Diamond & Jewelry Holiday Sales Figures

The Rapaport Report, a Diamond industry weekly newsletter, today reports that overall US Holiday retail Diamond and Jewelry sales were below projections.

Breaking down the numbers reveals that Brick & Mortar shops struggled whereas internet vendors reported surging sales compared to last year’s Holiday Season.

The New York Times reported on
December 28 that Some retailers including Tiffany, Chico’s and T.J. Maxx
might soon lower their projections for the fourth quarter.

Wal-Mart, the largest US retailer, yesterday reported
predictions that its sales would be in the middle of its revised
holiday numbers, that is, 1% to 3% up. Wal-Mart originally predicted a
larger increase, but the $256 billion chain reported poor results over
the post-Thanksgiving shopping period, and some analysts were worried.
They were relieved to hear yesterday’s predictions.

In contrast, online retailer Amazon.com Inc. has reported a busy
holiday season and claimed a one-day retail record of 2.8 million
orders (the actual day was not specified).

Amazon said that diamonds of
all sizes were popular in earrings, pendants and bracelets.
Other top
selling jewelry items included sterling silver blue topaz earrings,
Paris Hilton’s sterling silver and Swarovski Crystal heart pendant on
a satin cord (16 inch), Paris Hilton’s sterling silver and Swarovski
Crystal Star hoop earrings, and a floating heart pendant with diamond.
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Holiday Season Retail Sales Growth:

Recent retail sales indicators show that while sales volumes have been
solid this holiday season they have not been exceptional.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and UBS’s weekly
chain store retail index released on December 29 showed that rose 2.7%
in the week ended December 25 from the previous week, while sales rose
4.3% compared to the previous corresponding period.

UBS said it expected same-store sales, or sales in stores open at
least a year, to be flat at department stores. Overall, high-end
stores, such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue are
expected to outperform the sector.

According to some analysts, large U.S. retailers have had
disappointing holiday sales and are hoping to recoup some of their
losses during the January clearance sales.

E-tailers, on the other hand, faired the best. Industry consultant
comScore Networks projected that online shopping during the holiday
season would grow more than 26% to around $15.5 billion compared to
last season. The Jewelry sector showed the most dramatic increase year over year.
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Tribute To A Diamond Legend

William (Bill) Goldberg.

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In whose factory I had the good fortune of working in for over 10 years. His Passion for Diamonds, his Enthusiasm, and above all being a ‘Mentsch’.

Read more about a great Man who we, in the industry called “Mr. Diamond” here in the GIA Newsletter.

William Goldberg Family Honors His Legacy with Major Gift to GIA

May His Memory be a Blessing.

Diamond Grading Report: Why you need it and what it is telling you.

A Diamond Grading Report issued by an Independent Gemological Laboratory, tells you that the Diamond has been examined by experienced Diamond Graders, using various gemological instruments, and contains the characteristics as stated in the Certificate.

The reason it is important to have a Diamond evaluated by an independent Laboratory is that minute, invisible to the naked-eye, characteristics of a Diamond can have a major influence on the price. Therefore, if not for a great deal of scrutiny on the part of the buyer, it is easy to mistake and purchase a Diamond of lower value, believing it to be of higher value.

I strongly recommend that you do not buy any diamond without a Diamond Certificate. GIA is the foremost Laboratory in the world, though there are other reputable labs out there. However, not all labs are equal in their grading stringency, accuracy, and consistency.

If you found a Diamond you like, and it is not certified there is nothing wrong with asking your Jeweler to send it to a reputable independent Gemological Laboratory for certification. If your Jeweler has a problem with that, take a few steps back and ask yourself many more questions! This request is a standard practice in the Diamond Industry.

What’s in a Diamond Lab name?

The number one most important item to look for on a Diamond Certificate is the name of the laboratory! If you never heard of the Laboratory, don’t feel shy about giving them a call to check them out. Also, if the laboratory is an independently owned franchise and the certificate you were given is not local, you may want to call up the lab, either the local one or the one that issued the certificate, and ask them by which standards they grade their Diamonds. Find out if they honour the grades given out by other branches.

GIA is the foremost grading laboratory in the world both for their excellence in diamond and gemstone grading as well as for their comprehensive research and educational programs to both the trade and consumers.

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Actual GIA Grading Report:

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Basic Parts of a Round Brilliant Diamond.

