Bauer Gemmological Laboratories

The Ultimate Expertise in Gemstone Grading

Lately the online diamond vendor James Allen has been all the rage.

The reason is quite simply the fact that James Allen is one of the very few online vendors that offers 40x magnification 360 degree videos of their diamonds!

In fact, most diamond vendors only offer pictures of their diamonds and some not even that. This is why we thought that we would like to have a closer look at all the advantages of James Allen Diamonds!

What is so good about their high definition 360 videos?

Let us simply see what it actually looks like to shop at James Allen.

Once you have set the specific 4C parameters that you are looking for in a diamond you will be able to have a look at the kind of diamond you are interested in.

Say for instance that you would like to buy a diamond that has a J color, a VS2 clarity grade and is above 1 carat in weight.

James Allen would then just show you all of their diamonds like that:

James Allen Diamonds

 

The way you can scroll through the diamonds will quickly let you find the right diamond. Of course you will first have to click on the diamond to have a closer look at it!

The awesome thing about James Allen is that it offers 40x magnifications of their diamonds. Actually a 40x magnification is even 4 times more than what you would have at a usual jeweler’s store. A usual jeweler’s loupe only has a 10x magnification.

This is a great feature if you are on the lookout for eye clean diamonds within the the SI clarity range. The SI clarity range consists of SI1 and SI2 diamonds.

You can find out more about the single clarity grades here in this video:

There is nothing wrong with choosing diamonds that are better than the SI1 clarity grade. But if you want to get a diamond with a really good price it is very advisable to go for a diamond with an SI1 or SI2 clarity grade.

This is exactly where James Allen comes in.

In another James Allen review it was clearly laid out what the advantages of James Allen are:

  • See the diamond in detail and be able to see all the inclusions and imperfections
  • See the character of the diamond. See whether the diamond is cut in a nice manner
Many people actually don’t know that a diamond with an Excellent diamond cut can look different than another diamond with an Excellent diamond cut! People seem surprised about that but actually it makes sense. After all there is a lot of variance in a diamond.
Have a look at the diamond below:
James Allen Excellent Cut Diamond If you have a closer look at this diamond you will easily see that this diamond actually looks really bad for an Excellent cut diamond.
You see clearly see that the pavilion mains of this diamond look really off.
The thing is that you cannot know beforehand whether the diamond will have a nice appearance or not. This is exactly where James Allen 360 degree Videos will help you a lot!

James Allen and their True Hearts signature diamonds

Apart from their usual diamonds you can also find the James Allen True Hearts diamonds. This is their signature line with diamonds of an exceptionally good cut quality.

Basically this has to do with hearts&arrows diamonds. These are super high quality cut diamonds with a superior symmetry!

By having a diamond with a superior symmetry you basically ensure to have a diamond with a particularly nice and intensive sparkle!

James Allen True Hearts diamonds are among the best cut diamonds that you can find. Obviously they also have a particularly good price!

Of course Brian Gavin also has extremely nice looking hearts and arrows diamonds in their portfolio. In fact, I personally even like Brian Gavin hearts and arrows diamonds better!

As a conclusion I would say that James Allen True Hearts diamonds are a great choice for anyone who is looking for a great price on hearts and arrows diamonds.

On the other hands though Brian Gavin signature hearts and arrows diamonds might be even a better choice if you are trying to get the really best high quality diamonds that you can possibly find!

August 17th, 2015

Posted In: Diamond Vendor Reviews

Tags: ,

Article Topic: Examination of a ruby pendant brought in to BAUER and the effects of fracture filling

Gem Material: Corundum variety Ruby
Authors: Ronnie Bauer and Chris Payne

Abstract from Article:

‘When gas bubbles are observed in natural Ruby, it is the result of gas remaining in the fracture when the liquid glass was forced in under pressure. The are two types of observable bubbles: Those that are perfectly spherical when the glass is filling in a large void and flatted bubbles are observed when the glass is used to infill the very narrow fractures.’

Please contact BAUER at r.bauer@bauergemlabs.com.au if you would like to access the whole article including images.

Interesting Facts about Rubies Inclusions

In this article we will cast some lights on rubies and their inclusions.

Every gemstone that can be found in nature comes with inclusions. Granted, there are gemstones that are eye clean. But even these gemstone have inclusions that could be seen with an aid.

Thus even with internal flawless diamonds you would be able to make out an inclusion if you used a 40x magnification loupe instead of a 10x magnification loupe.

Rubies are no different in that regard! They often exhibit distinct glass bubbles that some find beautiful and others find disturbing.

In conjunction with the Gemresearch Swisslab we have had a good look at glass bubble inclusions in rubies.

