The color of Diamonds

Colorless, white, yellow, pink, blue, black… the natural diamonds can get many colors throughout their process of formation over the years.

Harry Winston Bridal ring
Harry Winston Bridal engagement ring

We often talk about the carats or the cut of a diamond, but when we determine the value of such a precious gem, we need to consider also its color. Color is one of the fundamental attributes of a diamond.

The white diamonds

White or colorless diamonds exist on a scale of many different shades, ranging from brilliant white (or colorless) to pale yellow, going through brownish. These subtle differences are graded on a color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).

De Beers color scale of diamonds
Color scale of Diamonds from D to Z (De Beers)

Experts in the world of diamonds determine the color by comparing a diamond against a master set of diamonds of different colors. Without comparing diamonds side by side, it is very difficult to see the difference between a D and a G. A natural colorless diamond graded D is extremely rare to find. It means that the stone wasn’t affected by any alteration or inclusions. Therefore its price is pretty high. Today 1 carat of diamond in D color and IF clarity amounts $17.250!

The differences between the colors are due to alteration of the Carbon molecule. During the long process of formation of a diamond throughout the years, some alterations may occur, such as inclusions of other elements in the crystalline structure, physical deformation of the crystal lattice, radiation, or a combination of causes. All this affects how a stone absorbs and reflects various wavelengths of light. In the case of the yellow diamonds, the change of color is due to a substitution of a Carbon atom by some Nitrogen atoms. In the case of brown diamonds, the atoms of Nitrogen are distributed in a random way within the crystal.

The fancy diamonds

This name is given to diamonds that present some Nitrogen saturation in their crystalline composition. They have been exposed over billions of years to heat, high pressure, natural radiation and the saturation of natural elements. It is said that just one in every 10,000 natural diamonds can be classified as a fancy color diamond. These incredibly rare processes result in beautiful tones and deep saturations of color: deep yellow, pink, blue, brown, gray, green, orange. In the case of a blue diamond, some atoms of Boron are also present in the lattice structure. Some of the famous colored fancy diamonds are:

  • The Tiffany yellow diamond of 287 carats was worn lately at the 91st Oscar ceremony by Lady Gaga.
  • The blue Hope diamond of 45.52 carats was bought by the well-known jeweler, Harry Winston. Later on, he donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
  • The pink Star diamond of nearly 60 carats was purchased lately by Isaac Wolf in a New York Sotheby’s auction for $83 million. Quite a record!

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Trend Watch: Inhorgenta 2018, Jewelry Trade Show Munich, Germany

The international Jewelry Trade Fair took place last week in Munich, Germany and once again we witnessed the most brilliant facets of industry excellence with its renewed creativity in contemporary jewelry. We were amazed by the absolute focus on modern design, the variety of materials used, the delicate execution of pieces and, most of all, the use of 3D technology in manufacturing. With these many highlights this year, Inhorgenta truly established itself as one of the greatest international forums for modern, fresh jewelry design.

The Trends in Germany

gellner_starsinheaven_black steel
Gellner Ring Stars in heaven in black steel

German jewelry brands continue to explore modern, contemporary jewelry designs. With their long tradition of goldsmith manufacturing and expertise in gem cutting and setting, we greatly admired the work of numerous fine jewelry designers using, for example, fine layers of matte gold to create rings and necklaces or blackened stainless steel and white ceramic mixed with gold in the designs of spectacular rings.

Niessing lucia ring
Niessing Lucia engagement ring with a floating diamond

A special mention must be made of Niessing, a German jewelry manufacturer who, in its return to the fair after long years of absence, presented – for a superb gold and platinum collection titled Mirage. This new collection won the Red Dot Designer Award 2017 and its Lucia engagement ring with a floating diamond set in gold was nominated for the Inhorgenta Award 2018. Here, the growing expertise in the use of 3D technologies for jewelry design and manufacturing is perfectly clear.

Niessing Mirage Pendant and Brooch
Niessing Mirage necklace and brooch high tech jewels

 

 

The Mystery of Pearls

The beauty and mysterious charm of pearls lie in different important criteria. For instance, it is the luster or sheen of a pearl that grants its uniqueness. Furthermore, the shimmer that emanates from the pearl is often what seduces our eye and this attribute is a main contributor in determining the quality and the price of a pearl.

A pearl’s shape also has a major influence on its value. One that is perfectly round or irregularly shaped may be particularly sought after.

As far as color is concerned, this will depend on the origin of the pearl: white pearls from Australia, yellow from the Philippines, black for those from Tahiti.

Overall however, the global fascination for pearls stems not only from these criteria but also from the emotions they provoke when they are seen. At Inhorgenta in particular, the luxury pearl brand Schoeffel must be mentioned. With its reputation for unique and exquisite collections that make use of the most lustrous and beautiful pearls on the market, we were especially captivated by the delicate fusion of white and black Tahitian pearls with fine diamonds.

