Archive for the ‘ Diamond Education ’ Category

Diamonds and Coal

Did you know that coal does not actually form diamonds? No matter how much pressure and heat you apply to a piece of coal, it will not transform into a diamond. So how is it that we got all of these sayings about turning coal into diamonds? Part of it has to do with a conflation between coal and diamond mining, and the way both coal and diamonds are formed in the earth. Both of these are made up primarily of carbon. In fact, diamonds are carbon in its purest form, arranged in a very unique and specific chemical way that creates the unique hardness of a finished piece.

Amidon Diamond Education

Amidon Diamond Education

 

So, how are diamonds formed? It does still take an intense amount of heat and an enormous amount of pressure. They are formed deep beneath the earth, usually as a result of deep surface volcanic eruptions, which push the carbon deposits to a higher level of soil. There they remain trapped, where they will continue to develop and bond under the pressure. The pressure changes the way that the carbon atoms deal with one another.

Coal, on the other hand, is formed through a complex process that is made up of lots of decaying organic matter. Dying plants and animal deposits become part of the coal itself, along with carbon and traces of mercury. It is the reason that coal is such a toxic substance to inhale, and why coal mining continues to be a dangerous profession. Coal has carbon in it, but also houses many other elements that cannot be strained out or transformed. It is because of this that coal cannot become diamonds. No matter how much they are treated with heat or intense pressure, they are not going to become the shining, beautiful diamonds we know and love.

Small diamonds have even been found in outer space, inside of meteorites. These meteorites, of course, contain no traces of coal or the elements that make up coal – just the pure carbon that creates the most beautiful and chemically perfect diamonds in the world (or, in this case, out of it).

Diamonds are something all their own, and not all carbon is equal. The widespread myth that coal can be turned into diamonds can make for some rather poetic turns of phrase and some powerful metaphors, but is, overall, not factually accurate. Diamonds are much purer than the diverse chemicals that make up coal.

 

The Unique Romanticism of Diamonds

What is it exactly that gives diamonds their uniquely captivating charm? Is it all in the shimmer, or the chemical make-up? These natural miracles make up a huge portion of the fine jewelry market, and are celebrated in projects ranging from engagement and wedding bands to tiaras, tennis bracelets, and more. Bridal jewelry might just be the most well-known and most obvious fine jewelry genre that incorporates these beauties, and there is no wonder why. Diamonds have long been associated with the romantic, and have become the centerpiece of international romantic tradition in the last few centuries.

Romantic Diamonds at Amidon Jewelers

Romantic Diamonds at Amidon Jewelers

The very use of the diamond engagement ring as a mode and method of marriage proposal originated in Austria, but that was not the first instance of romanticizing the diamond. These gemstones have found homes in countless ancient cultures, and their almost otherworldly beauty has given them many nicknames and fascinating origin stories. Some cultures believed they represented the tears of ancient Gods. Others believed they were slivers of fallen stars, or even fragments of the sky above. Seeing them for the first time with no other scientific evidence must have been uniquely mesmerizing. Supernatural conclusions only make sense.

The hypnotic effect diamonds can have has been long and well documented in literature and photography, giving us an insight on the general romantic nature of diamonds. While they are tied to specific romantic traditions, like the diamond engagement ring discussed earlier, they are also romantic in a general aesthetic sense, arousing a sense of deep appreciation for beauty. While this isn’t purely the reason diamonds are so highly regarded by human beings all over the world, it is a primary reason they are used in decorating, fine jewelry products, and why they adorn crowns and royal scepters.

Diamonds have also found use, interestingly enough, as cutting and forging tools. Given the hard nature of the diamond, they cannot be damaged when used for cutting. Our hyper attentive focus on the diamonds in terms of beauty often erases or distracts from the fact that they had and continue to have a lot of practical use outside of purely aesthetic pleasures.

There are so many different ways in which diamonds have become a natural part of our historical development, and the evidence is no clearer than in the modern era. Deepening our understanding of diamonds in a historical context will only help to expand our appreciation of these stunning naturally occurring gemstones.

Wholesale Diamonds

What are wholesale diamonds? If you have been looking to purchase your diamonds on the internet in hopes of producing something unique through the use of custom settings and loose diamonds, you may have come across this term and wondered exactly what it means. We are going to break down what a wholesale diamond is and help you understand exactly what it is that you are paying for when you purchase your loose diamonds through a wholesale fine gemstone retailer.

Learn more about buying Diamonds

Learn more about buying Diamonds

Wholesale, in its most broad definition, is about the purchase of large quantities of an item that is then charged free of tax. Purchasing an individual loose diamond, even from a wholesale retailer, is not a wholesale purchase. Therefore, it would not be tax free. This is the simplest and easiest way of describing and understanding what happens when you are buying from a wholesale retailer.

There is something to be said about buying in bulk, though. If you are looking to buy and resell gemstones, or if you are working on a special diamond encrusted project piece, this might be exactly what you need in order to get the quantity required for your work. In fact, the majority of individuals who buy diamonds wholesale are looking to resell their pieces later on in order to make a profit, which is only possible when buying in bulk and getting those savings.

