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Archive for the ‘Diamonds’ Category

Fun and Interesting Facts About Diamonds

Diamond FactsIf you’re lucky enough to have been born in April, you get to claim the diamond as your birthstone. Whether you have an April birthday or not, this glamorous gemstone is a favorite of many. Test your knowledge of diamonds, the official birthstone of April. Scroll down for the answers — but no cheating!

  1. Diamonds are a naturally occurring allotrope of what element?
  2. Diamonds are formed deep inside the Earth’s interior when carbon is crystallized over a long period of time. What two factors cause the crystallization?
  3. Diamonds are appraised and priced according to the 4Cs: color, clarity, carat weight and cut. What organization created this standard grading system?
  4. Diamonds were first mined in India around 800 BC. Today, what are the four top diamond producing countries in the world?
  5. A state park in Arkansas is the only diamond-producing location in the world that allows the public to dig for and keep the diamonds they find. What is the name of the state park?
  6. Marilyn Monroe famously sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in what 1953 film?
  7. In the 1963 film, The Pink Panther, Peter Sellers played clueless police inspector Jacques Clouseau on the trail of a jewel thief known as “The Phantom.” In the movie, what is the name of “the largest diamond in the world?”
  8. In December 2011, Elizabeth Taylor’s renowned jewelry collection was auctioned at Christie’s in New York. One of her most famous pieces was the Taylor-Burton diamond ring, given to her by husband, Richard Burton. How many carats is it, and what is its estimated worth?
  9. In James Cameron’s movie Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, what is the name of the fictional blue diamond lost to the ocean?
  10. On December 10, 2012 at the final lot of Christie’s “Magnificent Jewels” auction, a new world auction record was achieved for a reddish-orange fancy colored diamond. What was the diamond’s carat weight, and what did it sell for?

Diamond Quiz Answers:

  1. Carbon
  2. Heat and pressure
  3. The 4Cs grading system was created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
  4. Australia, Zaire, Botswana, and the former Soviet Union
  5. Crater of Diamonds State Park
  6. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  7. The Pink Panther
  8. The Taylor-Burton diamond is a 69.42 carat pear-shaped stone estimated to be worth $3.5 million. Taylor sold the diamond in 1978 following her divorce from Burton to fund her charity work.
  9. “The Heart of the Ocean”
  10. The rare 3.15 carat diamond is the largest reddish-orange diamond ever graded at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and sold for $2,098,500, setting a new world auction record for a reddish-orange diamond and a new per-carat record price of $666,200.

Test Your Knowledge of Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds

In recent years, auction houses have been setting record sales of fancy colored diamonds, according to reports from the Premier Diamond Group (North America) Ltd.

“The recent activity for colored diamonds at high-end auctions like Christie’s and Sotheby’s is fascinating to watch. Savvy investors are seeing how valuable and important fancy colored diamonds can be,” explained Michael King, Director of Trading for Paragon International Wealth Management, an investment firm that specializes in the acquisition of fancy colored diamonds for investors.

With fancy colored diamonds trending, test your knowledge of these beautiful diamonds—and learn some interesting facts—with this true or false quiz. Scroll down for the answers—but no cheating!

  1. Diamonds that have been colored naturally, without the help of people, are known as authentic fancy colored diamonds.
  2. Clear, white diamonds are always worth more than authentic fancy color diamonds.
  3. According to Diamonds.net, fancy color diamonds have increased in value by 167 percent on average since January 2005, outperforming other assets in that period, including the Dow Jones Industrial’s average increase of 58 percent, and Standard & Poor’s 500 63 percent increase.
  4. Fancy colored diamonds are only found in pinks, yellows, and blues.
  5. Authentic fancy color diamonds get their color from the trace elements they are exposed to. Radiation can create a greenish tint, while large amounts of nitrogen causes a yellowish color.
  6. Through heat treating and irradiation, gemologists are able to enhance the color of most diamonds, as well as create beautiful synthetic diamonds in labs, making fancy color diamonds more expensive and harder to buy.
  7. Fancy colored diamonds are graded the same as white diamonds.
  8. With fancy colored diamonds, the rarer the color, the less in demand the diamond will be.  Similarly, if the color is richly saturated, the diamond will also be worth less.
  9. In fancy colored diamonds, inclusions are considered desirable.
  10. In December 2012, at the final lot of Christie’s auction season, a reddish-orange fancy color diamond sold for $2,098,500, setting a new world auction record for a reddish-orange diamond and a new per-carat record price of $666,200.

