As if choosing the right antique diamond engagement ring for your fiancée-to-be was not hard enough; authenticating the worth and age of your antique diamond engagement ring is an even more daunting task.
Age before Beauty
When it comes to antique diamond engagement rings, age is not everything although it is most certainly a focal point when verifying its value. Diamonds have been in circulation since 800 BC when they were first discovered in India, yet the most sought-after baubles seem to originate in the Georgian era (mid 1700‘s to mid 1800‘s) and are commonly known as “regency style”.
Starts with C
When it comes to verifying the value of an antique diamond engagement ring, the other traditional values come into play as well; carat, clarity, colour, and cut.
Carat – A metric carat weighs in at 200 milligrams and each carat can be sliced up into 100 points to provide a very clear, concise weight measurement.
Clarity – Internal attributes that affect clarity are called inclusions, while external attributes are called blemishes and together they dramatically affect clarity and value of a diamond.
Colour – Diamond colours range from colourless to light, leaning towards a yellow colour. The value of most gem-quality diamonds is founded strictly on the absence of any colour in the stone.
Cut – With an assortment of cuts to choose from, how a diamond is cut will affect the overall brightness of a stone due to its ability to reflect light through the rock.
Raw Material Testing
When it comes to testing the integrity of both gold and diamonds, there are standardized ways to do so which have been around for centuries.
Gold - Testing gold has been done the same way since before the world’s obsession with alchemy, which is the practice of (trying to) turn metal into gold. Alchemists were never successful although many people pursued the practice much akin to the great gold rush of generations past and the word now rests largely in metaphor.
In order to test gold, the practice is simple; since stamp marks made by the manufacturer can often help although they were not mandatory until the 19th century. Instead, testing gold is best done by exposing gold to acid.
Simply give the gold a little rub against slate and expose the rub-off to acid. If the little amount of gold that rubbed off disappears under the acid, you’ve got fake gold, also known as “fools gold”.
Diamonds - The science behind testing diamonds is much more recent than that of gold testing, and it can also tell a synthetic diamond from the genuine article. The testing of diamonds is facilitated by measuring the speed of which heat passes through the gem, and it is by no means a simple task. We suggest consulting a professional for this one.
When appraising the value or authenticity of any antique diamond engagement rings in Sydney, you are still best suited to seek out an appraiser you trust.
Appraisers have a trained eye and are generally quite honest (especially when you are not buying from them directly). Testing gold or diamonds cost a nominal fee at most and it is good practice when you are considering dropping a few pay cheques on a single purchase such as antique jewellery.