diamonds,

  • 5 Reasons To Think Twice Before Purchasing a Diamond Online

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    Shopping online is great for many things… purchasing gifts, clothes, heck even groceries. Best of all, shopping online typically means you’re finding the best deal around. But there is one thing you might want to forego jumping online to purchase, and that is a diamond for your sweetie. Why you ask? Check out ourTop 5 Reasons you may want to think twice before adding that diamond to your online cart.

    1. Lack of Trust- Did you know that online diamond stores do not offer any quality guarantee? If something is in fact wrong with the diamond you purchased, (say an imperfection you weren’t expecting, or the color is off), it would result in you overpaying for a diamond you thought was a great deal. The truth is there is a lot to consider outside of the 4Cs that someone who isn’t in the diamond profession would have no way of knowing.
    2. Quality - A diamond should be inspected top to bottom with a magnifying glass so you have a clear understanding of what you’re actually purchasing. An online website has no pressure to offer you a top quality diamond at a reasonable price since you’re not meeting them face to face after all...which bring us to our next point.
    3. The Customer Experience- Buying a diamond online means making one of the biggest financial purchases of your life completely blind. As you might imagine, it takes years to understand and learn how to evaluate a diamond, which is why buying online can be so tricky and unforgiving.Sure you can try to pawn off a faulty diamond, but you will end up losing hundreds, if not thousands in the process. Do yourself a favor and go with a jeweler that prides themselves on the customer service they offer, and has many repeat customers. 
    4. Cost- Purchasing a diamond online means you’re not able to work with an experienced jeweler to come up with a diamond ring, (setting and all), that fits within your budget. It’s a common misconception that a shopping online will get you a better deal. An experienced jeweler can help you prioritize what is most important to you and your significant other, (say diamond size perhaps), and find you the best options given your criteria and budget.
    5. It’s Confusing- Even searching by ideal cut, grade, clarity, carat and cost, will render you a vast amount conflicting results. How can you then make an educated decision on which diamond is best?

    We encourage clients considering the online route do conduct a little experiment...

    1. Go to a well-known online diamond retailer website.
    2. Enter in the a carat size, color, clarity, and cut into the provided filters (the 4 C's). If you're unsure where to begin, we recommend entering in a carat weight of 1.00, color G, clarity VVS1, and excellent cut. Press search.
    3. Notice the results they give you are vast. Even though the diamonds you are seeing have the exact same specifications, their prices range by the thousands.
    4. Decide which one should you choose and why.

    Of course this is easier said than done.The idea of this exercise is to simply show you how complicated it is to choose a diamond. At La Bijouterie, we love helping our customers find the exact diamond that fits any budget and any style, and one that will impress the person on the receiving end.

    When it comes to customer experience, you can rest assured that your satisfaction is our utmost concern and that your happiness is our singular focus. Curious to learn more?Book an appointment today and check out our reviews onYelp.

    ~ LB

  • A Diamond By Any Other Name Just Isn’t As Sweet

                                                                                      

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    Last week I came across aNY Times articlethat breaks down the elements that actually make a diamond. This short article got me thinking about the difference between man made vs. naturally occurring diamonds, and the confusion around both. Below I’ve shared my thoughts on this.

    A man made or lab made diamond is omitting the timelessness and everlasting value a naturally occurring diamond possesses. It takes away the precious scarcity and value that has made today’s diamonds so popular and desired. Although to the naked eye, these so-called diamonds may look similar, they are quite fake and unfortunately do not hold their value. Also, rarely talked about is the fact that these man made “diamonds” actually give off a blue hue.

    Imagine years later passing down a lab made stone...one that no longer holds its value due to how common it is to create. Now imagine passing down a family heirloom diamond, one that no matter how old or dusty it becomes, remains timeless. A prized treasure for generations to come. It’s the scarcity and naturally occurring timeless beauty you are purchasing when you seek out a precious diamond gem.

    As this article states, “Just as one cannot compare an original painting to a reproduction, one cannot compare a diamond to a manufactured replica”. In order to be called a diamond it must be naturally occurring.

