The 4th C: GIA’s Cut Grading

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Often when people discuss diamonds they talk about the 4 C’s, which are Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut. However, the 4th C is not often a priority for many buyers in the market. Sadly, without an adequate cut, a diamond of the best carat, color, and clarity can still look dull.

The GIA Cut Scale ranges from Excellent to Poor. The cut of a diamond gives that allure that people love. It is what draws people to the diamond. The cut of every diamond has three characteristics: brilliance, fire, and scintillation. The total amount of white light a diamond reflects is the brilliance. The colors of the spectrum the light disperses is called fire. Finally, the flashes of light, or sparkle you see when a diamond is moved is called scintillation.

To first understand how diamonds are cut, it is important to know how they are categorized. A round brilliant diamond traditionally has 58 facets and is used most commonly in all types of jewelry. All other shapes are considered fancy shapes.

When determining the value of a diamond’s cut, three factors are taken into account. These include a diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish. When looking at a round brilliant cut diamond from the side, it is divided into three sections: the crown, girdle, and pavilion. Sometimes a fourth section is included which is a tiny flat facet on the bottom called a culet. The flat facet on the top of the diamond is called the table. A diamonds proportions are based on the relationship between the table size, crown angle, and pavilion depth, all of which affect how light interacts with the diamond. If a diamond is cut too deep or shallow, light escapes through the side or bottom and does not reflect back through the crown. For more information on the GIA’s 4 C’s, visit http://www.gia.edu/lab-reports-services/about-the-4cs/index.html.
Overall, there are two types of diamond cuts: brilliant and step. On its side, a brilliant cut diamond extends from the center in a triangular shape. Round and princess cut diamonds are excellent examples of this. A step cut looks somewhat like a staircase when viewed through the crown.
Between each category of grading, there is a slight difference; however between an excellent and a poor cut diamond, there is a significant difference. When comparing diamond cuts, it is also to important to note the difference in price. If a diamond has an excellent cut, excellent polish, and excellent symmetry (also known as a Triple X in the jewelry industry), it will cost more than a diamond with excellent cut, very good polish, and very good symmetry and much more than a good cut, polish, and symmetry. Here at Inta Gems, we typically recommend purchasing a very good cut or above.

Many customers ask, “What is more important?” Out of the three factors that determine cut, we consider cut to be the most important. If you have a diamond that has an excellent cut with good polish and symmetry, that is a nice diamond. If you are on a tight budget and need to sacrifice color and clarity, we recommend that you attempt for a higher cut quality. Although the diamond may have a lower color and clarity, it will still have excellent brilliance, fire, and scintillation. In other words, it will still have a lot of sparkle, which is usually most important to many women, aside from carat size. For more information on our diamond inventory, visit http://www.intagems.com/diamonds/search/.

Fancy Yellow Diamonds

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Canary Diamonds are considered one of the most rare, beautiful diamonds. While the GIA diamond scale ranges from D-Z, further down the scale a diamond will reach the color area of fancy yellow or Canary diamond.

The color of a diamond is composed from the combination of hue, tone, and saturation. Hue is the basic shade that identifies the color. The tone is the amount of lightness or darkness, while the saturation is the intensity of the color.

While the GIA recognizes 27 hues for fancy-colored diamonds, each hue represents a range. To clasify each range, each hue is accompanied with specific grades. These grade levels are extremely important for colored diamonds because they determine the value. If a diamond has a stronger hue, it becomes more valuable.

How do yellow diamonds get their color?

Diamonds are conceived of 99.95% of carbon, while the other 0.05% consists of traces of other elements. For fancy yellow diamonds, traces of Nitrogen give them their natural yellow color. The more Nitrogen that exists in the atomic structure, the strength of color will increase. In other words, the more Nitrogen, the stronger yellow a diamond will be.

What is makes a yellow diamond considered Canary?

A diamond is considered a natural Canary when its hue is a pure yellow in color. This diamond group is divided into categories: Fancy Light Yellow, Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow, and Fancy Vivid Yellow. These classifications can affect price dramatically. While a 1.00 carat fancy light yellow can cost from $4,000-$6000, a 1.00carat fancy vivid yellow diamond can cost from $20,000-$30,000. As you can tell, color is critical in determining rarity and overall value.

How does fluorescence affect a fancy yellow diamond?

Fluorescence in white diamonds is typically viewed negatively; however, in colored diamonds, especially yellow, it can increase the intensity, which adds value to the diamond. While many people think that fluorescence only comes in blue, it can also come in colors such as green, white, orange, and yellow.

How does the clarity of a yellow diamond compare to other types of diamonds?

While there are many different types of colored diamonds, with fancy yellow diamonds, you have a much better chance of finding a clean stone. According to the GIA, in 2003, 80% if yellow diamonds graded were a VS clarity or better.

