Art Deco Sapphire and Diamond Graduating Stepped Ring, c.1920s
A metal prized for its rarity, whiteness, high tensile strength and insusceptibility to corrosion. It first became widely used in jewellery in the late nineteenth century, when methods were found to make it more easily workable. It features heavily in the delicate Edwardian jewellery of the first decades of the twentieth century.
A blue gemstone and variety of the mineral corundum. A sacred gemstone; Moses was supposedly given the Ten Commandments on a tablet of blue sapphire. Sapphire has since been known as a gemstone that symbolizes wisdom and truthfulness. Sapphires from Kashmir are said to have unrivalled beauty, being a deep cobalt blue colour with a silky look. More recently sapphires have become more popular as an engagement stone following the engagement of Katherine Middleton to Prince William. Kate wears a 12 carat Ceylon sapphire as her engagement ring which was previously owned by Diana Princess of Wales. Read more
A term used to describe a gemstone that has not been subject to any treatment, such as heat treatment.
Derived from the Greek meaning ‘unbreakable’, diamond is a mineral, considered to be the most beautiful and rare of all gemstones. Diamond has been associated with love for centuries.
Named so from the Greek ‘green stone’, emerald is coloured by the trace elements chromium or, less often, vanadium. Emeralds have been mined in Egypt since the 4th century BC. Emerald is a stone that is said to open the heart chakra and symbolize ‘successful love’. It is green variety of the Beryl family, a species that also includes aquamarine, morganite and red beryl. The most desirable emeralds are mined in Muzo, Colombia, though emeralds are also being mined in other areas of South America, Central and Eastern Africa, Madagascar, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Read more
The diamond colour grading scale ranges from D to Z. See The Four C’s for more information.
A weight measurement of a gemstone or gold. The term is derived from the ancient used of carob seeds to balance scales when selling amounts of gold or gemstones. The term is often shortened to ‘ct’.
The section of the ring which fits round the finger. Also known as a band.
One of the most defining characteristics of a diamond is its cut. While high grades of color, clarity, and carat weight affect a diamond, it's the cut that determines the symmetry of the stone's facets, its overall proportions, and its ability to reflect light. An expertly cut diamond will achieve high levels of brilliance, sparkle, and durability. For more information and cut types, see The Four C's.
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