News

See our first ever Trillion-Cut Gemstone on an Engagement Puzzle Ring

Brand new and simply breathtaking is a trillion-cut gemstone on a platinum and 14K rose gold engagement puzzle ring. 

This gemstone is a purple/teal color change, lab-created alexandrite. Click on any photograph to be taken to the product page. You may order this ring with three sizes of lab-created alexandrite: 0.55CT, 0.93CT, and 1.5CT.

We usually limit the diamond and gemstone shapes we use to the settings we can source that will hold the diamond or colored gemstone ultra-securely on our engagement puzzle rings. Since this trillion shape setting is very secure, we’re super excited to add this stone shape to our collection. Contact Mandira if you wish for a different colored gemstone or a diamond. 

A trillion-cut, lab-created alexandrite graces a 14K rose gold and platinum puzzle ring.

A trillion-cut, lab-created alexandrite is bright and beautiful on a 14K rose gold and platinum engagement puzzle ring.

Our First Ever Trillion-Cut Alexandrite Engagement Puzzle Ring in Platinum and 14K Rose Gold

Trillion-Cut Alexandrite Engagement Puzzle Ring in Platinum and 14K Rose Gold

Side view of a triangle-cut, lab-created alexandrite on a platinum and 14K rose gold engagement puzzle ring

Side view of a trillion-cut, lab-created alexandrite on a platinum and 14K rose gold engagement puzzle ring.

This is the teal color change from purple in our alexandrite, whether genuine or lab-created

This is the teal color change from purple in our alexandrite, whether genuine or lab-created. Please note we are unable to source quality genuine alexandrite in a trillion-cut (aka trilliant-cut) stone.

Shadow Bands Choices for an Engagement Puzzle Ring with a Tight Weave

For a long time, I’ve been encouraging clients to go with an open weave for a puzzle ring destined to be paired with a shadow wedding band. The shapeliness of the sides of an open weave puzzle ring result in a set that seems to “hang together” better on the finger. But a conversation yesterday with a client who initially* wanted a four-band, tightly woven, puzzle ring with a shadow band resulted in an aha! moment for me. Okay, so maybe I’m a little slow, but the answer has been on my site for a quite a while now. 

We can create a modified shadow band that fits beautifully with a tightly woven puzzle ring. We’ve done it before, as you will see below. The engagement puzzle ring is a three piece puzzle in these photographs, but the shadow band will work equally well with a four band, tightly woven puzzle ring. And while the shadow band we show here is a plain tapered band (with hand-engraving on the inside), there is no limit to the kinds of designs we can offer with a flat edge mating with the puzzle ring: claddagh, Celtic knots, lettered, diamond, colored gemstones. Bring us your ideas for something truly custom.

Trinity puzzle ring with diamond and custom wedding band

Trinity knot, three-band puzzle ring with diamond and custom fit wedding band. Notice that this shadow band is not a “perfect reflection” of the puzzle ring at the front. With three bands, there is only one little “nook” in the puzzle ring with which we could mate the puzzle ring. It doesn’t give much shape for the two to hang together on the finger, so we skip the nooks and crannies of the puzzle ring for a wedding band to go with a tightly woven puzzle ring. However, the wedding band is uniquely designed for your puzzle ring, so that the two fit together beautifully. The secrets are in the sides and back of the shadow band.

Trinity puzzle ring with marquise diamond and shadow wedding band

Here you can see that the wedding band is slightly tapered to the back. More importantly, it is carefully fitted to the shape of the puzzle ring on the sides, so there are no gaps between the two rings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversely, when we place a wedding band with a uniform width with a puzzle ring, there are gaps on the sides between the two rings. Unfortunately, I can’t show an image of this, because when we did more of this type of bridal set, we didn’t take side photos, because our then-website didn’t enable us to show multiple images per product. And yes, we still do provide engagement puzzle rings with posy rings and Irish Celtic rings, and they fit best, i.e. the gaps are minimized, with puzzle rings with tight or standard weaves.

The kind of wedding band shown here – that is, a wedding band with a flat mating surface at the front of the ring tapering to a slighter width at the back – can accommodate many different designs. So please talk to Mandira, that’s me! I’ll collaborate with you so you have the perfect wedding set for you and your beloved. And . . . naturally, we can make a gent’s wedding band to complement or match hers. Some men get a puzzle ring in a heavier weight without a stone or some get one that is closer to the shadow band in design, as shown below.

14K rose gold tapered wedding band

Tapered wedding band in 14K rose gold with hand-engraving on the inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*So what did my client who “initially” wanted a four band, tightly woven engagement puzzle ring with a shadow band decide upon? He wants the very three band puzzle ring shown on this page with the matching tapered shadow band into which we will set alternating round diamonds and aquamarines. 

