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Meet the 20.69 carat 'Firebird' Diamond Recently Acquired by Graff

Meet the 20.69 carat 'Firebird' Diamond Recently Acquired by Graff


Taking its name from the legendary ballet "Firebird" (1910 - Grand Opera, Paris), this 20.69 carat asscher-cut diamond now makes its way into the possession of Lawrence Graff, who previously also obtained the 'Lesedi La Rona' diamond (302.37 carat D-color) and had it cut into the world's largest square emerald-cut diamond.



Fancy-colored diamonds have been making headway into the world's auction scene for the past couple of decades, with major color hues including pinks, blues and vivid reds. Yellow diamonds, although traditionally lower in the hierarchy of color values for the diamond species, boasts a widespread appreciation for their 'Canary yellow' saturations. Many of them are now receiving heightened reception from international collectors and connoisseurs.



The choice to create the finished piece in a square-shaped step cut helps to bring out its uniquely stark honey-yellow hues. Many deep bodied fancy-cut shapes are a strategic selection for the final form of such fancy-colored diamonds, as proportions allow for more material (carat weight) to be kept- meaning a greater amount of light can then be selectively absorbed by the diamond's mass. This consequentially results in a stronger color, which is the desired effect for this kind of gemstone (as opposed to the case of colorless-to-near-colorless diamonds).
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Are There Any Risks Involved When Asking Someone Else to Resize or Repair Diamond Jewellery??

Are There Any Risks Involved When Asking Someone Else to Resize or Repair Diamond Jewellery??


When re-setting, repairing or re-sizing diamond jewelry items, you should always consider several factors that involve the protection of your precious gemstone possessions. Always make sure that the bench jeweller performing the repair-work is credible and properly trained. Diamonds may be hard on the Moh's scale (10), but some areas like their girdles are incredibly thin. Chipping is more common than you think and girdle edges are some of the most vulnerable spots where a diamond can get damaged if not handled correctly by a jewelry repair shop.



Diamonds also have certain planes of atomic weakness called 'cleavage directions'. This means the bonds between atoms in these crystallographic directions are weaker. If a diamond is struct with the right amount of force along these directions, more severe damage like splitting can possibly occur.

Some professionals remove the stone before doing any work on the metal, while others opt to keep it in place. It would also depend on the specific area of the jewelry item to be repaired, as well as the type of work that's required. It's always best to go for the long-term experts in the industry, who have a reputation for taking good care of their customers items, rather than going to just any small shop for a quick DIY tightening of ring prongs or bending of metal settings.



*Ideally, if permitted and not too lengthly, you can request to watch as jewelry item is being worked on. This can also prevent the potential risk of stone-switching. Cases of diamonds being switched out for cheaper imitations like cubic zirconia or nowadays even with lab-grown diamonds, do occur although uncommonly documented. Many jewellers in our industry maintain good ethics and would rather keep their reputations solid- never engaging in such activities, but be aware of the risk as it's always better to land on the safe side when it comes to high-value items like diamonds and jewelry.

(** Our laboratory does not perform any kind of physical repair-work on jewelry, we are stictly a third-party evaluator that administers gemological procedures to identify and obtain a grading opinion on your gemstones. We do insist each and every time that items at our facility must be checked in the presence of their owner or at least a representative, just for good ethical practice. This way, our clients can also benefit the most from their appointments with our gemologist, learning a bit about their item's beauty, rarity and proper care.)
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The Biggest D-Flawless Round Brilliant Diamond in the World

The Biggest D-Flawless Round Brilliant Diamond in the World


Round brilliant diamonds are the cornerstone of the fine jewellery industry today. Many collectors invest in stones that belong to the 'magic sizes' of 1, 2, 2.5 or even 5 carats. To those of you who've been to some of the most prestigious jewellery fairs across different continents, perhaps you may have even seen larger stones being exhibited by many of the international design houses.

Jewelry auctions however, tend to showcase those rare exceptional stones that come around once in a lifetime. Just a few years back, Sotheby's released such a stone that made headlines across nearly every jewelry news portal. The unveiling of a 102.34 carat natural round brilliant diamond.

