Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All About Mining Diamonds Part 2

Argye mine located in the Kimberley region  in the far north east of Western Australia.  Owned by Rio Tinto, this mine is the world’s  largest single producer of volume of  diamonds.  However, due to low proportion  of gem quality diamonds it is not the value  leader.  It does produce 90-95% of the  world’s supply of pink diamonds. 

Diavik is also owned by Rio Tinto, located in  Canada it is a very large mine.   It is located  north of Yellowknife and south of the Artic  Circle on an island.  The island is connected  by an ice road.  It is also an important part of  the regions economy employing more than  700 people and producing more than 8 million carats annually.  

Ekati diamond mine is owned by BHP  Billiton and located south of the artic circle  in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The Ekati is Canada’s first operational  diamond mine.     Diamonds mined here  are sold under the Aurias trade name    Authenticity is verified through Canada Mark service.  CanadaMark service is also  owned by BHP Billiton Diamonds, Inc. 

 Baken diamond mine is located along the  lower Orange River in South Africa.  It is  owned and operated by Trans Hex.  The  average size stone for 2004 was 1.29  carats.   In 2004, this mine produced a  78.9 carat D color flawless diamond that  sold for more than 1.8 million dollars (US),  as well as a 27.67 pink diamond that was  sold for over 1 million US dollars.

Merlin is the second of only two diamond  mines in Australia.  No longer operating it  was owned by Rio Tinto and sold to Striker  Resources, who has explored the  possibilities of reopening the mine.    
Orapa is the world’s largest diamond mine.   It us located 240 Km west of  Francistown.  The mine is owned by  “Debswana” which is a partnership  between DeBeers and the government of  Botswana. This mine operates 7 days a  week.  It maintains pre primary and  primary schools for its employee’s children.   There is also a 100 bed hospital and game  park.  This mine began production in 1971  and is the oldest mine owned by the  Debswana Company.  

The Premier mine located in Cullinan, South  Africa produced the largest gem diamond  ever in 1905.  The Cullinan Diamond  weighed 3,106.75 carats.  This mine also  produced the Golden Jubilee diamond  which weighed 545.67 carats.  This mine is  owned by the De Beers Company and was  renamed The Cullinan Diamond Mine in  2003 in celebration of its centennial.

Monday, January 9, 2012

All About Dirty Diamonds

A dirty diamond is one of two things: a rough  diamond, or a diamond that hasn’t been  cleaned in a while. Rough diamonds are  uncut and unpolished – hence, they are dirty.  But that type of dirty diamond will soon be cut and polished and sitting in a beautiful  jewel box in a display case. Then someone  will purchase it, and before long, it will  become a dirty diamond once again.

Diamonds become dirty. When you wash  your hands with a diamond ring on, soap  scum clings to it. When you put on hand  lotion, it gets grease on it. Shower with your  diamond earrings or necklace, and again,  you get soap scum. In one short day, your  brand new diamond could be dirty!

Purchase an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner the  same day that you purchase your diamond  jewelry, and use it every single day, without  fail. The clarity of the diamond changes  when the diamond is dirty – it loses its  sparkle. By taking one minute each day to  clean your diamond jewelry, you can avoid  this, and your diamonds will never be dirty!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All About Synthetic Diamonds

The first synthetic diamonds were produced  by General Electric in 1954. A synthetic  diamond is basically a rock that has the  durability, refractive index and hardness of  a natural diamond – but it is made by man.  A synthetic diamond should not be  confused with stimulant diamonds, such as  glass, cubic zirconia, or moissanite.

Although the technology for synthetic  diamonds came into play in 1954, no  synthetic diamonds were ever seen on the  market until the 1990’s. This was due to the  fact that it took many years for General  Electric to produce a synthetic diamond that  could compare with the quality of a natural  diamond – and when they figured out how to  do it, they found that it cost more to produce  a synthetic diamond than it did to mine and  cut natural diamonds.

Finally, a small company by the name of  Gemesis Corporation figured out a way to  produce synthetic diamonds that were of the  same quality as natural diamonds, at a  cheaper price. Today, Gemesis produces  synthetic white diamonds, and colored  diamonds as well. These diamonds sell for  about 1/3 of the cost of a natural diamond,  but there is a shortage of them, and they are  hard to find. In fact, it seems that synthetic  diamonds are rarer than natural diamonds!

Monday, January 2, 2012

All About Diamonds Selection

Diamonds are graded for certification by  laboratories using grading criteria. Four of  these criteria are critical to understand when  making a diamond purchase or investment.  Known as the “Four C’s” these criteria are: color, cut, clarity and carat.

