Scholarship

Are you a student who’s getting married? Are you worried about paying for both your wedding and your tuition?

It’s not hard to believe that the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school years was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. (CollegeData.com)

Furthermore, according to CNN Money, couples are now spending more than $30,000 to get married. Paying for a dress, a venue, a DJ, flowers, food, and photography (among other expenses) can quickly become very expensive. Forget about the honeymoon!

Diamond Mansion wants to help you.

Starting this fall, we’re going to award a $1,000 scholarship to the one person who can dazzle us with an essay in response to the following question: How will earning an undergraduate or graduate degree better prepare you for being a life partner and/or parent?

All you need to do is write a 500-word response to this question and send it to [email protected] by September 30, 2016. We’ll choose one winner, who’ll receive a check from us directly.

For all the details, just visit our scholarship information page. We truly look forward to reading all the entries and choosing a deserving winner!

Our 10 Favorite Pear-Shaped Engagement Rings

Pear Shaped Rose Gold Engagement Ring

A fusion of the classic round-brilliant and marquise diamond shapes, pear-shaped diamonds are also sometimes known as teardrop diamonds. They possess the sparkle of a round-brilliant diamond but stun with the fancy shape of a marquise. A pear-shaped diamond comes to a point at one end and is rounded on the other end. Traditionally, the diamond is worn with the point facing upwards, and pear-shaped diamonds are flattering center stones for engagement rings because they make the finger appear longer than it is. Here are 10 of our favorite pear-shaped engagement rings:

U-Prong Pave Diamond Setting

U-Prong Pave Diamond Setting

U-Prong Pave Diamond Setting
The curves of your pear-shaped diamond will be highlighted by this simple pave diamond setting. The diamonds are held by u-prongs to create a sleek and contemporary look.

Simple Solitaire Setting

Simple Solitaire Setting

Simple Solitaire Setting
If you want nothing more than to highlight the pure beauty of your sparkling pear-shaped diamond, then a solitaire setting might be your best choice. A smooth gold silhouette will complement your center stone.

Verragio Infinity Pave Diamond Setting

Verragio Infinity Pave Diamond Setting

Verragio Infinity Pave Diamond Setting
Dainty and delicate, this open, twisted pave setting is a feminine way to complement your pear-shaped center stone. The curves of the setting will match the curves of your diamond.

Infinity Design Pave Diamond Setting

Infinity Design Pave Diamond Setting

Infinity Design Pave Diamond Setting
Want to capture the infinite nature of your love? This pave band with infinity symbols is both meaningful and stylish. It will be an ideal match for your pear-shaped center diamond.

Art Deco Halo Setting

Art Deco Halo Setting

Art Deco Halo Setting
This 1920s-inspired, Art-Deco-look diamond engagement ring is substantial and fashionable. With its pave halo, this setting is a stunning accompaniment to a pear-shaped center diamond.

Simple Tension Setting

Simple Tension Setting

Simple Tension Setting
If you’re looking for a more modern and sleek way to display your beautiful pear-shaped center diamond, you should consider this high-polished tension setting. We promise that a force slightly more trustworthy than magic is holding your diamond safely in place.

Bezel Setting with Diamond Collar

Bezel Setting with Diamond Collar

Bezel Setting with Diamond Collar
A bezel setting for a pear-shaped diamond will ensure that its pointed end is well protected from clumsy hands. This setting has a pave diamond collar for high-fashion detail.

Tapered Baguettes and Rounds Setting

Tapered Baguettes and Rounds Setting

Tapered Baguettes and Rounds Setting
Add even more geometric interest your pear-shaped center diamond by accessorizing it with tapered baguettes and round-cut accent diamonds. This style is classic and eclectic at the same time.

Raised Bezel Setting

Raised Bezel Setting

Raised Bezel Setting
A sleek and minimalist bezel setting will protect the pointed end of your precious pear-shaped diamond and look very contemporary on your hand.

Split-Shank Solitaire Setting

Split-Shank Solitaire Setting

Split-Shank Solitaire Setting
Pair your pear-shaped center diamond with a gold setting that’s full of geometric drama. It’s a solitaire setting for people who think solitaire settings are boring and unimaginative.

Shop all pear-shaped engagement rings at Diamond Mansion.

Why Buy a Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring?

Solitaire Engagement Ring Settings

These days, many customers want engagement rings with diamond halos and pave shanks for maximum sparkle. We don’t blame them! Diamond-encrusted setting styles can be beautiful, eye catching, and unique.

At the same time, there’s something to be said for a simple diamond solitaire engagement ring. You probably already have an engagement ring setting style in mind, but in this post we’ll explain what a solitaire setting is and ask you to reconsider the often-ignored solitaire.

The word “solitaire” is a derivative of the Latin word solitarius, which means “alone” or “by itself.” Being alone doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative circumstance. Instead, being alone can be empowering – there’s strength in independence and carving your own path. In a market saturated with ornate rings, wearing a solitaire ring is an expression of individuality and confidence.

