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5 Tips to Take Better Care Of Your Diamonds

For many people, diamonds are among their most valuable assets. Whether part of an heirloom piece of jewelry or held in a safety deposit box, diamonds are treasures. But like any valuable asset, such as a rare car or real estate, diamonds must be properly maintained in order for them to remain beautiful and to keep their value. Failure to preserve your diamonds in the best possible condition could ultimately cause your diamond jewelry to depreciate over time. Let's take a look at some of the most important tips for keeping your jewelry looking its best over all the years that you choose to enjoy it. 

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The Most Creative (and Outrageous) Products Made with Diamonds

 Diamonds are the epitome of luxury. Although diamonds are traditionally used in jewelry, many designers have created other beautiful and one-of-a-kind items with this precious stone. These unique pieces allow their owners to find new ways of displaying their wealth and creativity. Some of these items have been criticized as an unnecessary extravagance. In this series, we will show more interesting albeit unconventional items that have been made extraordinarily valuable through the presence of diamonds. Here is the fifth par of a list showing some of the most interesting ways that designers are incorporating diamonds into their product lines, transforming ordinary objects into luxury items.

Diamond Pacifier

For the discerning baby on your shopping list, luxury baby and mom brand Suommo offers a $2.5 million bejeweled pacifier shaped out of 18-carat gold and studded with diamonds. The piece is designed to be a baby's first jewel. It converts into a pendant or collar pin once the baby no longer needs it and can be shared with the baby's parent. If this sounds expensive, the company also offers a $12 million crib made out of solid gold.

Diamond Dinner

The world's most expensive meal will set you back $2 million but will send you home with some beautiful diamonds as a parting gift. Ce La Vi restaurant, in Marina Bay Sands Tower in Singapore, is the home of a $2 million luxury dining experience. The meal features an 18-course degustation menu that includes caviar, oysters, and pigeon, paired with a range of expensive wines and champagnes. The lucky couple will bring home a gorgeous set of gold chopsticks featuring 4 carats of round diamonds, as well as a 2-carat blue diamond ring set in rose gold, known as "the Jane Seymour".

Diamond Fruitcake

The world's most expensive dessert is a $1.65 million fruitcake produced by a renowned Tokyo pastry chef. It was sold for Christmas 2015. It apparently took the chef six months to conceptualize the cake's creation and another month to produce it. We know that the cake is adorned with 223 diamonds of various sizes. However, the rest remains a mystery, as the chef has steadfastly refused to disclose any of the other ingredients in his work.

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The Most Creative (and Outrageous) Products Made with Diamonds - Diamond Barbie Doll

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The world's most expensive Barbie doll was made in collaboration with toy maker Mattel and jeweler Stefano Canturi. It coincided with the launch of the 2010 Barbie Basics collection in Australia. Sold for the benefit of cancer research, it achieved a record price of $302,500, making it more valuable than even the first edition Barbie from 1959. The doll was adorned with a necklace of 3 carats of white diamonds and a 1-carat Argyle pink diamond as a center stone. The doll also had a diamond ring.
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True Colors Shining Through

Color is probably one of the most elusive and captivating characteristics of a diamond. Color is graded from D to Z – from colorless to brown or light yellow. The closer a diamond's color is to D, the more colorless it is and the higher its value. Diamonds of different colors will differ dramatically in value.

Color is a difficult characteristic to determine, with surrounding light, color of clothing, time of day and even coffee consumption influencing color perception. Therefore, to keep color-grading as consistent and unbiased as possible, labs use specialized machines to measure and determine color.

Pink, blue or other colorful diamonds – referred to as Fancy Color diamonds – are graded on a different, seven-step scale that indicates the depth of color in the diamond.

While this article discusses white diamonds, Fancy color, which is a unique sub-set characteristic with a dramatically different value proposition, may be discussed in a separate article.

The non-fancy color diamonds, commonly referred to as White diamonds, come in many hues, although most of them have a yellowish tint. Each letter of the 23-step from D to Z scale, stands for a specific color range for a combination of tone (lightness or darkness) and saturation (intensity), creating a value called "depth of color."

Many people wonder why the color scale starts at D and not A. In the past, grading systems broadly divided diamonds into three-color categories - A, B and C. The current and more specific scale starts at D to create a differentiation from older grading systems.

Groups of Color

The first three-color grades - D, E and F - are referred to as colorless. The first and sharpest change in value is between D and E. The G-J color range is known as Near Colorless. They have very small traces of color in them, and only a side-by-side comparison with colorless diamonds will make the color stand out. Under such a comparison, a G-color diamond may still seem colorless and a J-color diamond will exhibit a very faint yellowish tint.

Diamonds graded K-M are faint yellow. Here the yellow tint is more pronounce, although coloration is still difficult to see by the untrained eye. The value of these diamonds is lower. N-R graded diamonds are in the Very Light Yellow group. The last color group is S through Z. These diamonds have a distinctly yellow or brown color. The color, however, is not strong enough to be considered a fancy color diamond.

