Darla and Jack Come Back


Jack and Darla along with their lovely baby girl graced us with their visit at INTA Gems today. The lovely family stopped by to purchase 1.07ct diamond GIA certified D color and SI1 clarity stud earrings and have some simple ring maintenance done on their rings. We hope to see them again soon!

Certified vs. Non-Certified

intablogdiamonds, education

No two stones are exactly alike, which can make shopping for one somewhat difficult. One of the most significant attributes of the selection process is whether or not the stone is certified. Certification is the written proof of a stone’s unique characteristics.

The greatest benefit of purchasing a certified stone is that you have written documentation that the stone has the exact specifications that the jeweler claims the stone to be. Purchasing a non-certified stone for this reason alone can be quite alarming, especially if your knowledge is limited on diamonds and gemstones. In addition, this helps with acquiring an appraisal.
For diamonds, the certification lists not only the date the stone was certified but whether or not it has an inscription, the shape and cutting style, measurements, carat weight, color grade, clarity grade, cut grade, the polish and symmetry, and the fluorescence. In addition, many certifications include a diagram indiciating the exact locations of inclusions as well as the type of inclusion. It also provides you with the diamonds proportions and, perhaps one of the most significant qualities to look for, whether or not the stone is damaged or color treated.
Types of Certifications
The type of certification is something to be considered as well. The three major certifications that exist are from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), European Gemological Laboratory (EGL), and American Gem Society (AGS). Here at Inta Gems we consider the AGS to have the most strict guidelines and to be extremely credible; however, the GIA is probably the most well-renowned insitution. In fact, most of our stones have certifications from the GIA.
Guidelines from the AGS and GIA are much more strict than the EGL. In some cases, we have noticed EGL certified stones color to vary in a half or full grade in difference when compared to GIA or AGS.
Because of this reason, it is suggested that when purchasing an EGL certified stone, that you strive for a higher quality diamond.
Purchasing certified can have a great impact on the price of the stone, which can be as much as $100-$125 per carat. The type of certification can also create a difference in price. Because EGL certified stones tend to be a little lower in quality in comparison to AGS or GIA certified stones, the price can be a little lower.
One of the greatest benefits to purchasing non-certified is, beyond any doubt, the affect it has on price. Non-certified stones are significantly less in price. The most identifiable negative to purchasing non-certified; however, is the stone having qualities that you are not aware of. A diamond, for example may not be the same color, clarity, cut, and carat that you expect, or worse, it could be chipped or cosmetically treated to improve its appearance. Laser drilling is a great example of a cosmetic procedure. In this process, gemologists drill into the stone and vacuum out an inclusion leaving a needle-like hole, which significantly devalues the diamond compared to a natural, untreated diamond.
While their is a difference in price between certified and non-certified stones, this does not mean all certified stones are expensive. There are plenty of stones that are very inexpensive, but also have the guarantee that your purchase has validity.
Gemstone Certification
Regarding gemstones, about 90% are actually not certified. Unless the stone is extremely rare, it is not worth the investment to certify. For example, amethyst stones cost about $10 a carat. Because certifications cost about $100 per carat, for a 5 carat amethyst, the certification would cost $500 while the stone itself only costs $50. Here at Inta Gems, we sell both certified and non-certified gemstones, but carry mostly non-certified.
We also carry some small non-certified diamonds that are extremely low in quality; however, we always recommend buying a certified diamond unless you are extremely qualified gemologist.
This decision now rests wherever your priorities lay. Good luck and happy shopping!
Featured in this blog are examples of certifications for diamond certification from AGS, GIA, and EGL. Following those is a fancy colored diamond certification and a gemstone certification both from GIA.
GIA Diamond Certificate

GIA Fancy Colored Certificate

GIA Gemstone Certificate

White Sapphires Make a Great Choice

intablogeducation, Engagement Rings, gemstone

For years diamonds have been prized for their natural hardness and beautiful sparkle, luster, and brilliance. In fact, diamonds have been labeled “a girl’s best friend,” but such a magnificent gemstone comes with a hefty price tag. However, after working at INTA Gems, I learned about a great alternative to diamonds…white sapphires. They make a great substitute because of their natural white color, durability, and are conflict-free.

White Sapphire Origin
Unlike other sapphires, white sapphires are considered colorless. There are two major sources of white sapphires. Over 90% of gemstones are heat treated to enhance or improve the color. And big sources of white sapphires are those that have been heat treated. Natural grey to light yellow sapphires have been treated to become clear. Natural sapphires are found in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and in the Western states of America. One of the main contributors of sapphires can be found in Sri Lanka. Another source of white sapphires are synthetic white sapphire. These sapphires are lab grown and tend to be less expensive, because consumers perceive lab-grown gems as inferior.

Why White Sapphires Make a Great Alternative to Diamonds
Diamonds have a hardness rating of 10 out of 10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale (measures the resistance a stone has to scratching). And stones classified in the corundum family (crystal structure comprised of aluminum oxide that includes sapphires and rubies) have a rating of 9 out of 10, making it extremely hard versus other colored gemstones. Therefore, many choose white sapphires as an alternate engagement ring center stone to a diamond.

Like a diamond, white sapphires can be cut and polished to be extremely brilliant, refracting light in a bright and dynamic way. Although sapphires may not have the same cultural value as diamonds, they provide certainty for being conflict-free and the origin of the gemstone is traceable.

In conclusion, sapphires are perfect replacements for diamonds because they tend to be much less expensive, are very durable, and are perfect for ethically conscious consumers who are concerned about the origin of their diamond. Many consumers worry that they may purchase conflict diamonds. These consumers can avoid political issues by purchasing sapphires instead. Sapphires have been mined in conflict-free zones such as Sri Lanka. It is extremely rare to find naturally colorless sapphires. Therefore, most white sapphires are heat treated to obtain their clear color. Some may also be chemically treated, depending on the quality of the stone and its intended use. Featured in this blog are photos of a marvelous INTA Gems radiant cut white sapphire that weighs 2.71 ct. The stone costs only $950, making it tremendously affordable for its substantial size.

Advice: When selecting a white sapphire, one should search for many of the same traits as a diamond. Look for a sapphire that is cut in a flattering way to create magnificent brilliance and sparkle (like the radiant cut sapphire mentioned earlier). Also choose a white sapphire that is truly clear, without any clouds of coloration. Avoid white sapphires that contain a slight brownish or yellowish tint. And lastly, if size is an issue, look for a reasonably-sized white sapphire to ensure that all your gemstone needs are met.

Bees Bringing the Honey, Love & Diamond

intablogcustomers, Engagement Rings

We all know how important bees are to the world. Not only do they buzz around flowers in the spring and summer, but they make honey which we all enjoy. Well, one of our clients, Terry, made a special proposal with a INTA Gems & Diamonds ring in a field full of lavender flowers to his now fiance, Hanako. It was buzzzzingly amazing proposal… and Terry looks too cute in that bee suit! lol…

Peter’s Interview on German Radio ARD

intablogeducation, gemstone, los angeles diamond district, news, travel

I was interviewed today by one of the largest news media outlets called German Radio ADR. They wanted to do a report on the Los Angeles Jewelry District and called INTA Gems. It was really fun because I got to practice a little bit of my German, which I’ve been learning on my own for a few months…. so it was fun!

Jan Tussing is the Los Angeles ARD Bureau Chief and conducted the interview with me. The other reporters, Christine and Marcus, also were here. They were all really great to work with. The interview was in English, but will be translated into German and broadcasted in Europe and over the Internet. For our German speaking clients, I’ll post the link when it come up.