Princess Diana’s Sapphire Engagement Ring

When Charles popped the question at a private dinner at Buckingham Palace, Princess Diana couldn’t help but laugh. For what reason you may ask? He proposed without an engagement ring! In addition, he did not even get down on one knee. Regardless, the princess responded saying “Yes, Please!”.

Rather than selecting the ring prior, Charles let Diana pick her own ring from a selection of different designs by Garrard, a crown jeweler at the time. From all the options provided, Diana’s selection was the root of the unconfirmed controversy behind the princesses’ famous ring. When a young Princess Diana was presented a lineup of precious gems designed solely for royalty, she opted for the one item that was also available to the general public (assuming they had the estimated $60,000 to dish out for it) rather than selecting something no one else could have.

Diana’s heart was set on a 12-Carat Oval Ceylon Sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds, all encompassed by an 18-karat white gold band which was later called the Marguerite Ring. This scenario is famously reenacted in season four of the Netflix show, The Crown. Is this reenactment an accurate depiction of what truly went down? Or was a lot of what happened all for dramatic effect? We are here to uncover the differences.


In episode three of season four in the Netflix series with a title of “Fairytale”, Diana first selects a Burmese Ruby ring that was a royal family heirloom piece. These are presented to Diana by the Queen in a “special box of chocolates” that was actually a selection of engagement rings curated by William Summers. The Queen announces the variety of ring options but follows up by saying “anyway, the idea is that you pick one”. Diana then changes her mind, and according to the show, picks out the largest and most expensive item.

When asked by Queen Elizabeth why she liked that one more, Diana responds by saying “Because it reminds me of my mother’s engagement ring and it’s the same color as my eyes”. The tension in the room is very evident, but we cannot allude it to the fact that it was the priciest item as the royal family would not have worried about the cost associated, assuringly. According to Royal Secrets: The View From Downstairs by Stephen Barry, in real life, the queen’s eyes may have popped when Diana selected the largest option. In episode four where the decision making took place, the Queen’s eyebrows were noticeably raised at the choice. Whether her eyes popped due to the price tag, or the fact that it was available to general “commoners” for sale, we will never truly know the thoughts that took place in her mind at this given moment.

In the show, the scene was shot at the Heaven Room at Burghley House, whereas the real-life ring selection took place at Windsor Castle in February 1981. This is one of the main differences between the Netflix series and the actuality of the engagement ring selection and where it took place. On the contrary, what is accurate is the fact that she was presented a lineup of potential rings to select from. What may or may not have been approved by the royal family (the controversy is not 100% confirmed) is now the most famous engagement ring in history and increased the sale of sapphires by 300% for the few months after the ring was later passed to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Regardless of what went down in real life versus Hollywood, Sapphire is such a beautiful gemstone and can easily be incorporated in day to day fashion wear, or even your engagement ring. As mentioned in our blog on Custom-Made Sapphire Rings, Sapphire symbolizes loyalty, trust and faithfulness which adds even more underlying meaning to a piece of jewelry that is already incredibly special.

If you’d like to channel your inner Princess-Diana and make your sapphire dreams come true, give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment!


The Deeper Meanings of November’s Birthstones: Citrine & Topaz

For this week’s blog, we are going to dive deeper into November birthstones and the two gemstones associated with it: Citrine and Topaz.


Citrine is famously known for its warm colors and is said to be a gift from the sun. It’s also known for its healing properties and is a premier stone of manifestation, imagination and personal well-being. It is a very warm and comforting stone, hence the connection with sunshine and the power it can provide to one’s internal energy. The frequency it gives off helps awaken one’s creativity and imagination and encourages a fulfilled life of new adventures and fresh starts.

Citrine is a transparent, yellow variety of quartz and can range in color from a pale to golden yellow, but can go as deep as a warm honey tone. Natural citrine is more of a pale yellow, compared to heat treated citrine which can be a deep amber, orange or reddish shade. The name citrine is derivative of the French word citron, (meaning lemon), due to its color variety and scale.

One of the main reasons why we love this gemstone is because it has a very modest price tag. Even larger sized citrine remains affordable as the price per carat does not rise too dramatically compared to most other gemstones. It is also one of the most popular and frequently purchased yellow gemstones. We personally believe that citrine pairs so beautifully with yellow gold due to the contrast in the two color varieties.



