5 Tips to choosing the right diamond

It may not look like it, but choosing the right diamond for an engagement ring is an important decision. It is one of the things that symbolizes your commitment and love to the person you are spending the rest of your life with. However, choosing the right ring, most especially the right diamond can be very overwhelming. There’s a lot of information about diamonds and it can get very confusing. Also, you have to be very careful in choosing your options and consider if your partner will like it or not.

If you’re having a hard time, here are five tips to keep in mind when choosing the right diamond.

  1. Consider your budget first.

Before doing anything else, decide first how much money you can afford to spend for a diamond ring. Don’t be trapped to the idea that you need to shell out a couple of months of your salary just to get a pricey engagement ring. You don’t want to end up spending more money on a diamond ring. There are tons of options to choose from and you can even buy online on shops like shopedc.com to save even more money. But before that, always consider your financial situation first.

  1. Consider the cut of the diamond.

When it comes to the overall beauty of a diamond ring, you must carefully consider the diamond’s cut and polish. If the symmetry of the diamond cut is perfect, the polish and the flare from the light reflecting off the exterior of the diamond is spectacular. You will know that a quality made a diamond with great cut and polish will display more color and shine.


  1. Look for the perfect shape.

A lot has mistaken the cut of the diamond as the diamond shape. A diamond’s shape plays a big role in how bright your diamond ring can be. A round diamond is known as the shape that has maximum shine and flash. A round shape can reflect almost all the available light, especially if the cut and polish are well-made. On the other hand, square and princess cuts are also two of the most popular shapes for an engagement ring.


  1. Seek help from experienced professionals in a jewellery store.

If you have no idea on how to choose the right diamond, the best way is to ask for the help of the experienced professionals in your chosen jewellery store. Since they are the ones polishing and crafting diamonds every day, they are the ones who can best help you choose what you are looking for. Moreover, they can also walk you through on how they create their masterpieces.

  1. Don’t forget to decide on what diamond setting you like.

The prong setting allows light to reflect more brilliance on the diamond. Choosing this is a matter of personal preference and if you know what your partner prefers, nothing can go wrong. There are different types of diamond settings to pick from, so choose the ones that you like in order to best choose the right diamond ring.

How Not To Be Fooled By Non-Authentic Diamond Purchases



There is the age old saying: “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. Fortunately, this statement holds true to its meaning. Diamonds are a universal gem and hold their value, being one of the most precious gems money can buy. One of the reasons why diamonds cost so much is because they are hard to come by. Both the extraction and cutting process takes a great amount of time and effort to produce that shiny beautiful gem you are wearing around your neck or on your finger. When purchasing diamonds or jewellery in general, there are wide selections to choose from. But when making your selection, buyers must also be wary of the authenticity of the diamonds themselves.

Types of diamond jewellery

There is a plethora of diamond jewellery that any buyer can choose from. If you ask anyone about what they think about when they hear the word “diamond”, they instantly will think “rings”. Although it is true that a majority of diamonds are used as an accessory to rings, the variants of jewellery are quite extensive. These include :

Many stores worldwide sell a range of diamond jewellery. Diamonds for Less, a diamond store in Toronto, sells an interesting range of diamond jewellery in Canada which is open to the public.

For customers looking for something unique, Diamonds For Less offers customised jewellery. Furthermore, they will always show you their actual jewellery pieces before you make a purchase, where you can check their overall quality and authenticity.

How to check authenticity

Speaking of authenticity, there are several do’s and don’ts of diamond buying. Buyers must always be wary when purchasing an item that can potentially break their bank. To the untrained eye, a piece of glass cut into a diamond like shape could be a real diamond. However, it is not that simple. For those new to learning about diamonds, it is wise to know a bit more about the four C’s of diamond buying in order to check its true authenticity. These four C’s are:

  1. Cut
  2. Clarity
  3. Colour
  4. Carat

There are certain standards that apply to these four C’s. From there, their overall grade can be determined using an alphabetical hierarchy list. The higher the alphabetical hierarchy, the better the grade and the more valuable the diamond. In addition to the four C’s, make sure of the following to check for authenticity:

  • Check the seller’s background and any reviews from previous customers
  • Always make sure the seller allows you to inspect the diamond up close
  • Make sure the diamond has a certificate
  • Make sure that the certificate is authorised by an independent source such as GIA, HRD, Gemscan etc.
  • Forget about branded diamonds
  • Have the diamond checked in front of you by a gemologist if you are spending big money
  • Have the appraisal done in front of you before purchasing.


