Where Diamonds Are Mined
Argye mine located in the Kimberley region
in the far north east of Western Australia.
Owned by Rio Tinto, this mine is the world's
largest single producer of volume of
diamonds. However, due to low proportion
of gem quality diamonds it is not the value
leader. It does produce 90-95% of the
world's supply of pink diamonds.
Diavik is also owned by Rio Tinto, located in
Canada it is a very large mine. It is located
north of Yellowknife and south of the Artic
Circle on an island. The island is connected
by an ice road. It is also an important part of
the regions economy employing more than
700 people and producing more than 8 million
Ekati diamond mine is owned by BHP
Billiton and located south of the artic circle
in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
The Ekati is Canada's first operational
diamond mine. Diamonds mined here
are sold under the Aurias trade name
Authenticity is verified through Canada
Mark service. CanadaMark service is also
owned by BHP Billiton Diamonds, Inc.
Baken diamond mine is located along the
lower Orange River in South Africa. It is
owned and operated by Trans Hex. The
average size stone for 2004 was 1.29
carats. In 2004, this mine produced a
78.9 carat D color flawless diamond that
sold for more than 1.8 million dollars (US),
as well as a 27.67 pink diamond that was
sold for over 1 million US dollars.
Merlin is the second of only two diamond
mines in Australia. No longer operating it
was owned by Rio Tinto and sold to Striker
Resources, who has explored the
possibilities of reopening the mine.
Orapa is the world's largest diamond mine.
It us located 240 Km west of
Francistown. The mine is owned by
"Debswana" which is a partnership
between DeBeers and the government of
Botswana. This mine operates 7 days a
week. It maintains pre primary and
primary schools for its employee's children.
There is also a 100 bed hospital and game
park. This mine began production in 1971
and is the oldest mine owned by the
The Premier mine located in Cullinan, South
Africa produced the largest gem diamond
ever in 1905. The Cullinan Diamond
weighed 3,106.75 carats. This mine also
produced the Golden Jubilee diamond
which weighed 545.67 carats. This mine is
owned by the De Beers Company and was
renamed The Cullinan Diamond Mine in
2003 in celebration of its centennial.
Diamonds are graded for certification by
laboratories using grading criteria. Four of
these criteria are critical to understand when
making a diamond purchase or investment.
Known as the "Four C's" these criteria are:
color, cut, clarity and carat.
Color is the result of the composition of a
diamond and it does not change. When a
jeweler is describing the color of a diamond
they are referring to the presence or absence
of color in white diamonds. Because a
diamond with no color allows maximum light
to pass through, colorless diamonds are
preferred for their sparkle.
Cut refers to a diamonds reflective quality.
Most diamonds are cut with 58 facets. The
brilliance of diamonds is heavily dependent
on the cut. The different angles and the finish
of a diamond determine its ability to reflect
light and cause its brilliance and fire.
Remember that the cut of a diamond can
have an impact on its durability as well as its
beauty. Some cutting faults can make a
diamond prone to breakage. A diamond
that is cut too thin can also cause light to
leak out of the back and the diamond will
lose some of the sparkle and appear not
to shine. So, as you can see the Cut is
probably the most important of the Four C's.
During the formation process, inner flaws, or
inclusions occur in most diamonds. The
number and size of these inclusions
determine what is referred to as the clarity
of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear
create more brilliance and therefore are rarer
and highly priced. To be considered
"flawless", a diamond must have no surface
or internal imperfections visible upon being
viewed by a skilled diamond grader using
10 power magnifications.
Carat is the unit of weight by which diamonds
are measured. One carat is equal to 200
milligrams. A carat is divided into 100
segments called points. 150 points would
equal one and a half carats.
When you go to the store to make that all
important diamond purchase, do not be shy!
Ask questions, get the answers needed to
make an informed purchase. Shopping for
certified diamonds enables you to make an
informed selection. Knowing the "four C's"
allows you to comparison shop and purchase
the best diamond at a fair price. But, before
making a purchase, shop around and decide
what shapes and styles really appeal to you.
Enjoy your diamond for years to come!
Buying Diamonds Online
With all of the potential for scams concerning
diamonds, buying diamonds online almost
seems unthinkable! However, you actually
can purchase diamonds online, without any
problems - as long as you are careful.
First, think about your reasons for wanting to
purchase the diamond online, as opposed to
making a purchase from a local jewelry store.
The most common reason is price. Due to
low overhead costs, online jewelers and
wholesalers are able to offer lower prices.
However, you must be careful - sometimes
a price that is too low is a sure indication of
One of the best things about purchasing
online is the unlimited selection. When
shopping offline, you are limited to the
selection in the stores in your general area.
