April Birthstone: Diamond
April Birthstone: Diamond
Probably the most famous of all gemstones, the diamond is April’s birthstone. A luxurious gift is great news for anyone born in April, certainly goes some way to making up for it if you’re born on the first ;)
In this article we’re going to look at some of the features of diamond, particularly how to get the most satisfaction when you buy diamond jewellery.
Sections of this article are here with full clickability:
April is diamond birthstone month. Lucky for people with their birthday then. Giving birthstone gifts is always welcome and a nice go-to for a caring present. As April’s birthstone, diamond is especially welcome. I mean who wouldn’t want a diamond gift?
Gifting a diamond is not only incredibly generous, but is a long-term gift that will last for generations. Diamond rings with birthstones are very popular as there is so much choice in shops. Better yet imagine receiving a diamond engagement ring with a birthstone, a really thoughtful gift.
When it comes to choosing diamonds you need to consider the colour, cut and clarity of the stone, your budget, and the look of the stone.
Although there are plenty of online catalogues and internet-based shops to buy diamonds, you are putting your significant investment choice to chance. Not only is the likelihood of a fake increased, but the provenance (and conflict free status) may be unclear or incorrect. There is also a likelihood that you won’t like the stone. So be sure to only buy from the most reputable dealers, do your due diligence on any diamond certification, and only commit to buy if they enable you to look at the stones in person – either through an invitation or a deposit scheme.
Ultimately the diamond you choose – irrespective of it’s colour, cut and clarity, and cost – needs to appeal to you or the person you are giving it to.
The choice is easier to make if you know the setting for your diamond – does the diamond ring look aesthetically balanced and well designed?
Ethically Sourced Diamonds
Fully understanding what ethically sourced diamonds is can be quite complicated. In this section we’re going to break it down to help you decide how ethical you want your diamond to be when you buy it and let your conscience be your guide.
As you know, natural diamonds are formed underground, so the first stage of ethical consideration to look at is the mining operation. This can be understood in two main ways:
The environmental damage of the diamond mine and the damage to the local miners and their communities.
Alluvial Diamond Mining
Diamonds are found in two places: underground or near the ocean or riverbed floor (called alluvial mining). Alluvial mining is sometimes called ‘artisanal’ as it is often conducted by local people. However, the methods are completely unregulated and incredibly damaging to the ocean or riverbed floor. It is often run as part of a black market, using fear and violence to maintain control and exploiting local communities.
Deep Earth Mining
Mining on land also creates massive environmental damage. On average around 1.75 million Kg of earth are extracted per 1 carat of diamond. Mines are located in some of the most fragile ecosystems in the world, where the environmental damage causes huge impacts on local wildlife. The mine creates a lot of spill of by-products into the environment. These include waste water, rock, chemicals, and human waste.
We have all heard of blood diamonds which was brought to the public’s attention thanks to the film with Leonardo DiCaprio. The Kimberley Process has been put in place and continues to work towards conflict free diamonds being sold. The effectiveness of the Process is not fully understood, and it has its share of critics with some saying it is a cover for conflict diamonds. See this piece from the BBC for more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10307046
So where does that leave people wanting to buy a diamond, and be clear of conscience?
I believe sourcing diamonds ethically should be top of any jewellery buyer’s priorities. Avoiding blood diamonds is theoretically possible with thorough sourcing, but unfortunately diamond supply chains are not always as they appear. The only way to be totally sure to have ethically sourced diamonds is to buy lab-grown versions or cubic zirconia.
Selling diamonds is a challenging task when fashions and tastes change. Some exceptional marketing has helped keep people interested in diamonds and help them to continue to sell. Most of the best sales marketing has come from diamond giants De Beers who have done more to add value to the diamond industry than almost any other company. Here are some facts for all you marketing and business geeks out there:
Engagement rings didn’t used to be diamond. Or at least they didn’t have to be.
