For the first time in its history, iconic New York jeweler Tiffany & Co. has launched engagement rings for men.
This May, Tiffany unveils the Charles Tiffany Setting, a collection of solitaire men’s rings with sizable round-brilliant and emerald-cut diamonds measuring up to 4.3 carats.
Tiffany, which did more than $4 billion in jewelry sales last year, is on the cusp of a new era. In January, the company was acquired by the luxury-goods behemoth LVMH for $15.8 billion, and now the iconic Blue Box brand belongs to the French. And, after nearly 180 years in business, the jeweler is finally embracing the idea of diamonds for all.
“Why not diamonds for men?” asks Frank Everett, senior vice president, sales director for Sotheby’s luxury division in New York and a man known for his own collection of jeweled and diamond brooches. “Most men love diamonds but haven’t necessarily thought about applying them in their own jewelry.” While there’s always been a segment of men who favored a diamond pinkie ring, Everett says that men’s diamond rings were especially popular in the late ’70s and ’80s, but then they faded out.
He predicts Tiffany’s new engagement rings will help create a greater market for men’s diamond rings. “Once men break the ice and wear a diamond, it becomes comfortable and natural,” explains Everett.
When it comes to buying that dream diamond, most people are unsure of what to look for. Buying that perfect diamond is not a low-cost exercise, with an average selling price of $16,000 for a 1 Carat quality diamond ring. Making sure that you make the correct choice for your budget is vital in making any diamond purchase.
Here are some tips from Australia’s diamond experts at the DCLA.
The Diamond Shape: The shape is the first and most important decision to make when purchasing a diamond as this sets the design of your jewellery piece. The diamond shape sometimes referred to as cut, is the geometric appearance of the stone. The shapes are categorised into two groups for pricing, round diamonds, and fancy shape diamonds.
Round Diamonds Round brilliant cut diamonds are the most traditional and popular diamond shape consisting of 57 facets top and bottom. Almost 75% of all manufactured diamonds are round.
The diamond shape is 100% symmetrical when polished and having an excellent grade will display a range of features helping the crystal reflect light.
Round diamonds are the only shape that has a proven proportion or cut grade, which shows the optimum angle for a diamond to return the right amount of light back to the viewer.
This grade is based on light tracing. This is the way light refracts through the crystal, then reflecting off the facets and returning to the table and crown.
Fancy Shape Diamonds Fancy shape diamonds refer to all diamonds other than the round brilliant shape.
These include the traditional shapes like pear, emerald, oval, marquise, cushion, heart and asscher. As well as the newer modern cuts like the princess, trilliant and radiant.
The modern fancies have become popular with cuts like the square radiant and Princess have remarkably high light return due to symmetry, facet design and placement. These stones have similar brilliance to the round due to faceting. Facets start at the girdle (outer rim of the stone) and run down to the culet (point at the bottom).
The step cuts like emerald shape diamond are traditional as the facets run parallel to the table. These facets to create clean optical appearance.
As the step cut diamonds are less brilliant, small inclusions can sometimes be visible. To avoid visible inclusions step cuts diamond need to be of higher clarity grades, especially with centrally located high contrasting inclusions.
Fancy shapes with longer length to width ratios like marquise or pear, give a slimming effect when set correctly down the finger. The unique look of the longer stones. Oval, marquise, and pear-shaped diamond makes it a popular choice.
The square cushion shape cut in the brilliant style, has the same properties as the round brilliant and if cut with 8 main top and bottom corresponding corners (main facets) will have the Hearts and Arrows effect.
The cushion shape stone has rounded corners which make it a great alternative to a round at a lower price per carat the other of the 4C’s being equal. (Carat, Colour, Clarity).
All diamonds are unique just like you. The 4Cs Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight along with many other more subtitle characteristics give the diamond its grade and set the stones value. Diamonds with the same 4C’s grade can be quite different in value due to the more subtle characteristics mostly overlooked when buying. Understanding the 4Cs along with these characteristics is a very important step in purchasing your perfect diamond.