Regardless if it’s a warmer or cooler tone, topaz is such a lustrous, brilliant and beautiful gem. It can range in colors of a lighter honey yellow, baby pink, and even an icy blue. Discovered in Portugal in 1769, Topaz comes in at an 8 on Mohs hardness scale which makes it a durable stone to incorporate into your fashion jewelry. The most sought after topaz in terms of color and value are the varieties ranging in an orangey red to deep red. The bluer varieties are more common which makes them less expensive and easier to imitate.

We love topaz because it is typically very eye-clean in terms of its clarity and more often than not has no inclusions visible to the naked eye. It is also considered pleochroic, meaning that the gem will show a variety of colors in different crystal directions. This is very admirable for those looking for a unique stone that has different hues of color throughout the internal, crystal structure.

Topaz is often referred to as the “crystal of potency”, with ends and facets that produce both positive and negative currents. It can be highly effective when used for positive affirmations, mediation and other metaphysical purposes. It is also esteemed for overall health and wellbeing. With all that being said, we love using topaz in our day to day fashion jewelry due to the lovely underlying meaning it encompasses.


If you are interested in branching out into other types of jewelry outside of Fine Diamond jewelry, we can easily help your creative thoughts come to life by designing a custom piece with November’s gorgeous birthstones. At the Diamond Reserve, we don’t stop at just diamonds! If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment!

Jaw-Dropping Holiday Gifts Under $1,000.00

The Holidays are officially here! If you’re like most others, you probably haven’t started brainstorming what to buy your friends, family or loved ones for the upcoming season. Fret no more though because we are here to help. We recently launched a holiday catalog with a variety of gifts ranging in price and features pieces that are available in 14K yellow, white and rose gold. The pieces vary from bracelets, necklaces, rings and even earrings so you have a wide selection of stunning items to choose from.

We believe that fine jewelry is a fantastic idea for a holiday gift. A piece of fine, handmade jewelry is practical, thoughtful and is destined to last a lifetime and can be worn every day. Each time your loved one puts on the piece you selected, they will reflect back on the special time where you gifted them such a thoughtful present.

To help you on your search for a gift idea, here are a few pieces for those that you want to ‘wow’ this holiday season without breaking the bank.


Stackable Bracelets

Starting off with our least expensive option, the Celestial Star Bracelet is available in 14K yellow, white and rose gold. This bracelet works extremely well as a holiday gift as the celestial start showcased in the center of the bracelet is super in-par with the holiday season.

The star pendant sits central on your wrist and looks lovely on the dainty, 14K gold cable chain. The bracelet has a spring ring closure which makes for very easy day to day wear. The Celestial Star bracelet can be worn on its own as a fashion piece but also works very well as a stacking piece to wear with your other bracelets. We believe this bracelet works great as a stocking stuffer and the damage is only $135.00 for each gold variety!



Moving onto the next product, we have multiple earring options that make for a great surprise gift. Our favorite pair in the holiday collection would have to be the Lunar Love Studs. These dainty and eccentric earrings are available in 14K yellow, white and rose gold and showcase two crescent moons with one diamond per piece that is G-H in color and I1 in clarity.

These earrings sparkle from every angle due to the gorgeous stones the earrings encompass. These are a sure-fire way to light up your loved one’s life and are available for $240.00.


Stackable rings are one of our favorites ways to dress up or down your day to day fashion wear. In our 2020 Holiday Catalogue, we have a variety of fun stacking rings that you can add to your jewelry collection. Of all these gorgeous rings to choose from, one of our favorites would be the Cherub Angel Pinky Ring. Available for $460.00, this ring works wonderfully as a Christmas gift.

This ring is available in sizes 3-7, but works best as a statement, pinky ring. The ring comes in 14K yellow gold and features a cherub angel on the center pendant of the ring. Bead blasted and polished, this ring shines like no other and is a great gift to put under the tree this upcoming holiday season.




Lastly, we have a stunning variety of necklaces to present this upcoming season. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece, or something to layer and stack, we truly have it all! With so many options to choose from, our favorite would have to be the Diamond Bar Necklace that is as classy and elegant as can possibly be.

The necklace hangs beautifully from the nape of your neck and encompasses 20 natural diamonds that are H+ in color and I2 in clarity, meaning the necklace will sparkle like no other. With a price tag of $900.00, this necklace can be the reason your holiday season shines like the stars!

Overall, we are so excited to present these holiday gift ideas to you. The options don’t stop here, so feel free to head over to our website and check out the rest of our 2020 Holiday Catalogue. Keep an eye out on our socials for special deals leading up to the most exciting time of the year!

