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19Sep 2014

Us-online-shoppingYou name it, and it’s on sale on the Internet. That includes diamonds and other gems. But is it a good or a bad idea to buy or sell such valuables online?

Some will say the idea of online buying of jewelry is a terrible idea, a prime way for thieves to make a fast buck. Others will say such buying saves time and wear and tear on the body, and anyway, it’s the modern way of doing things..

So here’s a quick look at the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • You can’t beat the selection, and it’s all in one place, on your screen right in front of you.
  • There’s no need for you to deal with pushy salespeople.
  • The merchants don’t hold on to as much inventory, so you can generally find lower prices and save on the overhead you would otherwise be paying for.
  • You have lots of time to read and re-read the fine print to make sure you can get a full refund if the item is not to your liking.

Cons:

  • The Internet is a vast and unregulated marketplace with good and bad merchants selling diamonds and other goods. That’s the same as brick-and-mortar stores, but Internet stores are more likely to vanish overnight, and are hard to track down again.
  • Most online stores simply list the inventory that their wholesalers are holding. They do not edit or quality control the goods and usually don’t ever even see them or take possession of them.
  • Diamonds need to be compared and contrasted by hand for the average person to make a decision about them. This is especially true for diamonds that are of fancy shapes.
  • Online retailers generally don’t offer you a long-term relationship for after-sale services such as sizing, cleaning, tightening and upgrading.

In the final analysis, though, the choice is yours. Here at Andrew & Peter Fabrikant, we simply wanted to be of help to you, showing the alternatives available. We have over a century of experience in the diamond industry, and we consider it our obligation to help you make your decisions.

17Sep 2014

monroe-blondesYou may be familiar with the old Broadway hit song, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” most famously performed by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

But here are some facts about diamonds that may not be as familiar:

  • Diamonds are considered the hardest natural substance on earth and are composed of a single element – carbon.
  • Diamonds have four directions of perfect octahedral cleavage and show a step-like fracture surface.
  • A diamond’s color ranges from colorless to yellow, brown, gray, orange, blue, white, black, purple, pine and (extremely rarely) red.
  • Only one polished diamond out of a thousand weighs more than a carat.
  • Diamonds are virtually fireproof. To burn one, it must be heated to 1,292 Fahrenheit.

There are Four Cs of diamond quality: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. Diamonds are measured in metric carats, with each carat weighing about the same as a paperclip. Diamonds are created by nature and most contain “birthmarks,” called “inclusions” (internalized), and “blemishes,” (external). Diamonds with few birthmarks are indeed rare, and that rarity affects a diamond’s value. Colorless diamonds are extremely rare and very highly valued. There are 58 tiny facets, or cuts, in a traditional diamond, each sharply defined. The precision is essential to the potential beauty of a diamond.

Selecting a diamond is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We here at Andrew & Peter Fabrikant have over a century of experience dealing with diamonds. We are steeped in the rich traditions of the nonprofit Gemological Institute of America, which is widely-known and highly-regarded for assuring accuracy and fairness in the jewelry industry.

15Sep 2014

Sapphire_ringThe Sapphire has what many refer to as “celestial beauty.” It is known as a gem of wisdom and royalty, of prophecy and Divine favor. It is forever associated with the sacred, and steeped in the history and lore of every religion.

King Solomon and the prophet Abraham both were said to have worn talismans of Sapphire, and the Laws given to Moses on the Mount were said to be engraved on tablets of Sapphire.

Today, the Sapphire is still considered a Stone of Wisdom, of learning and psychic activation. Its scientific name is Corundum, and all colors of Sapphire exist except when the Corundum is red. Then it is called a ruby.

The staff at Andrew & Peter Fabrikant, with over a century of experience in the jewelry business, can help you select or sell the perfect Sapphire to fit your taste and price range. We are highly-trained in the nonprofit Gemological Institute of America traditions of accuracy and value of gems of all types and sizes.

The value of a Sapphire is very hard to establish without the very specific knowledge we possess. Sapphires are most often used in jewelry these days as accents, and not as the centerpiece of the item, unless it is considered the most important stone in the jewelry.

The Sapphire has always been thought to possess magical and healing powers. We know it for its utter beauty, but through the ages, mystics and others have ascribed to it the ability to calm the body and the soul. It is also interesting to note that Sapphires, because of their hardness (second only to diamonds) are used in industrial applications, such as applications for watch components, crystals and movement bearings.