Fancy colored diamonds true or false answers:

  1. True.
  2. False. Authentic fancy colored diamonds are often worth more than clear or white diamonds. Rarecoloreddiamonds.com reports that 20 years ago, a one carat fancy intense-pink internally flawless diamond would have sold for approximately $70,000. Today, that same diamond would be worth $500,000.
  3. True.
  4. False. Fancy color diamonds are found in 12 different colors, with more than 90 secondary hues and nine intensity levels within the 234 color combinations.
  5. True.
  6. False. Through irradiation and heat treating, gemologists are able to enhance the color of most diamonds, making them more affordable and available to people.
  7. False. The four main criteria for determining a fancy color diamond’s value include hue, color saturation, color purity, and availability. The diamond’s color, including intensity of color and hues, is considered the diamond’s most important quality.
  8. False. With fancy colored diamonds, the rarer the color, the more valuable it will be. And if the color is richly saturated, the diamond will also be worth more.
  9. True. Inclusions are actually flaws, but in a colored diamond, they can create unique tones and beautiful flashes of color.
  10. True.

What to Know Before Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring

Planning on buying a diamond engagement ring? This can be an intimidating task if you don’t know how diamonds are rated and valued. Here’s a review of the 4Cs—cut, color, clarity and carat—as well as some other diamond buying tips to help you feel confident when you browse and buy.

The GIA Diamond Rating System, aka the 4Cs

In the 1940s, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created a universal rating system to standardize the diamond rating process, and ultimately protect consumers from getting ripped off.

Known as “the 4Cs,” the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ is the jewelry industry standard to objectively evaluate, compare, and rate diamonds.

Carat—the standard unit of weight. The word carat derives from carob seeds because early gemstone appraisers used carob seeds as counterweights on their scales.

One carat weighs 0.2 grams, and one carat is equal to 100 points. Therefore, a quarter carat weighs 25 points, a half carat weighs 50 points and a three-quarter carat weighs 75 points. It takes about 142 carats to equal one ounce.

A fraction of a carat can mean a big difference in the value of a diamond, so precision in measuring is crucial. Carat weight is often measured to the hundred thousandths of a carat, and rounded to a hundredth of a carat.

Note: Diamond carat should not be confused with gold karat, which refers to gold purity.

Color—colorless is more valuable. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness: the less color a diamond has, the higher its value. The exception to this rule are the rare colored diamonds—known as “fancy” colored diamonds—which are growing in popularity. Most diamonds sold in retail stores are near colorless to faint or light brown or yellow.

The Gemological Institute of America’s universal color scale starts at D, representing colorless, and goes through Z and beyond to the fancy and vivid colors. The higher the letter, the more presence of color in the diamond.

Clarity—a diamond’s internal and external flaws. Blemishes are external flaws, and inclusions are internal flaws. Inclusions are created when the diamond is formed, or when the diamond is cut. Because 100 percent “perfect” diamonds are very rare in nature, those with fewer blemishes and inclusions are rarer and cost more.

The GIA International Diamond Grading System™ Clarity Scale is the standard clarity grade scale, and contains 11 grades. Diamonds are assigned a clarity grade ranging from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3). Most diamonds are graded in the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories.

To determine a diamond’s clarity, appraisers using the GIA Clarity Scale consider different variables, including the diamond’s size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10X magnification.

Cut—rates characteristics of shape. The GIA system rates a diamond’s cut using five grades: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. The system considers factors such as brightness, fire and scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry.

The cut of any diamond has three attributes: brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond is moved).

