princess_cut_largePrincess cut is the second most popular diamond cut after round brilliant. Also known as a Square Modified Brilliant, the princess cut is more brilliant and sparkly than other square or square octagonal diamonds.

A relatively new diamond, the princess cut was first created in the early 1960s by London diamond cutter Aprad Nagy, then the cut was known as the “Profile Cut”, however the cut was much flatter and not what we currently see today. The cut’s potential was then realised by another diamond cutter from Johannesburg called Basil Watermeyer, who in the early 1970s developed the “Barion Cut”, which was square shaped or square-octagonal.The Barion Cut was eventually renamed as Princess cut.

The princess cut is favoured by those who wanted a contemporary diamond Princess cut halo designengagement ring but with the same brilliance and sparkle as the round.  Even though a four claw round brilliant diamond ring set in the corners gives an illusion of a princess from the distance, it doesn’t have the same edge and modern touch as the princess cut.  It is less expensive than the round brilliant because it allows very high yield from its rough state.

Although princess cut is durable, extra care must be taken due to the pointed corners. However, the corners are protected using prongs to cover them from chips and accidental knocks. If you prefer an alternative style of setting than a halo setting surrounded by round brilliant micro-pave diamonds looks stunning with a modern-vintage combination. The bezel princesssetting is also a potential option, where the metal completely surrounds the metal leaving no gaps, protecting the diamond in the center. It provides added protection and ideal for sporty types. Another alternative is the tension setting where the princess cut is held by a metal bar either side and appears to float when viewed from the side. However, tension setting is extremely vulnerable to knocks so extra care must be taken when choosing this unique design.

A solitaire princess cut diamond engagement ring look chic and striking on its own. If you wanted a more glamorous style you could choose a trilogy of diamonds with smaller princess cut either sides. Or you could go for channel, micro-pave, or claw set on the shoulders.

 

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Like engagement rings, there are many different options you could choose from when deciding on the style of wedding bands. Some prefer a plain and simple band, others prefer diamonds for an extra sparkle. Or alternatively, a bespoke design of your choosing that will stand out and catch people’s attention! One advice is the wedding band should never overshadow your engagement ring, it should only compliment together as one.

Here are the selections of wedding band styles that are very popular;

Plain

plainOne of the most popular choice to go for is a plain wedding band. For ladies you could go as thin as 2mm to as thick as 3mm, ensuring that the band itself does not go any wider than the band of your engagement ring for proportional reasons, however this is entirely up to you. There are different shapes available with the most comfortable being the flat oval style, where it’s curved on both sides. This style is more comfortable and easier to remove for cleaning compared to the flatter style, which can be harder to remove, particularly in hot weather. Other styles includes the knife edge, half round, classic and flat top profiles amongst many others. For the surface there are options of polished, matte and hammered finish. Alternatively if you prefer something more interesting and unique the engraver can add mill-grain edges or various lines and patterns on the bands. Bride to be chooses a plain band due to their personal style or preference, or to match the band of their engagement ring.

Channel set

The channel setting is the second most popular style of wedding bands. The diamonds are held by a thin line of metal channeleither side of the wedding band using either round brilliant, princess cut or baguette cut diamonds, usually without space between the diamonds. The thin metal bar running along the outer edges protects the diamonds from damage and looks visually elegant, modern and sophisticated. Princess and baguettes cuts are suitable with this design as they follow the lines of the channel with no gaps in between.  Diamonds are not the only options you could go for, customers prefer to have their favourite gemstones such as blue sapphire, ruby or emeralds for their channel set wedding bands.

Micro-pavé setting

microThe french Pavé (pronounced  “Par-vay”) setting are miniscule diamonds held by tiny round metal beads in close proximity to create a sparkly and glamorous wedding band style. The grains of diamonds are so small it is almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Micro-pavé is a skill very few diamond setters possess and takes years of training to perfect the setting. To create by hand the setter works on a flat surface and lift the small grains  of metal from the surface to hold each diamond. When choosing micro-pavé extra care of the wedding band must betaken as the style of setting is susceptible to stone loss due to the tiny stones and the metal holding them, which is relatively very fine and vulnerable to accidental knocks. Avoid using ultra sonic cleaner as the vibrations will loosen the diamonds from the setting. To clean this delicate encrusted ring use a soft bristle toothbrush, warm water and washing liquid.

