Proposal Shaping Up? Consider these Diamond Shapes

By Donna Jolly, RJ

You met the perfect person. You both like the same food, the same music, the same guilty pleasures on Bravo. You like each other’s family and friends. Everything works. It’s just…right.

And so, you’ve come to realize: it’s time to pop THE question.

Before you start Googling the “Perfect Proposal” or looking at YouTube videos of modern day Romeos hijacking Jumbotrons at basketball games, or even tying rings to helium balloons (which fly away…with the ring), get down to the heart of the matter: the ring.

Diamond cutters are not just master craftsmen, they are magicians with a cutting wheel and they create amazingly beautiful shapes. AGS Laboratories pioneered the light performance cut grade for fancy shapes, which means between the diamond cutters and AGS Laboratories, you now have more options of beautiful diamonds to choose from.

If a traditional round brilliant diamond is too, well, traditional, consider one with a different shape. Fancy Shaped or Fancy Cut diamonds (as they are also known) are beautiful and sometimes even more affordable than the traditional round brilliant. They can also come with diamond grading reports so that you can best understand the diamond’s characteristics.

Here are four different cuts to consider when shopping for the perfect ring.

Square

Square often gets a bad rap. Teens in the 60s and 70s told their parents, “Man! You are so square,” as they stomped off to their room. But when it comes to diamonds, square cuts are a bit of a rebel. Next to round brilliant diamonds, they have plenty of sparkle. If your honey has a bit of a wild streak, go square, like this pretty piece from Ashi Diamonds, surrounded by round brilliants in rose gold.

Ashi_Offbeat

Emerald

Emerald cuts are another great alternative. Take this East/West emerald cut from Two by London. A simple halo of round diamonds and diamonds down the shank of the ring make this sparkler a winner.

Emerald Cut East West Two by London

Oval

Ovals are classic diamonds that are just a bit more cheeky than a round brilliant. They say, “I have a classic style, with a bit of an edge.” Just like this stunner from GJS USA.

GJS USA Oval Engagement Ring

Marquis

Oh Marquis, you grand ole’ cut. This shape is perfect for someone who likes glamor, glitz and loves to live OUT LOUD. Try to get over the memory of Carrie Bradshaw rejecting the marquis ring Aiden gave her. It was a different decade and it was fiction. Now check out this piece of art-for-the-finger from Supreme Jewelry. On top of all the other wonderful elements, you have to love the mix of white and rose gold!

Supreme Jewelry marquis

The right ring can be found with a little research and shopping around. One thing the right ring needs, though (besides the right person to give it to) is the right jeweler. Find the perfect jeweler here.

Emeralds and Diamonds: the perfect pair

By Donna Jolly, RJ

When you roam the hallways of the American Gem Society, it’s not unusual to see members of the team staring at images of gorgeous jewelry on their desktop. We work in this industry because we are fans of shiny, pretty things! As jewelry lovers, we can be a little fickle, month to month, as to what our favorite gemstone is.

Yes, we love diamonds. Quite a lot.

Turns out, we love May’s birthstone quite a lot, too: the emerald.

Pair an emerald and a diamond together, and we pretty much have a hard time finding the words to describe how over-the-top in love we are with that striking combination.

But let’s try. And in the process, we’ll show you some of our favorite pieces of emerald and diamond jewelry.

First, a little history on the emerald. This beautiful gemstone was mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 billion years old. Cleopatra had a thing for emeralds. She even claimed ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign. If the queen could be around today, she would no doubt attempt to expand her reach of this green gift from the earth.

Emeralds, like diamonds, are analyzed according to the 4Cs: color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Rare emeralds are a deep green-blue, while lighter colored gems are more common—and a good choice for those looking for a more affordable alternative.

Now for the good stuff: take a look at this stunning pendant below from JB Star. Marquis shaped emeralds and diamonds surround a square-cut center diamond for a green and white starburst.

Pear Shaped emeralds and Marquite diamonds

Yael Designs is known for creating crazy beautiful colorful jewelry. Here, they show us some marquis magic, blending yellow and white diamonds with emeralds.

Emerald and and diamonds

Supreme Jewelry created this gorgeous pair of diamond chandelier earrings featuring tear-drop shaped emeralds. There is quite a lot to love here. Especially the intricate yet delicate design. Try to imagine this design with another gem in it other than emerald. Would it have the same level of vibrancy?

Emerald and Diamond Chandelier Earrings

Jewelry can represent different things: symbols of love and success, a cause for celebration, a little something extra to make you feel good. If you are in search of fine jewelry, whether it’s an emerald, diamond or another gemstone, shop with a jeweler you trust. It’s step number one in the jewelry-buying process. Find a professional, trusted American Gem Society jeweler here.  To learn more about emeralds and diamonds, click here.