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, feel free to give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment!



Trending Engagement Ring Styles

Photo provided by the Diamond Reserve Instagram

You’re thinking about popping the question when all of the sudden, a million thoughts start to infiltrate your mind. Where does one start when selecting the forever ring for their one and only beloved? This can be a worry-some time for most, and we are here to provide insight on how to select the perfect ring for your partner. You can possess comfort in knowing that your worries can be put aside, and all that’s left to do is ask! Conviction and confidence can go a long way, and knowing your selection coincides with the trending engagement rings in 2020 can be the cherry on top of your perfect proposal.

What Can We Expect in 2020?

As one commonly knows, each new year will bring in a series of trends and popular niche markets. When it comes down to it, who wouldn’t want to select the most unique, fashionable ring they can render? With that being said, this year, the topic of a common “must have” engagement ring is shining light on elongated cushion cut gems. According to Pinterest and its trending searches, “Elongated Cushion Engagement Rings” are up by a stunning 143% in 2020 alone. These statistics can partially be credited due to the fact that famous celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez have been hitting the streets, flashing off their new elongated cushion cut favorites.

What is an Elongated Cushion Cut?

The elongated cushion cut can be described as a square shaped diamond, (or other gemstone), that has a rounder cut on the edges, which essentially, gives it a softer “pillow-like” look. This traditional cut is considered unique in the sense that it is more symmetrical than other counterparts and can come across as more elegant due to the shape and intricate detail that is featured prominently in its fine lines. Attributable to the unique shape this cut features, the centerpiece can give the appearance of a larger facet compared to similar cuts within the same carat weight. Ideally, with a desired range between a 1.10 and 1.30 ratio, the elongated cushion could be the perfect, trendy, engagement ring to fashionably close off your year with a “Yes, I do!”.

What’s Your Next Step?

As trends come and go, this is one that is sure to last. This distinctive, idiosyncratic cut is sure to stick along for the long run and we are happy to answer any questions you may have in the meantime. Feel free to give us a call at 720-560-3548 or click here to schedule an appointment.

VVS Diamonds for Custom Jewelry

If you’re shopping for diamonds, you might run across the term “VVS”. It sound technical, but VVS just stands for Very, Very Slightly-included. In short, it means that the diamonds have barely enough inclusions (or faults) to not be considered flawless. This opens up some opportunities for buyers who don’t want to break the bank.

Better Quality For The Price

VVS Diamonds are often discussed alongside flawless diamonds but have a lower price tag because they actually do have inclusions. Since the inclusions aren’t visible, they look flawless and you get them for a lower price point. Of course, if someone comes up with a 30x magnifying glass then they’ll be able to spot the flaws in your ring, but the reality (and the consensus that some shoppers are coming to) is that the only person who would notice such inclusions would be the person wearing it. With VVS diamonds, the owner of the ring often can’t even tell that there are any inclusions.

Of course, there are some minor disadvantages such as being slightly less stable than a flawless diamond, but diamonds are naturally very hard and extremely difficult to break, so that’s not a concern that most people bother with.

VVS1 vs VVS2

There are 2 main classifications of VVS diamonds. Easily enough, they just slapped a 1 and a 2 after VVS for the names.

VVS1 means that the inclusions are closer to the outside and, therefore, less noticeable. VVS2 means the inclusions are closer to the center of the gemstone and will be more visible due to the number of larger number of light refractions. Typically, you want VVS1 if possible, but VVS2 might have a cheaper price tag so it’s going to be a balance of budget vs quality.

Different Tastes for Different Budgets

If you have the budget for them, flawless diamonds simply can’t be beat. For the people who want a visually perfect diamond without the large price tag that flawless diamonds often come with, VVS is an exceptional option.

Looking for a VSS diamond design or have more questions? Set up your appointment with us today!

The Best Time To Get A Promise Ring

Timing is one of the more important struggles of a relationship. We all run into timing issues. When is the best time to propose? When should we talk about combining bank accounts? When should I meet his parents? When should I tell her that her cat is a jerk?

Before we get to the heavier timing questions, however, we get a little practice with the easier ones. So today we’re going to start with an easy one: promise rings.

Why is a promise ring important?

