The big debate these days is between genuine natural grown and mined diamonds versus lab-grown diamonds. We're going to lay out the difference between the two types of diamonds and go in depth between the two processes to let you decide on your own which type of diamond you may want in your jewelry collection.
Diamonds have been a symbol of luxury and wealth for many centuries. A few historians have said that diamond mining and trading dates back to as early as B.C.. Diamonds have been appreciated for many centuries, but only in the last 50 years has there been in influx of research on diamond formation, how they get to the earth’s surface, etc. Genuine stones take thousands of years to be created through extreme pressure and heat. They come to the earth’s surface through natural processes like volcanic eruption, or manually, through diamond mining. Many people do not know that mining genuine diamonds are not the only ways to obtain a diamond. Scientists have created a process to man-make synthetic diamonds in a laboratory. It is not as new as one would think either- synthetic diamond creation has been around since the 1950s. There are essentially no differences in how both kinds of diamonds look to the naked eye. To tell the difference between the two, one would need heavy duty equipment in a gem lab.
An obvious difference in genuine and synthetic diamonds are how they are produced. Synthetic diamonds are grown in a lab. A genuine diamond lives in the earth’s mantle for thousands of years under extreme pressure and heat, slowly making its’ way closer to the earth’s surface to be mined. The process for mining diamonds is very long and takes lots of manpower. There are different types of mining: diamond pipe mining and alluvial diamond mining. Diamond pipe mining consists of miners locating areas where they will find diamonds in the ground. Shanks are then inserted into the ground at the ore-bearing pipes to get deep enough into the earth’s surface to find diamonds. Large parts of the soil are extracted and taken off-site to a plant to be sifted through and sorted. Alluvial diamond mining is when areas with water (places like riverbanks, beaches, etc.) are cleared of their water with walls and diversions and the soil is again taken off-site and sifted through for rough diamonds.
There are many schools of thought on whether genuine and synthetic diamonds should be treated as the same thing. A “Rare is Real” campaign began in 2017 that focused on the only true way to buy jewelry: purchasing genuine diamonds. To followers of this campaign and school of thought, synthetic diamonds are only replicas of the real thing, missing the rarity and preciousness that a real diamond has after being crafted over thousands of years deep in the earth. Since synthetic diamonds can be made in a lab, they generally cost less than a genuine diamond. Also, they are becoming easier and quicker to make, the value of the synthetic diamonds will get cheaper over time. Many different diamond companies and large jewelry companies have expressed their commitment to genuine diamonds staying at the forefront of the diamond industry.
On the flip side, there are some who argue that synthetic diamonds are an environmentally-friendly alternative. They see genuine diamond mining as disruptive and harmful to the ecosystem and topsoil of the earth, since mining more often than not results in large holes remaining in the earth’s surface. To synthetic diamond supporters, there is no difference between the two kinds of diamonds, so why not choose the less expensive and environmentally-friendly option? Especially now, when millennials are trying to be as conscious of the environment as possible, it seems like a better option for some. We know synthetic diamonds are made in a lab, but what are the actual processes used to create these diamonds? There are two different ways to synthetically create diamonds. The first process is by high pressure high temperature (HPHT) which imitates a natural diamond formation in the earth, but with carefully chosen materials to grow the diamond quicker. This process was created in the 1950’s and was thought to be the only way to create a diamond in a lab. A few years after the HPHT process was created, though, a new process was announced: chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which involved growing diamonds through a heated mixture of a hydrocarbon gas and hydrogen in a vacuum chamber at low pressures, almost like a 3D printer printing layers of diamond to create a whole one.