Color is the result of the composition of a  diamond and it does not change. When a jeweler is describing the color of a diamond  they are referring to the presence or absence  of color in white diamonds. Because a diamond with no color allows maximum light  to pass through, colorless diamonds are  preferred for their sparkle. 

Cut refers to a diamonds reflective quality. Most diamonds are cut with 58 facets. The  brilliance of diamonds is heavily dependent  on the cut. The different angles and the finish  of a diamond determine its ability to reflect  light and cause its brilliance and fire.  Remember that the cut of a diamond can  have an impact on its durability as well as its  beauty. Some cutting faults can make a  diamond prone to breakage. A diamond  that is cut too thin can also cause light to  leak out of the back and the diamond will  lose some of the sparkle and appear not  to shine. So, as you can see the Cut is  probably the most important of the Four C’s.

During the formation process, inner flaws, or  inclusions occur in most diamonds. The  number and size of these inclusions  determine what is referred to as the clarity  of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear  create more brilliance and therefore are rarer  and highly priced. To be considered “flawless”, a diamond must have no surface  or internal imperfections visible upon being  viewed by a skilled diamond grader using  10 power magnifications. 

Carat is the unit of weight by which diamonds  are measured. One carat is equal to 200  milligrams. A carat is divided into 100  segments called points. 150 points would  equal one and a half carats.

When you go to the store to make that all  important diamond purchase, do not be shy!   Ask questions, get the answers needed to  make an informed purchase. Shopping for  certified diamonds enables you to make an  informed selection. Knowing the “four C’s”  allows you to comparison shop and purchase  the best diamond at a fair price.  But, before  making a purchase, shop around and decide  what shapes and styles really appeal to you.  Enjoy your diamond for years to come

Saturday, December 31, 2011

All About Diamonds Insurance

Insuring a diamond takes a bit of thought,  planning, and shopping around. Diamond  insurance isn’t like purchasing car insurance.  It is quite different. Depending on the state  that you live in, there are basically three different types of policies that will cover  diamonds, and all insurance policies that  cover diamonds are considered Marine  type policies.   
The first type of insurance policies for  diamonds is an Actual Cash Value policy.  If the diamond is lost or damaged beyond  repair, the insurance company will replace  the diamond at today’s market value, no  matter how much you paid for the diamond  to begin with. This type of insurance policy  for diamonds actually is not that common.  

The most common type of insurance for  diamonds is Replacement Value insurance.  The insurance company will only pay up to a  fixed amount to replace the diamond that was  lost or damaged beyond repair. This does not  mean that they will pay that amount – it means  that they will pay up to that amount. In most  cases, the diamond can be replaced at a  lower cost.

The third type of coverage offered for  diamonds is Agreed Value. This is  sometimes called ‘Valued At.’ This type of  coverage is very rare. In the event that the  diamond is lost or damaged beyond repair,  the insurance company simply pays you the  amount that you and the company agreed  upon. This is the best type of insurance to  have, but it is rarely offered. If you can’t get  Agreed Value coverage, Actual Cash Value coverage should be your next choice.

Your rates will be determined by the value of  the diamond, the type of coverage that you select, and the area that you live in. If you live  in an area with a high crime rate, you can  expect to pay more for your diamond insurance coverage. It is important to  remember that insurance agents are not  qualified jewelers, and jewelers are not  qualified insurance agents. It is best to get  a certificate for your diamond, and to  provide the insurance company with a copy  of that certificate. This leaves the insurance  company less room for arguments over the  actual value of the diamond.

Don’t rely on separate coverage to cover  your diamond. For instance, if you diamond  is stolen from your home, it is probably  covered on your home owner’s insurance  policy – but the diamond probably won’t always be in your home, and once it leaves  your home, there is no coverage.

All About Spotting A Fake Diamond

In this world of advanced technology it is  almost impossible to simply look at a  diamond and determine whether it is real or  not – especially if you don’t know much  about diamonds. There are some steps that  you can take to avoid buying a fake diamond, however

First, only deal with reputable jewelers, and  when you find a reputable jeweler, stick with  them. Avoid buying diamonds or other  jewelry from jewelers that you have never dealt with before in the past. Ask to see the certificate for the stone. If no certificate exists,  walk away.    

Look at the setting that the stone is in. Fake  diamonds, such as zirconias, are usually set  in low quality metals. Take a close look at the stone. Fake diamonds are not durable –  natural diamonds, on the other hand, are the most durable stone on the planet. Look for  scratches or nicks.  
After purchasing a diamond, take it to  another jeweler for appraisal. In fact, take it  to two or three other jewelers for an appraisal  to make sure that the appraisals are all fairly  close. If you find that you have purchased a  fake diamond, you may be accused of  making a switch when you return to the store  of your purchase; therefore, it is important to  have a certificate for the diamond. No two  stones are alike.