|Vol. 24, No. 2
The problem with Colombia is everyone has an army. You have the mine owners with their separate armies, the cocaine dealers with their armies, the rebels on the right and the left with their armies and of course, the Colombian government with their army. Alliances between these disparate groups shift like sand in an hourglass.
The rebels are only in it for the money. They have no real agenda and will extort money from the miners, cocaine dealers or locals. Occasionally, they will enter a town and rape and murder just because they can. The Colombian Government will eventually arrive but will not chase the rebels into the jungle.
The cocaine dealers contended this war was hurting their business and needed to
stop. Itłós kind of scary when the drug dealers have more sense than the mine
owners. Anyway, the drug cartels attempted to broker a peace but all sides could
not agree. Finally, a few years ago, the Archbishop and all sides reached a
peace settlement and the area is now relatively quiet compared to the Emerald
War days. Security still rules this dangerous place.
Colombian Mining Areas
The three main areas of production today are La Pita, Muzo and Coscuez or often spelled Cosquez. Apparently, Chivor is no longer producing. Of course, Victor Carranza, also known as the "Emerald King" runs Muzo. The La Pita deposit is very new compared to the mines which have been producing for centuries. La Pita was discovered ten years ago and started to produce large amounts of quality emeralds in 1999. Since production has decreased in the other two mining areas, this new find has helped keep production semi-stable. Today open pit mining is forbidden, and the only ongoing mining is in tunnels and shafts mined by dynamite and electric hammer.
Getting to the Mines
By helicopter the mines are not far from Bogota. However, most travel to the mines by Jeep. Once you leave Bogota, these roads turn into dirt and travel is long, arduous and dangerous. Once you get near the mines, which is where the cocaine processing plants are also located, it feels like łúViet Nam.łž Every location is secured with three perimeters of barbed wire and guards with machine guns.
The ownership of these mines is really interesting. At Cosquez or Pita, they may have as many as 20 owners each. Some of these are different families that may actually yield more power when combined together. They divide the current minesłó production via an auction method. All the goods are sorted and weighed and a minimum bid is created. All the goods are rough and untreated at this stage. The owners meet at a secure house near Pita to bid on these stones. You may have 20 owners and over 100 bodyguards at the location. The bidding can get spirited and the group that bids the most gets the goods.
Recently, prices are escalating rapidly after years of trending down or sideways. Interestingly, worldwide supply remains stable as the stone is still viewed negatively by many because it is soft and rampant with treatment issues. Colombian production has been low since the government banned and stopped supplying dynamite approximately a year ago. Lower production has led to skyrocketing emerald prices. Recently, a law was passed, reversing the dynamite ban. It went into effect after the May elections, and it is unclear yet what the effect of this will be. Also, the Colombian peso has been rising against the US dollar. The Colombian peso has increased approximately 20% against the dollar, making emeralds from Colombia more expensive.
Average quality emeralds are not rare and are available. What is really hard to find today is the clean and green emeralds in 2-3 carat sizes. These goods are available but the prices have risen significantly in the last couple of years. These stones are so rare compared to diamonds, it is not even funny. When you talk about non-treated goods, a 5 carat top Colombian can reach $50,000 +per carat wholesale.
The Colombian emerald market is at a crossroads. Certain people in the industry want to set up an internationally recognized gem laboratory in Bogota and disclose all treatments with proper documentation. These same people also want to use treatments that are acceptable to buyers. In other words, they want to find the proper way to expand and sell these stones to the world market. Others want to keep the business secret and the rest of the world in the dark. It is unclear which side will win but change is slow and excruciating in Colombia.
From a collecting/investment standpoint, the more non-treated emeralds you can
have in your portfolio, the better off you will be. However, please remember
only a few stones may appear yearly with the proper AGL documentation.
Andesine or Red Feldspar Hits the Market
by Robert Genis
When you think of red gemstones, you immediately think of ruby and spinel. How
many people think of red feldspar? Probably none until recently. More people
probably think of red rubellite before any feldspar. However, red rubellite
tends to be included like emeralds and is hardly ever seen in large sizes. A new
find of Red Feldspar material recently hit the market and remains shrouded in
mystery, causing a great deal of confusion in the gem world. It is presently
being sold as Chinese sunstone, Tibet sunstone, and Chinese andesine. In the top
qualities, you will be astounded by the colors, many of them rivaling the best
Burma ruby and spinel.
