Monthly Archives: July 2013

GIA Report: The British Royal Jewels; Beautiful and Historic Gems

%Jeweler NYC %NYC Wholesale Diamonds

All eyes are on Britain with the arrival of the newest British royal. The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be in-line for the throne and to wear – perhaps – some of the most prized royal possessions.

The six pieces described below are part of the Royal Collection, held in trust by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her successors and the nation, or the personal property of Queen Elizabeth II. These gems are not only beautiful, but have a rich history and distinct gemological allure.
The Crown of Queen Elizabeth 
The crown of Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother, features the famous 105.6 carat Koh-I-Noor diamond, which came to Queen Victoria in 1850 from Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. It became a part of the Crown Jewels in 1877.
“Also known as the Mountain of Light, legend said that the owner of the Koh-I-Noor ruled the world. Others believed that any man who wore it would be cursed,” said Dona Dirlam, director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library. “But if the royal baby is a girl, perhaps she will wear it to her own coronation one day.”
Imperial State Crown 
The Imperial State Crown features the Black Prince’s Ruby, which gemologists discovered is actually a different gem – a red spinel – in the last century.
“In ancient times, the mines of central and southeast Asia yielded exceptionally large spinel crystals. These fine stones became known as Balas rubies, and some of them were the treasured property of kings and emperors, often passing through many hands as spoils of war. As a result, some of the world’s most illustrious “rubies” are actually spinel,” said Russell Shor, GIA’s senior industry analyst.
The cross at the top of the crown is set with a stone known as St. Edward’s Sapphire, taken from Edward the Confessor’s (11th c.) ring or coronet. The famous 317.4 carat Cullinan II diamond, or Lesser Star of Africa, is set on the front, while the back band contains the 104 carat Stuart Sapphire (17th c.).
Sovereign’s Sceptre 
The Sovereign’s Sceptre, originally made for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661, was redesigned in 1910 after the discovery of the Cullinan Diamond, and set with the 530.2 carat Cullinan I, known as the Great Star of Africa.
“The Cullinan diamond weighed an astounding 3,106.75 carats before it was cut into the Great Star of Africa, the Lesser Star of Africa, and 103 other diamonds of nearly flawless clarity,” Shor said. “The Great Star of Africa is now the world’s largest colorless cut diamond, and the second largest cut diamond of any color.”
The Cullinan I can be removed from the Sovereign’s Sceptre and worn as a brooch.
Queen Elizabeth’s Halo Tiara 
The diamond and platinum tiara features a prominent scroll motif and was made in the “Halo” style, which was popularized by Cartier to suit the softer hairstyles of the 1930s. Platinum was a popular metal during this period until the outbreak of World War II. The tiara was given to Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday, and most notably loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day in 2011.
Queen Adelaide’s Fringe Necklace 
Queen Adelaide’s Fringe Necklace has been in the queen’s possession since 2002.
“This is a versatile piece, much like many other pieces in the royal collection, and has been worn as a necklace, a border to a dress and a crown,” said Larry Larson, GIA trend expert. The piece, originally created by Rundell using diamonds removed from various pieces of George III’s and Queen Charlotte’s jewelry and insignia, has been worn by British queens since 1831.
The Coronation Necklace 
Queen Victoria lost significant pieces of the family jewels that she considered her own in 1857 due to succession laws of the time. This included her grandmother’s (Queen Charlotte) diamond necklace and earrings.
Garrard, the official crown jeweler at the time, was ordered to replace the lost jewels by taking stones from swords and other “useless things” in the queen’s collection. The original 26 total stones in the necklace – nine between 8.25 and 11.25 carats – were taken from a Garter badge and sword hilt.
A favorite of Queen Victoria, the necklace was also worn at the coronations of Queens Alexandra; Mary; Elizabeth, the queen mother; and Queen Elizabeth II.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The psychology of choice in engagement rings and wedding bands

%Jeweler NYC %NYC Wholesale Diamonds

In NYC Diamond Blog’s coverage of Hollywood, and the opinions of published dating experts nationwide comes this article in today’s Huff Post by Damona Hoffman. It is interesting, amusing, and worth a quick look.

Halle Berry has tied the knot again. We’re hoping that the third time is a charm for this soon-to-be mom of two. Will her marriage to Olivier Martinez be able to stand the test of time? Since my crystal ball is in the shop, I thought I’d investigate some other predictors of relationship success. Did you know that your wedding ring can actually indicate the kind of relationship you have?

I asked Simon Katz from a large jewelry website, who actually studied psychology and sociology before getting into the jewelry business, to help me analyze Halle’s engagement ring to see what her choice of ring says about their relationship future.