What shapes are most popular for yellow diamonds?

While round brilliant cuts are popular for white diamonds, this type of cut reduces the appearance of color due to the amount of light that reflects through the stone. Therefore, it is more popular for yellow diamonds to be cut in squarish shapes such as radiant or princess. It is also common for yellow diamonds to be oval cut.

Tips for Mounting

To enhance the color, several techniques are often used when setting yellow diamonds. One technique is to contrast the yellow diamonds by setting other colored diamonds around or beside it. Sometimes, a bezel style is better than a prong style depending on the diamond. Additionally, setters will use higher karat prongs to amplify to color of the lighter yellows. Lastly, if a ring is white gold or platinum, a yellow gold basket is used to to reflect a more intense yellow color. The diamond itself will often determine which type of setting is best. To see some of the setting styles we offer visit http://www.intagems.com/settings/.

Celebrity Yellow Diamonds

Singer Seal gave international supermodel Heidi Klum a 10 carat oval cut light, fancy yellow diamond. This beautiful stone was prong set tightly surrounded by yellow canary pave set diamonds on a 2.5mm band. The singer, Usher is also a big fan of yellow diamonds. He currently owns a watch with 1,000 tiny yellow diamonds that create his face. Legend Elton John also wears a 25 carat yellow diamond ring.

To see some of our yellow diamond inventory visit http://www.intagems.com/colored_diamonds/.

Yanna and Yang Get Married!

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My very own sister, Yanna, just got married this weekend at the Merritt Mansion in Pasadena. She met her now husband, Yang at UCLA Law School. The couple carried out very multi-cultural wedding with a Chinese Tea Ceremony, Korean Ceremony, and an American wedding. Steve’s daughter, Kailee was the flower girl. My sister wore a beautiful matching INTA Gems diamond necklace and earring set. The couple also bought their wedding bands and her engagement ring at INTA Gems. My sister looked beautiful in her wedding gown and the added sparkle from INTA Gem’s jewelry helped to make her wedding day more unique and unforgettable.

She wore an exquisite 18K white gold diamond necklace with 257 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing 5.52 carats and 69 marquise diamonds weighing 5.28 carats. The stock #80698. In addition, she wore 18K white gold diamonds earrings to compliment the necklace. The earrings had 6 pear shaped diamonds weighing 1.62 carats, 4 marquise weighing 1.14 carats, and 2 round diamonds weighing 0.50 carats. Our mother sported an 18K white gold INTA Gems diamond necklace with 267 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing 17.90 carats. The stock #80939.

Pictured on the left is a photo of my sister and me, her Maid of Honor.

The day was definitely a very memorable moment for our family. It was also a very intimate event wedding with their friend Andrew acting as the pastor and my brother Anthony as the MC for the night.

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My Name Is Earl actress, Jaime Pressly, 32, married entertainment lawyer, Simran Singh, 30, on a Saturday in Malibu after only two months of getting engaged. We are seeing a pattern of quickie weddings in Hollywood lately!

Singh proposed with a 5-carat round brilliant cut ring, worth about $75,000

The bride wore a Jenny Packham ivory custom gown encrusted with over 800,000 Swarovski crystals, and hand sewn beads and sequins along with a crystal head dress.
Her ten bridesmaids wore shiny platinum dresses with a one-shoulder design.

Pressley changed again to a glamorous Packham design for her reception.

A Deeper Look at Diamonds

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What are diamonds made of?

Unlike every other precious stone, a diamond is the only mineral made of a single element. Diamonds are composed 99.95% of carbon. The other 0.05% includes traces of other elements that are not the part of the primary chemical composition. These traces can affect both the color and shape of a diamond.

How are diamonds made?

Natural diamonds are formed under high temperature and pressure conditions approximately 90 miles beneath the earth’s surface. Without these conditions, the carbon will not pressurize. The structure of a diamond’s atoms contribute to its hardness. While graphite and diamonds are both composed of carbon, the pattern in which the atoms are arranged give a diamond its level of hardness. On the Mohs Scale of hardness, a diamond is given the highest rating at a 10. To view the Mohs scale of hardness, visit http://www.allaboutgemstones.com/mohs_hardness_scale.html.
Where do diamonds come from?

While diamonds come from all over the world, the most common sources are from Central and South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Australia, and India. Each year, approximatey 130 million carats of diamonds are mined throughout the world. Because diamonds are formed in such deep surfaces below the earth, they have to be brought to shallower surfaces in order to be mined. Naturally, this process is accomplished by deep volcanic eruptions that force magma through volcanic pipes. To learn more about this process visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamonds.

Why are diamonds so expensive?

