san francisco diamonds

  • 2019 Celebrity Engagement Ring Trends

    From JLo to Katy Perry, and Jennifer Lawrence to Hailey Bieber, it seems that this year’s 2019 celebrity rings are all the rage. And with one quick glance it’s easy to tell why...

    Let’s start with the ring that rocked internet, or should we say the rock that broke it.

     

    EMERALD CUT

     

     

    Jennifer Lopez dropped jaws showing off this massive emerald cut number just a couple weeks ago. Measuring between 10 to 15 carats, a diamond like this is worth roughly $1.5- $3 million, but it all depends on the 4 C’s.

     

     

    Speaking of Emerald cuts, Jennifer Lawrence dazzles in this beautiful number. Her ring has a refined elegance that fits her hand beautifully. We image it being around 1.75 to 2 carats and costing anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000.

     

    If Emerald diamonds are speaking to you, check out our Instagram page here, and get the look.

     

     

    ART DECO

     

    This art deco inspired engagement ring has Katy Perry’s name all over it. The flower shaped ring top is not only a nod to her beau’s last name, it’s the perfect compliment to her beautiful personality. This look is made with over 4 carats worth of diamonds, including a stunning pink center diamond.

     

    Looking for something a little different? Check out our selection here.

     

     



    TIMELESS

     

    Cushion Cut

    Katherine Schwarzenegger's is no stranger to the spotlight due to her famous parents, and this stunning ring won’t be keeping her out of it anytime soon! We love the classic cushion cut, with a delicate diamond halo to complete the look.

     

     

    Check out some of our favorite cushion cuts here.

     

     

    Oval Cut

     

     

    Talk about “Loving Yourself”, Justin Bieber’s now wife, Hailey Bieber must be feeling pretty good about herself with that incredible diamond around her finger. Oval cuts are still ranking high on this year’s trend list and with a cut like that, we totally get why.

     

    Check out a few of our oval favorites here.

     

     

    Do you have a favorite of the bunch? Leave us a comment below and let us know! As always, you can make an appointment here.

     

    ~ LB

  • CLASS IS IN SESSION: THE 4 C’S OF DIAMOND BUYING

     

    Ah yes, summer is almost here and love is in the air. This time of year is famous for intimate proposals and big celebrations. If you’re thinking of popping the big question in the coming months, make sure you do your homework to educate yourself around what to look for when it comes to buying the perfect diamond. 

    If you can’t list the “4 C’s” of diamond buying off hand, that’s okay… check out our guide below and feel empowered the next time you step into a jewelry store. 

    So what exactly are the 4 C’ of diamond buying?

    CUT- how the diamond is essentially shaped

    CLARITY - A scale that determines how clear the diamond is, vs how many imperfections or how much cloudiness exists-- aka: how sparkly the diamond is

    CARAT- The weight of the diamond

    COLOR- A scale which measure how closely the diamond approach colorlessness

    Bonus C: COST- A lot goes into determining this amount. This is an area jewelers get certified in and should be able to explain to you in detail. 

    Let’s being with CUT:

    The cut of the diamond determines how well it reflects light. When a diamond is well cut, the light is reflected from one facet to another, and is then dispersed through the top of the stone, making the diamond dazzling to the eye. However, if a diamond is cut too deep some of the light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion, brilliance is lost, and the center of the diamond will appear dark. If a diamond is cut too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected, again brilliance is lost and the diamond will appear glassy and dark.

    Cut is the hardest aspect for any diamond cutter or polisher to master, however modern day certificates assist you in making the right decision. GIA (gemological institute of america) is the most respected of all diamond certificates and assesses cut ranging from excellent as the best all the way down to poor as the worst. At La Bijouterie, we strictly work with excellent cut diamonds that have been hand picked to maximize brilliance. Hearts and arrows are a modern term commonly used by most industry workers as a way for the public to view and see eight hearts from the back of a diamond, and eight clearly viable arrows.

    At La Bijouterie, we're Certified Diamond Graders from the Gemological Institute of America and the Diamond High Council in Antwerp. It is our duty to show you and explain to you why one diamond's cut is better than another.

    CLARITY

    Each and every diamond is one of a kind. No single diamond is absolutely perfect under 10× magnification (under a loupe), except for diamonds that have been graded 'flawless' by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). These are extremely rare, so much so that most jewelers have never even seen one let alone sold one! The GIA clarity scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the vs (very slightly included) or si (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.The grades range from flawless to included as follows:

    • Flawless (fl) - no inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.

    • Internally flawless (if) - no inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.

    • Very, very slightly included (vvs1 and vvs2) – inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification.

    • Very slightly included (vs1 and vs2) – inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.

    • Slightly included (si1 and si2) – inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification.