The Value of Non-Color

The closer a diamond's color is to D, the higher is its value. The declining value primarily reflects the increasing rate of recurrence of lower color diamonds in nature and greater prevalence in the market. As mentioned before, rarity is an important aspect of the value of diamonds.

As part of the Crystal Clear philosophy, it should be clarified how color impacts value. Just like with size, cut and clarity value changes along the grading scale, but unlike the sharp drops seen between ranges shown in our past articles, with color the value decline takes a different form.

The difference in value between a D and an E color diamond is very dramatic and can range from 10% to 40% for If clarity round diamonds. Because the intention here is to explore the idea of value change, we will focus here on round shape, IF clarity, one carat triple excellent diamonds. The value differences will be somewhat different with other cut, clarity, carat combinations, but the principle holds true throughout.

For a 1-carat, round, IF, triple excellent diamonds, the value drop from D to E is 33%, based on an analysis of current market prices. The decline in value between E and F is 11%, a smaller decline. This trend is seen through the color scale - it starts with a strong decline and then the value drop slowly shrinks, as the following table shows.

From the top value D color, there is a steady value decrease that starts as a sharp decline that slowly tapers off as color becomes very low. In other words, in higher colors, color is an important component of value, but in lower colors, the impact of color on value decreases.

Combining Color with other Value Characteristics

Once again, this value hierarchy does not live in disconnect from other value components. The following table compares change in value by color and size – 1 carat versus 0.98 carat, where the price jump is significant.

As you can see, based on current market prices, weight has a stronger impact on value than color. At the same time, the trend in value change remains the same: a sharp decline between the top D color and the following E color that gradually contracts as color grade declines.

The following is a further analysis of value, comparing size and color of IF clarity diamonds:

Color is a special and important part of diamonds. It can have a dramatic impact on the value of a diamond, especially in the better color range. By being aware of this, a well-informed decision can be made when considering the value of a diamond, especially if considering a diamond as part of a wealth preservation belief where transparency is indispensable.

No One should act upon any opinion or information in this website without consulting a professional qualified advisor. 

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World Diamond Industry: Namibia

Namibia is a Southern African nation with rich diamond reserves. Their production comes mostly from marine sources: diamonds that have been deposited on the ocean floor as a result of river movements and ancient tidal basin flows. There are also a few small, land-based mining operations. Marine mining is a difficult, costly, and highly mechanized process. De Beers is the main producer of diamonds in Namibia, having invested heavily in marine mining equipment and exploration vessels over the years. The limited artisanal mining in the country means the government has strong controls over production levels.

Namdeb, a 50:50 joint venture between De Beers and the government of Namibia, is responsible for diamond mining activities in the country. The company employs approximately 1,600 people, and has contributed more to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than all other mining activities combined. According to Kimberley Process statistics, Namibia produced $914 million worth of rough diamonds last year. Diamond production accounts for approximately 10% of GDP, 40% of export revenue, and 7% of annual government revenue.

In mid-2016, De Beers and the government of Namibia announced a landmark 10-year agreement on diamond beneficiation, the longest agreement since the partnership was formed in 1994. Under the new deal, Namdeb will make 15% of its run-of-mine production available to a government-owned, independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds Pty Ltd. Namib will offer its diamonds to 11 local manufacturers polishing in the country. Each company is allocated up to $15 million worth of rough diamonds annually. Because of their alluvial source, Namibian diamonds have amongst the highest average value anywhere in the world. This means that local cutters have an advantage over manufacturers in other countries, such as South Africa, where only large, high-value diamonds can be cut profitably due to the country's relatively higher wages.

However, the touted benefits of these efforts have yet to materialize. In some cases, local cutters are choosing to forgo their local supply, or buy and sell to the secondary market, which means that many Namibian diamonds are not being cut locally. Despite warnings by the government to curb the practice, and cut off supply such companies, it remains common. Estimates suggest that as few as three to five companies still polish diamonds in Namibia.

Another major part of the deal imposed tough terms on De Beers. Local cutters successfully lobbied to get access to large 'special' diamonds, rough diamonds weighing 10.80 carats or more. These diamonds are the most valuable in any rough production, but in the case of the high-value Namibian goods, are amongst the most valuable rough diamonds in the world. The government complied, and now obligates De Beers to supply all of its locally-mined +10.80 carat diamonds for local polishing – and beneficiation.

The mechanism used to establish the purchase price of these diamonds means that De Beers sets the price based on their expectation of the polished outcome of the rough stone. Since they have vastly more experience in pricing these special diamonds than the local cutters, the prices are set so high that profit can only be achieved by maximizing all possible yields in the finished diamonds. Under normal circumstances, these special stones would be cut by some of the most skilled diamond cutters in the world, typically located in the traditional diamond centers of New York, Israel, and Belgium. In these centers, there are master cutters who have decades of cutting experience, and access to the best technology in the industry. The cutters in Namibia simply lack the expertise and technology to cut these stones profitably. So despite the best efforts of the … 

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