Promise rings, as with many relationship customs, have religious roots. Without a boring history lesson, a Pope in the 1200’s decided to create a mandatory waiting period between the engagement and the wedding. These rings were basically engagement rings at first but evolved in meaning as time went on.

A promise ring today is essentially an initial sign of commitment. Not as heavy a commitment as an engagement, but a sign that you want to continue progressing the relationship. Particularly for those couples that plan to wait a bit longer (more than 2 years) to get married, this can be a good midway point.

Who should get the promise ring?

In this case it doesn’t particularly matter. Either member of the couple can get the other one a promise ring as it’s merely a symbol of a desire to continue progressing the relationship. Of course, this goes for non-romantic couples too. Sometimes friends give each other promise bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry as a sign that they want to continue that relationship, whatever it may be. But get it with purpose, because it will have purpose whether or not you want it to.

Be Crystal Clear

The number one mistake that people make is that they don’t clarify the meaning of the promise ring. The last thing you want is to get a beautiful piece of jewelry for someone only for your intentions to be misread. Be very clear when you are giving them the jewelry and before they get too many ideas in their head of exactly why you’re giving it. Many times a ring will be given and the female will expect an upcoming proposal while the male just wanted to get a nice piece of jewelry for his girlfriend.

When Is The Best Time?

This varies depending on the situation:

  • If you’re too young to get married then there’s really no wrong time, but we’d recommend no sooner than 2 months in.
  • If you’re bridging the gap to marriage, around 4-6 months is a good time-frame. Don’t get her a ring too late (1 year or more) unless you’re planning a proposal because it will likely send the wrong signal.
  • In rare cases, if neither person wants to ever get married then promise rings can be given in place of an engagement ring.

In the end, the best judge of the situation is yourself. Every relationship and every person is different.

Need help finding the perfect promise ring? Schedule your appointment with our experts or call us at (720) 560-3548 to get started!

What Diamond Cut Sparkles The Most?

There are many different cuts of diamonds with many different purposes. Some create a more elegant feel while others illuminate surrounding lights much better. A common question on the minds of many is: what diamond cut sparkles the most? It’s quite a fair question as well seeing as you want your diamond to have the most impact possible and set the strongest tone.

Before we dive into it, let’s look at the ‘why’ first:

Why do diamonds sparkle?

Imagine a reflective sheet of metal and how it can blast light back at you. Diamonds are covered in these reflective sheets. They’re the flat surfaces all over the diamonds that we refer to as ‘facets’. As you can probably imagine, having one facet would cause one powerful beam of light. When you make the facets smaller and add many more of them, you get what we refer to as ‘sparkle’. This is due to the facets reflecting light off of each other and fragmenting the light in a way that looks aesthetic.

Of course, the more facets you craft onto a diamond, the more complicated it becomes to craft. Making proper custom diamond jewelry, in that case, can take decades of practice.

The Round Brilliant Cut

There is, quite literally, a cut known as the “Round Brilliant Cut”. This cut aims to maximize the number of facets on the diamond while still keeping light fragmentation aesthetic. These cuts are typically circular and can almost look like the mirrors of a fun house. Due to their immense brilliance and sparkle, they are the all time favorite and most popular, though they are not one of the easier shapes to execute, which is why it’s important that you go through an experienced custom jeweler.

Another cut that includes a lot of sparkle is the Oval Cut. Our Instagram has a perfect example of a proper Oval cut for reference. The elongated nature of it gives a beautiful and unique look, though it’s not quite as popular as the Round Brilliant cut it is a common favorite.

If you’re looking for maximum sparkle, a Round Brilliant Cut is probably your best bet. Between Round Brilliant, Oval and even something like a Radiant Cut, we have the knowledge and expertise to make your ring light up a room. Set up an appointment with Kaeleigh or call us at (720) 560-3548 to get started!

The Difference Between Carats and Karats

Some things in the jewelry world are easy and well thought-out, and then we have the measurement system. Often asked is the difference between a carat and a karat.

While neither of these are a vegetable, they are both vital measurements that help determine the worth of a certain stone or metal. In fact, that’s the major difference: carats measure the weight of precious stones such as diamonds, while karats measure the purity of a precious metal such as gold.

Quick and Dirty

Without diving too far into detail, carats are used as the major measurement in pricing precious gemstones and, especially, diamonds. Typical carat range is anywhere from 0.2 carats to 5 carats, with most people settling just below 1 carat. Anything above 5 carats, while magnificent, can start causing other effects. To put it simply, you don’t want to walk into a bad part of town with a 10 carat ring on. For this measurement, carat is typically spelled out and not abbreviated.

