Brilliant. Fiery. Dazzling.
Diamonds were called the “riches of royalty”. In the middle ages it was their sparkling brilliance that decorated Europe’s largest and most beautiful cathedrals. Diamonds were so rare that only kings and queens could own them.
Sites where diamonds have been found or mined.
Diamonds were first discovered in India several thousand years ago and India was the only source of diamonds until they were discovered in Brazil in 1725. Then in the late 1860’s diamonds were discovered in Africa in large quantities that allow the middle class to begin to be able to own them. In the past half century diamonds have also been discovered in Russia, Australia and Canada.
Antwerp-The Diamond Capital
Since the middle ages Antwerp has been the European center for the diamond trade. Today nearly 80% of all the diamonds mined around the world pass through Antwerp for sale making it “the diamond capital of the world”. Approximately half of these diamonds, the very best, are cut and polished by Antwerp craftsmen who spend decades perfecting their skills. To this day, the best craftsmen and largest, most respected diamond firms in the world are found in Antwerp.
With all these diamond mines you may ask, why are diamonds still so rare and valuable? Because nature is stingy, over 250 tons of rock must be mined to yield just 1 carat of diamonds with only 1 out of 10 of these diamonds being gem quality.
Diamonds to this day remain one of the luxuries whose value increases nearly as rapidly as the satisfaction of ownership.
All diamonds are valuable and a select few are exceptionally so. All our diamonds are “Cut to perfection in Antwerp”, making them among the most valuable in the world. You probably already know about the 4-C’s, but do you know which one is the most important?
Cut is the most important C. The cut is not the shape, but the proportion and geometry of a diamond. Most people may think bigger is better. But when it comes to diamonds it is a better cut that makes a diamond more desirable. If a diamond is not cut well it will not command a high price, with the best cut diamonds commanding premium prices. This is because the better a diamond is cut, the more brilliant it becomes by allowing more light to reflect out of the stone. Every Antwerp Diamonds (USA)™ is “Cut to perfection in Antwerp” placing it among the very best diamonds in the world. The most popular shape diamond today is the round brilliant diamond with 57 facets that was developed and perfected in Antwerp, Belgium in the early 1900’s. To this day this style gives you a diamond filled with fire, brilliance and value. Antwerp Diamonds (USA)™ can offer you any shape diamond to meet your needs or desires.
|1. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through the top of the stone.
|2. If the cut of the diamond is too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion
|3. If the cut is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected.
The second most important of the 4-Cs is the color of a natural diamond.*
Evaluating a diamond’s color is done by measuring the degree to which a diamond approaches colorlessness. Thus colorless diamonds are the rarest found in nature. The color chart begins with ‘D’-colorless and continues through ‘Z’–yellow/ brown. Most jewelry store in the US sell diamond jewelry with diamonds that have some color, while all Antwerp Diamonds (USA)™ are G or H or ‘near colorless’.
*Every Antwerp Diamonds (USA)™ is a certified natural diamond. We never use “treated” diamonds. Today many diamonds are “treated” with chemicals, heat and radiation to change their color, their physical strength….and greatly reduces their value.
The most over rated of the 4-C’s is clarity. Now don’t get us wrong the greater a diamond’s clarity, the more valuable and rare it becomes, but in most applications… clarity is not as important as the cut and color. All Antwerp Diamonds (USA)™ carry a rating of S1 or better, placing them at the top of the diamond scale and insuring a lifetime of increasing value. As you review the rating chart below, note that the average jewelry-grade diamonds sold in the US rank at the bottom of the Clarity chart, with imperfections that can be seen with the trained naked eye.
The final of the 4-C’s that is usually controlled by your budget. Diamonds are measured in carat weight with each carat equal to 100 points. A 0.75 carat diamond is also called a 75 pointer or a ¾ carat stone. Carat weight is just that the weight/size of the diamond and is not an indicator of the cut or the proportions of a diamond.
While larger diamonds are highly prized, diamonds of nearly equal size (carat weight) may vary widely in value due to that very slight weight difference. In fact, did you know that a simple 0.01 deviation in carat weight say from a .75 pointer to a .74 pointer can reduce a diamonds value by up to -10%?