Karats, or carats, refer to the pure gold content in gold alloys, and is a measurement of the ratio of gold to other metals in the alloy. Other metals in alloys can include copper, silver and palladium, with small amounts of zinc and iridium.
Emerald is part of “top three” coloured gemstone suite, along with ruby and sapphire. These highly coveted gems are prized for their beauty, exceptional colour and fascinating historical provenance.
Emerald, Be3Al2(SiO3)6, is the most precious green coloured gemstone and a member of the beryl gem family, whose members also include aquamarine, morganite, heliodor and goshenite. Trace amounts of chromium and vanadium give emerald its beautiful green colour.
Sapphire is the most precious blue gemstone, and blue is sapphire's most well known colour. But sapphires naturally occur in a rainbow of colours beside various shades of blue: teal, black, white, grey, orange, pink, green, purple, yellow and the rare and extremely valuable Padparadscha (pinkish orange).
Bi-colour or parti sapphires (stones with two colours in the same crystal, eg yellow and blue) occur in Australia as well as Africa (Madagascar, Tanzania and Nigeria).
Salt and pepper diamonds are a great alternative to the traditional white diamond as engagement ring centre stone. They have become a popular choice in contemporary engagement rings due to their uniqueness. Salt and pepper diamonds are natural diamonds that are heavily included. Each one has distinctive markings, some resembling a pattern of stars in the night sky – these are called galaxy diamonds. These black markings are carbon spots, pieces of the diamond that never crystallised properly.
Lab grown diamonds are sustainable, totally conflict free and look identical to natural diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are not imitation diamonds, which are made of non-diamond material. The only chemical difference between lab diamonds and natural diamonds is that most natural diamonds contain tiny amounts of nitrogen, and lab diamonds do not, making them sparkle more and shine brighter. Lab grown diamonds cost on average 30-40% less than natural diamonds, allowing couples to choose a bigger diamond for their engagement ring if they wish.
Diamonds are made of carbon – but there’s something almost supernatural about them. Just the word ‘diamond’ invokes luxury, desirability and toughness. Diamond has been the gemstone of choice for contemporary engagement rings, but did you know, that diamond is not just a sparkly rock? Diamond is the hardest known substance, the greatest conductor of heat, has the highest melting point of any substance (4090°C or 7362°F), and the highest refractive index of any natural mineral, which gives the diamond its 'fire'. Learn more about diamonds from their origins and formation to the 4Cs - carat, colour, clarity and cut, that determine their value.
There are two main types of opal – precious and common. Precious opal displays iridescence, or play of colour, due to the diffraction of light off the tiny, closely packed silica spheres in the atomic lattice of the gem. Common opal does not possess iridescence due to its silica spheres being random in shape, size and arrangement.
Parti sapphire is part of the most important gem family, corundum, which also includes ruby. Sapphires have consistently risen in value and popularity, due to their beauty, durability and versatility. The rarity of parti sapphires makes them valuable, especially bigger stones, and stones with brighter colours. Compared to blue sapphire though, parti sapphire is exceptionally good value. Parti sapphire engagement rings have been rising in popularity due to the gem's exceptional beauty and individuality.
In Sydney, where Lizunova Fine Jewels is located, there are many engagement ring jewellers to choose from. Buying or commissioning a bespoke engagement ring that symbolises your love and commitment is a big decision. For many people, it’s the biggest sum they will spend on a single piece of jewellery in their lifetime and the decision which jeweller to select to make their future heirloom can be daunting. Here's what to look for.
Natural blue topaz can vary in colour from very pale to inky blue, called London Blue, the most valuable of this spectrum. Topaz also naturally occurs in white and amber colours, the latter, Imperial topaz, is highly prized. Blue topaz never crosses into the green spectrum & this teal-coloured wonder is a true gift of nature.
As a bespoke Sydney jeweller, we are seeing a trend of other gemstones, such as parti sapphires, salt and pepper diamonds, blue or fancy colour sapphires, spinels and lab grown diamonds being chosen more and more often over the more traditional natural white diamond in engagement rings. The expression of individuality and exceptional value that a gemstone engagement ring provides sees couples stepping away from the tradition.