Tagdiamond education

Diamonds & Colours: How to Tell a Gem’s Truest Worth

When it comes to diamonds, jewellery newbies as well as aficionados need to keep the  4Cs in mind – CARAT, CLARITY, COLOUR and CUT. On this blog entry, we will concentrate and discuss colour.

According to the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), a globally established name in gem and jewellery education, these elements are pivotal when it comes to pointing out subtle or otherwise noticeable in diamonds. It should come first before deciding on setting them in gold, silver, or platinum jewellery.

They also said that, “colour intensity – the deepness or richness of colour, is the most important consideration when purchasing a coloured diamond.

There is a grading system for diamond colours  as well. It ranges from D to ZD being the assigned value to diamonds which are extremely white and rare; and, Z for diamonds which have unwanted hues in them.

Let us walk you through the grades a little further. The diamonds which are rated D, E, and F are all colorless. On the other hand, the stones which were graded G, H, I, and J are nearly colorless.

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Diamonds of grade K, L, and M have some color to them – a diminutive hint of yellow, to be exact.

Diamonds graded N, O, P, Q, and R have a stronger tinge of yellow tints in them while grades S through Z graded diamonds are visibly tainted and, unfortunately, highly visible to the naked eye.

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The diamonds that fall into this bracket may even take on a brown appearance. They, too, take on a much different shade once they are mounted on particular precious metals.

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Getting well-acquainted with the grades will help both jewellery newbies and gem aficionados gauge a diamond’s truest worth.

We strongly advise that you ask your jeweller for a Certificate of Authenticity before you purchase loose diamonds and those which are already set in ready-to-wear jewellery.

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Also, it is just as important to keep in touch with a diamond expert. Call House of Diamonds London or send an email to receive more information about these precious stones.

 

One’s Weight in Gold: How to Tell if You’re Being Scammed by Your Jeweler

This age-old saying holds true for just about any aspect in life – especially when choosing and buying jewelry for your special someone. So, we are here to educate as well as equip you in order for you to defend your loved one’s honor and your hard-earned money against bogus jewelers.

 

The Blue-White Diamond Trick

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This is a very old term that scammers use. Here is what the dealer does – he will probably tell you that it IS a better diamond.  But, truth of the matter is,  it is NOT.

“Blue-white” refers to the fluorescence that results in natural light; and, appears to have ultraviolet wavelengths. Further, the fluorescence can make a colorless diamond look a little oily or milky against the light. This scam can get you to buy a sub-standard diamond since it is not of the real value.

The solution? WALK AWAY. Avoid jewelers of this kind, as it is obvious that they have scammed a lot of customers.

 

The Carat-Total-Weight Sham

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You’ll see this “tag” in plenty of jewelry retail stores of diamonds in a ring. They make sure NOT to enlist the center stone separately. It’s just impossible to compare prices with several other rings IF you do not know the REAL weight and quality of the main diamond.

Pay attention because this is crucial. One large diamond is worth MUCH MORE than 6 small ones that total the same weight.

For example, if you have one G/VS2 diamond which weighs 1.00 carat, then it has to cost over £3,000. But, ten smaller G/VS2 diamonds totalling 1.00 carat might only be worth a little over £1,000. So, there’s your scam right there! Simply because the smaller diamonds in most stores are of lower quality – much lower than this example, actually.

The solution? Ask for the weight and quality of the center stone itself, in writing. Don’t be afraid to head for the exit if they refuse to do it. After all, it is best to put your interest on top of theirs.

 

The 50%-Sale “Offer”

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This isn’t a sweet deal. Chances are, the jeweler is DESPERATE to make a sale. And, if you’re not careful, you will fall victim to this kind of scam and may part with a good amount of money. Honestly, there is nothing romantic about this setup.

Rumor has it that a major jewelry store in Florida, U.S.A. marked up their gold chains up from $100 to $500 AND THEN marked them half-price down for a sale. That said, a customer ended up paying for $250 for an item which was originally pegged at only $100.

