‘Wedding Ring Sets’ Category
“What diamond size should I choose?”
First, keep in mind that how big the stone size or carat weight does not determine how much you love your significant other or are loved by your partner. It might be hard to image, but at MiaDonna we feel that BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER - choosing the best stone size is relative to personal style, stature, hand size, setting preference and budget.
Here are a few of our favorite tips for ‘Choosing the Perfect Diamond Size’ for your Engagement Ring
♥ TIP #1: The standard size…
- The 1.0 carat center stone used to be the standard “desired” size, now we are seeing the 1.50 and 2.0 carat center stones gaining demand.
♥ TIP #2: Consider the following…
- Does your partner have an active lifestyle or career? For example, someone who works with their hands or enjoys active hobbies may be better suited for a smaller center stone.
- Does your partner wear any other jewelry? If they do then they might prefer a larger center stone, however, if they don’t then something more understated may match their personal style better.
♥ TIP #3: Think about your budget…
- Does your partner like diamonds? Many eco-conscious consumers might like the look of a diamond, but not the conflict associated – so options like MiaDonna’s Man Made Diamonds, Diamond Hybrids® and Lab Created Gemstones would be the perfect choice for your eco-bride-to-be.
- The great thing about the affordability of MiaDonna’s Man Made Diamonds and Diamond Hybrids® is that you won’t likely be stuck compromising your preferred stone size because of budget restraints.
♥ OUR RECOMMENDATION ♥
- If you have hands smaller than 6.5 ring size you might want to consider a 1.0 carat or 1.5 carat. If you have hands larger than a 6.5 ring size you might want to consider a 2.0 carat. We don’t normally recommend anything over a 2 carat, but again, stone size is about personal preference.
- Keep in mind that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1.5-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger than a size 8.
Man Made Diamonds
White Lab Created Diamonds are the hardest color to produce and also take the longest to grow. The largest Man Made White Diamonds being produced today get upwards of nearly 1.30 carat. However, the average size available and the average size offered by MiaDonna is typically between 0.50 to 1.0 carats, mostly in the Round and Princess shapes. If you prefer colored diamonds MiaDonna also offers Fancy Yellow, Blue and Pink diamonds, ranging in sizes up to 2.0 carats. Learn more about Man Made Diamonds.
The world famous MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® is the most affordable, beautiful and scientifically advanced, diamond infused, diamond alternative ever created and is available for only $358 per carat, no matter what size or shape you choose. Each stone is individually cut by hand, guaranteed to be a D-F in color, VVS1-VS2 in clarity and available in sizes up to 6.0 carats depending on shape. Learn more about MiaDonna Diamond Hybrids.
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Have a question?
Contact us by phone toll free at 1-866-996-9642 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, Live Chat is available during most business hours.
Posted by: Nichole Lawrence
MiaDonna & Co. LLC
on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Like snowflakes, no two Man Made Diamonds are exactly alike and learning how to tell the difference between them can be daunting and stressful. However, if you take just a few minutes to learn The 4 C’s, purchasing a MiaDonna & Co. Man Made Diamond can be a very positive experience.
Mid 20th century, the GIA created the first agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be described and judged by their Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Creating The 4 C’s meant that diamond customers could now know exactly what they were purchasing and that diamond quality could be communicated. Today, the 4 C’s of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing any diamond, anywhere in the world.
For colorless diamonds there can still be a variation in color. On a scale from D (colorless) to X (light yellow). A “colorless” rated diamond allows more light to pass through the stone making it sparkle more and increases the overall value. Fancy colored diamonds are not graded on the same scale as colorless diamonds and are rarer, making them more valuable and expensive.
2. Carat Weight
Carat weight measures how big the stone is. Appearances may be tricky, while two stones may look equal in table size, or looking down on the stone, their carat weight may be different because of their depth. Alternately, two stones may have equal carat weights, but one may appear smaller when looking down at it (the table size). For help on determining the appropriate carat weight or stone size click here.
The relative measurement of a gemstone’s inclusions and blemishes. Sometimes clarity is referred to as purity; in Europe, quality. Most diamonds contain some inner flaws, often referred to as inclusions, which occur during the formation process. The visibility, number and size of these inclusions determine what is called the clarity of a diamond. The better clarity of a diamond delivers greater brilliance and increases the value or price of the stone. Diamond clarity is measure on a scale from Flawless (F, IF) to Included (I1, I2, and I3).