There are certain things to consider for both synthetic and genuine diamond processes. For example, are the HPHT and CVD processes actually environmentally-friendly? The definition for something to be environmentally-friendly is that it reduces, minimizes, or puts no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. This definition does not entirely match up with the processes used to create synthetic diamonds. The process to create synthetic diamonds are certainly not helping the environment, and one could even argue that the factories where the synthetic diamonds are being made and the energy being used to make the diamonds cause some harm to the environment. Most who are on board with a synthetic diamond hold on to the fact that the process of making synthetic diamonds does not include creating massive holes and does not physically disrupt the earth.
controversial aspect of genuine mining are blood diamonds, or conflict
diamonds, as they are sometimes referred to as. A blood diamond is a diamond
that has been mined in a warzone, under horrible conditions. This phrase was
coined in the late 1990’s when this controversial issue became increasingly
more public. It became public knowledge that mines in countries like the
A new way to prevent blood diamonds from entering the diamond trade is using blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is something that is being used by various types of industries world wide as a ledger to keep track of all transactions/movement of an item. At the beginning of this year, the powerhouse diamond mining company called De Beers announced that they were beginning to use blockchain technology to track a diamond from the point of being mined all the way to when it is in the hand of the consumer. This ensures consumers and diamond companies that their diamonds are conflict-free.
Two paths to the same thing: getting a diamond. Genuine and synthetic diamonds both have pros and cons, and ultimately it depends on what is important to the diamond consumer. Genuine mining has its own baggage, facing issues like violence and being harmful for the environment. Many campaigns like the ‘Real is Rare” campaign are targeted at millennial-aged consumers, because they are mostly the ones opting to buy synthetic diamonds to try and lower their carbon footprint. As more research is done on the process of how synthetic diamonds are made and what it takes to make them, more will see that the process is not entirely consistent with the definition of what it means to be eco-friendly. Though the diamond industry has been around for centuries, it still continues to grow, mature, and tailor to the ever changing world we live in.
What will you do when you decide on buying a diamond. Will you buy natural mined diamonds or lab-grown diamonds? We hope this has educated you further on both processes and the value of both types of diamonds.
It's the month of April and all we have on our mind is DIAMONDS!! How can you not have diamonds on your mind? It's April's birthstone and let's be real diamonds are forever. There's a reason the phrase is around. Diamonds truly do stand the test to time. It's still one of the best pieces of jewelry to include in your own jewelry collection. Some people may disagree these days and say who needs diamonds when there are a host of other gemstones and options for jewelry. This is true. But come on, diamonds go with everything and can't go wrong wearing them. As part of our April diamond celebration, let's take a look at why diamonds are a great choice.
Need earrings to go with your beautiful dress, go for the diamond studs. Need a necklace to go with your little black dress, go for the diamond necklace. Diamonds are always in style. They go with everything. Everyone should have some type of diamond earrings or necklace in their jewelry collection.
You can pass down diamonds from generation to generation. Or maybe your grandma already gave you her diamond ring or jewelry. Something you can wear until it's time to give it to your children. It's an investment for generations beyond your time. You can create a family heirloom with diamonds.
Yes, these days there are other "diamond-like" options such as moissanite, cubic zircon, or even lab grown diamonds. But the reality, at this time and for the past 1,000 years, is a natural grown diamond is an investment. Just like any investment it goes up and down depending on supply and demand. At this time, natural grown diamonds still hold their value. When you have a diamond, you can sell it or trade up for a larger diamond. There are articles online that indicate diamonds are not the best investment. And that holds maybe slightly true for tiny diamonds, but anything above a half carat can be traded in, traded up, or sold. This means over your lifetime, you can get larger and larger diamonds in your collection. Doesn't that sound nice? Get a larger diamond every few years or every year. Or like we said before, pass it down to your children and they pass it down to their children. You may be able to do that with lab-grown diamonds, but as the technology for lab grown diamonds improves, the value of lab-grown diamonds may decrease.
The vibrancy of a diamond are like no other. When the light hits the stone, it radiates with sparkle. Who wouldn't want jewelry with a diamond? It's an all around gem that stands the test of time and can be cherished through generations. Ready to look for some diamond jewelry? Shop for styles or stop in to our Diamonds Are Forever event. Learn more.