Karats on the other hand are abbreviated as ‘kt’ and represent the percentage of a metal that consists of gold. If a precious metal is 9kt, or 9 karats, it is just over 37% gold. If it’s 24kt then it’s just shy of 100% gold.

Pure or Impure?

One common confusion with the gold measurement comes at 24 karats. 24 karats means that the gold is 99.9% pure. You might be thinking “great, what’s the difference between that and 100%” and you’d be right in most situations. However, there are several grades above that. These are generally refined in Mints. Grades include 99.99, 99.999… well, you can see where this is going. These numbers are important for things such as buying gold bars (which print the purity directly on the bar), but when it comes to jewelry you’re not going to care too much beyond 24 karats.

Oddly enough, there is no such thing as 100% pure gold. In fact, there is no metal on earth that is 100% pure. The reason for this is that contact with Oxygen causes metals to oxidize. Perhaps there’s some weird scenario where we could get 100% pure gold in outer space, but it wouldn’t be worth the hassle. Additionally: the higher the karats, the softer the gold. For this reason, gold jewelry cannot be made out of 24kt gold. 22kt is the maximum and is generally considered non-ideal.

February’s Birthstone

This historically rich gemstone has mentions in Greek Mythology, is the zodiac sign of the goat and boasts a color resembling fine wine. It’s said to grant its wearer a clear mind and a sharp wit. Oddly enough, it was also believed that this gemstone gave you a higher alcohol tolerance (which led to the folly of many men). This gemstone is none other than Amethyst.

The Jewel of Brazil

To say that there is a lot of Amethyst in Brazil would be the understatement of the year. Occurring in areas with volcanic activity (a common catalyst for it’s creation), Amethyst is found in Southwestern Brazil and Uruguay. While it’s found in other places such as South Korea, India, Austria and elsewhere, it’s also the state gemstone of South Carolina, whose museums host some very impressive Amethyst exhibits.

While this gemstone has a huge symbolic history, it used to be a cardinal gemstone as well. Along with Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald, Amethyst was one of the 5 major gemstones before being demoted off the list.

Both Beautiful and Durable

As a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, Amethyst is a fairly hard gemstone. While it can still chip, it’s one of the easier gemstones to maintain and keep safe. It does require polishing to keep it’s natural color and it can start to look a bit muddy if you don’t maintain it, but the maintenance is generally pretty minor.

As a wine-red/purple color, it offers a nice contrast from the typical gemstones and can give the immediate impression of elegance and works great on any piece of jewelry.


January’s Birthstone

As versatile as it is stunning, January’s birthstone comes in an enormous variety of colors and has long been a symbol of friendship and trust. Commonly seen in a dark red color, it can also be green, blue, brown, orange, pink, purple and just about everything in between.

Garnet has long been used as an abrasive and the types of Garnet differ fairly considerably in chemical composition. Garnet has several subspecies that vary in hardness, fault patterns, color and many other things.

Doesn’t Garnet translate to “dark red”?

While the word Garnet comes from the English word for dark red, gernet, that was likely established due to the fact that most Garnet comes in a dark red color. Back during it’s discovery we didn’t have the different species of gemstones classified, so Garnet became a classification that includes several times of gemstones.

Where was it first discovered?

It’s long believed that Garnet was discovered sometime during the Late Antique Roman era, but several species of Garnets were actually discovered in the late 1990s in the country of Madagascar. As one of the more recent gemstone discoveries, Garnet found its way in the jewelry world very quickly. In particular, pink garnet has become a staple of a lot of jewelry stores.

How to use Garnet in jewelry

While it’s incredibly versatile, Garnet can be a bit on the softer side. It’s also one of the more expensive gemstones, which is a place where its versatility kind of hurts it. The more colors it comes in, the more rare every color becomes essentially.

While not typically recommended for bigger purchases like wedding rings, garnet does go well in rings, pendants and earrings. If you’re looking for the dark red color then that shouldn’t be hard to find, it’s when you get into the fiery oranges that the price becomes a central point.

Garnet looks terrific in several colors with the popular ones being dark red, light blue, purple and pink and it’s versatility means that you can use multiple garnets in a single multi-colored piece. With how flexible it is, it’s often an easy and fun gemstone to use in jewelry, particularly custom made jewelry.

Looking for a custom Garnet piece? Give us a call or book an appointment!

How Deep Can You Find Diamonds?

Past the thick layer of earth’s crust lies an unbreachable segment called the ‘mantle’. Sweltering temperatures that would melt most objects on the surface, crushing pressure that would collapse certain metals and a darkness that does not allow for even the smallest flicker of light are found down there. Aside from absolute darkness, there are microscopic organisms that thrive in those environments and some gemstones that are providing a deeper look into the world of diamonds.

While our quest to dig that deep into the earth is a long way off, we have found a particularly neat discovery:

The Deepest Known Diamonds

An element that thrives in high pressure, Boron gets deep within the earth’s mantle by being attached to sinking tectonic plates. As those plates drive themselves into the earth’s mantle, they push the Boron deeper and deeper. The repercussions of that? Rare, blue diamonds.

Only about 0.02% of all diamonds are the color blue, making it likely the rarest color in the world of diamonds. A flawless blue diamond is so rare that they usually end up in the Smithsonian, which is why this discovery is of particular interest. However, within the earth’s mantle these blue gemstones have been discovered, which is yet another treasure awaiting those who are able to dig deep enough.

And the Other Gemstones?

The conditions for forming most gemstones have a specific range and, due to their hardness (or lack of), they would be crushed at depths too great. For example, Sapphire forms between 6 and 18 miles below the surface. That’s less than ⅓ of the way to getting out of the crust, let alone near the middle of the mantle where these blue diamonds are estimated to be. In fact, you would need to get about 410 miles within the earth to reach the deposits. Needless to say, we’re a long way off from being able to reach that.

So When Do We Dig!?

The Russians are working on that and have created some enormous holes such as the Kola Superdeep Borehole. I say created, but it’s over 20 years old at this point. In those 20 years, it’s dug a total of 40,230 feet (under 8 miles) and is approximately halfway through the crust. Since then, another deeper borehole was created in 2011 which dug a bit deeper, but unfortunately did not make any huge, additional discoveries.

While we might be a ways off from reaching these blue diamonds, there are plenty of gemstones that we can use! Give us a call or schedule an appointment to get started!

Holiday Jewelry Ideas: Bloodstone

For those looking to add a bit of Christmas spirit to their jewelry, we’d like to present you with an under-utilized gemstone: Bloodstone. Bloodstone is a mixture of Quartz and Jasper. Due to the mixture, it creates a very festive aesthetic of red with a dark green backdrop.

A Favorite of Ancient Romans

Referred to in the past as the “stone of Babylon,” Bloodstone was oft-mentioned in mythology, particularly that of the Romans and Greeks. In the past, it was worn as a Talisman to fend off venomous creatures. Of course, it did little in the way of actually fending off such creatures (snakes were a particular issue), but the stone kept it’s popularity nonetheless.

Bloodstone as a Holiday Jewelry Piece

Not only is Bloodstone the perfect aesthetic for the Christmas Season, it’s also very affordable compared to other, finer gemstones. Due to it’s uncharacteristic nature and unpredictable patterns, the gemstone is priced by “piece” and not by carat. It won’t have a glimmer such that you’ll find on diamonds, rubies or sapphires, but a holiday-specific piece does not always need to drop jaws to be effective.

If you’re looking to incorporate Bloodstone into a custom jewelry design, just give us a call or schedule an appointment!

December’s Gemstones

The three gems of December have a wide enough range to cover just about every shade of blue. While all three are beautiful in their own right, their histories vary. One of these stones dates back 4.4 billion years ago, while another was discovered just over 50 years ago. One is considered a valuable gemstone, while another is incredibly cheap and often included in gift shops.

This week we’ll be taking a look at Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise, the blue trio that make up December’s Gemstones:

Earth’s Oldest Gemstone

Previewed in several religious scriptures, Zircon is an incredibly old gemstone. It’s so ancient that it’s believed to be older than the moon. The gemstone is as versatile as it is ancient and has a wide range of hardness levels, a high refractive index, high dispersion rating and excellent reflection. This makes it a valuable gemstone, particularly when compared to the other two we’ll be looking at.

In jewelry, Zircon looks absolutely stunning. Stone cuts can create rectangular refraction lines and the light purple hue is very aesthetic.

Erupting Into Existence

Created by the fires of Mount Kilimanjaro, the aptly named Tanzanite comes exclusively from the country of Tanzania. It is equipped with a stunningly bold blue/violet color and is often so vivid that it does not need additional work other than what the earth has provided it.

