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DIAMOND BUYING ADVICE

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Buying a diamond ring can be intimidating. What do you look for? How much should you pay? Should you buy online, in a private office with a true diamond wholesaler, or in a store?

Demystify the process by learning about the four C’s: carat, color, clarity and cut. This system of grading diamonds was developed 60 years ago by the Gemological Institute of America.  Then do some research by visiting a trusted or referred jeweler. You can confirm information provided by the jeweler directly with the GIA, or by online research. You’ll soon understand your options. Here are the keys to protecting your interests when making this so very important purchase.

1. Buy from a jeweler with an outstanding reputation both online and off. This can easily be checked on Google, Yelp, and iVouch
2. Only buy GIA certified diamonds. GIA reports represent the highest standard of reliability, consistency and integrity
3. Seek a GIA certified diamond with a laser inscription. This an additional benefit the GIA also offers to have this registered GIA report number laser engraved onto the thin, outer edge of the diamond known as the girdle. This confirms the diamond matches its report and proves ownership as well
4. Demand an appraisal stating all facts about the diamond and ring, especially the GIA certificate number and grading. It is best that the appraisal contains the leatherhead of the business, and is signed by the owner or senior manager. You will need this to obtain insurance on the ring

Here’s a primer on the four C’s and other advice.

THE FOUR C’s

—Carat is a weight measurement. A 1-carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams. The key here is a carat is a measure of weight, and does not exactly indicate surface area size. There can be a significant difference in size of the surface of your diamond visible from above. This is where Cut becomes so critical. There is no ideal size for a diamond. It depends on your budget and taste. Some women want a big rock; others prefer a delicate, less blingy look.
Small diamonds of the same quality are of course less expensive than larger diamonds. A ring with three small diamonds totaling 1 carat costs less than a single 1-carat stone of similar quality.
—Color is graded by letter, starting with D for rare, colorless diamonds. E and F are considered excellent, but G or H diamonds will look just as good to the naked eye.
Farther down the scale, you’ll notice differences. “If you put a K color beside a G color, you’ll notice more yellow in the K,” said Russell Shor, senior industry analyst for the Gemological Institute.
—Clarity measures diamond flaws, called inclusions, which might appear as tiny spots, clouds or cavities in the stone. The clarity grade SI stands for “slightly included.” VS is a better grade, “very slightly included.” VVS is even higher, “very, very slightly included.” Keith Saxe of NYC Wholesale Diamonds adds “most SI2 clarity diamonds will have inclusions clearly visible to its wearer, be careful here”.
—Cut measures workmanship, rather than a diamond’s inherent qualities. The way a stone is cut produces sparkle and luminosity and can hide flaws. The best cut rating is excellent. About a third of engagement ring diamonds are graded fair, good or very good. Saxe adds “Cut determines the sparkle, fire and brilliance of a diamond. Knowledge on what determines a diamond as an Excellent, Ideal cut is the key to diamond buying success”. Shor states “The one thing you should not trade off on is the quality of the cut,”. “Even a nice color stone, if not well-cut, will be dull and lifeless. But if it’s a middle color — like K — and it’s got a real excellent cut, it will pop and flash with all the sparkle that diamonds are famous for.”

After choosing the cut, “balance the color, clarity and carat weight based on your personal preference to find the best diamond for you and your budget,” said Amanda Gizzi, spokeswoman for Jewelers of America.

April’s Birthstone is Diamond! Time to Seize The Moment!

Call NYC Wholesale Diamonds at (212)719-2214 for any diamond buying questions. Even if you do not buy from us we are here to educate and inform!

