The Jeweler's Eye
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I am a jewelry designer and gemologist. I love creating beautiful heirloom jewelry for clients all over the world. In this blog, I feature many of my designs and current projects as well as articles about colored gemstones, diamonds and antique jewelry. As a historian and lover of antique and estate jewelry, I am often inspired by jewels from the past.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pink Diamonds - Natural Beauties

This is a platinum and diamond ring I designed, featuring a natural Fancy Intense Purplish-Pink emerald cut diamond. I also incorporated small round colorless diamonds and a striking pair of kite shaped side diamonds to create a dramatic effect for this spectacular pink diamond. The body of the ring is hand fabricated in 95% platinum, with just a hint of 18kt rose gold in the scroll like elements on the face of the setting gallery.

Natural Pink Diamonds are one of nature's true beauties. Most of the finer quality natural pink diamonds are from the Argyle diamond mine in Australia. The Argyle mine is renowned for striking red and pink diamonds.

Fancy color diamonds are graded in nine color classifications:

Very Light
Fancy Light
Fancy Dark
Fancy Intense
Fancy Deep
Fancy Vivid

The finest three classifications - Fancy Intense, Vivid and Deep - are much rarer than the lighter, less saturated grades.

When I am evaluating colored diamonds, I first ascertain what classification of color to apply to the stone, using the 9 basic categories above. Within each color classification there are 10 increments or levels of color. So my next step is to assign a level within the pertinent color classification.

For example, a diamond labeled as Fancy Intense can vary tremendously in the quality of the color. Is it a low fancy intense bordering just Fancy Yellow (i.e. level 1 - 3) or is it a solid Fancy Intense (i.e. level 4 - 6) or perhaps a strong Fancy Intense, approaching the Vivid classification (i.e. level 7 - 10) with level 10 notating the stone is borderline Vivid.

This numerical scale is not a standard nomenclature within the diamond industry, however, it is certainly an unspoken scale often used between diamond cutters, dealers and knowledgeable buyers.

This is a ring I custom designed and created for a client, to showcase a gorgeous oval colorless diamond. I matched up a layout of uniform size fancy intense pink diamonds to create this incredible design. The body of this ring is also custom crafted in 95% platinum, with the channel setting for the pink diamonds lined in 18kt rose gold.

When designing important rings for clients, I am often asked to feature or incorporate rare stones such as natural Pink Diamonds. Locating fine quality pinks is, in itself, a real art because they are so rare. Not all diamond cutters work with pinks, due to their limited supply and high cost. Over the years, I have researched, located and evaluated many very fine pink diamonds while developing a great network of cutters and suppliers that specialize in these rare beauties.

The natural fancy color diamond market is a small niche, not for the faint of heart, because rare stones like these will cost significantly more than colorless diamonds of similar size. And supply will only become even more limited as the Argyle mines work the lower portion of the diamond bearing pipes.

In fact, it is predicted that the main supply of Argyle pink diamonds will dwindle during this year. According to the Argyle Diamond Company, their open pit has a scheduled life to 2008 but they expect a further low grade open pit option in conjunction with the underground option and this underground mine could extend the life of the mine life to 2024.

Considering the short life of this mine and the increased interest in pink diamonds, prices for rough and polished stones will likely continue to escalate.

So what does that mean today? There are still opportunities to purchase rare pink diamonds, but prices have already started to noticeably increase. If you are contemplating purchasing a natural pink diamond in the future, the time to make your investment is now. Prices will most likely continue to go up and possibly at a high rate, unless another source for these spectacular diamonds is found.

If you would like to learn more about natural pink diamonds and some of the jewelry I have created featuring pink diamonds, please visit my diamond ring gallery and website.

I frequently help clients purchase rare pink diamonds which they may add to their loose stone collection or have featured in an exciting custom jewel. To learn more about my diamond brokering service and custom designed jewelry, please send me an email.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sapphire and Diamond Earrings - Classic Designs

Sapphires and diamonds are the perfect combination for a classic pair of earrings. My inspiration for these beautiful ear jewels came from dew drops glistening on flowers in the early morning sunlight.

The pear shape sapphires are a rich blue hue that appear to glow with an inner blue flame. Above each pear shape sapphire is a quatrefoil arrangement of marquise diamonds arrenged like four petals in a flower.

The earrings are crafted in platinum and polished to a mirror like finish. They also have a very sturdy construction, with a wire style basket for each stone.

The straight post is attached behind the center of the flower like cluster of marquise diamonds to allow for proper support on the earlobe. This also allows the diamond flower to set on the earlobe for a more dramatic effect, with the sapphires dangling gently beneath the lobe.

These striking drop earrings are just over 1/2" long and 1/4" wide. The two sapphires weigh approximately 1.10 carats each for a combined weight of 2.27 carats. The eight marquise diamonds weigh a total of 0.98 carats. The diamonds have F to G color grades and VS2 to SI1 clarity grades.

Another classic design is this traditional sapphire and diamond cluster stud earring. Each earring features a brilliant round sapphire surrounded by smaller round colorless diamonds. The arrangement of gems forms a starburst effect that really twinkles on the ears !

These are also surdily crafted in platinum and meant to be worn daily. The straight post is centered behind the sapphire for perfect placement on the ear lobe.

These star-shaped earrings measure just over 3/8" from point to opposite point. The two sapphires weigh approximately 0.40 carats each for a combined weight of 0.81 carats. And the sixteen surrounding diamonds weigh a total of 0.62 carats

When shopping for fine quality earrings, you should carefully check the settings and make sure they are carefully crafted and durable. Also examine the backside to see how well the stones are supported. The back and underneath portions of fine quality jewelry should be finished as nicely as the topside.

The quality of the metal is also an important consideration. I prefer platinum over white gold. Platinum is certainly a superior metal and much more durable than white gold. It is also a naturally white metal and does not tarnish.

To learn more about these two pairs of earrings, please visit my earring gallery and check out a wide variety of gemstone earrings and styles. I offer a nice grouping of earrings for sale, including the above sapphire and diamond styles.