Diamond Grading Reports
You've been told that having a certificate or
a diamond grading report is important, and
as a responsible consumer, you get one -
unfortunately, you probably won't understand
a word of what is on that diamond grading
report, unless you are a jeweler.
On the color grading scale, D, E, and F
mean that the diamond has no color. G, H,
and I means that it has very little color. J, K,
and L means that the diamond has a slight
yellow color. P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, and X
means that the diamond is a darker shade
of yellow. Z means that the diamond has a
fancy color - other than white or yellow.
On the color grading scale, D is the most
valuable, and X is the least valuable -
however diamonds that get a Z rating are
the rarest and most expensive diamonds
in the world.
There are many aspects to a grading report.
Figuring it all out can be very confusing. You
should talk to a jeweler you trust, and have
them explain everything on the diamond
grading report to you.
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!
Before you start shopping for diamonds,
consider dealing with a bonded jeweler.
Bonded jewelers sell bonded diamonds,
and there are very few bonded jewelers in
the world. In fact, out of all of the jeweler's
in the world, only about 5% of them are
bonded. Buying a bonded diamond will
cost more than buying a non-bonded
diamond, but when you look at what you
get with the bonded option, you will see
that it is well worth the extra expense.
First, bonded diamonds have a buy back
policy for the life of the diamond. No matter
how long you have had the diamond, you can
take it back to the bonded jeweler and sell it
back to him or her, for a 100% refund. If a
jeweler does not offer a 100% buy back
guarantee, for the life of the diamond, then
you should take a closer look at the diamond
to see what is wrong with it.
Bonded diamonds also have a breakage
policy. If the stone breaks or chips, the
bonded jeweler will replace it with a new one
- one time. No jeweler would ever offer such
a policy on any stone that was not 100%
natural, so just the offer of such a policy
should give you piece of mind concerning
the quality of the diamond. Bonded
diamonds are natural and untreated.
Bonded diamonds increase in value, with a
fixed appreciation rate that is designed to
keep up with inflation. This means that a
diamond that is worth a certain amount of
money today will be worth more in the future,
as the price of diamonds continues to rise.
This generally does not apply to buy backs,
however. It typically applies to trade-ins.
Alternately, by purchasing a bonded
diamond, you are protected against the
possibility of a market crash. If a market
crash occurs, the value of diamonds will
drop. However, the bonded jeweler
guarantees to refund you the difference
between what the diamond is now worth
and what you paid for it before the market
It may be difficult to find a bonded jeweler in
your area, but if you can, this is who you
want to deal with, as opposed to dealing
with an un-bonded jeweler. Specifically tell
the jeweler that you are only interested in
bonded diamonds. You can find a bonded
jeweler in your area by using various online
resources, or by calling the local jewelry
How To Spot A Fake Diamond
In this world of advanced technology it is
almost impossible to simply look at a
diamond and determine whether it is real or
not - especially if you don't know much
about diamonds. There are some steps that
you can take to avoid buying a fake diamond,
First, only deal with reputable jewelers, and
when you find a reputable jeweler, stick with
them. Avoid buying diamonds or other
jewelry from jewelers that you have never
dealt with before in the past. Ask to see the
certificate for the stone. If no certificate exists,
Look at the setting that the stone is in. Fake
diamonds, such as zirconias, are usually set
in low quality metals. Take a close look at the
stone. Fake diamonds are not durable -
natural diamonds, on the other hand, are the
most durable stone on the planet. Look for
scratches or nicks.
After purchasing a diamond, take it to
another jeweler for appraisal. In fact, take it
to two or three other jewelers for an appraisal
to make sure that the appraisals are all fairly
close. If you find that you have purchased a
fake diamond, you may be accused of
making a switch when you return to the store
of your purchase; therefore, it is important to
have a certificate for the diamond. No two
stones are alike.
How Diamonds Are Cut
In their most natural form, diamonds are -
well - quite ugly. They have no luster or shine,
and in fact, look like nothing more than
broken glass. A diamond must be cut, and
then polished before it actually becomes a
thing of beauty.
Diamonds are cut with saws, into round
shapes. From the rounded shape, other
shapes may be cut, such as heart shapes
- but the shape is less important than the
quality of the cutting that is being done. If
the diamond is poorly cut, it will lose light,
and it will not sparkle and shine very well.
Each facet of the diamond must be
carefully cut into the geometrical shapes
that allow the diamond to sparkle and
shine, then the entire diamond is cut into
a specific shape, such as an emerald cut
or a princess cut diamond.
