The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 12, 1999, Valentines, Page 4, Image 16

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By John Tavlin, President
Nebraska Diamond
At Nebraska Diamond we have perfected the Art
of making the purchase of engagement and wedding
rings easy, comfortable and fun. Over the years our
most important business has been producing tens of
thousands of happy, satisfied customers, one at a time.
A major reason for our success is the heavy emphasis
we give to providing consumers with the information
they need to buy a diamond engagement ring with
confidence and knowledge.
Serious shopping for diamonds begins with an
understanding of the Gemological Instimte of America
(GIA) and its diamond grading terminology. The GIA
is a non-profit organization dedicated primarily to the
pursuit of gemological education. The GIA is consid
ered by the diamond industry to be the final and most
authoritative word on diamond grading standards and
its diamond grading terminology is, by far, the domi
nant terminology used by diamond cutting firms and
jewelry manufacturers throughout the world today.
GIA diamond grading terminology describes the
clarity and color of diamonds. The GIA clarity terminol
ogy classifies diamonds based on the number, size,
location and description of markings which may be
present in or on the diamond. These markings range in
size from pinpoints so tiny that they can barely be seen
under magnification to markings which are large
enough to be seen with the naked eye. The GIA color
terminology classifies diamonds based on the amount
of color saturation present in the body of the diamond.
The accompanying chart shows GIA diamond
clarity and color grading terminology. A diamond of a
specific clarity can occur in any of the colors. A dia
mond of a specific color can occur in any of the clari
ties. Accordingly the chart shows 240 possible clari
ty/color combinations. Within any specific budget
there is an enormous range of choice in size, clarity
and color combinations.
"Flawless" clarity and "D" color are the only
grades which represent a singular, unwavering, exact
and objective standard. All of the other clarity and
color grades represent subjective classifications of
qualifying gemological characteristics. This subjective
nature of diamond grading results in the potential of
somewhat differing degrees of interpretation by two or
more graders. In other words, multiple graders can
examine the same diamond and disagree on the clari
ty and color grade of that diamond. As a result, a dia
_ mond which is assigned a GIA grade by a jeweler who
grades on the basis of lenient subjective criteria may
actually be significantly inferior to a diamond, with a
seemingly lower GIA grade, which has been graded by
a jeweler who adheres to strict subjective criteria. This
means that although a diamond in one jewelry store
may “sound" like a better quality than a diamond in a
second jewelry store, die diamond in the second jew
elry store may actually be better quality and substan
tially more valuable.
Furthermore, except for "Flawless" clarity and
"D" color, all of the other clarity and color grades
represent ranges of qualifying gemological character
istics. This means that within all of the other clarity
and color grades, there are many versions of each
grade, each different from all others within the same
grade, with some versions being considered better,
more desirable and more valuable than other ver
sions. For example, if internal markings consistent
' with a specific clarity grade are located on die edge of
a diamond where they can be covered by prongs
when the diamond is set, this version of the clarity
grade is considered better, more desirable and more
valuable than a version with the same internal mark
ings located in the center of the diamond where they
cannot be covered by prongs. Similarly, a version of a
specific color grade which is almost the next higher
color grade is considered better, more desirable and
more valuable than a version which is almost the next
lower color grade. This means that although two dia
monds may each be within the same claritv and color
grade and, thus, "sound" like equal quality diamonds,
one of die diamonds may. in fact, be substantially
more valuable than the other.
Most coasumers are aware of the fact that “carat
weight" is a standard of measurement in the diamond
industry. Few consumers are aware of the fact that
"carat weight" and "size" are not the same thing. “Carat
weight” denotes die weight of the diamond as measured
by a scale. One carat equals 1/5 gram. "Size” denotes
the millimeter dimensions of a diamond as measured by
a millimeter guage.
Two diamonds can have the exact same carat
weight yet have greatly differing millimeter dimensions.
Whether two diamonds of the same carat weight have
the same millimeter dimensions depends on how the
weight of each diamond is distributed. For example, if
one round diamond weighing 1 carat has a great pro
portion of its carat weight distributed in its depth, it will
appear to be much smaller in “face-up" appearance
than another round diamond, also weighing 1 carat,
which has a great proportion of its carat weight distrib
uted in its diameter. This difference can be very sub
stantial: Some 1 carat diamonds face up smaller than
some 1/2 carat diamonds. So if two diamonds are
exactly the same carat weight, exactly the same clarity
and exactly the same color, the two diamonds “sound”
the same, yet one can appear to be twice the size of the
other. Even though the two diamonds are identical in
carat weight, identical in clarity and identical in color,
the millimeter size difference can make the larger
appearing diamond worth as much as 300% more than
the smaller appearing diamond.
