Three Facts About Diamonds
Get real answers about diamonds on a one to one basis from Khoury Bros. -sixth generation jewelers with hands on diamond cutting expertise.
1. Q: Are diamond certificates definitive?
While indispensable as a guideline, diamond “certificates” remain essentially subjective evaluations; so subjective, in fact, that they are rarely called “certificates”by the labs issuing them. GIA officially calls their certificates Diamond Report, and AGS, Diamond Document.
Why aren’t the labs calling these reports “certificates”? Because the word “certificate”by definition and implication means guarantee. Every report has a disclaimer acknowledging that their findings are subjective. Here is an excerpt of the disclaimer accompanying every GIA Diamond Report: “This report is not a guarantee, valuation or appraisal” The report goes further with a clear cut recommendation: “The recipient of this report may wish to consult a credentialed jeweler or gemologist”
2. Q: Why the confusion over diamond pricing?
A customer once asked after browsing for diamonds on the internet- and this happens all the time- “Why was one 2 carat G/VS1 ideal cut priced at $24,500, and another at $31,500, both with the same color, cut and clarity grading listed on the same website?” Diamond websites are always replete with similar examples.
The answer is clear that no two diamonds with the same color, cut, or clarity grading are necessarily or indeed ever identical.
The notion that each individual diamond is unique is buttressed by the fact that practically all diamonds are hand cut. The importance of cut in a diamond is best illustrated in a paragraph that appears in every AGS Diamond Document reading: “Because of cutting, diamonds with the same color and clarity grades can vary in value by as much as 50% or more.”
To adequately evaluate the overall actual quality, or “beauty,” of a diamond, and hence its real value, AGS Document, like the ones issued by GIA and others, also further recommend the following: “Therefore it is advisable to consult a certified gemologist or other credentialed gemologist, before purchasing this diamond.
3. Q: What is the “beauty” of a diamond?
A diamond’s beauty depends on its light performance. It takes more than the form of brilliancy; it includes fire and scintillation.
When buying a diamond, most people rely on the Diamond Report “certificate” and make a decision based on the report and on how great the brilliancy of a diamond is as it appears to them when they are looking at it, probably under special diamond lighting most jewelers have situated above their diamond cases.
It’s an oxymoron! As important as brilliancy is, too much of it is actually detrimental to the overall “beauty” of a diamond, and hence its value. It douses much of the diamond’s fire, and drowns out the large flashes or pinpoints of spectrum color that a diamond needs to have in order to be lively and have complete “beauty.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
An official degree in gemology is a residency study that takes a student less than one year to complete and become a graduate gemologist; approximately one month of which is devoted to diamonds. Only few gemologists realize that the majority of modern diamonds are fairly easily cut within certain proportion parameters to achieve one easily obtainable objective- maximum light reflection and the resulting illusory brilliance. To people with untrained eyes the commonly cut diamonds with illusory high brilliancy, pop right out the moment they look at them, not unlike when there is too much sugar or salt added to food for instant palette gratification. But, to a seasoned diamond cutter, diamonds that are just highly brilliant have hardly any “life,” and are lacking in light dispersion, which is crucial to a diamond’s “beauty.” Achieving dispersion and/or fire is where the art of cutting is: it entails a difficult precise arrangement in the shaping of the facets and their alignment with each other in order to maximize the refraction of light.
The resulting coveted balance between brilliance and fire requires more time for a lay person to be able to discern, but when the superior cutting is achieved, all its glitter; its sharp white and color flashes alternating with its darker ones; its glorious scintillation and sparkling- the gorgeous effect of such a rare handicraft will definitely move the customer every time he or she lays their eyes on it; today, tomorrow, and forever.
The bottom line is: Khoury Bros. provides value. Quality for quality, our superior cut diamonds are priced on average 4-11% less than other sources and our jewelry, 15% less.
Why? We are a direct source. We keep our advertising budget to a minimum and our insurance premiums are much lower than otherwise because we are located in secure malls.