As you may already know, Pantone's Color of the Year is Ultra Violet. This color communicates ingenuity, originality, and non-conformity. No wonder why Prince took on that color. He knew the impact this color has on people. So, how can you use the ultra violet and bring it into your daily life. There are so many different ways but we think the best way is through jewelry. Ok, so we may be a bit biased. But really there are so many ways and we want to tell you not only how to wear ultra violet in jewelry but also pair it with other colored gems.
There are so many ultra violet gemstones (and some really inexpensive) that you can wear. Might we suggest, amethyst! It's a perfect deep violet color and comes in a variety of different shades. There's also tanzanite, purple enhanced diamonds, and depending on lighting alexandrite; as well. One more gem comes in a purple hue and that's sapphire. Normally, you find sapphire in a rich royal blue hue but sapphire comes in all colors and a purple hue is one of them. Perfect options to add to your spring wardrobe collection. And this hue also compliments Pantone's spring color, rose or nude. Needs some ideas, take a look below:
One more thing, you can also combine ultra violet with other hues that pair nicely; such as sapphire, green tourmaline, or pink sapphires.
It's National Proposal Day and what better way to celebrate it then to look at the trends for engagement rings. Just in case you decide you want to propose today or in 2018. Here are 8 trending looks for engagement rings in 2018
This is the year for rose gold jewelry especially engagement rings. The plush pink color reminds us of romance and love. No wonder women are swooning over rose gold such a perfect symbol of devotion. Either making the whole ring rose gold or combining it with a touch of white gold, it's one to be spotted all year long.
Oval Shape Diamond
With the elongated look and clean cut, it's no wonder this shape has gained so much attention. It gives the illusion of a larger stone because of the shape. And after the engagement of Prince Harry and Megan Markle, oval shape has increased in popularity.
Just as we mentioned, after the engagement of Megan Markle and Prince Harry, we saw a jump in three stone engagement rings. They're clean, classic, and simple. Take this look and make the ring rose gold, now you have a mix of modern and classic.
Intricate Diamond Halo
Halo has been around for a few years and it's not slowing down anytime soon. However, young women and brides are looking for a halo different from the classic halo. This is where the intricate diamond halo or dropped diamond halo comes in. The dropped halo is just slightly under the center diamond and an intricate diamond halo adds a touch of vintage or design to the halo.
Pear Shape Diamond
Unlike the oval shape and it's more classic look, pear shape is a bit more trendy. This is a perfect stone for the fashion forward and modern woman or bride. A perfect look to add to her every day style.
The non-diamond engagements rings are also a huge trend in 2018. Young women and brides want to add meaning behind their engagement ring. Colored gemstones are a great fit because there are old myths and beliefs behind almost all the colored gemstones. Plus, it's a cost-effective choice compared to a diamond.
Emerald Shape Diamond
This is just beginning to trend and probably by the end of 2018 we'll see more asking for an emerald cut diamond with three stone rings. It's a rectangle shape diamond with brilliance.
As timeless as it gets, solitaires will always be in style and many women are choosing this classic style for their engagement ring. It allows them stack other rings next to it and we all know how much fun it is stacking rings together and mixing metal colors with the ring.
If you're in the market for engagement rings, we hope this gives you some idea on what to look for and how to match your style with the ring you choose to wear the rest of your life. Want to look at some more styles, shop our engagement ring styles.
It's that time of the year, Wedding Season, has kicked off and well under way. Many of those engaged and planned to be married in the upcoming months will be shopping for wedding rings. We decided to let you know what's trending in 2018 to help you narrow your choices down.
As we have mentioned in our other articles, rose gold is big and has been trending for a few years; but more so this year than ever before. It looks like it's here to stay for every type of jewelry especially wedding rings! And yes, that means even for men. Go for all rose gold or combine rose with white gold. There are great rose gold options for both men and women.
We've been talking about stackables the past year. Women love being able to stack a few thin diamond bands with their engagement ring. Adding more bling to their already sparkling engagement ring. Start with one for the wedding and add more for each passing occasion.
