It’s Myth Buster time!
In the jewellery industry there are a lot of common misconceptions about engagement rings . Let us break down three of them for you.
Does Gold Only Come in Yellow?
- 24k pure gold does only come in yellow. However, mixing various alloys with the gold can create different coloured golds.
- Rose gold is a combination of gold and copper. The cooper gives it its pink tone.
- White gold was first patented in 1915 and was a combination of gold, palladium and zinc. Prior to this silver was the most common white metal used in jewellery while platinum had also gained popularity since the end of the 19th century.
- Gold can come in many different colours including green! Jewellers have used colour gold to decorate their designs for centuries.
Do Engagement Rings have to be Diamonds?
- Forms of engagement or betrothal rings have been around since the Roman period. They were often plain bands but sometimes included gemstones.
- The first recorded diamond engagement ring was give to Mary of Burgundy by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian upon their betrothal in 1477.
- While it took a bit of time for diamonds to gain the popularity they have today they did eventually become the stone of choice for engagement rings. This may be due to their durability and perceived rarity.
- Sapphires have also been a popular choice, as seen by Princess Diana’s engagement ring, and these days are closing the gap with diamonds are the preferred gemstone for engagement rings.
Are Diamonds Indestructible?
- Diamonds rate 10 on the Mohs Hardness scale making them the hardest of all gemstones.
- However, they have four cleavage directions, which are the “weakest direction in the molecular arrangement of the crystal”. (GIA, How to Protect A Diamond From Chipping. 2016)
- These cleavage planes mean that a diamond (while exceptionally hard) will not withstand force applied on a specific point and can cleave, chip or fracture if this happens.
- Sapphire and Ruby (Corundum) actually have one less cleavage direction making it less likely to chip!
GIA – How To Protect a Diamond
GIA – Engagement Rings Through the Ages
Lang Antiques – The Fascinating History of Platinum Jewellery