Let’s go over this report and examine the information it gives you:

Every lab has a certificate (or ” report”) number, which uniquely identifies a Diamond. The Lab keeps an internal copy of everything which you see on the certificate, plus some additional information for their files. If you call up the Lab and give them the certificate number, they can even reissue a certificate if you lost it. This report number is found in the upper left-hand margin and appears vertically. The Cert number for the GIA report shown here is: 11510402.

Diamond Shape: Self explanatory.

Measurements: Measurements of the Diamond’s diameter:
“minimum – maximum x depth” are calculated to the hundredth of a millimeter by a Leveridge Guage or a micrometer.

Weight: Diamonds are weighed to the thousandth of a carat with a digital measuring device. On the certificate, weight is rounded to the hundredth of a carat. Diamonds are always measured in carat weight. One carat is the equivalent of 1/5 of a gram. Additionally, there are “100″ points in a carat, so that a .50 “point” diamond would be described as a half-carat.

In general, the pricing structure for polished diamonds is directly related to the pricing structure for the diamonds in their rough state. Because there is a scarcity of large diamond rough, the price for these diamonds after polishing will be higher per carat. As you get larger in carat weight there will be an incremental jump in price even between two diamonds of same color and clarity. These plateaus are found approximately every .10-.15 points. Category examples are: .50-.59, .60-.69, .80-.89, .90-.99 carat, etc.

Proportions: Depth Percentage and Table Percentage are measured.
Depth percent refers to the percent of the depth of the Diamond, table to culet, relative to the width of the stone.
The Table of a Diamond refers to its largest facet, the main part of the Diamond you look at when the stone is face-up.
Table percent refers to the table size as a percentage of the Diamond’s average width.

These ratios in conjunction with the Millimeter measurements indicate how “well” the Diamond has been cut.

Girdle: The Girdle of a Diamond is the dividing line between the crown, or top part of the stone and the pavillion, or bottom part of the stone. Girdle thickness can be very thin in part of a stone and very thick in another part. That is why it is expressed as a range. The girdle can also be faceted, or not. A faceted girdle usually improves the look of the stone, and involves having the cutter polish facets into the girdle.

Culet: If there is one, is the facet on the pointy bottom part of the Diamond. Its existence helps prevent chipping.

Finish of the Diamond, referred to as Polish and Symmetry:

Finish describes the polish of a Diamond and how symmetrical, or how evenly, the facets have been placed.
Polish refers to the quality of the polish on the facets. An excellent polish reflects the care taken by the Diamond cutter.
Symmetry refers to how precisely the facets are externally aligned to each other. All the facets should have more or less the same shape and size.

Clarity Grade:

Clarity ranges from the best grade of IF, down through VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2 until I3. Clarity is a reflection of the number, size, placement and nature of inclusions and/or surface irregularities on the Diamond. The experienced Diamond Grader examines the Diamond with the aid of a Stereo Microscope, which aids in identifying the nature of an inclusion, or finding pinpoints (very, very tiny crystals inside the Diamond). However, the actual grade is based only on what is visible under a 10X Loupe.

Color:

Color ranges from the best grade of D, down to Z. After Z are Fancy Colors. Color grade is determined by examining the Diamond next to a master set of color comparison stones, under special lighting.

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Fluorescence:

Fluorescence refers to a Diamond’s reaction to long wave ultraviolet radiation. Fluorescence or blue diamonds is a hotly debated topic with much erroneous information being disseminated to consumers.

Read this link on our Blog for more detailed and accurate information on blue diamonds. Blue Diamonds

The Diamond Plot:

The Diamond Plot is a graphical representation of the imperfections of the Diamond. Each Diamond is as unique as a fingerprint. By plotting its characteristics, and combining this with the physical measurements of a Diamond, a Lab can uniquely identify each stone. This plot helps the Grader in the even that a customer returns to the Lab and requests a verification that the Diamond presented with a certificate refers to the same Diamond described in the Certificate.
Internal characteristics are plotted in red, and external characteristics are plotted in green.

Comments:

Comments are used to describe characteristics not discussed elsewhere on the certificate, or to mention items not plotted. For example, “minor details of polish are not shown” is a common comment. “Crown angles over 35 degrees”, or Crown angles under 30 degrees” are other comments pertaining to Cut that may also appear.