Most agree the new material was first discovered in 2002, although it is believed the first red feldspar was named after its discovery in the lava flows of the Andes Mountains, of Bolivia in the 19th century. Here is where the controversy begins. It is unclear where these stones are mined. Some dealers say the material is from the Congo. Some say the material is from China or Tibet. It is possible the stones are mined in the Congo and Tibet and marketed through China. We find the fact the source of these gemstones is secret troublesome.
Feldspar is one of the most common minerals found in the Earth's crust. The feldspar group is a large mineral group but many of the stones are not well known in the trade or by the public. For example, moonstone and Oregon sunstone are probably the most well known feldspars. Another feldspar is labradorite. Sometimes this stone is faceted and tend to be yellowish, although they may occur in various colors.
The six members of the feldspar group are albite, oligoclase, andesine, labradorite, bytownite, and anorthite. The placement in these groups depends on several factors, including refractive index , approximately 1.55, and shifting ratios of key minerals. Apparently, the technical difference between andesine and labradorite is the chemical ratio of sodium to calcium. If the stones have less than 50% calcium, they are andesine. If the material is more than 50%, it is labradorite. The red color in andsine appears to be due to the presence of copper.
Colors Besides Red?
To further complicate the issues, this stones come in colors other than red. They come in ruby red, orange red, orange, rainbow, green and color change. Ruby red color is ideal. Of course it needs to be clean. But it is very difficult to get ruby red and pure clean. What you are looking for is stoplight red or fire engine red. What you do not want is brown in these stones, just as in Thai ruby. Also, watch out for some of these stones that have a tendency to black-out. Of the stones I was able to view, the top gem red stones hold their colors in all lights and do not fluoresce.
The goods are being marketed as natural and not treated in any way. We cannot accept this claim outright and instead more of these stones should be submitted to recognized laboratories for analysis and study. It has recently come to our attention these stones maybe irradiated. Do not acquire these goods until the trade has confirmation these stones are not treated.
Buyers should know these stones range from hardness of 6 to 6-1/2, which might deter consumers from mounting them in rings, although that hasn't stopped them from mounting tanzanite. Many consumers probably calculate the risk of replacing these stones at this price level well worth the benefit of wearing these stones.
Shapes and Sizes
You will find these stone available in round, emerald cut, oval, cushion, pear, trillion, and many fancy shapes. Wholesale prices range from $50 per carat to $500 per carat depending on the sizes, shape and quality. Any stone over 10 carats is large. The biggest size I've seen is 30 carats. Some top gems that are clean command bigger premiums.
These goods are perfect for wholesale manufacturers looking for a new line of red inexpensive gemstones. The gemstone jewelry networks are also aggressively marketing this stone. They offer andesine as an inexpensive alternative to ruby and spinel.
Andesine probably competes with spessartite garnet and tanzanite. However, as a
red stone it has inherent marketing advantages over blue and orange colored
gemstones because people covet red gemstones over any other color.
We are recommending collectors not purchase this stone until the gemstone is studied more. It is better to be safe than sorry with gemstone collecting.
06 Las Vegas Gem Show
by Robert Genis
One of the industryłós largest trade shows is the Las Vegas Show. It started on May 29 and finished on June 7. The main shows were the Signature Salons at the Wynn, the JCK Show at the Sands and Convention Center, the Gem & Lapidary Dealers Association Show at the Mirage, the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show at the Rio and the International Gem & Jewelry Show at the Convention center. The prime show for colored gemstone dealers was the AGTA Gemfair at the JCK Show.
As the Las Vegas shows have expanded over the years, it is probably safe to say
sales of loose stones are declining in market share. Mounted goods sell better
than single stones. Although more and more people attend these shows, many
buyers register for the shows and head for the casinos. Finally, because these
shows are so large and buyers have limited time, they plan their activities
carefully and loose colored gemstones are a low priority.
Sales and Traffic Down
Based upon recent interviews with trade members, many are reconsidering if they will even attend this show in the future. Some state It is so expensive to display at Las Vegas compared to the old days. The booth prices keep escalating, the hotels are expensive and even the food is expensive. This keeps many potential mom and pop jewelers away from the city. At one time, Las Vegas was a bargain and now it is more like New York. Many dealers were glad to break even and many dealer sales were down at least 25%. Traffic was way down.
