We’re much more aware of the phenomena known as ‘engagement season’ (thanks to Facebook) with friends photos of proposals and ring photos filling our feeds. This tends to span the duration of the winter holiday season (Nov/Dec-Feb)
More than a few times, I’ve been asked to by one of the members of the happy couple to get intel for the ring. Things like: What’s her size? Where can I find a good deal on a diamond? or Tell him I only want ‘round’ no ‘princess’ cuts, etc.
In doing some research I heard about Ritani, a designer of engagement rings and fine jewelry. Simply put, Ritani has revolutionized the way we buy engagement rings via an e-commerce website linked with a network of premium local jewelers to unify consumers' online and in-store engagement ring purchase experience.
Dubbed the all-encompassing ‘clicks-and-bricks’ experience, diamonds and engagement rings can either be purchased online and delivered directly to the consumer, or can be reserved online and delivered to a local jewelry store to be seen in-person before purchase.
With a range of high-touch services like complimentary, one-on-one Virtual Gemologist consultations with diamond experts, Ritani's new website puts the consumer in a position to feel 100 percent comfortable, educated and informed prior to clicking the purchase button. This ultimate personal online shopping experience offers live advice to address customers' questions and provides visual demonstrations and analysis of the actual diamonds being considered for purchase. In addition, highly visual 360° HD photography and video for Ritani's most popular stones and settings showcase a carefully curated collection that gives customers a similar high-touch experience to that found at the counters of luxury jewelry stores. Every Ritani order offers free overnight shipping and a no-questions asked 30-day return policy.
Recently, I was invited to see more for myself. At the Ritani factory, I saw the journey of a rough diamonds to their final finished stage. All I can tell you right now is there is no dusting at the diamond factory.
Cleaving - To cut a rough diamond down to a manageable size, the cutter must cleave it along the diamond's tetrahedral plane, where it is the weakest. A wax or cement mold holds the diamond in place while the cutter carves a sharp groove along the plane. The cutter places a steel blade in the groove and forcefully strikes it, cutting the rough diamond in two.
Sawing - Sometimes, diamonds have to be cut where there is no plane of weakness, which cannot be done with cleaving. Instead, the cutter saws the diamond using a phosphor-bronze blade rotating at about 15,000 rpm. Lasers can also be used to saw diamonds, but the process takes hours. During the sawing step, the cutter decides which parts of the diamond will become the table (the flat top of the stone with the greatest surface area) and the girdle (the outside rim of the diamond at the point of largest diameter). Then, he proceeds to cutting.
Bruiting/Cutting - This technique gives diamonds their shape. When diamonds are cut by hand, the technique is called bruiting -- cutting refers to bruiting by machine. When the cutter shapes diamonds by hand, he relies on the diamond's hardness as his tool -- he uses diamonds to cut diamonds.
He uses a small, stick-like instrument with a cement-filled bowl at the tip to hold the diamond. The diamond is inserted in cement with just one corner exposed. Using one of these sticks in each hand, the cutter rubs the exposed diamond parts together to bruit them. In the mechanical process, the diamond is placed in a lathe, and another diamond in the lathe rubs against it to create the rough finish of the girdle.
Polishing - To create the diamond's finished look, the cutter places it onto the arm above a rotating polishing wheel. The wheel is coated with an abrasive diamond powder that smoothes the diamond as it is pressed against the wheel.
And then you’re on your way to a finished Ritani ring!