As a general answer, diamonds are expensive beacuse of supply and demand. However, it is much more complicated than that. Throughout the years, diamonds have been found in large quantities. Unfortunately, many of these diamonds are not high in quality; therefore, the ones that do possess valued characteristics, based on the 4 C’s, are much more rare. This rarity is what gives diamonds their hefty price. This same concept applies with the price of larger diamonds. Many people think that a 2.0 carat diamond will be twice as expensive as a 1.0 carat diamonds; however, if they are of the same quality, the price exponentially increases. Another reason diamonds are expensive is because they are extremely difficult to cut. This is caused not only by the nature of the stones but because cut grading has evolved to such high standards.
To learn more about the 4 C’s of a diamonds visit http://www.gia.edu/lab-reports-services/about-the-4cs/index.html.
To learn more about the diamond inventory we offer visit http://www.intagems.com/diamonds/search/.

Khloe Kardashian’s Engagement Ring Look Alike

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Here at INTA Gems & Diamonds, we have rings just like Khloe Kardashian’s.
Here you see a micro pave platinum setting with 134 round brilliant cut diamonds with a total weight of 0.54 carats.
The center stone is a Radiant Cut Diamonds that has E Color, SI2 Clarity, and weighs a total of 0.90 carats.
In addition, this stone has a very good cut, very good polish, and very good symmetry, according to its certification from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
This is just one example of the hundreds of settings and diamonds we offer.
The total retail price for this set is $6,350. If you would like a ring just like Khloe Kardashian, INTA Gems is the place to go. Not only do we have a wide variety of rings but we do many custom designs as well.

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom– Wedded Bliss?

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Reality star from the hit E! reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s, Khloe Kardashian’s whirlwind romance wedding took place this past weekend on Sunday September 28th.

Kardashian wedded new beau Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers after only dating for a month. The Kardashian sisters have a penchant for athletes as her sister Kim is dating NFL running back Reggie Bush.

Odom proposed with a 9-carat diamond ring.

Was he trying to outdo the 4 million dollar 8-carat diamond ring that fellow Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant gave his wife Vanessa reportedly as an apology for his infidelities?

The wedding took place at the Bel-Air residence of a family friend with 250 invited guests, including Ryan Seacrest, Joe Francis, Alan Thicke, Kathie Lee Gifford and many other reality stars and NBA players with Babyface singing at the reception. Ok Magazine bought exclusive wedding photo rights for a whopping $270K and the wedding was also filmed for Karadashian’s hit reality show on E! Kourtney and Khloe take Miami

The Blue Hope Diamond

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The Blue Hope Diamond is the most infamous diamond in the world. In 1988 it was graded by GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The laboratory stated that the diamond is a fancy dark grayish-blue hue, but in 1996 it was revised to be a fancy deep grayish-blue hue. The diamond weights 45.52 carats. The stone also exhibits an intense luminescence (which means that after being exposed to ultraviolet light, a brilliant red ‘glow-in-the-dark’ effect known as phosphorescence is produced). The color remains for some time even after the light source has disappeared. The cut of the magnificent diamond is a cushion antique brilliant with a faceted girdle and extra facets at the pavilion. The clarity given to the stone is VS1, with slight whitish graining. The Hope Diamond along with other blue diamonds get their blue color from having some amounts of boron. And because of the element boron, blue diamonds are great conductors of electricity.

The Hope Diamond was once owned by Louis XIV and was officially given the title as “the blue diamond of the crown.” During the French Revolution the diamond was stolen and ended up in London in 1830. Then, Henry Philip Hope (whom the diamond is named after) bought the stone. In contradiction to the diamond’s name, it acquired a reputation for bringing bad luck to its bearer. In fact, the Hope family who had possession of the diamond had died in poverty. Later, the diamond was taken into possession by Edward McLean. Unfortunately, he also befell a similar misfortune as the Hope family. After the unfortunate event that befell McLean estate, Harry Winston, Inc. bought the Hope Diamond and donated it to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. For more information on the diamond check out: http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_Si/nmnh/hope.htm

Currently the Hope Diamond has been unmasked from its setting in a bare state on display at the Smithsonian Institution for the first time. Find out more information on the naked Hope Diamond at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090923/ap_on_go_ot/us_naked_hope

And to browse through our collection of colored diamond jewelry go to:
http://www.intagems.com/colored_diamonds/

For more information regarding colored diamonds or loose diamonds please give us a call (213) 689-9650.

Sell Your Gold at the Height of the Market

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Do you have old gold jewelry that you don’t wear? Or did your aunt give you a gold ring that you just don’t wear anymore? Gold is at over $1,000 per ounce. Why not sell it? We’re buying gold right now. And if you’re interested in trading in your gold for cash or credit at INTA Gems, we can do that. Just contact us and we can give you the estimated value of what your gold costs now. Send us an email at intainfo@intagems.com or call us at 213-689-9650 to make an appointment.