The stone was a colorless gem with no clarity characteristics, and was touted to be the largest D-flawless round brilliant cut diamond in the world at the time. Its exceptional quality made it even more rare and sought after by thousands of luxury collectors.

The original rough came from Botswanna, a locality very well known for diamond production. It weighed about 425 carats, and master cutters took over half a year to correctly create the finished cut stone from its material.

More rough diamond materials of high carat weight have also been unearthed since then. One of which in particular was acquired by Graff, and contained the potential for a new record-holder in this classic category.



In 2019, the recently unveiled 102.79 carat Graff Constellation was said to beat the previous record by a very narrow margin.

This stone was cut from the 'Light of Letseng' rough diamond originally found in Lesotho mines. It is now considered as the largest D-flawless natural round brilliant cut diamond graded by the Gemological Institute of America at the date of this article.

The photo above depicts the said stone in the hand of Graff Chairman; Lawrence Graff- a pioneer in the global diamond retail trade, and an avid collector record-breaking precious gems.

Among all the fancy-cut shapes you'd normally hear about at auctions, it's sometimes quite interesting to see such a traditional or classic shape like the round brilliant, come in such large and elusive carat weights. One may wonder if any more will be unveiled at auctions in the years to come.
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Grading Diamond Clarity at 10x Magnification

Grading Diamond Clarity at 10x Magnification


While some jewellers have their own proprietary ways of visually evaluating a diamond for clarity (the presence or absence of blemishes and inclusions), most gemological laboratories around the world employ a magnification standard of 10x when performing this task.



This can be done with a standard gemological triplet loupe, however a proper microscope aids in defining the types and traits of inclusions present within a stone. It's a common saying among many jewellers and collectors that stones of SI2 clarity and below more commonly show eye-visible inclusions that you can view with unaided vision, however this is just a general observation and there are always exceptions.

The stone above shows some prominent feather inclusions to the lower left side, which may be spotted by eye if careful or keen enough. The tiny inclusions at the center though would be thoroughly missed unless you were making proper use of a loupe or microscope. Certain inclusions weigh more heavily compared to others in the hierarchy of quality grading. Pinpoints for example, pose no durability threat, however feathers- which are essentially fractures or breaks in the stone, if large enough can compromise some areas of the stone's durability.
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Among the Rarities Featured at the Christie's Magnificent Jewels Auction, a 7.03 Carat Fancy Blue Diamond by Moussaieff Takes the Spotlight this November

Among the Rarities Featured at the Christie's Magnificent Jewels Auction, a 7.03 Carat Fancy Blue Diamond by Moussaieff Takes the Spotlight this November


Yet another magnificent gemstone makes its way into the public eye this month. A 7.03 carat fancy deep blue diamond, mounted onto a a ring by the Moussaieff design house, was noted with a high-estimate of around 14.2 million dollars for its participation during the Nov. 12 Christie's auction event- Magnificent Jewels. The blue stone is accented by around 46.93 carats of colourless diamonds that are said to be internally flawless in clarity.



(Photography: Christie's Auctions, Christie's Magnificent Jewels - Geneva / Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues)

After a short london tour, the jewels headed to their Geneva location for the event itself. Some other notable pieces that were set to participate in the auction were- Art Deco designs by the house of Cartier, including 3 very exceptionally made fine brooches that were formerly in the private collection of Beatrice, Countess of Granard.



An iconic diamond ‘zip’ necklace created by Van Cleef & Arpels as well as a turquoise and diamond Belle Époque brooch from the collection of Dame Nellie Melba, also shared in the spotlight.





Sotheby's news has mentioned the participation of a grand 78.29 carat pear-cut diamond during its own sale in November 13, 2019. The stone is said to possess an I-color, with a very high clarity rating. These diamonds and jewelry artworks are rare and elusive pieces that have still managed to present themselves very well at the events, despite the public sentiment on majority of the common diamond trade's performance this year. Larger and more prominent stones may be the exception to economic effects on smaller diamond sales internationally.




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