8 Tips How to Make Your Diamonds Sparkle At The Office Party

how_clean_polish_diamonds_thediamondstore.jpgYOU’VE bought the dress, done the hair and put on your heels. Now it’s time for the icing on the cake… your favourite diamond jewellery. No Christmas party look is complete without it.

But when was the last time you polished your diamond ring, bracelet or earrings?

Less-than-brilliant bling can spoil your party look. Here our jeweller reveals how to make those rocks really shine!

8 PRO TIPS – HOW TO MAKE YOUR DIAMONDS SPARKLE:

♥ DO use a soft touch. They may be the hardest mineral on earth, but keep in mind diamonds are precious, natural stones. Handle them with care. Don’t scrub them aggressively when cleaning or use excessive force when handling them.

how_shine_diamonds_thediamondstore.jpg♥ DO treat your diamonds to a regular soak. Weekly cleaning with mild soap, warm water and a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush is the best (and cheapest) way to ensure your diamonds looks their best. Always clean diamonds in a bowl, not over a sink. A loose stone could disappear down the drain. Also, this treatment is not advised for pearls as it may leave them looking dull.

♥ DO prescribe your diamonds Alka-Seltzer. This is a great pick-me-up for dull jewellery. Simply drop it in a fizzing glass of the popular antacid for a couple of minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water and dry with a soft cloth. Your diamond will sparkle like new.

♥ DO use an ultrasonic cleaner for ingrained grime. These nifty little gadgets send high frequency sound waves through a detergent solution, vibrating the fluid to remove tough grime from hard-to-get-at nooks. Be warned, though, that effective as they are, they can shake stones loose if used for too long. If in doubt, your jeweller will do an ultrasonic clean for you.

BUT BE CAREFUL:

how_store_diamond_jewellery_thediamondstore.jpg♦ DON’T over-handle your diamonds! Diamonds attract the oil that’s naturally produced by your skin. This in turn gathers a layer of dust particles that makes a diamond look dull. When handling or putting on your earrings, wear cotton gloves. If you’re polishing your ring’s band, hold on to the diamond with a lint-free cloth instead of your fingers.

♦ DON’T let diamonds rub together. They are the hardest mineral on earth, but one diamond can easily scratch and damage another. Always, ALWAYS store diamonds in an appropriate jewellery box, carefully separated so they don’t touch each other.

♦ DON’T expose diamonds to sudden temperature changes. This is especially important if your diamond has any inclusions. Diamonds may not respond well to sudden contact with hot water, and any existing natural fissures might cause the stone to break open. When cleaning, use lukewarm water first and then slowly graduate to warm water.

♦ DON’T use chlorine and other abrasive or corrosive solutions. This is particularly good advice if your diamond is set in jewellery. Metals are easily eroded by chemicals. For this reason it’s a good idea to remove jewellery before getting into a chlorinated pool.

Got some great jewellery tips of your own? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Our “Britain’s Got Love” Competition – Win £1,000 in Diamonds!

1WE know Britain’s got love! Every day we speak to you, our lovely customers, you’re busy shopping for engagement rings, anniversary gifts and wedding bands!

Helping people choose beautiful jewellery to celebrate big occasions, from engagements to new babies, led us to dream up our exciting Britain’s Got Love competition! 


WHO DO YOU LOVE?PETRA50Y1

Is it your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend? Your sister, brother or beautiful children? Or maybe it’s your pet cat, dog or canary who’s stolen your heart? Well, here’s your chance to tell the world why you’re britain’s most in love couple and should win £1,000 in diamond jewellery, plus a photoshoot worth £1,000!

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?

1. Upload your “in-love” selfie with your chosen partner or pet.

2. Tell us a little about why you are the most in love and should win. Then post the pic:

  • Via Twitter – Tweet us @diamondstoreuk @venturephoto @britainsgotlove. Don’t forget the #britainsgotlove hashtag so we can find your entry! OR
  • Via Instagram – @thediamondstoreuk @venturephoto @britainsgotlove. Don’t forget the #britainsgotlove hashtag so we can find your entry!

