Kourtney Kardashian’s Montecito $1m Diamond Engagement Ring

Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker proposed to reality star Kourtney Kardashian in October 2021. He did so by gifting a $1 million oval diamond ring designed by Lorraine Schwartz. Kourtney’s engagement bling features a pear-shaped 13-carat diamond with two smaller stones. Fans have expressed their awe at the size and cost of the jewel, and […]

Kourtney Kardashian’s Montecito $1m Diamond Engagement Ring

Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker proposed to reality star Kourtney Kardashian in October 2021. He did so by gifting a $1 million oval diamond ring designed by Lorraine Schwartz.

Kourtney’s engagement bling features a pear-shaped 13-carat diamond with two smaller stones. Fans have expressed their awe at the size and cost of the jewel, and Google searches for “diamond rings” soared since the engagement news broke. For those also shopping that perfect diamond, there are some important things to look out for.

Gemstone grading certificates are issued by gemological labs, however they should never be confused with “certification.” It’s vital to know who it is that issues a certificate, and how the actual grading is done.

Kim Orich is a master jeweler at Choret in Los Angeles. “Believe it or not, a certificate doesn’t mean a jewel is certified,” she said. “It actually makes no guarantees. All it means is that a person looked at the stone and rated it. Some jewelry stores continue to use the word “certified,” which is misleading.”

Most of the time a piece of jewelry will come with a “GIA” certificate. In a GIA lab, a gemologist will look at a gem through a 10x microscope and fill out a chart called the “4Cs.”

These appraisals aren’t always accurate, and in some cases, lab employees have even taken bribes to give misleadingly high ratings. Laminated GIA certificates that come with store jewelry look impressive and authoritative, so it’s very important to be vigilant.

The good news is that machines are replacing humans—and they’re much better at grading. Spearheading this movement is Sarine technologies, a global leader in high-tech solutions for the diamond industry since 1988. The company developed technologies for comprehensive gemstone analysis with an unsurpassed accuracy.

Sarine operates a fully automated lab that uses robotics to analyze gemstones. Its high-res 3D diamond scanners use artificial intelligence to achieve precise detail and accuracy.

As with most labs, Sarine uses the 4Cs as part of its digital report. This is a reference to four qualities of a gemstone that are used to rate and appraise it.

A diamond’s carat refers to a measure of a stone’s weight, where one carat equates to 0.2 grams. Kardashian’s ring weighs about 2.6 grams. Some people think that carat refers to size, but that’s incorrect.

The next “C” is cut, which represents the quality of a diamond’s finish. Factors such as polish, symmetry and brightness are taken into account. Many gemologists consider cut to be of greatest importance among the four, since it plays a central role in a stone’s sparkle and light play.

Clarity refers to internal imperfections or scratches. Fewer defects means higher clarity. Since stones are natural, even a “flawless” specimen will have some form of blemish or inclusion under magnification.

Last of the 4C’s is color, which is fairly straight forward when referencing  white diamonds. The whiter its color, the greater its value. Color grading for fancy colors is a bit more complex, and some of the rare colors are actually much more expensive than white.

Sarine’s lab detects an array of features beyond the 4Cs, all of which affect a stone’s value. Wealthy celebrities like Kardashian and Barker expect a higher caliber of jewelry than most people, and digital grading—otherwise known as “eGrading”—is simply the best way to go about it.

Stefan Munson is the owner of Parasol Luxe, an exclusive jewelry boutique outside of Los Angeles. In a telephone interview, Munson explained that digital evaluation is the future. “As we all know in this business, the certificate authorities are notoriously inconsistent and inaccurate,” he said.

“We will sometimes have our loose stones examined by more than one lab. Sometimes we get different results. Digital technologies are simply going to do away with the old school gemological labs.”

Lorraine Schwartz described how Barker himself was intimately involved in picking out the stone, and in its design process. He said, “It’s a flawless, beautifully cut diamond stone.”

To everyone’s surprise, Kardashian and Barker informally tied the knot in April in a Vegas faux wedding ceremony. The couple made it official in private at a Santa Barbara courthouse, with a planned celebratory wedding in Italy later this year. Kourtney’s spectacular million dollar stone will certainly be one of the event’s main attractions.