What’s It Worth? When It Comes To Diamonds - Know Your Jeweler

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Over the past 20 years, identifying genuine diamonds from non-genuine has become a landmine of possible tragedy or disappointment. The reason you need to know your jeweler is because there are so many variations of diamond misdirection, scams, and confusion. In the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, all you had to worry about were fraudulent certificates from less-than-stellar labs.

Many labs are liberal with their grading. But around 2012, it became especially bad with one particular lab. The “certificates” they issued – EGL International or EGL Israel – were so unreliable that many listing services refused to allow diamonds with these certificates to even be listed. (Many jewelers have been under investigation for selling EGL International or EGL Israel certificates.)

Please choose your diamond seller wisely and do your research online.

Today we have even more hurdles. Diamonds that are of a certain chemical make-up — so-called Type II-A, which come out of the ground with a brown color — are being shipped to facilities that use extremely high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) to increase the color from L or M and brown to D-to-H color. Additionally, irradiation of genuine diamonds can cause them to turn a myriad of colors — from pink to blue to green and other colors. This is significant because a natural pink one-carat diamond can be worth $20,000 to $100,000, and a genuine diamond that has been modified by HTHP and irradiated to turn pink is worth less than $2,000.

Further confusing the market is the fast-growing synthetic diamond business. These are indeed diamonds, chemically and optically – but they were made in a laboratory, not “grown in the ground by God,” as the saying goes. In the beginning of this process, these diamonds were often imperfect, but now the factories that make them are making large, extremely white diamonds that will test as a diamond with the technology that most jewelers use since they are diamonds – just not natural.

Additionally, there are diamonds on the market that are “drilled and filled.” Meaning an extremely imperfect, natural diamond has been “fracture-filled” to remove black pique (what people call flaws or carbon, which is a misnomer) to make a genuine I2 diamond look like a VS2 or an SI-1 diamond.

At the end of the day, you need to trust that your jeweler will stand behind every diamond he or she sells and can help you determine what diamond is best for you.

We buy diamonds from 1/2 carat to 30 carats. Price is no object.

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GIA, Gemological Institute of America Inc IWJG, International Watch and Jewelry Guild NAWCC, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc DDC, Diamond Dealers Club New York ISG Global Network