Plain Wedding Band (Comfort Fit, Flat, Milgrain, etc)
Timeless and always a favorite are plain wedding bands. There are so many different varieties of plain wedding bands and can be selected in any metal or color option. How can you go wrong? Plus, a lot of women love the option because it's something she can wear without her engagement ring. Another great option for both men and women.
Carved Wedding Bands
Right next to plain bands being popular, so are carved wedding bands. For women, it may be hand carved designed wedding bands giving a more vintage look. And for men, it's subtle carvings in the ring to give a tiny design, yet keeping it classic and timeless.
These are just a few of the many styles for wedding bands. But they are definitely the favorites for 2018. Need more inspiration, shop our wedding bands or stop in for our Wedding Band Weekend event on March 22nd to 24th and view thousands of styles.
It's the first day of March, the weather is finally getting warmer in Minneapolis, and we are starting to think of all the Spring jewelry trends. From accessories to fine jewelry, we have your guide for jewelry and what to wear this spring.
Just when you think brooches are of the past, it has re-emerged on the Spring runways. Miu Miu, Celine, and Louis Vuitton were just a few of the designers including brooches in their Spring collection. This was something our grandmas and great-grandmothers wore. Now, you can always see if they still have them in their jewelry collection and possibly inherit them or you can grab a style you love to wear. Go for something bold or simple, both are great!
Pantone's Spring colors are nude palette which includes shades of rose gold. Rose gold has slowly been trending since 2016, but this Spring it's really picked up. And more and more young women are choosing rose gold for not just necklaces, earrings, and bracelets; but also for their engagement rings.
Chain Drop Earrings
Just like rose gold, we saw this have a slow rise to popularity. Chain drop earrings are simple and slick. You can wear them with basically anything and for any occasion. And you can choose rose gold chain drop earrings. It will be a perfect combination of both for Spring!
Pearls, Pearls, Pearls
We know we've mentioned many times over but really pearls are in style. There were a lot of designers/brands that utilized natural pearls with their runway collections; such as Simone Rocha, TopShop, and Prabal Gurung. Whether it was chunky pearl earrings, necklaces, brooches, or simple pearl styles. Pearls was a huge hit on the Spring runways. So, get out your pearls or start shopping for some pearls and be ready for spring.
Big Button Earrings
Remember the 80s? Me neither, well I only remember playing outside with friends, learning to bike, and all the usual kid stuff back in the 80s. Didn't pay too much attention to fashion, but I saw pictures. And well, think 80s again this Spring not only with clothing but earrings. Big earrings and big "button" style earrings are trending. I'll be borrowing some from my mom. Those big gold earrings are in and remember these days you can do white, rose, or yellow gold. Doesn't need to be just yellow gold, like back in the 80s. And think lots of geometric large earrings.
We've mentioned this before and we'll mention it again. Necklace layer is still on trend and layering geometric with other styles. Mix and match styles and shapes with your necklaces. This is a big one for Spring. I've always loved layering my necklaces and have been the past 5 years. Grab a simple necklace and pair it with something more bold.
There you have it Spring 2018 jewelry trends. So, while we anxiously wait for all the snow to melt and get ready for spring; we'll spend some time staring at all these beautiful jewels and you can too. Shop now for the latest jewelry trends and get ready for Spring, it's just around the corner!
We've already touched on gifts for him during the holidays. This week we are getting a gift guide ready for all those men out there looking to buy gifts. We know a lot of men will be out shopping this week and we're here to help you find the perfect sparkle to make the holidays just a little brighter.
Don't know where to begin and not sure what to get her. Well, if she doesn't already have diamonds studs, then you should grab a pair of studs. You definitely can't go wrong with diamond stud earrings. They are classic earrings that can be worn in any occasion; either casual or dressy. The best part is when you buy diamond stud earrings, you can upgrade them later. If she already has diamond studs, then consider trading them in for a larger pair.
