These three qualities are very difficult to cut into one stone so that all are evident. Cutters also think about maximizing the size of the finished product, so it's usually a tradeoff. Her diamond was rare, utter perfection.
Her partner had chosen the ring in Japan, at the renowned house Niwaka of Kyoto. I was not surprised: Japan has long been an avid diamond market and the Japanese aesthetic tends toward smaller stones of exceptional quality.
Buyers are averse to "blood" or "conflict" diamonds, and vendors scramble to offer acceptable product. I recently cautioned a blogger who entered an affiliation with well-known Internet brand "because of their ethics" to be careful. Any "certified fair trade" diamonds sourced from Africa should be viewed with skepticism; the vaunted Kimberly Accord process has been proven flawed.
In a short Salon article, "The myth of conflict-free diamonds", Katie McDonough summarizes the complexities and links to a full report in Foreign Policy (registration required to read). McDonough's last word is "buy synthetic", but it isn't mine, because of how badly even the costliest CZs wear in a ring or bracelet—but for earrings, sims offer a carefree alternative.
You have two options for wearing the gem with a clean conscience: buy Canadian such as Canadamark, or choose the new lab-grown diamonds, like those from the Diamond Foundry. Canadian diamonds are mined in Nunavit, in the conventional way, but Diamond Foundry (and at least eight competitors) make them in labs.
Diamond Foundry, one of CNBC's Top 50 Disruptors of 2016, call their stones "real diamonds" because the earth's process is replicated in their plasma reactors. They are neither CZ nor moissanite (whose sellers often attach the term "lab-created" to their ads, too). You can read about the process here.
That's only part of the picture; cut is king. Diamond Foundry's home page refers to "living legends of the diamond industry" as creators of their cuts, and stewards. Who knows who actually cuts your diamond, but it isn't essential. See the stone, see if it sings like Parveen's.
Prices for DF loose diamonds run around 20-25% lower than those listed by well-known online vendors, and less compared to high-end branded diamonds, though I have compared only a few popular cuts and sizes.
The DF site features some enticing, innovative design by artisans who create pieces set with the diamond of your choice, from tiny to titanic. The styles are alluring compared to the usual fussy baubles and manufactured
|April Higashi on Diamond Foundry|
I would love to order a DF stone and take it to the diamond merchants where I work for their assessment, but it would be costly because of nonrefundable customs fees and the hit I'd take on currency exchange for the return. But my knickers are in a twist to get the scoop; if you own a Diamond Foundry stone or if you're a jeweller working with the product, please comment with your take. You can also see DF diamonds at selected stores, presently only in California, but I expect the network to grow.
Meanwhile, industry blogs and press are playing it close to the spangled vest, using descriptors like "atomically identical to their earth-forged counterparts", and emphasizing the benefits of a worry-free twinkler. No one is asking, "But wait, are these diamonds good value? Will the price drop like the iPod's? In ten years, will we indeed have diamonds on the soles of our shoes?"
If I had my sample DF stone (this round 1.03 ct. G colour VS2 clarity, Very Good cut) I would ask Isaac the diamondaire to assess Diamond Foundry's quality and price, $US 5, 290 compared to Blue Nile's similar stone for about $1, 000 more). I would ask, Will lab-created diamonds hold their value? Would it be wiser to drop another grand on the mined diamond, or to take the discount now?
And while at it, I'd order an assortment of cuts, colours and sizes of both types to see if he could sort the mined and lab stones accurately. Or is it indeed, as DF's website says, "a diamond is a diamond is a diamond"?
The lab-grown feature would have to be disclosed if you sell the diamond—but, since they are so new, would they be even desirable on the resale market? I can't find anyone's opinion on record, but I'm sure the dealers are talking about it.
The appreciation of a one-carat or less, good to very grade diamond isn't significant, so don't buy one mainly as an investment, and remember that in time, diamonds show wear, which affects value.
|Big blue record-setter|
We knew of a Florida company whose marketed big, fine coloured diamonds to clients who wanted highly liquid assets that could be carried easily; you figure out who that proposition attracts. An investor can even buy PinkCoin, a kind of deluxe Bitcoin backed by coloured diamonds.
A middle road is the purchase of secondhand diamonds, from a reputable vendor. Yes, who knows where and how the stones were mined, back then? Like dating a person with some history, you just have to choose to accept what you get now. Honest dealers will disclose the provenance if they know it. (Not always so at auctions; read my two-part post, if shopping those.)
At Beladora, Nancy Revy and her team will give you the straight goods, provide an opportunity for you to try on your piece, and help you make a decision if you can't pick. Here are two standouts from each end of the price range.
|Deco posh pinky|
As Marilyn Monroe sang, "Square-cut or pear shape, those rocks don't lose their shape." Here is a look at mine (ring, not shape, you minx!)