My Viewpoint on Diamonds

With nearly 70 trips to Antwerp, Belgium, where I have been involved in the business of assisting jewelers in the diamond buying process, I have had the opportunity to see millions upon millions of dollars worth of diamonds, both certed and non-certed. When it comes to certed diamonds, I believe they fit into one of four categories:

A. Diamonds that look great on paper, and great to the eye

B. Diamonds that look great on paper, and bad to the eye

C. Diamonds that look bad on paper, and great to the eye

D. Diamonds that look bad on paper, and bad to the eye

When I look for diamonds, I look for ones that fall into categories A and C, with the ones that look bad on paper, but great to the eye representing the most value. It is for this reason that I do not believe it is possible for anyone, including myself, to look at a list of diamonds and determine which one is the best one. You must look at the diamond.



For most people, it is impossible to see the number of diamonds that I see, unless you were to go to Antwerp with me. It is for this reason that I offer my services to people who either personally know me or have been referred to me by my friends and acquaintances. I do not want all the business in the world because I would not be able to do the type of business that I want to do, and that is to personally hand select each diamond for each person that I am buying for. My criteria for a diamond is basically very simple:

It must look great to the eye, it must represent great value, and it must be one that I would buy for my own wife.

In each box, there are what I call "the good, the bad, and the ugly". I'm glad I don't have to take the entire box.

In this entire box, there may be only one or two diamonds that meet my criteria for a diamond that I will take pride in selling.



For great information on the importance of cut to a diamond's appearance, a friend of mine has an incredible website at


Of these diamonds, which would you think would be the nicest for the money? Obviously, you would have to look at each one to determine the one that looks the nicest. Each diamond here, although each is SI1, will look different from the others, and the nature of the inclusions will be different. I prefer diamonds with "soft" inclusions, such as a white gletz at the edge of the stone, as opposed to one with "hard" inclusions, such as black crystals in the center of the stone.

And what about color? Every parcel paper in this box contains a diamond that is "J" in color, but if you took them out and lined them up in rows on your fingers and looked at them in the faceup position, you would absolutely swear that they were all different colors. The reason for this is mainly because of the differences in cut. You see, when light enters a diamond from the top, it bounces around off the inner surfaces in the diamond, and then is reflected back out the top of the diamond towards your eye, where you then perceive what most people call "color". What you are seeing is the amount of white light that is reflected out the top of the diamond and that is wholly dependant on the proportions of the diamond and the angles that it is cut to. If a diamond is cut with a deep bottom, it leaks more light out the bottom of the diamond and is perceived as "darker", if it is cut to absolutely ideal proportions, all the light is reflected out of the top and is perceived as "whiter" and "sparklier". Because of this, you can look at a poorly cut diamond that is a "D" color, put it right next to an ideally cut "J" color, and your eye will perceive the "J" to be better than the "D".


         At this point, you may be asking yourself what color really means. What I am talking about when I talk about the color of a diamond is the body color of the diamond material itself and here is how I determine that............I turn the diamond upside down next to a diamond of known color, and then view both diamonds at right angles through the pavilion (the bottom part) under north daylight. Sometimes it appears that the diamonds are so close in color that you have to switch the position of the diamonds and then just quickly glance at them to see if one is just a shade different than the other. The difference in one color grade is so miniscule that most diamond graders have extreme difficulty determining it in the face up position. In fact, it is difficult to determine the color of a diamond within four color grades in the face up position.

My title page contents