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APPRAISAL ADVICE

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NYC Wholesale Diamonds President Keith J. Saxe and his NYC Diamond Blog have featured many articles on the importance of having an accurate appraisal, and insuring your engagement ring. This also holds true for all your valuable jewelry. It is not easy to establish a guideline for the value in which you should begin considering insuring fine jewelry. Every individual situation is unique, but a value of $4,000 for each piece can be accurate in most cases. Another key factor is if the item is worn on a daily basis.
I reached into the archives to post Jim Donovan, Angie’s List 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter’s wonderful article on this important topic. Here it is, enjoy!
Do you have any valuable pieces of jewelry in your home? When was the last time you had them appraised?
Megan Wright searched all over her house for her missing engagement and wedding rings before finally finding them in her closet.
“My four-year-old daughter had been in there playing dress up — swiped my rings, probably tried them on herself, and she left them in the toe of my shoe,” said Wright.
Fortunately, they were recently appraised, which is important if you want to replicate lost jewelry because appraisals provide detailed descriptions.
“When you want to recreate the piece they’ll be enough detail — the stones, the metal, the weight, the quality of the stones — that you’ll get back exactly what you had. If you have a vague appraisal, then it’s possible you’ll end up with a ring, but it won’t be the same quality or value you had originally,” said jeweler Greg Bires.
You’ll also need an appraisal if you want your jewelry insured.
“Having your jewelry appraised can make sure you have it valued at the correct amount, especially with the fluctuation we’ve seen in gold prices.The pricing and value of your jewelry can and does change over time, so you want to be sure you’ve got it insured for the right amount. If it does end up lost or stolen, you get the right return,” said Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks.
It’s a good idea to have your items appraised every three to four years. You should expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $65 dollars per item.
More from Angie:
• An appraiser inspects the item to make sure it’s wearable and that there is no damage. The appraisal marks every detail (measurements, number of stones, type of metal, weight, etc.)
• Your appraisal should also include a photograph and a replacement value – what it would cost to recreate the piece.
• An appraiser can help separate the valuable jewelry from the costume jewelry.
The appraisal process:
• Bring in the item, not a picture, for the appraiser to examine.
• Bring the appraiser copies of any sales receipts or other documentation you have about the items being appraised.
• Tell the appraiser anything you know about the item’s origin or where it was purchased.
• The appraiser will then take a few days to research the item’s history and the marketplace.
• You should receive a written report describing the item itself, the reasons for its valuation, and which type of value was done, for example – replacement value, fair market valueor market value.
How do you know what to appraise?
• Costume jewelry/base metal/plated – not worth appraising
• “Real” metal but not expensive – describe and photograph it for your records, but don’t appraise.
• “Real” stones/metal that you couldn’t easily afford to replace within 12 months – get an appraisal and get it insured. If you’d have to save up to replace it, it’s worth the appraisal and insurance rider.
Angie’s List Tips: Hiring an appraiser
Appraising jewelry for resale or insurance can be a challenge. It’s important to know whether a diamond or stone is real in order to get an accurate estimate of value. Some fakes are difficult to spot. Therefore, it’s wise to have a professional appraise any jewelry of value.
• Start by defining your objective: Do you want an appraisal done for insurance purposes? For estate purposes? To find out your piece’s fair market value?
• Work with a jewelry appraiser who has been trained and certified: Ask if the appraiser is certified by such organizations as the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society. Pick someone who has been in the business for a while with a physical address.
• Steer clear of an appraiser who charges a percentage of the appraised value. Hourly fees or flat rates are acceptable. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $65 per item. A good appraiser should review all items and establish a rate with the customer before beginning the process. Money saving tip:It can also more cost effective to bring in a number of pieces at once, rather than appraising them individually.
• Appraisals should not take much more than a day, so be wary if the appraiser wants to keep your jewelry much longer than that. Most appraisers recommend making an appointment and will go over your items with you on-site. If you do leave your jewelry, request a receipt that itemizes and describes each piece.
Tips to manage your valuables:
• Preserve your valuables. Have your items cleaned and checked annually.
• Keep the items in their original state. Know that altering a piece may lower its value.
• Consider getting your item re-appraised every three to five years. For items in highly volatile markets, its best to get them re-appraised annually.
• Keep the descriptions of your jewelry in a location separate from the actual jewels. A good place is with your homeowner’s insurance policy. For jewelry handed down through the family, add a description of where the piece came from and keep it with your appraisal information so the next generation can know its significance.
Feel free to contact us at KS@NYCWD.com and (212) 719-2214

