Nov 082016

giascaleThere’s a lot more to making a good buy on diamonds than one can read about for a couple weeks on the internet, and expect to go and make a good purchase with that info. Is it a good idea to learn? Absolutely, but don’t get fool hardy thinking you’re smarter than you are. One of the most common sales practices is to play along with the customer who thinks they know it all, and believe they’re doing everything right because they have an academic understanding of diamonds.  Since most stores look for diamonds with undisclosed flaws (misgraded diamonds, which account for about 85% of diamonds on the market), one is even more easily mislead by a inaccurate certificate of a certain quality. You fall hook line and sinker without questioning it, BOOM, the dirty deed is done, and your diamond isn’t even close to being the quality you think it is!

NOW, how do you avoid this happening? Easy! Look at every diamond you consider buying under a microscope and (YOU) draw a picture of the inclusions relative to the size of the stone. Take that drawing from store to store and do it for every stone you are considering at each store. Also, ask to see GIA certified diamonds of a certain body color similar to what you desire, then compare them right next to the diamond they’re trying to sell you so you may judge more accurately if it is the white color you desire. Now for cut, just ask to see their finest cut diamond and compare the stones your considering side by side to see which one sparkles and reflects more light. Remember to make notes next to the drawing of the inclusions you made on each stores business card. It’s really easy to get cheated by just trusting a diamond certificate as there are soooo many intentionally bad graded ones out there!                                                                                                                                                                      As you will notice in the chart in the photo the diamonds at the top show body color tints graded in alphabetical designations finest white to the left and heavily tinted yellow brown or grey to the right.  Notice how little difference there actually is between grades, this is just one reason a person without extensive training can learn about how diamonds are graded but couldn’t even begin to accurately tell what color a diamond is just by looking at it, especially when different lighting environments tweaks a persons color judgements (just imagine trying to match paint by eye).  In the pictures of 4 diamonds on the lower right hand side of the photo the top one is a technically white round cut, the next one down is a yellow tinted body color pear cut, the next a grey tinted princess cut and on the bottom a brown tinted princess cut. To better see the color differences between left to right enlarge the images and compare D to S-Z grades.

We buy diamonds from the public when they no longer need them, so I can tell you from experience when most people come in and say “I was told this was a really nice diamond…”, 90% of the time it’s amongst some of the lower quality grades, and about 25% of the time I’m not even interested because it is such a poor quality. The folks always say “well, I paid (some crazy amount)….” and we are flabbergasted! You don’t need the best there is, but you don’t need to get to get taken advantage of and end up with a junker either! Follow our simple steps to make an informed decision and don’t get suckered into a poor purchase by a good sales pitch.

 Posted by at 7:24 pm
Feb 092015

Pictured below are most of the popular diamond cuts. Round  is not shown because it’s shape is obvious, but it accounts for a whopping 80% of all diamonds sold.  All the other cuts put together equal only 20% of all diamonds sold.   A round cut is by far the most brilliant of all, and if cut well, the only one which will keep 80% of its sparkle when dirty.  All other fancy shapes will loose a minimum of 40 to 60% of their sparkle when dirty.  A round cut is usually 7 to 20% more expensive than most other fancy shapes because of this and other factors. As far as resale or trade in value , a round is by far the best cut for value retention.  When shopping for fancy shape diamonds a person might notice a even larger than 7 to 20 % difference in price compared to rounds, as example a cushion cut 1ct. SI1-H quality might sell for 30 to 50% less,  etc.  This is not due to just the shape, it is usually due to a too deep or too shallow of a cut. A poorly cut a diamond will still look fine when perfectly clean and with tons of light shining on it, but when you get a cheap diamond home under regular lighting and get it a little dirty, it will die and loose most of its sparkle. They end up looking like a fake does when it gets dirty, and this is truly why it has a much lower price.  All the diamonds in the photos are extremely well cut examples and will only get more areas of a watery appearance or areas where there is no light being reflected back to your eye when the cut becomes lower and lower quality.

diamond cuts

 Posted by at 5:51 pm
Feb 092015

Jewelry stampings, P4SR stamp, what does it mean? This and other odd stampings in American jewelry  are non-traditional weird mixes of metals which enable the manufacture of what looks like gold or platinum metal, but with a unproven much less valuable metal mixture.  I say unproven because there is no track record to see if [...]

 Posted by at 5:36 pm
Oct 172014

I just finished with a customer who inherited a 1ct. diamond and thought she was doing well by taking it to two jewelers for their opinion on quality and value. Both said it was a fantastic stone worth about nine thousand dollars and showed it to her under the microscope, pointing out only one small [...]

 Posted by at 9:48 pm