In this article, I’m going to share everything you need to know about a solitaire diamond mangalsutra.
A mangalsutra is an important piece of Indian wedding jewelry. It is also a piece of jewelry you can enjoy for your lifetime and pass it on to your family.
Mangalsutra’s come in various forms. Some mangalsutras are made of plain precious metals such as gold and silver. While others are made with diamonds.
For the purpose of this article, a solitaire is a diamond that is greater than 0.5 carat weight.
As you go through this article, you’ll realize elements of a solitaire diamond mangalsutra you value more than others.
Make note of what is important to you on a piece of paper. This is an important step, so don’t skip it. I’ll also share with you my recommendations along the way.
Let’s get started.
- Solitaire diamond – natural diamond, synthetic (manmade) diamonds, or simulated diamonds
- Solitaire diamond quality
- Solitaire diamond origin
- Solitaire diamond mangalsutra size
- Diamond certificate for your solitaire diamond mangalsutra
- Solitaire diamond mangalsutra setting
- Solitaire diamond mangalsutra shape
- Mangalsutra chain
- Solitaire diamond mangalsutra designs
When it comes to a solitaire mangalsutra, you need to decide if you want the solitaire diamond in your mangalsutra to be natural, synthetic, or simulated diamond.
But what do these terms exactly mean?
Natural diamonds come directly from the earth.
Synthetic diamonds are made in laboratories. According to Gemolgical Institute of America (GIA), synthetic diamonds have “the same chemical composition, crystal structure and physical properties as natural diamonds. They’re real diamonds and not ‘fakes,’ but they are not the same as natural diamonds.”
Simulated diamonds on the other hand “may look like diamonds, but they don’t have the same chemical, physical and optical properties.” Cubic zirconia (CZ), synthetic moissanite (not to be confused with natural moissanite), and zircon are the most common types of simulated diamonds.
If you’re looking to purchase a solitaire mangalsutra, you probably want to enjoy this piece for years to come. For this reason, I recommend you choose natural diamonds.
Natural diamond is the hardest mineral with a Mohs hardness of 10. It can be polished more than a synthetic or simulated diamond, giving it greater lustre. The hardness also makes it be a better choice when it comes to daily wear and tear
A more subjective quality is the allure and charm of a natural diamond solitaire, which is priceless.
As you may have guessed by now, natural solitaire diamonds will be more expensive than synthetic or simulated diamonds.
The mining, cutting, and polishing efforts involved in the creation of a natural solitaire diamond make it the most expensive option of all. If budget is an important factor in your purchasing decision, I would recommend synthetic diamonds over simulated diamonds.
At Sampat Jewellers, we only offer solitaire diamond mangalsutras with natural diamond solitaires and moissanite.
Later in this article, I’ll share how you can get a solitaire-diamond-look for a fraction of the cost using natural diamonds.
Before we get knee deep in solitaire diamond quality, here is what you need to remember.
Many factors that affect the quality of the diamond. When purchasing your solitaire diamond mangalsutra, you can go higher or lower on one or more diamond quality factors described below.
If you want the best of the best solitaire diamond, you’ll have to pay a premium price. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare.
But a great diamond doesn’t need to have the perfect score on all quality factors.
For example, did you know that a 0.95 carat solitaire diamond can cost less than a 1.0 carat solitaire diamond? If you choose a 0.95 carat, you’ll end up paying 10-20% less than a 1.0 carat diamond. And the difference in diamond carat size is relatively small.
Sometimes quality issues are not visible to the naked eye. Inclusions may only be visible under a high resolution gem identification equipment.
Now I don’t want you to be overwhelmed or unsure about diamond quality when buying diamond jewelry online. The goal here is to pick a great diamond at a reasonable price.
Here is my secret formula for you to pick a winning solitaire diamond. I recommend you choose a diamond that meets the following specifications:
(a) diamond is natural, and
(b) diamond Color is G or higher, and
(c) diamond Clarity is VS or higher, and
(d) diamond Cut is Excellent on a GIA diamond quality scale
Now let’s discuss diamond Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut in greater detail.
Carat – What is the weight of the diamond in your mangalsutra?
Diamond carat, sometimes called “carat weight”, is the weight of the diamond. In other words, carat is a unit of measurement for diamond weight.
The larger the diamond, the greater the carat weight. For example, a two-carat diamond will cost more than a one-carat diamond.
Larger diamonds are also more difficult to mine, cut, and polish. For this reason, they cost more than smaller diamonds.
For a solitaire diamond mangalsutra, I recommend you choose a diamond between 0.5 carat and 2 carats. You can go with a higher carat weight. But you must consider the overall design of the mangalsutra when choosing a diamond.
