Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Perfect Diamond

All That Glitters

Photo by Richard Alan

Is there even such a thing? Oh, I’ve been told by customers a thousand times in my 50 plus years accepting their diamonds for repairs, appraisals, or whatever… “It’s a perfect bluewhite diamond!” I then perform a simple magnified examination… It’s not even close to being perfect; and by the way, most halfdecent diamonds reflect blue and white and every color of the rainbow unless it’s a horrid example of a natural diamond. My experience has been that the owners of the least desirable diamonds (Okay, I’ll say it! UGLY!) are the most paranoid customers when it comes to leaving their supposedly precious and highly flawed diamonds in my custody. What are they afraid of? That I’m going to replace them with something better? They were told they were desirable diamonds, paid accordingly and the whole transaction was a boldfaced lie. 

To answer my own question, yes there are perfect diamonds. It would be labeled D (highest white there is when grading white diamonds by G.I.A. standards), color FL (flawless), clarity and possess a perfect ideal XXX cut. That is the definition of a perfect diamond. Anything else is not. That particular quality diamond will be priced out of this world regardless of the size. I have seen very few perfect diamonds in my lifetime, they are rarer than true love itself; and believe me, I have seen thousands upon thousands of diamonds. 

So, when I am told by the naive that the diamond of their dreams is perfect and then I beg to differ, the fun begins. 

You see I’m not taking anyone’s word for anything, unless I sold it to them, appraised it, or examined it myself… I have found it to be a simple and safe way to stay in this business and not get sued because I failed to do just that. 

Folks have tried to pass off glass, zircons, yags, cubic zirconias, moissanites and even labcreated diamonds as real diamonds, let alone try to inadvertently fool me by saying their belowaverage quality diamond is perfect in every way! It’s a crazy world with unscrupulous people and jewelers have to be really careful especially when accepting a customer’s diamond. 

Now I’m examining their “perfect” diamond right in front of them, I see more inclusions, imperfections or simply put… flaws. Then I can count, and the color is not exactly white, it’s more gray, sometimes yellow or worse brown. To make matters worse, it’s not too round and not exactly oval; it’s a “Rusky Roval” example of a poor Russian cut from the 70s. So much for a “perfect bluewhite diamond” maybe in dark closet with a 3-watt bulb it is! 

I am forced to dust off and set up my microscope to prove to the disbelievers that Uncle Phil’s friend of a friend in the diamond biz sold them a real dog of a diamond. 

Disappointment, disbelief, disgust and even rage is the usual reaction, especially with vacationing island cruisers drop big bucks on highly imperfect diamonds and substandard jewelry, I hesitate to call some of the drek I’ve seen even a diamond. 

In my early years in Boston, there was one really outstanding jeweler who apparently sold nothing but nearperfect diamonds and he sold a lot of them, and they all had the paperwork to prove it. 10 years go by and he was later arrested for grand larceny trying to escape the U.S. with millions of dollars’ worth of other people’s jewelry.  

Several years later, these so-called high-priced gemquality diamonds complete with assuring paperwork and appraisals naturally came under dubious suspicion. Nearly every receipt or appraisal claimed the purchased diamond was an F or G color or above and nearperfect in quality! Of course, very few were, some local jewelers had a field day poking fun at the unfortunate purchasers when noticing the diamond’s source and had to re-appraising the diamonds. The ones I personally appraised should have been labeled a B.S.1. 

To me, the perfect diamond is what is right for you, the soon to be owner of that brilliant miracle of Mother Nature. No two diamonds are exactly the same. Shades of white seem endless; cuts and shapes and internal characteristics are equally infinite. But most importantly is the costthat my friend is everything. Paying an outrageously expensive price for poor quality should be avoided at all costs!  

It’s sad that there will always be unscrupulous people in my industry who call themselves jewelers; many are just transient sales staff whose only experience in the business is sizing up their prey and reading information off a barcoded price tag. Some stores use coded tags that you don’t see any visible pricebeware of that practice. The salesperson then sizes you up and price the article you want to purchase accordingly. I guarantee you will overpay in that shop! One overpriced “bluewhite diamond” coming up! 

Richard Alan is a designer/ goldsmith and the owner of The Harbor Goldsmith at the island plaza on Marco Island since 1994. He welcomes your questions and comments about “All That Glitters” at www.harborgoldsmith.com. 

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