Thursday, May 28, 2009

Which Diamond Shapes You Choose?

Triangle Diamonds

Asscher Diamonds

Cushion Diamonds

Emerald Diamonds

Marquise Diamonds

Oval Diamonds

Pear Diamonds

Princess Diamonds

Radiant Diamonds

Round Diamond

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Natural freshwater pearls

Necklace of Mary, Queen of Scots

Natural freshwater pearls, gold Scotland, 1550–1587

This necklace includes 34 natural pearls from the River Tay, in Scotland. While imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, presented it to the Duke of Norfolk, who would have become her fourth husband if the marriage had taken place.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Long History of Collecting Pearls

For many centuries, humans have gathered pearls and mother-of-pearl shells - sometimes placing themselves at great risk in the process. Because most pearl oysters live in the ocean at depths exceeding 10 feet, collecting them in any quantity has always required diving, with its accompanying hazards of sharks, poisonous jellyfish and decompression sickness, or "the bends." Because the work was so dangerous, many cultures conscripted slaves to bring pearl oysters up from the ocean floor.

Freshwater mollusks living in shallow rivers and streams are much easier to gather. Long harvested for food and shells, pearl mussels have also been collected for the gems found inside. Gathering freshwater pearls has not always been free of risk, however. At various times throughout history, royal families have set aside local pearl beds for their own use and severely punished anyone who tried to harvest the precious gems.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Buying Gold and Gemstone Jewelry: The Heart of the Matter

If you're planning a gift of gold or gemstone jewelry for your sweetheart, take some time to learn the terms used in the industry. Start with the basics. Carats and karats. What's the difference? Simply put, a carat is a unit of weight for gemstones, including diamonds; a karat is a unit for measuring the purity of gold.


The higher the karat rating, the higher the proportion of gold in the piece of jewelry. For example, 24 karat (24K) gold has more gold content than 14K gold. But because 24K gold is soft, it's usually mixed with other metals to increase its hardness and durability; 14K jewelry contains 14 parts of gold, mixed in throughout with 10 parts of base metal.

There's a big difference between karat-gold and gold-plated jewelry. Gold-plated describes jewelry with a layer of at least 10K gold bonded to a base metal. Gold plating eventually wears away, depending on how often the item is worn and how thick the plating is.


Gemstones can be naturally mined, laboratory-created or imitation. Stones created in a lab look identical to stones mined from the earth. The big difference is in the cost - laboratory-created stones are less expensive than naturally mined stones. But because they look just like stones mined from the earth, they must be identified as lab-created. Imitation stones resemble naturally mined stones but are not identical and are usually made of glass or plastic. Imitation stones must be identified as imitation. If you are purchasing a naturally mined stone, ask if it has been treated. Gemstone treatments - such as heating, dyeing or bleaching - can improve a stone's appearance or durability. Some treatments are permanent; some may create special care requirements. Treatments also may affect the stone's value.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

When buying a diamond?

When you're buying a diamond, consider four criteria, often referred to as "the 4C's" - cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Each factor affects the price.

Cut not only refers to the shape of the diamond, but also to the size, angle, uniformity and polish of the facets.

Color is sometimes "graded" on a scale. However, scales are not uniform: a "D" may be the best color for one scale, but not for another. Make sure you know how a particular scale and grade represents the color of the diamond you're considering.

Clarity refers to the presence or absence of internal flaws, called inclusions, that occur naturally within the stone, or to external blemishes, such as scratches or chips. A diamond can be described as "flawless" only if it has no visible surface cracks or other imperfections when viewed under 10-power magnification by a skilled diamond grader.

Carat weight may be described in decimal or fractional parts of a carat. If the weight is given in decimal parts of a carat, the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. For example, ".30 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .295 - .304 carat. Some retailers describe diamond weight in fractions and use the fraction to represent a range of weights. For example, a diamond described as ½ carat could weigh between .47 - .54 carat. If diamond weight is stated as fractional parts of a carat, the retailer should disclose two things: that the weight is not exact, and the reasonable range of weight for each fraction or the weight tolerance being used.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jewelry Shopper's Checklist

Once you're ready to buy jewelry, shop around. Compare quality, price and service. If you're not familiar with jewelers in your area, ask family members, friends and co-workers for recommendations. Also, when ordering online and you've never heard of the seller, check on its reputation with the Better Business Bureau or the state attorney general's office. You also should:

  • Ask for the store's refund and return policy before you buy. When ordering online, keep printouts of the web pages with details about the transaction, including refund and return policies in case you're not satisfied.

  • Check for the appropriate markings on gold jewelry.

  • Ask whether a gemstone is natural, laboratory-created, or imitation.

  • Ask if the gemstone has been treated. Is the change permanent? Is special care required?