Probably the most important quality of a diamond, yet least understood of the 4 C’s. Cut is imperative in determining how light passes through the stone – creating the fire, brilliance, and sparkle. Not to be confused with the shape the cut includes the shape and the entire anatomy of the diamond and refers to the combined optical properties of a diamond; the proportions, symmetry and finish.
5. The 5th C -MiaDonna’s Passion
At MiaDonna & Co. we consider the 5th C to be MORE important than ANY other consideration when purchasing a diamond or precious gem.
The 5th C refers to “conflict-free”. A diamond is considered “conflict” if its profit is used to fund war, or it is mined or produced under unethical conditions. At MiaDonna and The Greener Diamond we define a conflict diamond as any diamond that is unsustainable, thereby contributing to a negative impact in any or all of the following ways;
Environment: The mining and production of earth-mined diamonds.
Ethical: Diamond mining communities held captive to a life of poverty and violence through their dependency on the diamond trade and consumers who unknowingly contribute to the power and proliferance of conflict diamonds and are subjected to exorbitant prices as a result of illegal price fixing.
Economy: A monopolized industry with a supply chain that is neither fairly equitable to the communities purveying earth-mined diamonds or to the consumers purchasing them.
Diamond certification processes came to fruition as a way to quell consumer concerns and to help stop the trade of conflict diamonds. Buyer beware: Unfortunately the problem persists and many “Diamond Certification” claims cannot be guaranteed. For a guide on buying conflict-free click here.
Here at MiaDonna, we strive to teach our customer’s as much as possible in preparation for their shopping. A knowledgeable customer will be much more confident about this purchase and happier in the end.
Posted by: Jaime Vealey
MiaDonna & Co. LLC
on Thursday, July 17, 2014
So you’ve found the perfect girl or guy, you’re ready to commit and even went as far as asking the “future” in-laws for approval, but where to next. Picking the perfect engagement ring for the love of your life is quite an overwhelming task. There are so many considerations; what style of ring will she like (vintage, modern, classic), how much should you be spending, what kind of metal should you get, what diamond shape will she love, does she even want a diamond, or would a gemstone or conflict—free engagement ring be better suited? And the list goes on and on.
For many men out there, the purchase of an engagement ring will be the first introduction to the “Wild Wild West” of jewelers, and for many it’ll be the last!
We’ve always felt there is an easier, more enjoyable way to find the perfect engagement ring. So here it is, our no-fail guide to getting the “I Do.”
1. Establish your Budget
Before kicking-off the search, it’s important to establish how much you can afford to spend on an engagement ring. Just because Justin Timberlake splurged $130,000 (so it was reported) on a 18-carat engagement ring, doesn’t mean you have to mortgage the house, sell the car and throw the dog out to win her over. There is simply no need to keep up with the Kardashians people. After all, it shouldn’t be about how much the ring cost or how extravagant the diamond is. It’s all about the journey.
So back to the question at hand, how much should you spend? DaBeers says you should spend 1-3 months salary. We say to hell with that! How about this. Work out what you can afford, as if you were buying a new car or boat, then ask yourself if this amount adequately reflects the importance of the ring to your partner or fiancé. If they align, voila!
2. Research, Research, Research!
Now you have a rough budget in mind, it’s time to start the search. The web makes this a piece of cake. We recommend starting on a few of our favorite wedding sites such as www.yourengagement101.com and myweddings.com as they both provide a carefully curated, and highly recommended vendor list. These sites are also great at getting you up to speed on the latest engagement ring styles and trends.
Next step, read reviews. You’ll be surprised how common it is for shoppers just like you to find a jewelry retailer, visit their website or store, pick out the ring, then just before purchasing, read a handful of HORRIBLE reviews. Save yourself the time and inevitable pain by doing a little research upfront. If the retailer doesn’t have any reviews, there’s probably a reason why. Take the MiaDonna website for example. As an online retailer we encourage our couples to send in their testimonials and product reviews – good and bad – as it helps the next wave of courageous proposers get reassurance and confidence in our product, people and processes.