The Diamonds Cut The cut refers not to the shape (e.g., round, oval etc.) but to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish. The beauty of a diamond depends more on cut than any other factor as it determines how light travels into the stone and is returned to the viewer.
The cut of the diamond is arguably the most important of the 4Cs as it directly impacts the diamonds light performance. A diamonds facets are designed and placed in varied orientations and specific angles to reflect the light in a uniform way. Like tiny mirrors, each facet is precisely polished and arranged to maximize its reflective properties. A master diamond cutter will be trained to get the most weight from the rough diamond, while getting the best light performance from the diamond crystal. This is a delicate balance not always achieved, as such the diamond proportion or cut quality should be the highest priority.
When a diamond proportion or cut grade is low, the diamond performance will let down even the highs colour and clarity. A lower colour diamond with an Excellent proportion grade will have better brilliance and fire and look better than a high colour with a good proportion.
Here are some useful terms when referring to a diamond cut:
Proportion or cut grade is precision and angle of the diamond faceting. Symmetry is the mirror image of the stone referenced like a clock 12 – 6 and 9 – 3 as well as alignment of the facets top to bottom. Polish is the overall finish of the skin or surface of the diamond. This includes features or characteristics like surface graining, naturals, or extra facets.
Diamond Colour Diamonds come in every imaginable colour from pure white to any other colour in the spectrum. Many coloured diamonds are highly prized, however the presence of yellow tint in a white diamond with greatly reduce its value.
Diamonds are graded on a scale from D (colourless) through Z (light colour). D-Z are considered white (cape scale) and true fancy coloured diamonds (such as pink or blues) are graded on a separate scale.
Colour is accurately judged when viewed in laboratory conditions against a known comparison stone which are called a master set. Diamond colour distinction is so subtle that it is practically invisible to even the trained eye. White diamonds or Cape series have formed from a carbon nitrogen bond and the more nitrogen the more yellow is visible. Very rare and completely colourless diamonds have no nitrogen and are known as type 2a. These are the most valuable.
Diamond Clarity Diamond clarity refers to the diamond’s inclusions. Inclusions come in many variants from solid carbon to clouds or remnants of microscopic fractures all formed in the diamond billions of years ago.
The more inclusions or the larger the inclusion the lower the clarity grade. These can sometimes cause transparency issues or interrupt the refraction of light, affecting its brilliance. Most diamonds have inclusions, very few are internally flawless or pure.
Diamonds are graded for clarity on a scale that runs from IF (internally flawless) to I (included). The higher the grade, the clearer the diamond, with fewer inclusions and a more perfect appearance. The diamond clarity scale has six categories, with 11 specific grades.
Flawless (FL): There are no inclusions or blemishes visible to the diamond under 10x magnification. Internally Flawless (IF) Loupe Clean: There no inclusions visible to the diamond under 10x magnification there may be external characteristics. Very Very Slight Inclusions (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions of 5 – 10 microns or a number of smaller cloud like inclusions. Very difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification. Very Slight Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions are found by experienced grades under 10x magnification, characterised as minor. Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are easily found under 10x magnification, buy not eye visible. Included (I1, I2 and I3): Inclusions sometimes visible to the naked eye are easily found under 10x magnification. These inclusions may affect the transparency and brilliance of the diamond.
Diamond Carat Carat or weight is the biggest contribution to the value of the diamond but is only one part in determining the value of a diamond. That said all else being equal IE: the cut, colour and clarity, a diamond’s price does increase with every size category in carat.
Rarity also determines the value of the diamond with larger stones being rarer and more valuable. A diamond carat is the actual measured weight of the stone and due to different proportion grades, this is necessarily an indication of its size.
A fancy-intense-pink diamond ring with a high estimate of CHF 11 million ($12 million) is set to feature in the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s Geneva.
