The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 12, 1988, Page 5, Image 5

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By John Tavlin
Nebraska Diamond
For the average consumer buying a
diamond can be one of the most contus
mg and frustrating experiences imagin
able The consumer is often confronted
with a barrage ot conflicting claims from
various jewelers intent on selling their
product If the consumer is not armed with
aoeq'.'ate product knowledge, he stands
little chance tor success in the |ewelry
Serious shopping for diamonds be
gins with an understanding ot the Gemo
logical Institute of America (GIA) and its
diamond grading system The GIA is a
non profit organization dedicated primar
ily to the pursuit ot gemological education
It owns and operates the most prestigious
trade laboratory tor the identification and
classification of gem stones in this coun
try The GIA is considered by the diamond
industry to be the final and most authori
tative word on diamond grading stan
dards in the United States and its grading
system for diamonds is by far, the domi
nant grading system used by diamond
cutting firms and ewelry manufacturers
in this country today
Knowledge ul the GIA diamond gr id
mg system is a pre requisite for ir forced
buying ot diamonds and knowledge ot
that system without an actual "hands jn
demonstration is virtual1/ impossible
Tne accompanying chart shows a total ot
240 separate and distinct combinations
ot vji«graoes ana mere is a separate ana
distinct price list tor each grade within
each size cateqory At Nebraska Dia
mond we give all customers a thorough
explanation and demonstration ot the Gl A
diamond grading system using actual
examples, so that the consumer can see
with his or her own eyes the characters
tics and appearance ot the various
grades The two principal reasons why
customers need this special instruction
and knowledge to survive in the jewelry
marketplace are
1. Many teweiers invent their own
personal grading system because by
doing so they make it difficult or impos
sible tor the consumer to comparison
shop The GIA system is a uniform sys
tem ot diamond grading and gives the
consumer a standard ot comparison
2 Jewelers who do represent dia
monds to consumers in GIA terms often
"putt" the grade up to whatever level is
necessary to make the sale A diamond
which is assigned a GIA grade by one of
these jewelers may actually be interior to
a diamond ottered, with a seemingly
lower GIA grade by a jeweler who ad
heres to the strict grading standards we
use at Nebraska Diamond The unfortu
nate result is frequently a customer who
is duped into purchasing a low quality
diamond In our opinion, fraudulent mis
representation of diamond grades repre
sents orie ot the most serious and wide
spread problems in the ;ewelry industry
today Your only real protection as a
consumer is to educate yourseit about
the product and demand a written guar an
tee At Nebraska Diamond we will show
you how to dentify the various GIA
grades by yourself, and we will guarantee
the quality of your diamond in GIA terms
in writing You do not get the Nebraska
uiamora guarantf?e at any orner jeweiry
Color, clarity, cut and carat weight all
have an important impact on the ultimate
value of your diamond In "The Complete
Guide to Buying Gems” (Copyright 1984,
Crown Publishers, Inc New York), dia
mond authorities Antoinette Leonard
Matlms and Antonio C Bonanno, F G A.,
P G state, "If we were to identify the
factors that determine the value of a dia
mond in order of their importance we
would list them as follows
1 Body Color (color grade)
2 Degree of flawlessness (clarity
3 Cut and proportion (often referred
to as the make)
4 Carat weight"
Color refers to the hue present in the
body of the diamond Color is observed
by placing the diamond upside down in a
white color grading trough and viewing
through the side of the gem Among color,
clarity, cut and carat weight, color is the
characteristic most easily noticed by the
human eye and it has the most impact on
the appearance of the gem hence color
carries the most value
Clarity refers to a measurement of the
internal flaws and surface blemishes
present in or on a diamond Sometimes
internal flaws and surface blemishes can
be seen only under magnification T o
magnify a diamond a jeweler s loupe or a
microscope is used The microscope is
often used more as a sales tool than a
gem instrument because its "laboratory
appearance can be impressive to con
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sumers. The microscope however, is a
cumbersome piece ot equipment and is
less flexible than the loupe for examma
tion of diamonds For these reasons,
among others, the loupe is by far the
dominant diamond grading instrument
used by diamond dealers At Nebraska
Diamond you may view your diamond
under both a |eweler s loupe and under a
microscope designed tor professional
diamond examination Among color clar
ity, cut and carat weight, clarity is the
second most observable characteristic
and has the second most impact on the
appearance of the gem hence clarity
carries the second most value
Cut refers to the proportions of the
diamond A diamond can be cut to any
one ot an infinite number of proportions
depending on the angles ot the tacets
These angles can vary from diamond to
diamond As explained below, proportion
analysis is extremely sub|ective and the
effect of differing proportions on the ap
pearance and value of the diamond is
often a matter of opinion Generally,
however, except for the proportion called
the 'heavy make" discussed below, cut is
a less observable characteristic than
color or clarity from a quantitative stand
point and, herce, cut generally carries
less value.
