Friday, December 2, 2022

Questions and Answers




Richard Alan

I hope to debunk wives tales and inform the misinformed in the next couple of issues about “all that glitters.” Also, always feel free to email any questions you may have about jewelry, diamonds or precious gems to

Falsehood #1… You can take a bunch of little diamonds and melt them together to make one large one.

Diamonds are individual carbon crystals that take millions of years of pressure and high temperatures to form, one can burn a diamond and ruin its appearance but never melt one. It would be like melting two jet skis together and expect the result to be a boat.

Falsehood # 2… The purchase of a pair of gold earrings cause one’s ears to burn or become itchy must mean the jeweler sold them cheap gold!

Not necessarily. Women and men can acquire allergies to certain alloys that are mixed with the gold, such as brass, nickel and copper. Childbirth and other hormonal changes in a woman’s life can cause reactions with metal on the skin that never occurred before. Many times, I simply change the earring post to a higher karat gold and see if that solves the problem, if that doesn’t work, platinum posts will do the trick. Platinum is a super clean metal and in my forty years as a jeweler no one has ever been allergic to it. My wife Andrea cannot wear cheap metal earrings or watches (Not that I would let her, I threw all that stuff away after we got married!) or she would break out in red rashes.

Falsehood #3… Two very nice quality Vs clarity G color .50/100 carat round diamonds can cost $2,000 each. The same quality diamond weighing 1.00 carat should be $4,000 right?

Wrong! That one carat stone could cost anywhere from $5,500 to $6,500. Larger diamonds are rarer than smaller ones, so the larger the diamond the higher the cost. Depending on the color and clarity grade of the diamond, it can drive the price even higher, such as a D color flawless stone.

Falsehood #4… The only good diamond is a blue white diamond.

Where this falsehood originated I will never know. While it is true that quality diamonds should give off colors of blue and white, they also give off most colors of the rainbow. In fact, some diamonds can appear to give off a majority of blue, something we in the business call fluorescence. It is kind of like the color of the blue lights one would reflect off posters in the 60’s and 70’s. A truly beautiful diamond should not possess that feature for it inhibits the scintillating of the gem and affects its value considerably in a negative way. Some folks like the effect and buy and enjoy it anyway.

The whiter the diamond, the more expensive it can be. So in that respect, a white diamond is a good thing. The only problem is there are many shades of white when grading a diamond on the Gemological Institute of America Scale (G.I.A.). The whitest diamond is a “D” and the least desirable is an “M.” The further through the alphabet, the less desirable the diamond.

A grey or brown diamond is not in the white zone either. Also, diamonds with lots of inclusions or flaws can cause loss of color or brilliance.

And now for a question… Why is gold so darn expensive?

I can relate. It has severely affected my industry and not in a good way. I could live with the gold price in and around $500 to $600. It was a affordable for most people. I never expected it would top $1,000 but it did and then some, to the tune of the high $1800’s.Now they are saying it will soon top over $2,000!!!

Investors and independent countries simply lost faith in most modes of investing, namely stocks and paper money, and the yellow shiny metal became the most logical and safest way to invest. So there you have it. Supply and demand. Everybody wants it and there is only so much in this world. Demand has driven the price to unheard of heights.

More on other subjects next time.


Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith with over 40 years of “on the bench experience” and is owner of The Harbor Goldsmith. He welcomes your questions about All That Glitters. 239-394-9275 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *