Tag Archives: diamond education

Get In the Know: Learn About Diamond Insurance, Appraisals, & Certificates

As jewelry enthusiasts, we have some major love for diamonds (we know you do too!). We know you value your diamond jewelry, which is why it’s so important to care for your diamonds properly and understand diamond insurance, appraisals, and certificates. Just think, what would you do if your engagement ring chipped or was stolen…!  Get in the know with the below information.

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Insurance – Get those diamonds insured! There are several ways to insure your diamonds. If you’re a homeowner, you can purchase an extension on your homeowners’ policy. Another option is through a jewelry retailer who offers insurance, but make sure you do your research and compare plans first! The last way is to insure through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance such as Jewelers Mutual.

Appraisals – All insurers require an appraisal document. This document contains diamond information including a description, the diamond value, sales tax (this may or may not be included), treatment information, inscriptions, and at times other documentation located in an addendum. The value of a diamond is calculated by a number of factors such as the 4 Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight), current retail prices, the metal weight, the origin of the materials, and the craftsmanship and design of the piece.

Certificate – A diamond certificate (cert) is also known as a diamond grading report and proves a diamond exists. A cert includes the carat weight, measurements, grades for the 4 Cs, and additional information such as an image of the diamond showing its inclusions. A cert created by a gem lab is much more accurate than a cert created by an individual involved with the diamond sale.

DiamondLegal_blog_20150708_b_ Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section, and if you’re in the market for some diamonds, check out the selection at Jewelry.com!

The Jewelry Insider

June 24, 2009

Coco Chanel gave us the ubiquitous little black dress, and the diamond world has its own equivalent: black diamonds. Black diamonds are as beautiful and elegant as the traditional white gem – they just have a dark side. And like the versatile LBD, black diamonds add sparkle to any occasion. Dress them up with a cocktail dress or down with jeans and your favorite ruffle shirt. Think of them as the Audrey Hepburn of the diamond world – sophisticated, urbane, mysterious, elegant – and always in style.

The dark color of a black diamond adds to its unique luster and brilliance. Luster is the light or sparkle reflected from the surface of a stone and can be enhanced by the play of light within the stone’s inner surfaces or facets. Because less light can penetrate a black diamond, prismatic play is at a minimum resulting in a unique, metallic brilliance that is unmatched in any other stone.

So what is a black diamond, exactly?

Most black diamonds are actually white or colorless diamonds that become black after exposure to a widely used and extremely safe radiation treatment. The diamonds quickly become inert after treatment and are then heated to effect an overall coloration. The dark color fully penetrates the stone and will not fade over time. This process not only results in a black diamond but is also used to create every color of the diamond rainbow – from red to green, purple to even brown.

Natural black diamonds are extremely rare and are not often seen in the jewelry world. The black color results from the presence of numerous inclusions, often consisting of graphite. Due to the dense concentrations of these dark inclusions, sometimes lining the stone’s cleavages and fractures, natural black diamonds are generally opaque and difficult to cut. And since natural black diamonds are often blemished and pitted, they are often unusable in jewelry. Some notable black diamonds are the Black Star of Africa at 202.00 cts. and the Black Orfloff, at 67.50 cts.

While most of us can’t afford natural black gems, treated black diamonds are well within our budget. Shop from Jewelry.com’s extensive stash of black diamond jewels, and add a little rock and roll to your diamond collection.

The Jewelry Insider

December 23, 2008

Ever wondered how the diamond engagement ring became the superstar of the jewelry world? The Jewelry Insider offers a brief history for your reading pleasure.

‘Tis the season to pop that fateful question fellas…

Diamond Engagement Rings: A History

Because of their beauty, strength and durability, diamonds for centuries have symbolized the eternal love of two people that have pledged to join together in marriage.

The actual tradition of giving a diamond engagement ring as a promise of marriage is thought to have started in 1477, when Archduke Maximillian of Austria presented Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring. This practice became a trend among royalty and the wealthy, and the rest of the world’s upper classes began to embrace it over the next few centuries.

But giving a diamond engagement ring as a symbol of betrothal really started to become an established, widespread tradition once the gems became more accessible and affordable to the public. And that all started in 1870 with the discovery of diamond mines in South Africa. These new sources flooded the market and led to the creation of the De Beers conglomerate to control the worldwide diamond supply. During these early decades of the De Beers dynasty, diamond sales flourished in Europe, the United States and other key world markets.

By the late 1930s, however, the United States and much of Europe was in the wake of the Depression, and Europe was bracing for the start of World War II – and demand for diamonds had plummeted to an all-time low. Thus, De Beers diamond mogul Sir Ernest Oppenheimer sent his son Harry to New York to meet with the N.W Ayer advertising agency. The plan was to transform America’s taste for small, low-quality stones into a true luxury market that would absorb the excess production of higher-quality gems no longer selling in Europe. The result of Ayer and young Oppenheimer’s efforts was a campaign – led by the enduring “A Diamond is Forever” slogan – that helped turn the United States into the premier market for the world’s supply of gem-quality diamonds. The successful campaign also cemented the diamond’s status as the engagement ring stone of choice in America.

