Free domestic shipping over $150
Cart 0

Diamond & Gemstone Guide

 

Beautiful. Rare. Cherished.

Diamonds continue to be the most sought-after gems on earth and each one is as unique as its wearer.

Rose-cut diamonds

The rose-cut diamond was introduced in the 16th century and was popular until the late 1800s, when more-modern diamond cuts replaced it. The rose-cut diamond features a flat bottom with a dome-shaped crown, rising to a single apex. With anywhere from 3 to 24 facets, a rose-cut diamond aptly resembles the shape of a rose bud.  Rose-cut diamonds radiate a beautiful, diffused light rather than the flash and boldness of modern, brilliant-cut diamonds.  Rose-cut diamonds are cut and polished by hand, so they are truly one-of-a-kind gems.

Old European cut diamonds

Diamonds cut into this shape possess a high crown, a small table, and a large, open culet. The old European cut has a circular girdle, and with 58 facets, it is the predecessor of today’s modern round brilliant cut.  The old European cut dates to the 1800s. 

Modern brilliant-cut diamonds

In the early 1900s, diamond cutters began to experiment with new techniques. A breakthrough came in 1919 with the introduction of the round brilliant-cut diamond. Due to its ability to maximize fire and brilliance, the round brilliant-cut has become the standard and most popular way to cut diamonds. Like the old European cut, a round brilliant-cut diamond has a circular girdle and 58 facets. However, the round brilliant-cut lacks a culet. The round brilliant-cut became prevalent during the Art Deco and Retro periods.

What are the 4Cs of diamonds?

Every diamond is a miracle of time, place, and chance. 

Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted, standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world.

The creation of the Diamond 4Cs ushered in two very important things: Diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.

There is more information on the 4Cs of white diamonds on the GIA website here.


Rose-cut white diamond quality

The rose-cut white diamonds Gillian uses are typically in the G-H-I color range and have VS-SI clarity, meaning they're fine white or nearly colorless and may have some very slight natural inclusions, visible only under 10X magnification. Gillian is careful to select rose-cut diamonds that are extremely well cut and proportioned. White diamonds over 0.50 carat in our custom-order rings will be certified for 4Cs by EGL USA or GIA.

Grey and black diamonds

Grey and black diamonds have the same properties as white diamonds but with no color or clarity grade.  The 4Cs refer to white diamonds. A grey or black diamond can be certified at EGL USA or GIA for an additional fee of $150. 

The grey diamond usually comes as a secondary hue in red, yellow, green, blue, violet, and purple stones producing either cool or warm tones. As a primary hue the diamond is quite unique, and there are many names for the numerous shades they come in, such as ash grey, charcoal grey, slate grey, metallic grey, steel grey, silver grey, battleship grey, cloudy grey, or cool grey. Their grey color is a result of hydrogen being present in the gem thus absorbing other colors.

The black diamonds are diamonds filled with dark inclusions of graphite. They appear opaque because of their polycrystalline structure that prevents them from reflecting light.

Natural Grey and Black Diamonds are typically mined in Brazil, Russia, South Africa, India and Australia.


Lab created diamonds and cultured diamonds

Lab-created and cultured diamonds are grown in highly controlled environments using advanced technological processes that mimic the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop in the earth's crust. Once created, cut, and polished, these diamonds look identical to natural, conflict-free diamonds and are in fact chemically identical to diamonds obtained through mining. Cultured diamonds are now available in colorless (white) ranges up to 1 carat. The diamonds are available only in the modern brilliant-cut.

Lab-created diamonds are physically, optically and chemically indistinguishable from natural diamonds. Created with professional gemological equipment, man-made diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds.

 

Dazzling colored gemstones are gathered from every corner of the world, and create unique pieces, each with its own story to tell.  

Since the beginning of time, colored gemstones have been featured in myths and legends. Many are believed to have special powers and symbolism but all have a special beauty.

Colored gemstones

The traditional gemstones are rubies, emeralds, and blue sapphires. Because of their lasting appeal and distinguished history, ruby, emerald and sapphire are more valuable than other colored gemstones.

Tanzanite, tourmaline, aquamarine, imperial topaz, and tsavorite garnet are the rising stars of the gemstone world.

Other rare, colored stones include black opal, jadeite, pink topaz, chrysoberyl cat's eye, colored sapphires, and stones that change color in different light such as demantoid garnet and alexandrite.

Old favorites are amethyst, peridot, rhodolite garnet, blue topaz, iolite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, onyx, and chrysoprase,

Gillian tends to select gemstones that incorporate unusual colors, cuts, and clarity. She may use colored stones that have attractive and unique inclusions or optical phenomena but are internally stable.  She will advise you on the endless possibilities of using colored gemstones to accent a diamond or create an exceptional piece of jewelry on its own.

Please email Gillian or phone 212-608-6188.