If you are looking to customize a single engagement ring, though, this is not the best route. Wholesale is not synonymous with tax free, and if you confuse the terms you will end up with a lot of money spent on a lot of extra fine gemstones. Since sales are often final or as is, especially when it comes to things purchased through the web, you need to be careful and absolutely certain by the time you hit that ‘buy’ button!

If you are looking at wholesale diamonds but what you really want is something more affordable, you are not looking for wholesale diamonds. This is specific to bulk purchases. Talk to your fine jewelry provider or gemstone retailer about exactly what it is you are looking for and define your budget strictly. This will lead you to finding the best price for the quality and size that you are looking for, especially if you are considering any cutting, shaving or modification of the diamond itself.

The Crown Jewels

Among the most famous fine jewelry pieces in the world are the British Crown Jewels. There are several sceptres, crowns, rings and other pieces of fine jewelry in the collection. Some of the more well-known pieces are home to the most valuable diamonds and gemstones in the world.

One such diamond, “The Great Star of Africa”, was discovered in the Premier Mine of South Africa in 1905, and currently boasts a value of around $400 million US dollars. Despite its original, uncut weight of 3106.85 carats, it is estimated this stunning diamond actually fell off of an even larger diamond.

Now, “The Great Star of Africa” – or the Cullinan Diamond – is embedded in St. Edward’s Sceptre. It is removable, and can also be worn as a brooch when it is not attached to the sceptre itself. The sceptre is on display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, alongside the other pieces in the royal collection. The Lesser Star of Africa”, which came from the same source material, has been a part of The Imperial State Crown itself since 1909.

The Imperial Crown is a stunning display of jewels all on its own. Given the highly visible and royal nature of the crown, only the finest materials are incorporated into the design. The current version includes over two thousand diamonds, over two hundred pearls, and a sizable collection of emeralds, rubies and sapphires.

By far the oldest crown in the collection is St. Edward’s crown, which was made from solid gold in 1661 for the coronation of Edward The Confessor. It is also one of the objects that Thomas Blood and his associates are famous for attempting to steal during the Crown Jewel Heist of 1671. The crown was flattened with a mallet in order to hide it better upon Blood’s escape. It was recovered and was most recently used in the coronation of Elizabeth II.

All of these pieces serve important ritual purposes even to this day, which is not the case in other areas of Europe. Some of the pieces in this collection date back to the 12th century, and are still used in modern coronation rituals. There was a time when fine jewelry pieces like diamond rings were only available to royalty. Now, they are more accessible than ever. One look at the Crown Jewels and the innumerable diamonds encrusted on the swords, sceptres and crowns, and it is no wonder why these gems and royalty were so inseparable.

The 4 C’s of Diamonds: How Do They Work?

The world of diamond grading is a fascinating place. Appraisal professionals are trusted to put a price tag on some of the most valuable natural resources available in the modern era, and that is certainly nothing to scoff at. The process is intricate and detail oriented, and professionals use high powered microscopes as a way of zooming in close in an attempt to identify any flaws or imperfections in the diamond. Examining the piece from a variety of different angles is another way that visible imperfections are identified. A visible scratch will have more of an impact on the overall worth of a piece than one that is only visible at an extreme close up, for obvious reasons.

Amidon Jewelers Trusted Diamond Education and Appraisals

Amidon Jewelers Trusted Diamond Education and Appraisals

 

Diamonds are graded according to something called “The 4 C’s”. These are four separate factors that contribute to the overall worth of a single diamond. Loose diamonds, in general, are easier to grade and often have more authentic appraisals given the appraiser can really examine the gem from all angles. Regardless of whether or not it is set into a fine jewelry piece or not, they are measured according to the same standards. The color, clarity, cut and carat weight are all used as a way to determine the final value of the diamond.

Some of these are more obvious than others. Colored diamonds are often artificially heat treated in order to achieve the desired color, and naturally pink diamonds, for example, are incredibly rare and very expensive. Carat weight generally refers to size, although a large diamond with noticeable imperfections will not achieve as high of a value as a more perfect, smaller gem quality diamond. The cut refers to the shape and number of facets the diamond has, and clarity refers to the perfection. If there is noticeable discoloration, scratches, or fogginess upon either close microscopic inspection or a more general visual inspection, the value suffers.

Diamonds are unique. There are no other gemstones that can convey the same sense of class, glamour and grace. No matter the piece they are set into – stud earrings, engagement rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. – they bring something indescribable to your overall aesthetic. Understanding more about how these irreplaceable natural gems are shaped and assessed for quality and price adjustment is just one of the ways that you can use to further explore your love of diamonds. They are part of a fascinating and world changing industry.

 

 

Having Some Clarity When Shopping For Diamond Engagement Rings

There are many factors that go into a jeweler deciding how much each of their diamond engagement rings are going to cost. Some of those are easy for customers to see, such as engagement rings that are completely alike except for the overall size of the diamond, but several others are almost impossible to notice and cannot be seen with the naked eye. One of these determining factors is the clarity of the diamonds being used in the diamond engagement rings.