The phrase “A diamond is forever” – is one of De Beer’s most famous inventions.
Colour, clarity and cut as a means of evaluating diamonds became public knowledge because of De Beers’ advertising.
The rule of thumb of 2 month’s salary spent on an engagement ring was unheard of until it featured in a De Beers advert.
Happily De Beers have also led the way in ethical diamond sourcing and helped to reduce conflict diamonds via the Kimberley Process.
Value of Diamonds
Like most gemstones, diamonds are non-fungible.
Fungibility is the ability to exchange part or all the item for another part of equal value. So my £10 note is worth two of your £5 notes – it’s a straight swap where equal value (£10) is consistently achieved.
In this case we’re talking about diamonds, so fungible would mean I could swap my 1 carat diamond for your 1 carat diamond, or for 2 of your mother’s 0.5 carat diamonds.
Ideally we would all be happy with these swaps, because the diamonds would be fungible. However in reality that’d never happen. Not because swapping carats of diamonds with people I met on the internet is not the best choice, but because diamonds have individual appeal. You might like your 1 carat diamond more than mine – it’s a subjective value. This simply means that some buyers will pay more for a particular stone than others. So the price per carat is not completely comparable diamond stones. This means diamonds are non-fungible.
As they are such popular gemstones with widespread appeal, the amount of fungibility varies a great deal depending on the diamond’s cut, setting, clarity, colour and aesthetic appeal to the diamond buyer.
When you are dressing your fashion shirt, diamond cufflinks are an excellent choice. They can look very formal making them perfect cufflinks for weddings and black tie dinners. When diamond cufflinks are worn with a patterned or brightly coloured shirt, they add a real show of bling.
Buying diamond cufflinks in the UK can be very expensive, so it might be more appropriate to look at created diamond or cubic zirconia cufflinks.
Diamond cufflinks are very likely to be suitable as women’s cufflinks (which can be harder to find than hen’s teeth). The clarity and sparkle of diamonds means they pair perfectly with a lot of outfits, making them an ideal choice for women’s cufflinks.
Styling Diamond Cufflinks
Given the versatility of diamonds, how do you style diamond cufflinks for the greatest effect?
Set off classic formal styles with gold cufflinks with diamonds. Wear a white double cuff shirt for formal clothes style, or a dark red or blue double cuff shirt for a more bohemian formal style.
If you prefer silver diamond cufflinks then a white diamond will look pure and elegant. And if you’re looking for more contemporary cufflinks, why not try a black diamond? Although between us a black spinel will look at least as good, if not better, and will cost a lot less. Or you could try some salt and pepper diamonds. These unique black and white diamonds have lots of black and white inclusions. Although inclusions in diamonds are generally something to be avoided, salt and pepper diamonds have so many that it becomes a sought-after feature of the stones. Getting diamonds with the right balance of white and black is challenging, finding a pair set in cufflinks is even more so.
Diamond Jewellery Gifts for Men
Finding diamond jewellery gifts for men can be difficult. Here are some ideas for some which might appeal:
· Diamond cufflinks are difficult to find, but they are available.
· Some signet rings have small diamonds in
· You might like a diamond earring – Ronaldo style.
· Watches with diamonds are probably the most common, typically the diamonds will be featured as number markers.
· It might be good to have some more creative thinking and try for some black diamond men’s jewellery or some diamond coloured cubic zirconia.
High Quality Diamond Cufflinks
Because diamonds vary in quality a great deal it is not always easy to find high quality diamond cufflinks.
If you are looking for a pair of top quality diamond cufflinks, you should pay a great deal of attention to the diamonds used. They may be very low quality, having poor colour or lots of inclusions. And although you may not notice this at first, what you will notice is the gemstones in the cufflinks look dull and the cufflink jewellery as a whole looks a bit lacklustre or unbalanced. If this is the case, you might be happier with a different gemstone in your jewellery such as created diamond cufflinks.