Le Vian Jewelry

Le Vian
Worn by everyone from housewives to A-list superstars, Le Vian jewelry has mass appeal. With generations of experience in jewelry making, the Le Vian family has created a company that is known for quality, style and innovation.

The Le Vian family’s love affair with jewelry spans centuries, stretching back to 16th century Persia, where they built a reputation for their handiwork with beads, enamel, engraving, gold and silver. By the 18th century the family’s elaborate designs had caught the eye of royalty. In fact, the emperor had such faith in the family that he entrusted them with the care of jewels he’d captured from India, including the famed Koh-i-Noor diamond, which today can be found at London’s Tower of London, one of the Queen of England’s crown jewels.

Le Vian in the United States
The Le Vian Company in the United States was founded by one Abdulrahim Ephraim LeVian in 1950. LeVian was born in Mashad, Persia – present day Iran – in 1922 and founded the company after emigrating to New York City. He had substantial business acumen, a strong work ethic and a highly developed sense of what people wanted in their jewelry. He believed in quality and value, and wasn’t afraid to take risks with his jewelry offerings. LeVian passed away in 2000, and his heirs continue to run the company,

Le Vian Today
Le Vian jewelry is marked by its commitment to quality and its use of novel gems, metals and cuts in its designs. Le Vian has introduced new gem cutting styles like the Parisian Honeycomb, worked with Tanzanite when it was largely unknown and crafted jewelry with metals like Black Rhodium to better accentuate certain gems. The company almost singlehandedly created a market for brown diamonds, previously considered of inferior quality, by branding them “chocolate diamonds” and creating a successful marketing campaign around them.

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Chocolate diamond rings

Sparkly, brown and beautiful, chocolate diamonds belong to the “fancy” family of diamonds, which includes colors like blue, pink, yellow, green, black and more. Here we aim to answer some of your questions about chocolate diamond rings.

Are they really diamonds?
Chocolate diamonds are, indeed, true diamonds.

Is the chocolate color natural?
Uhh… maybe. Brown diamonds occur in nature, but synthetic brown diamonds are also available on the jewelry market. The chocolate color can also be achieved through treating the diamond. Most of the chocolate diamonds currently on the market have been color-treated. As one might expect, naturally brown diamonds are worth more than treated or synthetic ones. A reputable jeweler should tell you whether the stone in the chocolate diamond ring you’re considering is natural, treated or synthetic.

How does the diamond get that color naturally?
There are a couple of ways that the diamond could become brown. Diamonds that have been irradiated, perhaps by uranium ore located with the diamond. However, when this occurs in nature the color is usually just on the surface of the diamond. Experts suspect that diamonds with a rich, natural brown color have lattice deformations that create the rich shade.

Where did the name come from?
The jewelry firm Le Vian coined the term chocolate diamonds to describe rich brown diamonds. The term is used in the company’s marketing.

Are brown diamond rings more valuable or less valuable than white?
Truth is, throughout most of history brown diamonds were considered inferior gems and were not used for jewelry. Many diamond mines produce a large amount of brown diamonds, however, and in the 1980s a public relations push sought to make good quality brown diamonds more desirable in the eyes of jewelry buyers. Color is not the sole determinant of value in a diamond, but if all other factors are the same, white diamonds are more expensive than chocolate. Generally speaking, you can get more diamond for your money if you go with a chocolate diamond.

Is clarity important in chocolate diamonds?
Clarity is an important determinant of value in any diamond. Buyers should be aware that some jewelers sell chocolate diamond rings with poor clarity, hoping buyers will admire the pretty chocolate shade and ignore the cloudiness.

What is the Golden Jubilee Diamond?
The world’s largest cut diamond is a chocolate diamond. The original stone, discovered in a South African mine in 1985, came in at 755.5 carats and was cut down to a 545 carat diamond. The stone was presented to the king of Thailand for the 50th anniversary of his crowning, and dubbed the Golden Jubilee Diamond.

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Asscher Cut Engagement Rings

A beautiful Asscher cut engagement ring symbolizes the commitment that a couple makes when they decide to marry. The Asscher cut diamond is somewhat unusual and tends to stand out from ordinary gems.

Asscher Cut History
The Asscher cut originated at the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, a firm that was founded in 1854 in the Netherlands by the Asscher famly, who still own it today. Talented jeweler Joseph Asscher developed the company’s signature Asscher cut in 1902, and patented it, the first time a cut had been patented. The company held the patent until World War II, when the Jewish Asscher family was sent to concentration camps, leaving no one to renew the patent when it expired. After the war the family returned to Amsterdam and rebuilt the company. In 2001 the company debuted and patented the Royal Asscher cut diamond, an enhanced version of the original Asscher cut.