While fairly soft (a 6.5 on the hardness scale), these stones make a great alternative to other, more expensive stones such as sapphires.

Tanzanite is tricky to deal with as there’s not much of it and a lot of it is wrapped up in licensing, though legislation in the area has improved the situation over the past few decades. Despite that, it’s an affordable and beautiful stone that will appeal to many people looking for their own custom jewelry piece.


Enacted as an official birthstone in 1912, Turquoise was interesting enough to give Rubies the boot as December’s gemstone (though Ruby has a different month now). Unlike many of the other gemstones we look at, Turquoise is not particularly valuable. It’s properties range so much and the gemstone is unstable enough that you’re much more likely to see it embedded in a necklace than you are an engagement ring. In fact, if you go into gift shops at museums then you’ve probably seen plenty of Turquoise.

Turquoise, despite being the name of a specific Color, can range in color. As confusing as that is, it matters heavily in the value of the gemstone, as most of the value is wrapped in the size and color (and not the carats). Turquoise is a fairly fragile gemstone, so it’s recommended to keep that in mind when deciding whether to use it.

The Largest Faceted Gemstone in History

Years ago in Brazil, an unfaceted Emerald weighing 1,900,000 carats was mined and found to have an estimated value of $400 million. Of course, the owner decided to sell it on eBay instead for less than 1/4th of that, but the point is that gemstones can get very large. Of course, faceting a gemstone that size would be pointless.

However, probably for the sake of setting a record, some of the larger gemstones have been faceted and cut. A large slab of Yellow Topaz sits at nearly 23,000 carats, weighs 26lb and is on display at the Smithsonian. There are enormous blocks of Emerald, a different Topaz that was shaped into a human-sized marble and strange, statue-sized blocks of pearl pulled out of the ocean. But the winner goes to a particular diamond.

The Golden Jubilee Diamond

In 1985, miners in South Africa pulled a 755 carat brown diamond out of the top mine in the country. An underground lab was constructed specifically to work on this diamond and it took two years to carve it into the gemstone it currently sits as.

By the end of their work, it had gone from 755 carats down to 545. After that, it would change hands a few times in various acquisitions. Today, the crown jewel sits in the Royal Museum at the Pimammek Golden Temple Throne Hall in the country of Bangkok.

You can see photos of the gemstone here.

How Many Carats Should My Engagement Ring Have?

Carats can be confusing. They often don’t come in whole numbers and many people end up with less than a carat, which seems to defeat the purpose of the measurement. Additionally, when we talk about gold the spelling changes to karat.

In some cultures, capitalization of the C can even change the meaning. To make matters even more confusing, many rings have multiple gemstones which means that the Diamond could be 1 carat, but the ring could be 1.5 carats in total diamond weight.

To get rid of the confusion, we’re going to break it down in simple terms so that you know how many carats you should be looking for when you start the buying process.

Most common number of carats

Many engagement rings have one diamond, which makes things much simpler. The most popular carat size is around 0.75 carats. There are many reasons for this, but a big one is price spikes. At 1 carat, the price spikes fairly hard. At 2 carats, it spikes exponentially harder. By the time you get to 10 carats, you might be getting a call from the Smithsonian.

Wait, I thought the most popular size was over 1 carat?

There’s a common misbelief that the most popular carat size is just over a carat, but that’s actually the average size. That average includes the Queen’s jewels, the real-life version of the jewelry in Ocean’s Eleven and that ring that your friend sold his car to buy. Since people don’t typically go on the small end then the average is skewed upwards, so make sure not to confuse the average size with the most popular size.

Are there price thresholds?

Generally, when the carat size is a whole number then you’re in the most trouble. A 0.75 carat diamond will be much more affordable than a 1 carat. A 1.75 carat will be more affordable than a 2 carat, and so on. Get a variety of prices and do due diligence to make sure you aren’t hitting one of these price spikes.

Smaller is sometimes better

A big mistake people make is to dish out large amounts of money for a huge diamond, only to realize that it’s cloudy and covered in imperfections. A smaller, high quality diamond should be preferable to a bigger, cloudy diamond. It’s the sparkle and the brilliance you’re after first and foremost.

The Diamond Reserve uses only GIA-Certified diamonds of the highest quality, so that you don’t have to worry about imperfections. If you’re looking for an engagement ring, drop us a line or call us at (720) 560-3548!