Cape Diamonds Blog

17Feb/17Off

Engagement Rings Inspired by Nature

A constant trend over the last few years, nature-inspired engagement rings continue to be a popular choice for many brides-to-be. There is something infinitely romantic about floral motifs, gently winding leaves, vines and other natural elements. Whether you are an old-fashioned bride who wants something delicate and ornate, or a bolder bride looking for a modern spin on this engagement ring trend, we've got you covered with some beautiful rings to inspire you.

Beautiful Nature-Inspired Engagement Rings

One of the best things about custom designed rings is that you can craft your ring according to your favourite stones, metals, colours, styles and just about any other factor. For engagement rings that are inspired by nature, custom rings are especially useful. But, many good jewellers are bringing in the botanical trend with a range of gorgeous rings inspired by plants, flowers and other natural features. Some of our favourite rings include the following:

Soft Golden Leaves

Engagement Rings Inspired by Nature - Soft Golden Leaves

Image: etsy.com

Set in soft, muted gold, this ring features a centre white sapphire surrounded by intricate stone-encrusted leaves. The softer colour of this ring adds to its romantic appeal. It could also work well in rose gold, white gold or platinum, with diamonds or any other stone of your choice. Add some colour by using emeralds in the leafy band, or choose a coloured centre stone.

Flower Power

Engagement Rings Inspired by Nature - Flower Power

Image: z4everdiamondsjewelry.com.au

For something bold, beautiful and certainly eye-catching, a floral design like this one is sure to turn heads. Pave encrusted petals are designed in layers upon layers of sparkly diamonds, ensuring optimal bling. If you chose an intricate design such as this, be extra careful to check your ring frequently for signs of loose stones or wear and tear. As the design has sharp edges, it may not be practical for those who live active lives.

Vintage Bloom

Engagement Rings Inspired by Nature - Vintage Bloom

Image: helenbadge.com

While this particular ring is an original 1920s engagement ring, you can bring a touch of nostalgia to your ring with a simple daisy design encrusted with tiny diamonds. The gold band is delicate, allowing the floral centre to truly shine without being overpowered. The band would also work well in rose gold, or in platinum if you prefer cooler metals.

Vine and Pearls

Engagement Rings Inspired by Nature - Vine and Pearl

Image: bmjnyc.com

Pearls are an unusual but beautiful alternative to diamonds. In this ring, the pearl is set against a delicate band with a fine vine wrapping around. It works well in cooler metal tones, but would also be eye-catching if set on a rose or yellow gold band. Be warned however – pearls are not as tough as diamonds. Be extra careful to keep your ring safe, and remove it when washing dishes or doing any hard labour or physical activity that may damage the stone.

Blossoming Ruby

Engagement Rings Inspired by Nature - Blossoming Ruby

Image: stoneandstrand.com

Add a touch of Art Deco glam with a bold, beautiful ruby that is flanked by an ornate band. For added sparkle, use pave stones in a bright jewel tone, such as emerald or citrine. For a softer look, use diamonds to off-set the brightly coloured centre stone. Pink or other coloured diamonds would also work well if you're not a fan of rubies.

The King’s Queen Pavé Protea Flower

Engagement Rings Inspired by Nature - Princess Pincushion

Image: capediamonds.co.za

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Cape Diamonds Fynbos Collection. Inspired by South Africa and its incredible natural diversity, this collection includes a number of breath-taking engagement rings. The King’s Queen Pavé Protea Flower ring is available in white gold or platinum. This ring has an intricate protea design, flanked by 18 smaller pave stones.

To learn more about the Fynbos Collection or custom designed engagement rings, contact Cape Diamonds today.

7Apr/16Off

Top Tips for Engagement Ring Engravings

Custom engravings on engagement rings are a lovely way to personalise the ring in a subtle way. You may have a special quote, some important words that are deeply symbolic to you as a couple or even a date that means something to you both. Perhaps you want to add a message that reminds you of the bond you have forged. You might even have a religious verse that you wish to add to your ring. Words have the power to communicate so much, and having a custom engraving can be a great way to make your ring even more meaningful and unique.

To help you get started, we have put together some tips on getting the ring engraved, as well as some suggestions on what you could add if you are still unsure.

Tips & Ideas for Engraving Diamond Engagement Rings

First, we have some general tips to consider when engraving diamond engagement rings.

