Images provided by O.C. Tanner and Tiffany & Co.

“Back in the day, there were lots of rules about who could wear diamonds when,” says Curtis Bennett, vice president of O.C. Tanner.  “You weren’t supposed to wear diamonds in the daytime. Unmarried women weren’t supposed to wear diamonds. Only royalty could wear fancy colored diamonds.” 

But we live in a rule-breaking time when trends often trump tradition. 

So leave your preconceptions at the jeweler’s door. First of all, size is not the most impressive thing about a stone. Brilliance, the flashiest quality of a diamond, is obvious to the eye, but results from the complicated mathematics and skill of diamond cutters. 

“Tiffany’s only accepts two percent of the diamonds inspected by our experts,” says Julie Peterson, manager of Tiffany & Co. in City Creek. “The industry has set standards in terms of clarity and grading. We grade our own diamonds and we grade conservatively. That is, any appraiser will accept the grade given by Tiffany’s.” 

Tiffany’s has proprietary cuts, and every stone gets 57 facets, no matter the size. “We don’t do “simple” cuts, meaning half the facets,” says Peterson. “And we will sacrifice more of the raw stone to get a perfect cut.”

Recently, colored diamonds, especially yellow ones, have become popular, Peterson and Bennett agree. Only one in 10,000 diamonds is designated a fancy colored diamond, with the required clarity and deepness of color, but they come in myriad hues: blue, pink, green, yellow, brown and black. 

“Lately,” says Bennett, “black diamonds have become a major element in fashion jewelry.” 

Not only that, he says, but rough-cut and even un-cut diamonds are being set in fine jewelry. 

“The great thing is,” he says, “you can wear these diamonds anytime.”

Back>>>Read other stories in our July/August 2014 issue.