Of all the gemstones there are, the diamond is probably the one we all bring to mind when thinking of precious gems, so it’s no surprise that over the years certain diamond myths have grown up around them, which we’re going to put right here.
Diamond myth 1. Bigger diamonds are always better
No no no! It’s a common held belief that a bigger diamond has a higher value than a small one, but as diamonds are valued on a combination of four separate attributes – Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight – this simply isn’t the case.
A small, perfectly clear diamond with the perfect cut to enhance its sparkle will hold greater value than a large, yet less clear stone with some inclusions and a poor cut.
When choosing the diamond you want for your engagement ring, make sure you go through the various options with your goldsmith. He or she will be able to help you find the perfect balance of the Four C’s to match up to the fifth – ‘Cost’ and help you attain the ring of your dreams.
Nope! Okay, so the vast majority of engagement rings are actually set with a round brilliant cut diamond. But there are plenty of other shapes to choose from and you may find that you pay less for a different cut with the same carat weight, enabling you to add additional stones to the shoulders, perhaps.
One of our favourite cuts is the emerald cut, which for us is so redolent of the golden age of art deco (think Gatsby, cocktails and pure hedonism) that we can’t resist creating ring designs to reflect the era using all kinds of gorgeous gemstones.
We’re also very proud to announce that here at Christopher Evans is one of the few places you can find the incredible Premier Diamond, a sparkling new variation of the classic round brilliant-cut but with 82 facets that create so much life and fire that each one will take your breath away.
Diamond myth 3. Diamonds can’t break
Yes, diamonds are the hardest gemstone on earth and yes they are impervious to almost all acids and yes they can withstand higher temperatures than most precious gems (after all, they are created by extreme heat and pressure over millennia) but no, they are not unbreakable.
Diamonds are simply a particular formation of carbon atoms in crystal form. Within the molecular arrangement of these carbon atoms, there are planes where the atoms on either side are more tightly bonded than the atoms in the plane – making it the weakest spot in the stone. Diamond cutters split, or cleave, diamonds by giving them a sharp tap in the right place. They know how to split a diamond along its cleavage plane, using this knowledge to create the cut they believe is best for that particular stone. If you accidently hit your diamond along one of these cleavage planes, it can chip or fracture.
Certain diamond cuts are more vulnerable than others, such as the princess cut, with its pointed corners. We always suggest that when storing diamond jewellery, our customers keep them in separate pouches as of course one diamond can scratch or even chip another.
Diamond myth 4. A diamond engagement ring should cost three months’ salary.
Seriously?! Actually this myth is a bit of a moveable feast, you might say, as the commitment varies dramatically. Some say a chap should spend three months’ salary, some say two months and some say one. We say don’t listen to anybody else, do what your heart and head advise. After all, marriage isn’t about the ring, it’s about the commitment.
The roots of this myth lie in a De Beers marketing campaign, the same people who came up with the tagline, A Diamond Is Forever. It came about during the 1930’s, in America, at the height of the Depression – a disastrous time for De Beers. Their marketing campaign linked diamonds with engagement rings and actually suggested that the man should spend one month’s salary on the purchase. By the 1980’s they had increased this to two month’s salary. One campaign showed a beautiful woman wearing a solitaire diamond ring with the text: ‘Two months’ salary showed the future Mrs. Smith what the future would be like.’ Another, with only a diamond ring on a black background said: ‘How can you make two months’ salary last forever?’
Interestingly in the UK, the De Beers campaign remained at promoting just a single month’s pay as appropriate for engagement ring spend (we sensible Brits would NEVER have fallen for doubling that, surely!?) whereas in Japan De Beers increased it to three months’ salary. Today Japan remains one of the leading markets for diamond jewellery, a sea change from before De Beers did their thing, when diamond rings were simply unheard of before WW2.
Diamond myth 5. I can get a better deal on my diamond by not buying retail.
You might think that you can get a better deal on your stone by buying from an online auction, from a wholesaler or direct from the dealer and in the basics of that you might be right, but there is an increased risk involved.
Our advice is to choose a trusted retailer who isn’t going anywhere, whose reputation is of vital importance to them and who offers protection on your purchase you simply won’t find with one of the other options.
As well as providing quality guarantees and an internationally recognised grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or IGI (international Gemological Institute) a jeweller’s expertise is invaluable in helping you choose the right diamond (see Diamond Myth 1.) and the right setting for it.
By choosing Christopher Evans you can be assured that you have chosen a team who really, really know their stuff. From working with precious gems every day to intensive training courses to the design and making of simply stunning jewellery, we are undisputed experts in our field. Why would you trust your heart and purse to anything less?