When consumers fail to understand that, except
for “Flawless" clarity and “D" color, clarity and color
grades are based on subjective, and not objective, cri
teria, and constitute ranges of qualifying gemological
characteristics, and when they fail to understand that
"carat weight" and "size” are not the same thing, they
make costly buying mistakes. As a result of these fail
ures, these uneducated consumers, in effect, make
their buying decisions with their ears, based only on
what the diamond “sounds" like. Educated consumers
do not purchase diamonds with their ears. Educated
consumers understand that although one diamond
may "sound" equal to or better than another, the truth
may be otherwise. Educated consumers buy diamonds
with their eyes, on the basis of a visual examination.
At Nebraska Diamond our staff of Certified
Diamontologists* will show you your diamond under
laboratory grading conditions so you can see your
diamond under the exact same conditions our
Diamond Buyer used when he selected it for our
store. No other area store provides this service.
Accordingly, you do not have to take our word for the
fact that our diamonds are clearly superior. You will
see it for yourself. Our incredible diamond inventory
is one important reason why Nebraska Diamond will
sell more diamond engagement rings than all of the
other area jewelry stores combined.
The "cut" of a diamond is divided into two com
ponents: (1) “Shape" and (2) "Make”. “Shape" is a
two dimensional concept consisting of length and
width in which the outline of the outer edge of the
diamond in its “face-up" position is described. Typical
shapes include round, oval, pear, marquise, heart,
radiant, princess, emerald and trillion. Each “Shape”
is subdivided into various versions of that “Shape".
For example, some marquise diamonds are long and
narrow, others are short and fat, and others are in
between. Some versions of “Shape" are considered in •
the diamond industry to be considerably better, more
desirable and more valuable than other versions.
“Make" is a much more complicated concept
than "Shape". “Make" involves the entire geometry and
all of the cutting proportions of the diamond. The
"Make" of a diamond is defined in terms of how the
physical dimensions and angles of cutting interrelate,
and how each and all of these factors affect the physi
cal appearance and optical light handling capabilities
of the diamond.
The optical light handling capabilities of a dia
mond produce two primary results: (1) Brilliance and
(2) Fire. Brilliance is “reflected light" and fire is
“refracted" light. In simple terms, brilliance is “white”
light and fire is light which has been broken down
into the primary and secondary spectral colors (red,
blue, yellow, and their secondary combinations).
Reflected light (brilliance) plus refracted light
(fire) equals 100% of the light you see. As an incre
ment of one type of light is increased, the increment
of the other type of light must decrease, because die
total of the two cannot exceed 100% of the light you
see. These are the laws of optics. Accordingly, tf the
cutter fashions a diamond to increase its brilliance,
the co-result has to be a reduction in fire. Conversely
if the cutter fashions a diamond to increase its fire,
the co-result has to be a reduction in brilliance. This
is why there is no such thing as a diamond cut to
maximum brilliance and maximum fire simultaneous
ly. Accordingly there is no such thing as a single
"best" ait. Any jeweler who tells you otherwise is giv
ing you a sales pitch.
The most important characteristic in light han
dling capability that is affected by "Make" is the
improvement of the efficiency with which the diamond
handles light. When light enters a diamond three
things happen: (1) Some of die light is reflected back
out from the diamond as brilliance, (2) some of the
light is refracted back out from the diamond as fire,
and (3) the remainder of the light leaks through the
diamond and is tost. The more efficient a diamond,
the less light it leaks. The less light a diamond leaks,
the brighter its overall appearance.
A superior “Make" increases the efficiency with
which the diamond handles light because a diamond of
superior “Make" suffers a comparatively small amount
of light leakage/toss. An inferior “Make" decreases die
efficiency with which the diamond handles light because
a diamond of inferior “Make" suffers a comparatively
large amount of light leakage/loss. Accordingly, since a
superior “Make” returns to the viewer a larger total vol
ume of light, il appears brighter and shows correspond
ingly larger volumes of reflected (brilliance) and
refracted (fire) light.
As noted above, in addition to affecting the opti
cal light handling capabilities of a diamond the
“Make” also affects the physical appearance of the
diamond. Diamonds of superior “Make” face up die
size expected for their carat weight and show excep
tional brilliance and fire.