“Halle has had troubled relationships in her past. By choosing an actual Emerald in an Emerald Cut, she’s basically declaring, ‘I’m not going to go down the same path I’ve already been. I’ve learned my lessons, and I’m carving out a new road,'” Katz told me. “A three-stone ring setting is definitely glamorous and allows the wearer to let her unique personality shine through with different combinations of diamonds and gemstones.”

I remember the months leading up to my own engagement vividly. I was so eager to finally get that stone after three years of dating that I didn’t care what it looked like. Now that I’m aware of the various meanings behind the setting, cut, and shape, I am encouraging my successful dating coaching clients to be a little more discerning.

Katz says, “The selection of an engagement ring should be a thoughtful process so it ends up matching the personality of the wearer. The kind of engagement ring one finally chooses can also tell a lot about the present and future relationship.”

So what does your choice of ring really say about you?

The Cut And Shape Of The Stone

Classic round: The future bride and groom are likely to be traditional, perhaps a bit conservative, faithful to each other, and very loyal.

Emerald cut: More often than not, money is no object when it comes to showering each other with affection.

Princess cut: The bride-to-be will most likely be a pampered spouse, with the future groom being a dedicated, thoughtful husband.

Pear shaped: The engaged couple can be quite independent and have high standards, but ultimately supportive of each other.

Marquise cut: The engagement and marriage are punctuated with chic and glamorous events, calling for many opportunities to play dress-up.

Heart shaped: The future bride and groom are not afraid to indulge in public displays of affection now and then. They are also most likely to be giddy at their own wedding!

Oval shaped: Stability and serenity are important to the couple who choose this shape.

The Shape and Design of the Band

Traditional band: With no discernible ending and beginning, a perfectly round engagement ring tells of a future life together which the couple cannot wait to begin right away.

Split shank: This style splits the band in half near the center diamond, indicating that despite having different personalities, the people in the relationship are always one in heart, mind, and spirit.

Solitaire: As classic as they come, the solitaire speaks of a simple life together with basic values holding up the relationship as time goes by.
Three-stone setting: Symbolizing the couple’s past, present, and future, this setting serves as a precious timeline of a relationship.

Stackable rings: Flush-style engagement rings and wedding bands fit harmoniously so they form one smooth, streamlined shape when worn together. This indicates that the engaged couple is thoughtful, are careful planners, and are forward-thinking.

Engraved band: A sentimental and unique couple with plenty of private jokes and shared interests will likely choose an engagement ring engraved with symbols that mean something special to the two of them.

Just like relationships, each ring has it’s own unique identity so when you walk down the aisle, make sure you pick a ring that mirrors the love you feel for one another.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sparkling: Diamonds could be Investor’s Best Friend

%Jeweler NYC %NYC Wholesale Diamonds

NYC Diamond Blog’s mission is to inform readers of all facets of the Diamond industry, including developments, and expert opinions from around the world. Here is an article from the UK written by Julian Knight and Chiara Cavaglieri. It appeared in ‘The Independent’ newspaper over the weekend.

For centuries diamonds have been a symbol of wealth coveted by brides-to-be and collectors, but could these most precious of stones also prove the ordinary investor’s best friend?

Gold has traditional been the preferred commodity for many investors, but now that it is down from its peak, diamonds are an attractive prospect if you’re looking for an alternative. In the last  five years, one to five-carat diamonds provided annual returns of 12 per cent and this year, global diamond prices are predicted  to increase by around 10 per cent, while the

price of the best gems could jump as much as 50 per cent, according to gem trading company Diamond Manufacturers. However, such claims coming from firms involved in the trade should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Prices have been driven up by demand from the emerging middle classes in India and China, the lack of major mining discoveries and, when it comes to the price of cut diamonds, the market is still tightly controlled by the likes of De Beers who have diamonds in store.

If you have a magpie’s weakness for shiny things, there are three ways to invest in diamonds: you can buy the gems and store them to sell at a later date; you can buy shares in diamond-mining companies; or you can gain exposure via diamond funds.

Holding the physical asset means you can set the diamonds into jewellery and make the most of its aesthetic quality until you’re ready to sell. Buy your gems through a reputable diamond trader rather than a jeweller who will add a retail mark-up of as much as 300 per cent compared to prices on the wholesale market. Vashi Dominguez, chief executive of Diamond Manufacturers, advises spending £5,000 on a quality stone and be prepared hold on to it for at least five years.

“Each diamond should have come with a certificate from a laboratory which confirms its grade – the GIA is the best known and one of the most-respected labs, the Dutch equivalent, HRD, also gets mentioned. Other certificates will be less trusted when reselling,” says Adam Laird, investment manager at independent financial advice firm Hargreaves Lansdown.