WHEN’S THE DEADLINE?

You still have plenty of time to join in the fun. Winners are announced on 12th February, just before Valentine’s Day.britains_got_love_thediamondstore07

WAIT… WHAT ARE THE PRIZES AGAIN?

The prizes are absolutely fabulous. The winners will win amazing diamond jewellery worth £1,000 from us, and a studio photo shoot also worth £1,000 with our partner, Venture Studios.

So get your smartphone out and get snapping. We can’t wait to see your entry!

With LOVE,

The Diamond Store Staff

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Looking Through the Jeweller’s Loupe: Your Diamond Buying Guide

how_to_choose_diamond_thediamondstore.jpgWHEN it comes to buying jewellery, nothing beats diamonds for pure class and elegance. Yet we don’t get to buy diamonds every day. So how do you know you’re getting the best diamonds at the best price?

“THE FOUR Cs”
Luckily, the quality and value of a diamond can be easily assessed using four fundamental criteria. If you’ve been researching diamonds, you’ll already know these are called the four Cs – cut, colour, clarity and carat.

THE FIFTH AND SIXTH Cs!
We additionally like to remind our customers about “a further two Cs”. Many of our larger, better quality diamonds, such as engagement ring solitaires, come with a certificate from a diamond laboratory – for example Canadian Diamonds or the International Gemmological Institute. A certificate is independent proof of a stone’s qualities and size.

Another consideration is making sure you buy a conflict-free diamond. These are stones that have been sourced ethically. They haven’t been sold on the black market by illegal groups or terrorists who commit human right violations. Read our Ethical Diamonds blog post to learn more.

ASSESSING THE BASICS: CUT, COLOUR, CLARITY AND CARAT
Before buying a diamond, and especially if you are looking for something to mark a special occasion, you should do a little research. That way you’ll understand how to use the four Cs to judge your potential purchase. Here’s our diamond buying guide to help you out.

1. CUT
Cut refers to the proportions, symmetry, finish, shape and style of the diamond. The cut is arguably the most important of the five Cs. It is also the only aspect that relies solely on man rather than nature. Only a skilled master craftsman can find the beautiful shape of a diamond within a rough stone and create a breathtaking effect.

Round Cut Diamond – CLICK TO SEE MORE

Round Cut – CLICK FOR MORE

Princess Cut Diamond – CLICK TO SEE MORE

Princess Cut – CLICK FOR MORE

Emerald Cut Diamond – CLICK TO SEE MORE

Emerald Cut – CLICK FOR MORE

Marquise Cut – CLICK TO SEE MORE

Marquise Cut – CLICK FOR MORE

Pear Shape Diamond – CLICK TO SEE MORE

Pear Shape – CLICK FOR MORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

We choose to use a Good/Very Good cut in all our diamonds that are colour-graded H and above. (Learn more about diamond colour below).

Things to remember about CUT:
* It’s very important, because the allure of a diamond comes from the way it sparkles.
* A poorly cut stone results in a lack of brilliance and fire.

one_carat_E_colour_diamond_ring.jpg2. COLOUR
All diamonds are graded by colour. White diamonds fall within a range from colourless (D) to light yellow (Z). Here you can see one of our “E” colour-graded diamonds. It is essentially considered colourless.

Things to remember about COLOUR:
* Most diamonds have traces of yellow, brown or grey.
* The colour of a diamond is determined in a laboratory using visual assessment.

3. CLARITY
Clarity is an indication of a diamond’s purity. The clearer the diamond is, the more vivid and intense the sparkle will be. Diamonds are measured with the below units, with “IF” being the clearest and “I3” the least clear. We sell diamonds with clarity grades ranging from VS1 to SI2 in our E to H colour diamonds.

clarity
If you peer closely into a diamond, you may see small mineral flecks or fractures inside it. These are naturally occurring marks called “inclusions”. The clearer a diamond is on the inside, the rarer and more expensive it is.