As you move up the clarity scale toward
"Flawless? you move into clarity qualities that are
increasingly rare. As you move up the color scale
toward “D” you move into color qualities that are
increasingly rare. It is important to understand that an
increase in rarity does not inherently or automatically
translate into an increase in beauty
To the naked eye, there is no difference in beau
ty between a diamond graded “Flawless” and the
same diamond if it was graded “SI-2”, because nei
ther “Flawless" nor "SI-2” diamonds are considered
to show markings visible to the naked eye. “Flawless”
clarity and “SI-2” clarity are different versions of
beauty. The diamond will cost more if it is “Flawless"
clarity than it will if it is "SI-2” clarity, but that higher
cost is primarily a function of rarity, not beauty.
Similarly, one color is not inherently and auto
matically’ more beautiful than another. “D” color is icy
in appearance compared to “M" color. “M" color is
warm in appearance compared to “D” color. "D”
color and “M” color are different versions of beauty.
The diamond will cost more i it is “D” color than it
will if it is “M” color, but that higher cost is primarily
a function of rarity not beauty
Rarity is a fact of nature. Beauty is in the eye of
the beholder. When consumers assume that higher
clarity diamonds are automatically more beautiful
than lower clarity diamonds, or assume that higher
color diamonds are automatically more beautiful than
lower color diamonds, they make costly buying mis
takes. Paying extra for rarity does not guarantee you a
more beautiful diamond. It bears repeating that edu
cated consumers buy with their eyes, on the basis of a
visual examination. Uneducated consumers buy with
their earn, on the basis of what the diamond “sounds"
Consumers should be aware of various trade
practices in the jewelry industry which are used to
unduly influence buying decisions. The three most
prominent "tricks of the trade” are (1) Deceptive
showroom lighting conditions, (2) fake sales, and (3)
Promoting diamond jewelry by showing it under
special showroom display lighting is considered normal
practice in the jewelry industry. This lighting is recog
nizable by its “hot”, “bright” or “intense” appearance,
and includes spot lights, flood lamps, reflector lamps,
tubular display case bulbs, chandeliers and similar light
sources. This type of display lighting is unfair to con
sumers because it artificially enhances die appearance
of diamond brilliance and fire and, in addition, such
lighting makes it impossible to reliably determine dia
mond clarity and color grades. The effect is so extreme
that even very poor quality diamonds shown under such
lighting will sparkle like they belong in die Crown
Jewels of England.
Professional diamond buyers never purchase
diamonds under such lights. Professional diamond
buyers purchase diamonds only under laboratory
grading lights. Laboratory grading lights are “Tabular
fluorescent color corrected dayli^it bulbs rated at
5000 Kelvin”. Laboratory grading lights neutralize
brilliance and fire and render colors accurately. Only
under laboratory grading lights do you see exactly
what you are buying with no surprises later.
At Nebraska Diamond our Diamond Buyer
insists on laboratory grading lights and our customers
deserve nothing less. We use laboratory grading lights
in every overhead fluorescent fixture in our store. Our
customers purchase their diamonds under the exact
same lighting used by our own Diamond Buyer. No
other area jewelry store provides to customers with
the strict 100% laboratory lighting conditions we have
at Nebraska Diamond.
Fake sales have readied epidemic proportions
in the jewelry industry. In the fake sale scheme the
store places a fictitious and exorbitant “regular” price
on the merchandise and then advertises it at some
• seemingly giant “discount". In reality die store has
never sold the item at the “regular” price and has
simply marked it up to mark it back down to give the
consumer the illusion of a “bargain"
At Nebraska Diamond our pricing policy follows
the no nonsense philosophy of "lowest price every
day”. This means that you never have to wait for a
“sale" at Nebraska Diamond. We are very serious
about fulfilling our commitment to offer our merchan
dise at the lowest prices in the market every day. That
commitment is an important reason why Nebraska
Diamond has grown to completely dominate Lincoln's
diamond jewelry market.
“Misdirection" is die Art of getting the consumer
to make a buying decision on the basis of something
other than the product itself. In the jewelry industry
“misdirection” takes two primary forms: (1) Using a
"gizmo" to “prove” that the diamond meets a stan
dard, and (2) using third party “authentication" to
“prove” one diamond is better than another.
Analyzing brilliance and fire in a diamond is
such a complicated subject that to properly study dia
mond light handling characteristics the GIA has uti
lized computer technology to create a computerized
“virtual diamond” with 20,122 different proportion
combinations. The GIA has studied the way l^ht trav
els through these 20,122 combinations, has com
pared those results with 67,621 actual diamonds, and
still does not have sufficient information to develop a
scientifically proven cutting grade scale. GIA research
is still in progress.
