Did you know that the birthstone for the month of September is the sapphire? The scientific name for this popular gem is Corundum. They can be found in an array of colors, but when the corundum is red, we have what’s known as a Ruby. Sapphires are known for their beautiful deep blue color, but did you know they can also be found in yellow, green, pink, and purple colors? Orange/Pink sapphires are known as Padparahdascha Sapphires. The most valuable of sapphires come from Kashmir and Burma, but sapphires are also found in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
This Tiffany & Co. diamond and sapphire ring creates accents to this stunning round diamond. The contrast of the deep blue color between the white center stone makes the diamond “pop”. This Art Deco sapphire and diamond ring is set in a unique mounting with small rubies and diamonds. The combination with diamond, and ruby presents a unique and eye catching piece. Our of our personal favorites, is the Van Cleef & Arpels sapphire and diamond ring. Made in the 1950s, a ring such as this is rare. Holding a 19-carat natural sapphire, the ring contains approximately 7 carats of diamonds. It’s style is similar to that of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and now, to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
This Tiffany & Co. bracelet is still produced today in many different versions– and it is safe to say, this simple line design will never go out of style. Worn alone or stacked with bracelets of a similar style, it’s beauty is timeless. Whether worn as a bracelet, earrings, ring, or as any other piece of jewelry, the sapphire is sure to make a lasting impression.
Over 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.
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.
We 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, we review everything that we are currently marketing. When I showed the diamond to my partner at this monthly meeting, he immediately thought of a good idea, picked up the phone and went to work. His 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.
I 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 my partner’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.
We pulled it off! My partner was instrumental in achieving a 40% additional premium from the manufacturer and we have an extraordinarily happy client and a very beautiful necklace.
What makes one diamond more valuable than another? Ask any diamond and jewelry professional, and they will tell you the factors that influence the value of diamonds are much more complicated than the commonly referred to 4 c’s: Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat Weight.
“Since each diamond is unique, there are a number of factors to consider when determining the value of a diamond jewelry piece,” said Andrew Fabrikant, owner of Andrew Fabrikant & Sons, a nationwide leader in diamond and estate jewelry buying. “Too often, jewelry buyers pay you only on the scrap value. Our assessment of the true value of your diamond jewelry is based upon the workmanship and desirability of the piece. If there is a history attached to the jewelry, as there often is, we take that into consideration before deciding on the value of the diamond jewelry item.”
The best scientific description of the 4 C’s can be found on the web site of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The GIA is the foremost authority on diamond grading and the only truly accepted laboratory in the world, with its system constantly mimicked by most appraisers and laboratories in the jewelry industry.
According to Andrew Fabrikant, at Fabon5th.com in New York, NY, “The 4 c’s are really just the beginning of the factors that make up the value of a diamond. I call the remaining considerations ‘Characteristics,’ making a fifth c if you will.” Characteristics include any properties that may affect the overall value of the stone, such as the construction of the diamond, the nature of imperfections, as well as natural or man made characteristics.
Proper Ratio of Depth / Table Percentages
Depth and table percentages will affect the value of a diamond because they are an indication of a well-proportioned stone. Andrew Fabrikant adds, “If a depth percentage is too big or small, it can change the amount of light reflected back to the human eye. A diamond that is too deep will allow light to escape out of the diamond and not reflect back up. Too shallow, and the light can pass right through the sides of the diamond, lessening overall brilliance.”
Table percentages act in very much the same way. If a table percentage is too large, light will not reflect well. If a table percentage is too small, the diamond will appear smaller than its weight, and although it may be brilliant, it will look smaller and thus less impressive.
Another significant characteristic that can affect the value of a diamond is fluorescence. Fluorescence is a naturally occurring property that can affect the look of a diamond. Fluorescence comes in many colors, blue (most common), yellow, white and red. Fluorescence varies in different levels, from none, faint, medium, strong and very strong. “Fluorescence has become a big factor when valuing a diamond. Stones showing medium fluorescence are discounted, and those with strong or very strong blue fluorescence are discounted to a much larger extent,” Andrew Fabrikant continues to explain.
The truth about fluorescence lies somewhere in between. Diamonds that are darker in color (color grades J – Z) tend to benefit from the presence of blue fluorescence, often making the diamond look whiter. The term “Blue White Diamond,” comes from the presence of fluorescence. Blue white is an old industry description of a diamond that appears whiter due to fluorescence rather than its color.
Medium or stronger Fluorescence in white diamonds (in the color range of D-I) can take away from the brilliance of the diamond and in some lighting conditions, make the stone less attractive.
Diamonds are grown and occur in nature. The same way woods, and grasses grow with grain, so do diamonds. In some diamonds, the presence of graining can affect the light reflection from the stone and give the diamond a hazy and cloudy look.
The girdle is the waist of the stone. It forms the border between the top and bottom of the diamond. Another description would be the “equator” between the “north” or top of the diamond and the “south”, or the bottom of the diamond.
According to Andrew, when buying a diamond, ideally one would want to stay away from the term “very” when describing the girdle. “A girdle that is marked by the GIA as very thin or very thick should be avoided if possible. I find that, when a diamond cutter is trying to achieve a certain carat weight and realizes they may have trouble getting to their magic number, they may use a larger girdle to assure the weight. Sometimes the use of a thinner girdle helps the proportional construction of the stone,” adds Andrew Fabrikant.
Specific carat weights can prove to be problematic. “I advise all my clients to avoid buying a diamond that has an even carat weight of .00. A diamond with a weight of .00 increases risk if the stone becomes damaged. If a diamond with an even carat of weight of say 2.00 is bruised or chipped, in order to repair it, the diamond would weigh in at a lower weight category,” says Andrew Fabrikant. “The weight change from 2.00 carats to 1.99 can have a tremendous affect on the value of the diamond.”
The Bottom of the Diamond
The culet or bottom of the diamond can also affect its look and value. The ideal measurement of a culet is none or the the absence of the culet. The bigger the size of the culet, the more of a negative effect it may have on the value of the diamond. A very small culet will have little affect on the look of the diamond. Diamonds with a very big open culet can appear to have dark circles in the center of the diamond and are known in the industry as “fish-eye.”
The proportion of the diamond is also very important. Andrew Fabrikant adds, “Round diamonds should be as close to a perfect circle as they can be. Emerald cuts should be symmetrical; ovals, marquise and pear shapes should be graceful. Beauty is what you see, and to have a beautiful diamond, it must be proportioned well.”
The 4 c’s are just the tip of the iceberg
Various aspects of a diamond can affect appearance, beauty and value, whether the diamond is being purchased or sold. Andrew Fabrikant adds, “I often explain to my clients the many factors that affect the value of their diamond. Our purpose is to get our clients the best possible price for their jewelry, but also to answer all of their questions and guide them through the process to make it as seamless as possible.”
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