Brilliant Diamond

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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Brilliant Diamond offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

What gemstone shape reflects the most light?

The best of all is generally the round brilliant cut, as it reflects about 5-6% of all light entering it. This is true for most stones, Diamonds, Cubic Zirconias & Moissanites.
The reason for this, is that from MOST angles, the light entering will pass through a similar amount of gemstone material (for example Carbon in the case of a diamond), and as such, the beams of light that enter, have a good chance to come out from the table & shoulders of the gemstone (kite facets etc), at an optimal rate, there is a certain mathematical beauty in how the design of the modern round brilliant was originally conceived. Please note, a "PERFECT" round brilliant cut does not actually exist, as NOWHERE in the original plans for the modern round brilliant cut diamond, put down by Tolkowski when he created this cut, was there any mention of any GIRDLE. The "perfect" diamond should have knife edge girdle according the original specifications, this will however be very hard to find, so the best bet for the modern consumer is to ensure you have the best crown angle, pavillion angle, and crown + pavillion depth, in order to maximise the brightness of the stone. If you have further questions, feel free to ask.
Kindest regards,


How many prongs do you suggest, 4 or 6?

This really depends on size & taste. Generally speaking, if the diamond is smaller, 4 claws is suggested, if the diamond is large (about 0.70ct+) then people often suggest 6 claws, for the sake of safety, 6 claws is definitely superior. 

What are some ways I can personalise my wedding band?

The most common & simplest is generally having some engraving done on the inside of the band. This is fairly simple & not overly expensive, also fairly quick.

how much is the average cost for an engagement ring?

trying to prove to my bf that its normal

Ok, this is a bit tricky, as I've sold rings for engagement from a few hundred dollars to many many thousands. There are a few "rules" that many people suggest, one being the 2-3 months wages rule. This actually tends to be fairly representative and accurate in the market I am in. However, others spend less, and some significantly more. Having said this, basing our numbers in Sydney - where the average wage is now $70-75,000 per year, we have a number of about $14-25,000 for engagement rings. I find this is actually quite right for my customers. Others have different markets, and this changes the numbers significantly.

For the record, the LAST engagement ring we made for a customer was $18,000 -so right in the middle. All the best, and good luck!

do you think moissanites look like diamonds?

Short answer:

Unfortunately no, they look very similar, but the marketing "even you're jeweller won't be able to tell", is factually false.

Long answer: However, do not expect a jeweller or a retailer to be a gemmologist or a diamond grader, or a diamond technologist. These courses are the ones you must do before being able to tell what stone is which. To equate the marketing of jewellers not being ablt to tell, is to say the following, even your mechanic can't paint your car. They are different professions, jewellers make jewellery with precious metals, a gemmologist or diamond grader/technologist is a specialist in stones. We don't ask a bricklayer to fix the plumbing in a house do we? Also, Moissanite has a very easy & obvious "tell" much like Zircon, and Peridot, so when looking at the stone with any real intent, you should be able to tell with the naked eye.

If you want to save money, bargain hard on Moissanite, it is not an expensive stone, it's man made in a laboratory, and as such, should be cheap, CZ (Cubic Zirconia) is extremely cheap today, but when introduced in the early 1980s it cost a huge amount, because it was new.

why dont people like yellow gold anymore?

Gold colours are driven by fashion and current trends in the market, if more people buy yellow, the jewellers will sell more yellow, for the past 15 or so years, white gold & platinum have been the best sellers. I suppose that once we see more yellow gold items on the fashion week runway shows, we will have more people liking it again.

whats the strongest ring metal i can get?

i dont want it to scratch or tarnish

Hi, this is a slightly difficult one, strength is different to scratch resistance, and tarnishing is something completely different again. I'll break it down into 3 seperate answers:

Strongest - Tensile strength - lack of malleability - in precious metals, Platinum is the strongest and densest.

Scratch resistance: 14kt gold is generally the most scratch resistance of the yellow gold materials, Rhodium is the most scratch resistant of the white metals - this means, any carat WHITE gold alloy, with a Rhodium plated finish will not scratch as easily as yellow gold, and Platinum scratches easier again.

Tarnishing: This is dependant on the alloy used, the purer the alloy (higher the carat gold) the less tarnishing, because gold & platinum are all NOBLE metals they are by the very definition do not tarnish. When we alloy a precious metal we use silver & copper (and in the case of white gold generally palladium) to strengthen and change the alloy to what is our desired caratage, 18ct is 75% gold, the rest is silver & copper, 14ct is 58.5% gold, 9ct is 37.5% gold, tarnishing usually occurs in 9ct, as it is mostly copper & silver alloy, and is much more reactive.

So, you have 3 different answers almost.... no single metal will fit the bill on all, unless you perhaps use tungsten steel which may be the best match for all 3. However, most jewellers do not work with steel or alloys of steel. 

