Jeweler Satomi Kawakita’s Guide to Fancy Colored Diamonds

Blair Pfander

satomi new Jeweler Satomi Kawakitas Guide to Fancy Colored DiamondsIf you’re looking to make a significant jewelry purchase, navigating the complicated world of karats, clarity, settings, and stones can be overwhelming.
So we called in a diamond expert to make the process a little easier. Known for her elegant, organic-looking stacking rings and and delicate necklaces, New York designer Satomi Kawakita incorporates a vast array of diamonds into her collection. Here, Kawakita’s shopping guide to the top diamonds “du jour,” from thin sliced stones to moody “cognac” diamonds.
Grey Diamonds. “They have become popular because of their unique look and also the reasonable price point,” Kawakita says. “There are many different kinds of grey. The fancier grey diamonds look close to a regular clear diamond, but they have grey-ish tone. But there are also opaque grey versions that don’t really look like traditional diamonds, and are much less expensive than the fancier kind. It’s hard to find the clean, opaque grey diamonds with no chips or scratches, but I love the elegance of a solid opaque grey diamond contrasted against yellow gold.”
Sliced Diamond. “These are also known as flat diamonds,” Kawakita explains. “They’re made by cutting a rough diamond from its side—just like slicing. I love the unique eand organic shape of a sliced diamond. It reminds me of mica, and I like to set them inside a gold hammered textured ring.”
Rose-Cut Diamonds. “Rose cut diamonds were popular from the 16th through 19th centuries. The basic rose cut has a flat base—no pavilion—and a crown composed of triangular facets in a symmetrical arrangement, which rise to form a point.  They are called rose cuts because they look like a rosebud. You often find them in antique jewelry, but recently they’ve become more popular. I use colored rose cut diamonds like champagne and grey. Rose cuts come in various shapes, from round to square.  I especially love the irregular shapes, as well as the square ones.”
Black Diamonds. “Ever since Sex and the City featured a black diamond engagement ring in one of the movies, black diamonds have become hugely popular. Most of the black diamonds used in jewelry pieces are treated, and the color is not natural compared to Carbonado, which is commonly known as the ‘Black Diamond.’ Carbonado is a natural polycrystalline diamond found in alluvial deposits in the Central African Republic and Brazil. Its natural color is black or dark grey, and it’s much more porous than other diamonds. As such, the value of black diamonds as gemstones is much lower than a regular clear diamond, but they have become popular for the edgy look and the price.”
Brown Diamonds. “This is the most common color variety of natural diamonds,” says Kawakita. “Significant portions of brown diamonds are mined in Australia. Their elegant, antique look has made them popular, as well as the subtle color variations and affordable price point. In general, brown diamond are less expensive than regular clear diamonds, but more expensive than black. The lighter brown diamonds are often called ‘champagne’ diamonds, while darker varieties are known as ‘cognac’ diamonds. I like to incorporate various shades of brown diamonds together in one piece to create a rich gradation of colors.”
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