Style Guide Articles

Foundry Diamonds Out & About In NYC

When Wendi Murdoch, China top actress / UNEP & Gucci Ambassador Li Bing Bing (Wikipedia), and the “art world’s high-roller specialist” (WSJ) and Christie’s Vice Chairman Xin Li go out for dinner in NYC, who is hanging in there (right lower corner on photo)? A Diamond Foundry diamond set in a piece by Charles Del Vie Castel sold at Barneys New York.

Popular Diamond Jewelry by Cities

We have started compiling listings of which jewelry is popular in which city. Look up your city to see: New York, New York Los Angeles, California Chicago, Illinois Houston, Texas Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Phoenix, Arizona San Antonio, Texas San Diego, California Dallas, Texas San Jose, California Austin, Texas Indianapolis, Indiana Jacksonville, North Carolina San Francisco, California Columbus, Indiana Charlotte, North Carolina Fort...

The Best Diamond Shapes: Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

A round brilliant cut diamond isn’t just one of the best diamond shapes – it’s the diamond shape. Created in 1919 by engineer and diamond cutter Marcel Tolkowsky, the round brilliant utilizes an ideal ratio to maximize its “fire” and brilliance. Unlike the old mine cut and other earlier ancestors, the round doesn’t focus on carat size. In fact, up to half the rough diamond is wasted in a round cut. A round brilliant diamond in Zaven’s...

The Best Diamond Shapes: Asscher Cut Diamond

Of the ten best diamond shapes most commonly used today, only one is named after a diamond cutter.  Joseph Asscher, son of the renowned artisan Joseph Issac Asscher of Holland, developed the standard Asscher cut diamond in 1902. When the world’s largest rough stone, the Cullinan, was discovered in 1905, King Edward VII invited Joseph and his brother Abraham to London to cleave it. Diamond Foundry has several rings that can be modified...

Trending Diamond Engagement Rings for February

February is the month of love, and it’s no wonder that our diamond engagement rings have spiked in popularity. In particular, these last three weeks have been all about Zaven, whose elegant, stone-studded designs are making major waves. (You can check out our exclusive interview with Zaven here.) Whether its the timeless Alyssum Pave Halo or the unique Four Pointed Cobra, these trending rings are the perfect accompaniment to any wintert...

What Can a Little Bird Tell You?

Quite a lot, actually. “There’s definitely been a long history of people calling themselves jewelry specialists, but we’ve never seen the exact concept of Little Bird – Diamond & Engagement Ring Expertise,” says Danielle Mainas, co-founder of the San Francisco-based company, which offers engagement ring consultation services for the confused, the overwhelmed and the generally undereducated. Mainas began her career sourcing gems for ...

Why We Wear our Wedding Ring on the Fourth Finger of the Left Hand

In ye oldie times, before science demystified things like thunderstorms and pregnancy, people believed all sorts of crazy stories. Oh yes, these were the days of grand metaphors like “the rain is God’s tears” and “childbirth is a punishment.” One of the most complicated systems to understand was, of course, the human body. Many cultures held taboos against cutting the body open (there was no “donating the body to science” back then). So...

Millennials Want Conflict Free Engagement Rings

Say what you will about millennials, but those artisanal beer drinking, fixed gear bike riding, crossbreed dog owning, environmentally conscious hipsters are changing the jewelry industry for the better. They want ethically made, conflict free engagement rings, and they’re willing to pay more for them.  New Consumer Ethics According to Jewelers’ Circular Keystone Magazine, millennials want “transparency, [and] demand authenticity and et...

The Engagement Ring Guide for Guys, Part 1

It’s not your fault that you don’t know anything about engagement rings. Nobody teaches this stuff, and – with a bit of luck – it won’t be one of your more repeatable skill sets. Maybe you’ve already asked your dad for advice, and he responded with some version of, “25 years ago, when I bought an engagement ring…” followed by ten minutes of incomprehensible nonsense. It’s okay. You’re here now. I’m going to walk you through the process ...

The Engagement Ring Guide for Guys, Part 2

If you haven’t already read part one of this series, I recommend that you do that first. Part one explains diamonds, which your engagement ring will almost certainly include. Part two is dedicated to metal color, diamond shape, ring size, and style preference – basically, everything else. I hold the very unpopular opinion that if you’re going to buy your girlfriend an engagement ring, you should first ask her what kind of rings she pref...

Yes, Offer Your Fiancé Engagement Ring Guidance

If you were a woman 200 years ago, getting married was basically the best thing that could happen to you. It meant that you could move out of your family home, run your own household, and enter into society as a married woman. It also meant that you were financially protected for as long as your husband stayed alive. So, unless your family tried to pressure you into marrying a truly gross guy –à la Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice –...

The Original Green Wedding Rings

Today, we use the phrase “green wedding rings” to mean environmentally friendly rings made of recycled metals and ethical diamonds. But did you know that the first wedding bands were actually green?  Unlike engagement rings, which are relatively recent, wedding rings are super ancient. Often accredited to the Romans, the practice of wearing rings made of precious metals to commemorate marriage actually dates back to ancient Egypt. Befor...

The Role of Jewelry in Viking Culture

History Channel specials and Medieval Christian manuscripts depict Vikings as a singularly ravenous and violent lot, but historical evidence suggests that they were also a highly sophisticated society of artists and artisans. When they weren’t out discovering new continents or reciting complex skaldic verses, the Vikings excelled at woodwork and metalwork. They were great makers and lovers of art, including jewelry.  According to the Me...

