WORDS BY SOPHIE HENDERSON
From formation to fine jewellery, diamonds are perhaps the most magical thing to come from below the ground. Since the first diamond engagement ring was commissioned in 1477, this clear and sparkling gemstone has taken on a rich cultural identity representing beauty, strength and everlasting love.
While the word ‘diamond’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘adamas’, meaning ‘unbreakable’, your precious jewellery still needs to be treasured and cared for. Diamonds are passed down through generations, and a proper care routine can help to resist the effects of time.
Whether you’re looking for an affordable engagement ring or treating yourself to a pair of stud earrings, every natural gemstone has its own unique characteristics. You may fall in love with a coloured stone or unusual setting just as much as a classically designed diamond ring.
Should you take it off in the shower? Wear it to sleep? We caught up with some of the world’s most renowned jewellery brands to discuss affordable engagement rings, diamonds by price point and how to clean your diamond jewellery. Read our tips to ensure your precious diamond pieces really do last forever.
Best Diamond Jewellery Under £1k
There’s a world of precious diamond pieces for under £1,000. Affordable diamond engagement rings range from small but dazzling chain rings to stackable eternity bands. There are also delicate diamond bracelets with bezel-set charms.
‘I want to create jewellery that is more than just an accessory. It’s an extension of the wearer, and an heirloom that will hold memories for years to come,’ says Audrey Savranksy, founder of AS29.
The brand’s instantly recognisable DNA, TAG and LOCK collections include necklaces, chains, earrings and bracelets encrusted with standout pavé diamonds. 18kt gold pieces are handcrafted in yellow, black and pink gold.
Djula was born in the ‘90s from an unbridled ambition to create a Parisian jewellery house that breaks tradition. ‘We work as a fashion house, creating different collections per year, always infusing them with our Glam-Rock spirit. Every piece is designed to be stacked, mixed and matched.’
‘The starting point of every collection is a balance between observation and art. Year after year, collection after collection, we anchor Djula in time and echo pop culture.’
Known for influencing positive change, De Beers Jewellers aims to shape the way the world experiences diamonds.
The My First De Beers collection is made up of petite versions of the brand’s classic diamond designs. The perfect introduction to ethically sourced natural diamonds, each has been hand-selected for maximum brilliance and beauty, and at a more affordable price point.
Best Diamond Jewellery Between £1k-£3k
From pavé diamond necklaces to classic stud earrings, discover more intricate designs in the £1,000-£3,000 price range. Brands experiment with the shape of each piece, as well as precious metals and the size of diamond embellishments.
The Chopard brand today stands for innovation, creativity and passion. With the Happy Diamonds watch and jewellery lines, Chopard releases diamonds from their settings, enabling them to move in a jubilant manner and exuding joie de vivre.
As Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Artistic Director explains, ‘At Chopard, our vision of movement is eminently positive, liberating and joyful. We wish to embody a light-hearted and happy spirit paired with a perpetual guarantee of absolute quality.’
One of the UK’s last family-owned, full-service jewellers, Pragnell offers a way to mark life’s significant moments with diamond pieces of exceptional rarity and quality.
Collection highlights include the platinum Masterpiece Antrobus rings, where diamonds are mixed with brilliant-cut sapphires and rubies. Windsor diamond studs are a simple yet striking take on classic design codes.
Shaun Leane trained in a traditional apprenticeship from the age of fifteen, learning diamond mounting and antique restoration. The jewellery house was founded in London’s Hatton Garden, leading to a longstanding and well-respected partnership with Alexander McQueen.
Pavé diamonds are set in alternative hoop earrings, as well as open-cuff bracelets in the Sabre collection.
Best Diamond Jewellery Over £3k
Offering an array of precious metals and a higher diamond carat weight, these brands truly excel in the £3,000+ price range. Find 18kt gold rings with diamond-sprinkled surfaces, as well as black diamonds and unusual settings.
London-based jewellery designer Stephen Webster is internationally renowned for fearless design, traditional craftsmanship, and cutting-edge processes. Rebellious yet ethical, the brand uses materials that are always thoughtfully and responsibly sourced, with a commitment to sustainable practices.
‘Across our diamond collections we use a variety of cutting techniques to accentuate our designs, such as using a combination of baguette and tapered stones to mimic the explosion effect in the Dynamite collection, and invisibly set diamonds to create a smooth surface on our Hammerhead bangles.’
Founded in Milan in 1967 by Pino Rabolini, Pomellato introduced the prêt-à-porter philosophy to the world of jewellery. Rabolini shaped the legacy of Pomellato with a powerful fashion-forward identity.
The brand’s Sabbia collection is inspired by natural beauty. ‘Resembling gentle plains of crystalline sand grains caressed by the sun, the diamond-sprinkled surfaces of Sabbia (Sand) glimmer as they catch the light. Big and small rounded islands of original perfection that may settle side by side in a soft, natural mix.’
The first modern jeweller to open up on the Place Vendôme in Paris, Boucheron is known for reviving ancient diamond engraving techniques.
Steeped in heritage, the Quatre collection is inspired by the design of Paris’ cobblestones, while signature Serpent Bohème pieces embody the brand’s free spirit.
How to clean and care for your diamond jewellery
Any precious gemstone is fragile, and it’s important to treat your fine jewellery with the greatest care. A few simple actions will help to maintain your most precious pieces for years to come.
What is the best way to store diamond jewellery?
Beautiful things deserve a beautiful home, and we’ve got a selection of jewellery boxes to treasure. While Chopard suggests ‘placing diamond jewellery in cushioned pouches when it’s not being worn,’ Stephen Webster recommends that you ‘always make sure to fasten the jewellery first to prevent knots.’
AS29 suggests that ‘fine gold jewellery should be stored in a soft, lined compartment within your jewellery box and should not be stored with other pieces, especially if they are of different hardnesses. Gold of a lower purity can damage the surface of more pure gold and a hard gemstone such as a diamond can cause scratches on softer stones.’
How should you handle your diamond jewellery?
Stephen Webster advises removing jewellery when you shower or bath, and particularly when on the beach, in the sea and in chlorinated water. ‘It is also advisable that you do not wear your jewellery during exercise, gardening or any activity that involves exposing your jewellery to repeated knocking, scratching, or hard and abrasive surfaces.’
‘It is recommended that jewellery with stone settings should be checked periodically to ensure the prongs holding the stone are not worn down or damaged, which could lead to the stone becoming loose.’
How do you clean diamond jewellery?
According to AS29, ‘many jewellers prefer to use ultrasonic cleaning systems and cleaning agents to gently lift dirt and grime from fine jewellery. It is highly effective and does not harm your jewellery in any way. It simply uses high-frequency sound waves and chemicals which are proven to be effective in lifting dirt and pulling it away from the surfaces of the jewellery.'
If possible, try to have your diamond pieces cleaned professionally every 12 months or so to keep them looking their sparkling best. There are ultrasonic jewellery systems that are designed to be used at home, but if you plan to clean your jewellery this way you must do so with caution.