Archive for April, 2011
Many of the 50th wedding anniversary gifts were the standard fare – hand blown glass, some of it really quite beautiful. Oil lamps, necklaces, wine flutes. God, in light of the momentous weight of the occurrence, it all seemed like such worthless junk. Every pretty sparkly obsession just made me feel woozy and annoyed. I needed something better for my 50th wedding anniversary gift. These wedding anniversary gift lists were doing not anything but giving me a headache.
I certain that 50th wedding anniversary gifts are best when finished by hand from the heart. This is tough if you happen to have no craft or artistic skills, but fortunately, mine has been a life of working with my hands. I can paint, carve, sculpt, and do carpentry.
Instead of getting her just one thing, I decided to make my wife several 50th wedding anniversary gifts which would all share the same theme of the love I felt for her. The first gift was a handmade card, drawn in calligraphy, and including in the middle a picture of the two of us standing together, very young and very much in love when we first began dating all of those years ago.
The other 50th wedding anniversary gifts were each made of different materials. Finally, the last and best of the 50th wedding anniversary gifts are made of stone in the form of two tablets adorned with our wedding guarantees, a touching reminder of the everlasting bond which we share.
Penetrate advances have made the latest fake diamonds closely imitate the properties of mined diamonds. They cut glass, they refract light into wonderful hearts-and-arrows, and they have excellent fire and brilliance. Actually, in almost all measurable variations, they match or are superior to mined diamonds.
An ordinary practice in retailing mined diamond jewelry is to use phantom prices and then show imposing discounts in an effort to entice buyers. This practice is called phantom pricing. With imitation diamonds all these concerns disappear.
In a short time, what you had pay in extra premiums to make sure just a few pieces of mined diamond jewelry, you could fill your jewelry box with synthetic diamonds.
All mined diamonds have flaws, birthmarks, and vary in quality. These realities breed ground for a buffet mined diamond fraud that victimizes and robs consumers. From rating bumping to laser drilling to fracture filling, the mined diamond industry is awash in unscrupulous business practices. Lab-created diamonds are uniform, flawless, and priced low so frauds simply do not exist.
It all starts at the top with the De Beers diamond cartel, which would run afoul of federal anti-trust laws if headquartered in the United States. Diamonds are in fact cheap to produce and would be lower in price if it were not for the global cartel. In controlling the mined diamond market, De Beers has exploited a relatively simple idea: put a stranglehold on production, hold inventory, and limit distribution, thereby keeping prices stratospheric, and making diamond alternative engagement rings a popular choice.
No “slave” or child labor used: Diamond mining operations are widespread with horrific conditions and have a long history of dehumanizing humiliating practices. Debt slavery and child labor is common in diamond cutting operations in India, where much of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished.
My sweetheart has been parading around town with a wonderful 4-carat Round Brilliant cut synthetic diamond set in a stunning 14K solid gold filigree solitaire ring setting for a year now. Family and friends have scrutinized her ring.
The latest Penetrate science in lab-created diamonds has brought them in line with mined diamonds. New millennium synthetic diamonds with similar hardness, clarity, fire, and brilliance are indistinguishable with the naked eye and simply don’t look fake. High quality synthetic diamonds even have the coveted hearts-and-arrows effect.
This begs the question: If one were to saunter into a jewelry store with a synthetic diamond, can a jeweler tell the difference? Since all mined diamonds have color disparities, birthmarks, and inclusions, and lab-created diamonds have none of the above, a trained eye can tell the difference. Modern synthetic diamonds are too perfect in the world of jeweler snobbery when pushing over-priced high profit diamonds is the agenda at hand.
With the use of scientific testing equipment, mined diamonds will conduct electricity and synthetic diamonds will not. That is because mined diamonds are a carbon gem material and synthetic diamonds are polycrystalline.
Why do virtually all brick-and-mortar jewelers carry only mined diamonds? Why do jewelers scoff at synthetic diamonds? Carat high quality mined diamond is about $3000, a 2-carat about $18,000, a 3-carat about $40,000, and a 4-carat goes for about $90,000. Respectively, synthetic diamonds run about $79, $158, $237, and $326.
For over a century, the diamond cartel has spent billions of dollars convincing the public that jewel quality mined diamonds have intrinsic value like gold.
There has been a great deal discussion about lab-created diamonds. The jewelry lover, who is interested in realizing the huge savings and aesthetic beauty that simulated diamonds offer, is often bewildered by the manufactured diamond industry jargon and available options.
GEM MATERIALS: 99% of all lab-created diamonds sold worldwide are polycrystalline on a molecular level. Higher quality coffeemakers make a better tasting cup of coffee. Higher quality manufactured diamonds are in line with mined diamonds.
QUALITY VARIANCES: Once boiled down, there are three primary grades of simulated diamonds—high, medium, and low. Those that sell manufactured diamond jewelry off point-of-purchase displays in the Costume jewelry sections of discount stores use low quality or scrap stones that are not gem quality, and have disco ball or murky look. Those that sell manufactured diamond jewelry on the TV shopping channels which is generally with a sterling silver or a micro-thin layer of gold plated over silver settings use medium quality stones not of gem quality. Those that sell solid 14K gold or solid platinum settings, as a rule, use the highest gem-quality man made gemstones that replicate mined diamonds.
PRICING: You will find medium grade stones primarily in sterling silver jewelry that sells for under $100 per item, settings and stones. Medium grade simulated diamonds can be distinguished by the naked eye as not being mined diamonds. High grade gemstone quality lab-created diamonds, undistinguishable by the naked eye from mined diamonds, are found mounted on settings of solid 14K gold and platinum. Manufactured diamonds that sell for over $100 a carat are not higher quality than those that sell for between $80 and $100 per carat.
RECOMMENDATIONS: If you buy simulated diamonds set in sterling silver, expect decent stones, but they will fool few into thinking they are mined diamonds. Jewelers who offer lab-created diamonds are not going spend on money on gold and not mount the highest quality stones, which would defeat the purpose of creating fine diamond-like jewelry and alienate customers.