Things to remember about CLARITY:
* Almost all diamonds have imperfections, scratches or air bubbles.
* These will be invisible to the naked eye in the most valuable stones.

one_carat_prnce_cut_diamond.jpg4. CARAT
A diamond’s weight is measured in carats. There are 100 points to each carat. Meaning if a diamond weighs 50 points it will be half a carat, and this would be indicated as 0.50CT. Here you can see how a 1.00CT weight diamond looks on a woman’s hand.

Things to remember about CARAT weight:
*Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to diamonds! A badly cut 2 carat diamond won’t be as stunning as a well cut single carat stone.

FINALLY…
Even when you’re convinced the diamond has passed the 4 Cs assessment, there are other things to consider. The first being: who is the diamond for? If you’re buying diamonds as a gift, it’s a good idea to make sure the person will like what you’ve chosen. Especially if you’re buying something like an engagement ring. Visit our comprehensive Engagement Ring Learning Centre to find out more.

Not feeling confident? Just get in touch with us. We are always happy to chat about our diamond jewellery and help you find the best diamond for your money. 

Visit our website, like us on Facebook or add us on Twitter!

7 Best Rated Jewellery Items Women Want for Christmas

shutterstock_231754927MOST men have more than one amazing woman in their lives. Keeping them all happy at Christmas can be tricky!

We’ve just made things a little easier. Here are our seven most highly rated jewellery items. Based on real, independently collected reviews from our customers, they’re available from £89 to £235.

#7 – One Carat Tanzanite Studs, £89
These tanzanite earrings have 100% 5-star reviews. Tanzanite is a very rare mineral only found near Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, and it’s known for its magical violet-blue shimmer.

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#6 – Diamond Cluster Earrings, £209
Real diamonds always make good presents, especially when they cost this little. The popularity of our Premium Quality diamond cluster earrings proves it.

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#5 – Diamond Initial Pendants, £159
This is the latest celebrity “in” item. Diamond initial pendants are personal and beautiful, available in white or yellow gold. From our reviews we know our customers love them.

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#4 – Diamond Drop Earrings, £235
These diamond drop earrings in white gold have risen to our Top 5 best selling items of jewellery. That means they’ll go down extremely well as Christmas presents.

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#3 – Diamond Heart Pendants, £149
This is our top selling white gold and diamond heart pendant, as well as our Top 3 rated item of jewellery. It’ll make your mother’s, wife’s or daughter’s eyes light up.

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#2 – Diamond Tennis Bracelets, £235
We think this bracelet is a beauty – and our female customers agree. With Premium Quality diamonds set in UK hallmarked silver, it’s available for under £250. No wonder it’s in second place!

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#1 – Diamond Stud Earrings, £199
By far our biggest seller year in year out, diamond stud earring dazzle and shine, go with everything, and let’s face it, they’re diamonds! What more could a girl want? This pair you see in the video below is our best seller.

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Ladies, which ones would you love for Christmas? Share your wish with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Diamond Rings Go Green: Ethical Engagement Rings

ethical_engagement_rings_UK_TheDiamondStoreBrad and Angelina, Kim and Kanye, Beyonce and Jay-Z – our A-listers have a real knack for trendsetting. Especially when it comes to engagement rings. It’s hard not to notice the rocks that they’ve got and their carat size, cut, or design. We can’t help but be inspired.

But the latest celebrity engagement ring trend is about far more than just style.

When Amal Alamuddin revealed the $650,000 ring that George Clooney had popped on her finger was ethically sourced, the ethical engagement rings trend grew in strength.

Already a big issue thanks to films like Blood Diamond, diamond mining has long raised ethical issues around the globe. Be it the dangerous working conditions for miners, the extremely low wages, damage to the environment or diamond profits being used by corrupt corporations, the dark side of diamond mining has been an increasing concern for those shopping with a conscience.