Flush setting

If you want to choose a plain wedding band but want a subtle sparkle, than this flush setting style is the best choice flushfor you. The metal is cut out on the surface which is then set with diamonds. You could set the diamonds around the band in equal distance or sit closer together on the surface. You could use your favourite gemstones instead of diamonds. Diamonds are protected due to the metal surrounding the stone.

Grain set

vintageGrain setting is a more elaborate style of wedding bands. The ring features a fine metal bar along the outer edge of the band but this is not what’s holding the diamonds in the center, four very small metal beads secures the diamonds in its setting. The grain set can make the round diamonds appear square. The ring can be decorated with mill-grain edges for a vintage style.

 

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2.08-carat-pear-shaped-diamond-e-color Otherwise known as the “teardrop” or “pendeloque” because of its shape,  the pear shaped diamond is a combination of the round brilliant and the marquise; one side of the stone is rounded, while the other side tapers to a fine point.

Although they’re not as popular as the rounds and princess cuts, the pear shape is hugely admired for its elegance and sophistication. There are wide variety of ways to set the diamonds as an engagement ring; the Pear shape is stunning as a solitaire against a thin or tapered plain metal band, or if you’re looking for something different then a halo diamond cluster surrounding the Pear is a popular choice, particularly to create an illusion of greater size. The cut looks fantastic in either white or yellow gold settings. The Pear Shape is visually slim and lengthens your fingers too.

Pear Shape gives off an exceptional sparkle, therefore the best ways to set the cut is to expose the diamond as much as possible, using prongs. This allows lots of light to reach and refract within the stone. The tip of the diamond is quite vulnerable so it is important that this area is protected by a V shaped prong or two prongs either side of the tip. You can have either three or six prongs for the pear shape. Some people prefer having a rub-over setting so the metal completely surrounds the diamond leaving no gaps.  pear

Traditionally, the Pear Shape is worn with the pointed tip facing towards your hand, usually to prevent from catching your clothes and objects. However, some brides-to-be choose to wear the ring with the point out, so you can view the tear drop shape everyday. Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to wear your pear-shaped diamond.

If you’re interested in an engagement ring that has extra drama and elegant flair, the Pear Shape is the cut for you.

 

 

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Marquise+cut+historyThe Marquise Cut is also known as the “Navette Cut” or “Boat Shape”. It first appeared in Paris in the mid 1700s, tracing the cut back to the French monarchy reign. The name was first derived from the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour, a mistress of King Louis XIV of France who commissioned his court jeweller to create a diamond cut that resembled the beautiful shape of her mouth.

The Marquise first came into popularity in the 1970s for its unique shape and although it is not the first choice for many prospective brides, it is certainly a matter of personal choice when choosing this particular cut and provide a unique alternative to traditional engagement rings.marquise

As an engagement ring, it creates a dramatic and flattering statement on your finger due to its long and narrow shape, forming an illusion of greater size compared to other cuts. You’ll find that the Marquise Cut do vary in shape; from elongated, narrow, more rounded or long oval.

Unlike other cuts, the Marquise should have higher colour and clarity when choosing your ideal diamond, with Good to Excellent symmetry to maximise the stone’s face up beauty and brilliance. The cut works well as a solitaire with two V-shape prongs held at the edges for protection or MarquiseCutpaired with smaller side stones such as a trillion or baguette cut. Compared to other cuts, extra care must be taken with a Marquise as long and narrow shapes are more vulnerable and likely to chip when accidentally knocked or when performing heavy duty activities.

The marquise is perfect as drops for earrings and necklaces due to its elongated shape.

 

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A symbol of prosperous wealth and prestige, the rarest of diamonds were once in the possession of royalties, world leaders and noble dynasties of the past. With valuable diamonds changing hands to the highest bidder at auctions till this day, we are holding our collective breathes for the first billion dollar diamond being sold.  Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most expensive diamonds ever recorded in history.

Cullinan Israt of africa

The Cullinan I came from the largest rough gem quality diamond ever found, The Cullinan at 3106.75 carats. The pear shape diamond weighs at 530.2 carat and is known as the Star of Africa. Cullinan I is kept in the Tower of London amongst the British Crown Jewels. It is valued at USD 400 million.