In spite of the foregoing, some jewelers show
consumers a gizmo, place a diamond inside and, by
virtue of some otherwise invisible pattern in the dia
mond revealed by die gizmo, announce that the dia
mond cut is perfect in every way. This diamond could
be the ugliest diamond of all time, but because the
gizmo is a mechanical thing which the consumer
assumes must be correct, the consumer mindlessly lets
the gizmo define “beauty". In fact, whether the gizmo
reveals concentric circles, five pointed stars, hearts and
arrows, or a picture of Mickey Mouse, die gizmo does
not measure beauty. The gizmo is not a gemological
instrument. The gizmo is a misdirection tool.
Similarly, some jewelers present “certificates”
containing third party descriptions of the diamond to
"prove” hat their diamond is better than the diamond
at the other store. The objective is to get the consumer
to choose a diamond on die basis of what a piece of
paper says about it, and not on the basis of actually
visually examining the diamond. After all, if these “cer
tificates” are prepared by independent third parties
they must be unbiased and correct, right? Not quite.
What the consumer is not told is dial all these certifi
cates contain accuracy disclaimers and, further, that
some third party providers grade diamonds using
lenient subjective grading standards so that their “cer
tificates" read better and the diamonds described in
them “sound” better than if they used strict subjective
grading standards. No “certificate”, regardless of its
detail, tells you whether die diamond is beautiful.
“Certificates" are misdirection tools.
Every year at Nebraska Diamond we make thou
sands of engaged couples happy they came to see us.
The couples who have the easiest, most comfortable
and most fun time purchasing their engagement ring
all share the same three objectives; (1) They want a
diamond that is beautiful, (2) they want a ring style
they both love and (3) they want die diamond and ring
to be within their budget.
The most beautiful diamond to one person may
not be the most beautiful diamond to another. At
Nebraska Diamond our Certified Diamontologists* are
educated and trained to listen to y«ou so hat they can
show you a selection of diamonds having the charac
teristics you find the most beautiful. Our tremendous
diamond inventory guarantees that we always have the
correct diamond on hand to satisfy all of your require
ments for beauty.
When it comes to ring style selection, Nebraska
Diamond is Nebraska's only Engagement & Wedding
Ring Superstore. All the other area jewelry stores com
bined cannot show you the ring style selection you will
see simply by coming to Nebraska Diamond. We guar
antee that no matter where you have beenorwhsayor t
have seen you will be absolutely astonished by the
selection at Nebraska Diamond.
You, and only you, know what budget is comfort
able for you. Our advice to you regarding the topic of
budget is very unusual for a jewelry store; (1) Seta
budget. (2) Stay within that budget. At Nebraska
Diamond we show respect for our customers by hon
oring the budget limitations they set One of the advan
tages of being the Engagement & Wedding Ring
Superstore is that we have beautiful engagement and
wedding rings to fit every budget.
Any jewelry store can claim to be the “best", but
the proof is in the performance. Any jewelry store can
claim to have “the biggest and best selection”, but the
proof is in the performance. Any jewelry store can
claim to have the “lowest prices”, but the proof is in
the performance.
Our performance record speaks for itself:
Nebraska Diamond will sell more engagement and
wedding rings than all of the other area jewelry stores
We look forward to serving you.
'Hie distinction of Cenified Diamomologisi is warded by the Diamond
Council of America, a non-profit educational organization, only after a
comprehensive course of audy and proficiency proven by testing.
Copyright© 1999 Nebraska Diamond Saks Company. Inc. AH Rights
8th Floor, NBC Center
13th & 0 Streets
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
(402) 474-6400
USA 1-800-334-GEMS
The Engagement & Wedding
Ring Superstore"
GIA Color GIA Clarity Carat Weight
r ] I Flawless F - *1ct- = 90 to 110 pts.
Colorless |_-7/g ct. = 80 to 89 pts.
Very Very WSI-1 3/4 ct. = 70 to 79 pts.
Near h_ Slight 5/8ct. = 56 to 69 pts.
Colorless J— Imperfection 1/2 ct. = 45 to 55 pts.
t Very Slight VSM 7/l6 ct. = 40 to 44 pts.
Faint Yellow _L_ Imperfection 3/8 ct. = 36 to 39 pts.
_ v^I-2 1/3 ct. = 29 to 35 pts.
Very Light H Slight SI-1 [/4ct. = 23 to 28 pts.
Yellow 4r— Imperfection /5 ct. - 18 to 22 pts.
SI-2 1/6 ct. = 15 to 17 pts.
IZ ImPe,fect 11 i/io a. = 9to°ii
1L_ i2
Light Yellow v_ •
TZ 1-3
Y --
_ Z
Fancy Yellow *1 Exact Carat = 100 Points
GIA Diamond Color and Clarity Terminology J