Once the cut is done, the diamond is put into
a dop, which resembles a cup with another
diamond - only a diamond is strong enough
to smooth the edges of another diamond.
Once the diamond has been cut and shaped,
and had the edges smoothed in the dop, it is
polished on a scaif or a diamond polishing
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!
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.
Fancy colored diamonds are all the rage
these days. Gemologists have developed
new ways to create versions that are
affordable for the average person - by
treating less desirable diamonds. These
less desirable diamonds are treated with
irradiation followed by intense heat. This
turns brown and yellowish diamonds into
beautifully colored diamonds that you can
afford. This produces stunning greens,
blues, yellows, reds, purples and other
colors. These colors are considered
permanent, but there is a possibility
they could change during repairs if a high
heat is used.
Treatments like irradiation make it possible
for more people to own these vividly colored
diamonds. Most natural colored diamonds
are rare and also extremely expensive. When
shopping for colored diamonds you need to
assume that any affordable fancy color
diamond has been treated. Ask about the
stones origin and request to view a lab
certificate to verify authenticity.
Synthetic colored diamonds are another
option if owning a colored diamond is
something you desire but cannot quite afford.
They are real diamonds, but they are created
in a lab.
Natural fancy color diamonds get their
coloring from different trace elements present
in the stones, such as nitrogen, which
produces a yellow diamond. Diamonds can
be colored by exposure to radiation during its
creation. An example of a diamond affected
by radiation is a Green diamond.
Another way that a natural colored diamond
gets color is by its inclusions. Regarded as
flaws and undesirable in a colorless diamond,
inclusions give unique tones and brilliant
flashes of color in a fancy color diamond.
Remember that Natural fancy colored
diamonds are very expensive, any colored
diamond labeled to be sold as natural should
be accompanied by a certificate from a
respected grading lab.
A "fancy" diamond is a natural diamond that
has color. These colors vary from red, green,
purple, violet, orange, blue and pink - and
most shades between. Fancy color shades
vary from faint to intense.
The most famous diamonds in the world are
Color diamonds. The Tiffany Diamond,
which is yellow and the Hope Diamond which
is blue are colored diamonds. Color
diamonds have an amazing financial track
record. The value has never decreased on
wholesale level in more than 30 years. Blue
and pink diamonds have doubled every 5
years of a strong economy. In the 1970's
you could have bought a very high quality
blue diamond for about 50K and today the
very same stone would be worth between
2 and 3 million.
How Diamond Prices Are Determined
Pricing most products is quite easy.
Determine how much it costs to make the
item, how much it costs to market that item,
and then mark it up by 15 - 30% or more.
Simple, right? Well, pricing diamonds isn't
quite that simple. There are many factors
that are considered when diamonds are
Diamond prices are determined first by
adding the cost of the rough diamond, the
cost of cutting the diamond, and all other
costs necessary to turn the rough diamond
into a marketable diamond. Depending on
the importance of the diamond, an
independent company may be called in to
certify the grade of the diamond based on
color, cut, clarity, and weight.
At this point, the diamond becomes more
expensive each time it changes hands, until
it finally reaches a retailer, where the price is
raised a bit more. Before reaching the
retailer, however, the diamond must travel
from the mine, to the cutter and polisher, to
the independent grading company, and
then to the Primary market. Once it has
reached the primary market, it will be
purchased by diamond dealers and
wholesalers, and from there it will be sold
As you can see, the earlier you can purchase
a diamond in the process, the lower the cost
of the diamond will be - but not the value.
The value is based on what the diamond will
sell for in the market place - through a retailer.
If you own a diamond, and you have no idea
how much it is worth, you can have it
appraised, but the appraisal may not be
accurate. You will be better off obtaining a
certificate through GIA - Gemological Institute
of America. With the information on this
certificate, you can use a cutter's guide to
accurately determine what your diamond is
There are also many diamond price
calculators available. These can be found
on the Internet, and many diamond dealers
use these as well. You must realize, however,
that before you can accurately price a
diamond, without a Diamond Grade Report,
you need to know quite a bit about diamonds,
such as different cuts, clarity, color, and weight
- and how each of those aspects adds to the
value of a diamond, or decreases the value of
the diamond as the case may be.
Again, you will be better off if you get a
Diamond Grading Report on the diamond,
and use that information to look up the price
in one of the guides that the diamond cutting
industry uses. This will give you the most
accurate value of the diamond in your
possession, or of the diamond you are
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