One problem is that AGTA is the big dog and the premier show in Tucson. However, in Vegas this is not true and the AGTA show now falls somewhere in the middle. The Signature Salons and other Centurion-type shows are now dominating the upscale buyers in Las Vegas. These buyers are wined and dined and many may never see the AGTA Gemfair.
Another concern stated by dealers was the international dealers had an entire
floor and many of these dealers had two booths. These are not simple tables like
at the AGTA in Tucson. Rather, these are little cubicles that offer more privacy
and secrecy. Another problem the exhibitors faced was Friday, June 2 was a
Jewish holiday and this drained the energy of the entire room. Many gem dealers
interviewed on the Vegas gem and jewelry shows stated, łúThere are simply too
many shows and too many vendors. That is the bottom line.łž More then half of the
colored gemstone dealers had a worse show than 2005.
Gem Show Reality
The reality is if you have what is selling you are in good shape. If you donłót have what jewelers want you can sit there for a week twiddling your thumbs.
Specialize in Gems To Manufacturers
Dealers who sell volume to manufacturers had a good show if the manufacturers also had a good show. The jewelry manufacturers bought later in the show to start new lines
Jewelry vs. Loose Stones
One dealer had a double booth with 50% jewelry and 50% loose stones. As expected, the finished jewelry sold better than the loose stones.
Hot and Not Hot Stones
Their hottest stone was fancy colored sapphire and unusual, gemmy pieces. Tanzanite and tsavorite demand is down.
Dealers at the GLDA show also stated traffic was noticeably lower than last year. Some customers did not make it to Vegas this year as sales in their regions have been slower than normal. However, buyers who did attend the show were serious and sales were reportedly good. The hot topics at the show were the high precious metal prices, the absurdly low margins on diamonds and the increasing popularity of colored gems.
Given the fact the Las Vegas shows are really jewelry shows, most loose colored gemstone dealers probably need to reassess their attendance. The colored gemstone dealers have to understand the show primarily attracts jewelers who are interested in finished jewelry and watches. To the Las Vegas buyer, loose colored stones are an afterthought. It might be important for gem dealers to attend the show to make contacts for possible sales later in the year. Since most colored gemstone dealers put little money into marketing, gem shows are a good way to keep your name in front of potential buyers. However, they may want to turn this into quasi-trip rather than an all out gemstone experience like the Tucson shows.
The 2006 ICA World Colored Gemstone Mining Report: Burma
łúMogok is producing ruby in only a few mines, mostly through slow and expensive in-situ mining, with the rubies being found in marble along the contact zones. Some of these mines, such as the famous Ka Doke Dat mine, are more than 150 meters deep.
The large scale alluvial mines are a thing of the past; only small scale mines are now operating, so production is reduced. Still, some fine pink rubies were found in the last year. One fine 7-carat Namya (naya) ruby rough sold for a record $300,000 at the 2005 Myanmar Gems Emporium auction, but production at the mine is very scarce.
Blue sapphire comes from older alluvial mines, but few good stones are now being produced. A few fine yellow sapphires have been produced in the past year in Mogok. Some of these are over 50 carats, but still not the fine color of top Sri Lanka gems.
Today in the Mogok district, other colored gemstones are rare, but are still being produced where possible. Some painite from the Wet Loo mine has turned up in Bangkok. Normal peridot, yellow danburite, zircon, aquamarine, tourmaline, and many rare gemstones are now being found in small mining operations and are making their way to the Thai markets.
Red spinel from both Mogok and Naya is difficult to find. It was always rare, but now the demand has pushed up prices for even lesser quality stones. Sales of medium quality merchandise are slow, possibly because they have been overpriced. The finer colors are expensive, which is justified, due to the rarity of fine red spinels. Multicolored spinels are being found in Mogok, but there is little demand for grays or off-blues.
Production of Mong Shu ruby has been troubled, with difficult mining conditions, deeper mining, and poor production- all typical of a newer district now maturing (Mong Shu is in its second decade).
At the last auction, dealers said the quality of the Burmese ruby was improved from the previous yearłós sale.