6a00d8345157c669e201a73dcab873970d-800wiThe answer is ethical wedding rings. With Amal Alamuddin being a human rights lawyer, and George Clooney no stranger to activism, they’re both used to championing humanitarian causes. Their wedding ring choice has enabled them to put their celebrity status to good use, raising the profile of ethical engagement rings to show the world that it can be done differently.

What are ethical engagement rings?

In the year 2000, South African countries with a legitimate diamond trade began a campaign against conflict diamonds. The result was the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) – an international effort to rid the world of blood diamonds – and while on the whole it has been rather successful, it was just the beginning of the sourcing of ethical diamonds.

WHITE GOLD CANADIAN DIAMOND RING Click to View

In more recent years, Canadian diamonds have come to the forefront as the world’s greenest diamonds.

Mined, cut and distributed under strict supervision of the Canadian Government, not only can all Canadian diamonds be fully traced all the way to their source, but the government ensures that all miners are well paid, mining conditions are safe, and the environment is protected too.

An even better aspect to this new trend is that you don’t need to have George or Amal’s pay packet to get on board.

We specialise in Canadian diamonds and ethical engagement rings for every budget. All of the diamonds you’ll find on our website are deemed conflict-free, making it easy to look good and feel good about the origins of the diamond you’re wearing.

Want to see Canadian Diamond jewellery? VIEW HERE

What are your thoughts on ethical diamonds? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

The Meaning of Eternity Rings – Little Known Facts

Gary Ingram:

New updated version of this excellent article

Originally posted on The Diamond Store Blog:

eternity-ring-facts-meaningTHE ultimate romantic gift, a mind blowing feat in jewellery craftsmanship, and a ring with a spellbinding history…

Whichever way you look at eternity rings, they’re true marvels of physics, design, beauty and skillful expertise.

But do you know the many curious facts and real meaning behind them?

1. Ancient Egyptians invented them01Emerald-gold-eternity-ring
In Old Egyptian hieroglyphics, from around 2000-1800 BC, the circle represented eternity. Egyptians also believed that marriage was a bond so strong it was uninterrupted by death. The ring represented this magical union between two people. In tombs, archeologists have uncovered many simple rings made from carved bone or beads, as well as elaborate metal and gemstone wedding bands.

2. Symbols of lasting love and commitment
The idea of an eternity ring is that of a continuous circle which can never be broken. Made with precious metals, diamonds and gemstones that go all around the ring, they represent everlasting love – and…

View original 657 more words

4 Unexpected Truths About Engagement Ring Prices

shutterstock_88764409It’s almost like a school maths question.

“If Kanye West buys Kim Kardashian an engagement ring worth £2.5 million pounds, how much salary does he earn per year?

If you’ve ever looked into engagement rings, you’ll know where this is going… (and probably faint at the thought of Kanye’s pay packet).

Somewhere along the line we’ve all heard the theory, right? A groom should spend one month’s salary on a ring. But is this really true? Do you agree?

REAL ENGAGEMENT RING PRICES
We went on a mission to find out how much people really spend on their rings. Our own engagement ring sales records, with over 10,000 sold over the last 5 years, were the source. UK’s national average salary is currently £26,500 per person. According to the “one month’s salary” theory this means people should be spending an average of £2,200 per ring. You’ll be amazed at what we found!

ENGAGEMENT RING TRUTH #1 – “PRICE BANDS”
The first astounding thing we discovered was that rings costing £500, £1,000 and £1,500 sell much better than rings at £745.23 or £1864.21.

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Approximate cost £500 – CLICK TO VIEW

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Approximate cost £2,000 – CLICK TO VIEW

1500PoundRing_Ella18KHaloDiamond

Approximate cost £1,500 – CLICK TO VIEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does this mean? We think people possibly set themselves a budget. Either according to what they can afford, or based on their idea of what a ring “should” cost.