 

Arriving Soon in our Store! Guinevere Sapphire Engagement Puzzle Ring with Diamond Shadow Band

We completed this puzzle ring bridal set for a client, Leslie, who wanted a very light blue sapphire, so light, in fact, that we were not able to find a sapphire that satisfied her. So instead of a genuine sapphire for the puzzle ring solitaire, she chose a lab-created sapphire which gave her the choice of several shades of blue. Leslie selected the lightest color, as she loved how much she could see the facets.  She also opted for a diamond shadow band to go with her puzzle ring. 

We give you lots of flexibility, so you can acquire just the bridal set you want. For example, we can make this set for you with all genuine stones: genuine sapphire and diamonds. Or we can make it for you with all lab-created stones: lab-created sapphire with moissanites in the shadow band. If you prefer a marquise or princess-cut solitaire for your puzzle ring, you’ll have it!

All of our precious metals are recycled, and you may choose from 14K yellow, white, or rose gold or platinum. Platinum is beautifully priced at present, much lower than it has been for about 15 years. So it’s a great time to buy platinum jewelry.

Guinevere sapphire puzzle ring with diamond shadow band

Sapphire engagement puzzle ring with 5mm lab-created sapphire and diamond shadow band. Choose all lab-created stones if you prefer or all genuine-stones. Contact Mandira with your wishes!

Initials Posy Ring – Your Choice of Gold Colors

We are excited about our new initials posy ring. The one shown in the image has her three initials and his three initials. We can do any combination of letters or symbols with a total of six.

Initial or name posy ring with Russian accents

Custom posy ring with initials or name, exclusive to Crystal Realm. Available in your choice of width by special request or in a 6mm width on our site. 

6mm wide posy ring with initials or name

Custom 14K white gold posy ring with initials or name. This ring is antiqued, meaning the letters and symbols are darkened. You may choose no antiquing if you prefer.

8mm wide posy ring with initials or name

Exclusive to Crystal Realm – a 6mm wide initial or name posy ring. You may have up to six letters or symbols separated by Russian scrolls. Or . . . bring us your design idea, and we’ll bring it to life for you!

Posy wedding band with initials or name

Shown in 14K white gold, and available in 14K yellow or rose gold or platinum with or without antiquing. Antiquing is the darkening of the letters, and when the rings are not antiqued, the letters are light and sparkly.

rose 

 

 

 

Marquise Diamond and Sapphire Engagement Puzzle Rings in Four Colors of 14K Gold

You asked for pictures of the marquise four-band engagement puzzle ring in four colors of 14K gold (yellow, green, white, rose) with different sizes of marquise diamonds and also with a sapphire. Much to my dismay I found very few images of the rings you want to see. This is likely because I don’t get to see all of our clients’ rings in order to get photographs. Most of our puzzle rings ship directly to our clients from our puzzle ring maker, and only a handful have a generous enough timeline to come first to me in New Mexico.  But . . . I did find a few that had not been photoshopped yet, so I spent the afternoon getting them ready to post, and here are four beautiful images plus one that’s not in four colors, but it shows a 1CT range marquise diamond puzzle ring on the hand.

Marquise diamond engagement ring with four bands in four colors of 14k gold with a 0.43CT diamond

Marquise diamond engagement puzzle ring with four bands in four colors of 14k gold with a 0.41CT diamond and an open weave. Please note you may order this ring with a diamond from 1/3CT and up under this link. There are add-on prices available for diamond sizes above 1/3CT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One-half carat marquise diamond engagement puzzle ring in four colors of 14K gold with open weave
One-half carat marquise diamond engagement puzzle ring in
four colors of 14K gold: white, rose, yellow, green.

bridal set with 3/4CT marquise diamond and two blue-green accent diamonds in four colors of 14k gold and a 14k yellow gold shadow ring guard

Four band, four color, marquise diamond engagement puzzle ring with
1 3/4CT diamond and accent blue-green diamonds and a shadow ring
guard. Though single shadow wedding rings are usually paired with an
open weave puzzle ring (as shown above), we can make a shadow ring
guard like this one for a puzzle ring with a standard or tight weave as well.
(This image doesn’t show the amazing sparkle of this diamond! Diamonds
are notoriously hard to photograph.)

 

Four-color 14K gold, four-band, engagement puzzle ring bearing a 1/3CT marquise sapphire with open weave

Four-color 14K gold, four-band, engagement puzzle ring bearing a 1/2CT marquise sapphire. Shown with an open weave, this ring, as are all of our puzzle rings, are available with a tight or standard weave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, this is not a four color puzzle ring, but it’s still a gorgeous marquise diamond puzzle ring shown on our client’s hand.