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HOW TO TELL YOUR SPOUSE THAT YOU LOST YOUR WEDDING BAND

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Some really good advice from Sophie Leon, a relationship expert. I’ve edited out some of the ‘spicy’ language, but really believe the author makes some wonderful points. Enjoy!
It happens. I’ve lost track of the number of married men I know who have lost their wedding bands. Many men, including my husband, have lost their bands within the first year of marriage. In fact, if you are a married and still have your original wedding band, I applaud you.
The reality is, most men are not used to wearing sentimental jewelry. Thus, generally speaking, they don’t exercise caution when wearing their wedding rings. They don’t consider removing their rings before swimming in the ocean. They are blissfully unaware that their fingers shrink in cold weather, making the ring looser. They have yet to develop a protective reflex, balling their fist to prevent the ring from slipping off the finger. But when the chances of a man losing his wedding bandis high, the question becomes, “When you lose your ring, how do you tell your wife?” Here are some dos and don’ts…
DO NOT send a guilty-sounding text message. Texting your wife “I LOVE YOU. I’M SORRY,” without further explanation, will send your wife into a panic. This message sounds like you had an affair or ran over the familydog.
DO NOT pretend it’s been misplaced. You can only play this game for so long. By pretending your ring is just missing, you’re just prolonging the inevitable. For every day you insist the ring is simply misplaced, your wife will grow more frustrated that you have yet to find it.
DO NOT lie and say you sent it to be cleaned or adjusted. We’ve seen this excuse used time and time again in the movies and on TV shows. Your wife won’t believe you and will be insulted that you couldn’t just be honest. Besides, like it would ever occur to you to get your ring “cleaned.”
DO take responsibility. Accept that it was your responsibility to care for the ring and now it’s gone. You’ve messed up. Try to recall the details of when and how it was lost and simply state the facts. Do not place blame on others or your wife. It will only lead to bickering.
DO show remorse. Acknowledge the loss of this sentimental token of your commitment. Show her that your sorry and that your absentmindedness is not a reflection of how you feel about her, just a reflection of how you feel about suddenly wearing jewelry.
DO get a new one. Suggest getting a new ring to wear as soon as possible. Now is not the time to forgo a ring.
DO accept that she may be angry or upset. Allow her to vent those emotions. If you’re upfront about losing the ring, your wife will forgive you. Just remember to forgive yourself — and be more careful in the future, you big dummy.

 

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The Best Time To Buy Your Wedding Bands

When you find that special someone to share the ultimate love with, the beautiful moment is celebrated with a promise, represented by your first keepsake – your engagement ring. It is a precious moment ‘frozen in time’, only equaled by the exchange of wedding bands
It is so important to select what you absolutely love. This is not a time to make a hasty decision. I hope to never again see a bride come to me, sobbing, saying that she hates her wedding band, asking my advice on how to change it without hurting the groom’s feelings. So, how do we avoid this pitfall and head toward marital bliss? It all starts with this simple, but vital advice I offer at the time of the engagement ring purchase:

“Do not buy your wedding bands at the same time you purchase your engagement ring.”
This statement is almost always met with reactions ranging from astonishment to confusion. The most common replies from the gentleman, or couple that have just chosen their engagement ring are:

“I love the quality, design and value of this engagement ring. Why don’t you want to sell us our wedding bands?”
“I trust you. I want to buy from you. Why are we waiting?
“I am so in love, and found who I want to share the rest of my life with. We’re ready to move ahead with all the planning and details. There’s so much to do. Can we just get this checked off our check list?
I explain that waiting is entirely in their best interest. Now that I have piqued their curiosity, and have their complete attention, it is time to offer my recommendation on the best time to buy their wedding bands and why.
The best time to buy your wedding bands is berween three and four months prior to your wedding. In the case of a shorter engagement period, the mid point between engagement and wedding is best; as long as it is six to eight weeks before the wedding
The primary reason not to purchase too soon is the same reason why the store selling you the engagement ring is pushing hard for you to buy immediately. The chances of the bride knowing the wedding band design she ultimately desires is very small at the time of engagement. Most brides think they know, but that opinion changes the vast majority of the time. This is because she has never worn a diamond ring of this significant magnitude on a daily basis before in her life.

She will need time to get a feel for her beautiful ring by wearing it for many weeks to months before making this next big decision. It is amazing to witness how most of the women who are so sure they want one design ultimately switch to a totally different style. From diamond eternity band to classic platinum band, from an eternity to partial diamond band, from a matching band to a completely unique style. Furthermore, both partners need to have sufficient time to be able to provide educated input on each others rings.
 