De Beers Diamond Solitaire, from Quora.com

De Beers Diamond Solitaire, from Quora.com

Advantages of a Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

  • It probably won’t ever go out of style. Like fashion trends, engagement ring styles come and go. If you visit a second-hand jewelry shop and view some of the ring styles from the 1980s, you probably won’t be impressed. Avoid engagement ring style regret by choosing the most classic and timeless look: a diamond solitaire engagement ring. The vintage De Beers ad on the left, which features a diamond solitaire engagement ring, still looks contemporary, even though the makeup and styling don’t.
  • It can easily be upgraded in the future. Some couples opt for a “starter” solitaire engagement ring because they know they’ll eventually upgrade their diamond or even their setting. Maybe they can afford a high-quality center stone now but can’t yet afford the diamond-encrusted setting they desire. It’s easy to remove a diamond from a solitaire setting and reset it in a new setting at any time.
  • It allows your center stone to truly shine. If you’re investing in a gorgeous center stone, don’t you want it to take center stage? In general, solitaire settings best allow light to shine through the diamond and help showcase its beauty. No ornaments can distract from the sheer brilliance of your diamond.

Our Five Favorite Solitaire Styles

Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

Simple Solitaire Setting

Simple Solitaire Setting

Nearly any size stone can fit in this very simple and delicate solitaire engagement ring setting. Choose from white, yellow, and rose gold colors in both 14 and 18 karat gold purity.

Beveled Edge Solitaire Setting

Beveled Edge Solitaire Setting

Beveled Edge Solitaire Setting

This 2.5 mm band is slightly thicker than the first option and also has an interesting beveled edge that encircles the entire ring. The gold, in the color and karat weight of your choice, rises to meet the diamond in the center with a sturdy prong setting that will hold the diamond in place.

Bezel Solitaire Setting

Bezel Solitaire Setting

Bezel Solitaire Setting

Looking for something a little more contemporary than the traditional first two options? Look no further than this sleek 4 mm band with a bezel setting that completely surrounds your center diamond and protects it. With a bezel setting, not as much light will be able to pass through your diamond, but the overall appearance will be sleek, minimalist, and seamless.

Split Shank Solitaire Setting

Split Shank Solitaire Setting

Split Shank Solitaire Setting

Why not try a 2 mm band with a split shank, which means the band divides before it meets the center diamond. The split allows some skin to show through and adds some visual interest that draws the eye to the rings’ main attraction.

Cathedral Solitaire Setting

Cathedral Solitaire Setting

Cathedral Solitaire Setting

If you’d like your solitaire to have some visual interest in the side view, consider cathedral-style setting, which means that the shank and prongs are formed in an arch-like design. It’s classic and elegant, and it looks just like the architectural details on a cathedral.

Did you ever realize how many types of solitaire settings exist? Would you consider custom designing any of these solitaire engagement ring settings by choosing your own diamond?

Shop all of Diamond Mansion’s diamond solitaire engagement rings.

Elongated Cushion Cut Diamond

Recently, we’ve noticed that an elongated cushion-cut diamond shape has become more popular than a square cushion-cut diamond shape. We’re guessing the ladies like how the more rectangular shape makes the finger appear longer. If you’ve never heard of “cushion cut” before, it’s a cross between a princess (square) shape and round brilliant shape diamond, with softened corners to look like a pillow. Elongated simply means that it looks more like a rectangle than a square. Here are 10 of our favorite elongated cushion-cut diamond engagement rings:

The Lady Boss

The Lady Boss

1. The Lady Boss

If you’d like to adorn your finger with a substantial status symbol, this elongated cushion-cut diamond engagement ring with diamond halo is an ideal choice. The solid halo can be admired not only from the top but also the side view. Bead-set diamonds highlight the luxurious nature of the weighty gold.

The Vegas Getaway

The Vegas Getaway

2. The Vegas Getaway

A pave diamond shank has an edgy, contemporary look that complements a long weekend of cocktails and tables games. Edginess is apparent in this elongated cushion-cut engagement ring with diamond-encrusted band. Overall, this ring possesses a simple silhouette, but the play of light from your hand as you’re rolling the dice at a casino table will definitely take the house.

On the Rocks

On the Rocks

3. On the Rocks

You know the relaxed heaviness of that one, large ice cube at the bottom of a lowball glass, as the ice slowly melts into the warmth of your chosen libation. This gold-heavy engagement ring protects your elongated cushion-cut diamond with a slick bezel outline and won’t be ignored on any finger.

Smooth Move

Smooth Move

4. Smooth Move

A classic solitaire setting is often the best way to showcase a high-quality diamond, especially one with excellent clarity and cut. This ring has a smooth and slick shank, which curves upwards to meet your elongated cushion-cut center diamond.

Now You See It

Now You See It

5. Now You See It

How do channel-set diamonds stay in place? Magic. Expect more princess-cut diamonds and less gold on this shank. Your elongated cushion-cut center diamond is the main act.