General Tips

Take the time to think about what you would like engraved on the band well in advance. Your jeweller should be able to do this, but if not, you should be able to get a reference to a professional engraver. It is essential to be absolutely positive about spelling, readability and size well before your ring is engraved – the last thing you want is typos on your precious ring, after all. Check after the ring has been engraved as well to be sure that no mistakes were made during the process. The process can take a short time or a longer time – it all depends on the jeweller, the message and the script.

For best results, choose a script that is easy to read. This does not mean you can’t go for something delicate, ornate or pretty, but remember that it will look different etched into metal than it does written on paper. Often, the size of the words will be very small, so overly ornate cursive might not be clear when the writing is tiny. Planning ahead will help you find the right message as well as the right script. Do some research online to see similar fonts that you like, use a word processor to reduce the font size to tiny and then print out a few different options to see how they look.

Engraving Ideas

Popular and sentimental engagement ring engraving ideas include the following:

  • I love you
  • Eternal love
  • To my soul mate
  • Your engagement date
  • Always
  • Forever
  • Eternity
  • Both of your initials
  • All my love
  • You have my heart
  • My heart is in your hands
  • Never to part
  • Soul mates forever
  • I'm always with you
  • Private nicknames
  • No one but you
  • God unite both in love
  • The day you met/fell in love
  • Your song
  • Love song lyrics
  • Poetry verse
  • A Bible verse
  • In thy breast my heart doth rest (Old English)
  • Pour tous jours (For all days - 15th Century French)
  • Joie sans fin (Joy without end - French)
  • Mon coeur est a vous (You have my heart - French)
  • Je t'aime (I love you - French)
  • Mon amour (My love - French)
  • Il mio cuore e il tuo per sempre (My heart is yours forever - Italian)
  • Amore mio (My love - Italian)
  • Myn Genyst (My heart - Old German)
  • Semper amemus (Let us always love - Latin)
  • Semper fidelis (Always faithful - Latin)
  • Pari passu (With equal step - Latin)
  • Amor vincit omnia (Love conquers all - Latin)

There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from literature, poetry, quotes or other work that moves you. It is your ring, and that means that you can put whatever words you want on it – as long as they mean something to YOU. When in doubt, something simple is always best. A special date, song, word, nickname or even a symbol, such as a heart or eternity sign are also ideas worth considering.

To find out more about custom engravings and personalised engagement rings, contact Cape Diamonds today and let us know how to make your dream ring into a reality.

28Mar/16Off

What Precious Stones Symbolise in Engagement Rings

There is no doubt that diamonds are one of the most popular stones for engagement rings – and often for good reason, too. Boasting a brilliant sparkle, simple clear colour and a superior strength that makes them hardy and long-lasting, these stones are also versatile and easy to wear with metal of all tones. This makes them a logical choice in a variety of rings – rose gold, platinum, yellow gold and even more unusual metals such as black gold.

But, as beautiful as diamonds are, there are many other stones. If you are looking for something special that has meaning, symbolism and a bit of magic, you may want to consider the traditional meanings of gem stones when choosing your ring. Whether you choose your birthstone or something that speaks to your inner being, a carefully chosen stone can transform a pretty-but-generic ring into something personal, individual and entirely “you”.

Choosing a Meaningful Stone for Your Engagement Ring

Stones have importance in almost every culture around the world. From the earliest days, gems have been treasured for their face value as well as their significance. Many cultures believe in the healing properties of stones, while others believe that different stones grant the wearer fortune and prosperity. Stones have also been associated with each month of the year, with birthstones said to bring extra protection and luck to those born within the month of their birthstone.

  1. Amethyst

The birthstone for February, this stone is said to calm emotions, bringing clarity and wisdom. It is believed to help the wearer get in touch with feelings, intuition and values and is also said to have soothing, healing properties that aid sobriety. If you crave clarity and balance in your life, this stone may be a good choice.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Amethyst

  1. Citrine

With its deep citrus tones that range from bright yellow to warm orange, citrine is associated with opening the mind to new thoughts. It is also said to have calming, restful properties as well as the ability to encourage optimism. Known as the ‘merchant’s stone’, it is also favoured by merchants for it wealth attraction properties.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Citrine

  1. Diamond

April’s birthstone is a classic stone that also has symbolism. Diamonds are thought to absorb and amplify the thoughts of its wearer, while also enhancing the properties of other gem stones. Ancient cultures once used this stone for detoxifying, believing it to have powerful protection against poison.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Diamond