Carat weight refers to the weight of
the diamond and rot to its ;,>ze. This is an
important distinction because two dia
monds which weigh the same can appear
drastically different in size md this may
result in drastically Jiffere t values even
ii uuiui nuu oicuriy iciuduri cum »iciiu
Sometimes consumers toiget that size is
a dimensional measurement expressed
in millimeters The term "Carat is only a
weight measurement One Carat is equal
to 1/5 gram It a diamond is cut with its
weight concentrated in its depth a pro
portion called the heavy make", it will nol
appear as large as a diamond of the exacl
same carat weight cut with its weight con
centrated in its width The difference in
value between these two diamonds can
be substantial often exceeding 40%
Among the 4 "C's" (Color, Clarity. Cu1
and Carat Weight) the subject of diamond
proportioning (Cut) is easily the mosl
misunderstood The GIA has subdividec
proportion analysis into tour Classes
based on table diameter crown angle
pavilion depth, girdle thickness finish
and symmetry Each Class contains wide
parameters tor proper proportioning and
therefore, provides for an infinite variety
of differing cutting proportions all ol
which are considered equally appropri
ate, within each Class The GIA propor
tion evaluation format, thus, illustrates
what every diamond expert in this busi
ness knows that there are literally hun
dreds of different diamond proportions
available which create beautiful and
highly desirable gems.
Because there are so many accepted
types of propoi tionmg in diamond cut
there is no agreement n the diamond
industry on what constitutes the best’
cut This is because the ^am factors af
fected bv cut (dispersion scintillation and
brilliance) cannot all be maximized in the
same gem
"Dispersion s sometimes referred to
as "Fire" Dispersion means the ability ol
the diamond to break down light into the
spectral colors (blues, reds, yellows,
etc )
"Scintillation” is sometimes referred
"CrtorLln" Cririfillotinn rc*fore fn the
play of light between and as reflected ofl
the diamond facets
"Brilliance" refers to the ability of the
diamond to return colorless light to the
There is no such thing as a diamond
cut to maximum dispersion and maxi
mum scintillation and maximum brilliance
all at the same time By cutting to maxi
mize one of these factors, the other two
are compromised, and since all three are
of equal importance it is impossible to
authoritatively classify one type of cut as
the "best”.
In buying a diamond it has been our
experience that the consumer desires the
most beautiful gem his or her budget can
afford Precisely how dispersion, scintil
lation and brilliance translate to beauty,
however, is a matter of personal opinion
In their chapter on The Importance of Cul
and Proportion the authors of The Com
plete Guide to Buying Gems” state, with
reference to the percentage measure
ments of various diamond cutting propor
tions, "No one has come to an agreement,
however, on what the percentages
should be, since some people prefer fire
to brilliance and vice versa This is why
there are several accepted types of pro
portioning found in diamond cut, and
"best" is a matter of personal preference."
In actuality the difference m dispersion,
scintillation and brilliance between some
differing diamond proportions is so slight
that it is measurable only with sensitive
laboratory instruments and is impossible
to see with the naked eye
As discussed above one area in
which cut makes a big difference :n the
value of a diamond concerns the heavy
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Nebraska Diamond__
Color Clarity Weight
COLORLESS f flrwllss f 1 ct. = 90 to 110 pts.
j 7/8 ct. = 80 to 89 pts.
NEAR £ VERY WSI.1 3/4 ct. = 70 to 79 pts.
