The Connoisseurs' Guide to Premier Design Jewelry Featured

With a little help from our crystal clear guide, buying the perfect diamond is easy

by 01 April 2010

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but not if you make a bad decision. With so many sizes, types and vastly varying qualities of stone, you can be forgiven for being confused about the price. To ensure you buy the finest stone for your money, we’ve determined the best advice to follow.

*Nader Freiha, publisher of Jewels of Arabia recommends that you buy your jewellery from a reputable jewellery house. Brands like Chanel, with haute ranges are the perfect trusted source for expensive stones.

*Request formal certification to confirm the stone’s quality, colour and cut, especially if you’re buying coloured gemstones which can be treated to enhance colour and quality.

*Buy for love, not as an investment. Characteristically, prices of high-quality diamonds have risen over time, but this could easily change.

*Auction houses such as Christies, offer a diverse selection of stones and design with an interesting history. In-house experts can educate and advise you on the best purchase.

*Jewellery consultants use industry contacts to offer an invaluable service, tracking down rare stones, by-appointment designers and antique pieces.

*Insure your jewellery. Once you’ve made your purchase, protect it with an adequate policy.

Diamonds Carat, cut, clarity and colour are the industry-wide parameters used to judge and price a stone. This still means that two stones with the same values can look different to the naked eye. This is where an unbiased appraisal report is essential for diamonds weighing one carat or more. It is always important to make sure your precious stone has been passed by The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which was created to combat the flow of conflict diamonds. Referred to as ‘blood diamonds’ they are usually uncut stones from African nations used illegally to finance wars. The Kimberley Process provides guidelines for diamond trading to be regulated and certificated among its participants.

Coloured diamonds Fashionable coloured or “fancy” diamonds owe their unusual appearance to earth elements that tint the stone, like nitrogen that creates a yellow diamond. The rarest and most valuable are red, purple, green and orange. Pink, yellow and brown diamonds are more common but are scarce in intense shades and large sizes. The high price fetched for these smaller gems means it’s even more essential to seek expert advice from an auction house, diamond dealer or retail jeweller.

In essence, the value of these stones are judged by the colour intensity, which is graded on an industry scale that ranges from feint to vivid, best assessed by the eye in comparison to other similar stones.

Phenomenal stones These unique, collectable stones are probably best known and loved for their rare and mystical features. Typically, they exhibit the most unusual qualities, including colours that change with a flicker of the light. Some may emit a luminescence all of their very own, while others are prized for their exemplary quality and incredible size. Alexandrite for example, changes from red in incandescent light to green in daylight. Some of the best examples of a phenomenal stone are cat’s eye chysoberyl and star sapphire, both of which have natural, translucent silky strands that when positioned correctly reflect the ambient to create a star or ray of light.
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