Archive for July 2012

 
 

Fluorescent Diamonds

Did you know that 35% of gem-quality diamonds fluoresce? Many people don’t even know they may have a fluorescent diamond until they enter a dance club and all of the sudden they’re lighting up the dance floor.

The phenomenon of diamond fluorescence is purely natural and adds to a diamond’s uniqueness. The fluorescence is caused by a diamond’s atoms interacting with UV light and is normally blue; however many colors are possible. Certain jewellery designers have made some amazing pieces with fluorescent diamonds which fluoresce in stunning patterns when exposed to UV light; some even inscribe a person’s name in the piece by setting fluorescent diamonds alongside non-fluorescent diamonds.

Along the same lines as fluorescence is a rare characteristic called phosphorescence. The difference between the two is that the phosphorescent diamond continues to glow momentarily when removed from UV light. In fact, one of the most famous diamonds in the world, the 45.52ct Hope Diamond, phosphoresces an absolutely stunning deep red color. The “after-glow” lasts approximately five seconds after the UV light is removed.

So what implications does this have for you? First off, if you’re about to purchase a diamond and are wondering about it’s fluorescence, ask your jeweller. He/she should be able to tell you right away whether or not a diamond fluoresces by placing it under a UV lamp. Also, most diamond grading reports (particularly a GIA Grading Report) will indicate whether a diamond fluoresces, including the color and level of fluorescence. Needless to say, it’s nice to know if you have a fluorescent diamond before you get surprised by glowing jewellery on your next night out…either way, it can definitely make for an interesting conversation piece!

Kind regards,

 

The La Mine d’Or Family

Diamond Cut: The Human Factor

If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile now I’m sure you understand the point we constantly emphasize; i.e., no two diamonds are the same. In this blog post we’d like to emphasize on the only human element every diamond receives: their Cut.

Many people nowadays like to study up and do research before making diamond purchases (and we hope you choose to read our Buying a Diamond tutorial on our website before you do), however, many people tend to over-concentrate on Clarity and Color, but forget about the importance of Cut. Although all factors work in unison to create a beautiful diamond, without Cut, even a flawless stone can become drab and lifeless without the masterful talent of diamond cutter.

Perhaps one of the most famous diamond cutters in the world, Sir Gabriel “Gabi” Tolkowsky (nephew of Marcel Tolkowsky, the inventor of the Modern Cut round diamond) has cut some of the most prized stones in the world, such as the 273.85ct Centenary Diamond seen in the picture with Gabi. Gabi went on to invent many diamond cuts, however, what really distinguishes Gabi from other cutters is that he takes pride in cutting stones that no one else will cut…often because other cutters find them ugly! He’s capable of giving life to a stone which others pre-judge as being lifeless. In 1986, he took some off color stones many had dismissed and branded as just plain ugly, and made a series called the Flower Cuts (some seen in the picture below). His work is enough to make believers out of non-believers, and beautiful stones out of “ugly” ones.

So what does this have to do with you? Well, next time you’re shopping for a diamond and are wondering why two diamonds of the same Carat Weight, Clarity, and Color, have ridiculously different prices, think about Cut. There’s a good chance that just by looking at two stones side-by-side you’ll notice that one sparkles more (scintillation), shows more colors of the rainbow (fire), and just seems brighter (brilliance). This is where you’ll find your answer. Don’t get us wrong, there are a variety of different proportions which create attractive diamonds; however, the picture below describes what we mean in relation to good vs poor diamond cuts. Notice how one shines bright while the other is dark and lifeless? One definitely has double the value, and its Cut is the reason. 

So now you might ask, why would a diamond cutter do such a horrible job cutting a particular diamond? The answer to this can often seem fascinating after seeing what we decide to send back day-after-day because they don’t pass our quality control desk. The fact is that cutters want to retain the most weight possible out of a stone because more weight fetches more money. They’ll use a variety of techniques to retain as much weight as possible and in consequence lose the proper proportions needed to create the most attractive diamond (an attractive diamond being one that attractively reflects light).

That being said, we hope you understand how important the role of a diamond cutter’s masterful Cut plays in a diamond’s attractiveness and how it pays homage to the skill it takes to unlock each stone’s unique beauty.

 

Kind regards,

 

The La Mine d’Or Family

All Appraisals are Not Created Equal

Appraisals are an imperative part of making sure your jewellery is safe. Albeit, all jewellery appraisals are not created equal, and we’re going to tell you why.

Whenever you acquire a new piece of jewellery, your jeweller should be giving you an appraisal for items valued over $1000. Appraisals are important so you can keep your jewellery properly insured; either through your home-owners insurance or a specific jewellery insurance you may have purchased. The key for you and your insurance company is that the appraisal is accurate; you don’t want to overpay for your insurance and you want to make sure you get proper replacement value if something happens. Here are a few things you should be aware of and careful about.

Credentials

Most jewellers have a plethora of certifications on their walls that you might not understand. The best in the industry are GIA Certified. The GIA created the diamond grading standards which everyone uses today. It’s a non-profit organization and their certificates come at a premium in the industry because they’re known to be the most consistent. There are, however, many other laboratories and certifications but none have the same standards and consistency. That being said, if your jeweller does not have a gemological certification he/she should not be doing your appraisal. Furthermore, a certified Diamond Grader should not be appraising Colored Stones if he/she is not Certified to do so; this requires a Certified Gemologist.

Types of Appraisals

There’s a long list of different types of appraisals, such as:

–          Retail Replacement Value (Insurance Appraisal)

–          Liquidation Value

–          Estate Appraisals

–          and the list goes on.

The most common type of appraisal you’ll need is for insurance purposes, i.e., Retail Replacement Value. This isn’t necessarily the price you paid for the item, but rather the actual retail value of the item. Your insurance company wants to know what it would cost to replace the insured item new and at full-price if they were to buy it today. That doesn’t mean the insurance company would be paying that price for the item, it just means you’ll be paying the premium for that value. Hence, an accurate appraisal saves you money because you won’t be paying an inflated premium. When it comes to jewellery, your insurance company will replace the item, not write you a check.

Keep Your Appraisals Current

You want to make sure that you keep your appraisals current, especially if gold and diamond markets have fluctuated drastically in recent years; which they have, so it might be a good time to have your appraisals updated. You also want to keep an eye on exchange rates, as gold, diamonds, and other commodities are traded in US Dollars. Thus, currency fluctuations will affect the value of your jewellery, up or down. Keeping this in mind, if the markets have drastically changed it may be a good idea to have your jewellery re-appraised.

In closing please remember the following: use a certified and trusted jeweller; he/she will be open with you and use a consistent formula for appraising your items. Also, keep your appraisals current to make sure you’re not overpaying for you insurance, and that you have a proper replacement value for your precious mementos.

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family