    • Included (i1, i2, and i3) – inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.

    CARAT

    Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into the first and second of the C’s, cut and clarity, let’s move on to carat weight, and no, we’re not talking about the kind you put in a salad. (wink!)

    Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams. A carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. However, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values depending on the other factors (clarity, color, cut and other dimensions).

    COLOR

    Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color in the white diamond, then the higher the value. GIA's color grading scale for diamonds is the industry and international standard. 

    The scale begins with the letter d, representing colorless, and continues with increasing color to the letter z, which is essentially light yellow or brown. Each letter grade isn't an exact color, but it is a range of color, meaning a diamond of d color at the top of the range will be whiter, while a diamond near the bottom of the range will look more like an e color. 

    It takes a diamond expert to distinguish these differences. White diamond engagement rings are the most sought after. If you are considering a white diamond, g-h color diamonds are most popular as they do not display a yellow tinge. i to j color diamonds could also look white under natural daylight (sunlight), and there are multiple ways that an expert designer can set the diamond in order to make any hint of yellow undetectable.

    Bonus: COST!

    Although not an official C, we consider cost just as important as the rest. An experienced jeweler can help you prioritize what is most important to you and your significant other, (say diamond size perhaps), and find you the best options given your criteria and budget. Pricing a diamond is much more complicated than it seems. 

    We encourage clients, especially those considering the online route, to conduct a little experiment...

    1. Go to a well-known online diamond retailer website.

    2. Enter in the a carat size, color, clarity, and cut into the provided filters (the 4 C's). If you're unsure where to begin, we recommend entering in a carat weight of 1.00, color G, clarity VVS1, and excellent cut. Press search.

    3. Notice the results they give you are vast. Even though the diamonds you are seeing have the exact same specifications, their prices range by the thousands.

    4. Decide which one you should choose and why.

    Of course this is easier said than done.The idea of this exercise is to simply show you how complicated it is to choose a diamond. At La Bijouterie, we love helping our customers find the exact diamond that fits any budget and any style, and one that will impress the person on the receiving end.

    When it comes to customer experience, you can rest assured that your satisfaction is our utmost concern and that your happiness is our singular focus. Curious to learn more? Book an appointment today and check out our reviews on Yelp. We can’t wait to serve you!

    ~ The LB Team

  • Diamond Shopping During a Pandemic

     

     

    From groceries, to everyday supplies, there is no denying that online purchases have saved the day amid this pandemic, and rightfully so. This uptick in online purchasing has recently brought to light the question of whether buying a diamond online is a smart move, and if not, why? We’re here to answer that question and explain why you may want to think twice before adding that diamond to your online cart and book your in person appointment with a trusted retailer instead.

    Did you know that diamonds with the same GIA grade can greatly differ in quality and in price? To understand how this is possible, it’s important to first remember that a GIA certificate is still an educated option. Basically these reports have a list of caveats protecting the grading authority from legal action resulting from inaccuracy. 

    But why the inaccuracy? Well, we’re glad you asked. The general rule applied to grade intolerance in diamond reports, ie) GIA,  is one grade for both color and clarity. This means that a 1 carat diamond graded as a G SI1, may vary in color from F, (the top end of the grading scale), to an H, the bottom end. 

    Similarly, the SI1 clarity rating may vary from VS2 at the top end, to SI2 at the bottom. As you might imagine, this range in a G SI1 diamond can create quite the quality and pricing difference, a 56% price difference to be exact. 

    This example demonstrates that two different diamonds, with the same grading, can reflect two very different prices while still being graded with accepted international standards. Without the help of a professional diamond retailer, it’s almost impossible to determine accurate quality and cost. 

    Color and clarity tolerance can account for very different levels in price when comparing diamonds in stores or on a website. Color and clarity grading is not exact science, the grading is subjective. The only part of diamond grading that is absolutely objective is diamond weight. 

    Now, GIA cut grading is considering the industry standard, with the highest being a triple Excellent cut. This takes into consideration cut or proportion, polish, symmetry and fluorescence.  

    Likewise, there is no universal sliding scale that can calculate a diamond's diminished value due to cut and polish differences. 

    What about fancy cut diamonds? 

    Clarity and color grading are treated the same with fancy shaped diamonds such as pear and heart shaped, as they are with brilliant. The difference is the cut of a fancy shape diamond is more subjective. GIA does not assign cut grades to fancy shaped diamonds because they’re are too many variables to consider. Instead they are inspected to see how pleasing they are to the naked eye. They lose value if they are misshapen, too long, too short, too deep or too shallow. All of which will result in a lack of brilliance. 