Jadeite is the only really bright spot of increased production. Chinese buyers
have been coming into the auctions seeking it out. Reportedly, nearly 1,000
Chinese dealers were present. The amount sold hit a record level of almost $80
millions in the 2005 Gems Emporium auction, compared to $40 million at the
9.25 Burmese Ruby At Auction
Christie's Magnificent Jewelry and Jadeite Jewelry auction, held June 1 in Hong Kong, saw $38.3 million in sales, the highest ever total for a jewelry sale in Asia. The top lot at the Magnificent Jewelry and Jadeite Jewelry auction was a 9.25 carat cushion-shaped Burmese ruby purchased by Laurence Graff for $2.42 million or $260,000 per carat. This stone was expected to sell for approximately $1 million. This is less on a per carat basis than the 8.62 Graff paid $425,000 per carat for in February, 2006 at Christie's. This per carat price is also less than the 8.01 an Asian private paid about $275,000 per carat for in April, 2005 at Christie's. We are assuming this stone was of less quality than the other two Burma rubies.
This is from the Christiełós catalog; łúAmong all the valuable gemstones in the
world, Burmese rubies are most treasured and sought after. Even rarer today are
those over 5 carats łĆ and particularly, ones that show no indications of thermal
enhancement łĆowing to the rapidly decreasing yields of stones from the reputed
Mogok Stone Tract. The 9.25 carat cushion-shaped ring...spared of any thermal
treatment...displays a richly saturated and a vivid bright red colour typical of
old Burmese material, coupled with a strong fluorescence which adds the effect
of an internal glow to the stone. Its high degree of transparency, together with
the ideal cut, shape and size, make it one of the rarest and most desirable gems
in the market.łž Although we have learned to take these auction descriptions with
a grain of salt, the fact Laurence Graff has two of the three most expensive
rubies is an amazing feat.
In The News
Jacob the Jeweler will never forget the summer of 06. The New Zealand piece is łúpress to die for.łž In a strange twist, approximately two weeks later, he is arrested for money laundering. ED
Sparkling reign of the Bling King
May 27, 2006
By Susie Rushton
Maybe you've heard about Jacob the Jeweller - over the past decade the
Uzbek-born, New York-based "King of Bling" has been name-checked by almost all
of hip-hop's biggest stars.
"I took you outta Jacob's in clusters," rapped Jay-Z in Girl's Best Friend. "Busters, they wanted to rush us. Love the way you sparkle when the sun touch ya."
That was in 1999, and despite rumours bling is dead, Jacob Arabo remains first choice for the entertainment industry's flashiest stars.
While Arabo was put on the map by music icons from P Diddy to Missy Elliot, these days his best customers also come from the sports world.
One of his trinkets - okay, a unique white-gold watch with 28 carats of diamonds and rubies set in the pattern of a world map - was the single costliest item donated for auction at David and Victoria Beckham's much-hyped Full Length and Fabulous party this week.
"When they asked me to take part, David and Victoria didn't specify a value, but I wanted to go maximum."
The starting price was US$120,000 - a bargain in comparison to Arabo's most expensive item, the $1 million Royal watch.
"It doesn't get much better than that," says Arabo, weighing the 71-carat timepiece in his hand.
The England football captain requested to borrow it for the party, so Arabo brought it with him.
But Arabo's baubles didn't become celebrity favourites simply by virtue of being
expensive. Cartier or Bulgari were already on hand to relieve the super-rich of
Arabo trampled over classic ideas of what was tasteful or pleasing - and his clients loved him for it.
He designs diamond-covered dice, or mobile phones. His love of outsized gewgaws, bright colours and more-is-more use of diamonds made for jewellery that stands out in music videos and paparazzi shots.
"My brand is fresh, new, cool - just happening. I just made a razor that was all
[set with] diamonds. The latest one I did was an ice-cream cone, in diamonds.
That was $180,000."
Arabo has also smothered a Rolls-Royce angel emblem with diamonds. "The price was the same as for the whole car," he says, triumphantly. "We are the modern Faberge, you could say."
Arabo also takes credit for changing male attitudes to wearing diamonds. He thinks that his emphasis on platinum was a key factor. "About 10 years ago, I decided to switch all the jewellery to platinum. No more gold. Now, it's a mixture of metals, but that was the time when I gave men permission to wear diamond jewellery. "
Born in Tashkent, Arabo wanted to become a photographer. But he also had a talent for fixing his mother's and his four sisters' jewellery.
