Saturday, February 22, 2014

Choosing a Diamond: Mastering the Learning Curve

Let's go look at diamonds! There's so much to learn. Come on, Beau. Hurry up!

Now that we're engaged, it's time for the engagement rings, a sapphire one for Beau, a diamond one for me.

Boots: Ecco; Skirt and purse: thrift; Belt: boutique; Overcoat, brooches, and earrings: vintage; Blouse: Reitmans; Ring: heirloom; Headband: Stylize
My goodness, it's bright out here. You know what this bright white light reminds me of?

Diamonds, that's what!

Okay, quick, get a shot of the outfit without the coat.

Now, hurry up. Let's go!

Get in the car. What are you waiting for?

This is so exciting. 

While we're stuck in traffic because Beau's lost, I'll just entertain myself by admiring my fabulous brooches.

Sherman brooches. (Notice how they match my outfit?) They're worth about $100 each. I got the green one for $10 at the Salvation Army, and the pink one this week for $16 at a little thrift boutique. I knew it was a Sherman before I even turned it over. You know why?

I'm a GENIUS! That's why.

I played it cool, pretended I just thought it was pretty, and casually asked how much it was. Only after I bought it did I tell the shop lady about Sherman jewelry. I did feel a little guilty.

Look how my brooches throw rainbows on the ceiling of the car... as we sit in traffic because Beau's still lost.

I love sparkly things. 

Carlos, of Britton Diamonds
Like diamonds!

This is Carlos, the friendly man who is giving us a tutorial on diamonds. He's trying to find some inclusions to show us. He says inclusions aren't such a big deal and we don't need to worry about them as much as some other things, like cut. Inclusions are natural in diamonds; imperfection is natural, something to keep in mind when thinking about humans too.

Given my recent post in which I use radiant orchids as a metaphor for the after effects of severe sexual abuse, I think it's kind of symbolic that this place is full of orchids, so beautiful but also so fragile and difficult to grow. 

Beau has been so important in helping my "orchid" to bloom once more, so it's fitting that they're here as we learn how to pick a diamond for my engagement ring. 

I'm not showing you my ring till I get it, but the metaphor of growth in love is in the ring too.

Carlos is also teaching us about diamond colour. The diamond on the left is an E, which means it's almost completely colourless. The diamond on the right is an H so just a little bit yellow. The E colour one is more rare and more expensive. Can you see the difference?

Unless they're beside each other, you really can't, which is good, because no way can we afford an E.

Now I'm looking for "hearts and arrows" to see what a good cut looks like. A good cut has eight arrows on the top and eight hearts on the bottom.

Cut is more important than colour, and way more important than carat. Cut is what gives the diamond its sparkle and light play. Lots of people want a full carat diamond so cutters will cut them poorly just to make them weigh more. That's a waste of your money. 

A carat sounds nice but does it look nice? That's what really matters.

Now I'm getting it! Does Carlos approve?

My expression here is actually because one of the jewelers just asked how I became disabled. I told the truth: child abuse. I'm not the lying sort, and I'm on a bit of a mission to raise awareness of child abuse. It's tough but it's important. 
Diamonds are much more complicated than I thought. This is serious business and, to be honest, pretty darned overwhelming.

It's almost like it's not fun anymore.

So now we're on our way home, a little wiser and a little... confused.

How to pick? What to afford? What are our priorities?

The thing to remember is that it's all about love: enduring, tough, beautiful, bringing more light and colour to life. The diamond is a symbol of what's important. It's not the important thing itself.

But I'm still going to dream of diamonds tonight.

(A big shout out to Nicholle Mogavero, the Jewelry Nerd, for giving my own private, distance education on diamonds, and to, Becky, of Diamonds in the Library, for her advice too. I'm also linking this up to Shoe Shine on The Citizen Rosebud, and Visible Monday on Not Dead Yet.) 


  1. Big congratulations to you both! Dreaming of diamonds sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing the great news with Visible Monday.

  2. Have sweet sparkly dreams! o<: (diamond ring in sideways profile)

  3. Oooh, Fabulous Sparkly brooches and diamonds!! good luck picking your perfect sparkler, I hope you have sweet diamond dreams! x x x

  4. Buy what you like and fits your life! I went small, which flummoxed my love, and vintage. Whoever wore my ring before me wore through the gold underneath the finger (and repaired it)! That's inspiring.

  5. You're transformed these days! So good to see, Charlotte. What a lovely couple you make, and I'm so happy for you all. This is a fascinating post, too. Always something interesting hereabouts!

  6. Lovely lady- you are the diamond, and the sparkle of all things wonderful. Love the Sherman brooches- looks like I need a lession about them - they are gorgeous! And diamonds, while not my thing, are indeed a timeless beauty. I see you as the brightest thing though- you are full of hard won wisdom and have your irrespressible joy. Congrats and best wishes on your upcoming nuptials!