Diamond Fluorescence – Separating Fact From Fiction

Consumers shopping for diamonds both at B&M’s and with Internet vendors are receiving conflicting and erroneous information regarding the effects of blue diamond fluorescence on a diamond’s visual appearance. The dispensed advice takes the following forms:

1. Blue Fluorescence (FL) is bad, stay away. 2. FL in lower color diamonds, e.g.; I-J-K is a positive in that it will make the diamond face up whiter but only if the FL is faint or Medium, not Strong. In higher colors (D-H) it is detrimental; stay away. 3. Strong FL is to be avoided at all costs. 4. FL diamonds need to be priced and sold at a discount relative to comparable carat weight, color/clarity-cut diamonds that are non-FL.

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Above: Diamonds exposed to concentrated long-wave ultraviolet radiation of a UV lamp.

Much of today’s consumer attitudes and behavior regarding FL can be traced back to the Diamond Industry’s perception of FL. Briefly, some diamond merchant’s would look for near-colorless to light yellow diamonds with strong blue diamond FL because they believed that such FL imparted a more colorless appearance under lighting with a high UV content.

In the late 70′s during the diamond “bren” when prices skyrocketed daily (analogous to the Tulip craze of the early 1800′s), some diamantaires observed that some gem diamonds with a very hazy appearance also fluoresced strong blue to UV radiation. These dealers started offering significantly lower prices for these “Milky D’s (D color diamonds with very strong FL and reduced transparency) and very strong FL also termed “overblues”. Gradually this perceived negative impact of FL spread downwards to encompass color grades as far as F. In addition, with the significant influx of Russian goods which contain Med to Strong FL into the market, this perceived negative effect of FL has been exacerbated.

Additional industry concerns about blue diamond FL took on the following perceived factors:

1. Non-FL diamonds were thought to be more pure than blue FL stones,

2. Non-FL diamonds in the D-F color range were thought to be rarer than FL counterparts, and

3. The hazy appearence in the “overblues” must also exist to some deleterious degree in weaker FL diamonds as well.

A 1993 South Korean TV expose aimed at consumers on FL further served to highlight these perceived negative aspects of FL.

Martin Rapaport, Editor of the industry trade letter, The Rapaport Report, took these notions of FL one step further by codifying these artificially trade induced price differentials into his Rap pricing sheet, thus further solidifying the notion that blue diamonds were worth less.

The fact is that FL is not a negative, on the contrary it can be and is a positive factor. Several of us in the trade have known and advocated position.

In 1997, GIA conducted an extensive study on the effects of blue diamond FL on visual perception. Consumers and tradespeople were both asked to evaluate the effects of FL on their visual perception and to note any meaningful distinctions between non-FL to FL blue diamonds of differing FL intensities.

The results of this GIA study were highly instructive and surprising. GIA found that non-trade observers could not make ANY meaningful distinctions between non-FL to the FL blue diamonds and that FL blue diamonds had no overall effect on the diamond’s color or transparency!

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Above: E and G color set of diamonds under UV light.
From left to right, E color set shows: Strong, Medium, Very Strong, Medium, Medium, None Fluorescence.

G Color set from left to right shows UV Fluorescence of: Faint, Very Strong, Medium, Medium, None, Strong.

For the experienced observers that encompassed tradespeople, the strength of FL had no significant effect on the color appearance of the diamonds when viewed table-down (typical of lab grading). In the table-up position (which is the way consumers view the diamonds at B&M’s and diamond showrooms), diamonds that were described as strong FL or very strong FL were, on average, reported to have a better color appearance than less FL stones. Strong FL was reported to have little impact on perceived transparency of the diamonds.

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Above: Target diamond is measured for Fluorescence between two reference diamonds. Intensity of fluorescence should be stronger than the reference diamond on the left but weaker than the reference stone on the right.

The link to this GIA study is here:

http://www.gia.edu/pdfs/W97_fluoresce.pdf

This is a very important study and should be required reading for both consumers and all diamond and jewelry professionals. There are no grounds to consider blue diamonds in a negative light and therefore no basis for price differentiation relative to non blue diamonds.

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Jewelry: Platinum or Gold?

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Above: Platinum Rings.

Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands.

A Synopsis:

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, the question of what metal type to choose will invariably come up. Although whatever your choice, platinum engagement ring, or white gold engagement ring, you are certainly a winner, there are however certain distinguishing characteristics between the two metals.
Platinum Rings

Platinum is a heavier and denser metal than white gold and is more expensive than gold which contains a combination of alloys. Platinum rings are extremely appealing for the following reasons:

* Platinum is incredibly durable (much more so than white gold.)
* Platinum will hold your loose diamond or gemstone more securely than white gold which is a softer, more pliable metal.
* Platinum develops a beautiful sheen or patina over time.
* Platinum rings are hypoallergenic and will resist tarnishing better than gold.