  1. Emerald

This is the birthstone for May. Traditionally, the stone was believed to help fertility and provide the wearer with psychic powers (neither a bad thing in a marriage!). It is also thought to combat depression and bring about better sleep, promoting pleasant dreams, balance as well as patience.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Emerald

  1. Jade

Another richly hued green stone, jade is a stone known for its serenity. It is believed to ease anxiety and fear, and bring the wearer good luck. In Asian folklore, this stone is particularly important for its prosperity and luck.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Jade

  1. Opal

October’s birthstone has long been seeped in mystery and intrigue. The word opal comes from the Latin term ‘opalus’, which means ‘precious jewel’. The stone has strong associations with emotion – particularly love and passion. It is also said to encourage spontaneity, creativity, dreaming and healing, and symbolises faithfulness and confidence.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Opal

  1. Peridot

The birthstone for August has a vibrant hue that is unusual and bold. This stone is believed to add strength, prosperity, growth and openness to the wearer’s life. It is also thought to help the wear build relationships, while combating depression, anger, fear, jealousy and anxious thoughts.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Peridot

  1. Rose Quartz

This simple but lovely stone is starting to become a popular choice for engagement jewellery. It has long been associated with gentle, pure love, as well as peace and calm. It is a positive stone that removes negativity, restores harmony after conflict and helps to heal all wounds of the heart.

Gem Meaning in Engagement Rings - Rose Quartz

  1. Ruby

Ruby is the birthstone of July. This stone is associated with protection against bad luck and bad health, and is also said to open the heart and promote love and passion. It is a symbol of royalty and vitality, as well as love and friendship.

Gem Meanings in Engagement Rings - Ruby

  1. Sapphire

September’s birthstone has associations with peace, happiness, inspiration, insight, communication and prayer. Ancient cultures believed that these stones could help to predict the future, and while that remains to be seen, the stone is still thought to bring wisdom to its wearers.

Gem Meanings in Engagement Rings - Sapphire

  1. Tanzanite

This stone hails from East Africa. The Masai people have long believed in its healing properties. Thought to represent the life force, the stone is often given by the Masai to newborns. For relationships, this stone represents the driving force of life as well as the start of a new life together.

Gem Meanings in Engagement Rings - Tanzanite

Which stone represents you the best? Only you can answer that of course, but we hope that these gem meanings give you plenty of inspiration when choosing your engagement rings.

12Nov/15Off

5 Beautiful Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring Ideas

Featuring a single stone that takes centre stage in the ring design, solitaire diamond engagement rings remain a timeless choice throughout each century. What makes this style so diverse and flexible is that it gives plenty of room for personalisation. The ring can be on the subtle side, or it can be bold and fabulous, with band choice, setting choice and overall design style all influencing the final result.

If you have been daydreaming about having a shiny solitaire diamond on your engagement ring, we have some inspiration that is sure to help you get one step closer to finding (or creating) your dream ring.

Finding Inspiration for Solitaire Engagement Rings

Some ideas that you may consider for this style of ring include the following…

  1. Rose gold band with unusual cut. For something original yet classic, choosing a metal such as rose gold, along with a single stone cut in a shape such as pear can add impact without being over the top. What makes this style different is the use of soft rose gold, which is complemented by a modern cut that adds visual interest in a subtle way. For this style, try to keep the focus on the stone – a cut or setting that is too elaborate may take away the subtlety. A delicate band and simple setting keep the design simple and chic.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Rose Gold

  1. Curved band to highlight stone. A band that is designed to showcase the single stone is a lovely way to highlight the diamond. This gives the ring a modern look, while still retaining a classic elegance that is not overly detailed or ‘fussy’. This style will work well with any metal, and works especially well with minimalist or classic styles of rings.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Curved Band

 

  1. Teeny tiny stone on delicate band. Another minimal look that works well with solitaire settings is a thin, fine band with a small, round diamond. This type of ring works well in any metal – particularly gold metals or platinum. For brides who do not usually wear a lot of jewellery, this is a good choice, as it is pretty without being too bulky or flashy.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Small Stone Delicate Band

  1. Pave band with classic cut stone. A delicate pave band with tiny stones embedded into the metal is offset by a single stone in a classic round or oval cut. This style can be bold or subtle, depending on the width of the band, the size of the embedded stones and the size of the solitaire stone. The choice of metal can also make a difference, making this a diverse style that will suit many different tastes.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Classic cut diamond

  1. Simple stone embedded band. Working well with art deco, minimal and modern styles, a thicker band embedded with a single stone encrusted into the metal makes a statement quietly and elegantly. This style is also practical, with less risk of catching the stone on fabrics and objects. Depending on the metal of the band and the sparkle of the stone, it can be subtle or bolder.