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden

6. Sculpture Garden

Have you ever enjoyed a pleasant stroll through a city center and seen a beautiful sculpture rising from the urban landscape? This bezel-set diamond engagement ring is contemporary and heavy with sculptural gold. The elongated cushion-cut center stone forms the foundation of this ring’s impressive stature.

Wave Pool

Wave Pool

7. Wave Pool

No one can ignore this thick, gold-heavy stunner when it’s adorning your finger. The elongated cushion-cut diamond is surrounded by a bead-set diamond halo and a scalloped pattern on the shank. The graduated scallops resemble waves that ripple away from the center diamond, helping transmit energy and light.

Pool Party

Pool Party

8. Pool Party

On a hot day, fewer experiences are better than dipping into a cool swimming pool except maybe dipping into multiple swimming pools. This thick, bezel-set diamond engagement ring with an elongated cushion-cut center has four round brilliant diamond accent stones. The bezel setting protects your precious center-stone investment.

Kissy Face

Kissy Face

9. Kissy Face

The simple split-shank on this diamond engagement ring looks like two lovers meeting for an enthusiastic kiss. The metal splits gracefully into a cathedral setting that holds the center diamond with flourishing arches. Your elongated cushion-cut diamond will look like it’s suspended at the height of a romantic moment.

Panoramic Views

Panoramic Views

10. Panoramic Views

Have you ever been to a scenic location where, no matter the direction you turned, you simply experienced panoramic views? This ring is the perfect vista. A split shank opens the view to the heavy gold, and bead-set diamonds encrust both the top and side views. The diamond-crusted halo cradles your elongated cushion-cut center diamond.

Shop all of Diamond Mansion’s cushion-cut engagement rings.

Blogger MelRod Style Visits the Diamond Mansion Showroom

MelRod Style Visit
Diamond Mansion Showroom

Diamond Mansion Waiting Area

Though Diamond Mansion works with clients all over the world, we do have a showroom in Downtown Los Angeles, in the heart of the largest jewelry district in the United States. If you’re able to visit our showroom, we can show you sample ring settings and loose diamonds, and we can also guide you through the engagement ring customization process.

We’re also known for being great hosts; if you visit us, you can take advantage of our comfy chairs and complimentary Nespresso! For our clients coming in parched from from the Los Angeles summer heat, we also have ice-cold filtered water.

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting a very special guest at our showroom on the seventh floor of the International Jewelry Center. Blogger Mel of MelRod Style took time out of her busy day to view our selection of bridal and fashion rings and loose diamonds.

Stacking Gold and Diamond Rings

Stacking Gold and Diamond Rings

After reading (with envy) her recent blog post about visiting Palm Springs and spending some time in the California sun, I couldn’t wait to meet this young lady who embodies the image of SoCal style. I had also learned from her blog that she’s a newlywed (check out this super-cute wedding makeup trial video she made with her young nieces), so I knew she’d have an appreciation for diamond bridal jewelry.

Mel most enjoyed our delicate, stackable diamond bands, which are available in white, rose, and yellow gold colors. These minimalist rings are definitely on trend, and I can understand why a stylish young woman would be so attracted to them! We suggest stacking them with as few or as many other rings as you like.

Assortment of Chocolates from Bottega Louie

Assortment of Chocolates from Bottega Louie

To show Mel our appreciation for making the trip to our showroom, we treated her to some of Downtown Los Angeles’ most legendary chocolates from gourmet market Bottega Louie. The assortment of unique flavors included mint, feuilletine, orange Cointreau, Bailey’s, cinnamon caramel, raspberry, passion fruit, dark chocolate, beurre noisette, gianduja, vanilla, and caramel banana, among others. If you’ve never visited Bottega Louie and you have a sweeth tooth, you need to make a trip to this Grand Avenue institution, where the colorful macaron display alone is breathtaking.

Nothing pairs better with chocolates than a bottle of brut rosé! No beverage embodies summer any more than a glass of chilled rosé, and we were sure that sun-worshipping Mel would appreciate the light-pink bubbly drink.

In short, we were happy to have Mel visit our showroom because we’re proud of our diamonds and jewelry selection, and we love to show it off to guests!

Seychelles Honeymoon

For most, a wedding is the closest we’ll ever come to experiencing celebrity status. On your big day, you’re surrounded by admirers, pampered by hired help, pursued by photographers, and lavished with generous gifts – all before you dash away to an exotic destination of your choosing.

Similarly, your honeymoon may be the most expensive and luxurious trip you’ll ever take. In fact, the most recent survey of honeymooners conducted by TheKnot.com in 2010 revealed that the average honeymoon cost $4,466, and luxury honeymooners spent an average of $9,954. In contrast, the BLS reported that in 2008, (the most recent year that data was available) the average American vacation only cost a total of $1,415.

It’s important to pick the perfect destination for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and you can save yourself some time and research by taking a cue from some of the world’s most chic celebrities. Even if you’re not touching down in a private jet or renting out the whole island, you’ll still enjoy the same incredible scenery and exotic culture, and you’ll have a glimpse what it feels like, if only briefly, to live like the stars do.

