Posted by: lucylastic | March 3, 2008

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend………..

If you had to recite a list of the world’s greatest diamond producing countries, would Russia be on it?  It wouldn’t have been on mine, but I recently came across a list which showed that Botswana produced 29% of the world’s diamonds, (by value) and Russia is second with 21%, (also by value).  This would at least somewhat explain how the fabulous jewellery shops on Tverskaya, (Moscow’s main shopping street) have not only a selection of diamonds that are second to none, but also an abundance of the attractive blue and yellow diamonds that are less favoured in the West.  I know that diamonds are measured by cut, clarity, colour and carat, but I didn’t realise the extent of the grading system.  The colour grading system starts at ‘D’, (don’t ask me why) and runs to ‘Z’.  A highest grade ‘D’ diamond is colourless and is very rare.  It’s also possible to get coloured diamonds – which are NOT included on this scale, which is only for ‘white’ diamonds.  Confused?  You will be! 

There is a separate ‘Fancy Colour’ scale for coloured diamonds – which runs from Faint, through a variety of shades including Very Light; Light; Fancy Light; Fancy; Fancy Intense; Fancy Vivid; Fancy Dark and Fancy Deep.  I am much taken with these names – they conjure up an exotic selection of jewels with which I might design my own necklace or ear-rings – unfortunately, they also come with quite a hefty price tag.  For example, a .55 carat Fancy Purplish Red Radiant Cut diamond costs a mere US$ 179,727, (includes shipping).  You may be imagining a sizeable rock for this money, but no, it’s dimensions are 4.58 x 3.98 x 3.03 MM.  Perhaps I’ll have to wait for that lottery win.  I have found a very good interactive site called Blue Nile – which apparently has the internet’s largest selection of certified diamonds.  Now, I am no expert – but looking at a variety of stones they have on offer and comparing them with ones my lovely (not then) husband and I looked at in Aruba, (famed as a diamond trading centre) they seem to offer pretty good value.  In fact, the more I get to know about diamonds, (and it’s not much admittedly, but I am learning all the time), the more certain I am that we wouldn’t have made a good purchase if LH had allowed me to get carried away with the one I saw in the shop there that it took me over an hour to be talked away from!!!  The Blue Nile site http://www.bluenile.co.uk/default.asp?track=49 allows you to ‘build your own ring’ and also encourages personal callers – which I find reassuring.  If I ever purchase another diamond, it may well be from them.  In the meantime, I shall restrict myself to window shopping.

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Responses

  1. Very interesting diamond factoids! I am always in search of “Imperial Topaz,” which is the amber coloured topaz (my birth stone). It’s quite difficult to find these days but I don’t like the blue variety. I’ve found some great websites where you can buy huge great Imperial Topaz stones to have them made into rings or whatever.


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