in another part of the store before you buy it. And, DO ask for a certificate from an independent laboratory to verify the grade if you are looking for a fine color. The laboratories make it a point to mention any sign of fluorescence. If the store agrees, proceed with the purchase. If not, LEAVE.

 

The “Grade Bumping” Scam

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Just about every jeweler you will meet WILL exaggerate ALL grades in his store.

If a jeweler does not offer you a certificate from organizations like The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), then, clearly, he is exaggerating the grade. There are no exceptions. The TOFT states that a jeweler must be accurate within one grade of color and one grade of clarity on a diamond.

This means they can be inaccurate to one color and clarity. And there are no strict guidelines given in the law for which lab definitions to use. So, many jewelers may “legally” bump the color and clarity of a diamond by 1-2 grades, at the very least.

One of the ways stores extend their legal range, is by giving you a “G-H color,” for instance. That means they can legally call an I color a G-H. In fact, because it is hard for consumers to prove misgrading, we have seen grades bumped as much as 3 to 4, or even more!

Stores, in several occasions, grade L colored-diamonds as a G, which is 5 grades higher. Unfortunately, this can mean a great deal of money if you are talking about a fine-quality, 1-carat diamond.

The solution? If you are looking for a fine-quality diamond, insist on a recent certificate from respected gemological institutions like the Gem-A. And, remember to compare prices of other stones bearing the exact same certificates.

Have you been scammed recently? Tell us and we’ll be sure to give you more tips on how to dodge scheming jewelers. Drop us a line, will you?

The Untold Story of Diamonds: The Gem that Globalized Trade & Business

Diamonds have long been believed to be every woman’s best friend. Not only that. These timeless sparklers represent the delicate-but-tantalizing stare a woman gives her man; her flawlessness and finesse; and, her classic beauty. The very same qualities which enamoured her to the man who holds her dear.

Before you put a ring on your lady love’s finger, wouldn’t you want to know more about diamonds? These account for much more than you could ever imagine. Let’s get to it!

Our love affair with diamonds was born in India – one of the most exotic places in the world. It is where diamonds were culled from its rivers and streams. Some historians believe, in fact, that India started trading diamonds as early as 4BC. At that time, limited resources were put out as the country had a limited market for diamonds. Only the wealthiest of the wealthy could afford it.

India’s diamond trade found its way into Western Europe where equally interesting merchandise were brought and sold in Venice’s medieval markets. By the 15th century, diamonds became the European elite’s fashion statement.

Unfortunately, the supply of diamonds coming from India took a dive in the early 1700s. This became an upperhand for Brazil since it emerged as a new important source of diamonds. Gold miners discovered that their country was a rich source of these sparklers when they sifted through the gravels of local rivers. What used to be India’s “seat of powerful trade” became that of Brazil’s since the latter dominated the diamond market for more than 150 years.

Down the line, the diamond market underwent its own evolution. The old ruling classes (the diamonds’ biggest buyers) declined in the late 1700s. Political disarray like the French Revolution led to changes in the distribution of wealth. Affluence increased not just in Western Europe but also in the United States of America during the 1800s. With that, explorers came to discover that South Africa was just as rich a source of diamonds.

It was in the year 1866 when diamonds were discovered in Kimberly, South Africa. Credits go to Cecil Rhodes, entrepreneur and founder of the great De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited in 1888. Come 1900, De Beers controlled about 90 percent of the entire world’s production of rough diamonds.

South Africa paved the way for many other segments in the diamond mining industry, as it moved from the surface to farther underground.

On one hand, mining entailed costs. On the other, it turned in low yieldings. But, these were turned into an  opportunity because more efficient mining techniques were developed. After all, “business was booming!”

They saw that the industry clamored for better marketing. Thus, it led to advancement in terms of diamond cutting and polishing as well as improvement in mining operations – that is, increased efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced appearance of finished sparklers.

In 1870, annual production of rough diamonds was well under a million carats. By 1920, the figures upped to three million. Annual production approached 50 million in 1970.

Just before the end of 1970s, South Africa, alongside Zaire (now renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo), and the former Soviet Union, were believed to be the world’s most important rough diamond producers. In the 1980s, higher-quality diamonds were being culled from Russia and Australia  (with South Africa remained relatively constant). Zaire’s production of lower-quality diamonds, on the other hand, more than doubled. And, finally, diamond mining surpassed its 100-million-carats-per-year mark in 1990.

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Not much has changed through the years. Jewelry aficionados as well as retailers do not take into account the path the industry has undertaken. Rather, they keep in mind just one direction – that diamonds still very much flowed through the mines; then, onto cutting centers;  and ultimately, to retail stores and customers.

The exquisite beauty that is encapsulated in all the diamonds you see in stores and workshops has bestowed indescribable happiness and appreciation for centuries.

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Sans the scientific proof for such feelings, one’s education as regards diamonds have grown steadily with the help of renowned chemists, physicists, geologists, mineralogists, and oceanographers.

Through constant research, findings about how diamonds form and how they’re pushed to the earth’s surface has made it more convenient for miners to locate new diamond discoveries.