  • Make sure the jeweler writes on the sales receipt any information you rely on when you make your purchase, such as the gemstone's weight or size. Some jewelers also may supply a grading report from a gemological laboratory.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Precious Diamond Watches

Specialising in solid yellow, rose and white gold and diamond watches, it will keep its wares safely in maximum security marble and glass display cabinets. And so it should - this Jacob & Co baguette watch, encrusted with 78-carats of diamonds, is worth £1million.

  • 9.0 Carats of Diamonds
  • Diamonds on Side of Case
  • Half Diamond Band
  • Polished Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Chronograph Quartz Movement
  • Water Resistant 100m
  • Date Window
  • Inter- Changeable Leather bands
  • Retail: $8800.00

Lorraine Dynasty men's watch with quartz movement made with solid 18k white gold and 368 brilliant cut diamonds (4.3 ct) that frosts its face, bezel, and the first 7 links on both sides.

The weight is approximately 135 grams and it feels solid, built to last and endure everyday use as if it were a sports watch. The watch band has an invisible clasp that joins the 18k white gold links together to form a watch that commands respect and captivates attention from all who glance upon it.

57mm. sapphire crystal coating. polished stainless steel case. diamond crusted bezel, three global time zones. Swiss made quartz movement.

Retail Price $46,010.00

This watch required lots of hours to create and the outcome is indeed very overwhelming. This watch has a white gold case that is surrounded by diamonds. It sets the attention to the dial which is crafted from mother of the pearl which is embellished various sizes of diamonds. This watch is accented by the blue hour and minute hands which also complements the luxuriousness of this timepiece. The bracelet of this luxury watch is made from interconnected white gold rings which are also embellished with the bright and sparkling diamonds.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rare Blue Diamond Sells at Auction: $9.49 million

Economic conditions aren't so dismal that records can't be set. Sotheby's just moved a flawless, rare blue diamond for nearly $9.5 million – proving that taste can prevail even when wallets are generally gripped shut.

The rectangular blue diamond weighs 7.03 carats and sold at the highest price per carat ever fetched at auction – a whopping $1,349,752 (including the commission to Sotheby's). It's also the most paid for a "fancy vivid blue diamond" ... I didn't realize that such records were tracked. The winner chose to remain anonymous (can you blame him or her?) who was bidding by phone. The auctioned ended with a veritable telephonic battle that lasted 15 minutes.

The record until the blue diamond went under the gavel was $7.9 million for 6.04 carats. It was set in October 2007 in Hong Kong. Sotheby's sold the last record-breaker, as well.

In all, the auction house moved $35.7 million in gems and jewelry from 266 lots – not counting another 80 that didn't sell.

David Bennett, the chairman of Sotheby's jewelry department covering Europe and the Middle East, remarked, "It is fantastic in this market and shows that these rare things are very much in demand."

No, David. What's fantastic is that such items are in demand and that people are still willing to pay for them!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Famed Red Diamond Returns to Natural History Museum

The “Kazanjian Red” drew thousands of visitors when it first appeared at the Museum last October. It left four months later, stopping in Carlsbad, California where it was scrutinized by gem experts at the Gemological Institute of America. Now the diamond has returned for a second engagement in the Museum’s Gem and Mineral Hall. It will be on view from April 6 to May 29, 2009.

Though there are many diamonds with a pink hue, true blood-red diamonds are the rarest of gems — only three large stones are known to exist. And of that trio, none has as fascinating and exciting history as the Kazanjian Red.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at 900 Exposition Boulevard. The Museum is open seven days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $6.50 for students and seniors; and $2 for children 5-12. For 24-hour Museum information please call (213) 763-DINO or visit

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How are Topaz Crystals Cut?

  • crystals: up to 100 lbs in weight !
  • world's largest facetable gem (22,982 ct)
  • appearance: vitreous (glassy luster)
  • color:
  • reddish-yellow ("imperial")
  • orange-brown ("sherry")
  • clear
  • blue
  • pinkish
  • natural and treated blue

Mens Diamond Ring Auction

Mens Diamond Ring
  • Size 8
  • Multiple small diamonds (missing one)
  • Good condition
  • Gold band
This ring was taken to a jewelry store ONLY to confirm that the stones were real. No appraisal was completed.

Items can be viewed 8:00 am - 4:00 pm - Monday – Thursday and 8:00 am – 4:30 pm on Friday at:
1061 Thousand Oaks Trail
Verona, WI

For additional information contact SWAP at (608)497-4440 or email us

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Essential Four Cs

Every diamond is unique, reflecting the story of its arduous journey from deep inside the earth to a cherished object of adornment. Yet all diamonds share certain features that allow us to compare and evaluate them. These features are called the 4Cs.

One carat equals 0.2 grams. For diamonds under a carat, each carat is divided into 100 points, similar to pennies in a dollar. For instance, 0.75ct. = 75 points and 1/2 ct. = 50 points.