The most-important issue for investors is that the diamond trade is an unregulated market blighted by a lack of transparency. There is an index – the Rapaport Diamond Trade Index – but this only serves as a guideline as the vast majority of diamonds don’t actually trade at these prices. The “four C’s” help to determine the value of any given diamond -the cut, color, clarity and carat weight – but every diamond is unique, like a snowflake or a fingerprint,which means they must be valued individually

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ruby, the July Birthstone

%Jeweler NYC %NYC Wholesale Diamonds

The birthstone for July is Ruby,the red variety of the mineral Corundum, the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind. Ruby has been associated with the values of love, success, integrity, passion, and promise. The finest ruby color is vivid, almost pure spectral red as seen in the highest quality Burmese rubies, which are considered the finest. Ruby is also the anniversary gemstone for the 15th and 40th year of marriage. Ancient lore states that the highest quality rubies were said to protect their owners from all kinds of misfortune. There are many who believe a ruby that has not been internally faceted, when worn in jewelry touching the skin will help keep a pregnant women’s unborn baby safe and healthy. NYC Wholesale Diamonds and our Fine Jewelry division stock a complete selection of Ruby and Diamond Rings, Necklaces, Earrings and Tennis Bracelets.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Engagement Ring Insurance

%Jeweler NYC %NYC Wholesale Diamonds



Explaining the importance of protecting your engagement ring purchase should be a mandatory requirement for every jeweler. Unfortunately, it’s not. So you must be your own advocate in protecting this valued possession.
For 25 years I have stressed to my clients that insuring your ring can be a very simple part of this wonderful process, or a potentially costly oversight. As a newly engaged couple, there are a multitude of new, exciting and time consuming tasks at hand. Learning how to purchase engagement ring insurance is probably not going to be on the top of your ‘to-do’ list. However, your largest jewelry purchase of a lifetime must be protected against theft, damage, and being lost. I advise the purchaser of every engagement ring that it is simple, but vital, to eliminate all risk of financial loss.
The first step is to know how to properly insure your ring. The best option is through your homeowners or renters insurance. A rider can be purchased that specifically covers your ring. It is the easiest and most cost effective option, as it adds on to your existing plan at an average annual rate of 1.5% of the ring’s value. (For a $10,000 ring, that is only $150.) There should be no issue having the policy immediately approved by your insurance company.
If you don’t have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, you can take out a policy through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance. But, be cautious. Some independent firms will charge much higher premiums. My research has shown Jewelers Mutual to be a reasonable alternative, charging a 2% premium in most cases.
Here are four key questions to ask your insurance provider before going forward:
1. Is the ring covered if you lose it accidentally, or only if it’s stolen?
The only acceptable answer is that you are fully covered for both.
2. Does the policy cover damage to the ring?
It should cover all damage to the ring, and the diamond. Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man, but can chip and/or crack. The safest of all diamond cuts is the round as it does not contain pointed edges, although round diamonds can be damaged as well.
3. Will the company pay all your claims by check, or will they require you purchase a replacement through a specific jeweler?
This is important, as you want the freedom to return to a jeweler you trust, or at least have the option to shop around. A jeweler with the best interests of the insurance company does not have your best interests as their priority.
4. Are there any exclusions, or circumstances where you are not covered?
There should not be any exclusions. If there is: walk away.
The final step is the appraisal. This will be effortless if you use a jeweler that cares about their clients and is willing to go the extra mile in protecting your purchase.
All insurance companies require a replacement cost appraisal of your ring. You must always request this in order to protect the value of your ring, and to know what it is worth! A thorough appraisal will include the carat weight, cut, clarity, and color of all the diamonds, and the identification number of the accompanying gemological certificate. It will also show the type of metal such as platinum, 14kt, 18kt white or yellow gold. An honest jewelry professional will always provide a signed appraisal, on their letterhead, with all fine jewelry purchases. The appraisal serves as a guarantee of the diamond’s size and quality. Some insurance companies require a copy of the actual gemological certificate. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and The European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) are the two largest and the only true independent and acceptable diamond laboratories. Their reports serve as a unique, identifying ‘fingerprint’ of your diamond. Certifications from all other organizations are nearly worthless.
Lastly, you should always receive a verbal or printed confirmation from your insurance company before picking up your ring. I always encourage my clients to call their agent from my store at pickup, if they have not yet done so. This eliminates all risk completely. My advice is to have your jeweler assist you if, for any reason, your policy request is rejected by your insurance company. This issue is not uncommon, and the reason will likely surprise you. Insurance companies often lose money on these types of policies, so some take steps to discourage policy holders from purchasing them. I’ve had dozens of clients tell me they were rejected for coverage. In every case, I was able to correct the issue by calling the company and demanding an explanation. In most cases, it was something as simple as the name on the appraisal did not match that on the policy due to a missing middle initial.

The bottom line is to be your own advocate, if your jeweler doesn’t make the effort to help you protect this prized possession. So, enjoy every moment at this remarkable, romantic, wonderful time in your lives…everything will work out perfectly!





Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized