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Q&A with Ray – All about Diamonds

Diamond, Specialist, Buying Stones

What is a lab grown diamond/natural diamond?

A natural diamond is created by the heat and pressure in the earth’s core, they move their way up over millions of years to the earth’s surface – they are carbon molecules that become cubic minerals. A lab grown diamond is a near instantaneous modern version of the same thing. It has the same composition but it’s “in the image of” and doesn’t have the natural unique qualities that a natural diamond has.

Which do you recommend?

They both serve their purpose – I personally prefer natural diamonds. I have worked with them all my life and there is always something special about stones the earth has created. You should work with whatever stone speaks to you and that is within your budget. If you see a lab grown diamond that works for you, then that’s the one that was meant for you!

Will lab grown diamonds wear out or yellow over time or are they the same as natural diamonds?

They have the same chemical composition and they will go the distance, just like a natural diamond.

What is the prettiest cut in your opinion?

I love so many of them! Its always so hard to pick a favorite or the prettiest. If I had to choose one to work with today it would be a 3-4 carat cushion cut, it is elegant and timeless and will always retain its value.

How do I choose an ethical stone? I don’t know where to start

Canadian and Australian diamonds are ethical because of the way they’ve set up the mines. The most important thing is to be able to trace the source of origin, the certification of the stone will be able to tell you that. Having vintage diamonds recut is also a fabulous way to be kind to the earth and ethical at the same time. 

Can you help me source a diamond for my engagement ring?

Absolutely! I studied diamond technology and know everything about the structure of diamonds. I have spent my life working with these gorgeous stones. Click here so we can start a conversation, I can work within all budgets. 

Do you recommend ordering a diamond online? (Brilliant Earth, Blue Nile)

I think it’s better to go somewhere where you’re going to get an education on the stones – I like to get multiple stones for a client and then I give them a loupe to look at them each closely so  I can explain each stone thoroughly. It’s educational, personal and helps you to connect to the stone.

What are some common misconceptions about diamonds?

People often look and adhere to the four C’s – color, cut, clarity, and carat when referencing diamonds. But sometimes you can find a really beautiful one that’s got a lower grade because of an inclusion, but that inclusion that lowered the grade could be right on the very side of the stone that with the right design you can barely see when its set. You can get more bang for your buck!

What are some fun facts about diamonds?

For me, I  love that they are the hardest atomic structure on the planet. They are also the most simple atomic structure. Diamonds are cubic and the speed at which they transmit the light through the mineral is what makes them sparkle so much and that makes them beautiful. The speed of light makes them shine.

What are black diamonds?

Black diamonds are diamonds that nature exposed to other chemicals (graphite, pyrite or hematite) in their formation. They used to use black diamonds to produce the needles for record players! They wouldn’t get worn out after use.

Should I care about the fluorescence in a diamond?

I personally like fluorescence, it gives them a bit of a personality because under a black light it glows. I think it’s one of nature’s great tricks! 

I have some diamonds in old heirloom jewelry. Can you pull these and make me something new?

Absolutely! Depending on their size and condition, it’s easy to reuse diamonds for many things. I love to work with clients to make the perfect new piece for them out of things they no longer wear or have inherited.  I have shared a few of my favorite diamond transformations with you below.

This ring is the perfect blend of something old and something new. The clients’ grandmother gifted a 1 carat diamond earring each to he and his brother to use in rings for their future brides. Our client’s girlfriend had her heart set on an oval ring and we had a 1 carat round to work with. Ray stalked her social media to get a sense of her style and then designed this ring that features the family heirloom and blends that with her amazing style. The ring now has a name “Lady Di” and its own hashtag on Instagram.

The stone in the pendant came from our client’s grandmother’s ring and was surrounded by diamonds. She and her sister split all their grandmother’s jewelry and she brought the pieces she didn’t wear to us. We made a beautiful solitaire Crownwork® pendant and then a pair of stick earrings and circle earrings with the surrounding diamonds. We recycled the gold and incorporated that into all the pieces too. New life for family heirlooms!

This client had a big diamond ring she was no longer wearing, she wanted to use the diamonds for a versatile everyday piece. We pulled the diamonds from the ring and set them in an 18k yellow gold Crownwork® pendant in oxidized silver to make them really pop.

The client had a big pair of diamond earrings that she wasn’t wearing, she saw our 18k yellow gold Crownwork® pinky rings at a trunk show and fell in love.

We made her a pinky ring using one of the diamonds and set it with a black diamond halo for extra dramatic effect.

 

We have shared lots of custom & restoration stories and wedding stories, I love working on these projects.