COLORLESS L curMT 5/8 Ct ” 56 t0 69 P,S’
L slight, vv'si-2 1/2 Ct. = 45 to 55 pts.
C% I F«n»r>ld Cut FA,NT f IMPERFECT,ONL 7/16 ct. = 40 to 44 pts.
Oval Emerald Cut yellow ,, very vsm 3/8 ct. = 36 to 39 pts.
VERY o SLIGHT 1/3 Ct. = 29 to 35 pts.
UGHT ° IMPERFECTION • VSM ' ^ = „ tQ 2g _
YELLOW ; ~ 1/5 ct.= 18 to 22 pts.
SL,GMT 1/6 ct. = 15 to 17 pts.
Marauise u S,‘2 1/8 ct = 12 to 14 ptS
Marquise light v 7, 1/10 ct. = 9 to 11 pts.
y IMPERH r |.2 1 Exact Carat = 100 Points
, \ / y FANCY 1-3
^ — ■■■ s
make The term heavy make refers to
a diamond that has a disoroportionate
share of its total carat weiynt concen
trated in the depth of the stone Visually
this means that a "heavy make" diamond
actuary weighing 1 carat may only taco
up with the appearance and diameter ot a
3/4 carat diamond cut to proper propor
tions Because they face up so much
smaller than they should heavy makes
are worth substantially less than properly
proportioned diamonds Because the
"heavy make" is worth less, it costs the
(eweler less, so he can sell it tor less
When the teweler fails to tell his customer
that he is showing a "heavy make" and
fails to explain that the "heavy make" is
priced lower because it is worth less the
effect is to trick the consumermtothinking
he has purchased a full size diamond at a
bargain price In tact, the probkrm ot the
‘heavy make” is virtually never explained
to the consumer, so the consumer simoly
assumes that any diamond shown of a
certain carat weight faces up the size that
it should and he purchases the heavy
make unknowingly We feel that this
failure to inform the consumer constitutes
deception by omission
Seldom is the subiect of cut properly
and fairly explained to the consumer At
Nebraska Diamond our customers ro
ceive all of the tacts and an explanation of
every option
Consumers should be aware of vari
ous trade practices which are common in
the jewelry industry but which we foe are
deceptive, unfair and, in many cases.
Hegai Deceptive trade practices cost
consumers incalculable sums of money
annually Awareness of these *ade prac
rices will assist the consumer ri spotting
them and avoiding them when shopping
for fire ;ewelry
Deceotive trade oractices in the iow
telligent people who are entities! to ne
treated with honesty and respect Any
time you encounter a jewelry sale
employing any of the above described
characteristics, we suggest that you
exerase extreme caution Bring a copy
of the "sate" advertisement to Nebraska
Diamond Compare their so called sale”
prices to our regular everyday prices and
see for yourself why Nebraska Diamond
totally dominates Lincoln’s engagement
ring and fine jewelry market
The jewelry industry customarily em
ploys several subtle techniques in an at
tempt to convince the consumer that the
quality, quantity or description of the ar
ticle being purchased is more or better
than that which is actually delivered We
think that these techniques are deceptive
and improper and that consumers should
be warned about them First and tore
most among these techniques is the im
plementation ot specialized lighting con
ditions designed to enhanoe the true ap
pearance of any gemstone or article of
jewelry This usually takes the form of
chandeliers, spot lights, flood lamps, and
reflector lamps, both incandescent and
diamond under the lighting conditions
used for laboratory grading of diamonds,
that is, under natural daylight and under
color corrected tubular fluorescent light
ing which simulates natural daylight, in a
closed and carefully controlled environ
ment undiluted and uncontaminated by
other light sources Never purchase a
diamond that you have not examined
under such lights
4 You have the right to examine the
color of your diamond in a white color
grading trough and to examine the clarity
of your diamond under a loupe or micro
scope. and you have the right to expect
the jeweler to point out exactly what you
should see Never purchase a diamond
that you have not examined in this man
5 You have the right to ask any
questions pertinent to your purchase and
you have the right to expect a courteoust
informed, accurate and complete an
swer Never purchase anything from a
jeweler who shows disrespect for your
right as a consumer to know
At Nebraska Diamond we ve built our
reputation on superb quality, unsur
passed personal service, tremendous
selection and unbeatable prioes That s
why Nebraska Diamond totally domi
nates Lincoln's engagement ring and fine
jewelry market With each engagement
ring or wedding band we also include our
free Wedding Savings Package which