 

 

 

hope diamondHope Diamond

The hope diamond is a 45.52 carats large cushion antique brilliant diamond being held for exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. The diamond is described as fancy dark greyish blue or dark blue in colour. It was once owned by King Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette and Harry Winston. The value of this diamond is estimated between USD 250 to 350 million.

 

De Beers Centenary DiamondCentenary-Diamond

The De Beers Centenary Diamond is the third largest diamond to have ever been produced in the Premier Mine at 273.85 carats. It is graded D in colour by GIA and classed as flawless. It is currently valued at USD 100 million; however, the current owner remained anonymous.

The Pink Starpink star

The Pink Star, formerly known as the Steinmetz Pink, weighs 59.60 carat and described as fancy vivid pink by GIA. It was mined by De Beers in 1999. In 2013 the Pink Star was auctioned by Sotheby’s in Geneva, fetching a world record USD 83.2 million.

 

 

Wittelsbach-Graff DiamondWittelsbach graff

The Wittelsbach-Graff diamond is a 35.36 carats fancy deep blue diamond that was part of the Austrian and Bavarian crown jewels. A celebrated stone that is rich in history, it was originally owned by King Philip IV of Spain and allegedly sold for USD 80 Million to a Sheik in Qatar.

 

 

graff pink

Graff Pink

Graff Pink is a 24.78 carat rare pink diamond once owned by Harry Winston. At the Sotheby’s auction it was sold for USD 46 Million by diamond dealer Laurence Graff. The gem is graded by GIA as fancy intense pink and has been assessed as diamond type IIa, placing it in the top 2% of the world’s diamonds.

 

Moussaieff Red DiamondMoussaieff

The Moussaieff Red is a fancy red trilliant cut diamond discovered in the 1990 in Brazil. It weighs 5.11 carats and is known as the world’s largest red diamond ever found. It is valued at USD 20 million.

 

 

 

archdukejosephArchduke Joseph diamond

Archduke Joseph diamond is named after a Hungarian prince. It is a colourless, antique cushion-shaped diamond and weighs 78.54 carat, graded as D colour and Internally Flawless by GIA. The diamond was found in the famous Golconda mines, where many historical diamonds originated from. In 2012 the diamond was sold for USD 21.4 million at Christie’s auction.

 

 

 

Koh-i-Noorkoh-i-noordiamond

The Mountain of Light or Koh-i-Noor is a diamond that was mined in India and was once owned by various Sultans, Emperors and war lords in Central Asia before it came into the possession of Queen Victoria in 1800s.  It weighs 105.602 carats and possibly the most valuable and significant diamond in the world.  Today the diamond is a part of the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

 

 

 

 

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asscher-cut-diamondA versatile diamond that boost a royal heritage and decadent prestige, the Asscher Cut is one of the most beautiful and glamorous diamonds in the world. First created by Joseph Asscher of the Netherlands in 1902, he was famously commissioned by King Edward VII to cut the world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan diamond weighing at 3,106 carats. It still holds the record as the largest diamond ever found.

Quick Fact: The original Asscher has 58 facets whereas the Royal Asscher cut has 74 facets.

Although it was first developed in the early 1900s, the Asscher cut came to prominence in the 1920s during the art deco movement. It was seen in many art deco inspired designs and that popularity continued on during World War II. Until the resurgence of interest and re-invention of the Asscher in the late 1990s the cut was a valuable collector’s item and found in antique shops.

Elizabeth Taylor with her 33.19 carats Asscher cut diamond from Richard Burton.

Elizabeth Taylor with her 33.19 carats Asscher cut diamond from Richard Burton.

Quick Fact: One of the world’s most iconic women wore an Asscher cut – Elizabeth Taylor. Richard Burton gave her a Krupp diamond at 33.19 carats. It is now known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond.

The Asscher cut is similar to an emerald cut, and also described as as square cut emerald or stepped square cut. Like the Emerald, the Asscher has cropped corners and clean, defined lines. The diamond can be held by four claw prongs setting to create a square shape or surrounded by round brilliant diamonds in a halo style setting to reveal the cropped corners. Unlike the Emerald cut however, the positioning of the facets creates extra sparkle and brilliance, where it draws you in to the centre of the stone.