Gold Rings

Gold rings are much less expensive than platinum rings and have the following characteristics:

* Gold will not scratch as easy as platinum.
* Because gold also contains other alloys its color will fluctuate depending on the purity of the gold that is used.
* Gold will tend to fade eventually and will require repolishing.

In Depth Analysis

Platinum:

Platinum is valued as the finest metal for jewelry. It is the strongest metal and weighs twice as much as its gold counterpart. Additionally, the exceptional weight and density of this precious metal make it extremely attractive and desirable, and will increase its value significantly. Platinum engagement rings, and platinum diamond rings, have taken the market by storm due to the fact that the sheen or patina of the metal does a better job than gold of highlighting/contrasting the beauty of the set diamonds. The platinum metal is part of a group of six metals including; platinum, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, and osmium. These metals are all extremely similar to platinum in their chemistry, density, and weight. As a matter of fact, they are often difficult to distinguish from each other. Platinum jewelry is also unique in that it is the only metal that is of 90% to 95% purity.

Gold:

Gold in its purest form is an extremely soft and pliable metal. Because it is so soft and malleable it cannot be used in jewelry since it would disfigure with normal wear. Because of this problem jewelers resort to an alloyed gold known as karat gold (different from “carat” measurement used to characterize diamond weight) Adding alloys to the gold will make the metal tougher and harder so that it may be used in jewelry applications. It will also result in different colors depending on the different combinations used. White gold contains approximately 10-20% nickel, with combinations of platinum, zinc, copper, and palladium. This combination makes white gold a tougher metal than yellow gold. The amount of gold in any given combination is described by karat number. Examples of these numbers would be 14k, 18k, or 24k. The number indicates how many components of pure gold are included in the 24 components that make up the alloy. The following chart illustrates these combinations:

10k = 10/24 = 41.67% purity of gold
14k = 14/24 = 58.33% purity of gold
18k = 18/24 = 75.00% purity of gold
24k = 24/24 = 100% pure gold

Diamond Cleaning

Diamond Cleaning and Care

It is extremely important to clean and care for your diamond by periodically soaking it in a solution of warm water and liquid soap, or a jewelry cleaning solution. A simple brush (toothbrush, etc.) may be used to dislodge built up dirt from the surface of the diamond. Always, make sure to rinse off the diamond and dirt with a non abrasive cloth. A diamond when properly cleaned will allow maximum light to reflect back to your eye. Conversely, when a diamond is smudged, oily, and dirty it will appear dull and lifeless.

I don’t recommend the usage of ultra-sonic cleaning devices on a mounted diamond as these machines are apt to loosen the diamond from its mounting with its powerful vibrations.

Have your diamond ring checked by a competent jeweler every 6 months.

The proper care of of your diamond will assure you of a lifetime of enjoyment and happiness.

Diamond Glossary

Diamond Glossary:

Knowledge is Power and the more information you have the better diamond purchase you will make. Here are a number of diamond terms that are used by jewelers to describe diamonds and which appear on diamond grading reports.

Blemish: A surface or inherent clarity characteristic of a diamond.

Brilliance: A phenomena unique and powerful in diamonds is the extent to which a diamond can reflect light. This “brilliance” is created when light enters through the diamonds table, reaches the pavilion facets, and is then refracted back out through the table to your eye.

Carat: A unit of weight by which a diamond is measured.

Clouds: A cluster of very tiny imperfections within a diamond. These imperfections will often take on a transparent cloudy look, and will require extremely high magnification in order to be seen.

Color grading: A grading method system by GIA used to determine the colorlessness of white diamonds.

Crown: The portion of the diamond above the girdle.

Crown angle: The angle where the diamond’s bezel facets intersect with the girdle plane. The positioning of these facets is critical in determining the amount of light dispersion and fire in a diamond.

Culet: A flat facet diamond cutters add to the bottom of a diamond’s pavilion. The purpose of the culet is to protect the integrity of the pavilion from chipping and fractures. Once a diamond is set in jewelry the purpose of the culet is generally negated as the setting will provide adequate protection for the stone. Most modern diamond shapes have either no culet, or very small pointed culet.

Cut: Refers to the proportions as well as the polish and finish of a faceted diamond. Cut is the most important of the “4 C’s and is critically instrumental in determining a diamonds beauty and value.

