Stories about diamonds

Perhaps you have seen one of Kamaaina Loan’s ads that offers

to buy diamonds, “especially wanted, 1 carat and higher.”

However, as an episode a few days ago reveals, not all big stones

are good stones.

A customer wanted a loan on a whopper of a diamond, 3 carats.

But, in the words of Jimi, the broker who examined it, the stone

was, in technical jargon, “one level above frozen spit.”

Diamonds are valued according to size, color, clarity and cut.

This particular diamond was very poor in the clarity department,

with several inclusions and flaws that cut down on its sparkle.

Its maximum loan value was only a couple hundred bucks, very

low for such a big stone.

Diamonds are examined with a 10-power loupe.

Cut also matters. The standard or round brilliant cut has been

determined both mathematically and by experience to produce

the most sparkle and glitter. But not every stone is suited to

the standard treatment.

As an example, a couple weeks ago we were shown a largish

stone with a weird cut, not quite exactly like any of the usual

categories, such as emerald, rose etc.

What would induce a cutter to choose such a method?

We couldn’t ask the cutter, but it may have been that given

 the flaws in the stone, the bizarre cut was judged the best way

to get the most fire and light out of the stone.

Kevin recalled an example some years ago (not at Kamaaina ‘

Loan), where a customer had a cracked 2-carat stone. (Yes,

diamonds, hard as they are, can crack and chip.) Another

jeweler had recommended tossing out the stone, but Kevin

suggested sending it out to be recut.

It worked. The cutter managed to rescue one and a half carats

of good stone from the wreck.

Sometimes, it seems, the true skill of a good cutter is better

displayed on a poor stone than on a good one.

In any event, with diamonds size matters but not more than ‘

color, cut or clarity.