Soliatire Diamond Engagement Rings - Simple Stone Embedded Band

To find out more about custom designed, hand crafted engagement rings, contact Cape Diamonds today or visit our workshop in Cape Town to discuss your requirements.

1Nov/15Off

Insuring and Protecting Diamond Engagement Rings

It may not be as romantic as proposals and sparkly stones, but when it comes to protecting diamond engagement rings, insurance is something you will have to consider if you want your precious ring to be safe.

One of the best reasons to have your ring made by hand, by a skilled craftsman, instead of picking one out from a store catalogue is that a custom designed ring is draw from scratch, making it fully unique. When creating a new ring, the jeweller will first create a blueprint of sorts, which includes all of the rings information – from stone to carat, sizing, details, dimensions and other important information. In the event that your ring is ever lost or stolen, this makes it a lot easier to replace your ring without losing any of the details or elements that made it unique.

What You Should Know About Engagement Ring Insurance

What should you be aware of when it comes to insuring engagement rings and protecting them against potential risks? Here are a few things to keep in mind for starters…

  • Certification. If your ring has a diamond that is authentic, it will come with certification to prove its authenticity. This certificate will list the stone’s cut, clarity, colour and other details, which will allow you to insure it to its true value.
  •  Appraisals. The value of diamonds does not remain the same, and over time, the value of these precious stones can change. As such, it is essential to have appraisals done annually so that the current value is always included within your certification. If anything ever happens to your ring, this will allow you to claim to current value.
  •  Maintenance. Losing a stone may not be as much of a disaster as losing the entire ring, but it can be distressing none the less. Making sure that your ring is kept in good condition over the years is important. Loose stones, broken settings and other wear and tear that is not seen to quickly can result in individual diamonds being lost. Read our post on caring for engagement rings for further tips on looking after your ring.

When shopping for this very valuable, very special item of jewellery, it is always smart to consider the more ‘boring’ aspects of the process, such as insurance, maintenance and certification. Taking the time to invest in a ring that will not only last you through the years, but also always be worth its true value is the best way to protect your investment for the future.

At Cape Diamonds, we offer insurance replacements as well as custom designed engagement rings that can be made to your preferences and exact specifications. View our gallery to see some of our previous work, or contact our workshop today to learn more about creating your own dream ring.

26Mar/15Off

How to Find Engagement Rings Online

These days, fewer and fewer couples are settling for mass-produced store brought rings, and are instead turning to the internet to find beautiful, custom-made engagement rings. And experts say that you can actually save a lot more when buying online too.

While some online stores may allow you to pick and choose a ring from a virtual catalogue, and then have it shipped to your location, it is often more effective to choose a jeweller that allows you to customise the ring. In this way, you can be sure that the ring is truly unique and special.

How do you get started when searching for diamond engagement rings online, and what should you know before you start shopping?

Top Tips for Shopping for Engagement Rings Online

The following tips will help you get a better idea of how the online ring shopping process goes, what to expect and what to look for…

  • Find a reputable jeweller.  Ideally, one who specialises in this type of ring, who has plenty of expertise and experience in the design and crafting of this type of ring. Jewellers should be qualified and recognised by authorities such as the Jewellery Council of South Africa to ensure that you are getting the real deal. Testimonials or reviews from previous customers will always be useful, while galleries or portfolios help to give you an idea of their style. It will help a lot if you also have some basic knowledge about diamonds in order to know what to ask for – read our helpful checklist for buying engagement rings.
  •  Know what you are looking for… well in advance. Most jewellers will only be able to give you an accurate cost estimate when they know exactly what you want. This includes the size of the stone, the metal you want for the band, the type of setting, the cut of the stone and many other factors. You may not think that there will be too much difference between a few carats, but in fact, there can be a huge leap in price when it comes to carats, colour and clarity. One way to get a better idea of the type of ring your future bride will wear is to have her look at similar ring types, either at a store or in magazines or online. Once again, doing a bit of homework beforehand by reading up on the different cuts and styles will help a lot.
  •  Be fully aware of refund and return policies, shipping and payment terms. This information should be obtained right from the start, so that you know exactly how things will be done if and when you choose the jeweller to make the ring. Most good jewellers will have this information clearly displayed on their website menu, with specific information on their terms. A refund policy is essential – most will give you a full refund as long as the ring is returned in the same condition within a set timeframe of up to two weeks. This will give you protection just in case the ring is too large or not exactly what you had requested. Generally speaking, most good jewellers estimate a time of about three weeks for the manufacture of the ring – it is best to try and plan your proposal around this to be on the safe side.

