Posts Tagged 'style'

Chocolate, Champagne, Cognac – Better to eat & drink, or to wear?

December, 13 2012

Chocolate, Champagne, Cognac – Better to eat & drink, or to wear?

Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, I thought I should shed some light onto a few things I have noticed. Granted I started seeing holiday shopping guides, commercials, and advertisements the day after Halloween, but now that we are mid-December, it seems the jewelry industry especially is pouring on the deals and bargains for “luxury” and high end items.

The most common commercial I have seen is one involving chocolate diamonds, and how to “upgrade her craving for chocolate” by purchasing an exclusive and rare chocolate diamond ring, necklace, or bracelet.

I find these commercials, like most marketing, to be misleading. By the same token, I recognize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that many people like the look of chocolate, champagne, or cognac diamonds. My goal for this article is just to give the rest of the story – you know, the one the jewelry industry sometimes leaves out.

As a quick refresher, diamonds are typically graded for their absence of color in the D-Z color range. Any diamond that displays a hue of color found in a rainbow, other than yellow or brown, is graded as a fancy color. Diamonds that display a yellow hue that is outside the Z color range is still considered a fancy color, while brown is not. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) recognizes 27 hues, or the basic impression of color, for color-grading diamonds brown is not one of them.

Circ Graph

Legend for Graph

Note: The predominate hue is stated last. Source: GIA – Winter 1994 Gems and Gemology Article.

Brown diamonds are considered to be low quality, and until the 1980’s were considered industrial quality only.  It was during this time that abundant quantities of them appeared from the Argyle mines in Australia.

Given the diamond’s poor quality, and that the diamond market did not recognize brown as a fancy color, the Australians took a creative route. They began setting these diamonds in jewelry and gave them names like “champagne” and “chocolate” – words that evoke ideas of luxury.  Needless to say the marketing worked and brown diamonds are not only the least rare, but are also the most common diamond color to be found in medium-priced jewelry designs today.

So, if the one you love is perhaps “craving” something a little different, and is interested in having a brown diamond, just keep these things in mind when shopping:

1)   Brown diamonds range greatly in tone, or their relative amount of lightness or darkness. You want to look for one that has a medium to dark tone, with a warm, golden to reddish appearance.  These look the most vibrant when used in jewelry, and still maintain some of the brilliance that is expected of a diamond.

2)   Brown diamonds should be sold at a considerably lower price point than their colorless counterparts. If you think you are paying too much, you probably are. There are other gemstones that have a similar appearance to a brown diamond, but are sold at a fraction of the price. – Consider a Smoky Quartz, Imperial Topaz, or Brown Tourmaline as some alternatives.

Regardless of the amount of marketing, advertising, and sales that are going on this holiday shopping season, being an informed consumer is the most important thing. Always do your own research, and ask questions! MJ Gabel is ALWAYS available to answer questions, or address concerns that people have about a jewelry purchase. We are happy to guide, educate, and consult with consumers so they can make an informed decision.

As the holiday approaches, please remember what this season is truly about – it’s not about the gifts, the money, or the diamonds! This season is about spending time with the ones you love, giving back to your community, and be thankful for all the things, small or large, that you are already blessed with. Happy Holidays!

If you are unaware of what your diamonds characteristics are, contact MJ Gabel and take advantage of a free diamond evaluation.

www.MJGabel.com

800-804-1980

Louis Vuitton vs Target

Louis Vuitton vs Target..

Successful brand names can help create an allure and the idea of high quality. A woman may choose to pay more for a leather handbag because it carries the name “Louis Vuitton” or she may choose to purchase a specific line of hair care products because she’s “worth it”.  Branding can help to distinguish products from their competitors while also creating the idea of consumer confidence. This is also a good way to increase profits as often times consumers are often willing to pay more for a name they know, recognize, and equate with high value or status.

Diamonds are no different. Is a “Leo” diamond better than a “Hearts on Fire”? And is either better than a GIA graded diamond with an Excellent cut, but no brand name? The idea of marketing a “brand-name” diamond is not a new concept, and is centered on simply a specific combination of proportions that were used to cut the diamond. When light interacts with a diamond, every angle, proportion and facet affects what is returned to the viewer’s eye – this is what gives a diamond a face-up appearance.

As shown above, these basic parts all have a relationship with each other, and their basic proportions in combination to the precision of the diamond’s facets are contributing to the interaction between the diamond and light. The bottom line is this, that every facet, every angle and their relationship to each other affect amount of light returned or lost in a diamond.

The majority of diamond brands focus on and promote the idea of an “ideal” cut diamond.  The claim is that their specific proportions create the maximum amount of fire (flashes of color seen within a diamond) and brilliance (reflections of white light).  For example, the “Leo” diamond is one that has 66 facets rather than the standard 57-58 of a Round Brilliant, while the “Hearts on Fire” diamond has “hearts and arrows” that can be seen in the table down position. Do the extra facets create a more brilliant diamond? What is more likely to create the most brilliance is a diamond with proportions that fall within certain limits, and all well cut diamonds will display “hearts and arrows,” not just the ones that are branded as such.

Modern diamond cutters have made an attempt to derive the “best” table size, pavilion angle, and crown angle for a Round Brilliant. They argue that the values of these three proportions will produce the most fire and brilliance in a diamond. While there are agreed upon standards for a well cut diamond, there is no positive proof that any one set of proportions will produce an “ideal” cut stone.

GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) does not recognize an “ideal” cut, but rather has created a standard cut grading system. This system assigns a cut grade as determined by that specific diamond’s proportions and the amount of fire, brilliance and scintillation or pattern the diamond displays: Excellent (Ex), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F), and Poor (P).

In addition to a cut grade, GIA also assigns a grade to the diamond’s overall finish. That grade describes its polish and symmetry as a reflection of the craftsmanship that went into the stone. Using the same scale from Excellent to Poor. These two grades combined reflect how much fire and brilliance a diamond displays.

Keep in mind that like the rest of the retail market, a brand name diamond may be more expensive even thought is the same grade as all the others on the shelf. What is important to understand is that not all diamonds are created equal and how well a diamond is cut has a large impact on its beauty. Remember, a diamond that is GIA certified as having an Excellent cut will shine, fire, and sparkle just as much as one that carries a brand name.

Every diamond is cut with extreme care and craftsmanship. Every facet in a well-cut diamond acts as a tiny mirror that interacts with the light to help create the stone’s face-up appearance. Two 1.00 carat diamonds with equal clarity and color characteristics set side by side both with Excellent cut grades will both display equal amounts of light. The only difference may be that one may have a brand name, and carry a higher price tag.

 

 

Be sure to check out www.mjgabel.com

If you are  selling a loose or mounted diamond get in touch with us and take advantage of our free consulting.

MJ Gabel Diamond Ring Buyers: 800-804-1980

 

References

“About the 4Cs.” About the 4Cs. Gemological Institute of America, 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.gia.edu/lab-reports-services/about-the-4cs/index.html>.

“Features.” Unsurpassed Diamond Brilliance. Leo Schachter Diamonds, LLC, 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.theleodiamond.com/theleodiamond/unsurpassedbrilliance.aspx>.

“The Cut Of Our Diamonds.” Diamond Story. N.p., 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.heartsonfire.com/learn-about-our-diamonds/the-story/the-cut.aspx>.