    Diamonds have value in terms of cash money, and obviously a strictly graded diamond is more valuable than a poorly rated diamond. There is always a reason why one diamond is less expensive than another. More often than not, potential buyers believe the difference in price is due to retail margins, however the most common reason for price inequality is diamond inequality. Be sure you’re asking these important questions to any diamond retailer you work with.

    The most important thing to consider is to buy the diamond and the dealer, not just the diamond report. Diamond reports do not assign dollar amounts, they only describe diamond characteristics. Remember, no two diamonds are alike, and strictly graded diamonds provide more value and are worth every extra penny. 

    At La Bijouterie, we take a personalized 1:1 in-person appointment approach. We adopted this way of conducting business  over 6 years ago because it allows us to educate the potential buyer and it has proven to be most successful. Now more than ever, customers are seeing the value of dedicated and uninterrupted appointments. It’s a time to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.   

    Interested in setting up a Phase I appointment? You can do so here. To learn more about the “Reasons To Think Twice Before Purchasing a Diamond Online,” click here. Want to learn about the 4 C’s of Diamond purchasing, click here. As always, reach out to us with any questions you may have. We love hearing from you! 

    ~ LB

     

  • The Future of Lab Grown Diamonds vs Real Diamonds

     

    “I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.”- Horatio Nelson Jackson, American Physician and Automobile Pioneer  

    At La Bijouterie, we believe in innovation, as it’s the key to success in almost any industry. When Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD) joined the greater diamond discussion a few years ago, we knew it was time to start educating our customers in new ways, and share the depth of knowledge we have about the diamond industry as a whole. It was time to focus on the future. Because of this, we have an obligation to be upfront and factual in the information we share, and present it in a way that is unbiased and educational as it relates to Lab Grown vs Real Diamonds. 

    Educating our clients brought up many questions, but one in particular we feel is worth a longer explanation...

    What place does a lab made diamond have in the future, especially compared to real, naturally occurring diamonds? 

    Our hope is this blog post will be part of that greater conversation for you. Know that the best way to find out the answer to this question is to book a virtual or in-person 1:1appointment to further the discussion in order to make your own educated decision. Then you will have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you’d like.

    What is a Lab Grown Diamond (LGD)?

    A lab-grown diamond is a man-made product that shares the chemical and optical properties of natural diamonds, but whose origin and value differ greatly. Lab-grown diamonds are produced in factories in approximately 2-3 weeks using one of two methods originally developed in the 1960s for industrial purposes – HPHT and CVD. These methods artificially replicate natural conditions found in the Earth, forcing carbon atoms into a crystal structure. In more recent years, technology improvements have allowed factories to produce lab-grown diamonds in qualities that allow for uses beyond industrial. (Source)

    So Are LGDs Actual Diamonds?

    Although their chemical structure is the same as a natural diamond, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a lab-created diamond cannot be called “real” because it does not come from the Earth and it is not a gemstone. (Source)

    By this point, you may be feeling confused. How are you supposed to make a decision on whether to move forward with a naturally occurring diamond, (and which one?) vs one that is Lab Grown? Why is the word diamond in the title if they are not in fact diamonds? Do real diamonds hold their value? What about pricing? The environment? 

    Other Expert Opinions

    In trying to differentiate natural diamonds from the lab grown alternative, theNatural Diamond Council quite truthfully underscores natural diamonds rarity.

    “Natural diamonds are finite and rare. Diamonds are becoming rarer every day because no new significant deposits have been discovered in about 30 years,” it states. “However, lab-grown diamonds can be manufactured in potentially unlimited quantities similar to any manufactured product, thus they are not finite and cannot be considered rare.”

    To which, the NDC adds, “Natural diamonds obtain their value from their scarcity as a natural, billion-year-old precious gem and have shown over decades to grow in value as they become more rare.”

    There are a lot of things to consider here, and we’ve found one of the most important things to consider is Price vs Value. 

    Price vs Value

    In its 2019 report, Bain gave more specifics, noting the lab-grown market grew 15% to 20% in 2019, following a similar trajectory in 2018.

    That increase is credited to “the widening price differential of lab-grown diamonds versus natural ones and campaigns that leveraged the ‘green’ benefits of manufactured stones,” the report states.(Source)

    When it comes to value, you can’t put a price on rarity. As basic economics states, once demand goes up, and inventory goes down, price goes up. So where does this leave us, as each claim they are better than the other for different reasons? More importantly, where does the future of Lab Grown Diamonds lie? Well that answer is entirely up to you as the consumer. 

    At La Bijouterie, our sole purpose is to help couples achieve a milestone moment in their lives any way we can. We believe in quality over quantity, and educating always. Before pulling the trigger on such an important decision,book a no stress 30 minute 1:1 appointment.

    At Your Service,

    Set F.

    Founder, La Bijouterie