Depth: The height of a diamond from the culet to the table. Depth is measured in millimeters.

Depth percentage: Refers to the relation between how deep and how wide the diamond is. Depth percentage plays a role in determining the brilliance and value of the diamond.

Diamond:
A crystallized carbon made up of 99.95% pure carbon atoms in an isometric or cubic arrangement.

Diamond cutting: The method whereby a rough diamond mined from way beneath the earth’s surface is polished and faceted into a magnificent diamond. The diamond must go through a long and arduous process of many different steps until it is considered a completely finished gem.

Dispersion: The effect that properly angled and placed facets have on the diamond’s ability to display fire.

Eye clean: A term used in the industry to describe a diamond with inclusions that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Facet: The various smooth surface areas of a diamond set up and positioned at different angles, allowing light to enter the stone and reflect back to your eye. A round brilliant diamond has a total of 58 facets.

Feathers: are the small stress fractures in a diamond formed during its crystallization process. Feathers will pose no risk to the durability of the diamond once that stone has survived the rigors of its crystallization, mining, and cutting process.

Finish: This refers to the quality of how the diamond cutter executed the designing, fashioning, and faceting of the diamond.

Fire: (or Color Light)This refers to the percentage of the diamond returning bright colored light to the observer.

Fluorescence: This refers to an effect seen in diamond when exposed to long wave ultra violet light. Fluorescence is undetectable in most lighting conditions and can only be seen when placed under an intense and direct ultra violet lamp. Fluorescence has no deleterious effect on the integrity of the diamond. Some prefer Fluorescence in diamonds, others do not. It is a matter of personal taste. Fluorescence in lower color diamonds posses a unique desirability as they will make diamonds appear whiter than their actual color grade.

GIA (Gemological Institute of America): Was founded in 1931 as a non profit organization and is considered to be the standard bearer of the diamond grading industry with the strictest, most stringent diamond grading criterion. The grading system developed by the GIA has become the standard system used today by grading labs across the world.

Girdle: The outer ring of the diamond is called the girdle. The girdle is described by its thinnest and thickest points.

Inclusion: An intrinsic clarity characteristic found within diamonds.

Naturals: Small particles of the original rough diamond’s surface which remain on the polished diamond.

Pavillion: This refers to the lower portion of the diamond underneath the girdle.

Point: Refers to a measurement describing the weight of a diamond. One point equals one hundredth of a carat.

Polish: This refers to a diamond’s surface blemishes which do not affect its clarity grade such as polishing lines or scratches. Polish is graded on laboratory reports as either ideal (AGS) excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor (GIA).

Scintillation: This is the term for changing colours, the radiance and sparkle of the rays when the stone is moved or when the light source changes. The GemEx Brilliancescope â„¢ analyzer that we use for all of our diamonds measures the number of light points and determines how they change from position to position.

Symmetry: Variations in a diamond’s symmetry such as misshapen or misaligned facets are graded in the laboratory report. Although such variations are often undetectable to the naked eye, it is certainly indicative of a diamonds cut quality.

Table: percentage Represents the diameter of the table facet in relation to the diameter of the entire diamond.

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds.

Less than one percent of all diamonds being manufactured today can be considered a true Hearts and Arrows diamond.

The Hearts & Arrows pattern is found in a superideal cut diamond such as a SUPERBcert diamond. The Hearts and Arrows effect is achieved by cutting, aligning, and positioning, all of a diamonds 58 facets to perfection.

Hearts and Arrows Pattern
seen through a H & A viewer.

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A true hearts and arrows diamond requires almost twice the amount of time to cut and polish as compared with a commercial quality round brilliant diamond.

Note the perfect alignment , shape, size, and meet point of both the Hearts and Arrows pattern.

Ideal Cut Diamonds

Ideal Cut Diamonds
A diamond cut to certain angles and proportions will determine its beauty as well as value. Most of the diamonds being cut in the marketplace are cut to maximize on weight retention which results in the diamond being cut either too shallow or too deep. A shallow or deep cut diamond will result in significant light leakage.
Too shallow: Light escapes from the sides causing the diamond to lose brilliance. Too deep: Light escapes from the bottom causing the diamond to appear dull and lifeless.

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An Ideal cut diamond is a diamond which is cut to a certain set of tolerances and parameters for all of its 58 facets which will result in maximum brilliance and light return. Think of it this way; a diamond is faceted as a collection of mirrors. When these facets are placed at certain angles in relation to each other they will allow light entering through the table to be evenly distributed throughout the entire diamond and then reflected back out through the table to your eye.

Why doesn’t everyone cut diamonds to Ideal proportions?

1. The answer to this question lies in the fact that in order to create an ideal cut diamond, the diamond cutter will have to sacrifice rough carat weight in order to fashion a smaller, albeit more beautiful diamond. Cutting more diamond means cutting away more money, literally!
2. To create an ideal cut diamond a cutter must posses a superior level of ability and craftsmanship, and will need time and patience, as this requires considerably more time and effort than commercial quality diamonds.

As the diamond industry has evolved and diamond shoppers have become more savvy and educated, ideal cut diamonds and certainly super ideal cut diamonds have become tremendously popular for the discriminating consumer who insists on the very best cut quality diamonds, at discount diamond prices.

Diamond Cut

Diamond Cut:

Allow me to share a story with you;

A gentleman walks in to a local jewelry store looking to buy a diamond engagement ring for his fiancée. He sees a round wholesale diamond in the showcase that looks absolutely brilliant. The customer goes ahead and purchases the diamond assuming that it will look as stunning on his fiancée’s finger as it did in the store. The poor guy gets home and excitedly opens up his package to take another look, and lo and behold; the diamond ring that looked so sparkly in the store now appears completely washed out and opaque. Not only is the diamond not brilliant and fiery but he can actually see what looks like “dirt” in the center of the stone that had definitely not been there in the diamond store.

He has no idea what happened to the diamond, but he knows that he cannot present this wedding ring to his fiancée. So he runs back to the store only to find out that this discounted diamond was part of a wholesale diamond section marked as “final sale” only.

He is now literally stuck with a diamond that is absolutely not what he thought he was getting when he paid for it.

Does this story sound familiar to you?

The question here is; why do so many loose diamonds and diamond jewelry items look absolutely brilliant inside the store, only to appear completely dull and lifeless outside the store?

The answer to this question is actually one of the oldest tricks being used in the diamond and jewelry industry. Diamond outlets and jewelry stores use high powered halogen lights that they strategically position inside the diamond showcases as well as over the countertops. These high intensity lights make all of the loose diamonds, diamond rings, and diamond jewelry look sparkly and brilliant. The unsuspecting customer will buy a loose diamond or diamond ring based on this effect, only to be severely disappointed when it is often too late.

This brings us to the following obvious questions:

* Why do many diamonds that are graded with an excellent color and clarity grade still appear completely dull and lifeless when looked at in real life lighting conditions?
* Why are there certain diamonds that display an incredible amount of brilliance and fire in ALL lighting conditions, from a jewelry store to a dimly lit restaurant or parking lot, regardless of their color and clarity grade?
* How can you as a consumer insure that you are buying a loose diamond or diamond ring that will absolutely explode with brilliance regardless of where you will take it?

The answer to these questions is the focus of this page.

The “Magic” of Cut

Only the cut of a diamond-its depth and width, as well as the size, shape, angle, and positioning of the diamond facets will determine its brilliance.

Of all the characteristics of a diamond that determine its value or rarity, “cut” is the one thing that is entirely manipulated by the diamond cutter and will make the difference between a visually brilliant diamond vs. a diamond with a dulled appearance and poor brilliance.

A diamond can have a perfect color and clarity grade but if it is poorly cut it will look like a piece of cut glass; dull and lifeless.

Conversely, if a loose diamond has been properly cut, it will achieve maximum brilliance regardless of its color and clarity, and will actually look more beautiful and brilliant than a poorly cut diamond of better color and clarity, for less money.

Here is how it works:

Light is constantly entering into the diamond through the table, which is the largest facet of a diamond or gemstone. Once inside, the light will travel within the stone by way of reflecting off of the round brilliant diamond’s 58 facets which essentially act as a collection of mirrors. In a perfectly cut diamond the light will then refract and exit back out through the table to the eye in the form of brilliance. A perfectly cut loose diamond is therefore going to be the type of diamond that will display incredible brilliance in any lighting environment as it will essentially generate its own light.

In a diamond of poor cut quality the light will be misdirected when entering and exiting the stone. Instead of the light being refracted back through the table to the eye in the form of brilliance, it will be lost through the sides or escape from the bottom in the form of leakage. A poorly cut loose diamond is therefore going to be the type of diamond that will need to rely on the halogen bulbs of the jewelry stores to make it “appear” brilliant, but will be accurately exposed when removed from the lights as a result of its poor light refraction.