Most diamond jewelry uses the standard round brilliant shape. All others are known as fancy shapes, and include the marquise, pear, oval, and emerald cuts. Diamond shapes such as hearts and triangles are also gaining in popularity.

Other Important Diamond Buying Tips

Understanding the cut, color, clarity, and carat of a diamond is important, but when it comes down to it, choosing the right diamond is also subjective: how you feel and what you like. Don’t just focus on the GIA rating—go with a diamond that looks beautiful to you—or better yet, your mate will appreciate—and is in your budget. Make sure you know the person’s taste and ring size, as well as the jewelry store’s return policy.

If you’re looking to buy a diamond engagement ring, but don’t want to pay retail prices, visit Adina’s eBay store. You’ll find fine a vast selection of fine certified diamonds and get a buying experience that’s above your expectations from where the reliable diamond experts at Adina Jewelers.

Large Diamonds Unveiling Scientific Discoveries About Earth

In celebration of April’s birthstone, the diamond, we’re sharing an interesting new discovery about diamonds, courtesy of Michelle Graff and nationaljeweler.com.

In February, the Lucapa Diamond Co. in Perth, Western Australia announced that it has discovered the largest recorded diamond ever found in Angola: a 404.2-carat stone that has tested as Type IIa and D color.

The diamond was recovered from Alluvial Mining Block 8 at Angola’s Lulo Mine,  which has produced more than 60 large, special diamonds since they started mining there just last August.

The company reported that the 404.2-carat stone is the 27th largest recorded diamond in the world, and the biggest diamond ever discovered by an Australian mining company. It also is the fourth 100-plus-carat diamond to be recovered from Lulo to date, as well as the 114th largest “special” diamond–meaning it weighs more than 10.8 carats–recovered from the mine.

Of further interest is the scientific work that geologists are doing on the unique properties of large Type IIa diamonds similar to the ones being found at Angola’s Lulo Mine.

Evan Smith, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America specializing in diamond geology, and his colleagues are trying to better understand Earth’s mantle, which is beneath tectonic plates and, as such, largely inaccessible for scientific observation.

As you may already know, Type IIa diamonds have very little to no nitrogen, which is what makes white diamonds so exceptionally colorless and fancy color diamonds so vibrant. Large Type IIa diamonds that make headlines also tend to be irregular in shape, rather than the nice, symmetrical octahedrons like so many smaller stones. They often have a surface that’s rounded and somewhat dissolved, “almost like a lollipop after someone’s been after it for a while,” says Smith.

The fact that these big, beautiful diamonds are different has not escaped the attention of earth scientists, who have wondered for years if they form in a different way, in a different part of Earth’s mantle, and thus tell us something different about our planet.

In order to conduct the study, though, Smith and the other researchers could not limit themselves to these kinds of large and exceedingly rare diamonds. Instead, they studied Type IIa diamonds of all sizes that came through the GIA lab, including some that were smaller than a carat.

After examining 52 Type IIa stones (and one Type Iab) of all sizes at the GIA lab, Smith and the other researchers found that in nearly three-quarters of the diamonds (38 out of 53), the inclusions weren’t graphite but metallic, a solidified mixture of iron, nickel, carbon, and sulfur.

This is significant because it changes the way scientists think about how different elements, like carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, are distributed. It also has broad implications for understanding the behavior of the deep Earth, including the recycling of surface rocks into the convecting mantle.

Smith said this discovery verifies what geologists have been theorizing for 10 or more years: that the Earth’s deeper mantle environment has a “light peppering” (up to 1 percent) of metallic iron.

If you’re looking for a diamond but don’t want to pay retail prices, visit Adina’s Ebay store where you can rely on the diamond experts at Adina Jewelers. You’ll find fine a vast selection of fine certified diamonds and get a buying experience that’s above your expectations.

To read more about this study, read Michelle Graff’s interview with Evan Smith at nationaljeweler.com.

The Benefits of Buying Diamonds on eBay

The Benefits of Buying Diamonds on eBay, November 2016You love diamonds, but don’t want to pay retail. Have you considered buying from an online auction site? Of the many online sellers of diamonds, whom can you trust? Adina Jewelers is proud of our long-standing relationship with eBay. Here’s why.

