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 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.



  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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