The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 06, 1988, Page 3, Image 3

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By John Tavlin
Nebraska Diamond
For the average consumer buying a
diamond can be one of the most confus
ing and frustrating experiences imagin
able The oonsumer is often confronted
with a barrage of conflicting claims from
various jewelers intent on selling their
product If the consumer is not armed with
adequate product knowledge, he stands
little chance for sucoess in the jewelry
Serious shopping for diamonds be
gins with an understanding of the Gemo
logical Institute of America (GIA) and its
diamond grading system The GIA is a
non-profit organization dedicated pnmar
ily to the pursuit of gernological education
Itowns and operates the most prestigious
trade laboratory for the identification and
classification of gem stones in this coun
try The GIA is considered by the diamond
industry to be tfie final and most authori
tative word on diamond grading stan
dards in the United States and its grading
system tor diamonds is, by far, the domi
nant grading system used by diamond
cutting firms arid jewelry manufacturers
in this country today
Knowledge of the GIA diamond grad
ing system is a pre requisite for informed
buying of diamonds and knowledge of
that system without an actual ' hands on"
demonstration is virtually impossible
Tfie accompanying chart shows a total of
240 separate and distinct combinations
of GIA grades and there is a separate and
distinct price list for each grade within
each size category At Nebraska Dia
mond we give all customers a thorough
explanation and demonstration of the GrA
diamond grading system ustng actual
examples, so that the consumer can see
with his or her own eyes the character®
tics and appearance of the various
grades The two principal reasons why
customers need this special instruction
and knowledge to survive in the jewelry
marketDlace are
1 Many jewelers invent their own
personal grading system because by
doing so they make it difficult or impos
sible for the consumer to comparison
shop The GIA system is a uniform sys
tern of diamond grading and gives the
oonsumer a standard of comparison
2 Jewelers who do represent dia
monds to consumers in GIA terms often
■putf" the grade up to whatever level is
necessary to make the sale A diamond
which is assigned a GIA grade by one ot
these jewelers may actually be interior to
a diamond offered, 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
repiaaontation of diamond grades repre
sents one of the most serious and wide
spread problems in the jewelry industry
today Your only real protection as a
consumer is to educate yourself about
the productand demand a written guaran
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
Diamond guarantee at any other jewelry
Il-lt ncLA I iUNonlr Uh
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
mono autnoritles Antoinette Leonard
rriatlins 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 tollows:
1 Body Color (oolor 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 ooktr grading trough and viewing
through the side of me gem Among oolor,
oiartty. cut and carat weight, oolor is the
characteristic most easily noticed by the
human eye and it has the most impact on
the appearance of the gem, hence, oolor
carries the most value
Clarity refers to a measurement of the
internal flaws and surface blemishes
present in or on a diamond Sometimes
Internal Raws and surface btemisnes can
be s**en only under magnification To
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 ite "laboratory"
appeaance can be impressive to con
sumers. The microscope, however, is a
cumbersome piece of equipment and is
less flexible than the loupe for examina
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 jeweler s loupe and under a
microscope designed for professional
diamond examination Among color, dar
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, danty
carries the second most value.
Cut refers to the proportions of the
diamond A diamond can be cut to any
one of an infinite number of proportions
depending on the angles of the facets
These angles car. vary from diamond to
diamond As explained below, proportion
analysis is extremely subjective and the
effect a* 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, hence, cut generally carries
less value
Carat weight refers to the weight of
the diamond and not to its size This is an
important distinction because two dia
monds which weigh the same can appear
drastically different in size and this may
result in drastically different values even
if color and danty remain constant
Sometimes consumers forget 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. If a diamond is cut with its
weight concentrated in its depth, a pro
portion called the "heavy make", it will not
appear as large as a diamond of the exact
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, Cut
ana Carat Weight) the subject ot diamond
proportioning (Cut) is easily the most
misunoerstood The GIA has subdivided
proportion analysis into four 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 of
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 proportioning in diamond cut.
there is no agreement in the diamond
industry on what constitutes the “best”
cut. This is because the main factors af
fected by cut (dispersion, scintillation and
brilliance) cannot all be maximized in the
same gem
'Dispersion” is sometimes referred to
as "Fire” Dispersion means the ability of
the diamond to break down light into the
spectral colors (blues, reds, yellows,
©cinimaiion is sornenmus ruturieu
to as “Sparkle' Scintillation refers to the
play ot light between and as reflected off
the diamond facets
Brilliance" refers to the ability of the
diamond to return colorless light to tlie
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, tlie other two
are compromised, and sinoe all three are
of equal importance it is impossible to
authoritatively classify one type of out as
the “best"
In buying a diamond it has been our
experience mat 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 Cut
and Proportion" the authors of “Tlie Com
ptete Guide to Buying Gems" state, with
reference to the percentage measure
ments of various diamond cutting propor
tions. "No on# has coins to an agreement,
however, on what the percentages
should be. sinoe some people prefer tiro
to brilliance and vice versa This is why
there are several accepted types of pro
portioning found In diamond out and
"best" is a matter of personal preference."
In actuality, the difference in drspersieo,
scintillation and brilliance betweer. 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 in the
value of a diamond concerns the ‘heavy
_ O Nebraska Diamond i
Brilliant Heart Shape
Oval Eassrald Cat
. R
j z
SUGKr ws,.j
I ct = 90 to 110 pts.
7/8 ct = 80 to 89 pts.
3/4 ct = 70 to 79 pts.
