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Posts in Engagement Rings

A Jewel’s Meaning: Less Price Point than Story

by on February 7th, 2016

There’s a lot of reasons to give a present and it seems like a new one every day; the culture of giving has grown with the addition of new cultures to the US. Always, the greatest quality of any of these gifts though, is meaning.

Rarity, beauty, craftsmanship and history are a part of the message, but the heart of it, is the heart that gives it. Picking something rare and appealing to someone you know well, carries that care forever. Suddenly, a thing becomes beautiful in a new way, unique to its moment and imbued with qualities of another dimension of thought and memory.

This is why, carefully chosen, a relatively inexpensive engagement ring can be valued as highly as the Hope Diamond: it’s just a matter of meaning.

1920s Old Mine Cut Diamond Princess Ring, $2,200

1920s Old Mine Diamond Princess Ring, $2,200

The 12.10ct Intense Yellow Old Miner

by on December 11th, 2015

Gypsy and $400,000 may sound at odds, but what this ring is… is a Bohemian Rhapsody.

An antique diamond of rare size smoldering a wonderful yellow that is also elegant and wearable! The sort of jewel that completes a festival of cloth, color and bangle or is punctuation to a simple black dress. Itself, a treasure that never screams diamond, but does speak volumes about style and taste: Never cheap, always there and always fun.

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Fancy-Cut Diamonds: For a Sophisticated & Unique Look

by on November 17th, 2013

Asscher-Cut Diamond Ring

3.40ct Asscher-Cut Diamond Ring with Pavé Surround

Asscher, cushion, and radiant are just a few of the diamond cuts that come to mind when I think about diamonds that are truly exceptional and stunningly beautiful. They seem to intrigue the eye and compliment the wearer differently than a round stone. These diamond shapes have the ability to show off striking parallel step-cut lines, smooth pillow shaped corners, or brilliant fire radiating from many angles of the stone.

The round brilliant, while being the most popular diamond cut, will always air to the sense of classicism and pay homage to earlier circular diamond cuts. Without a doubt, the round will forever be revered. On the other hand, Fancy-shaped cuts are derived from advancements in diamond cutting techniques and a desire for uniqueness.

When a rough diamond is formed by Mother Nature, it is not always ideal for the stone to be cut into a round. Why? Perhaps the shape of the crystal is better suited for another shape or the crystal’s potential depth of color could be showcased if faceted to highlight a fancy colored diamond. Nevertheless, master diamond cutters have to analyze the rough material and take into consideration shape when envisioning the potential beauty for a stone.

If you find yourself dreaming of something special and sophisticated, consider a Fancy-cut diamond from Betteridge: you might just fall in love.

Cushion-Cut Diamond Ring

5.14ct Cushion-Cut Diamond Ring with Split Shank

Introducing the Betteridge Diamond Collection

by on April 10th, 2012


Last week, we launched a new section on our website devoted to the Betteridge Diamond Collection.

We have photographed each and every diamond, pairing it accurately with its GIA certificate on the site. Better yet, the diamonds are available for viewing in our stores.

Many of these diamonds offer truly exceptional value. Over the years, we have done our best to buy diamonds opportunistically, helping to ensure favorable pricing for our customers.

There is no better way to showcase a spectacular diamond than in an elegant, handcrafted setting. You can see a few of our favorite designs in our engagement ring guide.

We hope that you enjoy the newest addition to Betteridge.com, and please let us know if you have any suggestions to improve it.

The Evolution of Diamond Cutting & the “Antique Cushion”

by on October 1st, 2011

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Betteridge Collection Graff 10.04ct 'Antique Cushion' Diamond Engagement Ring

Diamond cutting is a combination of art and science that has evolved over many centuries. A cutter’s understanding of diamond’s precise physical properties combined with a finesse to bring out exceptional beauty is extremely rare. Although the understanding of how to maximize the weight from a crystal and achieve maximum brilliance is now almost faultless, to realize a gem’s potential for beauty remains a true art form.

The first brilliants, known as Mazarin’s, were introduced in the middle of the 17th century. These crudely fashioned stones were a more sophisticated creation than the Indian rose-cuts, and these in turn gave way to the cushion-cut, which was the most popular style of cutting by the middle of the 18th century. Many historic gems were refashioned at this time including the Agra and Hope diamonds.

Although modern brilliants and princess-cut diamonds have established themselves as a benchmark of technical perfection, the “Antique Cushion” has endured aesthetically as one of the most beautiful ways to cut a stone. This 10.04 carat diamond is a lovely example, the GIA grade is G-color and VS2-clarity, which makes it an extraordinarily beautiful gem, but not so perfect as to demand an exorbitant price for the size.