"We left when I was 14, in 1979, and 10 years later the Soviet government collapsed." "
Aged 16, he enrolled on a jewellery design course; he was so gifted, apparently,
that his tutors urged him to set up his own business. Jacob & Co opened in 1986.
By the mid-1990s, clients including Whitney Houston and Mary J Blige were recommending Arabo to their friends. Then they started name-dropping him in their songs.
Each year, the brand strategy agency Agenda Inc ranks companies by the number of times they're mentioned in the lyrics of songs in Billboard's Top 20; in 2005, at position 31, Jacob clocked up 15 references, only 18 name-checks behind AK-47.
Despite a subtle dampening of enthusiasm among hip-hop stars for in-your-face
jewels, Arabo insists that bling isn't over. "As long as I'm there, there's
going to be bling."
A potentially more serious challenge to the business came last year when hip-hop's new superhero Kanye West began to rap about illicit diamond mining in African war zones. "Little was known of Sierra Leone/ And how it connect to the diamonds we own/ These ain't conflict diamonds, is they Jacob?" intones West in his remix of Diamonds from Sierra Leone.
Arabo's company website now states Jacob uses sound suppliers and has a "commitment to ethical sourcing of diamonds".
So what was Arabo himself planning to slip on his wrists for the Beckhams'
party? "I'll be wearing beautiful cufflinks and a very special watch, with
diamonds on the case and more diamonds on the back. There are going to be 500
people there," he says, lightly, "and I'm sure I'll know a lot of them."
Celebrity Jeweler Arrested on Money Laundering Charges
June 16, 2006
Police said Yakov Arabov, known throughout the hip-hop world as Jacob Arabo or "Jacob the Jeweler," was connected to a multistate drug and money-laundering ring.
Arabov, who appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Manhattan after his arrest, did not want to comment, said his lawyer, Daniel Gotlin.
"It's been a difficult enough day for what they did to him," Gotlin said,
declining to comment further. Bail was set for Arabov at $100,000, which the
Russian immigrant immediately had paid.
The 41-year-old Arabov, who first came to fame in the mid-1990s as hip-hop and R&B artists started sporting his gem-encrusted pieces łů was arrested at 8:30 a.m. on a warrant issued in Detroit by federal authorities.
The authorities have charged him with conspiring with others to launder money in connection with a jewelry business.
Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Erin Mulvey said the arrest occurred at Arabov's midtown Manhattan store.
Paul Wilmot, a spokesman for Jacob & Co., said the arrest was "the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding that we believe will be straightened out in the next several weeks."
He added, "We are confident that once the government is advised of all the facts surrounding these issues that all of the charges against Mr. Arabov will be completely dismissed."
Arabov was identified along with the alias, "Jacob the Jeweler," in an indictment charging some of 16 people with breaking federal drug laws, included conspiracy to distribute more than 476 kilograms of cocaine and laundering about $270 million, Detroit U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced Thursday.
Federal authorities say those indicted are connected to a drug organization called the "Black Mafia Family." The gang dealt cocaine in the Detroit metropolitan area beginning in the early 1990's, extending across the country.
Between October 1997 and June 2005, authorities said they seized approximately $5 million in cash from the gang, which used the drug money to purchase and lease luxury vehicles, buy real estate and jewelry.
Arabov became popular among hip-hop and R&B artists in the mid-1990s after he attracted the attention of Notorious B.I.G., according to the Jacob & Co. Web site. Sean "Diddy" Combs, Madonna and Sir Elton John have all worn his baubles.
Arabov launched a line of religious-themed jewelery with Kanye West, who later named him in songs including "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," in which he asked, "These ain't conflict diamonds, is they Jacob? Don't lie to me man."
He also manufactured Lil' Kim's line of Royalty watches and was recently named
the jewelry trendsetter of the year by Modern Bride magazine.
With Gift, Smithsonian Can Go Gem-Shopping
By Jacqueline Trescott
June 7, 2006
The National Museum of Natural History is getting a coveted blue box from Tiffany & Co.
The museum announced yesterday that the National Gem Collection is receiving a $1.1 million gift from the luxury jeweler's foundation. The money will establish the collection's first acquisition fund, which will allow its curators to purchase rare gemstones.
"For the first time, the National Gem Collection has an opportunity to build by acquiring pieces other than through donations," said Jeffrey Post, the collection's curator.