1. Average of 50% off retail. When buying a diamond, paying retail can be cost prohibitive, both in-store or online. Purchasing a comparable, pre-owned, diamond through an online auction on eBay is the smart way to get what you want without paying fullprice. Diamonds on Empire Jewelers’ eBay site, for example, typically average 50% less than retail.

2. Consumer protection policies. In addition to costsavings, a smart consumer also must know that their purchase is protected, should they be dissatisfied for some reason. eBay has a number of consumer-friendly safeguards in place. One of the most telling is the “positive feedback” rating. This numbered rating is based on various buyer’s feedback on the seller regarding their purchase transaction. Criteria include “item as described,” “communication,” shipping time,” and “shipping and handling charges.” Obviously, the more positive feedback a seller has, the better you should feel about buying from them. If a seller has a less than 98% positive feedback score you may want to avoid that seller. Empire Jewelers’ eBay store has a 100% positive approval rating in the last 12 months.

eBay also has a no-risk policy: If you do end up buying a diamond you are not pleased with due to the seller or quality of the diamond, or other reason, eBay has a 100% money-back guarantee. If your purchase was covered by eBay Buyer Protection, and you contacted the seller and they did not satisfy your request, eBay’s customer support specialists will work with the seller to resolve the issue on your behalf. If you still do not get satisfaction, eBay will refund your full purchase price plus original shipping.

3. You can refine searches. When searching on eBay for diamonds or other items, there are multiple ways to refine your search, which helps narrow down results and increases your chances of finding exactly what you want. In the “advanced search” option, use the “exclude these words” function. Enter words like “zircon, “enhanced,” and “lab” to make sure you’re only searching for real diamonds. You can also view results as a list or in gallery form. Be sure to use the “sort by” functions to narrow down auction time and price options.

Understand the 4 Cs

Before buying a diamond on eBay or anywhere else, make sure you buy only a “certified diamond” that has been appraised by a reputable GIA-trained or certified appraiser.

In the ‘40s and ’50s, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an educational and research non-profit organization founded in 1931, developed the “4Cs” and the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds. Today, even if you buy or sell a diamond in another part of the world, the jeweler will likely use the same GIA grading systems.

  • Color: Most diamonds run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown. “Color” is not how much color a diamond has, but the degree to which it is colorless. The GIA set the industry standard with its D-Z scale (D is colorless while Z means the diamond has the most yellow.) The exception to this rule are fancy colored diamonds which aren’t included in the GIA’s D-Z scale. Colors beyond the Z color are considered fancy colored diamonds.
  • Clarity: Most diamonds have tiny crystals, feathers, or clouds within them, called “inclusions.” Surface imperfections are called “blemishes.” The rarest diamonds are flawless and have no internal inclusions or external blemishes. The GIA uses a Clarity Scale of 11 grades that are measured using 10X magnifications.
  • Carat: Signifies the weight—not the size—of the diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Since heavier diamonds are rarer than smaller diamonds, the heavier the carat weight, the higher the value.
  • Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. When evaluating cut, two aspects are assessed: shape (round, marquise, square cut, etc.), and how well the cutting was executed. It must be geometrically precise, since it will affect a diamond’s fire (the flash of rainbow colors from within) and brilliance (its sparkle). The cut was historically the most subjective and difficult to standardize during appraisal, but due to advances in technology, the GIA introduced its cut grading system in 2005.

Diamond Facts

featured-productThose born during the month of April have one of the most regal and desired gems as their birthstone: the diamond. Here are some interesting facts about diamonds you may not know.

Diamonds are a naturally occurring allotrope of the element, carbon. Diamonds are formed deep inside the earth’s interior when carbon is crystallized over a long period of time due to two factors: heat and pressure.

Diamonds were first mined in India around 800 B.C. Today, the four top diamond producing countries in the world are Australia, Zaire, Botswana, and Russia. Interestingly, Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is the only diamond-producing location in the world that allows the public to dig for and keep the diamonds they find.

