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  • Colored Gemstones Are Taking Center Stage

     

     

    Don’t be like the rest of them darling.” - Coco Chanel. 

    In the wise words of Coco Chanel herself, being different and being daring is what gives life it’s luster. Although diamonds may be your best friend, colored gemstones are adding lots of sparkle when it comes to engagement rings, milestone jewelry and heirloom pieces. 

    Colored gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, colored diamonds and emeralds are some of the rarest and most precious stones to own. Check out this historic 6-carat Farness Blue Diamond to get an idea. 

    Today, Millennials are changing the engagement ring market quite a bit, as we are beginning to see a shift in engagement ring preferences. Although brilliant diamonds still reign supreme, more and more gemstone seekers are opting for colored stones and rings made out of unique materials. 

    A Bit of History

    Engagement rings originated in Rome and interestingly enough, did not originally include diamonds, but instead, colored gemstones. It wasn’t until the late 1940’s that diamonds gained popularity. As a matter of fact, pastel colored diamonds are quickly gaining popularity this year. Check out our Latest Trends for 2021 to learn more. 

    The Sapphire

    When it comes to adding color to your jewelry ensemble, there’s more that meets the eye than hue alone. Take Sapphires for example. Arguably, the gemstone of royalty, and often associated with a deep blue color, hello Kate Middleton, Sapphires actually come in every color, with the exception of red. Due to their hardness, sapphires are the second hardest (non-diamond) gem, as well as the most sought after. Their deep rich color and complex properties make them an excellent choice when it comes to creating an engagement ring, milestone gift, or simply as a way to say I love you to your Valentine. Check out this ocean blue Sapphire ring for inspiration.

     

    Emeralds

    It may not be easy being green, but if you’re an emerald, it sure is beautiful. Understood to be Cleopatra’s gem of choice, Emerald gemstones range in green shades from light to a deep dark color. Like Sapphire’s, Emeralds have a hardness of 8, though do require a little extra TLC. Their unique inclusions and fractures require a routine tune up of oil and filler, but their stunning color makes it all worth it. Check out this stunning Oval Emerald Engagement Ring with a Diamond Halo.

     

    Rubies

    A gemstone by any other name, wouldn’t look so sweet. It may come as no surprise the rubies are often associated with love and the heart, which make this gemstone the most universally romantic. When set in an engagement ring, it makes a striking statement. Like a Sapphire, it’s hardness and durability make it a great choice for an engagement ring setting.  According to GemSociety, “Pigeon blood red,” a slightly purplish red with a medium-dark tone and vivid saturation, is the most sought after ruby color. Check out this incredible Art Deco Ruby Ring or these Ruby Earrings with a Diamond Halo

     

    Colored Diamonds

    Did you know Roughly 1 in 10,000 diamonds exhibits natural color? Those with the most intense colors are prized more highly and, thus, cost more. Colored diamond options include bold canary yellow, sparkling pink, pastel green, eye-catching black, and champagne. Pink diamonds rank among the most expensive according to Gem Society due to their muted, yet sophisticated color. Perhaps this Yellow Oval Diamond Ring will make your heart beat a little faster. 

    Looking to give someone you love the gift of a lifetime? Book a no stress appointment today. We look forward to helping you create a one-of-a-kind piece. 

    Merci,

    Set F.

    Founder of La Bijouterie

  • From Clicks to Bricks- A Modern Day Tale of Consumer Buying

     

    Picture Source: Unsplash

     

    If you’ve ever considered the pros and cons of buying a diamond online versus in person, you may be interested to know that Blue Nile, one of the largest online retailers of diamonds, just announced  plans to grow its showroom presence from five to 55 locations within the next three years. Others are also dipping their toes back in the showroom waters, according to The International Council of Shopping Centers.

     

    This brings us to the question of why. As a company, we’ve always believed in the value of in-person shopping, especially as it relates to something as important and meaningful as an engagement ring. Ten years ago, when La Bijouterie was formed, we made the purposeful decision to open a brick and mortar location, not an online store, because we value the importance of helping customers in person, especially when making one the biggest and most emotionally charged decisions of their lives. It seems as though today’s consumers value the same.

     

    According to CBRE Retail Services Group Senior Vice President Danny Jacobson, “all retail is reimagining their store experience, and showrooms are a way to draw more people into their space or to supplement their online offering.” Consumers are wising up to the uncomfortable at best, rules around buying a diamond online, and companies like Blue Nile, implementing the rules, are taking a hit because of it. 

     

    For instance, did you know that online diamond stores do not offer any quality guarantee? If something is in fact wrong with the diamond you purchased, (say an imperfection you weren’t expecting, or the color is off), it would result in you overpaying for a diamond you thought was a great deal. The truth is there is a lot to consider outside of the 4Cs that someone who isn’t in the diamond profession would have no way of knowing. 

     

    This brings us to quality. A diamond should be inspected top to bottom with a magnifying glass by both the jeweler and the buyer, so you have a clear understanding of what you’re actually purchasing. An online website has no pressure to offer you a top quality diamond at a reasonable price since there is no official face to the brand. No one person's name or livelihood is on the line.

     

    Although the customer experience may be at the forefront of why mega online retailers are opening brick and mortar stores, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the need to offset the monetary ramifications of the Tax Lawthat was recently implemented for online diamond retailers. 

     

    More than anything else, placing trust in the establishment you’re buying your diamond from is of utmost importance as it goes hand in hand with the customer experience you hope to receive. 

     

    Buying a diamond online means making one of the biggest financial purchases of your life completely blind. As you might imagine, it takes years to understand and learn how to evaluate a diamond, which is why buying online can be so tricky and unforgiving. 

     

    Do you really want an AI bot determining the future ring or earrings your partner will wear for the rest of their life? Do yourself a favor and go with a jeweler that prides themselves on the customer service they offer, and has many repeat customers. Having a tangible location allows us to meet you in person (safely), and help you every step of the way. 

     

    Have questions? Leave them below or book a no stress appointment to get your questions answered in real time. In the meantime, check out our reviews on Google and Yelp

     

    We can’t wait to see 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