For most of its history, which goes back to 1884, the gem collection at the Smithsonian Institution has depended on gifts. The most famous is the Hope Diamond, the 45-carat blue gem given in 1958 by Harry Winston, the famous New York jeweler. That jewel has been a phenomenal draw at the museum. Almost 80 percent of the Museum of Natural History's 5.5 million to 6 million visitors a year stop by its case.
For years, Post has been gazing at prized gems, but had to pass them up for a lack of funds. "We have always had holes in the collection, and there have been new finds and new opportunities, and not being able to collect them has been frustrating," Post said.
The $1.1. million from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation will serve two purposes: $1
million will be invested in the Smithsonian Trust, the museum's private funds,
and the annual payout, about 5 percent, will determine how much the curators can
spend. "We estimate the payout will start at about $50,000. The beauty of an
endowment is that it is a gift that gives every year," Post said.
The museum will use the balance to build an exhibition case to show off its purchases. In return, the Tiffany foundation will be acknowledged, as is every donor, on the jewel's label.
Tiffany & Co. has been a donor in the past. Tiffany donated a necklace in 1990 that was designed by Paloma Picasso from a 400-carat kunzite, a pink gemstone. It was created for the company's 150th anniversary and then donated to the Smithsonian. The jewelry company has also helped with the building of the new exhibition hall.
The museum's collection has 375,000 specimens, many of which are kept in laboratories for research.
Each year, Post goes to the huge gem show in Tucson, sets up an exhibition and then window-shops and waits. "Everyone stops by and shows us things, pulling things out of their right pocket and then left pocket. They are saying in a friendly sort of way, 'We have something bigger than you have.' We wave at them when they go by," Post said. "Now we are finally in the ballpark where we can select some things."
On his wish list is a green tsavorite garnet; the stones are found on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. "It is as beautiful as any emerald. And we have a three-carat one, but now they are finding 15-carat stones. And the prices are getting higher. We haven't been shy about telling people we are interested," said Post. Another target is a Paraiba, an electric-blue tourmaline. "It's a new find, coming out of Nigeria and Mozambique. We have nothing like that in our collection."
Tiffany, which adopted the blue box as its signature in 1837, years before the
Smithsonian was founded, said the Smithsonian collection is an important
resource for those interested in jewels.
"First and foremost, the National Gem Collection is the finest place to learn about gemstones and about the beauty of mineral specimens," said Fernanda Kellogg, president of the Tiffany foundation. "There is nothing else like this."
India Economic Times News Network
May 26, 2006
Here is a really interesting article we found on an Indian website about colored diamonds. It is surprisingly accurate despite being written by a financial analyst, not a gemologist. ED
It comes in shades ranging from delicate pastel rose to robust raspberry and full-blooded purple-reds. The intensity of the colour determine the prices per carat. Only its most vibrant pink diamonds are selected for polishing at in a wide range of cuts, such as round brilliant, marquise, oval and pear, to enhance their natural beauty. Polished pink diamonds are available in the same size ranges as traditional commercial sizes. The pink diamonds of India, Brazil and Africa are characteristically light in colour and paled even further when placed beside the intensely pink Argyle diamonds.
Pink Champagne Diamonds
These are attractive champagne diamonds with secondary pink colour and commands a higher price per carat than champagne diamonds. These stones display slight to bold flashes of pink in their fire. It is available in three ranges of shades, from light pink champagne to medium and dark pink champagne. As pink is one of the rarest colours found in diamonds, even secondary colours demand a higher price depending on depth and strength of colour.
White diamonds are produced by mines all over the world in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. But Argyle mine produces particularly brilliant and of high quality white diamonds. In an effect similar to that described of pink champagne diamonds, the white diamond displays slight to bold flashes of pink when viewed from the top. Since pink is one of the most rare colours found in diamonds, a higher price is commanded for pink secondary colour depending on its depth and strength.
Champagne diamonds are naturally coloured diamonds that are produced in a wide range of colours from light straw to rich cognac. The 4C's of colour, cut, clarity and carat weight apply to coloured diamonds just as they do to colourless diamonds except the intensity of colour, which plays a greater part in the valuation. There is a scale specifically for champagne diamonds. The diamonds are graded on a C1-C7 colour scale. C1 and C2 represent light champagne, C3 and C4 medium champagne, and C5 and C6 dark champagne. The fancy cognac diamond is graded C7.