Diamonds are appraised and priced based on a standard grading system by the Gemological Institute of America (the GIA). The grading system is known as “The 4 Cs” and consist of color, clarity, carat weight, and cut.

Diamond jewelry has gained fame as a result of its presence in legendary films. Marilyn Monroe famously sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Actress Jane Russell later sang the signature song in the same film, in court, while pretending to be Monroe’s character, Lorelei.

In the 1963 film, The Pink Panther, Peter Sellers played clueless police inspector Jacques Clouseau, on the trail of a jewel thief known as The Phantom. In the movie, “the largest diamond in the world” is called The Pink Panther.

And who can forget James Cameron’s movie Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, in which the fictional blue diamond called “The Heart of the Ocean” is tragically lost to the ocean. 
Diamonds have also gained notoriety as a result of record-breaking auction sales. In December 2011, Elizabeth Taylor’s renowned jewelry collection was auctioned at Christie’s in New York. One of her most famous pieces was the Taylor-Burton diamond ring, given to her by husband, Richard Burton. The Taylor-Burton diamond is a 69.42 carat pear-shaped stone estimated to be worth $3.5 million. Taylor sold the diamond in 1978 following her divorce from Burton to fund her charity work.

On December 10, 2012 at the final lot of Christie’s “Magnificent Jewels” auction, a new world auction record was achieved for a reddish-orange fancy colored diamond. The rare 3.15 carat diamond is the largest reddish-orange diamond ever graded at the GIA, and sold for $2,098,500, setting a new per-carat record price of $666,200.

In the market for diamonds? Whether you’re looking for an engagement ring, a tennis bracelet, diamond stud earrings, or more, shop Adina’ eBay store for stunning estate, vintage and antique fine diamond jewelry, available at true wholesale prices. We have vast selection of certified diamonds and other gemstone jewelry for women and men, and we will deliver a buying experience that’s above your expectations.

New Auction Record Set by “Blue Moon Diamond”

On November 11, 2015, a new record for any diamond ever offered at auction was set, according to a Reuters report. The “Blue Moon Diamond” sold for 48.6 million Swiss francs — the equivalent of $48.4 million — at Sotheby’s in Geneva, Switzerland to a Hong Kong buyer, making it the world’s most expensive diamond. Surprisingly to those in attendance, the successful bidder renamed the diamond, “Blue Moon of Josephine.”

At 12.03 carats, the Blue Moon is the largest cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction. It is mounted on a ring and has the top grading of fancy vivid blue. Sotheby’s gave the diamond a pre-sale estimate of $35 million to $55 million.

Auctioneer David Bennett called the Blue Moon the “highest price per carat” ever obtained for any kind of stone, and the diamond set a world record for any jewel at more than $4 million per carat.

The blue diamond stone was found in South Africa’s famed Cullinan mine in January 2014. The distinctive blue color in diamonds is attributed to trace amounts of the element boron in the crystal structure.

The Blue Diamond Tops the Graff Pink

Until recently, the auction record had been held for five years by the Graff Pink diamond, which British billionaire jeweler Laurence Graff bought for almost $46 million at another Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2010.

Graff paid 45.4 million francs — almost $46 million — for the diamond and quickly renamed it, the “Graff Pink.” The rare pink diamond is rectangular shaped, and weighs 24.78 carats. It is among less than two percent of the world’s diamonds categorized as “potentially flawless” because it needs repolishing.

Graff’s buying price of $46 million at the time topped a previous world record for the selling price of a jewel at auction.

In 2013, Sotheby’s auctioned a pink diamond called the “Pink Star” for $83.2 million, but the buyer ultimately defaulted on the payment. The stone remains in the auction house’s inventory.

Other Big Sales at Sotheby’s

At the November 11 Sotheby’s auction, royal jewels, colored gemstones, and designer pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and Harry Winston were among 410 lots that found new owners, bringing in $139 million.

A fancy vivid purple-pink, pear-shaped diamond ring sold for 13.9 million Swiss francs — approximately $14 million — the second-highest lot of the night.