One carat range marquise diamond puzzle ring

One-carat range marquise diamond puzzle ring in 14K yellow gold with a 14K white gold setting and an open weave shown on our client’s hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Custom Lettered Posy Rings to Perfectly Match Your Taste

Anam Cara Rings
Our client wished to have a “soul friend” posy ring with specialized lettering and a heavier weight than the one we have long offered. She ordered two sizes of the ring, and Mandira provided her with a document with multiple Gaelic and Medieval versions of the Gaelic words, “anam cara,” so she could choose the lettering she preferred.  The results are in the image above.

Then we produced the ring in 14K rose gold for another client who selected the same lettering. We think all the rings turned out beautifully.

These rings are flat on the outside, comfort fit on the inside, and are substantial at 6mm wide (pictured) and 1.85mm thick. This width and weight works well for both men and women. These rings are available in widths from 3mm to 7mm and ring sizes 4-14. The letters are engraved and filled with a durable black fill for lasting beauty.

We can make these rings in a flat-inside, flat-outside style more inexpensively or a domed-outside, comfort-fit inside at greater expense. Please feel free to contact Mandira for a free consultation. All custom rings are available in 14K and 18K yellow, white, and rose gold, palladium, and platinum.

If you wish to have a ring made that has your choice of words and lettering, please get in touch! For a free consultation, you may contact us by email or phone 1-866-573-7381 (toll-free from the U.S. and Canada), and Mandira will work with you to select your options, ring style, words, and lettering style.

Celtic Engagement Puzzle Ring with Trinity Knot Shadow Band

At long last, we have taken over the design and creation of our own shadow bands. Tom is now designing our shadow bands, which gives us much greater capability to develop new designs and respond to your desire for an original bridal set. Here is an image of the first shadow band that Tom designed from start to finish – working with the ideas of our clients who wanted a very specific band with a very particular meaning.

This couple wanted exactly four trinity knots on her shadow band. The two on the outside represent the two of them. The two trinity knots in the center represent the two of them coming together as one in marriage. 

The shadow band is paired with her engagement puzzle ring, simply stunning with a 0.80Ct center Tsavorite garnet and two 5-pt accent diamonds. The puzzle ring is made of palladium and 14K rose gold. The shadow band is made of palladium. Palladium is a platinum-family metal that is naturally white, and we use it instead of white gold in bridal sets that have a white shadow band and a white (or white combination) engagement puzzle ring. Why don’t we use white gold for our sets? That’s another story, and you can find it below the image of this beautiful puzzle ring bridal set.

Tsavorite garnet and diamond engagement puzzle ring and Celtic trinity knot shadow band

Marquise tsavorite garnet and diamond engagement puzzle ring with trinity knots shadow band all in palladium and 14K rose gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14K White Gold – The Complicated Story
White gold is not naturally white. Gold is yellow.
24K gold is 100% yellow gold.
18K gold is 75% gold and 25% alloyed metals.
14K gold is 58.5% gold and 41.5% alloyed metals.
The alloys make the gold stronger, so the more alloys, the stronger the metal. However, when you want to make white gold, the alloyed metals have to not only make it stronger, but they have to make it whiter.  They can’t make it bright white, though, because, after all, it’s still mostly yellow gold. 

Each manufacturer has their own formula for the alloys. Therefore, each manufacturer’s white gold can have a slightly different “cast” (tinge) to it. Some white gold has a creamish (golden) cast; some white gold has more of a pinkish cast. The modern jewelry industry has decreed that all modern white gold will be plated with rhodium, another platinum-family metal that makes white gold rings, no matter their source, all a uniform bright white. This way they always match in color. 

However, our 14K white gold puzzle rings are not plated with rhodium. They have a slightly creamish cast to them. There are three reasons why we don’t plate our puzzle rings.
1. They are inspired by Celtic and Renaissance styles, and rings were not plated until the modern era.
2. We often do color combinations in our puzzle rings, and we can’t plate two bands while not plating the others.
3. Rhodium plating wears off, and most local jewelers have a bread-and-butter business of replating white gold rings 1-3 times per year. We don’t want to enslave you to having your rings replated over and over again. It’s expensive.

Our 14K white gold puzzle rings actually happen to match our 14K white gold traditional and contemporary posy rings, which are not plated and which also have a slightly creamish tinge to them. But our shadow bands, even if we make them without rhodium, may not match our 14K white gold puzzle rings. As an example, one might be slightly yellowish, and one could be slightly pinkish. 

