news & events

Posts Tagged Diamonds

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!

Diamond Studs: True Beauty Requires Artistry & Precision

by on October 11th, 2009

What goes into creating a pair of classic diamond stud earrings that we can be proud to put our name on? More than you might think. We are particularly fussy, here at Betteridge – we should be, as we have a reputation to uphold and skilled craftsmen in-house who can do the job to exacting specifications.

To make a “pair of stones”, lots of things need to match:
– Diameter is the easiest to see and must be identical on both stones.
– Color is the next most obvious matching point. Often a difference of one color grade, although seemingly insignificant, can result in a perception of a very disconcerting and unattractive mis-match.
– Clarity is not as critical, as it is by definition microscopic, but I always like the pair to be within one grade of each other.
– Often overlooked, is the matching of the cut. Table size in particular, is very evident when sitting side by side on the ear. The depth and dimensions of the diamond will also have an effect on the perceived brilliance of the stones and should be as close as possible.

– Finally, diamond studs should be set in platinum to fit our exacting specifications. Platinum is not only stronger and more enduring, but its color is the ideal ‘match’ for diamonds.

Net: ‘Simple diamond studs’ are anything but that, if they’re made here at Betteridge!

An Elegant Van Cleef & Arpels Emerald & Diamond Necklace

by on October 1st, 2009

Van Cleef & Arpels Emerald & Diamond Necklace, 9.2 total carats of emeralds and 47.7 total carats of diamonds, $225,000

In the 1960′ and 70’s, jewelry became far more colorful with striking contrast and daring juxtapositions. Inspired once more by the influence of India, jewelry that was worn over the tunics of Maharajah’s became a cornerstone of Van Cleef & Arpels designs.

Although only bi-colored, this necklace illustrates stark contrast between brilliant green and the purest white with oval cluster motifs reminiscent of the magnificent sarpechs and bazubands worn by India’s aristocrats.

At this time, the House of Arpels was the world’s leading “haute joalliere” focusing on the finest stones combined with exceptional craftsmanship. This necklace is cleverly constructed to convert to a magnificent bracelet that is as chic and wearable today as when it was originally made.

The client list of Van Cleef & Arpels in the early twentieth century reads like a who’s who list of the wealthiest men and most beautiful women of the period. Her Imperial Majesty Farah Pahlavi, Princess Grace of Monaco and Lady Granard all favored fine jewelry by this venerated designer.

The style and quality of this necklace would fit in any of the world’s great jewelry collections and its style will endure for generations to come.

A Stunning Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Necklace by Harry Winston

by on July 1st, 2009

Harry Winston Diamond & Sapphire Necklace, 41.93 total carats of sapphires and 74.58 total carats of diamonds ($450,000)

Harry Winston Diamond & Sapphire Necklace, 41.93 total carats of sapphires and 74.58 total carats of diamonds ($450,000)

Legend has it that when Harry Winston was just twelve years old, he recognized a two-carat emerald in a pawnshop, bought it for twenty-five cents and sold it two days later for eight hundred dollars. For Winston, it is just the first tale in a storied career of one of the truly great American jewelry designers.

At the age of twenty-four, Winston opened his first business in New York City known as the Premier Diamond Company. Twelve years later, he founded the company that bears his namesake and began to manufacture his own jewelry designs.

By 1950, Winston was acknowledged as the uncontested “King of Diamonds”, owning, at one time or another, as many as one-third of all the famous diamonds in the world, including the Idol’s Eye, the Crown of Charlemagne and the Briolette of India. In addition, Winston was responsible for the cutting of numerous famous diamonds, including the Jonker, the Taylor-Burton, the Star of Sierra Leone and the Vargas, and he donated three important diamonds to the Smithsonian: the Hope, the Portuguese and the Oppenheimer.

In 1978, Winston passed away, but his legacy lives on in the enduring power of his vintage jewelry. There is a glamour and excitement to his designs and lifestyle, which combined to make him the most famous jeweler in the world.

Terry Betteridge recalls riding Winston’s famous triangular elevator to his Fifth Avenue office in New York City with his Dad, “When I visited Winston in Manhattan, it was like visiting the Wizard of Oz. He was more than just a talented jewelry designer; Winston was an entertainer who found a way to make his diamonds and company seem magical.”

A trademark of Winston’s jewelry style is light open platinum settings that give the appearance of diamonds floating on air. This technique is seen in this magnificent sapphire fringe necklace, in which a series of perfectly matched natural sapphires are suspended from light flexible articulated lines of platinum-set colorless diamonds. This creates powerful yet distinctly feminine jewelry.

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!

Diamonds: Cost is the Fifth “C”

by on March 1st, 2009

7.22 Carat Round Brilliant Diamond Engagement Ring

At Betteridge, we balked at buying many fine diamonds early last year, because prices had climbed to unsustainably high levels.

Given the substantial volatility in global economic markets, high quality diamonds had moved out of simply the spheres of fashion, and use, and into investor’s portfolios. This rush to a “safe haven” investment did not indicate increased consumer demand; rather a heightened risk that diamond prices would crash in the near future.

Since we have to pass on the costs of the raw materials that go into our designs to our consumers, we did not feel comfortable buying many fine diamonds, so we relied on diamond inventories that we had built up in prior years.

Over the past few months, fine diamond prices have decreased by 30-40%, which has brought prices back in line with demand.

Betteridge’s mission has always been to provide the best quality, materials, workmanship AND value. We welcomed this necessary price correction, and as markets have stabilized, we are actively buying and selling fine diamonds again.