Online, there are no limits. But again, you
must use a great deal of care and
consideration before handing your money
over to someone that you cannot see and
have never met!
Before shopping, learn as much as you can
about diamonds - especially cut, color,
clarity and carat weights. When you are
knowledgeable about diamonds, it will be
harder for a con artist to rip you off. Once
you know more about diamonds, you will be
ready to start shopping.
Take your time. Don't purchase the first
diamond that you see that interests you.
Instead, look for similar diamonds for sale.
Do some comparison shopping to find the
lowest prices. Once you have found the
lowest price, start doing your investigation.
You know about diamonds, you've found a
diamond that you love, and you've found the
lowest price - but you are still quite a ways
away from actually purchasing that diamond!
Ask about the seller's credentials, such as
professional jewelry associations that they
belong to. View and print the seller's return,
refund, and upgrade policies. Also inquire
about additional services, such as settings
and mountings, sizing, and free shipping. Do
a search for customer reviews on this
particular company around the Internet. Also
check with the BBB Online to see if there have
been any complaints.
Ask for a diamond grading report from an
independent laboratory such as GIA, HRD,
EGL or AGS. You should see this before
making a purchase. Finally, use a reputable
escrow service for high dollar diamonds -
preferably one that will have the diamond
appraised while it is in their possession. The
seller sends the diamond to the escrow
service, and you send the money to pay for
the diamond to the escrow service. The
escrow service has the diamond appraised,
sends the diamond to you, and sends the
money to the seller. This is the surest way to
protect yourself...again, make sure that you
use a reputable escrow service!
Insuring Your Diamonds
Insuring a diamond takes a bit of thought,
planning, and shopping around. Diamond
insurance isn't like purchasing car insurance.
It is quite different. Depending on the state
that you live in, there are basically three
different types of policies that will cover
diamonds, and all insurance policies that
cover diamonds are considered Marine
The first type of insurance policies for
diamonds is an Actual Cash Value policy.
If the diamond is lost or damaged beyond
repair, the insurance company will replace
the diamond at today's market value, no
matter how much you paid for the diamond
to begin with. This type of insurance policy
for diamonds actually is not that common.
The most common type of insurance for
diamonds is Replacement Value insurance.
The insurance company will only pay up to a
fixed amount to replace the diamond that was
lost or damaged beyond repair. This does not
mean that they will pay that amount - it means
that they will pay up to that amount. In most
cases, the diamond can be replaced at a
The third type of coverage offered for
diamonds is Agreed Value. This is
sometimes called 'Valued At.' This type of
coverage is very rare. In the event that the
diamond is lost or damaged beyond repair,
the insurance company simply pays you the
amount that you and the company agreed
upon. This is the best type of insurance to
have, but it is rarely offered. If you can't get
Agreed Value coverage, Actual Cash Value
coverage should be your next choice.
Your rates will be determined by the value of
the diamond, the type of coverage that you
select, and the area that you live in. If you live
in an area with a high crime rate, you can
expect to pay more for your diamond
insurance coverage. It is important to
remember that insurance agents are not
qualified jewelers, and jewelers are not
qualified insurance agents. It is best to get
a certificate for your diamond, and to
provide the insurance company with a copy
of that certificate. This leaves the insurance
company less room for arguments over the
actual value of the diamond.
Don't rely on separate coverage to cover
your diamond. For instance, if you diamond
is stolen from your home, it is probably
covered on your home owner's insurance
policy - but the diamond probably won't
always be in your home, and once it leaves
your home, there is no coverage.
About Diamond Weights
Diamonds are measured in Carat Weight.
One carat weighs 200 milligrams. If a
diamond is referred to as four grains, this
also means that it is a one carat diamond.
The word Carat comes from the word carob.
A carob is a bean that grows on a tree in the
Mediterranean. In times past, if a diamond
weighed the same as a carob bean, it was
one carob, or one carat.
However, in the far east, where Carob trees
do not grow, rice was used to measure the
weight of a diamond. If a diamond weighed
as much as four grains of rice, it was four
grains - or one carat as we know it to be
now. The majority of diamond purchases
are for diamonds that are 1/3 of a carat.
Beware when shopping for diamonds that
are already set or mounted. If more than one
diamond is used in the piece, the tag on the
jewelry will give the CTW or Carat Total
Weight - it does not tell you the carat weight
of each stone in the piece. You need to ask
the jeweler for the total carat weight of the
largest diamond in the piece to truly
understand what you are buying.
