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Metals and precious stones

What would jewellery be without these wonderful gifts that our planet mystifyingly offers us? The history of jewellery has been forged in the purest of metals and embellished by the most mesmerizing stones.

A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value. Silver, gold and platinum, although they all differ in value, they have all once been the most desired metal throughout history. All metals have their strengths and their constraints, everyone must choose which metal suits them best.

For its part, the term '' precious stone '' is applied to natural gems, with a certain hardness and relative rareness. The stones that we can qualify as precious are diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. The quality of a gemstone is evaluated according to a series of criteria, mainly weight, color, cut and clarity. Combined with the supply and demand of the market, these criteria determine the value of the gemstone. Therefore a strong demand for a particular stone can increase its value, despite its accessibility. The value of the stones can also depend on where they are found and where they are sold, as supply and demand varies from country to country.

In addition to precious stones, we can also distinguish two other types of gemstones, the semi-precious stones and the organic stones. Semi-precious stones are the gems of mineral origin that do not qualify for the precious stone category such as the garnet, topaz, citrine, amethyst, turquoises, and quartz. Lastly, under the organic stone category, we can find such stones as pearls, mother-of-pearl, amber and coral.

Precious stones


  • Diamonds
  • Moissanite
  • Ruby
  • Emerald
  • Sapphire
  • Tsavorite garnet

Diamonds

The diamond is the most precious of all stones. According to Greek mythology, cupid’s arrowhead would have been adorned of diamonds, making the diamond the symbol of pure love, the stone of choice for engagement and wedding rings. It will take you 60 years of marriage before being able to celebrate your diamond anniversary. A true testament to the beauty, the strength and the rareness of a diamond.

Diamonds are made of carbon, making it the hardest of all natural stones in the world. This exceptional stone is formed under extreme temperatures and pressure. Diamonds have four main characteristics that determine its value; cut, clarity, colour and carat. These criteria are also called the 4C rule.

Cut

The cut of the diamond is the only one of the four criteria to depend solely on human know-how. A well cut diamond requires precision, proportions and symmetry to allow the light to work its magic as it makes its way through the stone. Unfortunately, even a high quality diamond will be dull if it is not correctly cut.

Color

Diamonds are classified by colour. The most sought-after color is referred to as white (but is actually transparent), meaning without nuances of any color. These colours are classified from D, the most exceptional white (colourless), to Z containing a brownish hue (light yellow).

CodeColor
DExceptional white +
EExceptional white
FWhite extra +
GWhite extra
HWhite
I and JWhite nuanced
K and LSlightly tinted
M to ZMarked color

Clarity

The clarity of a diamond depends on the number and the position of its inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are small imperfections on the inside of the diamond, whereas, blemishes are small flaws on the outside of the diamond. Thereby the more imperfections your diamond contains, less the light will shine through it, affecting its brilliance and clarity.

CodeMeaning
VVS1-VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included)Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included')Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
SI1-SI2-SI3 (Slightly Included)Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
I1-I2-I3 (Included)Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance

Karat

The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. This unit of measure, stems back to ancient times in India. Indians used carob seeds (which have a constant weight) in order to determine the weight of a stone and this unit of measure (minus the carob seed) is still used today. 1 carat equals around 0,20 grams or 100 points. Thus a diamond of 0,50 carats weighs approximately 0,10 grams and is equivalent to 50 points. The size and price of a diamond are directly related to its carat weight, but not proportionately in its increase. Large diamonds are extremely rare thereby explaining their high value.

Moissanite

Moissanite is a natural stone. However, due to its rarity, the synthetic version (silicon carbide) is the one that is most commonly used. Nevertheless, it is a popular option because it can very easily be mistaken for a diamond. It is indeed extremely difficult to distinguish between the two. They are very similar in brilliance, hardness and colour.

Moissanite does exist naturally on earth, but it is extremely rare. This is why synthetic moissanite created in the laboratory is much more affordable and available.

By purchasing a Moissanite instead of a diamond, you will end up with a significantly larger stone with similar characteristics and with a smaller price tag. It is also an ecologically responsible choice, the fact that it is created in a laboratory leaves much less of an environmental footprint.


Learn more about moissanite in this blog post.

Flamme en rose is a proud certified retailer offering the Forever One moissanites from Charles & Colvard.

Ruby

Poetically named "King of Precious Stones", the ruby has charmed lovers, enhanced passion and embodied hopeless romantics for centuries. Perhaps due to its revitalizing virtues that are known to be beneficial to the health of your heart and to your vitality.

Its scarlet colour can vary, from light pink to orange or from a deep purple to the brightest and most valuable of shades of red, also known as blood red or pigeon red. As versatile as its shades, this precious stones harmonizes well with white, yellow or rose gold.

Rubies are quite rare and are considered one of the most precious stones. Traditionally, they are offered when celebrating a 35th wedding anniversary or to those born in the month of July.

Emerald

A green stone of mystical beauty, of which Queen Cleopatra fell in love with and adorned all her ornaments with. It is a symbol of hope, rebirth and a promise of good luck. Its colour varies from a bluish green, almost turquoise, to a desirable bright green.

