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Round Brilliant Cuts VS Fancy Cuts, Diamond Preferences

Round Brilliant Cuts VS Fancy Cuts, Diamond Preferences



It's common knowledge that a diamond can be faceted in a number of different ways. We see a lot of proprietary or 'branded' cuts today, with each manufacturer marketing the unique brilliance or fire their own patented cut provides. Despite the overwhelming array of choices made available to jewelry collectors today, the most popular diamond cut of all has been the same one for a very long time now. 

The standard or 'modern' round brilliant cut hosts 57 or 58 facets, depending on whether or not the stone is fashioned with a culet. Each facet or 'tiny surface' is polished into the diamond at specific angles in order to interact with light in vibrant ways, bouncing it around the gem's interior before sending it back to the human eye. Marcel Tolkowsky's original round brilliant cut continues to stand the test of time, ranking as the most popular choice for faceted diamond cuts today.



On the other hand, if you've heard the term 'fancy cut' and don't yet know what this means, it basically refers to any diamond cut that is not a standard round brilliant. We're sure that many of you are familiar with princess cuts and emerald cuts. Both very popular choices, with equally elegant trade names. Princess cuts are typically square shaped brilliant cuts, while emerald cuts are basically step-cut rectangular shapes with cropped or beveled corners.

Fancy cuts or fancy shapes suit a vast diversity of jewelry designs. Marquise cuts for example, are very elongated with pointed ends- making the diamond resemble a tiny boat, which is probably why some people used to call it the 'navette cut', referring to this imagery. Certain other cuts, such as the cushion cut, combine the appeal of two styles- adding the soft curves of a round brilliant to the large impression of more squarish cuts. The cushion, resembling a pillow's outline, is also a  popular choice for many types of colored stones in the trade.



Demand-wise, round brilliant cuts are still the forerunner, and so they usually command slightly higher prices than the other fancy cuts, all other traits being equal. The ever-changing value of diamond is very dependent on the trade and current demand brought about by the public sector. Most pricing guide companies even separate their valuation charts for round brilliant diamonds versus those for all the other fancy shapes. 

Personal preference rules out in the end, as each person maintains their own personal taste for accessorising with fine diamond jewelry. More and more styles are being developed every day. Maybe in the future, we'll see a diamond cut that exceeds the global demand profile of the current reigning preference, but that day hasn't yet come.

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Two Major March Hong Kong Jewelry & Gem Fairs Postponed to May 2020

Two Major March Hong Kong Jewelry & Gem Fairs Postponed to May 2020



Diamond and gemstone traders will have to wait a little longer this year for the world’s largest jewelry fair to take place. The Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, supposedly scheduled for March 2 to 6, has now been moved to May 18 to 21 by the event’s organisers due to the recent events related to the corona virus.


The traditional-tandem fair; the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, which was supposed to be held on March 4 to 8 at the Wan Chai Convention center has been postponed and relocated this year as well. It will be held at the Asiaworld Expo area, on the same dates as the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show.





* This blog article is dated February, 2020, and we recommend for you to check updated information from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC) website directly in case of any future changes or updates to these initially shared details.



Some are worried about the two fairs’ announced postponement, as the new dates are now nearer to other traditionally scheduled international jewelry fairs, such as the 'Baselworld' show (held in Switzerland | Messe, Basel) and also the next running June Show (to be held in Hong Kong as well).

The past two years have been a little rough for the world’s largest diamond and jewelry shows, from typhoon limitations in 2018, to a lower attendance due to protest fears last September. 

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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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