Monday, 9 July 2012

What makes a JP Diamond? (Part 1: Introduction)


I'm going to talk about what makes a diamond a part of the JP collection, why we only choose to sell these kind of diamonds, and out of all the diamonds in the world, why these?

The Beginning

Some of you may know, my father has been in the jewelry line for more than 40 years. I remember the days where he used to throw me a set of tweezers and diamonds in the size of 0.01 and tell me to find the inclusions on those diamonds. Not cool Dad!

Anyway, it became more of a chore than enjoyment, I really did not understand the point of it. Black spots, white spots, clouds, cracks, chips etc. The fact they were not certified made it worse; I could not cheat and look for the plot inclusions. Later i realized the importance that diamonds both in the same set of VS2 range, can look entirely different, one being much better than the other(which makes a much better buy). Why does this exist? If you set through one of our appointments you'd know this already.

As time passed by, I became ultra super spectacular spectacularly bored of looking for inclusions in tiny miniscule diamonds. I started looking for other things to pick on diamonds, and i used to show my dad

"HEY. WHY ARE THESE 2 DIAMONDS LOOKING SO DIFFERENT?" - i'm writing this in caps because i was very loud when I was young.

He used to tell me "it's the make of the diamond.... the make"

 I didn't really understand that. Diamond dealers used to pop by my father's desk and say " this diamond, wonderful make, wonderful material"

I later learnt that make referred to the proportion of the diamond, material meant where the rough was from.

I started picking out diamond which had as close "Specs" on a certificate as possible. One always tend to look more brilliant than the other. Though on the tags they had the same price. General mentality of a kid would be "that ain't fair!" or rather "THAT AIN'T FAIR!"

The Learning Phase

Back then, what was used to measure the Light Return of the diamond was called the firescope. It's still available today, but just less popular than the Ideal Scope or Aset Scope. I learned abit from a few dealers here and there, about the light return of a diamond. You learn this in GIA too, but not in that much detail, there isn't tools either to measure light return in GIA since they are all proportion based grading.

So there is much more to it that just the certificate of a diamond. More things to understand than the simple 4 C's that any jeweler or sales assistant can tell you about. Which brings this question; Why?

Right now, there are poor, fair, good, very good, excellent. Can you imagine if there was:

Poor, Fair, good, very good, excellent, extremely excellent, almost perfect, super ideal?

This would cause a real big problem in the market, excellent diamonds would not sell for the good profits that people are currently making, very good cuts will fall out of even consideration, and super ideals would have prices sky rocket so high because of it's rarity and difficulty in cutting them. So the industry leaves it as it is. What works for them, works. As long as profits are good for them, they don't want to change a thing. AGS tries to help in this area and came out with the platinum light report. Even so, the Ideal cut grade has a large quality variation, not as much as GIA's excellent though.

The Ideal Scope

The first time I got my Ideal Scope, I started looking through all the diamond in my father's old inventory. From what i've learned, white = leakage. And man, was there alot of leakage. Many years ago, diamonds were not exactly polished or cut for maximum light return. There was so little education on this that Cutters maximized weight and focused on other aspects like increasing the clarity.

Finally, there was one diamond in Towlkosky's proportions that made the cut of a nice ideal scope. The light return was great... and then i noticed the arrows were crooked, I took out the hearts and arrows scope and turned the diamond around and...

BAM! Honestly, what on earth is that. Can you believe back in the day, they used to call this Hearts and arrows? In fact, you still find many jewelers and diamond dealers calling this hearts and arrows.

The Quest To Find the Perfect Diamond

The question pops in mind, can a diamond, have great light return, superb hearts and arrows symmetry, and simply, be the best 57 facet diamond possible? The fact that 2 diamonds of the same "spec" certification can look so different, must mean that there's endless of reasons how a cut can affect a diamond's appearance.

I used to jump from shop to shop, locally and internationally, to see if such diamonds exist, to my dismay most "hearts and arrows" diamonds were more or less like the above. A little better, or much worse.