Fregate Island

Fregate Island by Flickr user lander2006

Seychelles

The Seychelles (pictured in this post’s featured photo) are a group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. With its untouched beaches and peaceful scenery, the archipelago epitomizes the tropical vacation that so many newlyweds desire.

Prince William & Kate Middleton: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge selected North Island, which is only accessible by helicopter and home to only one resort with 11 villas total. They rented the entire island to secure their privacy but stayed in Villa no. 4 complete with a four-poster bed made of driftwood in the main bedroom, a freshwater rock pool in the garden, and an outdoor yoga pavilion.

Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston: In 2000, the former Mr. and Mrs. Pitt rented out all 17 villas on Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles. The island is known as a “jewel of conservation,” home to rare tropical birds and endangered turtles, and one of its beaches is frequently voted the best in the world.

Sir Paul McCartney & Heather Mills: The now-divorced couple also stayed on the ultra-exclusive Fregate Island Private. At the time, the Belfast Telegraph described the luxurious hideaway as a “Swiss Family Robinson win the lottery” experience.

Salma Hayek & Francois-Henri Pinault: In 2009, the billionaire couple also checked into North Island Hotel and enjoyed their 4800-square foot beachside villa that describes itself as a “a Noah’s Ark afloat in warm tropical waters in colours of blue and aquamarine.”

Getting There and Getting Around: Unfortunately, in 2011-2012 Air Seychelles reduced the number of flights available in and out of its airport, so the easiest way for Americans to get there today is through Dubai (Emirates airline) or Abu Dhabi (Etihad Airway) depending on your origin. Once you arrive, only two inter-island ferries operate in the Seychelles between Mahé and Praslin and Praslin and La Digue. Travel to the outer islands requires flying.

Where You Can Actually Stay:

Coral Strand Hotel
Anse Soleil Beachcomber
Cap Jean Marie Villas
Lazare Picault Hotel
La Digue Island Lodge
Patatran Village

Travel Guides:

Free Travel Guide to Seychelles
Budget Seychelles: Paradise for a Song

Maldives Honeymoon

Maldives by Flickr user Chi King

Maldives

The Maldives is a chain of 1192 coral islands that make up a double chain of 26 atolls. Over 99% of the total area of this country is ocean, making it an ideal destination for divers and beachgoers.

Fergie & Josh Duhamel: After marrying in 2009, the couple stayed at the One & Only Reethi Rah Resort, which can be reached only by yacht from the Maldivian capital of Male. They stayed in the 2,500-square-foot Grand Water Villa with a private infinity pool and a 355-square-foot terrace with steps leading into the Indian Ocean.

Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes: After arriving by private jet for their secret honeymoon, Tom and Katie reportedly spent their honeymoon sailing around the Maldives on the Arctic P, an icebreaker turned super-yacht, owned by the richest man in Australia.

Katy Perry & Russell Brand: To kick off their 14-month-long marriage, the pair stayed at the Four Seasons Kuda Hura in North Male’ Atol, located on stilts above the ocean, accessible to guests by a traditional Maldivian boat. And they later traveled to a different island to stay at Four Seasons Landagiraavaru, set on a remote jungle at Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, with open-air (yet air-conditioned) villas scattered privately throughout the island.

Getting There and Getting Around: Visitors from the U.S. often travel through London (Qatar, Emirates, or Sri Lankan airlines) or from Los Angeles through Malaysia (Singapore airlines). Once you arrive in the capital of Malé, you will need to take a boat or plane to the atoll where you are staying. Switching resorts or islands once you’re there is generally not recommended due to the high cost and inconvenience.

Where You Can Actually Stay:

J. Resorts Alidhoo
Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort
Rihiveli Beach Resort
Adaaran Club Rannalhi
Guest-Houses-in-Maldives.net
Sun Island Resort

Travel Guides:

Free Travel Guide to Maldives
How to Spend a Week in the Maldives for Less Than One Night in a Resort

Parrot Cay

Parrot Cay by Flickr user lander2006

Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are a British Overseas Territory part of the Lucayan Archipelago. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean and southeast of the Bahamas, TCI is loved for its world-famous beaches, convenient access from the U.S., and welcoming culture.

Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner: Bennifer 2.0 became official in 2005 at the Parrot Cay resort. The private island resort, which is a 35-minute ride from Providenciales, has a soothing and beach luxe interior and with soft, white, cotton-covered chairs, airy four-poster beds and teak furnishings.

Eva Longoria & Tony Parker: The now-divorced couple also spent their honeymoon at the exquisite Parrot Cay resort. In 2007, Eva told People Magazine of their ultra-secluded stay, “We didn’t see people for days with the exception of room service bringing us food.”

Natalie Portman & Benjamin Millepied: The young couple brought their young son and enjoyed a private villa at Grace Bay Club, a luxurious resort with more than 11 acres along the incredible Grace Bay Beach. Rates for their nicest residences can be as high as $13,000/night depending on the season.