12Sep 2014

GIA-color-grading-scaleAlthough it may not mean much to the average consumer, there is a precise system to grade diamond colors. The system, supported by the world-famous and highly-respected Gemological Institute of America, rates diamond colors from D to Z.

Grades D through F are Colorless, are extremely rare and highly-priced.

G through J are Near Colorless, are also considered rare and are very valuable.

K through M are Faint, still difficult to see by the untrained eye and are valuable.

N through R are Very Light can be seen in larger stones by the naked eye.

S through Z are Light. They are distinctly yellow or brown but not so colored as to be considered a “fancy” diamond.”

The old London Diamond Syndicate first performed color grading of diamonds as a way of sorting rough gems for sale.  GIA developed the more modern system of grading.  Diamonds are color-graded by scientifically comparing them to stones of known color under controlled lighting in a laboratory setting.

The staff at Andrew & Peter Fabrikant suggest that you do an extensive amount of window-shopping in making your diamond selection. The difference in appearance between colorless diamonds and the near colorless may be difficult to detect, but the price difference can be quite significant.

We are experts at helping you make the selection that is right and affordable for you. It has been our experience that other labs and appraisers who use the GIA Color grading terminology are often inconsistent in their grades. Andrew & Peter Fabrikant have a century of experience behind us in all aspects of the diamond industry.

10Sep 2014

ChristiesManhattanA client of ours recently walked into our offices. The gentleman asked my permission to “present for purchase a diamond of beauty”. The diamond was a 12 carat oval diamond set in an elegant mounting.

After examining the diamond and consulting with Peter, we decided to make an offer on the diamond. The piece was one we really wanted to posses and subsequently offered a very strong price.

After asking for some time to consider our offer, the gentleman asked for privacy while he discussed it with his “ advisors”. After several minutes he opened the door to the private room and asked us to explain how we would be paying for the diamond.

We offered him a number of options from a cashiers check or wire transfers to any other form of legal payment he would like. In the end, he asked for a simple company check and we cut one and thanked him for his patronage.

He then asked if we would be open if he came back within the hour. It was 5 p.m., but Peter and I would of course wait for this client if he wanted us to. Within 30 minutes he had returned with several more jewelry items of spectacular beauty.

It seems that we had been tested with the diamond and had passed examination. Turns out he had left the jewelry for several months at a major auction house and found their valuations, structure and abilities to guarantee results lacking and preferred to use us as his agent (or broker) to sell the jewelry items.

Most people in his community put blind faith in auction houses, but this client knew he was not happy and instead gave us the opportunity to broker one of the most important jewelry collections to come on the market this year.

We are proud to say that Andrew and Peter Fabrikant were the jewelers entrusted with selling these gems and jewels with out exposing our client to the embarrassment and public display the auction house presented.

08Sep 2014

bluemoonWhat a beautiful gem! We are so glad that so many people will have the opportunity to view such a fabulous stone.

By Anthony DeMarco

Published:  8/24/2014

Blue diamonds are among the rarest gems in the world. But all blues are not created equal and even in this rarified category a few stand out. On Friday I had the privilege of seeing such a gem up close.

Appropriately named the “Blue Moon” (as in “once in a blue moon”), the diamond will make its first and likely only public appearance at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in an exhibition from September 13 – January 6.

What separates this diamond from so many of its peers is its color saturation and shade, its clarity and its size. The 12-carat cushion-cut diamond has been given a color grading of “fancy vivid” with an “internally flawless” clarity grading from the Gemological Institute of America.

In addition, its color was further tested under ultraviolet light by the Smithsonian Institution under the supervision of Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection. The trace element Boron within the carbon structure of the stone is responsible for the color of a blue diamond. Boron also produces a unique phosphorescent red glow under ultraviolet light.

Under ultraviolet light testing the gem produced an orangey-red glow for 20 seconds, longer than most blue diamonds, showing that the blue in the Blue Moon diamond is true and saturated throughout the stone with no other colors—such as grey, which is common for blue diamonds, said Suzette Gomes, CEO of Cora International, a diamonds and jewels manufacturer known for working with statement diamonds. Also, blue diamonds are known to exhibit a blue-green glow under ultraviolet light.

“That for us was a big thing because it gives you the purity of the diamond,” Gomes said on the other side of a desk with the Blue Moon between us on a grey felt tray inside Cora’s office in New York. “Other blues also glow phosphor red but it doesn’t last as long.”