We use platinum or palladium for our shadow bands and mate them to engagement puzzle rings made of the same metal. This way our white metals match. The metal of the engagement puzzle ring will match the metal of the shadow band. 

 

 

 

Moissanite? Yes!

We love moissanite for many reasons. It is gorgeous and more sparkly than diamonds. It is a sustainable, and conflict-free gemstone. (Let’s be clear, though, that all of Crystal Realm’s earth-sourced diamonds are conflict-free and ethically mined.) And they are affordable, especially when you get into the larger stones when compared with diamonds. 

Moissanite is a rare mineral found in nature, but the company that creates moissanite today does so in a lab. Each gemstone is artfully crafted, is socially responsible, and is eternally brilliant!

We can make any engagement puzzle ring on our site that is shown with a faceted stone with moissanite. Currently, we have only a few moissanite rings listed in our store – under colored-gemstones, as that is also where lab-created colored gemstones are found. So until we get a dedicated moissanite section on our site, please feel free to email or call Mandira at 1-866-573-7381 with your needs.

Great news! We were under the impression that marquise moissanites had been discontinued by their maker, but that is not the case. So we can use marquise, princess-cut, and round moissanite, as pictured in rings on our site. We can also use Asscher, cushion cut, and square (step-cut) stones. 

Here are examples of rings and moissanite shapes. Please note we make all of our engagement puzzle rings in all metals: 14K white, rose, yellow gold, and four colors of 14K gold; palladium (an affordable platinum family metal); and platinum. Many of our clients order platinum moissanite rings, because they save on the gemstone and splurge on the metal. We also offer any combination of these metals that you wish to have.

Another note: usually the sellers of moissanite publish either the carat weight or the millimeter size, but not both. One seller we don’t often buy from states only the carat weight. The seller we are able to get better prices from publishes the millimeter size. I know how to cross-reference some but not all of the sizes and shapes yet. 

Marquise moissanite engagement puzzle rings

Marquise diamond open-weave engagement puzzle ring with side emeralds shown in platinum and 14K rose gold

Marquise diamond engagement puzzle ring with a 0.70CT center stone and accent emeralds shown in platinum and 14K rose gold. A 0.70CT marquise moissanite is usually 9mm x 4.5mm. We can make this ring with or without side stones, which may be moissanite, lab-created emerald or the gemstone of your choosing.

Four band marquise diamond puzzle ring with tight weave

Tightly woven marquise four band, palladium puzzle ring. This is shown with a 1/3CT stone, but you can have up to a 0.70CT moissanite on this ring. Prices for this ring with moissanite are as follows: 0.35CT in palladium $1,358; in platinum $2,358. 0.50CT in palladium $1,475; in platinum $2,475. 0.70CT in palladium $1,925; in platinum $2,925. 0.1CT in palladium $2,200; in platinum $3,200. Please call for pricing of higher carat weights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1CT range marquise diamond puzzle ring with optional diamond claddagh band

0.93CT marquise puzzle ring with optional claddagh
shadow band. The comparable
marquise moissanite ring
would be exactly 1CT, and the puzzle ring alone would
be about $2,200 in any precious metal ($3,500 in platinum),
compared with over $8,000 for a diamond ring. The claddagh
band or one that is very like it, as each shadow band is
a one-off original, is approximately $2,100 with two
0.06CT round moissanites in the cuffs.

Please call 1-866-573-7381 for further pricing on moissanite rings. As mentioned, you can select any engagement puzzle ring on our site, and we will make it in moissanite for you, in the precious metal or metals you want, with the size of moissanite you want, subject to availability. Sorry, we cannot do sterling silver with faceted stones. Sterling silver is not strong enough in a puzzle ring to bear a faceted stone with the setting it needs. Sterling silver will wear out far too quickly to justify the price we’d have to charge you, because most of the cost of our puzzle rings is in the labor and the stone.

guinevere six piece puzzle ring with princess cut diamond in 14k rose gold and palladium

A hand-woven six band, Guinevere puzzle ring with a 0.60CT
princess cut  moissanite in palladium and 14k rose gold. 

Guinevere 4 piece puzzle ring with a princess cut diamond

A medium weight, four band engagement puzzle ring in a Guinevere style with a princess cut diamond and an open weave. This is shown with a 1/2CT solitaire.

Guinevere puzzle engagement ring with three-quarter carat, princess-cut diamond

Three-quarter carat princess cut diamond, four band, engagement puzzle ring. The smallest moissanite we can set in this ring is a 0.90CT.  The next up is 1.20CT, then a 1.50CT, then a 1.92CT and so on up from there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Athena four piece puzzle ring with round diamond and four colors 14k gold

Four band puzzle ring with round diamond and four colors of
14K gold. This ring is shown with a 1/3CT (about 4mm) clear
stone, but you can have it with a 4.5mm moissanite for $1,297
and with a roughly 5mm (about 3/4CT) moissanite on a slightly
heavier puzzle ring for about $1,697.