Getting There and Getting Around: American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, JetBlue, and Continental offer direct flights from the the east coast to Providenciales. On the islands, taxis are available but expensive; renting a car makes more sense for those who want to move around.

Where You Can Actually Stay:

West Bay Club
Ocean Club Resorts
Sibonné Beach Hotel
Alexandra Resort

Travel Guides:

Turks and Caicos is the Perfect Caribbean Island
Free Travel Guide to Turks and Caicos
Lonely Planet: Turks and Caicos

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Photo by Flickr user Paolo Gamba

French Polynesia

Part of the French Republic, French Polynesia is made up of 118 islands and atolls in the South Pacific Ocean. Bora Bora and Tahiti are the most famous of the islands, known for their picture-perfect beaches, luxe accommodations, and overwater bungalows.

Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban: The second Mrs. Tom Cruise and her second husband chose Bora Bora for their honeymoon escape, and they stayed at the U.S. Royal Estate at the St. Regis resort. The 13,000 sq. foot villa was “designed to resemble an opulent Polynesian village” and costs $15,000 per night.

Carrie Underwood & Mike Fisher: Like most visitors who dream of Tahiti, this couple came for the overwater suite with glass bottom floors overlooking crystal clear water. They stayed at the Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa, which is famous not only for its ocean setting but also “lush vanilla plantations and its black pearl farms.”

Getting There and Getting Around: For visitors coming from the U.S., direct flights leave from Los Angeles and Honolulu to Tahiti (Air Tahiti Nui), which has the only international airport in French Polynesia. Frequent and inexpensive connections to the larger islands are available both by boat and by air.

Where You Can Actually Stay:

Pension Vaiama Village
Blue Heaven Island
Sunset Hill Lodge
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Resort
Les Relais de Josephine

Travel Guides:

Free Travel Guide to French Polynesia
Lonely Planet: Tahiti and French Polynesia
Tahiti and French Polynesia on a Budget
French Polynesia Travel Tips

Which of these honeymoon destinations would you choose?

Featured photo by Didier Baertschiger

Top 10 Engagement Ring Retailers in Downtown Los Angeles

DTLA Jewelry District

The Downtown Los Angeles Jewelry District is the largest jewelry district in the United States, with an annual sales of nearly $3 billion generated by approximately 5,000 businesses.

Though many of the businesses are open to customers who live near or can travel to Los Angeles, a number of them have also embraced the Digital Age by becoming ecommerce retailers who sell diamond engagement rings to customers all over the world.

As someone interested in purchasing the highest quality diamond engagement ring for the best price, you’ve probably started to do some research online. In this post, we compare 10 top-rated bridal jewelry retailers with physical locations in the Los Angeles Jewelry District who also sell their products online.

The table below compares our 10 retailers based on seven common customer service policies: returns, warranty, upgrades, shipping, custom design, payment methods, and certified diamonds. If a field is blank, it means we couldn’t find the information, and we recommend contacting the company directly.

More detailed information about each company each of the companies featured in our comparison table – including website, address, hours, Yelp star rating, and description – can be found after the table.

 Return PolicyWarrantyUpgradesShippingCustom DesignPayment MethodsCertified Diamonds
1800LooseDiamonds.com14 days full refundStones covered for 6 monthsFree shippingYes, nonrefundableMajor CCs, bank wire, cash, cashier’s check, money order, checkGIA, EGL, HRD, IGI
Adiamor30 days full refundLifetimeLifetimeFree overnight shippingYes, nonrefundableMajor CCs, PayPal, bank wireGIA, AGS
Arka Designs30 days full refundFree domestic overnight shippingMajor CCs, check, money order
Capri Jewelry30 days full refundLifetimeLifetimeFree domestic overnight shippingYes, nonrefundableMajor CCs, PayPal, bank wireGIA, EGL, AGSL
Diamond Mansion45 days full refundLifetimeLifetimeFree 2-day shipping, free overnight shipping for purchases over $10,000 Yes, only 10% down to begin customization process. Full refund if not satisfied.Major CCs, PayPal, bank wireGIA, EGL
Gem Dynasty10 days full refund minus 10% restocking feeFree priority shippingGIA
Icing on the Ring14 days full refundLifetimeLifetimeFree two-day shippingYes, nonrefundableMajor CCs, check, bank wireGIA, EGL
Rondel's 30 days full refund (excludes rings smaller than 6 and larger than 7)Free shipping
Yes, nonrefundableMajor CCs, bank wireGIA, IGI, AGS, EGL
Roxbury Jewelry15 days full refundFree overnight shippingYes, nonrefundableGIA, EGL
Trumpet & Horn5 days full refundSizing onlyNoFree shippingNoMajor CCs, PayPal, bank wireGIA

1800LooseDiamonds.com
Address: 550 South Hill Street, Suite 777, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours: Mon-Fri 9-6; Sat by appt. only
Average Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Description: 1800LooseDiamonds.com is a family-owned jeweler that has been in business since 1986. Located in Downtown Los Angeles’ International Jewelry Center, this jeweler specializes in high-quality GIA, EGL, and AGS-certified loose diamonds and fine jewelry manufacturing. They can make engagement rings, wedding bands, tennis bracelets, diamond pendants and necklaces, diamond stud earrings, and fashion/cocktail rings.

