What’s in a Sparkle?

September 16th, 2022 by

Sponsored by Champaign Jewelers

Ok, ok, ok. We know we’ve been raving about Champaign Jewelers and their awesome jewelry collection lately (especially their diamonds). So now we’re taking it one step further and sharing with you some of the knowledge we’ve been able to soak up from our visits! I’m also going to share some of my favorite pieces that I find when I can’t sleep and go browsing on their website- because at Miss Market, we are anti-gate-keeping. 

The first question we had for owner and Master Gemologist, Kari Smith, was this. When you’re picking out diamond jewelry what are some of the top overall considerations that should be part of selecting your piece? “The thing I think about first is- how I’m going to wear it?” she asked.  “If the item I’m looking for is something that I am planning on wearing every day forever and ever, the construction and quality is important. I want to know that I’ll be comfortable wearing it all the time. Other “special occasion” items could be more delicate. Diamond quality is also essential. That is the sparkle factor in every piece of jewelry!” 

These diamond earrings are the #1 thing I’ve been lusting after for months at Champaign Jewelers!

baguette rounded diamond hoop earrings

Speaking of that sparkle, we wanted the nitty gritty. What goes into it, and what affects the quality of the diamond? Here’s what Kari had to say: “Every single diamond is unique, and the cut, color and clarity all play a role in the beauty of the diamond. The color is the actual body color of the diamond. Most diamonds have a yellow or brown tint. When a diamond is whiter it is considered colorless or near colorless. This is the color grade range for most engagement rings. Clarity is the grade that tells us how many imperfections are in the diamond crystal. Diamond crystals are grown in extremely high temperature and pressure environments and imperfections are present in nearly all of them. The kind of imperfection(s), what size and where they are located in the diamond crystal will determine the clarity grade. Color and clarity are two independent grades. There are diamonds that have high color grades and low clarity grades and low color grades with high clarity grades. Cut is the only thing that people add to the diamond quality. The symmetry of the facets, the quality of the polish and the overall proportions are the factors that make the diamond sparkle!”

Loving this diamond constellation necklace!

diamond constellation necklace

Ok, so now we have the deets on the different aspects of the diamond itself, but which, if any, of those are more important than the others? And warning- she is unlocking a pro tip for you here, Miss! “Cut and Color are always on the top of my list,” said Kari. “I want the diamond to sparkle like crazy and not be off color. Clarity has more wiggle room. There is a big cost difference between a VVS Clarity Diamond and an SI1 Clarity diamond and the human eye cannot see any difference without magnification,” she explained. 

That brought us to a hot-topic in the diamond world. Lab-grown diamonds. “Lab grown diamonds have exploded in availability and popularity the last few years,” Kari confirmed. So we had to ask- what is the difference between a mined diamond and one that’s lab-grown? “Chemically speaking, both are carbon crystals grown under high pressure and high temperature conditions. Mined diamonds are billions of years old and were formed in the earth’s crust, traveling to the surface through volcanic activity. Every diamond is unique

and the inclusions in a diamond often tell the history of where it was formed. Larger mined diamonds are rare and historically have appreciated in value over the years. Lab grown diamonds only take a few weeks to be made and more and more growing facilities are opening every day. It takes a ton of energy to create the high pressure, high temperature atmosphere to grow a diamond but as technology advances, larger lab grown diamonds are becoming more available. This has led to a rapid decline in the cost of lab grown diamonds,” she explained. 

Finally, I had know…is my once yearly diamond cleaning enough? Surely, it’s ok that I have sunscreen and lotion caked on my engagement ring? “It is so important to keep your jewelry clean!” Kari said. “Champaign Jewelers offers free cleaning and inspection on any jewelry (even if it was not purchased here!) If you can’t stop in to have your jewelry cleaned, we sell a foaming jewelry cleaner that is safe to use on all diamonds and gemstones. Sparkly jewelry is happy jewelry,” she said as she grabbed the ring off my hand and graciously cleaned it for me.

Remember, Miss- when you use code MISSMARKET in store or online at Champaign Jewelers, you’ll save some money, and you’ll let them know that Miss Market sent you (v. important to us as we continue to highlight other women-run businesses!)

And for even more information on diamonds from Champaign Jewelers, click here!