 

Platinum six band puzzle ring with round center moissanite and side diamonds

A six piece Athena Royale puzzle engagement ring bears a large center moissanite (0.80CT) and two accent moissanites – all in platinum.

four band puzzle ring with two carat moissanite in 14k yellow gold with open weave

Round moissanite Athena puzzle ring. This brilliant round stone is 8mm in diameter and 1.9CT. A comparable diamond ring would cost tens of thousands of dollars, whereas this ring with a colorless (D-E-F color, top of range) in the 1.9CT is $3,297. This ring is available in lighter puzzle ring weights with smaller round moissanites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four piece puzzle ring with princess cut diamond and 11-diamond shadow wedding ring

Handmade cushion cut moissanite band puzzle ring with round
moissanite shadow wedding band.
The cushion moissanite
center is 4.5mm (about 0.45CT). The shadow band clear stones
are 1.7mm wide, but in moissanite, they will be 2.5mm, just a
little wider. The price of this set is $3,927 with this size center.
It is also available in your choice of larger center moissanite.

Demystifying Diamonds – How we Guarantee Beauty and Sparkle on the Hand with our Ethically Sourced Diamonds

The modern diamond industry measures diamonds on several metrics that may be familiar to you: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. They are known as the Four C’s. Below is a mix of “industry standard” information about the Four C’s along with how we think about the Four C’s – and a few other variables – here at Crystal Realm.  You will learn how, when we select a diamond for your engagement puzzle ring, we guarantee that the diamond you get will be beautiful and sparkly on her hand. 

Cut
Cut is the most important of all the diamond characteristics, because it is responsible for the sparkle of each diamond. When cuts are beautifully done, it is said your diamond will have immense sparkle. There are five cut grades: Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent, Ideal. We look for a cut of very good or better. When a diamond is not cut well, light entering the top (table) of the diamond will escape out the bottom or the sides of the diamond. When you have a good enough cut, light that enters the top of the diamond is reflected back and out the top of the diamond, and you will see a great deal of sparkle. 

An ideal cut diamond is available only in round and princess-cut shapes. You don’t need to have an ideal cut diamond to have wonderful sparkle.

What people often call cut is really shape
There is a ranking of which shapes of diamonds sparkle the most.  Usually when you see this list, the shapes are called “cuts.” They aren’t cuts, they are shapes. The reason the shape is not the cut is that cut is a characteristic of every diamond, no matter the shape. Click on links to see example puzzle rings or photos of the bolded diamond shapes that we use. Yes, occasionally we will set another shape than the ones shown in bold, but then we are using a setting that may be plainer or less in keeping with our “style” of ring. 

  • Most Brilliant: Round brilliant. Larger round brilliant (shown is a moissanite, but you’ll get the idea!)
  • Extremely Brilliant: Oval, Marquise (pronounced Markee) and Pear.
  • Very Brilliant: Heart and Princess.*
  • Brilliant: Cushion,* Emerald, Asscher* and Radiant.
  • Less Brilliant: Baguette cut.

*Square shapes. We don’t currently have photos of cushion or Asscher puzzle rings, but we have set them. Cushion diamonds can be rectangular or square, and we need to use square ones, so we can set them in our ultra-secure Guinevere or Avalon settings. 

Why do we use so few shapes?
The reason we usually only use round, marquise, and square shapes is because we are very picky about the settings we use. Most jewelers will tell you to stop by twice a year so they can check the security of the diamond setting. We have clients all over the world, so we can’t do that. We have to make sure that your diamond setting is super secure, and we have only four that meet our standards and our sense of style.  The Guinevere and Avalon styles have four prongs that are heavier than most four-prong settings. We find that typical four prong settings are not secure enough to hold a stone. Our six-prong marquise setting has “V-prongs” on the ends. Most marquise settings do not. However, be aware that when a stone has points, it can become tangled in bedding – take your marquise off at night. And the marquise is the only setting that tends to have a potential for a bent prong if you hit it against the washing machine or the garage door, or get it trapped in a door as you close it.  It costs money to return a puzzle ring to us to have us replace a stone – no cost for labor, only shipping and the stone – and we prefer that you never have to do that. However, should you damage your ring, we normally provide repairs at no or low cost. We generally charge only for materials we must purchase to repair your ring.