Mounted simply by Graff to enhance the stones elegant shape, this ring presents a wonderful opportunity to own an important stone that represents value in every way.

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Cushion-Cut Diamonds: Romancing the Stone

by on July 2nd, 2010

3.01 Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, D-Color & VS2 Clarity, $59,500

Having been involved with diamonds for all of my life (no kidding as a child of a jeweler it starts early)… I have become decidedly opinionated.

Of late, there has been an explosion of interest in cushion-cut diamonds. As we are specialists in estate and period jewelry, we see many cushions.

Stones cut in the style of the original cushion shape are beautiful creations that have characteristics that produce a unique blend of scintillation and fire. Just recall grandmother’s diamond ring at a candlelit dinner table! (If you would like to know the technical reason why this happens… ask me some time).

What is marketed today as a cushion-cut is really a radiant with rounded corners – a modern attempt that just falls short. If you want the best, take the time to appreciate the beauty and romance of a ‘true’ cushion.

Cartier 20.43ct, D-Color: The ‘Blitz Diamond’

by on June 1st, 2010

GIA-certified: 20.43 carats, D color and VS1 clarity

In the summer of 1940, the German Luftwaffe attempted to win air superiority over southern Britain and the English Channel by destroying the Royal Air Force and the British aircraft industry. This attempt came to be known as the Battle of Britain, and the Germans saw victory over the RAF as absolutely essential if they were eventually to mount an invasion of the British Isles.

At the beginning of 1940, a South American copper and tin ore magnate arrived in London to secure a valuable contract to provide essential metals to the war effort. On this visit, he met an English girl, fell in love and an ensuing affair resulted in a swift engagement. There was now an urgent need for the best diamond in London, and on the 29th of February in Cartier on Bond Street, this 20.43ct diamond was given as the engagement ring.

Alongside this very romantic story, the ‘Blitz Diamond’ is everything an important stone should be. The pure colorless stone of extremely fine clarity (D, VS1) has been superbly cut, and for a large stone, it retains a grace and elegance that is perfectly mirrored with Cartier’s aura in the first half of the twentieth century.

8.13ct Marquise-Shaped Diamond Ring

by on December 1st, 2009

8.13ct Marquise-Shaped Diamond Ring, D-color and SI1-clarity, $225,000

I am not a fan of modern, long and narrow marquise-cut diamonds. I am, however, in love with this old, chunky marquise-cut that we just acquired!

It’s a nearly perfectly colorless diamond with a charming, antique cut that makes it quite literally a glittering ball of fire.

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One-of-a-Kind 13.35ct, D-Color Golconda Diamond

by on November 1st, 2009

13.36ct Golconda Emerald-Cut Diamond Ring, D-color and VVS1-clarity, $1,100,000.

Every so often we uncover something truly extraordinary like this- a perfect storm of quality, rarity and value, all in one spectacular diamond.

I have been a diamond buyer for much of my professional life, and I have seen- maybe- one or two diamonds that have such a unique pedigree. Wow!

Engagement Ring Trends – It’s Still All about the Stone

by on June 1st, 2009

Harry Winston 5.24 Carat Asscher-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, D-Color & VS1-Clarity, $275,000

There has been a shift recently to the selection of ‘new’ diamond cuts. However, you may be surprised to know that the most popular cuts are nothing new! Although roughly 90% of the diamonds sold are round brilliant cuts, we have seen a surge in two alternatives.

One is the Asscher cut, which was developed by the Asscher cutting works in Antwerp during the 1940’s. I like to describe it as an emerald cut with character. It is deeper than a traditional emerald cut, so the extra brilliance comes at a price. Don’t confuse a true Asscher with a ‘radiant’ cut, developed in Israel in the 1970’s. This is in essence, an emerald-cut outline with the bottom faceted more like a round brilliant cut stone.

The second, and perhaps more popular ‘new’ cut, is a cushion. This is an even older development in cutting as it closely resembles an ‘old mine’ cut diamond in many ways. Think of a cushion as the shape of a pillow. It is a personal favorite of mine as the softness of the lines is feminine, and has the flavor of being quite old. I truly dislike the ‘new’ cushion cut, which is a radiant remade to a slightly rounded outline. You can try to disguise a radiant, but it lacks veracity.

Betteridge 3.01 Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, D-Color & VS2-Clarity, $59,500

Despite these trends, choosing a diamond is all about personal preference – what matters is what (and whom) you love!