The Asscher cut is now a sought after engagement ring for fashion-conscious, professional women in this modern society. Due to its versatility, it can be designed in modern, art deco or vintage style of settings. If you prefer an engagement ring that is not too old fashioned or too sparkly, then the Asscher cut is the perfect engagement ring for you as it has the best of both characteristics.

A timeless and sophisticated diamond, the Asscher cut will continue to retain that element of beauty and aura for many decades to come.

At Tayha Designs we are lucky enough to have designed engagement rings with an Asscher cut stone. Here are a few selections of beautiful Asscher cut rings for happy customers;

Asscher cut

Tayha Designs

Asscher cut diamond

Tayha Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is a lot of information to take in when buying a loose diamond and many choices to make. When working with customers and going through all the different aspects of diamonds at the end of the day we ask you to think about what is the most important thing for you. Is it size, shape or do you want a particular colour? Then from this point we can help you select the best quality diamond for your budget.
Here is a little information on a few of the aspects to consider when purchasing a loose or set diamond.
Shape / Cut: Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds are the most popular diamond shapes but there are so many beautiful cuts to consider. The shape of your diamond can become the main design feature of your engagement ring or custom designed piece. When it comes to the shape of the diamond we are able to show you as many as you like but we tend not to recommend any one shape in particular as they all have their own beautiful qualities and it truly is a person preference. This is a great starting point for designing your unique piece of jewellery.

 

diamond_carat_size_0810

 

Colour: This can refer to two different things. Firstly and what you will mostly hear when talking about the 4 C’s is the colourlessness of the white. White diamonds are graded in an Alphabetical scale starting with D being the whitest (colourless) grade. Our recommendation is a G colour or above. In choosing a D-G colour diamond you know you are getting a stunningly white diamond that will look clean and bright.Diamond-Colour-Chart

The second reference to colour when speaking of diamonds is the actual colour of the stone. There is a colour diamond matching any personality or taste, whether you are a woman or a man. Unlike white diamonds, natural colour diamonds exist in over 300 colours all with different hues. Coloured diamonds are the “it” Diamond at the moment with Hollywood stars and Royals wearing natural coloured diamonds. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Victoria Beckham and Portia de Rossi all wear pink diamond rings, as well as the very hype Ecclestone daughters. Over the last few seasons major fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Alexander McQueen. And recently, Jessica Simpson and Cate have also chosen to feature coloured diamonds in a range of colours from Chocolate, Yellow even through to Black diamonds. Natural coloured diamonds are really beautiful and unique. If you are looking for something a little different this is definitely an avenue I would suggest exploring.coloureddiamonds

Clarity: The clarity of the diamond refers to how internally clean the diamond is or is not. As diamonds are a natural stone they do or can have (apart from a few very rare stones) natural flaws or imperfections. We like to recommend choosing a diamond that is eye clean. This meaning, with YOUR naked eye you cannot see the flaws. Our ideal diamond is VVS-VS range though we recommend an SI1 (slightly included 1) or above. Some people will be able to see the flaws in an SI1 when studying the stone but depending on the type of imperfection and the location of the imperfection it can be difficult and therefore we are able to find some beautiful stones in this range to suit a price point.

4_diaclarity

Cut: The way the diamond is cut no matter what shape, colour or clarity is one of the most important features to consider when buying your diamond. A well cut stone will sparkle no matter how long you have been wearing it or how it is set. A well cut diamond will always stand out and never look dull due to light reflection. When a diamond is cut to the right proportions light will enter the diamond and be reflected back out the top surfaces of the diamond giving a truely beautiful sparkle. This is one of the reasons we always advise to view diamonds before purchasing, you will notice the difference when comparing.

diamond-cutSize: Diamond sizes are measured in Carat’s which is actually a weight. To some people the overall size of the diamond a very important factor but again it really is a personal choice.carat-chart

I hope this helps with your diamond selection. The one last piece of advice is to always choose a diamond that has a certificate and is conflict free so that you know what you are buying. Different Diamond certifications companies do have different standards; our recommendation is a GIA certificate.