We do ask that you insure all rings of value that you get from us. You would be surprised at how many lost rings we need to replace. I digress, but here is a reasonable solution for insuring your jewelry. Jeweler’s Mutual is the company that insures virtually every jewelry store in the country, and they also offer personal policies. They are reliable and easy for us to work with in the event of a loss (and no, I don’t get a cut!). 

Color
At Crystal Realm, we guarantee one of the following color grades for your puzzle ring diamond: D, E, or F color, which are the top three grades of the color range. There is no A, B, or C.  D-E-F diamonds are colorless. In fact, at the top end of the range, diamond colors can only be identified by a trained gemologist with the correct equipment. You and I will not discern the difference between, say an D color and an F color. To the “naked eye” they look the same. In fact, you and I will not even discern the difference between an E color and a G color or an H color – the latter two of which are in the near-colorless range – for that matter.  On the other hand, if you see a K color diamond, you’ll see a distinct yellowish tint, and at the very lower end of the range, R-S-T, you will observe the diamonds are yellow.

About 2-3 times per year, we ask a client to consider accepting a G or an H color for the marquise diamond we place in the puzzle ring. If we ask you to consider this, it is usually for either a 1/3CT or a 1CT marquise. These sizes in marquise are considerably more rare than the more middling sizes. 
Instance #1. If a given diamond matches your needs perfectly in every other respect, and it has G or H color, we may ask you to consider it. 

Instance # 2. Sometimes we can save you serious money on a 1CT or larger marquise diamond by selecting G or H color. Diamond prices rise exponentially with carat weight. So a 1CT diamond is not twice as expensive as a 1/2CT diamond. A high quality 1CT-range diamond may be 3x to 6x the cost (ours) of a 1/2CT diamond. We naturally take a smaller markup on the more costly diamonds. Still, we find many of our clients want a diamond at the lower to mid-level of that multiplier range, and we may be more likely to save our client money with a G or H color.

If we wish you to consider a G or H diamond, I will talk to you first about the very diamond we propose putting in your ring and what the rationale for this is. You may accept or decline. 

GIA master diamonds used to establish standards for color grading. From left to right, D to T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarity
Typically, we select a diamond with SI1 or SI2 clarity. These are diamonds with no inclusions visible to the unaided eye. What are inclusions? They are the tiny internal blemishes that tell you your diamond is a genuine, earth-sourced diamond. However, you do not want to see any inclusions when you look at your diamond on the hand. 

Here is a rough metaphor, loosely based on the knowledge that SI1 and SI2 diamonds represent the highest number of diamonds available. Imagine that a group of people threw 100 darts at a dart board. Maybe one dart would land in the red center of the bulls eye. This would represent an IF, or internally flawless diamond. About 15% of the darts would land on the green of the bulls eye or very close to it. The majority of the darts (about 68%) would be further out in the black and white rays of the board. These are the SI1 and SI2 diamonds. The darts that land around the very outside black row (about 16%) are the lower clarity diamonds in the SI3, I1, I2, I3 range. I range diamonds are usually used in industry. 

 

 

 

You might want to skip the next paragraph, if statistics leaves you cold! I’m kind of geeky, so I actually like statistics, though some parts are still confusing to me after five stats classes. If you are a diamond industry expert, you might quibble with my description based on the numbers. But I am merely presenting this information to illustrate, again, that SI1 and SI2 diamonds are more readily available and thus more reasonably priced than higher clarity diamonds. Let’s call this another metaphor.

If you are familiar with statistics, you know the normal curve, a bell-shaped curve which shows the probability distribution of a continuous random variable, in this case, all the rough and cut diamonds in the world. What this means for diamond clarity is that the highest proportion of diamonds are represented by the approximately 68% of diamonds in the yellow area up to one standard deviation from the mean (the center vertical line) in the illustration below. These are the SI2 and SI1 diamonds – no inclusions visible to the unaided eye. 

We’ll say the VS diamonds which are one step up the clarity scale are the ones falling in the right hand green area, up to two standard deviations from the mean. These represent approximately 13.5% of all diamonds. VVS clarity diamonds will fall in the right hand purple area up to three standard deviations from the mean (These are about 2.35% of all diamonds). And IF, or internally flawless diamonds, are exceedingly rare, and they occupy the tiny tail in blue on the extreme right of the  illustration below. They represent perhaps 0.15% of all diamonds.

Likewise, lower clarity diamonds represent the green, purple, and blue tail on the left side of the illustration. These would be SI3, I1, I2, I3 diamonds. 