3. Choose a Diamond Type
You know what you’re spending, you’ve shortlisted a few retails, now it’s time to select the diamond. For years, marketers have effective convinced shoppers that a mined diamond is the only full-proof way to blow her socks off and get the “I do.” And although this marketing continues to drive home an ancient mentality, there are a new breed of diamond shoppers looking for a more affordable, less damaging alternative. From Man-Made Diamonds and MiaDonna Diamond Hybrids®, through to Lab-Created Gemstones and CZ’s, there is an option for everyone and every budget. But what’s the right choice for you? Let’s break down a few of the available options:
Earth Mined Diamonds
Ever since DeBeers launched their first advertisement in 1947 with the now famous words, “A Diamond is Forever,” women and men all around the world have been searching for the perfect earth mined diamond. Although there is no clear data that suggests mined diamonds are losing traction, the uprise in lab-created alternatives – often of better quality than mined counterparts – appears to be shaking the industry up.
With major technological advances in the past 10 years, Man-Made Diamonds (or lab-created diamonds) are being created with the exact same physical, chemical and optical properties as a mined diamond. They are substantially cheaper and provide a 100% conflict-free alternative. If your better half truly cares about society and the environment, this may be the perfect choice for the modern diamond consumer.
MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid®
Another option for the socially responsible bride-to-be is a MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid. Unlike a Cubic Zirconia, the Diamond Hybrid contains a crystal core that has an infusion of enhanced lab created diamond on the outer layer, making it a 9.1 on the Mohs scale. And let’s not skip over the fact it’s 3% the cost of a mined alternative, meaning you can give her the WOW without breaking the bank.
Then there are the 4C’s of diamonds:
The cut of a diamond is integral to its beauty, breathing life into it no matter what the clarity of color is. There are three primary elements taken into consideration: brilliance (the brightness created by light reflecting from the diamonds surface and interior, fire (where light is dispersed into colors of the spectrum, and scintillation (the sparkle created when a diamond and light source move and interact). A great cut will make lower grade diamonds appear to have better grades.
Diamonds come in a variety of colors, from D (colorless) to Z (yellow). The closer the diamond is to colorless, the more expensive it will be. Although white diamonds are the most popular color, it all comes back to personal preference. Check out the diamond color chart below:
Internal inclusions and external blemishes (otherwise knows as “birthmarks”) will impact the clarity of a diamond. When you start looking at diamonds, you’ll hear the word “inclusions” used often. What this means is that there are flaws, often other minerals, crystals or diamonds, within the internal structure of the diamond. The lower the number of “inclusions,” the more expensive the diamond will be.
The cart below shows the clarity scale from flawless to included:
This simply refers to the weight of the diamond. The heavier a stone is, the more expensive it’ll be. From our experience, and depending upon the diamond type, the most common weight for an engagement ring is between 0.85ct or 1.0ct. Consider hand size, lifestyle (will she/he be likely to scrape or hit the ring if the stone is too large), and budget.
4. Choose the Diamond Shape
The shape of a diamond can be a reflection of ones style and personality, so this must be a decision based on personal preferences. A few of the most popular shapes can be seen below.
5. Choose the Setting
You’re almost there, now you just need to select the perfect setting for your engagement ring. Like the diamond shape, there are a number of available options based on personal preference and lifestyle.
- Prong Setting – The most popular setting, the prong features four to six craws that cradle the diamond and hold it in place. This setting allows maximum light penetration and reflection and will change depending on your shape of diamond. There is the age old debate on which is better – 4 or 6 prongs for my round cut diamond engagement ring? We say it really comes down to beauty or protection. Diamonds set in a 4 prongs can often look bigger and brighter. You can see more of the table and crown of the diamond and it really makes your diamond pop with bright light. However, a 6 prong can offer peace of mind, especially in a larger stone setting. With the frantic pace of the world today, just having that little bit of extra security is good. A 6 prong setting will protect your diamond from chipping or breaking more than a 4 prong.
- Channel Setting – Channel setting is a method of setting accenting stones by suspending them between two bars or strips of metal, called channels.
- Bar Setting – Similar to a channel setting, a bar setting uses a thin bar of u- or v-shaped metal to hold diamonds or gemstones in place on two sides. When there is a series of stones set next to each other using this technique, you will see a narrow bar between each one.
- Bezel setting – The earliest known technique of attaching stones to jewelry was bezel setting A bezel is a strip of metal bent into the shape and size of the stone and then soldered to the piece of jewelry. Then the stone is inserted into the bezel and the metal rubbed over the stone, holding it in place.