By following these simple guidelines, you can rest easy knowing that your diamond purchase will remain authentic. Do not be fooled by savvy diamond salesmen who try to lure you in offering dodgy items without any authenticity. Being a smart buyer will guarantee that you have made the right purchase and will certainly avoid any future regrets when purchasing the precious gem.

Little Voice brings Judy and Marilyn to life at the Birmingham Rep

One of the most memorable scenes in modern film is the one where a drunken, shambolic Ray Say, played by the magnificent Michael Caine, sings an expletive laden version of ‘It’s Over’ by Roy Orbison. This is, of course, a scene from Little Voice, the film version of the National theatre smash hit ‘The Rise and Fall of the Little Voice’, and it is one of my favourite films. So I had very high expectations of the new touring production starring ex Coronation Street stalwarts Vicky Entwhistle and Chris Gascoyne that opened at the Birmingham Rep last night. I’m pleased to say that the play and performances exceeded every single one of them. It is magnificent.


Little Voice is a fragile, introverted young girl with a secret, awe-inspiring talent. Living with the blousy Mari, a vulgar lush excuse of a mother, she spends all of her time in her bedroom, listening to the cherished records left to her by her late father, the music of doomed divas like Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas. When a drunk Mari brings local big shot Ray Say home, a power cut leads him to discover Little Voice’s very big talent for mimicking her idols to almost uncanny effect. Ray hears the cash tills ringing as he realises that the timid girl may just be the meal ticket he has spent his whole life looking for. This sets up a chain of events that may just destroy Mari, Ray and Little Voice, and all they hold dear to them.

Vicky Entwistle as Mari and Chris Gascoyne as Ray Say in The Rise And Fa...

Little Voice is played by Nancy Sullivan and it is one hell of a performance. She is totally believable when shy and nervous, but when she transforms into the performing Little Voice she literally raises the roof with her performances as Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, and a tremendous Edith Piaf. It is an awesome performance, totally powerful and unforgettable.

Nancy Sullivan as LV in The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice. Photo by Keit...Vicky Entwhistle and Chris Gascoyne are also perfect, and, at times, hilariously funny in a triumphant double act. Chris just oozes oily charm as Ray Say, all white socks and slip on shoes – you can almost smell the Brut reeking from him. He shows great range in taking Ray from a sleazy charmer to a nasty, predatory bully who shows no qualms in using violence against his star act. And ‘that’ performance of ‘It’s over’ is a brilliant tour de force.

Chris Gascoyne as Ray Say and Vicky Entwistle as Mari in The Rise And Fa...

Vicky Entwhistle is also superb as Mari, a bully of a mother and friend. She is brash, charmless and an horrific mother, but in Vicky’s hands she is also hilarious and very real. Mari may be a nasty vicious bully to those closest to her, but she has also been hurt and abused too and Vicky lets these glimpses of pathos come through, not least in the scene where she holds up the ash of her furniture.

Vicky Entwistle as Mari in The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice. Photo by K...The supporting cast are also impressive, from the hilarious Joanne Brookes as Sadie, overweight and chastised for it by Mari (‘come and choose a chair to crush’ being an example), to Brendan Charleson as the fabulously named Mr Boo (don’t shout my name too loud you’ll scare me). Tendayi Jembere is just lovely as Little Voice’s love interest Billy, another gentle soul who loves lights the same way Little Voice loves music. His scenes with Nancy Sullivan give the play real heart.

Joanna Brokes as Sadie and Vicky Entwistle as Mari in The Rise And Fall ...

Little Voice is a true modern classic, one full of memorable, shocking, funny and tender moments, all of which help to create an unforgettable theatre experience.

Little Voice is at the Birmingham Rep until 30th May. For ticket information click here.