What is an Asscher Cut?
An Asscher cut diamond is a type of stepped square cut diamond, with rounded corners like a cushion cut. The steps are parallel to one another, and seem to play with light a bit before bouncing it back out to our eyes. It is sometimes called a square emerald cut. The traditional Asscher cut diamond has 58 facets, but the newer Royal Asscher cut has 74. The additional facets give the diamond better light performance when compared to the original cut and other stepped diamonds.

Diamond Flaws
An Asscher cuts steps can accentuate a diamonds flaws and inclusions, and its corners can highlight poor color. For that reason only high quality diamonds should be used for Asscher cut diamonds.

Asscher Cut Engagement Rings and Hollywood
Asscher cut diamonds had fallen out of fashion, but have become more popular in recent years with a little help from Hollywood. An Asscher cut diamond was featured on the HBO series “Sex and the City,” and when Reese Witherspoon was married to Ryan Phillippe she sported an Asscher cut engagement ring. Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts have also sported Asscher cut diamond rings.

The Royal Asscher Diamond Company

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Blue Diamond Rings

blue diamond ringYou’re an unusual woman, why not opt for an unusual ring? While diamond rings are common enough, beautiful blue diamond rings are definitely out of the ordinary. Learn more about this special gem and decide whether it’s for you.

Fancy Diamonds
While white and off-white diamonds are the best known, diamonds are found in nature in a rainbow of colors, including brown, lavender, green, yellow, red, pink, black and blue. These colored diamonds are called fancy diamonds. While some colored diamonds – some of the yellows, for instance – are worth less than white diamonds of comparable quality, others are worth more, due to their rarity. Blue diamonds are some of the rarest, and therefore good quality blue diamond rings can be quite valuable.

Why the Diamonds are Blue
The blue color of the diamonds are due to impurities, specifically boron. While the diamond is forming, boron gas is trapped in the crystal structure, creating a diamond with an arresting blue color.

Shades of Blue Diamond Rings
Most blue diamonds are a pale or light blue, but some have a deeper blue color, though not so deep as a sapphire. Generally, for two diamonds of similar size and quality, the deeper the color, the more valuable the diamond.

Synthetic vs Natural Blue Diamond Rings
The prevalence of synthetic diamonds had brought the price of blue diamond rings into reach for some who might not have been able to afford them before. While synthetic blue diamonds appear quite similar to natural blue diamonds to the naked eye, under ultraviolet examination a good jeweler can easily tell them apart.

White Diamonds with Blue Fluorescence
Some jewelers might try to use the fact that blue diamond rings are so costly to make a little extra money off a white diamond with blue fluorescence. In a white diamond, the blue fluorescence should make it less expensive, not more.

The Hope Diamond
Perhaps the most famous blue diamond is the Hope Diamond, a 45 carat stone that is currently displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Its deep blue color and large size make it one of the rarest diamonds ever found. Historians believe that the Hope Diamond was first unearthed in Indian during the 1600s. The Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Tavernier obtained the uncut stone and carried it back to France, where it was cut into a 115-carat diamond known as The Tavernier Diamond, which he sold to King Louis XIV. The stone was recut to a 67 carat diamond known the Blue Diamond of the French Crown, or the French Blue. After the King and Queen were killed during the French Revolution, the stone disappeared for decades, reemerging as the 45 carat Hope Diamond. While it was long suspected, researchers have recently verified that the Hope Diamond was in fact cut from the French Blue. The stone spent some time in England before traveling to the United States and finding its way into the collection of the Smithsonian when famed American jeweler Harry Winston donated it.

Russian Blue Diamond
I once read an account of a wealthy Russian Émigré who had been given a valuable jewel in a convent by one of the Grand Duchesses before escaping the Bolsheviks. For years she believed it to be a large sapphire, only to discover much later that it was actually a much rarer blue diamond. Unfortunately, a quick search of Google didn’t turn this story up, so I’m not sure where I read it – is anyone familiar with this story? If so I’d love a link to it – please use the contact form to get in touch with me – I had to turn off comments due to spammers.