An 8.48 carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring that belonged to the late Maria-Jose, the last Queen of Italy reached just 5.2 million francs, surprising those in attendance that it failed to meet the reserve price set by the seller.

Of interest to history buffs, a Cartier diamond and pearl tiara that survived Germany’s sinking of the Lusitania cruise liner 100 years ago — along with its Canadian owner Marguerite Lady Allan — sold for $800,000 after heated bidding, doubling its estimate.

A 15.20 carat fancy orange-pink diamond pendant owned by former James Bond actor Sean Connery sold for more than 4 million francs, tripling its estimate.

Delicious Facts about Famous Diamonds

Welcome to the April issue of Adina’s Blog by Empire Jewelers! This month we celebrate April’s birthstone, the diamond, one of the most beloved and desired of all the gemstones. Full of history and intrigue, here are some delicious facts about some of the world’s most famous diamonds.

The Graff Pink—the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction.

The Graff Pink continues to hold the world record for the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction.

Purchased by and named after its owner, British billionaire jeweler Laurence Graff, he paid 45.4 million francs—almost $46 million—for the diamond at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, Switzerland in 2010. He quickly renamed it “The Graff Pink.”

The rare pink diamond is rectangular shaped, and weighs 24.78 carats. It is among less than two percent of the world’s diamonds categorized as “potentially flawless” because it needs repolishing.

The diamond was sold by its previous owner, celebrity jeweler Harry Winston, 60 years ago and has been in a private collection until purchased by Graff. Graff’s buying price of $46 million topped a previous world record for the selling price of a jewel at auction.

The “Heart of the Ocean” diamond necklace from Titanic.

Who can forget the iconic “Heart of the Ocean” necklace in James Cameron’s loving film tribute, Titanic. While the necklace in the film was fictional, it had a lore all its own. According to the film’s storyline, the large blue diamond was originally owned by King Louis XIV, and was later cut into a heart shape, to resemble the real Hope Diamond.

Following the worldwide popularity of Titanic, jewelry company Asprey & Garrard created a real “Heart of the Ocean” made with a 170-carat, heart-shaped sapphire, surrounded by 65 30-carat diamonds. There are many replicas of the “Heart of the Ocean” on the market. Many are made with a cubic zirconia sapphire replacing the blue diamond heart, and Swarovski crystals replacing the surrounding diamonds.

Christie’s Elizabeth Taylor jewelry auction.

In December 2011, Christie’s New York held a hugely anticipated auction of the late Elizabeth Taylor’s famed jewelry collection, estimated at $150 million. Taylor’s collection fetched a record-breaking $115 million at auction, including $8.8 million for the Taylor-Burton diamond ring given to her by Richard Burton.

Taylor wore the 33.19 carat rectangular-cut diamond to many events, including Princess Grace’s 40th birthday party in Monaco. Taylor sold the diamond in 1978 following her divorce from Burton to fund her charity work. Thomas W. Burstein of Christie’s said the only time the ring left Taylor’s hand was when she offered it to friends to try on.

The diamond ring was bought by a private buyer from Asia for $8,818,500.

What Marilyn wore to the Gentleman Prefer Blondes movie premier.

Recall the indelible image of Marilyn Monroe singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” dressed in a pink satin evening gown with matching gloves, surrounded by well-dressed men, and diamonds dripping from her neck and wrists?

The centerpiece of her outfit was the Moon of Baroda diamond necklace, which she wore to the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes movie premier. The Moon of Baroda is a stunning pear-shaped, yellow canary diamond that weighed 25.95 carats when it was found. It was later cut into its current pear shape and weighs 24.04 carats.

For more than 500 years, it was owned by the Maharajas of Baroda, India. In 1787, it was sent to the Empress Maria Thérèse of Austria and was also was worn by Marie Antoinette in the 18th century.

It was later stolen by Afghan tribal leader Nadir Shah in 1739, and then returned to Baroda where it remained for almost 200 years. In 1943, it was purchased by Meyer Rosenbaum, who lent it to Monroe for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

In 1991, the diamond was auctioned and sold at Christie’s, New York and is now in a private collection.