The GIA Clarity Scale includes eleven clarity grades ranging from Flawless to I3. Because diamonds form under conditions of tremendous heat and pressure, internal inclusions and external blemishes are common and help gemologists identify individual stones. The Clarity Scale also helps separate natural diamonds from synthetics and simulants.

The GIA Color Scale extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Although many people think of diamonds as colorless, most diamonds used in jewelry have subtle tints of yellow or brown. Each letter grade represents a range of color and is a measure of the degree of color within the diamond, all measured by comparing the diamond to a set of master stones.

A polished diamond's proportions affect the performance and interplay of light which, in turn, affects its beauty and desirability. Brightness is the combination of all white light reflecting from both the surface and interior of a diamond. Fire describes the colored flashes that can be seen in a diamond. And scintillation is the sparkle of light you see and the overall pattern of bright and dark areas when you look at a diamond face-up. The design and craftsmanship of a diamond also affect its cut quality, and these factors are considered in determining a diamond's GIA Excellent-to-Poor Cut Grade.

Many diamonds emit a visible light, called fluorescence, when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Diamond Care

Diamonds are remarkably durable, resistant to scratching except by another diamond, and maintain their brilliant fire extremely well. These qualities make a diamond well-suited to regular wear and are perfect for engagement and wedding rings, which are usually worn every day.

But even a diamond isn't indestructible. It can be chipped by a sharp blow or become loose in its setting and fall out. A diamond should be worn with care.

Because diamonds tend to pick up grease and oils, they can become dirty with handling and should be occasionally wiped with a lint-free cloth. Other methods for safe cleaning include warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush or a commercial cleaning solution. It is not recommended to use ultrasonic and steam cleaners.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How GIA Grades Diamonds

Diamond Carat Weight Measurement
To determine carats, the diamond is weighed using an extremely accurate electronic micro-balance that captures the weight to the precise fifth decimal place (the nearest ten-thousandth of a carat). An optical measuring device is used to determine the diamond’s proportions, measurements, and facet angles. This data is uploaded into GIA’s computerized operations and information database management system.

Grading Diamond Color
Since light source and background can have a significant impact on a diamond’s appearance, color is graded in a standardized viewing environment against color masters. A minimum of two color graders enter their independent evaluations into the system and depending on the agreement of these grades, and the weight and quality of the diamond, it may be sent to additional graders who enter their own color opinions. The grade is not determined until there is sufficient consensus.

Diamond Clarity Grade
Diamond clarity is graded under standard viewing conditions with 10× magnification. The preliminary grader carefully examines the diamond in order to identify clarity/finish characteristics and evidence of any clarity treatments such as fracture filling or laser drilling.

A minimum of two graders assigns their impression of the diamond’s clarity, polish, and symmetry. Next they plot the clarity characteristics on the diagram most representative of the diamond’s shape and faceting style, selected from a database of hundreds of digitally stored diagrams. Also during this process the stone is screened to determine if it is synthetic.

Diamond Cut Grading
provides a cut quality grade for standard round brilliant diamonds that fall into the D-to-Z color range. To develop their Cut Grading System, GIA performed extensive computer modeling of round brilliant diamonds over a 15 year period and conducted more than 70,000 observations on actual stones to validate the research. This system can now predict the cut grade for more than 38.5 million proportion sets.
GIA’s Diamond Cut Grading System assesses the diamond’s overall face-up appearance to predict the intensity levels of brightness, fire, and scintillation (the diamond’s sparkle and interplay with light). The result is a comprehensive Cut Grading System that accurately reflects all the critical cut factors of a round brilliant diamond.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Different Kinds of Pearls!!!

Multicolored Pearls

Peach Pearls

Black Pearls

White Pearls

Lavender Pearls

Pink Pearls

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Diamond Lattice

Molecules with all sp3-hybridized atoms can be visualized and drawn using a simple convention. The atom itself (and the bonds to it) are designated by one of two methods:

Draw three lines at 120 angles. One line will either point up or down.

If the vertical bond line goes up, add a fourth bond below the left-hand bond, displaced by 30. If the vertical bond line goes down, add the fourth bond above the right-hand bond, again displaced by 30.

The meaning implied by this convention is that the two bonds separated by 30 are going into and out from the plane of the paper, and the other two bonds are in the plane of the paper.

Note that these two are related by 180 rotation.

These two designators fit together in alternating positions to assemble any molecule you want. Extending it in all three directions makes the arrangement of atoms seen in the crystal lattice of diamond.

An important feature that helps you in the visualization is that, in this depiction, bonds that are parallel in the diagram are parallel in reality. To test this, make a model of a chair cyclohexane and compare to its diamond lattice representation: