Friday , September 19 2014
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The April birthstone…Diamond

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Richard Alan

[email protected]

March wound up being a busy month of making diamond purchases. Actually, it was amazing! Diamond sales have been sluggish to say the least in the past few years, yet all my diamond vendors are claiming demand is up and business has been improving steadily.

The demand for my diamonds was in earrings, pendants and several engagement rings, the Halo design being the most popular style. The Halo design is a center diamond, round, square or cushion shaped. It’s surrounded by smaller diamonds or precious stones and very affordable because the center diamond does not have to be large to get a fabulous effect. And a colored diamond, such as canary yellow for the center makes it that much more dynamic.

The effect works well with earrings and pendants as well as rings. I recently put together two unusual rings, one with a mixture of white and black diamonds, the other with a white center diamond surrounded by stunning blue sapphires.

Hopefully this is the start of the Renaissance I was talking about a couple of months ago. I have also been getting a lot of requests for “chocolate” diamonds. Call them what you will they are still brown diamonds and don’t appeal all that much to me. I do like creating pieces with “champagne” colored diamonds because the rich gold color is at least attractive to me.

I finally got my head wrapped around the black diamond craze. If the design is unique, the effect can be dramatic but paying thousands for one carat, plus black as night stones is not sensible, when a black onyx that costs around 30 bucks will give you the same look.

I have been getting great response from my collection of colored diamonds, especially my blues and greens. If unique is what you seek there are not too many folks out there sporting “a bit o’ the green” in diamonds. Fancy colored diamonds are not as expensive as you think they would be.

Man can now change undesirable shades of diamonds to almost every color of the rainbow. There are different processes…irradiating is one of them.

Bombarding diamonds with safe gamma rays in reactors is one way. A gem color can be changed by a surface coating but the problem is that can wear off in time. I deal in both natural and irradiated diamonds. A naturally colored diamond, or the way Mother Nature created it, is always more expensive than what man created.

So the April baby’s claim to fame birthstone is the diamond. It is not necessarily the most expensive. Emeralds, May’s birthstone, and July’s ruby birthstone can be thousands more per carat than a diamond of the same size.

Diamonds have also been appreciated by quite a few island gentlemen who are sporting custom made pinky rings, wedding bands and diamond studded nautical pendants.

What is amazing to me is that over the past years in this bleak economy, the price of diamonds no matter the size, has been enjoying a steady increase. Those in the know in the diamond business have explained to me that the business is global and a lot of folks in Asian countries are buying a great deal of diamonds. So the demand may not be in North America, but it is elsewhere.

Happy Birthday to those of you born in the month of April and wear your diamonds. If you have them, flaunt them!

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith with over forty years experience at the bench and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith of Marco Island at Island Plaza. He welcomes your questions about “All That Glitters” 239-394-9275, [email protected]


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