5/8 ct = 56 to 69 pts.
1/2 ct = 45 to 55 pts.
7/16 ct. = 40 to 44 pts.
3/8 ct = 36 to 39 pts.
1/3 ct. = 29 to 35 pts.
1/4 ct. = 23 to 28 pts.
1/5 ct. = 18 to 22 pts.
1/6 ct. = 15 to 17 pts.
1/8 ct = 12 to 14 pts.
1/10 ct = 9 to 11 pts.
1 Exact Carat =100 Points
make" The term "heavy make refers to
a diamond that has a disproportionate
share of its total carat weight concen
trated in the depth ot the stone Visually,
this means that a "heavy make" diamond
actually weighing 1 carat may only face
up with (he appearance and diameter of a
3/4 carat diamond cut to proper propor
tions Because they face up so much
smaller titan they should, “heavy makes*
are wcrth suostantiaily less than properly
proportioned diamonds Because the
“heavy make” is worth less, it costs the
jeweler less, so he can sell it for less
When the jeweler fails to tell his customer
that he is showing a heavy make" and
fails to explain that the "heavy rnaks" is
priced lower because it is worth less, the
effect is to trick the consumer into thinking
he has purchased a full size diamond at a
bargain price In tact, the problem ot the
"heavy make" is virtually never explained
to the consumer, so the consumer simply
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 sub|ect of ait property
and fairly explained to the consumer At
Nebraska Diamond our customers re
ceive all of the facts and an explanation of
every Bption
i/unbumers snouia uv aware oi vari
ous trade practices which are common in
the jeweiry industry but which we feel are
deceptive, unfair and, in many cases,
illegal Deceptive trade.practices cost
consumers incalculable sums.of money
annually .Awareness of these trade prac
tices will assist the consumer in spotting
them and avoiding them when shopping
for fine jewelry
Deceptive trade practices in tiro few
elry industry tend to fall 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
(fake ’sales’), and
2. Practices which lead the con
sumer tc- 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 tire product either
by act of omission).
The concept of the take sale* is an old
one Basically, It plays on the desire of the
consumer to obtain a bargain purchase
Here's how the scheme works: 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 deardhce sale' or 'certified
savings' or something similar, and offers
the article to the consumer for less than
this fictitious ‘marked’ prtoe The con
sumer buys the article believing he has
received a bargain. In tact, though, under
the scheme, the jeweler has sold the
article for the price ns always Intended to
sell It for There is no bargain because the
article rtwMy wasn't marked down at all,
so the consumer actually paid full price.
The fake "sale* scheme’ las reached
epidemic proportions In our opinion, the
fake “sale'is the predominant tool used in
advertised ‘price reduction’ promotions
in the jewelry industry today Jewelers
who conduct fake ‘sales’ are simply
betting that thei* customers are too stupid
to figure out what Is going on. We think
that is a poor bet. Our experience with
oor* turners convinces us that they are In
telHgent people who are entitled to be
treated with honesty and respect Any
time you encounter a jewelry “sale'
employing any of the above described
characteristics, we suggest that you
exercise extreme caution Bring a copy
of the sale" 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 die 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 fore
most among these techniques is the im
plementation of specialized lighting con
ditions designed to enhance 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, bath incandescent and
fluorescent, plus tubular incandescent
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 clarity grade In other words,
those lights make the diamond appear
better than it is While others may argue
that tne use of this specialized lighting is
merely a merchandising and display
technique, we prefer to think that con
sumers are enjkled to see exactly what
they jpegettmg. Ajj'a pracfccal matter, the
only lighting conditions which-ere non
deceptive, that is, which present the true
appearance ot gemstones and articles of
jewelry, are natural day tight and color
corrected tubular fluorescent lighting
which simulates natural daylight Even
this light, in order to be non deceptive,
must be presented in a closed and care
fully controlled environment, undiluted
and uncontaminated by other light
sources These are the lighting condi
tions which are used for laboratory grad
ing of diamonds, and these are the Tight
ina conditions you will find at Nebraska
Diamond At Nebraska Diamond we sell
quality jewelry, and we adhere to the phi
losophy that when you sell quality jewelry
you don't need deceptive lighting condi
The ultimate purpose tor the con
sumer to acquire product knowledge is to
enable him or her to separate "tad" from
“sales pitch" Your right as a consumer to
know the facts is unequivocal, and
should include nothing less than the fol
1. You have the right io demand that
ttie jeweler accurately grade your dia
mond in conformity with the QIA diamond
grading system, that he fuNy disclose that
grads to you and show you now the grade
was determined, and that he provide you
with a written warranty guaranteeing the
authenticity of that grade. Never pur
chase a diamond 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 i6 set into a ring Never purchase
a diamond that you have not examined
3. You have the right to examine you
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 unoontammated 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 of micro
scope, and you have the nght to expect
the jeweter 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 trie right to expect a courteous,
informed, accurate and complete anj
swer Never purchase anything from a
jeweier who shows disrespect for your
right as a consumer to know
At Nebraska Diamond we've built our
leputation 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
on titles 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 tor itseif Our un
matched reputation is our most valuable
asset pod our uncompromising commit
ment to our customer* has madeu* THE
PLACE for engagement rings and fine
jewelry We look forward to serving you
©Copyright 1988 Nebraska Diamond
Sales Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
865 NBC Center 13th & O
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
(402) 474-6400
USA 1-800-334-GEMS
Engagement Rings
and Fine Jewelry