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2 posts from October 3, 2017

Travel Carefully with Jewelry | Diamond Source of Virginia

Take camera photos of your jewelry so you can prove it is yours if lost and found. That photo might also be handy if you are questioned by customs when traveling internationally.

USA-StatesCheck with your insurance company to ensure you are covered where you are traveling out of the country. The chance of theft is greater outside the country and you do not want to find out the hard way you were not covered by your insurance company.

MuggingWhen traveling out of the country, keep in mind you are a visible target for snatch and grab. Some expensive rings are years of income in some countries and are just too tempting of targets.

When traveling, do not leave your ring by a sink when you wash your hands as you might forget, walk away, and lose it. Bring a polishing cloth or eye glass cleaning cloth to clean before and after you wear your jewelry.

Luggage-checkedWear or carry your jewelry with you, never put them in luggage to be transported by airlines, cruise lines, or other public transportation. Now that luggage must be left unlocked to allow security inspection, the risk of theft or loss when the bag falls open is greater than ever.

Hotel-safeWhen traveling, store unworn jewelry in the hotel’s safe-deposit box. Items left in hotel rooms are an open invitation for theft. Cleaning personnel are in your room when you are not. Doors can be rigged to not close completely. Master keys can be duplicated and professional thieve target jewelry which is easy to carry and turn into cash.


What Is Wrong with This Diamond? | Diamond Source of Virginia

I was recently contacted by a client who was wanting to sell a diamond he had purchased from some retailer. The diamond presents a good example of why we only recommend GIA graded diamonds and diamond buyers need to be knowledgeable about the diamond they buy. The images at the bottom show the IGL (International Gemological Laboratories) Report for the that diamond.

GIA Diamond Grading Report

We only recommend GIA graded diamonds to ensure accurate color and clarity grading. The diamonds with EGL, IGI, IGL, HRD, and other grading tend to be off 1 to 4 color grades and often a clarity grade compared to GIA grading. Of course, the retailers selling those types of diamonds fail to mention that when they promote their diamonds. The lower prices you often see with those grading reports are really a reflection of lower quality rather than a better value.

Cut Grade

There are several diamond industry accepted cut grade systems (GIA, AGS, HCA for example). These systems have years of exposure and acceptance in the industry. I know of no documentation of the IGL cut grade system so what does Excellent really mean? I tend to be wary of retailers and laboratories that make up their own cut grade systems without explaining the research and methodology behind the system. The bottom line is that not all “Excellent” ratings are equal.

For this particular diamond, I find it hard to believe that a round diamond with a 63.8% depth percentage can have an “Excellent” cut. Even if it was, we typically only recommend round diamonds with 62% or less depth percentage because over that number means the millimeter size of the diamond (what you see with your eye) is small for the carat weight (what you measure on a scales).

Medium Fluorescence

Typically, we only recommend Faint or No fluorescence for white diamonds because of the following two reasons:

1) Diamonds that glow, tend not to be as clear looking as those that do not glow. There is ultra-violet light in sunlight and in “black” lights you might see in a nightclub or in nail salons used for drying. Some diamonds with Strong or Very Strong fluorescence actually turn opaque when exposed to ultra-violet light, which is the extreme for the impact on “clearness” of the diamond’s appearance.

2) When buying expensive items like a house, you want to avoid buying a house that nobody wants because someday you might want to sell and would have a difficult time selling and would get a lower price than something in high demand. The same is true for diamonds. Since 95% or more of knowledgeable diamond shoppers are avoiding Medium or stronger fluorescence, if you ever want to sell your diamond it is much harder to find a buyer and you will get a lower price than with Faint or No fluorescence.

It is certainly the client’s choice on whether to buy a diamond with Medium or stronger fluorescence. We just want to be sure we have informed our clients of the potential impacts of that choice so they can make the best decision for them.

Clarity Enhanced

Technology today has enabled some in the diamond industry to improve the visual appearance of lower grade diamonds by laser drilling and fracture filling. This practice is referred to as “clarity enhanced.” These diamonds have been altered and are no longer considered “natural” diamonds. The treatments are somewhat permanent until they are heated by a jeweler’s torch (common in resizing or prong repair), exposure to acid or caustic substances, or re-cutting which can change the appearance of the diamond or even cracking or breaking. The cost of clarity enhanced diamonds should be at least 50% less than a natural, untreated diamond. Unfortunately, some jewelers fail to disclose when a diamond is clarity enhanced or do not mention that a treated diamond does not and will not appreciate in value or hold value like a natural diamond.

Laser drilled diamonds have a small tunnel laser drilled from the surface into the diamond to reach a large inclusion. This opening allows for further treatments including boiling out included crystals with acid. The passageway can also be used to pump a glass-like substance to minimize their appearance. Feathers and other eye-visible fractures can also be filled with the glass-like substance and are called fracture filled diamonds.

IGL cert

IGL cert-2