I used to work in the jewelery industry and as a result I know a lot about all that glitters, all that holds that which glitters, time keepers and flatware.
Obviously, the most talked about thing when I was working in the sales portion of jewelery was diamonds. I was lucky enough to start my career with one of Canada's most reputable jewelry stores, Henry Birks & Sons. So the vast majority of clients that I dealt with were shaky young men wringing their hands at the counter looking for the perfect ring to offer his girl so they can spend the rest of their lives together.
I'd always start with the 4 C's
- Cut (being the most important and often most neglected when looking for a stone outside of a high end, reputable jewelry store)
The Cut of a diamond is what truly makes a diamond come alive under almost any light. It requires meticulous precision of a highly skilled artisan to ensure that proper proportions and polishing are created to maximise brilliance and scintillation. To really appreciate the importance of cut one would need to look at two different cut stones side-by-side within similar color, clarity and carat of each other. One being of an "ideal" or an "excellent" cut and the other being a "Good" or "Fair" cut you'll notice an immediate difference in brilliance.
Clarity is the third most important thing to consider when looking for a diamond. It is the extent in which a diamond is free from inclusions. Though a diamond is said to be flawless when no inclusions or surface blemishes can be seen under a 10x magnification a truly flawless diamond is extremely rare. Of course rarity effects the value of the stone.
Carat represents the gemologist's measure of diamond weight. This is the part of diamonds that gets the most attention but I believe has the least amount of importance when buying a stone. Of course, the larger the stone the more rare it becomes (especially if you are not willing to compromise quality) but a side from that it's all personal preference just as the shape of the stone is as well.
So that's the basics on diamonds. I'm rusty having been out of the industry for so long. I was reminded again of how much I enjoyed working with fine, beautiful things when I saw that Tiffany's & Co. was opening at Chinook mall today (they had a breakfast I believe). A good friend of mine will be working behind the scenes in operations and I think she's really going to enjoy it. I'm excited for her, they paid for her to go to New York for training a few weeks ago. That's fantastic... a week long trip in New York city learning all about Tiffany's. Such a dream!
Now, maybe next week I'll talk about watches or flatware (table setting 101)
[resources: Pictures borrowed from Birks]