What does this mean for you? We can save you money by selecting a diamond that is in the yellow center of the range. Since SI2 and SI1 diamonds are more plenteous, they are priced more reasonably than higher clarity diamonds. And since you cannot see any inclusions unless you use a microscope (and don’t – allow the illusion of perfection to exist undisturbed in your mind), your diamond will be equally as beautiful on the hand as a higher clarity diamond. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A client told me about going to a brick-and-mortar jewelry store, where a sales person showed him a diamond at 10x magnification (this is the level of magnification that all diamonds are graded on). Then the sales person showed a higher clarity diamond, and to the untrained eye of my client, those inclusions were not visible at 10x magnification. So then the salesperson said, “See, I’ve turned the magnification up to 25x, and this diamond has inclusions you can only see at 25x magnification. This is a MUCH better diamond than the first few I showed you.”  This is where the pressure came. “Surely, your fiancée-to-be deserves the very best. This one costs $2,500 more, but why would you consider anything less?” 

She does deserve the best, actually, but wouldn’t it make more sense to get more of the diamond characteristics that make it look more beautiful on the hand?  Those are cut and color. If you come to me and you want a very high clarity diamond, as some of our clients do, I’ll get you exactly what you want.  There can be an emotional boost and sense of pride in owning a more rare diamond. But if you want to save money, understand that the tinier inclusions that you and I could only see at 25x will not translate to greater beauty on the hand. Why? Because once a diamond has no inclusions visible to the unaided eye, it doesn’t get prettier with tinier, harder-to-see-under-a-microscope blemishes.

A client once said to me, “Isn’t clarity what gives the diamond sparkle?” Actually, no, as mentioned previously, sparkle is provided by the cut.

On the other hand, many jewelers purchase “lots” of diamonds, which are bags of diamonds of varying quality. A “lot” of diamonds may have diamonds with really low clarity (the green and purple on the left side of the normal curve), many in the middle SI2 and SI1 range, and a few in the VS or VVS range. They will have colors across the range from yellow or yellowish to colorless. These jewelers must sell all the diamonds in their lot, in order to make their profit. So they may try to sell you diamonds with lower clarity, color, and quality. They may cover an inclusion with a prong of the setting.

We do not purchase “lots” of diamonds. We individually select each and every diamond that goes into one of our puzzle rings. If, when it comes in, it doesn’t meet our standards for beauty and sparkle on the hand, we send it back and order another. If you order a diamond of 0.70CT or greater, we will send you links to videos of the several diamonds we are considering for your ring. This way you can have a part in selecting your diamond. Upon occasion we will also do that for smaller diamonds, but we don’t do it as a routine. We will never, ever cover a visible inclusion with a prong.

Carat Weight
Carat weight is literally the weight of the diamond, not the millimeter size. This is why sometimes two diamonds of the same carat weight will have different measurements in millimeters. 

For a long time, the U.S. media reported that the half-carat diamond size is the most popular in the U.S. Now they say a 1CT diamond is the most popular. I notice, though, that the latest report I saw only examined five of the largest cities in the country. Based on Crystal Realm statistics, with clients from rural and city areas in the U.S. and Canada, as well as our overseas customers, I observe the 1/2CT stone is still very popular overall. 

However, our results are skewed because most engagement puzzle rings on our site are shown in the medium weight, and this weight will hold a diamond or colored gemstone up to 0.72CT. The majority of our clients want the medium-weight ring, so they request a stone no larger than 0.72CT. We love making rings with larger stones, though, so please ask us for what you want.

When I talk with you about the engagement puzzle ring you want and the diamond or colored gemstone size you want, more than almost any other jeweler, I will talk to you about the weight of the engagement ring.  By weight in this case, I mean the thickness of the puzzle ring bands.

Here is the medium weight engagement puzzle ring that will hold up to a 0.72CT stone.

guinevere royale puzzle engagement ring with center diamond and sapphire accents with shadow band

Celtic engagement puzzle ring with 0.60ct center diamond, sapphire accents and optional 2.7mm shadow band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a 1CT range or greater engagement puzzle ring we offer three weights of puzzle ring. 

1. Just-over-medium-weight, which will hold a 0.75CT to 1.10CT stone. Please note that the 1CT range goes from 0.90CT to 1.10CT. The stones we offer  you could be anywhere in that range, and sometimes folks choose the lower end of the range, as shown in the photo below. This diamond has exceptional characteristics. 

1CT range marquise diamond puzzle ring with optional diamond claddagh band

0.93CT marquise-diamond puzzle ring with optional diamond claddagh shadow band. This engagement puzzle ring has an open weave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Medium-heavy weight:
This weight can hold a stone up to approximately 1.5CT

one carat tsavorite garnet puzzle ring in 14K yellow gold

A 1CT tsavorite garnet on a medium-weight 14K yellow gold puzzle ring with 14K white gold setting. This engagement puzzle ring has a standard weave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy weight, which can hold up to a 2CT stone.