There is no one more excited about this gem than Gomes who has called the Blue Moon her career highlight and a privilege to work with. Few have spent more time with the gem as well.

“The fact that you could buy it rough, plan it and cut it is special,” she said. “This is a billion years old and it’s going to be here long after we’re gone. That’s the beauty of diamonds.”

The Blue Moon was produced from a 29.62-carat rough diamond unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa in January. The mine is known for producing the most blue diamonds in the world but these gems still only account for 0.1 percent of its total diamond output, Gomes said. As mentioned earlier, its clarity and color makes the gem even rarer.

Cora acquired the rough for approximately $26 million in February and went right to work, finishing the piece only three weeks ago. All of the testing results from the Smithsonian and GIA were not completed as of Friday.

The fact that the origin of the diamond is known makes this special as well, Gomes said.

“A lot of time with diamonds you don’t know what the origin is,” she said. “Someone has a one-carat vivid blue that their grandmother had and nobody knows where it came from.”

Sitting flat on a gray pad under normal office lighting didn’t provide the best view of the diamond but its shade of blue is unmistakable. Unlike the Hope Diamond, which has a blue that is deep, dark and rich, the Blue Moon is closer to an aqua blue. Gomes refers to it as “ocean blue.” In fact, the facets appear as if they are wavelets on water. Finally, it’s transparent. You can see clear through the diamond. So picture a clear-blue lake with sunlight dancing on its rippled surface and that comes close to the color of the Blue Moon.

Gomes said the cushion cut makes it most ideal to be used as a brooch or a ring, although she would display it on a wall as art. She refuses to discuss its value and will not compare it to other stones. But it’s my job to do so. The largest known fancy vivid, flawless diamond (slightly higher than the IF clarity grade the Blue Moon received) is a pear-shaped, 13.22-carat stone purchased by the Harry Winston luxury jewelry brand for $23.8 million at Christie’s Geneva in April. Renamed the “Winston Blue,” the nearly $1.8 million-per-carat price paid is a world record for a blue diamond.

Gomes said she would rather focus on getting the Blue Moon to L.A. for the exhibition at the Natural History Museum.

“We just want to get through the exhibition in the hope that it raises its profile,” she said. “I want to help them. What they do is awesome and they always struggle for money. They need funding and this will raise their profile too so it’s good for everyone.”

05Sep 2014

MetalDetectorThis man did such a touching thing for a woman that he didn’t even know! We at Andrew & Peter Fabrikant are so glad that this woman was able to get her precious engagement ring back!

Originally published: August 22, 2014
By CANDICE RUUD (Newsday)

The best thing Michael Cogan usually finds when he’s out with his metal detector is a gold earring, or some coins.

But while scanning for treasures in the sand at Robert Moses State Park on Aug. 6, the retired New York City firefighter stumbled on a pair of treasures: a platinum engagement ring with a 1.3-carat diamond, and a platinum wedding band studded with diamonds.

Cogan, 66, of East Northport, said he was astonished when a jeweler appraised the engagement ring at $13,600. He fantasized about what he could buy with the money, but then he thought about the woman who lost the rings.

“I kept saying to myself, my God, how did she feel when she realized?” he said Friday.

That woman, Erin Carrozzo, a 41-year-old mom from Flushing, Queens, was ecstatic to learn Thursday that her rings had been found.

A Facebook friend alerted her to a photo of the wedding band, originally posted by Cogan earlier that day and shared by hundreds of people in a social media ripple effect.

“I was like, oh my God, that does look like my ring!” Carrozzo said.

Carrozzo said she was with her three kids at Robert Moses on Aug. 4 and took off her rings to slather on some suntan lotion. Distracted when she had to chase down her 3-year-old boy on the beach, she forgot to put them back on

When she and her kids returned to their car, she noticed the rings were gone.

She reported them missing — and cried the whole way home. “I felt like all the blood drained out of my head,” she said. “That’s the only way I could describe it.”

After Cogan made his twin early morning discoveries — a few feet apart — he was so excited he called his wife.

“The sun is coming up, and you wake her up and tell her the news,” he recalled.

But he wound up spending days searching for the rings’ owner by asking at the beach and posting photos on Craigslist. Then he posted the picture on Facebook, asking his friends to share. Through friends of friends, the photo made its way to Carrozzo, who was on vacation in Virginia.