Things are no different when it comes to diamonds on sale. Liquidation and “going out of business” tactics are usually employed by most jewelers, particularly in New York City. It’s been going on for 15 years, in fact.  But, hey, don’t expect them to tell you that!

The solution? Don’t fall for any of these sale offers. Go for the regular-tagged jewelry and negotiate with the store wisely. Better yet, get in touch with the REAL EXPERTS in diamond-and-gold crafting! We aren’t called House of Diamonds for nothing, after all.

 

The “Bait-and-Switch” Act

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This trick is as old as the blue-white diamond scam and is still being employed by many stores. The Office of Fair Trade (TOFT) has outlawed such scam. Unfortunately, it still happens as it is hard to keep track of all 25,000 jewelry stores in the U.K. and in U.S.A.

The scam takes place when a store advertises a diamond at a great price.  But, as soon as you get to the store, your dream find is tagged “sold.” What the jeweler will do is offer you an item, which looks “more exquisite” and more expensive.

They bait you with a fake offer AND switch you to a piece of jewelry that brings them the highest profit.

The solution? If the item you want is unavailable, don’t settle for something else. If the store can’t give you exactly what you came for, then head straight for the door. It is your right as a buyer.

 

The “Light-Makes-White” Scam

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Selling diamonds is likened to going out on a date. The man puts on his best behavior to please the woman he sets his eyes and heart on. The jeweler applies the same “dating concept.” This time, however, he shines his brightest light on the diamond-encrusted-gold band you have set your eyes on for a higher price. Now, that’s heartbreaking.

You see,  bright lights make each piece of jewelry look better. Of course, every jeweler wants to show his diamonds in the best light; but, there are some lighting tricks you should avoid.

Some bulbs have a strong blue-color component that makes yellow stones look whiter. Other jewelers use special bulbs with strong ultraviolet wavelengths that make most diamonds fluoresce blue. This trick can also whiten some stones of lower color ranges.

The solution? ALWAYS ask if the diamond has fluorescence; and, ask to see the piece of jewelry without the bright lights in another part of the store before you buy it. And, DO ask for a certificate from an independent laboratory to verify the grade if you are looking for a fine color. The laboratories make it a point to mention any sign of fluorescence. If the store agrees, proceed with the purchase. If not, LEAVE.

 

The “Grade Bumping” Scam

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Just about every jeweler you will meet WILL exaggerate ALL grades in his store.

If a jeweler does not offer you a certificate from organizations like The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), then, clearly, he is exaggerating the grade. There are no exceptions. The TOFT states that a jeweler must be accurate within one grade of color and one grade of clarity on a diamond.

This means they can be inaccurate to one color and clarity. And there are no strict guidelines given in the law for which lab definitions to use. So, many jewelers may “legally” bump the color and clarity of a diamond by 1-2 grades, at the very least.

One of the ways stores extend their legal range, is by giving you a “G-H color,” for instance. That means they can legally call an I color a G-H. In fact, because it is hard for consumers to prove misgrading, we have seen grades bumped as much as 3 to 4, or even more!

Stores, in several occasions, grade L colored-diamonds as a G, which is 5 grades higher. Unfortunately, this can mean a great deal of money if you are talking about a fine-quality, 1-carat diamond.

The solution? If you are looking for a fine-quality diamond, insist on a recent certificate from respected gemological institutions like the Gem-A. And, remember to compare prices of other stones bearing the exact same certificates.

Have you been scammed recently? Tell us and we’ll be sure to give you more tips on how to dodge scheming jewelers. Drop us a line, will you?

The Untold Story of Diamonds: The Gem that Globalized Trade & Business

Diamonds have long been believed to be every woman’s best friend. Not only that. These timeless sparklers represent the delicate-but-tantalizing stare a woman gives her man; her flawlessness and finesse; and, her classic beauty. The very same qualities which enamoured her to the man who holds her dear.