One carat marquise diamond bridal set in heavy weight 14K yellow gold

One-carat marquise diamond on a heavy weight four band puzzle ring and paired with a 4mm wedding band shaped to fit with the puzzle ring. This engagement puzzle ring has an open weave. Today we might make a shadow band to go with this ring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other diamond characteristics we consider when selecting your diamond
Ratio, bow-tie, source, inspection, sparkle, and spirit

Ratio
For the marquise shape, we consider the length to width ratio. It is said the ideal marquise length to width ratio is 2:1. Occasionally a client will want a shorter, wider stone (such as the marquise tsavorite garnet shown above), but we normally will try to get as close to a 2:1 ratio as possible.

For a square stone, we look for a very square stone. A princess-cut diamond may have a length and width of 5mm x 5.51mm. If we turn this diamond on its corner for a kite orientation (as in the diamond and sapphire Guinevere engagement puzzle ring shown above on this page), it won’t look right. It will look a little off. So we look for a diamond with no more than a 0.20mm difference between the sides, and we prefer no more than a 0.10mm difference. We’ll accept a 5mm x 5.10mm for your square stone. That is 1/10th of a millimeter difference, or 10/100ths of a millimeter. We might consider a 5mm x 5.2mm. But we won’t tolerate a difference larger than that. 

Bow-Tie
With marquise diamonds, we make sure your diamond does not have significant bow-tie. This is an optical illusion occurring in some marquise diamonds resulting from the cut. It appears as a black “bow-tie” across the center of the diamond. It isn’t “real” in that when you look at the diamond from another angle, it disappears. Some jewelers say a tiny bit of light gray bow-tie can give a diamond character, but we reject many marquise diamonds as we search for yours, as we don’t want your diamond to appear to have a dark band in the shape of a bow-tie across your diamond from any angle.

Source
We work almost exclusively with the diamond house that our puzzle ring maker has been working with since the early 1970s. This supplier provides ethically sourced diamonds and maintains tight control over their pipeline of diamonds. We are very proud to be able to offer you diamonds that you can feel good about acquiring and wearing. 

When buying a diamond, one of the most important things is to know your source. What our source says we will get, in terms of diamond quality, is what it delivers. This means that we don’t tend to be surprised when your diamond arrives. Our source guarantees that all diamonds of 0.37CT or 3/8ths carat are certified diamonds, include a diamond certificate, include one year of free loss protection, and have a serial number laser inscribed on the diamond. 

For diamonds lower than 0.375CT, which on our site are listed as 1/3CT, we are often able to offer certified diamonds with the same benefits as the larger diamonds. However, we use a little more leeway in ordering 1/3CT diamonds. Although we don’t carry many diamonds in stock, we sometimes purchase well-priced 1/3CT diamonds without much regard for clarity, say, as long as we can’t see any inclusions in them. This habit has resulted in occasional happy surprises, such as recently finding a diamond with SI3 clarity with phenomenal sparkle. One customer said to me, “I would never want an uncertified diamond, because they are junk!” This is not true if you purchase a non-certified, 1/3CT diamond from us. We will use our same standard of beauty and sparkle on the hand. 

Inspection
If you are choosing a diamond of 0.70CT or above, we will be happy to send it out for your inspection prior to setting it in your ring. We will place an authorization on your card (possible with credit but not debit cards) in the amount of half the cost of your ring plus round-trip shipping. When we get it back, you will either get your deposit back, or if you are happy with the stone, we’ll apply the deposit to your ring.  

For smaller diamonds, we prefer to place the diamond in your ring and send it out finished to you. If you are not thrilled, we’ll take it back and replace it with another diamond. 

Sparkle
We insist that your diamond must sparkle. Yes, we covered sparkle under cut, but one more thought is in order. We value sparkle over color and clarity. If we carefully select your diamond, and it doesn’t sparkle beautifully, we will send it back and order another. Since our diamond source is trustworthy and they make it easy for us to characterize the diamonds we select, we have only done this once in the last almost 15 years. This is how we send out diamonds that our clients are happy with.

Spirit
I am intrigued by folklore, which can be defined as, “the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth.”  On a less charming note, Merriam-Webster also suggests folklore can mean, “an often unsupported notion, story, or saying that is widely circulated.” Supported or not, through the ages, folklore the world over has held gemstones in high regard, attributing various powers to gemstones. Whether they have powers or not is apparently above my pay grade ; ) though I cherish their allure. My folkloric thought, entirely unsupported by evidence but making my work more fun, is that I think of looking for a diamond with a “friendly spirit” inside it. I think of this spirit as expressing itself in the magnificence of your diamond. 

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