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Expensive Engagement Rings

Throughout history, an engagement ring has been a symbol of love and eternity, a couple’s promise to spend the rest of their lives together. The ring can also be an investment, and may well be the most valuable piece of jewelry a woman owns. Those interested in purchasing expensive engagement rings should take several factors into account.

Diamond Value in Expensive Rings
The diamond is the most important component of an engagement ring’s value, and expensive engagement rings should have top notch diamonds. Four things determine the diamond’s quality and worth. While some assume that size, or carat weight, is the primary factor, that is not the case. The color of the diamond, its clarity, its cut and proportion and then, carat weight are the four factors that decides the diamond’s value. Experts refer to these as “the four c’s.”

Many, many factors within these four categories can affect the price of the diamond. For example, if the diamond has been cut so that the symmetry of the facets isn’t perfect, the value is lower. If the diamond has been cut too shallow, it can bring down the value. Blemishes mar the clarity of the stone, resulting in a lower quality diamond.

Diamond Reports
An expensive engagement ring with a high quality fine diamond should come with a diamond grading report or certificate. Knowing what to look for in this report can help you make an educated decision about which diamond engagement ring is your best choice.

Diamond reports are issued by a number of different gem laboratories. While GIA is perhaps the best known, there are also labs like EGL, AGL, HRD and IGI. Things to look for on the report are
• Dimensions – make sure the dimensions in the report match the dimensions of the actual diamond, or else a switch may have been made
• The exact carat weight – make sure it matches the diamond
• Finish is the stones symmetry and polish and should be listed as “good” or better.
• Proportion – Check the figure for depth percentage. The best is 58 to 60%, very good is 61 to 62%, acceptable is 62 to 64%, and over 64% is poor.
• Proportion – Check the figure given for table percentage. The best value is in the 53 to 57% range, 57 to 60% is a very good number, up to 64% is acceptable. Over 70% is a poor choice for expensive engagement rings.
• Clarity gradings vary amongst gem labs. For GIA, they are, from best to poorest, FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2 and I3.
• Color grades also vary amongst gem labs, and should be listed on the report.
• The girdle, or edge, thickness – a diamond with a very thin girdle is more likely to chip. A diamond with a very thick girdle looks smaller.
• Fluorescence – Stones may have either a yellow or blue fluorescence. However a “very strong yellow” fluorescence can make the stone appear yellower in daylight, while a “very strong blue” fluorescence can give the stone a cloudy appearance in daylight.

Metals of Expensive Engagement Rings
Expensive engagement rings are typically crafted from platinum, white gold or yellow gold. Keep in mind that white metals like platinum or white gold can enhance the whiteness of the diamond, while yellow gold can make it appear more yellow. However, if the stone is slightly yellow, yellow gold can actually make it appear whiter.

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Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings

More and more women are choosing colorful engagement rings. Some go for sapphire rings, some for emeralds, and some women are choosing the unique sparkle of yellow diamond engagement rings.

What are Yellow Diamonds?
Colorful diamonds result when impurities are trapped in the diamond while it forms. In the case of yellow diamonds, nitrogen was in the diamond while it formed, causing the yellow hue. Because of the prevalence of nitrogen, yellow diamonds are the most common of colored diamonds.

Types of Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings
Different types of yellow diamond engagement rings are available, and couples can choose rings where the yellow diamond is the primary stone, or rings that use yellow diamonds as accent stones. When the yellow diamond is the main stone, small round white diamonds or baguettes are frequently used to the sides of it. Alternatively, a couple can go with the traditional white diamond solitaire, with small yellow diamonds to the side. On the other hand, couples may choose to use channel-set white and yellow diamonds on the wedding band instead of the engagement ring.

Yellow Diamond Hardness
Regardless of color, diamonds are the hardest known gem, measuring a 10 on the mohs scale, a tool for comparing gem hardness. Because of this, diamonds are less prone to scratching, chipping and cracking than other gemstones. This makes yellow diamonds ideal for use in engagement rings, which may be worn every day of a woman’s married life.

Yellow Diamond Color
Some diamonds have just a touch of yellow color, while others are a strong banana yellow shade. Light yellow diamonds are sometimes referred to as Champagne Diamonds, while darker yellow diamonds are Canary Diamonds. All other properties being equal, darker yellow diamonds are generally more valuable than lighter.

Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring Metals
Yellow diamonds look stunning against white metals like platinum and white gold, particularly when combined with white diamonds. While the white metals are currently more fashionable, yellow gold and yellow diamonds can also make an attractive combination in an engagement ring.

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