Clarity – Does the diamond in your mangalsutra have any “birthmarks”?
Clarity of a solitaire diamond is a measurement of internal inclusions and small marks.
I like to think of Clarity as a birthmark.
You definitely don’t want to have too many birthmarks everywhere on your diamond.
But a few invisible birthmarks are generally okay for most of us.
For a solitaire diamond mangalsutra, I recommend you go with diamond clarity of VS or higher. VS stands for Very Slightly Included.
In the United States, you’ll generally find diamonds with SI (Slightly Included) or I (Included) Clarity. This means the diamonds have more birthmarks.
VS clarity better than SI and I clarity diamonds. You can even go higher than VS clarity such as VVS (Very Very Slightly included), Internally Flawless, or Flawless.
VS Clarity is an excellent choice for most people. In VS Clarity solitaire diamonds, the birthmarks are not visible to the human eye.
Color – Will the diamond appear sparkling white or will it have a yellowish tint?
Now that we’ve covered diamond Clarity, the next important quality factor is Color.
Color is a technical term and it means lack of color in a diamond. Diamond Color is not the same as “color” as we know in a general sense such as green, yellow, pink diamonds.
GIA established the D-to-Z color grading scale. Colorless diamonds are D, E, and F. These are the best in the breed.
G, H, I, J are Near Colorless diamonds. These are more affordable without sacrificing too much on the Color quality factor.
I don’t recommend diamond Color less than J as the diamonds have a yellowish appearance.
When purchasing your solitaire diamond mangalsutra, be sure to check the diamond color. My preference is for G and H color diamonds as it is a sweet spot when it comes to price and quality.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The letter “I” appears on both Color and Clarity scale. Don’t confuse between I Color diamonds and I Clarity diamonds. I Clarity (Included) diamonds have many birthmarks and are at the lowest level on the GIA Clarity scale.
Cut – How well is the diamond cut and does it have 57-58 facets for maximum sparkle?
A Cut is more than the diamond’s shape.
Diamond Cut, according to GIA, is “the diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish, which combine to deliver the magnificent return of light only possible in a diamond”.
The diamond Cut can be graded as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor.
I recommend you go with a diamond with an Excellent Cut for a sparkling solitaire diamond mangalsutra.
When you purchase a solitaire diamond, be sure to find out the number of facets. Many buyers overlook this minor detail.
Aside from these four quality factors, there are other technical qualities of a diamond such as fluorescence (how the diamond appears under UV light).
If you purchase a diamond with solid Clarity (VS or higher), Color (G, H, I, J), and Cut (Excellent), you’ll be in good shape.
3. Solitaire diamond origin
Diamond origin is an important consideration for many consumers.
People want to buy ethical diamonds. We don’t want to buy diamonds, the proceeds from which fund civil wars and crimes.
Kimberley Process was formed in the early 2000s, to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. Today, participants from 83 countries actively prevent 99.8% of the worldwide trade.
If you’re purchasing a natural, solitaire diamond, there is a good chance that the diamond was cleared via Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
This means there is a good chance that your solitaire diamond did not fund wars or crimes.
But you may say, “Well, that’s not enough. I need proof.”
One approach to get proof is to ask your jeweler to provide you with a GIA Diamond Origin Report.
Since the origin report is only available for diamonds that have gone through the GIA Rough Analysis Service before polishing, it might be difficult to find out.
Aside from GIA, there are probably other organizations that provide diamond origin reports.
But the origin report is only as good as the organization that issues such a report.
I prefer GIA because it is a well established nonprofit organization in the diamond industry.
By now you know the diamond carat is the weight of the diamond.
When it comes to solitaire diamond mangalsutra, you might say, “I’d love to have a one-carat round diamond in my mangalsutra.”
Here is what you need to know.
Two round diamonds with identical one-carat weight CAN look different.
Natural diamonds come from the earth and no two diamonds are identical.
Furthermore, depending on how the diamond is cut, diamond may look larger or smaller.
For instance, the table size or the pavillion height of diamond can vary depending on how the diamond is cut. A diamond with a larger table size, can visually look bigger, with all other factors staying the same.
Rather than getting into the technical aspects of diamond size, my recommendation is to take a holistic approach to picking your solitaire diamond size:
- Start with a Carat size you prefer
- Go with Excellent Cut
- Go with VS Clarity
- Go with G/H Color
If the price is too high, reduce the carat size while keeping all other factors the same.
As always, if a solitaire is greater than 0.5 carat or higher, I recommend you go with GIA graded diamonds when possible.
When it comes to solitaire diamonds of 0.5 carat or higher, I recommend you choose a GIA certified diamond.