Princess Diana’s diamond and sapphire engagement ring.

Following Prince Charles’ proposal to Lady Diana Spencer on February 24, 1981, she chose a gemstone ring from a Garrard catalog, rather than having a diamond ring custom made for her, which was the royal custom.

The decision launched her reputation as “The People’s Princess.” Affordable replicas of her ring were so popular, that it became known as “the commoner’s ring.”

Following her death, Prince William inherited the ring, and he famously presented it to Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, when he asked her to marry him on November 16, 2010.

The ring has an 18-carat, oval sapphire surrounded by 14 round diamonds set in 18K white gold. The ring cost around $60,000 when it was purchased in 1981, and today has been estimated between $500,000 and $4 million.

If you’re in the market for diamond jewelry, make sure to visit Adina by Empire Jeweler’s remarkable online store. You’ll find an exquisite selection of diamond rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and more at true wholesale prices, all appraised by Adina Jewelers by Empire’s GIA-educated appraisers.

Facts about Fancy Colored Diamonds

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.04.18 PMYou’ve probably seen magazine and television ads promoting fancy colored diamonds, and the advertising seems to be working. Fancy colored diamonds continue to rise in popularity into 2015. Increase your knowledge of fancy colored diamonds—and learn some interesting facts—before you buy.

  1. Diamonds that have been colored naturally, without the help of people, are known as authentic fancy colored diamonds.
  2. Authentic fancy colored diamonds are often worth more than clear or white diamonds. Rarecoloreddiamonds.com wrote that 20 years ago, a one carat fancy intense-pink internally flawless diamond would have sold for approximately $70,000. Today, that same diamond would be worth $500,000.
  3. According to Diamonds.net, fancy color diamonds have increased in value by 167 percent on average since January 2005, outperforming other assets in that period, including the Dow Jones industrial’s average increase of 58 percent, and Standard & Poor’s 500 63 percent increase.
  4. Fancy color diamonds are found in 12 different colors, with more than 90 secondary hues and nine intensity levels within the 234 color combinations.
  5. Authentic fancy color diamonds get their color from the trace elements they are exposed to. Radiation can create a greenish tint, while large amounts of nitrogen causes a yellowish color.
  6. Through heat treating and irradiation, gemologists are able to enhance the color of most diamonds, as well as create beautiful synthetic diamonds in labs, making fancy color diamonds more affordable and available to people.
  7. Fancy colored diamonds are graded differently than white diamonds. The four main criteria for determining a fancy color diamond’s value include hue, color saturation, color purity, and availability. The diamond’s color, including intensity of color and hues, are considered the diamond’s most important qualities.
  8. With fancy colored diamonds, the rarer the color, the more valuable it will be. And if the color is richly saturated, the diamond will also be worth more.
  9. In fancy colored diamonds, inclusions are considered desirable. Inclusions are actually flaws, but in a colored diamond, they can create unique tones and beautiful flashes of color.
  10. In December 2012,  at the final lot of Christie’s auction season, a reddish-orange fancy color diamond sold for $2,098,500, setting a new world auction record for a reddish-orange diamond and a new per-carat record price of $666,200.

If you’re in the market for fancy colored diamonds, make sure to visit Adina by Empire Jeweler’s remarkable online store. You’ll find an exquisite selection of diamond jewelry at true wholesale prices, all appraised by Empire’s GIA-educated appraisers.

Understanding All About Diamonds

Understanding All About Diamonds

Understanding All About Diamonds

With the new year upon us, we thought it would be a good time to review some gemstones basics, starting with one of the most beloved of all gems, the diamond.

Diamond Basics

Diamonds are crystals made of pure carbon, and are the only gemstone composed of just one element. Small amounts of other elements might be in diamonds as impurities, and often give diamond its color variation.

Diamonds are formed under crushing pressures and intense heat, mostly in the Earth’s mantle and delivered to the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions. These eruptions produce the kimberlite and lamproite pipes that are sought after by diamond prospectors.