Fancy yellow diamonds come in a broad range of shades ranging from light yellow to a rich canary colour. The canary yellow diamond shows a few dark, brownish areas in the stone. Of course, the actual stone looks better. The stunning yellow diamond is a radiant cut that weighs over 3 carats. It is internally flawless and has a color grade of Fancy Intense Yellow. This beautiful diamond deserves a special setting. Not many people prefers yellow, so it is not as popular as other colours for gemstones. Some people believe that the best diamonds are completely colourless. But if you asked most people for a list of their favourite colours, they would list blue, red, green, pink, amongst their favourites.
Blue diamonds are available in a wide range of shades, from the blue of the sky to a more "steely" colour than sapphire. This spectacular blue diamond will certainly let your blues away! It is the Fancy Intense Blue that radiates a brilliant hue to catch everyone's attention even from across the room. The cause of blue color in diamonds is can be effected with the element Boron by trapping within the crystal lattice. Natural fancy blue diamonds are extremely rare and expensive.
There are also fancy green diamonds. The penetration of the colour is not very deep and is often removed during the fashioning of the stone. The actual colour is a pastel to khaki green, and is very attractive. The colour green was thought to be caused due to exposure to natural radiation in the diamond's host rock. The radiation damages the crystal structure of the diamond, causing selective absorption. The reason why a green diamond is so expensive is that the radiation usually does not effect the entire diamond. It may be green only in patches or on the surface of the crystal. Faceting a diamond that is only green on the surface just cuts off the green color. That is why the Dresden Green is so special and is just so expensive. However, recent research may yield that hydrogen may be the cause in some grayish-green stones.
The purple diamond is a beautiful bright and unusual stone and they are extremely rare. It also has slight brown overtones, making it close to a ripe raspberry colour. There seems to be no actual purple stones. None has even discovered a way to make a purple diamond. "Violets" from the Argyle mine actually look more grayish blue, and thought to be related to hydrogen. The Argyle pinks usually have a purple flash that varies in intensity, but no one knows what makes it the colour purple. The purple seems to be in no way related to the coloring lamellae of the stone.
Orange diamond was the first of the fancy diamond colours to have been produced and for some time it was the only attractive colour of fancy coloured diamond available. It is possible to produce fancy brown stones, but these are usually not as attractive as other colours. Some orange diamonds are a brownish orange. There are so few actual orange diamonds. The colour was thought to be related to nitrogen inclusions, but it's unverified. Orange diamonds look very startling. They are often similar in colour to amber or precious topaz.
Pimp Out Your iPod Headphones With Diamonds!
by Alex Baranovskiy
May 22, 2006
Have you ever wanted to live life like a spoiled celebrity? Do you wish to stand out from the groups of common folk, and show everyone how rich and extravagant you are? Well, if youłóre a fan of the iPod digital music player, now you can! Well, to be exact, itłós not the iPod itself that youłóll be łúpimping outłž; itłós your headphones thatłóll get the royal treatment. The popular white headphones always associated with iPods can now be replaced by a different brand: the iDiamond! Italy based Mac@Work will be offering these special edition headphones for the expected high prices. The lovely pieces will come in several varieties. The most popular are said to be the headphones with a heart shaped diamond embedded in them. These are designed by Stefano Dossola, and will cost about $958. Other diamond versions include shapes of a moon, star or lighting, and will cost roughly $843. However, if you just donłót have the dough to pick up a diamond embedded version, therełóll be a rose sapphire based set, which will cost $720. Sure, youłóll feel a bit cheap (sarcasm), but youłóll still definitely stand out of the crowd. My opinion on such products has always been the same, and it still remains unchanged when it comes to the iDiamonds. If youłóre willing to spend so much cash just to have some jewelry implanted in your technology, you either have to much money, or are starving for attention (itłós usually both). Now Iłóm sure that wełóll see some hip celebrity sporting a pair of these, but this doesnłót change the fact that itłós a ridiculous purchase.
The following is for snail mail only:
P. O. Box 42468
Tucson, AZ 85733
Call: 1-800-458-6453 or (520)-577-6222
For comments, questions or price quotes E-mail NGC, Attn: R. Genis