Adiamor
Address: 510 W 6th Street, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6; Sat 10-3
Average Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Description: Founded in 1992, Adiamor is a family-owned fine jewelry manufacturer and loose diamond retailer. The name “Adiamor” means “day of love.” All their jewelry is created on site in Downtown Los Angeles. Customers can browse the Adiamor website for loose GIA and AGS certified loose diamonds and then create the jewelry of their dreams: engagement rings, wedding bands, and other fine jewelry like necklaces and bracelets.

Arka Designs
Address: 506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Hours: Mon-Fri 11-7; Sat 11-5
Average Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Description: Founded in 1997, Arka Designs was one of the first e-commerce retail jewelers based in Los Angeles. Owners Vatche (Vito) Klahejian is a master jeweler and diamond appraiser who oversees every individual transaction and is involved in every aspect of the operations. Arka Designs specializes in offering a wide selection of diamond engagement rings, rings, wedding bands, and certified diamonds.

Capri Jewelry
Address: 601 South Hill Street, Booth A1, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-5
Average Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Description: A family owned and operated business established in 1980, Capri Jewelry offers a large selection of white and fancy-color GIA and EGL certified diamonds. Engagement rings are custom made based on finger size and with accent diamonds that match the quality of the center stone. Using 3D computer design technology and CAD software, Capri Jewelry can custom design the ring of your dreams.

Diamond Mansion
Address: 550 South Hill Street, Suite 710, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours: Mon-Fri 11-6
Average Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Description: Founded in 1986, Diamond Mansion specializes in designing unique custom diamond engagement rings according to the customer’s specifications and budget. Diamond Mansion has some of the most flexible customer service policies in the industry, with 45-day returns, lifetime warranty, lifetime maintenance, and lifetime upgrades. Only a 10% down payment is required to begin the engagement ring customization process, which involves choosing from our inventory of GIA and EGL certified stones and imagining the perfect setting in the precious metal of the customer’s choosing.

Gem Dynasty
Address: 550 South Hill Street, Suite 564, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5; Sat 10-4
Average Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Description: Established in 1980, Gem Dynasty specializes in selling diamond engagement rings made with GIA and EGL certified diamonds in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can search for a diamond yourself on the Gem Dynasty website or share your specifications with a customer service associate, who will help you find your perfect stone.

Icing on the Ring
Address: 607 South Hill Street, Suite 316, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6; Sat 10-5
Average Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Description: In the jewelry business for 45 years, Icing on the Ring boasts a 3,000-square-foot jewelry showroom with four private Diamond Viewing Rooms, a customer lounge, and an in-house production studio. The company specializes in bridal and anniversary jewelry, maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and is a four-time winner of the “Bridal Choice Awards.”

Rondel’s
Address: 550 South Hill Street, Suite 820, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours: Tues-Fri 10-5; Mon and Sat 10-4
Average Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Description: Founded in 1979 by well-established jeweler Albert Garabet, Rondel’s specializes in creating custom made jewelry beginning with a CAD image design and finishing with the setting of GIA and EGL certified diamonds. Rondel’s also carries fancy colored diamonds. In addition, Rondel’s does sell a selection of designer jewelry by designers like Novell, Natalie K, Gabriel, and Benchmark.

Roxbury Jewelry
Address: 550 South Hill Street, Suite 1389, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6; Sat 10-4:30
Average Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Description: Founded by cousins Dan Haimoff and Jeremy Auslander in 2007, Roxbury Jewelry is a custom diamond engagement ring specialist that hosts one-on-one consultations with clients in a private showroom. All custom rings and repairs are made in Los Angeles, in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and repair facility.

Trumpet & Horn
Address: Downtown Los Angeles
Hours: Mon-Fri 9-3:30
Average Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Description: What makes Trumpet & Horn unique is that the company specializes in selling vintage diamond engagement rings. The company sources one-of-a-kind antique engagement rings, restores them, and resells them to customers who want a unique, vintage look.

Featured photo by Clinton Steeds

Important Policies for Custom Diamond Engagement Rings

Policies for Custom Designed Engagement Rings

When buying a custom diamond engagement ring, you should feel confident about your one-of-a-kind purchase and be certain that your investment will be protected for life. Understandably, you’ll want to purchase your unique engagement ring from a jeweler who openly advertises all customer service policies, without any hidden exclusions or “catches.”

In this post, we’ll discuss five important customer service policies that you should prioritize when shopping for your custom engagement ring and why. We’ll also explain how Diamond Mansion handles these policies and why we created our policies with you in mind. After all, many of our valued customers never get the chance to meet us in person, but at the end of the day we want our clients to feel like our trusted friends.

