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53 posts from September 2005

Faberge jewelry in Brussels as part of Europalia festival

A unique collection of Faberge jewelry has arrived in Brussels as part of the forthcoming Europalia-Russia 2005 Russian arts festival, Andrei Shtorkh, a spokesman for Russian businessmen Victor Vekselberg's Time Connection fund, told Interfax.

"All of Faberge's nine imperial Easter eggs, along with other items related to the family of the last Russian Czar will be showcased at the exhibition, due to open on October 3," Shtorkh said.


Tanzanite was enthusiastically celebrated after its discovery in 1967 as "Gemstone of the 20th Century.” The only known source of Tanzanite is a five square mile hilltop at Merelani, ten miles south of the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania.

While the correct name for the gemstone is “blue Zoisite,” the New York jewelry company, Tiffany, suggested it should be named after the place in occurs on the earth because the words “blue Zoisite" sounded unfortunately too much like the word "suicide". The name Tanzanite was used and has stuck helping this beautiful gemstone achieve success in the marketplace.

The deep blue colors of Tanzanite range from ultramarine to a light purplish blue. The most coveted color is a blue which shows a purplish hue. The source of its mesmerizing color is that tanzanite is trichroic: that is, it shows different colors when viewed in different directions. One direction is blue, another purple, and another bronze, adding subtle depths to the color.

Most rough crystals show a large proportion of the brownish-yellow, but the cutter may cure this by carefully heating the stone in an oven to about 500°C. This heating process requires careful attention because it is essential to determine the moment when the color turns blue. Heating is a treatment which is generally accepted in the trade and should be expected. Due to the heating, the most desirable rough stones are those that are relatively free of inclusions so that the heating process does not lead to fissures in the stone.

Tanzanite is a blue variety of the gemstone, Zoisite (hydrated calcium aluminum silicate) which has hardness 6.5 to 7 on the Mohr’s scale. It is not very scratch resistant so must be worn with care, especially in rings.

Tanzanites should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush. It should never be cleaned by ultrasonic method and because of its chemical composition should never come into contact with acids. Never resize or repair a ring set with tanzanite because the stone could shatter in the heat of a torch.

New mining techniques and the liberalization of the Tanzanian economy has helped to boost production in the past few years to make tanzanite more available than ever before in the history of the gemstone.

Among the important gems discovered in the last 90 years, only Tanzanite has been added to the official birthstone list. It was adopted as a December birthstone by the American Gem Trade Association and shares that month with turquoise and zircon.

Tanzanites have become very popular and increasingly valuable for two obvious reasons: First of all is the spectacular color? Secondly, the stone is found on only one special location in the entire world. This is what makes it is especially valuable. The desire to own something unique and rare has always been a decisive criterion for assessing the value of special gemstones.

Ask for the Diamond Certification

Almost every week we hear our clients tell stories of shopping in a jewelry store where a diamond is claimed to be GIA certified but the jeweler will not show the shopper even a copy of the certification.  They say the GIA certification will be provided after the diamond is purchased.  If this happens to you, find the nearest exit.

Here are the facts.  If a jeweler has a diamond and says it is GIA certified, then they will have at least a copy of the certification to share with you.  If they don’t want you to see the certification, one or more of the following is probably the case:

The diamond does not really have a GIA certification or maybe any type of certification.  The jeweler is simply hoping you do not remember his claim.  Maybe they have their own documentation done by someone who took a GIA class.  Sometimes they even say they will get the diamond certified after you purchase. 

There is something on the certification that they do not want you to see until after you purchase.  Often these are poor cut parameters such as depth, table, polish or symmetry.  Many times it is medium or stronger fluorescence that greatly reduced the value of the diamond.  Maybe it is something as simple as a very old certification date that implies the diamond has been worn for many years and perhaps is not in the same condition it was when certified.  In the worst case, the certification might indicate the diamond was laser drilled.

Jewelers hate it when a shopper comes in their store armed with diamond information they printed from online sources.  That means they no longer are considered the experts and their claims might be challenged.  Typically jewelers only want to stress carat weight, color and clarity.  If their diamond has negative factors they don’t want to explain the items on the certification, especially if they fear you might be knowledgeable.  Instead they “hide” the certification.

Remember, if a jeweler has a diamond and says it is certified, they have at least a copy of the certification.  It is common practice to only have a paper copy of the certification travel with the diamond since wholesalers and cutters like to keep the original certification until the diamond is sold. That ensures the person buying the diamond gets a nice clean certification that has not been written on, torn, had coffee spilled on it or lost.  But every jeweler has a copy machine so they can give you a copy of the certification for any certified diamond they have.  Why would you even consider purchasing a diamond without having your own copy of the certification of the diamond to study and compare?

