Diamonds – No Longer A Girls Best Friend?

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girls best friend. So sang the glorious Marilyn Monroe in the classic film ‘Gentleman Prefer Blondes’. But is this still the case in the 21st century. Are we still as enamoured with real bling as we once were? We know there has been a rise in the cost of precious metals like gold and silver, but are the precious rocks still to our taste?

Well, the answer seems to depend on the age of the person asked. Insure4Retirement, a Home and Travel Insurance provider for the Over 50s found that 73% of people who completed a quote and listed jewellery as part of the cover required, owned over £5,000 worth of gems and precious metals. But they also found the figures are much lower as the age of the person asked drops, with young people being more likely to spend their money on travel, experiences and entertainment rather than on expensive pieces of jewellery – even as an investment,

I have to say this really doesn’t surprise me at all. My grandmother had a huge jewellery collection – not quite Elizabeth Taylor but getting there. She loved gem set pieces, the larger the stone the better, and I still wear her diamond engagement ring which is both beautiful and precious. My mother also loves fine jewellery, having inherited most of my nan’s pieces and having built up quite a collection herself from birthdays, Christmas’s and anniversaries. But my feeling towards diamonds is not so strong, I prefer costume pieces,  vintage paste jewels picked up from antique fairs and charity shops, and also more contemporary names like Thomas Sabo and Pandora, which, if they use diamonds at all, these are usually small pieces of adornment, rather than the whole pendant of bracelet.

So why are we moving away from that most iconic of stones. I think it is just a matter of times, and styles changing. We seem to like our jewels to be more tasteful, less ostentatious, and there is also an argument to say we want pieces to be subtle enough to wear everyday, without risk of attracting the wrong sort of attention. There is also an argument that the millennial generation has less disposable cash, and so there are more important things to spend it on than diamonds.

What are your thoughts – are diamonds still a girls best friend?

 

Iconic Jewellery Collectors

This morning I was going through my jewellery to decide what pieces to wear, and once again I opted for a vintage paste brooch, an item that seems to be a bit of an obsession at the moment.

I love vintage jewellery, pieces that are not only pretty, but also have a story attached to them. I wear my nan’s diamond engagement ring, collect brooches from the 1940s and 50s, and have quite a collection of vintage strings of pearls. I love large statement earrings from the 1980s, and love the 60s style bangles that might have picked up on the Marrakesh trail. But my number one passion is for Art Deco jewellery with its beautiful geometric design, often in black and white diamonds.Genuine  Art Deco jewellery can be harder to source, so it is worth looking to vintage jewellery suppliers like Lillicoco when you want a real statement piece.

Jewellery is a passion shared by many famous women, and I am going to share a few of my favourite jewellery collectors, and some of their key pieces.

Wallis Simpson

Wallis Simpson’s jewellery collection may be the most famous of them all. The Duchess of Windsor may never have been a queen, but with her stunning collection of diamonds and jewels she certainly dressed like one. One of the most famous and iconic pieces was the leopard bracelet from Cartier, which along with the stunning flamingo brooch were offered for a million pound auction at Sotheby’s in 1987.

Elizabeth Taylor

Another star who amassed a stunning jewellery collection was Elizabeth Taylor, with the Taylor Burton diamond, a symbol of her famous love story with the actor Richard Burton, at the centre of the collection. Taylor was married a famous 8 times, and each love affair added to her jewellery collection, which included a tiara from Mike Todd, numerous pieces from Cartier and Bulgari, and the Krupp diamond.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess Diana already had her own Spencer tiara when she married into the royal family, but after joining the firm she gained lots of beautiful pieces, many of which she wore in an iconic way. A key point was a stunning emerald necklace which she famously wore has a headband.

But Diana was not just about priceless gems, she happily wore Butler and Wilson cocktails pieces and made them look like they had cost a million dollars too.

 

The 4 Cs – The Essence of a Diamond Engagement Ring

 

If you are looking to invest in a diamond engagement ring, but know very little about these precious stones, this article was written with you in mind. The ring will be a significant investment, and therefore, it makes perfect sense to learn a little about diamond evaluation, and without further ado, here is a detailed breakdown of the four Cs.

 

  1. The Cut – The cut is primarily how the stone is shaped, and the many facets are cut in such a way to allow for the maximum amount of light to be reflected back to the eye of the beholder. If the cut of a diamond is too shallow, much of the light is reflected to the bottom of the stone and this is very noticeable, and with the very essence of diamonds being the glitter and glamour, the reflection properties of the stone is entirely down to the cut. If you happen to live in Queensland, check out the largest range of unique diamond engagement rings in Brisbane, from an established online retailer who can also customise rings to the client’s specifications.

 

  1. The Colour – While diamonds come in just about every hue of colour in a rainbow, people are mainly concerned with white diamonds. A colourless diamond allows all of the light to be reflected, which means the reflection gives a spectrum of colour, and white diamonds are graded from totally colourless to light yellow, with the following scale used:

 

  • Colourless
  • Near Colourless
  • Faint Yellow
  • Very Light Yellow
  • Light Yellow

 

These categories are graded from D (Totally Colourless) to Z, which is light yellow, and the method of colour grading diamonds involves many years of hands-on experience, as the differences can be extremely subtle and only a trained eye can spot the difference. For more reading on the topic, there is an excellent article on the Web with a colour chart guide to diamond selection, which should help you to understand how colour is determined.

 

  1. The Clarity –The clarity of a diamond is determined by the number – and location – of flaws on the stone, and in order to accurately do this, one needs 10X magnification. Tiny birthmarks called inclusions interfere with the light refraction process, and the least amount of inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is. A totally flawless stone is indeed very rare, which is reflected in the very high price range, and when looking at diamond engagement rings, the clarity is just as important as anything else.

 

  1. The Carat – The weight of a diamond is graded in the unit of a carat, which can be broken down to 100 points, so a diamond with 75 points would weight 0.75 carat. The largest stone sizes are in the 3 carat range and would, of course, be extremely valuable. Unless you really know your diamonds, you are best advised to seek out a reputable jeweller, and one who has a good reputation within the industry.

 

All diamonds are graded using the 4C system, and if you are looking to pop the question anytime soon, why not browse the extensive online selection of diamond engagement rings? The vast collection would ensure that you will find the perfect ring for that perfect girl.