Inspired Design: AGS Member Debuts New Line for Bridal Market

Yael Designs DiamondAward-winning Yael Designs recently debuted the Novelique Collection, which will feature hand-engraved engagement rings inspired by a romantic journey through Turkey. The Novelique Collection features rings with intricate motifs found in architecture, carpets, tile work and mosaics from the Ottoman Empire. Each one-of-a-kind engagement ring features conflict-free white diamonds set in an 18K recycled gold bands.

The result is design inspired by age-old art with modern comfort and high quality. You can read more about the designs here.

The bezel setting is modern with an art deco nod. The intricate engravings give it a feminine touch, though. It’s perfect for the bride who is romantic with a creative side.

Beauty and Color Collide in Opals

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society

Every now and then, we see a piece of jewelry that makes us just stop and go, “Oh wow!” It happens a lot to our team at the American Gem Society, but this ring (below)  from Omi Privé sent the decibel levels up a notch and “Oh wow, sounded more like “OH WOW!!!”

Beauty and Color Collide in Opals

This gorgeous 4.50 carat black opal is set in 18K yellow gold and surrounded by a halo of accent stones including diamonds, green tsavorite garnets, and pear-shape sapphires. The opal has an impressive array of color, with intense blues and greens. The gold setting works well with the hues in the opal and makes the colors pop even more. Not surprisingly, Omi Privé designed this piece specifically for this opal.

Omi Privé, who is a member of the American Gem Society, sent us this photo, which shows the ring next to the designer’s artistic rendering of the design. It’s an interesting photo, because it gives us a glimpse into how a designer thinks when he or she sets out to create a new piece of jewelry. It’s a mixture of art and engineering!

The name opal derives from the Greek Opallos, meaning “to see a change (of color).” Opals range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. This stone from Omi Privé  shows off vivid blues and intense green, and it”s also a classic example of just how beautiful opals can be.

Or as we call it, “Oh Wow!”

Which Engagement Ring is Right for You? Take our Quiz!

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society

Forevermark diamond engagement ring

One of the questions we get asked the most at the American Gem Society is, “How do I figure out which engagement ring is the right one?” A lot of people have an idea of what they like when it comes to rings, but most people like many different styles. After all, there are a lot of beautiful choices when it comes to jewelry. Take heart: it doesn’t matter if your taste veers toward classic,or if you are a full-blown hipster, there is a ring that is perfect for you.

Our new quiz is a fun and easy way to figure out which ring style is your match. It’s quick and easy and at the end you’ll have a suggestion of which diamond shape is your style.

If, after taking the quiz, you still need some more tips, check out this tutorial and video we put together on finding the perfect ring. There’s even more information than that. The American Gem Society website has a wealth of information on engagement rings: from a primer on diamond grading (never buy a diamond without a diamond grading report) to tips on buying a diamond. Finally, the key ingredient that you need to find the perfect engagement ring is to shop with a jeweler you trust. You can find one here.

Have more questions? Leave a comment here and one of our gemological and jewelry experts will help with free advice.

4 Reasons Diamonds are Not Expensive

By Preston Wallace, CGA, K-Jon’s Jewelery

Customers walk in my door every day and say “Wow! $8,000 for that?  Diamonds are expensive!”  But they’re not. 

I know what you’re thinking: I’m crazy, right?  No, I meant what I said, and no, I’m not crazy.  If you consider what diamonds are, how we get them, and what their value does over time, I think you’ll agree that diamonds are NOT expensive.  Here are 4 reasons why:

1. Diamonds are Rare

On average, one million diamonds must be mined to find one 1ct diamond.  Think about that!  Diamonds are extremely rare, especially in larger sizes.  They’re hard to find, requiring years and years of expensive exploration and research to find large deposits.  In fact, only a very select few locations in the world have gem-quality diamonds (the ones worth mining).  Once the diamonds are found, they’re difficult to mine, often requiring explosives and immense earth moving equipment to extract them. Firemark_Princess_DiamondPhoto from

2. Diamonds are Eternal

Diamond is the hardest material known. Thus, they last for years, many times centuries.  Have you ever seen an Art Deco or Mid-century diamond ring?  That ring has lasted for decades, if not a century, and the diamonds are almost untouched.  Many of the family rings that are still in existence contain diamonds, and it’s because of their lasting qualities that keep them around.  Just think of the Hope Diamond, arguably the most famous of them all.  It’s been around since the 1600s, and it still sparkles in all its beauty in the Smithsonian Institution today.

3. Diamonds are Difficult to Cut

Diamonds have to be hand-faceted.  This is done using a pottery-wheel-looking device that is literally encrusted with diamond dust so that the diamond can be polished.  There are 57 or 58 facets on a Round Brilliant Cut diamond, and each of those facets has to be in exactly the perfect position and angle to maximize the diamond’s light performance.  There is even one crystal direction in which a diamond will not cut.  That means when the diamond cutter makes his first facet, he has to know that none of the remaining 56 or 57 facets will line up with that “uncuttable” direction.  Diamond cutting is a painstaking process that takes hours to perform and years to perfect.  Diamond cutters are just that—diamond cutters by trade, and nothing else.  It’s much like a heart surgeon, taking education and years of training to become an expert. Preston_Wallace_Diamond_Cutting

4. Diamonds Have Great ROI

Diamonds are considered a luxury.  However, what luxury good can you buy these days, enjoy to its full potential, and then 20 years from now, sell it for more than what you bought it for?  I’m pretty sure your Porsche won’t do that.  But diamonds?  Because of their hardness and lasting nature mentioned above, they’ll still be the same 20 years from now.  I never recommend someone to buy a diamond SOLELY as an investment, but if you like diamonds for their beauty and to wear them, the fact that they hold value is a huge added plus.  A diamond is a commodity—a beautiful and breathtaking commodity, but a commodity just the same.  In an inflationary economy, a diamond will most likely go up in value over the long run.  If the value of the dollar (or your currency) goes to zero, you will still have something of significant intrinsic value.  What’s more, like gold, it’s internationally recognized as an item of value, so it will hold its value no matter where you are worldwide.  So, enjoy your luxury for years on end and pass it down to the next generation, knowing it still holds its value.  Now tell me somewhere else that gets you a better Return On Investment than that.

While diamonds are certainly luxury goods, they are not expensive—at least for what you get.  Diamonds are Rare, Eternal, Difficult to cut, and have great ROI.  The next time you see a 1-carat round diamond for $8K, think of what had to happen for that diamond to arrive, breathtaking, in front of your eyes.  Think of the years you will spend admiring its beauty and cherishing the person who gave it to you.  And think of the loved one that will enjoy it for years to come, after you pass it on to them.  Diamonds may cost a bit of money, but they are far undervalued and in the long run, they’re definitely worth it.