Is this the best way? It’s good to have a budget, but it’s also good to be flexible. Say you’ve decided to spend £1,000 in a high street store, but then see the same ring for £732 online. Many will get the cheaper ring. But by spending the extra £268 (all of your original budget) you might get a bigger diamond, or 18K gold instead of 9K. A more expensive ring isn’t necessarily better, but a better quality ring means more lasting value and durability.

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SAPPHIRE & DIAMOND – CLICK TO VIEW

ENGAGEMENT RING TRUTH #2 – ALL AMERICAN
We still love our tea and Downton Abbey. But when it comes to engagement rings, big, fancy US style diamond bling is in.

What does this mean? Huge diamonds, often surrounded by a “halo” of smaller diamonds, are in fashion. With big rings, however, bought from £200 to £7,000, style rather than budget seems to dictate choice.

Is biggest the best? Sometimes, yes. Fashionable can be elegant too – the Duchess of Cambridge’s sapphire and diamond ring is a case in point. Also, big and bold doesn’t need to come at an extortionate price. The trick is to not get too fixated on a combination of diamond colour and clarity grades. For example, the best diamond quality we offer is G/Vs. Of course there are higher grades, but unless you’re an expert you won’t see the difference. Do you have extra budget left? Splash out on a larger diamond instead.

BridalSet_2CaratGalileo

DIAMOND BRIDAL SET – CLICK TO VIEW

ENGAGEMENT RING TRUTH #3 – NO ROMANCE?
The third trend we discovered is that practicality is winning over romance. About 20% of our engagement rings are sold as wedding sets.

What does this mean? For many couples an engagement ring is a financial decision. Wedding sets that include an engagement ring and a wedding band are stunningly beautiful and highly comfortable, yet make financial sense because you’re not buying the wedding band later.

Should I forgo romance? Of course not. For many people an elaborate surprise proposal is the only way, and we say, go for it! (In fact, go and check out our fantastic 101 Proposal Ideas right now.) If you are practically minded though, a wedding set will get you two gorgeous rings with a saving.

ENGAGEMENT RING TRUTH #4 – DOUBLE ON FINANCE
Now here’s an interesting one. Those who buy their engagement ring on finance spend two times more than those who pay outright.

What does this mean? People who finance engagement rings are going for a much better quality of ring than their cash budget would allow.

But is this financially sensible? It can be, especially if you’re getting interest-free credit. Then you’re simply buying a good ring and spreading the cost over a few months. This may help with timing other big costs, like a honeymoon or a downpayment on a house.

So… how much are people REALLY spending?
Well, it’s clear to us that people are not applying the “one month’s salary rule”. Instead of thruths_about_engagement_ring_prices01.jpgthe “average” £2,200 ring, our customer are spending very individual amounts. A handful of people spend as little as £250, about 15% spend £500, another 60% between £1,000 and £1,500. The rest? Any sum between £2,000 and £7,000!

If you had to make a recommendation, what should I spend?
As jewellers, of course we wouldn’t encourage people to spend as little as possible. However, we’re not saying that just because engagement rings are our livelihood. Here’s why:

  • You’ll wear it every day. An engagement ring has to be beautiful, but it also has to be robust. After all, you’re planning on getting everyday wear out of your ring – for a lifetime. We do many things with our hands around the house, in the garden or at work. We travel in crowds of people on public transport. We go to the gym, play with our kids. During its life an engagement ring will get a fair few knocks, scrapes and washes!
  • Raw materials count. Silver is cheaper than white gold, but it is also far softer. 9K white gold looks the same as platinum, but you’ll have to get it rhodium plated in a couple of years. Brands, designers and handcrafting aside, if you’re just talking about the pure raw materials used to make your ring, then what you get is what you pay for.

In the end of the day, what you spend is entirely up to you. The comparison we often offer our customers is, how much did your smartphone cost? If you’re willing to pay £600 for your iPhone, then £250 spent on an engagement ring could be too modest.

Let us know what you think! Tweet or leave a comment on our Facebook page.