One of the biggest trends the past year are personalized necklaces and bracelets. Giving a monogram pendant or personalized necklace is a way to add a personal touch to your gift. These necklaces can be layered with other jewelry pieces she has. You can also add a birthstone to the necklace.
Another great classic jewelry piece. Every woman should have a diamond bracelet in her jewelry collection. Diamond bracelets range in many different styles. You can choose something more classic which can be worn every day or go for one that is worn on special occasion; like Christmas day!
Necklaces-Diamonds, Gemstones, or Silver
One piece of jewelry that definitely can be given to any woman is necklaces of any type. Diamond, colored gemstone, and/or silver necklaces are great gifts. Depending on her style, you can choose something classic or go with a more contemporary piece. You can determine her style by looking at other jewelry pendants or necklaces she wears. Based on those jewelry pieces, select a style that will complement her jewelry collection as well as her style. And don't be intimidated by choosing a style for her, we're happy to help you find something just right.
Bracelets-Silver or Gold
Bracelets are another gift that are easy to pick a style. We would recommend choosing styles like link bracelets, charm bracelets, or simple bangles. These style of bracelets can be worn every day and are easily stackable with other bracelets. There are nice silver bracelets starting at $100 and go up. Gold bracelets usually run between $250 and more. You can start a tradition and add a new bangle or bracelet (with different metal color) each year to stack them.
Bonus Gift: Watches
Give her the gift of time. Forget checking your time with a cellphone. Get a beautiful and stylish accessory that make it easier and elegant to check the time. Plus, it adds a nice touch to any outfit she wears.
This is just some of the many different gifts you can get the woman in your life for Christmas. Take a look at all our jewelry gifts and find something that adds a bit of sparkle to the holidays!
It's that time of the year again, holidays are just around the corner. Yes, we know it's the day before Thanksgiving and you still want to celebrate Thanksgiving before even thinking about holiday gifts. But we couldn't help ourselves, we're just so excited this season for so many new things in our store. And one of them is our growing collection of men's jewelry and accessories. Yes, you heard that right. Normally, we carry very little in men's but this year we have a lot more options because we think you should give the man/men (dad, brother(s), friends, significant other, etc) something that's more than just sweaters and socks. Here are our top 5 gifts you can give the man/men in your life:
You hear it over and over again, people saying what's the point of watches when there are cellphones. Watches are great not just for telling time but accessorizing an outfit. They add a nice touch. It's an accessory every man should have as part of his collection. And for the first time in 20 years, we are carrying watches. Our watches are from the brand Tiempo Di Lugano. This watch brand started by a local Minnesotan with an eye for style. Reasonably priced and well made. These watches are going to be the gift you want to get this season.
2. Cuff Links
These are great for any man that wears suits on a regular basis or has a nice suit. Cuff links take your suit game up one level. It's a gift that he will get to use forever; especially when you get him silver or white gold (or gold) cuff links. You can also add a nice touch by personalizing it and engraving his initials. This is sure to make a great gift for the man in your life.
3. Money Clips
If you're going to buy a nice wallet for the holidays, have you ever considered a nice money clip instead or to compliment the wallet? Money clips add a nice classic touch. As with cuff links, you can get money clips that can be personalized as well. It will be a keepsake for him throughout life.
When we say bracelets, many of you may be thinking gold chunky bracelets from the 80s and that's not what were talking about. Men's bracelets come in a range of material. You can get a nice stainless steel bracelet, a bracelet with carbon fiber, titanium bracelet, or a bracelet that mixes stainless steel and silver with leather cords. The range of men's bracelets that will add to his daily style is great for a gift.
30 years ago many men wore gold chains and that trend went out of style. Now, it's back but just like bracelets you don't need to choose a chain that is gold or white gold. There are so many different alternatives for men's chains. Plus, if you get a nice silver chain, you can add a meaningful charm. A lot more men wear necklaces with a meaningful charm; by tucking it into their shirts.