Schoeffel pearl necklace
Schoeffel Tahiti pearls and diamonds necklace and earrings

Rings Take the Lead

This year, we were once again in awe of the Angela Hübel rings collection. Her mastery of geometry, curved lines, and delicate shapes was embodied in a variety of prized designs. In particular, Hübel’s bold jewels in yellow gold using a single major colored stone were absolutely mesmerizing – a dream to be worn as a unique piece.

Angela Huebel ring
Angela Hübel ring with a garnet  marquise cut and diamonds

On the whole, it is without a doubt that the sparkle of this fair makes it a must-see in the jewelry industry.

CREDITS: Inhorgenta 2018, Gellner, SchoeffelAngela Hübel rings, Oggdesign Jewelry Barcelona

 

 

 

Diamonds, more diamonds please!

Cannes 2017 cover

 

Glamour, beauty and elegance

The 70th Cannes Film Festival has just come to an end and this year glamour, beauty, and elegance met on the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals more than ever before.

Cannes is well known as the most brilliant Spring event of the film industry. It is the time when the Croisette welcomes actresses, models, muses, influencers and starlets to walk the red carpet and, above all, to exercise la ‘Montée des Marches’. It is therefore the perfect opportunity for fashion designers to show off not only the latest and greatest of the season, but also for high end jewelry brands to unveil their most impressive and spectacular creations.

This year, Chopard, Bulgari, Piaget, de Grisogono and Chaumet graced the most stunning it-women. Diamonds were largely the stone of choice of our favorite stars – a totally understandable preference. The brilliance and glow of these most precious stones enhanced the jaw-dropping effect of dress, hairstyle and makeup combinations. In particular, long earrings and prominent necklaces were the main keynotes of this exceptional showcase.

Here is a closer look at OggDESIGN’s favorite jeweled stars of the Festival:

Adriana Lima

 Adriana Lima2

Adriana Lima wore an impressive bib necklace from the high jewelry collection by the Swiss brand Chopard with 163.85 carats of white diamonds and diamond stud at the premiere of Loveless. We found this piece so magnificent for the sheer multitude of same size stones that composed it. The number of hours that must have been required for setting make it especially unique.

Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman

 

Uma Thurman wore spectacular earrings in white gold, set with two oval-cut pink spinels, oval-cut pink sapphires and diamonds by the French high jeweler Chaumet. We were captivated not only by the curvy shape, but also by the balance that is struck with these curves and a classic, timeless style. The mix of the rose tones of spinel and the pink of sapphires add to the piece’s desirability.

 

Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratawosky

Emily Ratajkowski wore two necklaces from the high jewelry collection by the Italian Bulgari. Like many other pieces showcased at Cannes, we were most taken with not only the surprising mix of new with vintage jewelry design but also the mixing of stones. Here, the happy marriage between diamonds, pearls, rubies and emeralds at the opening ceremony is striking.

 

Sara Sampaio

sara sampaio

 

The beautiful Sara Sampaio wore pear cut diamond earrings of the high jewelry Collection by the Swiss jeweler de Grisogono at the opening ceremony. We most loved how these were carefully curated as the perfect highlight to enhance her bared neck.

 

Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid

 

It-girl Bella Hadid wore a classic necklace with a 180-carat cabochon sapphire and over 28 carats of pavé diamonds by Bulgari at the opening ceremony. One cannot help but be immediately struck by the rarity and exceptionality such a weighty sapphire holds in itself.

 

Elizabeth Olsen

 Elizabeth Olsen

The irresistible Elizabeth Olsen wore, in a very original manner, diamond earrings from the high jewelry collection by Chopard at the premiere of The Square – the festival winning film. We were inspired by the feminine round and spiral shapes of the earrings.

Jessica Chastain

 Jessica Chastain
The sensational Jessica Chastain wore a refined and elegant white gold, ruby and diamond necklace from the new high jewelry Sunlight Journey collection by the classic French Piaget at the opening dinner. Here, the rectangular rubies in baguette cut is very original and add to the geometric composition for a creation of extreme elegance.

Kristina Bazan

Kristina Bazan2

 

The Swiss and L.A. based influencer Kristina Bazan wore a necklace with diamonds and an 80-carat pear-shaped beryl from the high jewelry collection by Chopard at the premiere of The Killing of a Sacred Deer. We found the size of the pear-shaped beryl in green turquoise most remarkable.

 

 

Coco König

Coco König

The young Austrian actress Coco König wore a pair of butterfly earrings in 18ct white gold featuring 6 white pearls and diamonds from the Animal World collection by Chopard. She paired these with a ring in 18ct white gold set with diamonds from the For You collection and a ring in 18ct white gold featuring a round brilliant-cut diamond, all by Chopard. We adored this introduction of fresh, modern style but were equally impressed with how the pieces simultaneously remained fine and very delicate.