Glass buble inclusions in rubies look something like that:

Glass bubble inclusion in rubies are very similiar to glass bubble inclusions in diamonds. In that regard most people will try to avoid glass bubble inclusions because they don’t find them appealing.

However these bubbles can be filled with glass and thus be made more unobstrusive to the viewer. In today’s research post we will have a closer look at what actually works and which are the best ways to make the natural bubbles unobstrusive again.

Feel free to contact us with any questions that you might have!

August 15th, 2015

Posted In: Research News

Article Topic: Investigation into cause of damage to diamonds in a platinum ring and the processes involved in making a conclusion

Gem Material: Diamond
Authors: Ronnie Bauer and Chris Payne
Abstract from Article:
‘The following ring was presented to the lab to determine how the damage was caused to the ring. The customer blamed the jeweller for making a faulty ring and the jeweller blamed the setter for the way the diamonds were set. The result of our investigations revealed some very important lessons about the properties of diamonds and how they are set in jewellery’

Please contact BAUER at r.bauer@bauergemlabs.com.au if you would like to access the whole article incl. images.

Further Explanations

It is not a well known fact among the general population that diamonds actually can chip when being subjected to very strong outside forces!

For one thing it has to do with an improper handling of the diamond but at the very same time there are also diamonds that are much more likely to chip than other diamonds.

A diamond chip is a nasty thing and looks terrible:

Chipped round cut diamond

Diamonds with larger inclusions around the girdle are particularly prone to chipping.

Thus, the danger of VS1 or VS2 diamonds chipping is extremely low. What is much more of an danger are I1, I2 or I3 inclusions around the girdle of a round cut diamond.

Inclusions near the pointed tips of princess cut diamonds can also pose a risk to the durability o the diamond.

Our groundbreaking research has enabled us to find exact risk factors and thus evaluate the likelihood of a diamond chipping at some point in its “career”.

Most diamonds never chip but some have a higher likelihood of chipping and it is important to know the fact to avoid buying these diamonds.

We hope that we can help you with this article!

August 15th, 2015

Posted In: Research News

Tags: ,

Hi there I’d like to talk to you today a bit about how to find the perfect stone for you. Diamonds are being graded using a thing called the four Cs. These include the cut, color, clarity, and finally, carat weight. We believe to find the perfect stone. They should be prioritized in that order. Let’s start with the cut.

The Diamond Cut

In this case, when we talk about a cut, we are referring to the proportions, the polish and the symmetry of the stone, not necessarily the diamond shape. Diamonds come in a variety of shapes such as the round brilliant cut or square princess cut, but the proportions of the shape is the most important thing.

If you’ve got a well-cut diamond, it will take in light from the top and will not get around inside the prism and it will come back out and meet the eye, and the thing that we call brilliance.

It’s really important to make sure that your diamond is cut proportionally well. If the diamond is too deep, for example, it will take in the light and it will flat out to the bottom. You’ll get dark areas at the bottom of the stone.

Or if it’s too shallow, it will look glassy and a little bit dead. So whenever looking at diamonds try and compare two or three side by side and you’ll see the one that suits you, maybe the one that sings to you.

Shallow and deep diamonds in comparison

 

The Diamond Color

Now to color; we believe that this is the second most important factor when choosing a diamond. Color is graded from D, which is considered colorless, all the way through to Zed, although it’s unusual to grade a diamond below an I.

From D downwards, on every letter of the alphabet, the diamond will pick up a hint of yellow. Most people can’t see any color in, say, a G color stone, but pretty much everybody can see it in an I.

GIA offers an ingenious color scale that will make you see and understand what every single color grade really looks like!

GIA Diamond Color Scale

One thing to bear in mind is if you’re using a very white metal like platinum, it’s essential to use a white stone; something like an F or above would sit well with platinum. However, if you’re using yellow-gold or rose-gold, you can get away with using a stone that draws slightly more color. Sometimes it can even complement the setting.

The Diamond Clarity

Next we come to clarity. Of all of the grading, clarity is the easiest to understand. A stone that has no imperfections at all under ten times magnification is called a flawless stone.

Quite often, most diamonds will have small imperfections. Carbon traces, a white dot, a feather, and when the stone is magnified under ten times, you can then grade it accordingly. Clarity is very much a personal choice.

Some customers would prefer to have a smaller flawless stone, whilst others allow to one with some imperfections. It’s important to remember that the clarity of a diamond, as long as it can’t be seen to the naked eye, any imperfections will not affect the overall beauty of the stone.

Diamond Carat Weight

Finally, we have carat weight. Diamonds are measured in weight rather than size, and it’s an important distinction to make because the two often get muddled up. In the same way that one pound is made up of a hundred pence, one carat consists of a hundred points.