Diamonds have a hardness of 10 on the Mohs Scale. For millennia, diamonds have been thought to be the hardest material in nature. But in 2009, a composite material containing the mineral wurtzite boron nitride (w-BN) was shown to have the same resistance to indentation as diamond. In fact, research in China and the U.S. suggests that pure w-BN is significantly harder than diamond.

About 2,500 years ago, diamonds were first discovered in India. While the U.S. is the largest consumer of diamonds, there is barely any production here. The only mine is a state park called the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas where tourists can pay a fee to look for diamonds. The park yields just a few hundred carats per year.

The Four Cs

In the ‘40s and ’50s, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an educational and research non-profit organization founded in 1931, developed the “4Cs” and the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds. Today, even if you buy or sell a diamond in another part of the world, the jeweler will likely use the same GIA grading systems. The 4 Cs are:

  • Color: Most diamonds run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown. “Color” is not how much color a diamond has, but the degree to which it is colorless. The GIA set the industry standard with its D-Z scale (D is colorless while Z means the diamond has the most yellow.) The exception to this rule are fancy colored diamonds which aren’t included in the GIA’s D-Z scale. Colors beyond the Z color are considered fancy colored diamonds.
  • Clarity: Most diamonds have tiny crystals, feathers, or clouds within them, called “inclusions.” Surface imperfections are called “blemishes.” The rarest diamonds are flawless and have no internal inclusions or external blemishes. The GIA uses a Clarity Scale of 11 grades that are measured using 10X magnifications.
  • Carat: Signifies the weight—not the size—of the diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Since heavier diamonds are rarer than smaller diamonds, the value is higher the heavier the carat weight.
  • Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. When evaluating cut, two aspects are assessed: shape (round, marquise, square cut, etc.), and how well the cutting was executed. It must be geometrically precise, since it will affect a diamond’s fire (the flash of rainbow colors from within) and brilliance (its sparkle). The cut was historically the most subjective and difficult to standardize during appraisal, but due to advances in technology, the GIA introduced its cut grading system in 2005.

Fancy Colored Diamonds

Not all diamonds fall into the typical white-yellow-brown color range. They can be pink, blue, purple, red, orange, or any color. Colored diamonds, known as authentic fancy colored diamonds, get their color from the trace elements they are exposed to. For example, radiation can create a greenish tint, while large amounts of nitrogen causes a yellowish color. Real natural fancy colored diamonds are very rare and expensive, but through irradiation and heat treating, gemologists are able to enhance the color of most natural diamonds. Fancy colored diamonds are found in 12 different colors, with more than 90 secondary hues and nine intensity levels within the 234 color combinations.

Fancy colored diamonds are graded a bit differently than white diamonds. The four main criteria for determining a fancy colored diamond’s value are hue, color saturation, color purity, and availability. The more rare a diamond is in color, the more valuable it will be. If the color is richer or saturated, the diamond will also be worth more. And like a white diamond, a colored diamond’s clarity or purity of the color will also increase its value. Also, inclusions can be desirable. Inclusions are actually flaws, but in a colored diamond, they can create unique tones and beautiful flashes of color.

Synthetic Diamonds

People have been able to manufacture diamonds since the 1950s. These are known as synthetic diamonds. Today, more than 100 tons of diamonds are manufactured every year. Most of these diamonds are used to make cutting tools and abrasives. Synthetic diamonds are often undistinguishable from naturally occurring diamonds, but they can be identified by laboratory tests.

Cleaning Diamonds

For diamonds not in a metal setting, gently clean the diamond with a solution of ammonia and water. For diamonds in metal settings, soak the piece in a solution of warm water and mild detergent for two to five minutes. Gently scrub the diamond with a soft toothbrush or jewelry brush. Then, rinse the diamond in warm water to remove remaining detergent. Buff the diamond dry with your cloth.

Whether you’re getting engaged or just looking to buy beautiful, quality diamond jewelry, Adina by Empire Jewelers has a magnificent collection of estate and vintage diamond jewelry, available at true wholesale prices, as well as a wide variety of precious and semi-precious gemstone and gold jewelry. Shop online today, and remember, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 
 
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