The oval-shaped, 15.23-carat piece, surrounded by diamonds, will be offered alongside the 100.94-carat Alrosa Spectacle diamond at the May 12 auction, Christie’s said last week.
Other notable items include a heart-shaped, 53.33-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity, type IIa diamond pendant with a high valuation of CHF 3 million ($3.3 million). A pear-shaped, 141.22-carat, fancy-brown-yellow diamond set in a diamond necklace is also on offer, carrying a high estimate of CHF 2.8 million ($3.1 million).
Meanwhile, a ring featuring a 47-carat, cushion-shaped old mine Colombian emerald surrounded by diamonds will go under the hammer. The jewel, which is from an important private collection, carries a high presale estimate of CHF 1.6 million ($1.7 million).
Christie’s will also sell a rectangular cut-cornered, 8.06-carat, fancy-purplish-pink, VVS2-clarity diamond ring bracketed by tapered baguette-cut diamonds. The piece, created by Boucheron, has a high valuation of CHF 1.5 million ($1.6 million).
Christie’s will preview the items from May 8. The sale will also feature an online component, which will be open for bidding between April 29 and May 10.
The company behind diamond “coins” for investors will embark on the automated purchase of about 50,000 gems on Tuesday.
The coins will be the world’s first regulator-approved, exchange-traded, fungible diamond commodity offering.
New York-based Diamond Standard is buying inventory to produce the first batch of 5,000 diamond standard coins, each containing “a set of certified natural diamonds with identical geological scarcity” weighing around 4.5 carats all with the exact value of $5,000.
The diamonds will be assembled into clear plastic coins containing a wireless blockchain token by the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
They will then be traded as a commodity and the price will fluctuate. Subsequent coins will replicate the rarity of the benchmark set.
“We buy sight unseen,” said CEO and founder Cormac Kinney. “Our computer automatically buys the least expensive diamonds across a statistically valid sample.
We don’t even know the price. We are literally buying the certificate.” Diamond Standard bids electronically through its own Diamond Standard Exchange to buy a statistical samples of all qualities of natural, polished diamonds, seeking the lowest price across a wide range – D to L color, IF to SI2 clarity, VG to EX GIA cut scale, from 0.21-carats to 0.75-carats.
Gem Diamonds announced Thursday that the company produced 29,010 carats at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, which is 11% more than in Q1 2020 – 26,110 carats.
The company’s revenue for the period was US$43.9 million Q1 2020 – US$47.3 million and an average price achieved for the period was US$1,630 per carat Q1 2020 – US$1,615 per carat.
The company said that 5 diamonds sold for more than US$1.0 million each, generating revenue of US$12.4 million during the period.
The group ended the period with US$26.9 million of cash on hand excluding US$8.2 million of the March tender proceeds received after the period end. During the period, Letšeng paid the remaining dividend of US$10.0 million which was declared in 2020.
CEO Clifford Elphick commented, “It is pleasing to see that carat production during the period was up some 11% on the same period in 2020 and that the average price of US$1,630 per carat was also slightly up on Q1 2020. Although the production from the mining mix was not as impressive as the second half of 2020, with fewer large diamonds recovered due to the areas accessed under the mining plan, prices achieved on a like for like basis remained strong for Letšeng’s high value diamond production.”
The company said it anticipates that the mining mix should improve over the coming months as the richer parts of the Satellite pit are accessed in accordance with the mine plan.
Gem Diamonds is a leading global diamond producer of large high value diamonds. The company owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho and is currently in the process of selling its 100% share of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana. The Letšeng mine is famous for the production of large, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
Christie’s will sell a 100.94 carat diamond at its upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva, where it expects the stone to fetch up to $18 million.
The emerald cut, D color, internally flawless diamond, called the Spectacle, originated from a 207.29-carat rough Alrosa unearthed in 2016 at its Zarnitsa pipe in Yakutia, Christie’s said Monday.
