Zach Constructs His Engagement Ring with INTA Gems

intablogcustomers, Engagement Rings

Zach is in the contruction business and graduated from the top of his class from Cal State Long Beach. Lots of changes in his life, but none as important as getting engaged! Zach’s just got a D color diamond and a beautiful ring that we help put together here at INTA Gems. Congrats Zach!!!

Old friends and new jewelry!

intablogcustomers, Engagement Rings, wedding bands

It was so fun to see my good friend from high school, Clarissa Jones and her fiancee Jason Bickford at INTA Gems today! They’re getting married in beautiful MALIBU at the end of June and I’m so excited for them.

Jason bought Clarissa a GORGEOUS platinum wedding band with diamonds that looked perfect with her already sparkling 3-stone engagement ring… and the best part… it already fit her finger perfectly! I think it was made for her :)

Clarissa also picked up some fabulous bridesmaid gifts and left with two full bags of jewelry, cleaning solution and CANDY!!! This couple has some serious style and class. I can’t wait for their BIG DAY in June!

Joy to the World

intablogcustomers, family

Brian Joy and his two year old Travis stopped by to get his mom a beautiful diamond bracelet! He and she are a police officers and got a special diamond bracelet that has a locking mechanism that looks like… diamond handcuffs! How appropriate!

Travis had a great personality and was so cool. A joy to the world!

What is a Cushion Cut?

intablogdiamonds, education, Engagement Rings, video

Even though I love the brilliance on a round brilliant cut diamond, my personal all time favorite shape is a cushion cut. I love cushions because it has a very unique shape that is somewhat a combination between a round and a princess. Originally I was a big fan of the princess cut diamond, but once I stumbled upon the cushion, I fell in love. I really love that pillow-like shape. The rounded corners gives it a softer romantic appearance. If you’re wondering what exactly is a cushion cut diamond, here are some facts…

A Cushion cut is a square or squarish-rectangular cut that contains rounded corners and 58 brilliant-style facets. As I mentioned earlier, the rounded corners give it a softer appearance than a princess. Cushions acquired its name because of its rounded corners and resemblance to a pillow. Cushions are a shape that originated in the late 19th- early 20th century and is the generic name for the “Old Mine Cut”, a deep cut with large pavilion facets and a steep crown. Many of the older cushions contain a culet and a smaller table. Unlike round brilliant cut diamonds, which have more brilliance, cushions are more dispersive (separate white light into spectral colors). Cushion cuts are perfect for fancy colored diamonds because it displays the color evenly.

During 1913, when Tolkowsky created the modern round brilliant, some of those angles were incorporated into the cushion cuts to give cushions more fire. Older cushion cuts usually have a bigger culet (the bottom tip of the diamond) and a very thin girdle that made these older stones chip more easily.

Most cushion cut diamonds have a culet that acts as a window through the diamond. As a result, what ever color underneath the diamond is shown through the table. However, placing the cushion in white metal would make the stone appear just like another sparkle of light. Once the culet size reaches to medium sized or thicker, the culet starts to become visible to the eye.

Additionally, older cushion cuts return light in blocky patterns, while newly cut cushions return light in needlelike patterns. Newer cushion cuts usually have smaller culets, better proportions, and better symmetry.

Cushion cut diamonds can be more squared (length to width ratio 1.05 or less) or rectangular (ratio 1.3 or more). The pillow shape many associate with cushions tends to have ratios in the 1.10 to 1.20 range. However, the ratio ultimately comes down to the customer’s particular preference.

Nowadays, there are three basic facet patterns for cushions, but the two most popular are: the GIA Cushion Brilliants and the Modified Cushion Brilliant (which has an extra row of facets just below the girdle). The facet pattern has no effect on the cushion’s sparkle and brilliance. Instead, the overall sparkle and brilliance depends on the skill of the cutter. However, the Modified Cushion Brilliants often have exceptional sparkle that compares to radiant cuts.

Advice: When searching for a cushion, make sure to examine the stone carefully in a variety of lights and different angles to check that the stone does not have a bow tie pattern. The bow tie shadow is evident across the center of an improperly cut diamond. If looking for cushion cuts, we recommend that you choose one of SI1 clarity. Throughout the years, many jewelers have been using cushions for antique settings and opted for lower color grades of I or K color because the yellow tint compliments the antique look. However, if you want the more common white color diamonds are usually associated with, we recommend you get a G color above. We also suggest a classic pillow shape with the length-to-width ratio of 1.10 to 1.20 (but this ratio does not apply to more squarish stones.