I hope this helps.

what metals are stronger than others? i want to be able to wear it 24/7

Hello, the simplest answer is that Platinum jewellery is the most hard wearing, strong, and durable of the available precious metals. It does scratch easier than yellow gold (9/14/18k), and also easier than white gold (all alloys are rhodium plated - rhodium is a platinum group metal). Platinum jewellery will last a very long time, if it is made the same as a gold item in terms of size, it will outlast the gold items. I hope this helps.

Is it cheaper to get a matching wedding band or find a mis matching one?

It is always cheaper to go for a simple wedding band. The option then exists that when or if you ever remodel or upgrade your engagement ring, you don't need to change the wedding ring.

how big is too big for engagement ring diamonds/stone?

It really depends on your finger size & your style. Some people like oversize, others prefer small & discreet. You are the only one who should choose this.

whats a cheap alternative for an engagement ring?

Anything you like! Use a coloured stone if you prefer (Sapphire or Ruby - available in ALL colours of the rainbow), but if you want no gemstones at all, just use a plain band like a wedding ring instead. One ring, nice & simple. Honestly, do what makes you comfortable & happy, that's all that really matters. Good luck !

are coloured stones less valuable than diamonds? (engagement rings)

and what kind of price difference are we looking at

It really depends, a very fine coloured stone, like a sapphire, or ruby will be considerably more expensive than a diamond. However, if we look at carat to carat pricing, for under 1-2 carats in size, MOST coloured stones on the commercial market will be cheaper than diamonds (high quality SI clarity & above, H colour and above Ex cut, VG or Ex polish, VG or Ex symmetry, slight to nil fluorescence), but I can and people do, find very cheap diamonds that do not cost as much as coloured stones.

my hubby to be got me a yellow gold ring but i dont wear yellow gold.. how can i let him down gently?

and can i take it back to the jeweller?

Hi, It can be taken back to the jeweller, if it is a stock item, most will be happy to exchange it for you, worst case scenario, it can be rhodium plated and it will look exactly like white gold. This needs to be re done every once in a while, so keep that in mind.

the prongs on my ring have loosened and now my diamond is wobbly... what do i do now?

The best thing to do is to take it to the nearest professional & trusted jewellery store, or your place of purchase for some small repairs. The repair is not a difficult job, and if you have not damaged the ring, then most jewellery retailers (if they sold the ring to you) would do this for you free of charge. 

How many carats is good for an engagement ring?

I don't know anything about this stuff but I'm ready to propose and need advice on how much to spend on an engagement ring for my girlfriend :)


Just so you know, there is no really "correct" answer for this question, this is entirely personal. For example, if you are swimming in money, spend a lot, if budgets are a concern, spend less, this obviously means you'll get something bigger by spending more, if you have a specific design in mind, think more about what will look good on your fiancés ring finger. I can help you with all this if you like, feel free to contact me via my website if you need.

Is it normal for your wedding ring to be a little loose?

It definitely wouldn't fall off, but it spins easily. Should I have it tightened, or should I be waiting for the wedding ring, as having two rings will make it a little tighter on my finger, right?


Don't stress, if it isn't going to come off, it's not a big deal, and, if you are going to wear another ring next to it, then I'd wait until both are on before I go and do anything to your ring at all. The second ring will make it feel tighter, because it is yet another piece forming your finger, and your finger will adjust, after all, human skin is very flexible, and you have plenty of "wiggle" room. Don't stress out, wait for the other ring, then make your decision.

A third ring above my engagement and wedding ring?

Do many people get a third ring to sit above their engagement and wedding rings? My sister has this and I love it, is it a common thing to do? Hers matches her wedding band so they look really nice together.

Most people tend to get the third ring as an eternity ring, they get it after the wedding, generally on an anniversary, however, sometimes some couples like to get the eternity ring earlier. This is a question that is more for the wearer of the rings, than for others, after all, what do you like the look of the most?

Should I leave my engagement ring at home if it doesn't match my theme?

My engagement ring has a canary diamond, and my wedding theme is mostly red and burgundy. I feel as though yellow clashes badly with red. Should I leave my ring at home because of this?


After consulting some colour charts and reading some colour theory, I have a possible answer for you. You have chosen red and burgundy as your colours, red is your primary, burgundy is a tertiary, they are analogous or almost analogous, when looking at your diamond, which is canary yellow, it will be quite bright, and in fact it is near the 2 colours of red and burgundy. Not knowing exactly what shades you have chosen, I can't say for sure. But using a guess, it seems that you can indeed get away with this.

There is one other consideration to think of, in your wedding photos you will be wearing a wedding ring, in most cases, when there is an engagement ring, there is a set of photos of the ring on the brides finger before the wedding, and also a collection of jewellery done (a lot of photographers do this nowadays), that means, bride & groom wedding rings, along with the engagement ring. If you are planning on doing this (ask your photographer) then you may have to wear your ring.

Last point, it's your day, ENJOY IT, DO WHAT YOU WANT! If you feel like wearing it, wear it, it is your big day, and you should enjoy yourself, don't forget that!

I hope this helps.

All the best for your big day.


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