Before you put a ring on your lady love’s finger, wouldn’t you want to know more about diamonds? These account for much more than you could ever imagine. Let’s get to it!

Our love affair with diamonds was born in India – one of the most exotic places in the world. It is where diamonds were culled from its rivers and streams. Some historians believe, in fact, that India started trading diamonds as early as 4BC. At that time, limited resources were put out as the country had a limited market for diamonds. Only the wealthiest of the wealthy could afford it.

India’s diamond trade found its way into Western Europe where equally interesting merchandise were brought and sold in Venice’s medieval markets. By the 15th century, diamonds became the European elite’s fashion statement.

Unfortunately, the supply of diamonds coming from India took a dive in the early 1700s. This became an upperhand for Brazil since it emerged as a new important source of diamonds. Gold miners discovered that their country was a rich source of these sparklers when they sifted through the gravels of local rivers. What used to be India’s “seat of powerful trade” became that of Brazil’s since the latter dominated the diamond market for more than 150 years.

Down the line, the diamond market underwent its own evolution. The old ruling classes (the diamonds’ biggest buyers) declined in the late 1700s. Political disarray like the French Revolution led to changes in the distribution of wealth. Affluence increased not just in Western Europe but also in the United States of America during the 1800s. With that, explorers came to discover that South Africa was just as rich a source of diamonds.

It was in the year 1866 when diamonds were discovered in Kimberly, South Africa. Credits go to Cecil Rhodes, entrepreneur and founder of the great De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited in 1888. Come 1900, De Beers controlled about 90 percent of the entire world’s production of rough diamonds.

South Africa paved the way for many other segments in the diamond mining industry, as it moved from the surface to farther underground.

On one hand, mining entailed costs. On the other, it turned in low yieldings. But, these were turned into an  opportunity because more efficient mining techniques were developed. After all, “business was booming!”

They saw that the industry clamored for better marketing. Thus, it led to advancement in terms of diamond cutting and polishing as well as improvement in mining operations – that is, increased efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced appearance of finished sparklers.

In 1870, annual production of rough diamonds was well under a million carats. By 1920, the figures upped to three million. Annual production approached 50 million in 1970.

Just before the end of 1970s, South Africa, alongside Zaire (now renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo), and the former Soviet Union, were believed to be the world’s most important rough diamond producers. In the 1980s, higher-quality diamonds were being culled from Russia and Australia  (with South Africa remained relatively constant). Zaire’s production of lower-quality diamonds, on the other hand, more than doubled. And, finally, diamond mining surpassed its 100-million-carats-per-year mark in 1990.

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Not much has changed through the years. Jewelry aficionados as well as retailers do not take into account the path the industry has undertaken. Rather, they keep in mind just one direction – that diamonds still very much flowed through the mines; then, onto cutting centers;  and ultimately, to retail stores and customers.

The exquisite beauty that is encapsulated in all the diamonds you see in stores and workshops has bestowed indescribable happiness and appreciation for centuries.

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Sans the scientific proof for such feelings, one’s education as regards diamonds have grown steadily with the help of renowned chemists, physicists, geologists, mineralogists, and oceanographers.

Through constant research, findings about how diamonds form and how they’re pushed to the earth’s surface has made it more convenient for miners to locate new diamond discoveries.

 

 

5 minute guide to the anatomy of a diamond

Do you need a quick insight through the anatomy of a diamond? Let’s walk you through some interesting information with this simply revised guide to help you understand the complexities of a perfect diamond. This should help you out before you start choosing that perfect diamond ring.

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How to select the correct diamond

There are many aspects to consider when choosing the perfect diamond for you or your partner. Without question, the most important consideration is personal preference. The reason behind what may attract someone to any given diamond ring is rarely questioned. It either catches your eye or it doesn’t! and individual taste is the one thing that remains pure, having no suggested guidelines or rules.
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