Emeralds have a tendency towards inclusions and fissures (small cracks that run through the stone). These cracks are sometimes called "jardin" meaning garden in French. As a result of this, the emerald is a very difficult stone to work with. A special cut was created called "the emerald cut", a rectangular cut with facets over the top edge, to help this special stone sparkle beyond belief. You can pair emeralds with either white or yellow gold, though yellow gold will bring out the richness and depth of the beautiful greens found in this very special stone.

It is customary to believe that the emerald will protect someone who is embarking on a journey or has recently overcome one of life’s hurdles. Emblem of a 20th wedding anniversary as well as the month of May.

Sapphire

The term sapphire originates from the Hebrew word sappir, meaning "the most beautiful thing". Out of the 4 types of precious stones (sapphire, diamond, emerald and ruby), sapphires offer the largest assortment of colours. In addition to the classic blue which it is notorious for, they are also available in pink, yellow, orange (padparadscha), green and several varieties of purple.

A Sapphire will bring happiness to individuals born in the month of September or to those celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. Symbol of loyalty, sincerity and wisdom, it is a very strong stone, both figuratively & literally speaking.

Tsavorite garnet

Discovered in East Africa in 1967, tsavorite garnet owes its name to the Tsavo National Park in Kenya where it was discovered. From the beautiful family of garnets, tsavorite is the rarest with its intense green. Thanks to its high refractive index and hardness, tsavorite garnet is an excellent alternative to the emerald, which is much more fragile and expensive. The largest deposits of this magnificent green stone are found in Kenya and Tanzania.  

Birthstone of the month of January, the tsavorite garnet is known to fight off stress and fatigue.

Metals


  • Sterling Silver
  • Yellow Gold
  • White Gold
  • Pink gold
  • Platinum

Sterling Silver

Silver, a proud member of the precious metals, is the most affordable of the noble metals. Similarly to the other precious metals, such as gold and platinum, its value fluctuates on the international markets depending on supply and demand.

Pure silver is rarely used in the fabrication of jewellery, simply because it is too malleable. Consequently other metals are added (such as copper) to harden it, creating what is commonly known as sterling silver. Sterling silver also titled 925 contains 92,5% of pure silver and the balance are alloys. It can be identified by a stamp of STG or 925.

Sterling silver is a metal that oxidizes over time, therefore to restore its brilliance, it is advised to polish it with a soft cloth. To avoid oxidization and preserve the shine, it is recommended to opt for a rhodium plating. This thin plated layer will ensure a long-term shine and sparkle to your silver.

Silver symbolizes the 25th wedding anniversary and looks great with precious stones such as Turquoise, Blue Topaz and garnet.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is a great choice when choosing a precious metal. It is durable, resistant to oxidization and deteriorates very little over time.

Yellow gold is also great for sensitive skin, it has hypoallergenic qualities and will never blacken the skin. It is known to withstand the test of time, without losing its brilliance and shine!

Pure gold is seldomly used in jewellery making as it is too soft to work with. For a more rigid metal, silver and copper are added in the mix. The percentage of alloys will determine the karat of your gold.10K,14K,18K? For example, 10k gold contains 42% pure gold, while 18k contains more than 75% pure gold, which explains the difference in price.

Symbol of success, (the gold metal) of wisdom (the golden age) and its timelessness, gold is the metal of choice when celebrating a 50th anniversary!

White Gold

White gold, which is sometimes referred to as grey gold, is composed of yellow gold and metals such as palladium, platinum or silver. While it can sometimes be mistaken for sterling silver because of its similar colour, it has a much greater longevity.

If diamonds are part of the equation, white gold is a great option for the settings. It will remain neutral and not affect the colour of your beautiful, clear diamond.

White gold has gained great popularity over the last few years, not only for its beauty but also for its outstanding durability. A rhodium plating, once a year, by our knowledgeable jewellers is highly recommended.

Pink gold

Looking for something original, rose gold is a great contender. With a magical blend of yellow gold, copper and silver, rose gold stands out with its coppery hues and mysterious glow.

Highly durable and resistant, rose gold will retain its beautiful colour over time. It is especially complementary on people with a darker complexion. If you are dark skinned, opt for a ring or a pendant. In contrast, if you have a pale complexion, earrings in rose gold will work best to complement your skin tone.

Like most of us, rose gold loves to be accompanied by diamonds and pearls.

Platinum

Unalterable brilliance, outstanding resistance and its weight are just a few reasons why platinum is the most noble of all precious metals and the number one choice of connoisseurs. Estimated to be about 30 times more rare than gold, platinum takes high end jewellery to a next level.

With a distinguishing hint of grey, platinum enhances the brilliance of diamonds and unlike white gold or silver, will never require a rhodium plating. 95% pure, platinum is hypoallergenic and suitable for the most sensitive of skins. It also ages without oxidizing or losing its natural beauty. Without any particular care, it naturally acquires a brushed appearance over time that is very distinctive and somewhat sought after.

Extremely refined, dense and durable, platinum is a great choice if designing a band for a male, a family heirloom or a piece adorned of precious stones as it will resist, outlast and protect all that surrounds it. It is the symbol of the 70th wedding anniversary and very deserving of this title.

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