Fair return policy: Some consumers associate the word “custom” with “no returns accepted.” After all, a retailer might have difficulty reselling an item that was already custom designed for another customer, per his or her unique specifications. However, jewelry is different; if a jeweler can’t resell a custom-designed piece, then the materials can be reused. As a result, a jeweler has nothing to lose by offering a fair return policy.

In fact, companies that offer fair return policies usually offer better customer service and higher-quality items because the possibility that a customer might return an item raises the stakes. Companies with generous return policies are in the business of pleasing their clients, ensuring they adore the purchase for life.

Diamond Mansion offers a 45-day return policy for all purchases. If for any reason, our customers are dissatisfied with a purchase, we will accept the item and provide a full refund. We want our custom-designed diamond engagement rings to exceed our customers’ expectations, so we use only the best materials and employ only the most talented craftspeople. But we do understand that customers change minds or experience extenuating circumstances.

Lifetime upgrade: Jewelry retailers know that diamond engagement rings and wedding bands are purchases meant to last a lifetime. Sometimes customers want to upgrade their original rings because they have more money to spend or want to celebrate a milestone like an anniversary. A lifetime upgrade policy honors customer loyalty and acknowledges the original purchase as an important investment.

We offer a lifetime upgrade for all diamond jewelry. For one, we’ll give you 100% of your original purchase price toward a new diamond that costs 40% more than what you paid for your original diamond.

Lifetime maintenance: Over time, rings can be scratched, prongs can wear down, and stones might become loose. Signs of wear don’t mean that your jewelry is defective; they just mean that you use your hands frequently and that you love your custom diamond engagement ring. In addition, over time, a person’s ring size can change. A jewelry retailer who offers free lifetime maintenance knows that you’ll want to keep your ring looking like new and fitting properly for life.

At Diamond Mansion, we provide the following maintenance services free of charge to our customers: polishing, rhodium plating, deep cleaning, resizing up to two sizes, and tightening loose stones.

Minimum commitment: Despite images and wax molds, most customers aren’t sure how the custom-designed diamond engagement ring will look once it’s been made. They might be afraid to commit to a process that requires a large down payment or commitment. Don’t think that you need to provide a hefty down payment in order to begin the customization process.

At Diamond Mansion, we require only 10% down to begin the customization process. Even better, if the customer doesn’t like the finished product for any reason, we refund the deposit and don’t require any further commitment.

Free or low-cost shipping: As a valued customer who’s already investing a significant amount of money in the purchase, you shouldn’t have to pay for shipping. Seek a jeweler who covers shipping costs as a courtesy and token of appreciation.

At Diamond Mansion we offer free, secure shipping to all our customers. We even ship internationally!

What are some customer service policies that you find important? Are you surprised that you can custom design a ring with such little commitment and risk to you?

Understanding How Diamond Clarity Affects Value

Grading Diamond for Clarity

If you knew nothing else about two one-carat diamonds, except that one diamond contains a few inclusions and that the other diamond is completely clean, which would you choose?

Most customers would choose the diamond without inclusions. However, in some cases, the diamond with some inclusions might turn out to be a better choice.

How could that be possible? In this post, we weigh the importance of clarity and help you decide how to prioritize this “C” when you’re purchasing a diamond.

What is clarity, exactly?

Like human beings, diamonds have birthmarks and unique identifying characteristics. A diamond’s birthmarks are known as “inclusions” and “blemishes.”

An inclusion is an imperfection located within a diamond. Inclusions can be cracks or even small minerals or crystals that have formed inside the diamond.

On the other hand, a blemish is more likely a result of the cutting and polishing process than the environmental conditions in which the diamond was formed. Blemishes can include scratches, extra facets, nicks, and chips.

How is clarity graded?

To grade a diamond’s clarity, a diamond grader uses a lens with 10X magnification, the industry standard. The stones with the highest clarity grades barely show inclusions under this level of magnification. Inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye will greatly decrease the value of the diamond.

How does clarity impact price?

Let’s say we’re searching for a round-brilliant diamond with all these factors being equal: 1 carat, D color, very good cut, very good to excellent polish, very good to excellent symmetry, and no fluorescence. How much does clarity impact price?

Clarity IncreaseApprox. Price Increase (%)
SI2-SI112%
SI1-VS222%
VS2-VS19%
VS1-VVS213%
VVS2-VVS128%
VVS1-IF22%

How much should you prioritize clarity?

Inclusions and blemishes aren’t necessarily negative qualities. For one, an inclusion can help you identify your diamond and set it apart from other diamonds. Before a reputable jeweler intakes any diamond jewelry for repair, he or she will plot the diamond and identify its unique characteristics to ensure that you receive the same diamond in return.

Surprisingly, diamond clarity is not the most important “C” of the 4Cs. Most diamond experts would consider “cut” to be more important than clarity because it can affect how well the diamond reflects light. Cut can make a smaller diamond appear larger and can also mask imperfections within the diamond.

For some shoppers, carat weight might be the most important “C.” They want a big rock more than anything else and are willing to compromise on other “Cs” like color and clarity in order to buy the rock that fits their budget.