Alrosa cut the stone at its polishing facility in Moscow over the course of a year and eight months, Christie’s noted. The diamond the largest ever manufactured in Russia will lead the May 12 auction.
The Spectacle is the third D-color, 100-carat-plus diamond the auction house has sold over the past 10 years. The Winston Legacy, a 101.73 carat, D flawless stone, went for $26.7 million in Geneva in 2013, and the 163.41 carat, D flawless Creation I fetched $33.7 million in 2017.
“We are fascinated to present this long awaited gem,” said Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov. “A part of our The Spectacle Collection, bearing the same name, this exceptional 100.94 carat diamond displays a breathtaking performance, which is a natural wonder revealed by human hand. Astonishing size, combined with impeccable color and quality, characteristics and flawless provenance guarantees, make the Spectacle a unique occurrence.”
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has asked customers to return a number of colored diamonds for reassessment, suspecting that a treatment might have gone under the radar.
The organization will reevaluate certain diamonds with “green or greenish” in the color grade, a spokesperson told Rapaport News last week. The recall applies to reports it issued between January and June 2020. The GIA declined to reveal how many stones were affected or to provide their report numbers.
“Recent research and investigation into potential treatment methods caused us to request the return of the subject diamonds for further analysis,” the spokesperson said.
The institute informed customers about the issue around six weeks ago, and is in the process of collecting and reassessing the diamonds. Some stones could get an “undetermined” ruling, while others may require further testing, the spokesperson explained. Many diamonds had already come back with their natural-color statuses confirmed, market sources said. The GIA bases its conclusions on the “state of knowledge and criteria in place at the date of examination,” it added.
Sources estimated that the number of reports under review was close to 100 and could be much higher. The GIA did not specify the nature of the possible treatment. The case is unrelated to the recent discovery of a treated fancy-color diamond on which the institute reported in the latest edition of its academic journal, Gems & Gemology.
“GIA has been investigating the cause of color in diamonds and other gem materials for nearly 70 years,” the spokesperson continued. “Among GIA’s earliest area of research was determining origin of color of green diamonds, which remains even today one of the most difficult areas of gemology. The research process is dynamic, and we recently discovered new information that may provide new insights about the origin of color of the group of diamonds that we have requested to be returned for review.”
The GIA is already dealing with a wider grading backlog following a rebound in market activity in recent months. The organization is operating with as much capacity as local Covid-19 rules allow, using weekends, second shifts and overtime, the spokesperson said.
Three rings featuring diamonds with fancy-vivid color stole the show at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction, selling for more than $8 million combined.
The trio of jewels, called the Perfect Palette, achieved a total of $8.4 million at the New York sale, Christie’s said Tuesday. A 2.17-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink diamond ring brought in $3.5 million, beating its $2.5 million high estimate, while a 2.13-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond ring sold for $2.7 million, toward the upper end of its valuation. The third — a 2.34-carat, fancy-vivid-orange diamond ring — went for $2.2 million, just under its top estimate at the April 13 sale. The entire auction garnered $35 million, with 94% of items on offer finding buyers.
Another high earner was a pear brilliant-cut, 38.04-carat, D-flawless, type IIa diamond ring, which fetched $3 million. A Burmese ruby ring by F.J. Cooper, a prominent Philadelphia jeweler, went for $1.7 million. Both pieces fell within their presale estimates.
Other notable items included an oval modified brilliant-cut, 25.55-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow, VS1-clarity diamond ring, which sold for $1.7 million, smashing its $1.2 million high estimate. An emerald-cut, 14.50-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamond ring also shattered its $1 million upper valuation, selling for $1.4 million at the auction.
A diamond and onyx Serpenti wristwatch, donated by Bulgari, fetched $50,000, within estimates. Proceeds from the timepiece will benefit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
Participants at the sale originated from 40 countries across five continents, Christie’s noted. The auction house is still holding its Online Jewels sale, which began on April 8 and will run through April 20. It features a selection of items from Bulgari, Cartier and Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., among others.