When Carrozzo called him, Cogan was able to confirm she was the owner by an engraving on the inside of the band — she and her husband’s initials and their wedding date, March 19, 2004. He didn’t immediately reveal that he also had the far more valuable engagement ring.

“I was playing with her a little bit; I was having some fun,” Cogan admitted with a laugh.

Carrozzo now calls him an angel. The two are planning to meet sometime next week when she gets back — maybe at Cogan’s metal detector club meeting.

“This man hit the jackpot, and he chose to hunt me down,” she said. “And I can’t thank him enough.”

 

03Sep 2014

clean-ringOver the course of my career, I have been asked hundreds of times how to clean a diamond engagement ring in order to make it look its best.

I’ve had people tell me that their mother boiled her ring in a pot on a wire hanger or that they used toothpaste and rinsed it off. Some have asked me if they should get an Ultra Sonic cleaner. And of course I have heard, I take it to the jeweler to be steamed out because I did not want to damage the ring and it was free.

My advice for the best way to clean diamonds has always been to use Windex and a toothbrush.  You can use any cleaner or detergent similar to Windex you like (I am not a commissioned salesman for Windex).  The advantage to Windex, or the like is that, it will break down any soap residue or caked on dirt that may have accumulated over time.

My father suggested this method to my mother and she to my wife.  My mom has also insisted that my wife, because she is married to a jeweler, make sure her ring is clean whenever we go out to dinner or to an event.  She usually forgets until we are in the car so she keeps an emergency cleaning kit in the car.

While I am driving, she takes her small spray bottle of Windex, puts her hand outside of the window of the car and sprays her diamond, then takes a small tooth brush and scrubs it clean.  The next step is to pour water over the ring (remember all this while her hand is out of the car) to assure the ring has been rinsed properly and will look good for the evening.

To answer other questions that you may have….

  1. No, Windex will not damage the diamonds or the metal. (Unless they are coated or treated artificially)
  2. The toothbrush will not damage the metal or the diamond.
  3. Please remember to rinse the ring before wearing.

In Conclusion:

  1. Soak or spray the ring with detergent
  2. Brush the ring to make sure the dirt has loosened
  3. Rinse and repeat until happy.
  4. Enjoy.
01Sep 2014

pear-shaped-diamond-engagement-rings-6We often find ourselves with clients in tough situations, where we want to help but are faced with difficult circumstances. We are very often able to pull off great deals in these tough cases where we are marketing jewelry. We spent last week working on one of these cases.

Several months ago, I was visited by an extraordinarily nice Southern gentleman who had a very fine quality but poorly proportioned diamond.  The diamond measured a little over 5 carats and had a great color and clarity.  I proposed a few options on how we could help. He thanked me for my time and left.

Last Monday, he arrived back in our offices and asked us to market the diamond for him.  A normal diamond with this size and quality is relatively easy for us to market, but this one was poorly proportioned, so in order to achieve the best possible price we were going to have to work even harder.

Every month, Peter and I review everything that we are currently marketing. When I showed the diamond to Peter at this monthly meeting, he immediately thought of a good idea, picked up the phone and went to work. Peter’s mind is remarkably sharp and his ability to see opportunity when others cannot is one of the reasons that he is so valuable to our company and to our clients.

After making a few calls and taking measurements of the stone, he made one final call and asked them to come and look at the diamond we were holding.

Peter was speaking to one of the manufacturers that we work with, and knew they were looking for a high-quality Pear Shape Diamond with similar proportions.

Upon examination, the manufacturer loved the diamond and although it was a full carat bigger than expected for the necklace, it fit perfectly by dimension and looks great.

This oddly proportioned diamond that weighs almost 5.5 carats fit nearly perfectly into a very important necklace that had been commissioned almost a year earlier by an esteemed manufacturer.  We don’t know yet who the end buyer will be, but this is a necklace that will be sold for well over 1 million dollars, so I will leave it to you to think of who may be buying it.

Thanks to Peter’s sharp mind, we were able to complete a huge deal for our client who has the perfect diamond for a desperate manufacturer who needed it.  After explaining the situation to him, our client was thrilled that we were able to get him the most money possible for this diamond.

Update:

We pulled it off!  Peter was instrumental in achieving a 40% additional premium from the manufacturer and we have an extraordinarily happy client and a very beautiful necklace.