Why GIA you ask?
GIA was established in 1931 and it is one of the oldest nonprofits in the diamond industry.
To me, it’s important to get a diamond certificate from a nonprofit whose mission is to serve the public.
Having personally visited the GIA offices in Carlsbad, California, I saw the infrastructure and resources GIA is committing to advance consumer’s confidence in the diamond quality.
GIA only provides grading reports for loose diamonds that are 0.15 carat and up. If your solitaire diamond size is less than 0.15 carat or if the diamond is already set in the mangalsutra, GIA cannot provide a diamond grading report.
It is also important to note that you’ll need to pay for each diamond grading report. These charges are usually built into the final cost of the diamond mangalsutra.
The starting fee per diamond grading report is $48 plus any additional shipping and handling charges. For example, if you have 10 diamonds in your solitaire diamond mangalsutra design, you’re looking to pay an additional $480+ for diamond grading reports only plus the cost for the mangalsutra itself. You’ll need to weigh the benefit of wanting a certificate versus the cost.
With that being said, it does not mean that other diamond certifications are not as good as GIA. You will probably be just fine with other independent certification laboratories. Just keep in mind that the certification standards for each laboratory will vary.
Furthermore, it is not necessary to purchase a certified diamond solitaire for your mangalsutra. Depending on your comfort level with the jewelry brand, you can choose to skip the solitaire diamond certification completely.
At a minimum, I strongly recommend that you obtain an official invoice with the solitaire diamond characteristics clearly stated for insurance or appraisal purposes. If the diamonds are greater than 0.5 carat in your mangalsutra, you can get a GIA diamond grading report (certificate) for peace of mind.
The solitaire diamond mangalsutra setting can alter the look and feel of your mangalsutra.
Even if you get the most expensive and finest quality solitaire diamond for your mangalsutra but you ignore the mangalsutra setting, you may end up being disappointed.
Let’s look at a few diamond setting considerations and options.
A bezel setting makes the diamond bigger than it actually is. It’s basically a gold ring that snuggles the diamond.
I would recommend opting for diamond mangalsutra design with a bezel setting if you want to get a 1-carat look with a 0.7 carat diamond.
Certain mangalsutra designs look better with a bezel setting than others. If the mangalsutra design lends itself to a bezel setting, then go with the bezel setting.
For example, the Moments of Life diamond mangalsutra design has diamonds in a bezel setting. Here we’ve used bezel settings in all seven round diamonds and the final mangalsutra design looks gorgeous.
The purpose of a diamond prong is to hold the diamond on the mangalsutra pendant and not let it fall off.
After all, if you lose an expensive diamond, it would be a painful experience.
Too few prongs on your solitaire diamond, you risk losing the diamond. Too many prongs, you end up compromising your mangalsutra design.
For your mangalsutra, I would recommend about six gold prongs for the solitaire diamond.
Mangalsutra pendant connection to the chain
You will need to decide if you want the mangalsutra pendant to be connected to the chain.
Or if you want the pendant to slide through the chain.
Each option has it’s pros and cons.
If you prefer the mangalsutra diamond pendant and chain separate, the removable pendant will likely keep shifting along the length of the chain.
However, the benefit is that you can wear the chain by itself without the removable diamond pendant or with another pendant of your choice.
If you prefer the mangalsutra pendant attached to the chain, you will not be able to change the pendant.
The benefit of a fixed pendant option is that you don’t need to worry about changing or inserting the diamond pendant (keeps your life simple!)
When you think about a solitaire diamond, the first shape that comes to mind is a round diamond.
But diamonds come in many other shapes such as:
a. Square diamond (sometimes known as princess cut diamond)
b. Rectangle diamond (sometimes known as emerald cut diamond)
c. Oval diamond
d. Marquise diamond
e. Pear diamond
f. Heart diamond
g. Triangle diamond
If you’re designing your very own single diamond mangalsutra, you definitely want to think about these different diamond shape options.
You can also combine diamonds of different shapes in the same mangalsutra.
We’ve discussed a great deal about the solitaire diamond and the pendant itself. But a mangalsutra is incomplete without the mangalsutra chain.
In fact, the mangalsutra chain is as important as the solitaire diamond.
Now let’s explore some options and elements of your mangalsutra chain.
Full bead or partial bead chain
A classic mangalsutra chain is a full bead black and gold chain.
Alternatively, some women prefer partial black bead chains. You can have a mangalsutra chain with a few black beads in the front, back, or dispersed throughout your mangalsutra chain.
A full or partial bead mangalsutra chain is a personal preference although there are some designs that look better with one type of chain versus the other.