Other customers are able to purchase a round brilliant stone that’s cut so well to reflect life and produce fire that clarity doesn’t matter as much because the inclusions are hidden.

It’s nearly impossible to make a blanket statement about diamond clarity because each diamond is different. Always ask to see a photo of the diamond if you’re unable to see it in person; the certificate’s clarity grade won’t tell you everything about how the diamond will look on the finger. Judge a diamond’s clarity not by its grade but how it will look as a ring.

Do you refuse to shop for diamonds below a certain clarity grade? Are other diamond quality factors more important to you?  

Featured photo by Lars Plougmann

Our 10 Favorite Cushion Cut, Rose Gold Engagement Rings

Top Cushion Cut Rose Gold Engagement Rings

A cushion-cut diamond shape is a cross between a princess cut and a round brilliant. The corners found in a princess cut have been softened to produce a shape that looks like a “cushion” for a unique look. The cushion shape has existed for nearly 200 years, but modern improvements to the cut make cushion-cut diamonds sparkle like crushed ice. Set in rose gold, decidedly the most feminine of the gold colors, a cushion-cut diamond in a rose gold setting is pure romance. Here are 10 of our favorite cushion-cut, rose-gold diamond engagement rings:

Rose Gold Solitaire

1. Cushion cut solitaire diamond engagement ring

A solitaire diamond engagement ring is the simplest yet most classic engagement ring silhouette. A streamlined rose-gold setting allows the beauty of the cushion cut diamond to take center stage.

Twisted eternity band pave diamond engagement ring2: Twisted eternity band pave diamond engagement ring

This twisted, rose-gold setting is a study in contrasts. On one hand, the twist is feminine and delicate, but the cushion-cut diamond strikes the ideal balance. Furthermore, the diamond-studded claw prongs are so unique! We hardly see so much attention paid to a prong; function can be fashionable.

Cushion Cut Rose Gold Halo Ring3: Halo u-prong pave diamond engagement ring

Halos are the ultimate trend in diamond engagement rings, and this rose-gold setting was made for your favorite fashionista. The cushion-cut diamond is surrounded by a perfectly-matched, single-row halo to make the center stone appear even larger than it is! For even more sparkle, pave diamonds encircle the band.

PARADE scalloped design pave diamond engagement ring4: PARADE scalloped design pave diamond engagement ring

A highly-detailed setting style by bridal jewelry designer PARADE, this scalloped stunner is substantial on the finger while offering a romantic flair. Recalling vintage style, the rose-gold, pave setting has white gold prongs to match the beauty of your cushion-cut diamond.

VERRAGIO half bezel designer insignia diamond bridal set5: VERRAGIO half bezel designer insignia diamond bridal set

Created by bridal jewelry designer VERRAGIO, this half bezel rose-gold setting is breathtaking from any angle. Scroll work rivals the most celebrated scrolls in classic architecture! Your cushion-cut diamond won’t be disturbed by the matching band, which compliments the diamond engagement ring perfectly.

Baguette accent stones diamond engagement ring6: Baguette accent stones diamond engagement ring

These days, baguettes are highly fashionable accent stones, so on trend that some designers are basing entire collections around this step-cut diamond. With this rose-gold setting style, you get the sculptural look afforded by accent baguettes but still get to enjoy the beauty of your center cushion-cut diamond. The double prongs protect your precious investment.

PARADE unique halo three-row pave diamond engagement ring7: PARADE unique halo three-row pave diamond engagement ring

Can’t decide what shape stones you most enjoy? Designer PARADE has you covered. Why not consider a rose-gold setting that combines the beauty of accent stones in multiple shapes: three rows of round pave diamonds with marquise and baguette diamonds in the halo. Your cushion-cut center stone will be in good company.

VERRAGIO split shank pave insignia diamond engagement ring8. VERRAGIO split shank pave insignia diamond engagement ring

The details with the diamond accents and gold texturing on this rose gold setting by VERRAGIO demonstrate the spirit of jewelry craftsmanship. The princess in your life will love this fairy-tale ring set with a cushion-cut center stone.

PARADE sculptured milgrain design pave diamond engagement ring9. PARADE sculptured milgrain design pave diamond engagement ring

Take your loved one to an exotic destination by showing her this rose-gold setting reminiscent of far-away lands to explore. White gold accents add interest to this ring by designer PARADE. A cushion-cut center stone complements tear-drop accents.

PARADE milgrain etched leaf design pave diamond engagement ring10. PARADE milgrain etched leaf design pave diamond engagement ring

Is your honey a nature lover? She’ll appreciate this rose-gold setting with a milgrain etched leaf design. Elegant and unique, this setting would be complete with a cushion-cut diamond.

 

View Diamond Mansion’s complete selection of cushion-cut engagement rings.

View Diamond Mansion’s complete selection of rose-gold engagement rings.

Or, view Diamond Mansion’s complete selection of cushion-cut, rose-gold engagement rings!