Posts in Engagement Rings
by Win Betteridge on April 10th, 2012
Last week, we launched a new section on our website devoted to the Betteridge Diamond Collection.
We have photographed each and every diamond, pairing it accurately with its GIA certificate on the site. Better yet, the diamonds are available for viewing in our stores.
Many of these diamonds offer truly exceptional value. Over the years, we have done our best to buy diamonds opportunistically, helping to ensure favorable pricing for our customers.
There is no better way to showcase a spectacular diamond than in an elegant, handcrafted setting. You can see a few of our favorite designs in our engagement ring guide.
We hope that you enjoy the newest addition to Betteridge.com, and please let us know if you have any suggestions to improve it.
by Simon Teakle on October 1st, 2011
Diamond cutting is a combination of art and science that has evolved over many centuries. A cutter’s understanding of diamond’s precise physical properties combined with a finesse to bring out exceptional beauty is extremely rare. Although the understanding of how to maximize the weight from a crystal and achieve maximum brilliance is now almost faultless, to realize a gem’s potential for beauty remains a true art form.
The first brilliants, known as Mazarin’s, were introduced in the middle of the 17th century. These crudely fashioned stones were a more sophisticated creation than the Indian rose-cuts, and these in turn gave way to the cushion-cut, which was the most popular style of cutting by the middle of the 18th century. Many historic gems were refashioned at this time including the Agra and Hope diamonds.
Although modern brilliants and princess-cut diamonds have established themselves as a benchmark of technical perfection, the “Antique Cushion” has endured aesthetically as one of the most beautiful ways to cut a stone. This 10.04 carat diamond is a lovely example, the GIA grade is G-color and VS2-clarity, which makes it an extraordinarily beautiful gem, but not so perfect as to demand an exorbitant price for the size.
Mounted simply by Graff to enhance the stones elegant shape, this ring presents a wonderful opportunity to own an important stone that represents value in every way.
by Randy Lapointe on July 2nd, 2010
Having been involved with diamonds for all of my life (no kidding as a child of a jeweler it starts early)… I have become decidedly opinionated.
Of late, there has been an explosion of interest in cushion-cut diamonds. As we are specialists in estate and period jewelry, we see many cushions.
Stones cut in the style of the original cushion shape are beautiful creations that have characteristics that produce a unique blend of scintillation and fire. Just recall grandmother’s diamond ring at a candlelit dinner table! (If you would like to know the technical reason why this happens… ask me some time).
What is marketed today as a cushion-cut is really a radiant with rounded corners – a modern attempt that just falls short. If you want the best, take the time to appreciate the beauty and romance of a ‘true’ cushion.
by Simon Teakle on June 1st, 2010
In the summer of 1940, the German Luftwaffe attempted to win air superiority over southern Britain and the English Channel by destroying the Royal Air Force and the British aircraft industry. This attempt came to be known as the Battle of Britain, and the Germans saw victory over the RAF as absolutely essential if they were eventually to mount an invasion of the British Isles.
At the beginning of 1940, a South American copper and tin ore magnate arrived in London to secure a valuable contract to provide essential metals to the war effort. On this visit, he met an English girl, fell in love and an ensuing affair resulted in a swift engagement. There was now an urgent need for the best diamond in London, and on the 29th of February in Cartier on Bond Street, this 20.43ct diamond was given as the engagement ring.
Alongside this very romantic story, the ‘Blitz Diamond’ is everything an important stone should be. The pure colorless stone of extremely fine clarity (D, VS1) has been superbly cut, and for a large stone, it retains a grace and elegance that is perfectly mirrored with Cartier’s aura in the first half of the twentieth century.
by Randy Lapointe on December 1st, 2009
I am not a fan of modern, long and narrow marquise-cut diamonds. I am, however, in love with this old, chunky marquise-cut that we just acquired!
It’s a nearly perfectly colorless diamond with a charming, antique cut that makes it quite literally a glittering ball of fire.
by Randy Lapointe on November 1st, 2009
Every so often we uncover something truly extraordinary like this- a perfect storm of quality, rarity and value, all in one spectacular diamond.
I have been a diamond buyer for much of my professional life, and I have seen- maybe- one or two diamonds that have such a unique pedigree. Wow!
by Randy Lapointe on June 1st, 2009
There has been a shift recently to the selection of ‘new’ diamond cuts. However, you may be surprised to know that the most popular cuts are nothing new! Although roughly 90% of the diamonds sold are round brilliant cuts, we have seen a surge in two alternatives.
One is the Asscher cut, which was developed by the Asscher cutting works in Antwerp during the 1940′s. I like to describe it as an emerald cut with character. It is deeper than a traditional emerald cut, so the extra brilliance comes at a price. Don’t confuse a true Asscher with a ‘radiant’ cut, developed in Israel in the 1970′s. This is in essence, an emerald-cut outline with the bottom faceted more like a round brilliant cut stone.
The second, and perhaps more popular ‘new’ cut, is a cushion. This is an even older development in cutting as it closely resembles an ‘old mine’ cut diamond in many ways. Think of a cushion as the shape of a pillow. It is a personal favorite of mine as the softness of the lines is feminine, and has the flavor of being quite old. I truly dislike the ‘new’ cushion cut, which is a radiant remade to a slightly rounded outline. You can try to disguise a radiant, but it lacks veracity.
Despite these trends, choosing a diamond is all about personal preference – what matters is what (and whom) you love!
by Randy Lapointe on March 1st, 2009
At Betteridge, we balked at buying many fine diamonds early last year, because prices had climbed to unsustainably high levels.
Given the substantial volatility in global economic markets, high quality diamonds had moved out of simply the spheres of fashion, and use, and into investor’s portfolios. This rush to a “safe haven” investment did not indicate increased consumer demand; rather a heightened risk that diamond prices would crash in the near future.
Since we have to pass on the costs of the raw materials that go into our designs to our consumers, we did not feel comfortable buying many fine diamonds, so we relied on diamond inventories that we had built up in prior years.
Over the past few months, fine diamond prices have decreased by 30-40%, which has brought prices back in line with demand.
Betteridge’s mission has always been to provide the best quality, materials, workmanship AND value. We welcomed this necessary price correction, and as markets have stabilized, we are actively buying and selling fine diamonds again.