Jewelers and diamond dealers will often refer to a stone as a 50 pointer when they’re talking about a half carat or 33 points when they’re talking about a third of a carat, et cetera. Also, we find with diamonds that there are magic numbers.

Most people who buy diamonds want to be able to say it’s a one carat or half a carat, or two carat, and these magic numbers can often push the price up.

It’s okay to buy a stone that’s just under or just over and you may be able to get a little bit more for your money by doing that.

The size of a diamond can vary depending on its proportions. Two stones of the same weight can look noticeably different when compared from above.

Final Notes

And now we have looked at all the factors around choosing a diamond. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the four Cs, and when selecting your own stone or stone for a loved one, you’re able to make maybe a more informed decision.

You should be able to see that a better cut, a clearer, a cleaner or a larger stone is often more rare, and that will be reflected in the price.

If you have any more questions please feel free to get in touch with us!

August 15th, 2015

Posted In: diamond 4Cs

An accurately proportioned diamond will attract the highest price per
carat. When the diamond is cut to gain weight, or spread to make it look
larger than it is, it may be too deep or shallow above or below the
girdle, or the table may be too wide in proportion to the diameter of the
stone. The price per carat will be lower.

At the bottom of the price scale are the badly cut diamonds which may
be: unsymmetrical, out of round, have irregular tables, misplaced facets,
table out of square, culet not central or too large a culet.

Visual inspection of the outside of the diamond with a 10 power color
corrected handheld diamond loupe will instantly show whether a stone
is really badly cut. If a diamond is un-mounted, it is easy to examine for
proportion. If mounted, a little guesswork is inevitable as damage or bad
cutting could be concealed by the mounting.

The general rule of proportions for a round brilliant cut diamond, are
based on the full diameter across the girdle. From this can be estimated:
The diameter of the table as a percentage of the full diameter, the
height of the crown, the depths of the Pavilion, and The thickness of the
girdle.

Diamond Cut QualityIn general if the crown appears to be roughly one third of the
Pavilion depth the proportioning is probably acceptable.
There are several types of diamond proportioning that are currently
used. They vary slightly in relation to width and depth percentages
traditionally quoted as Ideal.

The combinations of width and depth in
each of them create highly acceptable stones. Diamonds having smaller
tables exhibit more fire (which is the rainbow of dispersed light) and
those with larger tables exhibit more brilliance (white brightness and
contrast).

The idea would be a compromise that would allow the
greatest brilliance and fire simultaneously. No one has come to
agreement; however on what the percentages should be since some
people prefer fire to brilliance and vice versa.

Polish Grade

Polish refers to the degree which the diamond cutter finished the
diamond. Like fine Lalique Crystal versus poor quality crystal, the
diamond polisher takes extra time and care to make sure all facets are
polished to perfection.

Polish ratings include Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor on a GIA
Diamond Grading Report. AGS add their ‘Ideal’ Polish to the above list.
An “EXCELLENT” polish states that all facets meet properly and
completely with the neighbor facets.

Poorly polished facets may reduce the intensity of light reflected from,
or refracted into and out of a diamond. Diamond Grading Laboratories
evaluate polish by examining the diamond, facet by facet. The visual
effects of Fair or Poor grades are, you feel a need to clean the diamond
as the surface appears opaque.

A common polish defect is surface grain lines. Even the most skilled
cutter can encounter variations in hardness or grain as they polish a
facet. The result is a polish line or microscopic lines running across a
facet. On occasion these grain lines can be seen with your naked eye in
reflected light.

Symmetry Grade

Most labs grade Symmetry: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor.
The objective of symmetry grading is to ensure that facets align
perfectly and the pavilion of the diamond is centered and not off-set.

Diamond SymmetryWhen polishing a rough diamond the aim is to achieve the heaviest
carat weight, most valuable diamond possible. This often means
polishing a diamond with imperfect symmetry to avoid inclusions or just
to achieve a “magic weight” (like 1.00ct).

The polished diamond may be
slightly off round, have variations in girdle thickness tilting of the table,
and off centering the table or the culet. Contrary to popular belief,
symmetry sacrifice for total weight considerations in a diamond is often
the result of a highly skilled cutter, rather than an indication of poor
polishing skills.

Tip: Fair or Poor Symmetry grades should be avoided
Gem Proportion Analyzer from GIA – considered old technology
however produces fairly accurate proportion results.

On both the
eyepiece and the screen you are observing all the various scales. The
diamond will be rotated around and measured at 8 different points and
an average is taken on all measurements.

 

 

 

August 15th, 2015

Posted In: diamond cut

Tags: , ,