entitles Nebraska Diamond customers to
exclusive preferential discounts at 22
other area merchants on everything
needed for a perfect wedding We believe
that earning your trust is the most impor
tant thing we do and that trust is earned
with quality, value, service and honesty
Our track record speaks for itself Our un
matched reputation is our most valuable
asset and our uncompromising commit
ment to our customers has made us THE
PLACE for engagement rings and fine
jewelry We look forward to serving you
(^Copyright 1988 Nebraska Diamond
nuorescem, pius luouiar mcanjesceni
display case bulbs and other similar type
light sources These light sources are
instantly recognizable by their hot",
"bright" or "intense" appearance Such
lights artificially enhance the appear
ance, brilliance and dispersion in dia
monds and, further they make it impos
sible to accurately determine the GIA
color and danty grade In othe' words,
these lights make the diamond appear
better than it is While others mav argue
that the use of this specialized ynting is
merely a merchandising and lisplay
technique, we prefer to thirk that con
sumers are entitled to see exac'/ what
they are getting Asa practical mater, the
only Ngnting conditions which are non
deceptive, mat is, which present me true
appearance of gemstones and articles of
jewelry, are natural daylight ar.d color
corrected tubular fluorescent lighting
which simulates natural daylight Even
this light, in order to be non deceptive,
must be presented in a dosed and care
fully controlled environment, undiluted
and uncontaminated by other light
sources These are me lighting condi
tions which are used for laboratory grad
ing of diamonds, and these are me light
ing conditions you will find at Nebraska
Diamond At Nebraska Diamond we sell
quality jewelry, and we adhere to me phi
losophy that when you sell quality jewelry
you don't need deceptive lighting condi
The ultimate purpose for the con
sumer to acquire product knowledge is to
enable him or her to separate fact” from
"sales pitch" Your right as a consumer to
know the tacts is unequivocal and
should include nothing less than the fol
elry industry tend to tall generally into two
broad categories:
1. Practices which lead the con
sumer to believe that he is receiving a
bargain purchase when, in fact, he is not
(take sales"), and
2. Practices which lead the con
sumer to believe the quality, quantity or
description of the article being purchased
is more or better than that which is actu
ally delivered (active or constructive
misrepresentation of the product either
by act or omission)
The concept of the “fake sale" is an old
one Basically, itplays on the desire of the
consumer to obtain a bargain purchase.
Here's how the scheme workr. The jew
eler places an exorbitant and purely ficti
tious "regular price or "appraised value"
or “reference price" on an article of jew
elry He then advertises "special sale
prices" or “drastic reductions" or "store
wide 50% off clearahce sale" or "certified
savings" or something similar and offers
the artide to the consumer for less than
this fictitious “marked” price The con
sumer buys the article believing he has
received a bargain In fact, though, under
the scheme, the jeweler has sold the
article tor the price he always intended to
sell it for There is no bargain because the
artide really wasn t marked down at all,
so the consumer actually paid full price
The fake "sale" scheme has reached
epidemic proportions In our opmion, the
take "sale" is the predominant tool used in
advertised "price reduction" promotions
in the jewelry industry today Jewelers
who conduct fake sales are simpiy
betting that their customers are too stupid
to figure out what is going on We think
that is a poor bet Our experience with
consumers convinces us that they are m
865 NBC Center 13th & O
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
(402) 474-6400
USA 1-800-334-GEMS
Engagement Rings
and Fine Jewelry
1. You have the right to demand that
the jeweler accurately grade your dia
mond in conformity with the Gl A diamond
grading system, that he fully disclose that
grade to you and show you how the grade
was determined, and that he provide you
with a written warranty guaranteeing the
authenticity of that grade Never pur
chase a diamona without such a disclo
sure and warranty
2. You have the right to examine
your diamond loose before making your
purchase You cannot accurately ob
serve the color or clarity of a diamond
which is set into a ring Never purchase
a diamond that you have not examined
3. You have the right to examine your