 

Amidon Jewelers - Put us to the test

Amidon Jewelers – Put us to the test

 

The clarity of diamonds is divided into two categories, blemishes and inclusions. Blemishes are any imperfections that are visible on the surface of the diamond and can be naturally occurring grain boundaries and dark spots as well as cuts and nicks from the cutting process. Inclusions are imperfections that happen inside of the diamond – some jewelers prefer the term “internal characteristics” when grading diamonds – and almost always are naturally occurring imperfections.

 

Depending on where a diamond falls on the scale of clarity affects the value of the diamond engagement rings they are part of. All of the grading is done in a controlled environment of 10 times magnification and dark field illumination. There are six categories ranging from flawless to included, with several sub-categories in between. By using differently graded diamonds while designing engagement rings, this allows jewelers to offer the same style ring at varying prices, thereby helping everyone get the diamond engagement rings of their dreams while staying within their budget.

 

It is important to remember that all of the clarity grades are determined by looking at the diamonds through 10 times magnification. Any diamonds that have inclusions visible to the naked eye are not used for diamond engagement rings but rather relegated to industrial use. Only one out of every five diamonds is considered to be of a high enough quality to be used in engagement rings and other fine jewelry.

 

Clarity is one of the four C’s jewelers use as part of the way to determine the value of diamond engagement rings, the other three being cut, color and carat. Understanding the difference in the clarity of the engagement rings can help you make an informed purchase by spending the appropriate amount of money while still having an engagement ring that looks perfectly flawless to the naked eye. Only you and the jeweler will know the difference.

 

Making One Purchase Last A Lifetime

Outside of maybe eventually buying a house, I knew there was nothing I was ever going to purchase once and only once in my life other than a diamond engagement ring. That was pressure enough on me to make sure I picked the right one. I certainly didn’t need the advice from friends, family members and coworkers about the type of engagement rings they liked or thought I should buy, but boy did I get it! I found it kind of amusing actually that people who had never even been married seemed to suddenly become an expert on wedding jewelry.

 

Phantom 105 Diamond Engagement Ring

Phantom 105 Diamond Engagement Ring

The only expert I was concerned with talking to was the one I knew I’d find at the local jewelry store. I did a little bit of research ahead of time, not only so I’d have an idea of what type of diamond engagement rings I wanted to look at but also that the staff would be able to answer my questions and point out what makes each diamond different. I was thrilled to find out that the staff in question was trained at an accredited gemological institute. Meaning that these weren’t people just doing a job, but committed professionals dedicated to their career.

 

The other thing I did was spend half a personal day and go shopping on a random Tuesday afternoon. I wanted to be sure I had as much time as I wanted to look over all the rings, ask all the questions I had and not feel pressured into buying something or rushed by other customers. The sales associate was supremely patient and earned my respect right off the bat by asking me what my budget was. Knowing that, she showed me several different and distinct styles of engagement rings, none of which were more than I could afford.

 

She was even smart enough to give me some space when she could tell I had narrowed it down to two different diamond engagement rings. I had told myself that I wouldn’t make a decision on the first day, but she had done such a thorough job of helping me make my decision and leading me to what was the perfect ring, I knew then that I didn’t have to wait.

 

Loose Diamonds Vs. Synthetic Gemstones: Can You Tell The Difference?

When it comes to buying loose diamonds for your next jewelry project, you should certainly do a little research before picking the biggest one out of the bunch! Your jeweler will always point you in the right direction, but why not come to the business transaction prepared and full of information? Just like any other time you would spend a large sum of money, you definitely want and need to know everything you can about the entire process.

Diamond Buying Guide

Diamond Buying Guide

The very first thing you will probably be curious about is the difference between naturally made stones and synthetic, lab created stones. You may be surprised as to what you will find when you open up your internet browser and get down to business. Synthetic gems are created in a lab while natural gems are created by the earth. This may be common knowledge. Synthetic gems were initially created in the late 1800s and were originally created for uses other than jewelry! Other commercial industries found they needed these gems, but wanted to figure out a way to manufacture them so they did not have to rely on finding them in the earth somewhere underground. Laser technology, communications and abrasions are some industries where these synthetic crystals can be of good use. However, if you are selling these lab crated stones, you must be perfectly clear they are not naturally made stones.

Loose diamonds have a synthetic counterpart and it is called the cubic zirconia. You may have heard this term before and think of a CZ as a “fake diamond.” You would be correct in saying that, but they should not have a negative connotation at all. Certified loose diamonds are all natural diamonds, but the CZ is a less expensive counterpart where no one could ever tell the difference just by looking at it with their eyes. CZ’s are perfectly flawless since they are created in a lab, while most loose diamonds you will encounter will certainly have some flaws. Since real diamonds are made naturally, this makes perfect sense that they would have gotten beat up a little bit along the way. The method in which the earth produces diamonds is a long and intense process that is certainly one of the world’s wonders. CZ’s are more dense, less hard (on the Mohs hardness scale, CZ is 8 while a real loose diamond is 10) and CZ’s can have smooth or rounded facets cut into them.