Cushion cut diamonds are perfect stones because it not only displays colors evenly on fancy colored diamonds, but its versatility makes it perfect for all types of settings. Not only are cushions perfect for antique-styled settings, but they also go great in contemporary settings such as pavé. Cushions are a perfect choice for those that want to be different, but still crave exceptional brilliance and sparkle.

Buying Tips:
1) Make sure your diamond is accompanied with a GIA or EGL Certificate in order to verify the stone’s authenticity. The certificate or diamond lab report indicates all the characteristics of that particular diamond. It is important that every diamond buyer purchases a diamond with a certificate.
2) Have a budget in mind. The typical engagement ring cost would be at least two months salary.
3) Check out a few stores to develop an eye for the cushion cut. Some great stores to try are Tiffany, Harry Winston, Cartier, and of course, INTA Gems!

Anyway, I hope this helps!

A Familiar Face & A New Friend from the Boston Red Sox!

intablogcustomers, Engagement Rings

Ben bought his engagement ring at INTA Gems awhile back and now it is his buddy Rex’s turn. And of course, our company gave them tons of candy treats to nibble on as they learned about diamond education.

Rex played for the Boston Red Sox and he’s now a motivational speaker! We should be thankful that we’re not living in New York because the Yankee fans would be killing us right about now… ha ha ha!

Rex ended up getting a great deal on a dazzling 18K white gold princess cut diamond ring with round brilliant cut diamond side stones. The center stone is a fabulous top color diamond (E color). Congrats Rex!!

We hope to see you soon!

Rare blue diamond sells for record $9.5 million

intablogdiamonds, news

GENEVA (Reuters) – A flawless vivid blue diamond weighing 7.03 carats sold Tuesday for a record 10.5 million Swiss francs ($9.49 million), the highest price paid per carat for any gemstone at auction, Sotheby’s said.

The rectangular-shaped blue stone, the rarest to enter the international market this year, went to an anonymous buyer bidding by telephone after hectic bidding see-sawed between two callers for 15 minutes.

It was the centrepiece of its semi-annual sale in Geneva, conducted by David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry department in Europe and the Middle East, who said the results showed the market’s resilience despite the economic downturn.

“This is already a new world record price for a fancy vivid blue diamond and a new world record per carat for any gemstone (at auction),” Bennett told reporters.

“It is fantastic in this market and shows that these rare things are very much in demand,” he said.

The final price includes a commission paid by the buyer to the auction house. The stone sets a record price per carat for any gemstone sold at auction of $1,349,752, Sotheby’s said.

The previous record price for a fancy vivid blue diamond was $7.9 million, including commission, for a stone weighing 6.04 carats at sale in Hong Kong in October 2007, also by Sotheby’s.

The new owner will have the right to name the stone, which is mounted in a platinum ring. The pre-sale catalog estimate was 6.8 million to 10 million francs, excluding commission. The hammer price excluding commission was 9.3 million francs.

It was put up for sale by London-listed Petra Diamonds, which extracted it last year from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa, the world’s most regular supplier of blue diamonds of size and quality. Blue are the rarest of the diamond family after reds.

“To have a stone mined last year and cut the early part of this year so it is absolutely virgin coming straight from the mine has never happened before,” Bennett said. “This is one of the extremely rare substances in our universe.”

The sale fetched a total of 39.5 million swiss francs ($35.7 million) for 266 lots which found new owners, while another 80 pieces were stranded on the block.

“In this general economic environment to see $35 million worth sold in a session shows a lot about the resilience of fine jewels no matter what the climate,” Bennett said.

Fresh stones to the market, including coloured diamonds, fetched good prices, the Briton said.

(Editing by Jonathan Lynn and Jon Boyle)

Original Source:

“I Believe” in the Beauty of California

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Here’s the new Miss California USA PSA called “I Believe” that features former Miss USAs, Miss California USAs, and Miss Teen USAs and our own Chelsea Gilligan, Miss California Teen USA, showing the world, the beauty of California.

It’s about love, responsibility and respect.

Watch the video, it’s amazing.

Miss California USA Press Conference in Beverly Hills

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I just attended the Miss California USA press conference at the Pennisula Hotel in Beverly Hills that was covered by CNN, ABC and other news organizations. Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler, Co-Directors of the Miss California USA organization, introduced the new “Beauty of California” ambassador, Tami Ferrell. Chelsea Gilligan, Miss California Teen USA 2009, was also taking questions from the press about the new “I Believe” PSA.