Once you find a good jeweller who is able to bring your ring idea into creation, you can be sure that your engagement ring is spectacular enough to ensure a resounding ‘yes!’ when that all important question is asked.

 

20Feb/15Off

10 Tips for Buying Engagement Rings as a Couple

Buying engagements rings together as a couple has become par for the course in our modern era of romance. The biggest reason for this is the common-sense factor. Making a big decision like this together is the best way to ensure that your bride has her dream ring and that you are both happy with the final selection. Some may worry about a joint decision being less romantic than a surprise down-on-one-knee proposal with a ring that has already been purchased, but in reality, you can get the best of both worlds if you plan things a bit beforehand.

To help you get the most out of shopping for engagement rings together, we have put together some useful tips…

Useful Advice for Purchasing Engagement Rings Together

Before you get any images of a cold, impersonal transaction taking place, you will be glad to know that shopping for engagement rings can actually be a special experience that brings you even closer together. The following advice will make this experience one that you can both look back on for years to come, without any cringing or regrets.

  1. Do a bit of homework beforehand. You don’t need to go to any huge trouble, but it will help to do a bit of ‘recon’ beforehand so that you know where to start looking for rings. If you are planning on going to a retail store, think about which ones you want to look at. If you are planning a custom ring (always a good idea if you want something truly unique), start looking at jewellers who you can approach.
  2.  Let her decide what she likes and what she doesn’t like. Many jewellers may have a selection of “demo” rings, or may have a portfolio or gallery of rings that you can look at for inspiration. Trying on rings can be a good way to find that perfect fit that she doesn’t want to take off.
  3.  Make a special occasion out of the shopping experience. Plan something romantic or fun, so that it becomes a special event rather than a mere shopping trip. Ask friends who are newly married for their input, do some online research and get creative. Even if you are just looking at rings online, you can make things as cheesy as you like.
  4.  Keep the ring and plan a traditional surprise proposal. This way, you will know for sure that she will say yes. Even if she has designed her own ring, you can still surprise her a bit later with one of those movie-worthy proposals that make women cry (and men get a bit choked up, too).
  5.  Be open and clear about budgets for the ring. Budgeting may not be sexy, but over-extending yourselves is even less romantic. Discuss how much you can afford, set boundaries on how much you will spend, and keep communication open right from the start.
  6.  Set aside plenty of time as well. Whether you are having your diamond engagement ring custom made or visiting a range of jewellery shops, you do not want to rush this. Be sure that you both have time for ring shopping, and that you are not fitting it into a busy, stressful lunch break either.
  7.  Consider prosing with a ‘stand in’ ring. One way to keep the traditional proposal while still benefiting from a joint decision is to propose with a promise ring, a pair of diamond earrings or even something quirky, such as a hand-made wire ring. Once she says yes, you can then plan the shopping together.
  8.  Make sure that you are both clued up on the 4Cs. This is the cut, carat, colour and clarity of the diamond. You should also have some idea of settings, so that you know what to look for when the time comes. Remember that the bride will be wearing this ring for the rest of her life – making a smart decision is the only way to go.
  9.  Let her do some thinking about the overall style and look of the ring beforehand, too. It can be overwhelming to have to choose on the spot, and if the ring is being custom made, the range of options can be daunting, too. She may already have some ideas in mind, which will make things easier.
  10.  Make sure that you only choose certified diamond jewellers who sell conflict free stones. No matter who you choose to create the ring, it is vital to ensure that stones are ethically sourced and certified. The last thing you want is a ring that is not authentic or graded, after all.

We suggest taking the time to plan your ring shopping, so that you are prepared when the time arises. However you decide to do things, we are sure that you will find shopping for engagement rings together to be a truly special bonding experience for both of you.