4 Beautiful Mixed Metal Rings by Independent Jewelry Designers

Mixed metal engagement rings and wedding bands have become a thing in recent years, which is great because they upset jewelry purists. Anything you can do to overturn the establishment is inherently ethical, even if it’s just wearing jewelry. Independent jewelry designers make some of the most beautiful and interesting mixed metal rings available, probably because they’re already working independently of the commercial industry.  In all...

When You’re Queen B, You Can Wear the Crown Jewels on Your Feet

Listen, Beyoncé’s style is basically second to none. Her fashion misfires in the early 00s are clearly the fault of her mother, Tina Knowles, who tried to dress Beyoncé like the oldest sister in a weirdly close-knit family for much of her Destiny’s Child career. It’s okay, Beyoncé. I’m not proud of what I wore in 2001 either. Today’s Beyoncé is all booty shorts and crop top graphic tees one minute, and then impeccable blouses and des...

Jewelry in the Victorian Era

The jewelry trends of the Victorian era were set by – you guessed it – Queen Victoria herself. With a reign that spanned over 60 years, Queen Victoria was hugely influential in the history of jewelry design. The rise of Britain’s Middle Class after the Industrial Revolution meant that, for the first time, common people could afford to purchase jewelry.  A young Queen Victoria at her coronation. Since her reign was so uncharacteristic...

Eco Jewelry Conundrum: Platinum vs. White Gold

So, you’ve decided to buy eco jewelry. That’s great. Not only are lab created diamonds more sustainable, but recycled metals are another environmentally friendly option. Buying jewelry made of recycled metals helps reduce the devastating effects of mining, and many of our award winning independent jewelry designers chose to craft with it. However, if you’re pale as the moon, you really have two metals to chose from – recycled white gold...

Simulated Diamonds: White Sapphire, Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia

Simulated diamonds aren’t diamonds. They’re rocks that look like diamonds. They can be natural gems, like white sapphire; natural minerals grown in labs, such as moissanite; or lab-created monstrosities like cubic zirconia. While they may seem like legitimate substitutes, simulated diamonds eventually reveal their inferior natures.  Moissanite Pronounced mois-en-ite, this naturally occurring silicon carbide was originally discovered by...

5 Unique Eco Friendly Engagement Rings

Do you like hiking? Does your girlfriend say that she likes hiking? Good for you – maybe she does! If you two go on “romantic” retreats in the Rockies, own more than one travel backpack or even a single piece of fishing gear, then maybe you should consider a nature inspired, environmentally friendly engagement ring to go with that mountaintop marriage proposal. From recycled gold to eco friendly diamonds, there are lots of ways an engag...

The 4Cs of Diamond Grading

Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds by: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of diamond quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. Carat Carat is a measure of a diamond’s weight. A metric “carat” is defined as 2...

Say What Now? A Dictionary for Diamonds

The world of diamonds is filled with insider language and slang. Here’s a quick and handy reference dictionary to help you navigate! American Gem Society (AGS): An educational institution for gemological studies. The AGS Labs were created primarily to develop and promote universally-accepted standards for grading cut. Blemish: A clarity characteristic that occurs on the surface of a diamond. Though some blemishes are inherent to the ori...

Eco Jewelry Conundrum: Which Metal Should You Choose?

Great job! You care about sustainable jewelry practices, so you’ve chosen to buy eco jewelry. You researched all your options. You chose a stunning lab created diamond. But which metal should you choose for your perfect ring? Happily, we’ve reviewed the four most popular metal choices to help you decide. As ethical jewelry enthusiasts, we promote the use of sustainable precious metals, and many of our designers craft in fairtrade or re...

The Anatomy of a Round Diamond

As you may have noticed, buying a diamond comes complete with a heaping pile of intricate facts and details that only make sense to industry insiders. Facts like, “a modern round brilliant diamond has 57 facets plus the culet. The faceting pattern for a round brilliant is fairly standardized, so the degree which each facet conforms to the ideal determines the cut grade.” Or “fancy cut diamonds, like cushion or heart cuts,  have a wide v...

Can You Still Smash the Patriarchy with a Diamond Engagement Ring?

A few months ago, a man approached me on a beach in Tel Aviv and asked if I was married. I said “no” because I’m not. But also, weird. Regularly, I don’t entertain pickup lines. I think they’re lazy, and I hate meeting new people. However, this man—let’s call him “Gal”—was so beautiful that it hurt my weak, mortal eyes. His English was also very good, so I let him sit with me. A good follow up question to the “are you married?” pickup l...

What is Filigree?

If you are one of the six people who know what filigree is  – congratulations! You are probably my boss or a Medieval Italian princess with a time machine. However, if you, like me, are an uncultured plebian from the 21st century, then you’ve probably already confused “filigree” with “filament.” Don’t worry; it’s an easy mistake to make. Let me help you evade future embarrassment: “filament” is a slender threadlike fiber found in plant ...

5 Stunning Royal Engagement Rings

The Royals live a life of abundance and luxury, so it’s no surprise that they propose with the most stunning engagement rings available. From Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano of Spain to Queen Elizabeth II of England, check out these amazing engagement rings (and proposal stories!) from the Royals of Europe.  Margrethe II of Denmark A student at no less than five universities (including Cambridge and the Sorbonne), Margrethe is known as Europe’...

The Role of Jewelry in Ancient Chinese Culture

The ancient Chinese were fancy, ya’ll. Wafer-thin pendants, jade hairpins, nephrite accessories – holy cow! It’s no wonder that the Mongols, who were literally living off of rats and mutton in the Asian Steppes, wanted a piece of the immaculate wealth of their southern neighbors. You can only craft beautiful silver earrings that look like flower-baskets for so long before it attracts a covetous eye. Luckily, the Mongol conquest of China...

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