    Trends around diamond shape, diamond settings, and gem color may come and go, but the beauty that is of a true diamond is everlasting.

    Have questions or comments? Share them them below, we’d love to hear from you.

    -LB

  • The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About The Diamond Industry

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    You’re about to make the biggest purchase of your life, yet wish you could clarify a few questions and clear up a few rumors you have heard about the diamond industry as a whole. Well look no further because we’re debunking some of the common misconceptions in hopes you breathe a sigh of relief.

    Myth: Diamond mining is terrible for the environment

    Reality: Considering little to no chemicals are used during diamond mining, (which would otherwise be harmful to the staff’s health), diamond mining is generally less harmful to the environment than other types of mining. Additionally, the orebodies used in mining are vertical not horizontal, ultimately affecting less of the surrounding area. Many companies have established protected habitats adjacent to their operations, often times larger than the mining operation itself.

    Myth: There is a high chance that you could buy a conflict diamond

    Reality: One of the most popularized myths of all is the issue of conflict diamonds — or “blood diamonds”. During the brutal civil wars in Sierra Leone and Angola in the 1990s, the diamond industry has made great strides given what this time unveiled. Since the introduction of the Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme and the World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties, more than 99.8% of the world’s diamonds are certified conflict-free, with the support of 81 countries.

    Today the industry is mostly self-regulated, and various countries have additional layers of government regulation in place. The UK’s Government Diamond Office, for example, works closely with HM Revenue & Customs, the European Commission and civil groups to combat illicit diamonds.

    Additionally, there are voluntary and self-regulation systems that are effective in maintaining the diamond pipeline. Like most jewelers, we want to ensure our customers have the confidence to know that our source of supply is conflict-free. Additionally, may jewelers subscribe to the Responsible Jewelery Council, De Beers’ Best Practice Principles, and the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol.

    Myth: The diamond industry is a monopoly, owned by De Beers.

    Reality: The good news is no one company has had controlled the market for decades. This myth dates back to the 1980’s when De Beers did indeed control over 90% of the supply chain and was almost wholly responsible for marketing diamonds, having developed its famous “A Diamond Is Forever” slogan in the 1940s. This also led to the perception that De Beers “invented” the diamond engagement ring, when in fact the first was recorded as early as 1477 byArchduke Maximillian of Austria, who commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy.

    By the 1990s, the market for new mining companies opened, breaking the hold that De Beers and Alrosa had on the industry and ushering in a new wave of diamond discoveries in Angola and Canada, according to Pouroulis.

    Today De Beers company share of the diamond market is closer to 35%, while five other companies divide the remaining 65% of diamond share.

    Myth: Diamond mining individuals and communities are mistreated and at-risk

    Reality: To first understand why this myth is so false, you must first understand how the mining process works and how much diamond mines actually help strengthen a community. The isolated nature of diamond mines means the workforce lives close by and develops a community spirit, which the diamond industry supports by investing in hospitals, schools, training and bursary programs.

    For example, 33% of Botswana’s GDP comes from diamond mining, and an estimated five million people globally have access to health care thanks to diamond revenues, according to diamondfacts.org.

    Today’s mining is not done by hand but is quite automated with miners moving millions of tons of rocks per year. Miners operating large earth loaders in open pits or underground would never even see a diamond.

    Myth: The diamond industry is secretive and closed to outsiders and not to be trusted.  

    Reality: This myth simply stems from a place of fear. The high-value nature of diamonds may be to blame for the presumption that the industry is filled with inaccessible people and organizations, more comfortable with secrecy than transparency. The reality is there is a whole spectrum of hard-working people all at different levels of financial success. Just like any business, success in the diamond industry is all dependent on how a business has been built.

    It’s not uncommon for society to expect to see businesses reporting on their social activities, financials and stakeholders to increase transparency and trust. This shift in societal expectation has created major changes in the diamond sector for the better - more transparency and more trust.

    You might also be pleased to know that diamond retailers such as De Beers are not sitting on stockpiles of diamonds nowadays, but instead build up inventory before making a sale as any retailer would.

    Have a question that wasn’t addressed above? Leave us a comment below!

    ~ LB