You are probably now beginning to realize why the jewelry store in the mall, or on Main Street offer such wonderful ‘discounts’ when purchasing the matching wedding bands in conjunction with the engagement ring. They are well aware of the very high probability that your fiancee will ultimately decide against a matching band, and that their ‘discount’ in the long run will provide you no savings at all, while they profit off your change of heart. You may not even realize yet, that their discounted price is actually a high retail price that can be beat by 50% or more at a true wholesaler. So many couples are mistakenly advised on the timing of their wedding band purchase, even by the many bride’s magazines. These publications feature articles that completely miss the point by suggesting the best times to buy wedding bands are Christmas, Valentines day, and the end of the month when stores are trying to make their sales quotas.
 In reality, Christmas and Valentines Day are the times when prices are the highest, making them the worst times to make a purchase. The advertised ‘holiday sales’ are a ruse where prices are first marked up, then a percentage discount is offered. The actual purchase price is higher than off season regular prices, in most cases. The end of month suggestion exhibits a ‘retail mentality’. A smart shopper with time can find a true jewelry wholesaler or distributor in their town, where prices are a fraction of retail.
Now, why is it best to purchase at least three to four months in advance of your wedding day? There are many answers to this question, but two equally significant primary factors are:
1. There are so many unpredictable variables that will come up the last few weeks before the wedding. Giving yourself a suitable amount of time, knowing that the bands are chosen, purchased and in your possession, relieve unnecessary stress as ‘the big day’ approaches.
2. Some wedding bands need to be custom designed, and that process can take many weeks. At the conclusion of the design process, both of you must be available for pickup to check sizing, and confirm that all the workmanship is perfect.  Your time becomes so very precious as you approach the wedding day, making both your availabilities far from a given.
Having been in this business for two and a half decades, there is an endless stream of advice that it is my pleasure to pass on regarding weddings bands, but I will just just touch on two more here. The first is in response to advice published in Martha Stewart’s Bride 101 guide. She offered this advice to brides in reference to the engagement period, “A natural place to start delegating is with your groom, tradition dictates he has the task of purchasing the wedding bands.” My goodness, this is such misplaced advice. The decisions made about your matrimonial jewelry will stay with you for a lifetime.  The engagement ring purchase involves the romantic element of surprise (hopefully he has picked up on your cues or asked your best friend for advice!). However, the wedding band decision is for the couple, together.
The second tip is for the groom. So many men come to me and say they are not ‘jewelry people’, and are not really inclined to wear a wedding band. I have and will always strongly advise them to reconsider. Every newly-wed and forever-wed woman loves a man who wears a wedding band with all her heart.  It’s something they will always notice right away. Women feel it’s a very special sign and recognition of a man’s commitment to her, and her to him.
As your wedding bands represent your promise to each other, they are a keepsake of your eternal love. Over the years, as you share your love, you will celebrate many joys. Every time you see and wear your precious rings, they’ll take you right back to that  magical moment when you said, “I do.” and began your ‘love story’ together.%Jeweler NYC %NYC Wholesale Diamonds

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NYCWD’S LATEST FIVE STAR GOOGLE REVIEW

Thank you Bob for your extremely kind review on Google. It was awesome meeting Jackie, and designing her custom Diamond Eternity Wedding Band will be a thrill.
It is hard to put into words how exceptional of an experience it has been to purchase both a stunning engagement ring and wedding band from Keith at NYC Wholesale Diamonds! He is an absolute master at what he does: sourcing a great and extensive collection of beautiful diamonds, designing custom jewelry to complement the perfect diamond, patiently and thoroughly educating his customers, showing care and concern for your budget, desires and any thoughts you have about diamonds / jewelry … the list summarizing Keith’s great qualities and capabilities is endless. To put it simply, what makes Keith different is that he is both a (i) world-class diamond and jewelry expert and (ii) a genuine, good guy that cares deeply about his customer’s experience and satisfaction (as if he was a small-town jeweler relying on deep relationship with a small customer-base). I highly recommend you giving Keith a call if you are looking for an engagement ring, wedding band or any diamond / jewelry purchase. Prior to meeting with Keith, I had no experience buying a diamond, working with a jeweler or buying any fine jewelry. The incredible care and patience of Keith helped me transition from a clueless beginner to someone buying an engagement ring with great confidence. After having such a great experience purchasing an engagement ring last year, just yesterday I visited Keith with my fiance to purchase a wedding band. Over the past year, I told my fiance, family and friends about how great Keith is and how lucky I was to find him, which certainly set the bar high for our meeting. As expected, Keith exceeded my fiances expectations: she heard all about the process Keith and I went through to craft her perfect engagement ring (which Keith remembered in impressive detail), found the perfect matching wedding band and received a complimentary deep cleaning of her engagement ring. She was very impressed with Keith and is thrilled about her matching engagement ring. The punchline is no matter what your experience or budget, give Keith a call, you will be thrilled with your decision!
Robert W. Moyer III
FIVE STARS
12/24/20
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Ring with 12,638 Diamonds sets a Guinness World Record

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How many diamonds can fit in a single ring?
The answer, according to the new Guinness World Records book, is 12,638.
Harshit Bansal, founder of Renani Jewels in Meerut, India, set the record with his impressive design on December 21, 2020.
The ring, named the Marigold, or “The Ring of Prosperity,” has a circular band with an ornate floral design, complete with thousands of 38.08 carat natural diamonds, according to Guinness. The ring weighs a little over 165 grams or 5.8 ounces.
The previous record — 7,801 diamonds in a ring — was also set in India by the Hyderabad-based jeweler Hallmark Jewellers
Bansal told Guinness that he was first was inspired to break the diamond-studded record in 2018, while studying jewelry design in Surat, India. Two years later, his company completed the ring design on November 30, 2020.

 

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