Here are some other interest historical facts related to the engagement ring:

  • The tradition of placing both the engagement ring and wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand stems from a Greek belief that a certain vein in that finger, the vena amoris, runs directly to the heart.
  • In the Middle Ages, men often kept a betrothal ring suspended from the band of their hats, ready to give to their chosen maid.
  • Posy rings, which were inscribed with love poems and messages, were popular betrothal rings from the Middle Ages until Victorian times.
  • A popular engagement ring style during the Renaissance was called the “Gimmel,” or twin, ring. The ring was typically made of two (or three) interlocking rings: one worn by the bride-to-be, and another by the groom-to-be (and sometimes a third worn by a witness). All three parts were reunited into one to become the wedding ring on the day of marriage. Martin Luther and Catherine Bora were wed with an inscribed gimmel ring in 1525.
  • The smallest engagement ring on record was given to two-year-old Prince Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, on the event of her betrothal to the infant Dauphin of France, son of King Francis I, in 1518. Mary’s tiny gold ring was set with a diamond.
  • A diamond cluster ring in the shape of a long pointed oval was popular as an engagement ring during the time of Louis XVI (1754-1793), and remained fashionable for 150 years afterward.
  • Hearts were popular motifs for engagement and wedding rings during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Such rings often combined rubies (signifying love) and diamonds (signifying eternity).
  • Despite the diamond’s growing hold on the bridal market, colored stone rings were still quite popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Often, the first letter of the stones within the setting spelled out the name of the giver or a word (for example, “dearest” would be represented by diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, epidote, sapphire and turquoise).
  • Queen Victoria’s (1819-1901) engagement ring was in the form of a serpent. The snake motif was believed to be a symbol of good luck.
  • The Tiffany, or solitaire, setting was introduced in the late nineteenth century.
  • The “princess ring,” a type of English engagement ring sporting three to five large diamonds in a row across the top, was popular in the United States in the early twentieth century. The three-stone style has enjoyed a major comeback recently.
  • In the early part of the twentieth century, platinum was the metal of choice for engagement rings because of its strength and durability in holding a diamond. However, platinum was declared a strategic metal during World War II, and its usage was restricted to military purposes. This led to the rise of both yellow and white gold in bridal jewelry.
  • The famous “A Diamond is Forever” campaign established many of today’s standards for diamond engagement rings, including the “two months’ salary” guideline – which basically says that a prospective groom should plan to spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring for his bride-to-be.

The Jewelry Insider

October 22, 2008

A fabulous jewelry hound is an educated jewelry hound. We all love to wear diamonds, but not all of us realize the long, arduous journey the stones must take to become one of the beautiful faceted gems you see in the jewelry store. Here is a brief recount of a diamond’s incredible trip from the mine to the market.

A diamond’s story begins deep in the earth – 100-200 miles below the surface. These stones were formed up to 3.3 billion years ago as a result of unimaginable heat and pressure placed on carbon crystals.

Powerful volcanic activity formed what are known as “pipes” – openings in the earth – and forced the diamonds up through the pipes to the surface, along with other minerals such as kimberlite. Some of these diamonds made their way into streams, rivers and seas; however, these are only considered secondary deposits. Most of the diamonds forced up through the earth settled back into the kimberlite pipes – and it is these primary sources that have been the basis for the world’s diamond mines. Only one in 200 kimberlite pipes will contain diamonds in economically viable quantities.

Once diamonds are found, they can be very difficult to mine. It is estimated that it takes more than 250 tons of ore to produce just one carat of rough diamond. This ore goes through many stages of blasting, crushing and processing, including advanced x-ray techniques, to release the diamonds. Over 120 million carats are mined each year – only about a quarter of which will be considered gem quality.

Although diamonds are found in numerous exotic locations around the globe, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Namibia, South Africa and Russia account for some 80% of the world’s diamond supply.

Once the diamonds have been mined and processed, the next step is to sort, classify and value them according to their size, shape, quality and color. The DTC, the marketing and selling arm of De Beers, sorts some two-thirds of the world’s diamond production, by value. DTC sorts rough diamonds into more than 16,000 categories. These diamonds are then sold 10 times per year at regular, invitation-only sales called “sights” to the world’s leading diamond cutters, polishers and manufacturers. Sightholders may choose to cut the rough they buy themselves, or they many sell some of it to smaller manufacturers or wholesalers.

The next step for the rough diamond is cutting and polishing. This is a great skill, with meticulous techniques that have been practiced for generations. The main diamond cutting and trading centers are based in Antwerp, Belgium; Mumbai, India; Tel Aviv, Israel; New York; and Johannesburg, South Africa. China and Thailand have most recently developed their own centers.

Although some of the polishing process is computerized, most of the work is still performed by hand. First, the cutter uses cleaving, sawing or laser cutting to separate the original rough into smaller, more workable pieces. Then, the girdler uses a process called bruting that grinds away the stone’s edges and provides its outline shape. Faceting follows, usually in two steps. The first 18 facets (table, culet, bezel and pavilion of a stone) are cut and polished by the blocker. The brillianteer cuts and polishes the final 40 facets, including the star, upper girdle and lower girdle. Finally, the cut gem is boiled in acids to remove dust and oil. Once polished, most diamonds are sold and traded in the 24 registered diamond bourses around the world.

At this point, the polished gems are ready to be set into finished pieces of jewelry, which is the manufacturer’s job. They are then either sold to a wholesaler, who works as a middleman to sell the manufacturer’s goods to the retailer, or sold directly to the retailer by the manufacturer.