With gifts that look this good, you can't go wrong. And he'll love the added style to his look. Shop all our men's look either online or in store.
Commonly confused with yellow topaz (another November birthstone), citrine is a gemstone of it's own. This beautiful radiant gem is commonly associated with November's birthstone; as well as the stone used to celebrate the 13th wedding anniversary. So, what else is great about this stone? Let's take a look at some interesting facts about this mesmerizing gemstone.
Most citrine come in a color of pale yellow to yellowish brown hues. The most valuable citrine is known as the madeira citrine which is more of a reddish brown. This hue is mesmerizing to see.
Citrine is the mineral; quartz. Natural citrine is actually very rare these days. In fact, most citrine in the market are heat treated amethysts; also quartz. Even though most citrines are treated, the natural citrines are still an inexpensive & vibrant alternative stone to yellow sapphire. Yellow topaz is another stone that is interchangable with citrine.
According to Chinese feng shui philosophy, it is believed wearing citrine will give abundance and wealth. Citrine is also listed for a lot of healing powers. The wearer can clear their thinking and increase hearing. It's also believed it promotes energy and vitality for the wearer. Whether these are true or not, we can't say. These are just a few of the healing powers of citrine. There are so many wonderful healing attributes to this stone no wonder it's an admired stone.
Next time you're looking for a gift for a friend or family celebrating their birthday in November, consider citrine. Or if you're celebrating your lucky 13th anniversary, set this beautiful stone in a nice ring or pendant.
Like fireworks, you can find every color bouncing out of an opal gemstone. Writers and poets have written about the beauty of opal and all the mysterious beliefs behind it. This gem is definitely unique and mysterious. Opal is one of the birthstones of October. And since it's the first few days of October, we wanted to shine some light on this beautiful colorful gemstone.
Opal has up to 20% of water trapped in it's silica structure. On average, you can find about 5-10% water in most opals. There are two broad classes of opal: precious and common. Precious opals are generally the more common type of opals you will find and it displays "play-of-color" where you can find an array of colors in the gem. Common opals have no display of color.
Play-of-color occurs when sub microscopic spheres are stacked like a grid. The light waves that travel between these microscopic spheres and bends breaks up into the colors of the rainbow. There are many different groups of opals but there are 5 main ones. Which are:
- White or light opal: the play-of-color is against a white or light grey background
- Black opal: the play-of-color is against a black or dark background
- Fire opal: also known as a "Mexican Opal". This type of opal is usually on a brown, red, orange, or yellow body of color.
- Boulder opal: this type of opal is usually has fragments of surrounding rock and on a light to dark background.
- Crystal or water opal: usually on a clear background and you can find the most color in these type of opals. They are usually transparent to semi-transparent.
Most opals are mined in Australia but opals can be found in the U.S., Mexico, South America, and Ethiopia. In fact, these days the main source of opals comes from Ethiopia. The largest and most valuable opal found is 998 grams and valued at around $675,000. This opal is known as the "Olympic Australis" found in 1956 along the "Eight Mile" opal field in Cober Pedy, South Australia.
Not only do opals have such a wide variety, but they also have a long history in myths and beliefs. Our favorite part of a gemstone discovery is the beliefs the ancient and modern world has towards gemstones. Arabic legend believed opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lighting. Somewhat similar to the Bedouins, which believed opals contained lighting in it the actual stone. Ancient Greeks thought opals protected you from disease and gave the gift of prophecy.
There is one superstition behind opals. It states that people born in October should never wear opal because its bad luck. We want to say this is false and does not have any grounds to it because it was written in a novel, Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott, and that's the only place you would find this information. Also, throughout most of history opals are regarded as one of the luckiest and most amazing gemstone due to it reflecting all the colors.
One thing for sure is opals have always symbolized hope, purity and truth. It is also the 14th wedding anniversary. Need some inspiration for a birthday in October or a wedding anniversary coming up, we've got some great opal jewelry. Shop our selection here.