- Gypsy Setting – A wide-domed band or ring with a flush set stone which continues the curve of the dome.
- Tension Setting – A tension ring holds the gemstone/Diamond in place by pressure rather than prongs, a bezel or other mounting. The metal setting is actually spring-loaded to exert pressure onto the gemstone, and tiny etchings/grooves are added to the metal in order to create a shelf for the gemstone’s edges to rest. The gemstone appears to be suspended in the air with nothing holding it in place.
- Custom Settings – A Custom Setting is a ring hand-crafted according to the individual or personal specifications of a customer.
- Cathedral Setting – This exceptional setting mimics the grace and elegance of a cathedral, using arches to frame the gem as the stunning focal point of the jewelry.
5. Choose the Metal
Will she/he want 14K Gold, 18K Gold, Palladium or Platinum? Will she/he want it in white, yellow or rose gold? Each has its pro’s and con’s, and will ultimately influence the final price of your engagement ring. Consider lifestyle and budget when making this decision. Check out our Metal Comparison chart to find out which one will best suit your loved one.
6. Getting her Ring Size
Time to get your sneak on fellas. There are a few ways you can get her ring size without her ever knowing, but you’ll have to be careful. Here are a few of our recommendations:
Pinch one of her rings – If you can grab an existing without getting caught, this will be your best bet. If she wears it everyday, there’s a high likelihood she’ll know it’s missing. If you’re buying online, simply trace the inside and outside of the ring 3- 4 times to make sure you get an accurate outline. This can then be taken in or sent to your chosen online retailer or store for sizing.
Ask friends or family - You’ll be surprised at how many mothers and/or best friends know her/his ring size. Trust me, they have talked about this, more than once. And if they don’t know, suggest they try and find out for you. Hopefully you can trust them that they won’t let the cat out of the bag.
Use soap – Yep, we said soap. If you can sneak away with her ring for 5 minutes, push it into a new bar of soap, creating a mould of the ring. You can then order our free ring sizer and adjust it until you have an accurate size. You’ll get bonus points for creativity on this one. Be careful not to push it too far that it gets stuck.
Guesstimate – When all else fails, take a guess. As long as you choose a retailer that offers ring sizing, you can be sure you’ll have no unexpected delays getting you fiancés engagement ring resized after you propose.
7. Insurance, Warranties & Guarantee
Yes, you need reassurance that you’ll be protected should anything happen to your engagement ring. Whether it be complimentary insurance, the ability to return the ring if it doesn’t meet expectations, or warranties, protect your investment.
8. Popping the Question
We think you can take it from here. Good luck and congratulations!
Posted by: Jaime Vealey
MiaDonna & Co. LLC
on Wednesday, July 2, 2014
MiaDonna & Company®, the online boutique that has brought unrivaled quality, design and luxury to hand crafted Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands using Man-Made Diamonds, Diamond Hybrids® and Lab Created Gemstones, is very excited to announce the opening of a new showroom on July 7th, 2014 in America’s Greenest City, Portland, Oregon.
Envisioned by MiaDonna CEO, Anna-Mieke Anderson, the new space exudes timeless luxury and provides a comfortable and intimate setting. The showroom is adorned with rich, beautiful furnishings with displays placed elegantly throughout the room that feature an extensive collection of perfectly designed MiaDonna® hand crafted fine Jewelry.
Shown by appointment only, our personal shopper’s time and attention is devoted especially to you while you are here. We are certain you will feel at home sitting before our fireplace, enjoying a glass of bubbly and discussing your “dream” Engagement Ring. We encourage you to bring along friends or family members to view our available options and help choose the design you have always envisioned.
We couldn’t be more excited to begin meeting our customers in person – we look forward to meeting you and making your dreams come true! Make your personal shopping appointment here: http://miaco.us/showroom
Posted by: Jaime Vealey
MiaDonna & Co. LLC
on Thursday, June 5, 2014
Markup from earth-mined diamond jewelers can be as much as 100-200%. That’s the equivalent of paying $200 for a bunch of bananas. If you’re willing to pay that kind of markup for something that grows naturally and in abundance, well, you’re crazy. Of course, the 800 lb. gorillas who dominate the $7 billion a year diamond industry need the general public to falsely believe in scarcity of diamonds to justify their offensive pricing and practices. Fortunately for consumers there is an alternative and its consumption is on the rise. Man-made diamonds, also known as lab-grown, lab-created, or cultured diamonds, are 100% real diamonds and they are chemically and optically identical to earth-mined diamonds. However, unlike earth-mined diamonds, they are eco-friendly and conflict-free. Oh also, they retail for much less.