Single, double, triple, or layered chain
You can design your diamond mangalsutra to have one, two, three or more chains.
The price of the mangalsutra will generally increase as you add more chains to your design.
Again, there is no right or wrong answer here.
The point here is to make you aware of different options that are available when it comes to mangalsutra chains.
Mangalsutra chain gold color
Many women want to match their mangalsutra gold color with their engagement or wedding ring.
If you have a white gold engagement ring, you feel like getting a white gold mangalsutra.
This approach makes sense if you’re trying to match your engagement ring and mangalsutra.
But if you’re open to exploring different gold color options such as yellow, white, rose gold, or even dual tone (a mix of yellow and white gold), I would encourage you to mix and match gold color in your jewelry collection.
The benefit of owning jewelry in different gold colors is that you can pair it easily with different outfits without ever feeling like you don’t own jewelry that matches your outfits.
Mangalsutra chain gold karat
Gold karat is different from diamond carat. You may recollect from our earlier discussion on diamond carat, which is the weight of the diamond.
Gold karat, on the other hand, is the purity of the gold.
24K gold is 100% pure gold. But it’s too soft to make most jewelry including a diamond mangalsutra.
I personally use and recommend 18K gold mangalsutra. It’s a great balance of quality and value.
If you’re allergic to mixed metals, then you can choose a 22K gold mangalsutra chain. The chain is what usually touches your skin, so having a higher purity gold chain will prevent unwanted allergic reactions.
Quality of the chain clasp
A high quality clasp can make the experience of wearing and removing your manglasutra easy and seamless.
When it comes to any mangalsutra, I recommend you don’t cut short on a high quality clasp.
Adjustable chain length
If you can adjust the mangalsutra chain length, you’ll be able to style it with different outfits. Not all mangalsutra designs have this unique design element.
When it comes to a high priced solitaire mangalsutra, you want to be able to wear all the time, or at least most of the time.
The flexibility of an adjustable chain length is a neat design element that you don’t want to miss.
Now let’s talk about solitaire diamond mangalsutra designs.
You’ll be surprised to find out how many options there are for you to choose from.
Single diamond mangalsutra design
A single diamond mangalsutra is a classic and simple mangalsutra design.
Single diamond mangalsutra is a type of a solitaire diamond mangalsutra with one diamond.
The single diamond can be anywhere from 0.5-carat to 2-carat plus in weight.
There are a few design considerations when it comes to single diamond mangalsutra.
For example, you want the pendant to stay flat on your chest with the diamond top facing forward. The pendant should not turn around when you move or adjust clothing.
You also want to have just the right number of prongs to ensure the diamond doesn’t fall off the pendant.
Halo diamond mangalsutra design
A halo diamond mangalsutra design is when you can choose one large center diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds.
The large center diamond and the surrounding smaller diamonds collectively give a look of one larger single diamond.
It actually looks fantastic!
Solitaire mangalsutra design with pear and marquise diamond cluster
Do you want to own a single diamond mangalsutra without having to pay the hefty price tag?
A cluster diamond setting with pear and marquise diamonds may work for you, as it has for many of my clients.
Here is how it works.
A diamond pro will fuse four marquise and one princess cut diamonds to create a single-diamond look.
This way you can achieve a single one-carat diamond look for a fraction of the cost.
This is an affordable and great mangalsutra design option.
Solitaire mangalsutra design with round diamond cluster
The underlying concept of this design is similar to the pear and marquise cluster design we discussed.
In this design, the mangalsutra has cluster six round diamonds to create a single solitaire look. Since all diamonds are round, “gaps” will likely be visible in your cluster setting.
This option is definitely more affordable than purchasing one large single diamond or using a cluster of fancy cut pear and marquise diamonds.
Moissanite diamond mangalsutra design
Another alternative to a solitaire diamond is the moissanite gemstone.
The Kohinoor mangalsutra (below) is made with moissanite in the center surrounded by natural diamonds on it’s side.
Moissanite is a great option if you cannot wear natural diamonds, want another mangalsutra for daily wear, or prefer to get one-carat diamond mangalsutra look for a fraction of the cost.
Mangalsutra with colored gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, or sapphires
You can combine diamonds with rubies, emeralds, or sapphires to design a mangalsutra that is personalized to your style preferences.
For example, you have a center diamond that is approximately 0.5 carat weight surrounded by gemstones in a halo setting.
When deciding on gemstones, consider a gemstone that is your birthstone, your spouse’s birthstone, or simply a gemstone you love.
I hope this post has inspired you to create your very own solitaire diamond mangalsutra.
If you’d like to purchase a solitaire diamond mangalsutra, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help you out.