Thursday, February 23, 2017

Umpteen Shades of Grey . . . Diamonds





This overcast wintery day has me contemplating how many nuanced shades of grey appear in the sky and indeed all of nature. And the same can be said for diamonds. All fancy color diamonds bid us come hither with their distinctive allure. No two yellow or pink or even grey diamonds are exactly the same. They may share some similarities in tint but they are as individual as every human being.

The general population are becoming aware that genuine earth mined diamonds are produced in colors. That in large part is due to celebrities who flaunt them on the red carpet and boost their popularity.

Rough Grey Diamond Crystal


What you may not be aware of is that grey is one of the rarest of this rare group of fancies. Yup. Grey--not so often discovered amongst this closed club of yummy rocks. Grey diamonds often get their coloration from slight additions to their carbon makeup ---if you can call it that---grey is NOT a 'color' now is it?
It appears that high concentrations of hydrogen in the composition can make the diamond crystal appear grey. In rare instances, boron is seen in the mix. Boron is what blue's the blue diamonds.

Their gradations of grey are expressed similarly to fancy color diamonds. When it comes to greys, here's the line up:

  • Light Grey
  • Fancy Light Grey
  • Fancy Grey
  • Fancy Deep Grey
Got it? That was simple wasn't it? Notice there was no vivid grey or faint grey. Grey diamonds should not be confused with colorless diamonds that have many dark inclusions which also cause the stone to have an overall grey appearance. A true rare grey diamond can be relatively free of inclusions. It is the stone itself that has a grey body tone.
De Beers Grey Diamond
The above image of a famous De Beers diamond in a fancy grey tone. Notice how much more intense the grey appears than the emerald cut diamond shown at the top?

What about famous grey diamonds? Well, this is where it gets complicated. We've all seen a couple famous blue diamonds . . . we've ogled a couple famous pink diamonds> Even Queen Elizabeth has a yummy pink diamond that was an engagement gift when she was in her 20s.

But famous grey . . . well here's the sticky part. They are so rare that we can't locate any. However grey is often a modifier in other fancy color diamonds, like blue and violet.

I've turned up one teaser for you and it's not that good of an image. That's because the splendid stone was imaged in the late 60s. It's a 35.7ct cushion greyish-blue diamond; not straight grey. It was named The Sultan of Morocco and was sold to a private American collector. Off it went. Here's a glimpse however.



Now that I've whetted your appetite for these moody stones---you know how nearly impossible it is to find a straight grey. Worth the search, don't you think?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

As Long as You're heading to Wally World

The magnetic draw for our nation's big box stores is their all-in-one-place destination. Make the longest list possible of everything you need from just about all the retailers you can think of and I'm pretty sure you'll be able to fulfil your shopping must-haves at the jumbo box.

What Next?
Now add Cartier's fabulous timepieces to your list if you're heading to Walmart. Yup.

Cartier's Men Ballon Bleu watch Retail $46,004.00

True dat. This extraordinary timepiece along with other iconic Cartier watches are available at Walmart. Granted you'll want to finesse that transaction at their online site. But still. That was a real eye opener to spy some of the house of Cartier's most prestigious offerings at the mega-store.

That's Not Funny
Now rumor has it that Cartier is not amused. But there must be some loop hole that allows their products to be sold through this vendor. The take away speaks to how crunched modern shoppers are for time . . . no pun intended but now that I wrote this, it's pretty funny.

After all, people are always going to love the Cartier line. And they're always going to need milk . . .

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Color Story

Wallace Chan, moonstone, diamond and fancy colored sapphire ring
Sapphire is one of the holy trinity of precious stones. Ruby, sapphire and emerald are the hoard of royalty everywhere. And small wonder. They are rare and beautiful, and difficult to recover.

Say it Like You Know it
The word sapphire conjures up a richly saturated cobalt that draws the eye with a magnetic pull.

All sapphire is corundum. But not all corundum is sapphire. Wait . . . what? True, the mineral corundum has several delightful progeny. It can be discovered completely void of color whatsoever.

white sapphire gemstone

White is Sort of Hot Stuff

And between you and me, I'm sort of loving colorless sapphire, as a classy alternative to white diamonds in important jewelry like wedding rings for example. Reason? Next to diamonds, which are known for their extraordinary bling-bling, sapphires come in a very close second on the dispersion claim. They can shimmer and sparkle like nobody's bidnez. But I digress.

To be correct, sapphire always means the blue stone. Kashmir sapphire is considered the elite of that species. Its silky, velvety cornflower blue tint is rich and saturated; plus there really is no more new Kashmir sapphire being pulled from the high Himalayas these days.

Then There's Color
Sapphire also comes in a wide range of other colors. This rainbow of coloration is due to trace amounts of differing minerals in the corundum mix.

Shades of fancy colored and blue sapphire gemstones

Pretty neat, huh? Those are all various shades of natural sapphire, including the expected cyan variety. Referring to sapphire of any other color than blue, you say fancy colored sapphire. And fancy it is. Any of these vivid tints will amaze and surprise many jewelry lovers that don't actually understand that sapphire can mean a whole lot of hues.

Speak like a Pro
Just remember; the word sapphire is the blue stone. All others are fancy colored sapphire. Indeed.