Many traditional diamond jewelers claim their gems are conflict-free, but the hard truth is that the only way to ensure that a diamond is conflict-free is to grow it in a lab. The United Nations defines conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, as “diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.” Over the past decade, under mounting pressure from environmental and humanitarian advocate groups, diamond distributors have adopted stricter policies, but so many loopholes exist that even well-meaning earth-mined diamond retailers are inadvertently selling illegitimate diamonds to unsuspecting customers. In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds called The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). It’s a United Nations-backed certification program meant to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the global supply chain. However, it is a self-policing pledging system that is open to all countries that are willing and able to implement its requirements. This means that not everyone is required to participate and those who do are operating under the honor code. The KPCS is not a legally binding contract between member countries, the only enforceable laws related to the trade of conflict diamonds are written and enforced internally by each country individually. The KPCS has received much criticism for its inability to enforce its own policies. Moreover, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme doesn’t even begin to address the severe environmental repercussions from diamond mining. Because this obvious work-around exists, it’s impossible to verify the origin of an earth-mined diamond. And that means the only truly conflict-free diamonds are man-made diamonds.
On November 9, 2013 De Beers released a booklet to its sightholders (authorized bulk purchasers of rough earth-mined diamonds) titled “Undisclosed Synthetics: What you need to know.” In it, De Beers CEO, Phillippe Mellier warned that using the word ‘diamond’ to describe or identify any object or product not meeting the definition of natural diamond is a violation of the company’s best practices. Here’s why that’s a problem. Although it’s true that, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), distributors and sellers are required to use appropriate modifiers to describe unnatural diamonds, the fact is that man-made diamonds are still diamonds. That statement sure makes it seem Mr. Mellier is intent on propagating a lie to the public that man-made diamonds are not real diamonds. It’s just simply isn’t true and De Beers knows it. After receiving some backlash from the release of the directive, Mellier retracted his previous statement and amended it in December 2013 to say, “Never use the unqualified word ‘diamond’ to describe or identify any object or product not meeting the World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO) and FTC definition.” By the same logic we should all cease to call the ice that is made in our kitchen freezers ‘ice’ without a qualifier. Ice is ice whether it’s formed in Antarctica or in my freezer. Again, they are chemically and optically identical.
I can’t say I’m surprised by their behavior. I mean, if word gets out that people can purchase real diamonds that are man-made and certified conflict-free for much less than they would pay to the De Beers empire for an ethically questionable earth-mined diamond, well that would really stifle their profit margins wouldn’t it? What I am surprised by, however, is that De Beers would so unabashedly dismiss the value of man-made diamonds while not so secretly mass producing man-made diamonds themselves.
Creating synthetic diamonds for industrial purposes to coat saws, drill bits, and grinding wheels has been common since the 1950s. And wouldn’t you know it De Beers was in on the creation of man-made diamonds right from the start. You see, in 1946, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, who famously controlled De Beers in South Africa from 1927 to 1957, created the company Industrial Distributors Limited to focus on the industrial uses of natural diamonds. By 1953, the first synthetic diamonds had been created and by 1960, the company had started manufacturing synthetic diamonds in South Africa. Today, they operate many distribution sites around the world including South Africa, Belgium, The Netherlands and England. I suppose it could be a mere coincidence that these places also happen to be the biggest consumer diamond markets in the world. In 2002, the company rebranded its name to Element Six and changed its business focus to building an enterprise based on advanced material applications and exploring new markets for its materials. That’s an interesting play for a company that made its fortune off the consumer diamond trade. I wonder what their research and development team could possibly be working on when they note in their marketing collateral that they are working on new, proprietary products, to explore and develop novel applications and markets for their synthetic diamonds. Could De Beers be preparing for conflict-diamond blowback by quietly creating lab-grown gems of their own so that when the market shifts they can maintain their global dominance in the diamond trade?