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Our Diamonds: The Loveliest Gift of All.

Ever since it was first incorporated into fine jewellery roughly a thousand years ago, diamonds have adorned the royal, the noble, and the exquisite. Diamonds have never lost their charm, and have never been out of fashion.

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What is it about diamonds that makes us swoon whenever we see it? The obvious answer is the impressive sparkle. The bedazzling appearance of a well cut, beautifully set diamond is enough to entice even the humblest of hearts.

Today the diamond still stands as the king of gemstones and the ultimate aspiration. Its durability, being the hardest substance on Earth, makes it the everlasting gift that can be passed on for generations. No wonder that it symbolises unconditional and everlasting love.

As a jewellery designer, I have the privilege of assisting my clients with choosing their engagement and wedding rings, as well as their milestone gifts (to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, new-born members of the family etc.). In other words, their precious heirlooms that will accompany them throughout their lives, and act as symbols of their love.

Most often, the token in question is an engagement ring. This is always an exciting and pleasant experience for me, not to mention the client! Deciding what the ring should look like can be quite daunting. There are so many different styles of rings to choose from, that it seems almost impossible that any woman could possible decide on just one engagement ring, and love it for years to come. The best place to start when choosing an engagement ring is with the diamond. The shape and size of the diamond greatly influences the dimensions of the engagement ring.

If you are a buying an engagement ring with the idea of it being a surprise, it is a good idea to make sure that you know what your intended fiancé would most prefer concerning the characteristics of their diamond. Is she the type of person who would want the highest purity and colour, or would she prefer to have the biggest diamond that your budget can allow, whether it be top white or not? Would she prefer the traditional solitaire, or way out of the ordinary?

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When in doubt, my advice is always to keep it simple. A well made, 6-claw solitaire ring, set with a round brilliant cut diamond will always be beautiful and tasteful, and if it is well designed, it can be worn with any wedding ring. Other rings can be added later to act as enhancements for it. This in turn creates lovely opportunities for amazing birthday and anniversary gifts.

A solitaire does not need to be all traditional though. There are many different and elegant ways, besides the traditional 6-claw design, to set a diamond. The shape and thickness of the ring, openness and shape of the setting, and the finish (or texture) of the metal can all be manipulated to add unique qualities to an engagement ring, without cluttering it. Platinum especially offers endless possibilities as it is such a strong, durable precious metal.

Another way of ensuring that you have a unique solitaire ring is to have a diamond that is a less run of the mill cut. Round Brilliant Cut diamonds are by far the most commonly used, followed by Princess and Emerald Cut diamonds. Few couples even consider having an Oval, Pear or Marquise Cut set in their engagement ring.

One particular option which I would like to highlight is to have a solitaire engagement ring set with a Cushion Cut diamond. This specific cut is rapidly increasing in popularity as more and more people are discovering its beauty. Cushion Cuts, also known as Old Mine Cuts, are four sided, deep square or rectangular diamonds with rounded edges. The appearance is softer than a princess or Emerald Cut, and it has the same sparkle as a Round Brilliant Cut. Another benefit is that fancy cut diamonds are more affordable per carat than a Round Brilliant cut of the same weight, clarity and colour.

So if you ever find yourself in the thrilling position of choosing an engagement ring, keep these thoughts in mind as you choose your own beautiful heirloom.

At Mark Solomon Jewellers and Gemologists, we pride ourselves in having the largest collection of diamonds and fine, handmade diamond jewellery in Cape Town.

At Mark Solomon Jewellers exceptional quality is always the first priority – each piece specifically designed to be worn comfortably, and to make the most of the diamond it displays.