No doubt that this Cannes edition has been incredibly dazzling. Yet, a timeless truth remains: diamonds are everyone’s best friend.

Credits: Harper’s Bazaar, Chopard, Bulgari, de Grisogono, Piaget, Chaumet.

The most incredible jewelry of all time: from the Great Mughals to the Maharajahs !

Moghul blog cover

FIVE centuries of jewelry tradition

This spring the Grand Palais in Paris witnessed an impressive jewelry exhibition. With a showcase of more than 250 exceptional pieces, the Al Thani Collection display immersed the public in time travel through the Indian jewelry tradition from the Mughal period to the modern day. Beyond doubt, the curation presented a true observation of the evolution of taste, traditions, and techniques of the jewelry making art. Here is OggDESIGN’s summary of the FIVE greatest takeaways from the expo.

1. India: home to natural gemstones

The South Asian culture, in which gems and jewels are an integral aspect of daily wear, is partly the result of natural coincidence. The region, after millions of years of geological changes, has been and is still home to a vast trove of natural gemstones: fine diamonds were found in the Deccan, Kashmir produced sapphires of the most beautiful hue, and Badakhshan was home to the most prized spinels. Sapphires and rubies were available from nearby Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Burma (Myanmar), and pearls became accessible through trade with the Persian Gulf. Similarly, emeralds gravitated to India through commercial exchange, brought by European merchants after their discovery in Colombian mines. Furthermore, India always supplemented its gold deposits of gold through its exports and exchanges of antiquities, spices and textiles. It is no surprise therefore that with so many natural precious resource the people from India have developed the knowhow and the love for these precious treasures.

 2. Gemstone significance

The exhibition was keen to emphasise that jewelry in India goes beyond mere adornment. Every gem has significance in reflecting a cosmic purpose or invoking a favourable horoscope: connected to the major planets, it was in particular believed that these gems could influence one’s destiny. For example, diamonds were said to propel long life and success.

Similarly, sapphires were associated with health, rubies with vitality, emeralds with intellect, and pearls with emotional stability and creativity. One cannot help but appreciate the similarities where, in popular culture particularly, particular forms of jewelry also serve to reflect rank, caste, region, marital status, or wealth.

3. Courtly riches

The Al Thani curation also highlighted how precious metals and gemstones were used in occasion pieces at court, especially in ceremonial apparel, weapons or furnishings. Indeed, when Europeans arrived at the Mughal court, they were notably overwhelmed by the richness of these Mughal treasures, which were especially evident in the abundance of jewels on the emperor himself and all his surroundings. Pieces such as these came to characterize the richness of Mughal court life, as such becoming historic documents themselves for the enlightenment of all generations.

4. The Kundan stone setting technique

In the period of design covered by the showcase, much Indian jewelry was characterized by Kundan: a technique in which gems are set in gold without the use of a prong. Instead, strips of malleable pure gold are used to fashion the mount, forming a molecular bond around the gem.

This process meant that the gemstones in Indian jewelry are typically closed-set. In turn this led to a striking contrast in gem cutting with the West: instead of fashioning into symmetrical shapes, in India stones were cut to retain as much of their size as possible, where the setting was not thought to enhance the preciosity and purity of the stones.

5. Western Influence: Jacques Cartier

In the 19th century, fashionable Indian jewelry became increasingly shaped by Western influence. This was evident in design, gem faceting and gem mounting – which gave way to the open, Western-style claw settings for holding precious stones. Throughout this period, many European jewelers collected indigenous pieces while in India, which they often re-mounted or re-set to make use of the exotic style of these original pieces. The markedly different aesthetic of Indian jewelry also began to inspire the most avant-garde creations made in the West. This influence can for example be discerned by the use of magnificent gemstones in the Art Deco movement (an OggDESIGN favorite) as symbols of the past Indian exuberance. In particular, Jacques Cartier travelled to India in 1911 with the hope of finding new clients and fresh sources of precious stones. His sustained contact with Indian princes led to some of the greatest commissions executed by his firm. Almost immediately, the firm started to supply maharajas with stock products and customized creations. From this moment, Cartier confirmed his savoir-faire in high jewelry and became the jeweler of the kings, the princes, the aristocracy and all prominent people.

 

Oeil du Tigre

oeil du tigre

Ornamental Turban Tiger, a creation by Cartier London 1937, Platinum and diamonds brooch with a diamond Tiger eye of 61,50 cts.

Maharajah’s Portrait

 

Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV-887639

Portrait of Maharajah Sir Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar Bahadur, 1906, wearing jewelry with pearls, diamonds and emeralds.

Emerald

Broche emerald

Brooch, designed by Paul Iribe, manufactured by Robert Linzeler, Paris 1910, carved emerald, diamonds, sapphires, pearls set on platinum.

Credits: Grand Palais Paris, Béatrice Oggier