How To Sell A Diamond
There are many reasons why you may want
to sell a diamond that you own. Perhaps
you've gotten divorced, or you are strapped
for cash. The reasons why don't really matter
- getting the best possible price is what
counts! The way to obtain the best price
for the diamond is to not be in a rush. Slow
down, and carefully consider all of your
options - there are many.
First, have the diamond appraised. In fact,
have it appraised by two or three jewelers to
get an accurate idea of the diamonds value.
Tell the appraiser that you want the Rapaport
Value. This is the wholesale value of the
diamond, and it basically tells you the highest
price that you can sell your diamond for. If your
diamond has no certificate, you should
consider getting a certificate from GIA. This
may help you get a better price for the
diamond as well.
First, try to sell the diamond yourself, to
people you know. Friends and family
members may be interested. If you don't have
any luck with friends or family members, you
should turn to outside sources. Absolutely
avoid pawn shops! A pawn shop will only offer
you about 10% of what the diamond is worth!
Also avoid offers of selling the ring on
consignment. There are many things that
can go wrong, and there is no shortage of
diamond scams - even in well known
If the diamond is important, you should
strongly consider auctioning it off through
one of the famous auction houses, such as
Christie's or Sotheby's. If it isn't what is
considered an 'important' diamond or a
high-end diamond, you should try to sell it
to an individual using classified ads, or even
eBay. However, selling to an individual that
you do not know could put you in danger -
especially if the diamond is worth a lot of
Your final option should be a jewelry store. It
is vital that you not let your diamond out of
your sight while in the jewelry store - you
might find that the diamond you walked in
with is not the same diamond that you walk
out with! The jeweler will try to tell you that
your diamond is of poor quality or low
weight. Inevitably, there will be some
problem with the diamond. This is where
your appraisal and/or certificate will come
If the jeweler is fair, they will offer you
between 60% and 80% of the value of the
Rapaport Value. Do not accept anything less
than this. Again, do not let the diamond out of
your sight until you have been paid for it.
How To Buy Diamond Engagement Rings
There is much to consider when purchasing
a diamond - especially diamond
engagement rings! The tradition of
presenting a woman with a diamond
engagement ring when proposing began in
1477 when Archduke Maximilian presented
a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy - and
in most cases, the woman you plan to
propose to will expect a ring to accompany
First, determine how much ring you can
afford. Most people use the 'two months
salary' rule. This means that the ring should
cost the equivalent of two months of your
current salary. Because you have other bills
to pay, saving up this amount of money may
take quite a bit of time. You should consider
financing. Simply go to the jeweler of your
choice and tell them that you plan to buy an
engagement ring, and that financing will be
necessary. Go ahead and get the credit
check out of the way, find out what your
payments will be, and how much of a down
payment is required.
Now, have your mother, sister, or your
girlfriends best friend take your girlfriend
shopping, and make sure that they gaze at
the engagement rings to get an idea of what
she might like. Make sure that the jewelry
store you buy the ring from will allow you to
return the ring, if that is required, or allow
your girlfriend to exchange it for another if
she isn't happy with it!
Are Diamonds Really Rare
When you walk into a jewelry store and see
all the diamonds in all of the various settings
that are for sale, it is difficult to realize that
diamonds are indeed rare. Most people
don't even stop to consider how that
diamond came to be sitting in that jeweler's
case! There is quite a bit of work that is done
before a diamond is ready to sell to the
For every one million diamonds that are
mined, only one will be found that is a quality
one caret diamond. In order to find a two
caret diamond, about five million diamonds
must be mined. More than two hundred tons
of ore must be mined to find one small
diamond, and even then, more than 80%
of the diamonds that are mined are only
good for industrial use, such as diamond
So, the next time you visit your local jewelry
store, ask to see the one carat diamonds.
You should look at this diamond with new
appreciation - knowing that it truly is one
in a million!
Diamond Brands And What They Mean
Diamonds are one of the few products that
simply cannot be 'branded.' Even though
there are different cuts, different grades, and
different values placed on each and every
diamond in existence, no diamond is any
specific brand - just as gold is not a specific
Branding is actually based on who owns the
diamond. For instance, if DeBeers owns the
diamond, it is a DeBeers Diamond - but it is
still just a diamond. If the diamond was cut by
a specific well known cutter, then it might be
branded in that way as well - but it usually
isn't. It is still branded based on who owns it
at the time. So basically, when it comes down
to it - diamond brands mean absolutely
nothing at all.
Do not allow a jeweler to try to talk you into
paying an exorbitant price on a diamond
because it is a specific brand. This is a bit
of trickery used by unscrupulous jewelers
when they know that they are dealing with
people who don't know much about
diamonds. Remember that diamonds are
not actually branded - unless mother nature
has her own brand!
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