Discover other jeweler tricks and traps at

Rough diamonds may be imported directly

The Indian diamond industry may soon begin getting rough diamonds directly from African countries, instead of from the Diamond Trading Corporation (DTC) of De Beers, which controls 80 per cent of global trade in rough diamonds.  Today in Sify Finance 

Elaborating on this and related developments an Eye to I(ndia) report put out by SKP Crossborder Consultants states that as part of a deal between the Indian Government and African countries, a few Indian companies may set up manufacturing facilities in countries such as South Africa, Congo and Botswana.

A large public limited company is also on the anvil, the report says. Indian companies and a few foreign companies are expected to put up equity capital for this enterprise. The intended company will purchase rough diamonds from various small mines across the globe for sale to Indian manufacturers. The company will also emerge as a central selling point for diamonds. The absence of a large conglomerate in the diamond industry is perceived as standing in the way of India getting a firmer grip on the global market.

The Centre is reported to be encouraging the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to get the process going in the current fiscal year.

The other major initiative of the government, Bharat Diamonds, a diamond exchange, is expected to commence trading in May 2006

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The Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the sales and marketing arm of the De Beers Group, is developing plans to launch the Forevermark in Japan, China, India and the Gulf by the end of 2006.

The DTC Forevermark represents a trail of assurance from the DTC to its clients and to their customers in turn, and guarantees the diamond being purchased is genuine, natural, has been supplied by the DTC and has not been altered or treated by any artificial means.

Every DTC Forevermark diamond is inscribed on the table with the Forevermark icon [ ] and an individual serial number, thus reinforcing the uniqueness of each stone and guaranteeing that the diamond has been watched over by the world’s largest diamond company, backed by over 115 years of diamond expertise.

Invisible to the naked eye and confirmed by the world’s leading gemmological laboratories as not affecting the grade of the diamond, the actual size of the Forevermark inscription is only 1/20th of a micron deep (a mere 1/500th the thickness of a human hair) and can be seen using a proprietary Forevermark viewer. Each diamond inscribed with the Forevermark is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, representing the DTC’s commitment that the diamond has been sourced and crafted in an ethically, socially and environmentally responsible way.

The Hong Kong pilot was launched in September 2004: nine DTC Sightholders, together with their chosen retail partners, were authorised to use the Forevermark on the basis that they satisfied certain core, objective participation criteria.  Demand for the Forevermark over the last 12 months has been buoyant, and some new interested Sightholders and their chosen retail partners have recently qualified for participation in the roll-out of the Hong Kong Forevermark programme from November 2005 as the pilot period comes to an end.

The DTC has been very encouraged by the experience of the Forevermark pilot in Hong Kong and, as announced earlier this year, aims to make the Forevermark increasingly available to Sightholders whilst ensuring that the project remains a sustainable business model going forward. To that end, the DTC will take a major step forward in 2006 with the launch of the Forevermark in four of the world’s key diamond jewelry markets: Japan, China, India and the Gulf.

The DTC believes that the Forevermark can play a very important role in building and sustaining consumer confidence in diamonds. The key objective is to reduce consumers’ perceived anxieties in purchasing diamonds by offering customers and the diamond jewellery industry a simple, secure and cost–effective way to proactively identify natural, untreated and ethical diamonds.

Learn more about De Beers at

Artificial Diamonds

Artificial diamonds are diamonds produced through chemical or physical processes in a laboratory. Like naturally occurring diamonds they are composed of a three-dimensional carbon crystal. Artificial diamonds are also called cultured diamonds, manufactured diamonds, and synthetic diamonds.

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Asscher Cut Diamonds

Asscher cut diamonds are a square cut characterized by a smaller table and larger step facet than an emerald cut. Asscher cut diamonds feature dramatic, cut corners and usually have a high crown and a deeper pavilion than today's emerald cuts. Because of its high crown and small table, Asscher cut diamonds have more brightness and fire than an emerald cut.

Discover the safe and easy way to buy Asscher cut diamonds at


Diamond bracelets are pieces of jewelry that drapes softly around the wrist. Diamond bracelets are elegant pieces of jewelry that provides a shimmering circle of diamonds around the wrist. It is important that bracelets be comfortable yet strong enough to take the abuse that occurs on the wrist of a busy hand.

Discover finest source of diamond bracelets at

Colored Diamonds

Diamonds are found in all colors of the rainbow, from clear, colorless, transparent stones to ink black ones. Natural fancy colored diamonds that are colored blue, pink, red, green, purple and yellow have a beauty, rarity, value and desirability of the world's rarest gemstones.

Discover the safe and easy way to buy colored diamonds at