Shopping for an Engagement Ring? Give ‘em a Hint!

By Catherine Jessee, The Knot

November marks the first month of proposal season, the period between November and February when up to 38 percent of couples get engaged.* With so many to-be-weds on the market for an engagement ring, buying such an important piece of jewelry can seem daunting.

To lessen that stress, more couples are involving each other in ring research and shopping, but according to The Knot, some still struggle to describe the ring they’re looking for—though they might know what they like when they see it. Aiming to demystify the process of shopping for an engagement ring, the leading wedding brand has created a new service to make it easier for couples to navigate the process of buying a ring together.

knot-hint2The tool is called Hint, and it gives users a unique opportunity to learn more about the rings they prefer and—if they so choose—to drop a hint. “Eighty percent of grooms said they got a little input from their fiancées or one of her friends or family members before purchasing the ring,” said Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot. “Hint takes the anxiety out of finding the right ring and makes it even easier to drop the perfect hint to your partner.”

Not only does the service help you identify your favorite styles—a must for all jewelry lovers—but it gives you the opportunity to collaborate with friends, family, and even your partner. Simply select six engagement rings you like and the service gives you personalized feedback that includes size, shape, and color that match your taste. The service also includes a list of specific ring designers to consider, which after dropping a “hint,” makes it easier for the proposer to connect with local jewelers.

* The Knot Real Wedding Study 2015

Cut to the Chase

by John Carter, CGA, Jack Lewis Jewelers

So…I’m back! It’s been a while since I have regaled you with my gem nerd knowledge, so today I need to do a quick recap. We started off discussing color, then we went into clarity, followed up by my tales from Antwerp, Belgium. This time, we need to discuss the absolute most important aspect of any diamond: how it is cut! Because this is so important, we need to split it into a few parts just so I can hold your attention and give you the most important details.

My clarity blog ended by pointing out that the way a diamond sparkles generally has very little to do with its carat weight, its color, or its clarity. So what causes that dynamic little laser show you see in a perfectly cut diamond? I will do my best to explain.

For just over a hundred years, cutters have known how to properly proportion a diamond to maximize its sparkle. Yet without modern technology, they were forced to use nothing but mathematics to accurately decipher what angles would ensure the maximum beauty of a diamond.

Today, we can use computer programs and ray-tracing technologies to reinforce that those Belgian cutters from the previous century were almost spot-on with their equations. Think about how amazing that is! Using just mathematics, they were able to get the proportions of diamonds within fractions of a percentage point to their optimal standards. (And you never believed your teachers when they insisted math was useful.)

ray-tracing-pic-ags-credit

Over the years, I’ve had thousands of interactions with clients at our diamond counter, and while everyone is looking for something a little different, the constants that every buyer wants are the same: they want their diamond to be as big and as sparkly as possible for as little money as possible. Simple enough, but most people go about this process the wrong way (initially, at least). So it’s my job to help them see things from the proper angles (diamond cutting pun intended).

After some initial Internet research, the average diamond consumer becomes fixated on color and clarity and starts to focus most of their attention on those categories. This isn’t incorrect so much as it’s just incomplete, because it’s a little misguided to value those areas over the cut grade of the diamonds you are shopping.

Color and Clarity are important. They have to be since they’re based on rarity and because they affect the price so much. But here’s the truth that almost no diamond seller will tell you… Ready for this bombshell? Here it is: once you put that diamond on your finger, absolutely nobody will ever walk up to you and say, “Wow! That’s a really pretty 1.01ct G color VS2 clarity diamond!” Ridiculous right? Know why? Because unless the color and clarity are terrible, nobody notices those (not even your jeweler). What you, your friends, your family, and everyone else does notice about a diamond is its size and how much it sparkles. And what I’m telling you is that color and clarity have almost no influence on how much a diamond sparkles (again, unless they are lousy).

diamond-pic-ags-credit

So that brings us to the cut grade and the proportions of a diamond which, from an educational perspective, have always been the most difficult to explain because, frankly, there are so many numbers to focus on that it can be hard to know which ones to single out. Some people try. They look at the table percentage or the depth percentage and assume if they are in line, then the rest must be as well. But this is not always the case.

For generations, the diamond industry has known that the cut grade is the most important factor in describing a diamond’s beauty, but they struggled for decades to explain why. In fact, this is such a complicated topic that universally-accepted grading standards for Cut didn’t make it into the marketplace until nearly 40 years after the accepted nomenclature for color and clarity were instituted.

It was in 2005 that the AGS Laboratories from American Gem Society (AGS) became the first diamond grading laboratory to bring clear standards to an otherwise fuzzy conversation. They accomplished this by basing their cut grading on both 3-dimensional modeling and on the actual appearance of the diamond. While other laboratories have since followed suit with systems of their own, I have always been a believer that the AGS system is the most thorough and reliable.

Stars and Diamonds Sparkle at the 2016 Emmy® Awards

Every awards show brings out the most glamorous people, wearing the most incredible fashions, adorned in the most sparkling jewels. This year’s 68th Emmy Awards was dripping with diamonds, which goes to show that diamonds continue to be the trend on the red carpet.

Scroll down to see Hollywood’s hottest wearing designs from a few American Gem Society (AGS) members!

Forevermark
Actresses Sophia Turner, Claire Danes, and Tatiana Maslany
wore timeless designs featuring Forevermark diamonds.

forevermark

 

Hearts On Fire
Niecy Nash is on fire wearing several Hearts On Fire bracelets.

hof

 

Harry Kotlar
Ariel Winter wore a magnificent Harry Kotlar diamond ring.

harrykotlar

 

Underwood’s Fine Jewelers
Natalie Morales is wearing their natural, multi-colored diamond bracelet.

underwoods

You certainly don’t have to appear on the small—or big screen—in order to wear diamonds! Visit an AGS jeweler near you and they will help you find that perfect diamond. Be sure to ask your jeweler for an AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report. Accept no substitutes—buy your diamond with confidence!

 

The Six Steps Towards a Secure AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report

Platinum2016SAMPLEBeing a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the mission of consumer protection, AGS Laboratories takes the security of their diamond grading reports very seriously.

If you have an AGS Laboratories diamond grading report, take a close look at it. Have you ever noticed any of the security features? Some are apparent and some are hidden. We feel you should know about the six security steps AGS Laboratories has taken to ensure the authenticity and security of your diamond grading report.

#1 – Paper

Just like U.S. currency, the paper used to create your diamond grading report is tracked and signed in and out. When documents need to be printed, the paper is taken from its secure location, counted, and then signed out. Once printed, it’s counted again. The amount of paper that was originally signed out must match the amount that was printed.

If a document is misprinted, it will be securely discarded. This action must be added to the report, that way the destroyed document isn’t recorded as missing.

#2 – Hologram

hologramEach document contains a special hologram unique to AGS Laboratories. Like the paper, these holograms are counted, signed in and signed out. It also contains its own security feature: if you try to peel it off, it becomes illegible and cannot be reapplied.

 

#3 – Barcode

Each document has its own unique barcode, which is just one more way the security of your document is reinforced.

barcode

#4 – QR Code

QR-codeAt the top of each document appears a Quick Response (QR) code, which can be scanned with any QR app found on a smartphone or tablet. The QR code ties in with the AGS number and barcode found on each document. If the algorithm within the QR code verifies that both numbers match in our database, it will connect to the report verification page on the AGS.org and agslab.com websites.

AGS Laboratories is the first to have both a barcode and a QR code on laboratory documents.

#5 – Unifraction Embossing

unifractionOn the reverse side of the document, you will see something that looks like a hologram but is, in fact, a proprietary security mark woven into the paper. Examples of unifraction embossing can be found on some foreign currency.

#6 – Lamination

The lamination on your document keeps it looking like new. It protects against damage from liquids, the transfer of oils from our skin, paper-loving vermin, and the general wear and tear of time. It’s also bonded to the document; if one attempts to peel it off, it will destroy the document, removing ink in the process.

Ensuring Your Protection

So, there you have it: the six security features on your AGS Laboratories diamond grading report. These six features can only be found on full and half page documents. Go ahead and count them. Scan the QR code. Be confident you have an authentic and secure document in your hands.

We know shopping for a diamond or diamond jewelry is a big investment, and at times can be intimidating. Always ask for an AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report to help you make an informed purchase. And, be sure to shop with an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler. They will explain your desired diamond’s AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report, as well as tell you about the qualities and characteristics that make your diamond unique.

To begin your search for an AGS credentialed jeweler, visit Find a Jeweler. Get social with AGS Laboratories on Facebook (www.facebook.com/agslabs) and Twitter (@AGSLabs).

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?

wedding engagement with diamond ring

Whenever you gaze upon the sparkling engagement ring on your fiancée’s finger, you should be excited about the plans you two have for the future. Those plans should not include making continual payments on that engagement ring. Before making one of the most expensive jewelry purchases you may possibly make in your life, do some research and be aware of what you’re spending.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company gives their advice on how much an engagement ring should cost and how to fit it into your budget. Learn more by reading their blog,  How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?