Ask An Insider: How Is The World’s Most Beautiful Diamond Made?
When buying a diamond, one must overcome the millions of sparkling distractions, before eventually settling on the perfect piece. But the final pick might not be a pure and perfect diamond worth the investment.
The business of diamonds is more than meets the eye. Charlie Rosario, the senior vice president of Lazare Kaplan International, holder of the World’s Most Beautiful Diamond trademark, has been making history with the jewellery brand for the past 44 years.
Charlie entered the diamond industry by a stroke of luck, where he discovered a talent for reading diamonds as a clerk, and his abilities and gregarious personality has been instrumental in expanding Lazare beyond America. In time for the season of gifting, we got him to break down the complex mathematical formula that made Lazare diamonds the fairest of all, with a side of tips on purchasing the ideal diamond.
1. Climbing the ranks in the diamonds industry.
"As part of diamond processing, I had to identify different values of diamonds before transferring them to the sales department. These differences piqued my curiousity and I started to examine them – soon I could guess closer to the mark. It came so naturally, I had caught up with 2 weeks’ worth of diamonds in 3 days! There were some points I disagreed upon and took it to the head grader. He saw a talent in me and began showing me technical nuances of the job, like the proper way to hold the tweezers and loupe. Lazare Kaplan’s son, Leo, was also impressed and sent me to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and in 6 months, I became a grader."
2. Upholding the undisputed mathematical formula for the perfect diamond.
"Lazare is special because of our consistency in quality, angles and proportion. In 1919, mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky, the cousin of Lazare Kaplan, created an ideal cut formula that sets us apart in the diamond world. He measured light in crystal diamond and figured how to manipulate the cut, to maximise the beauty that comes from the top, and the exact proportions and cut to optimise its brilliance."
3. How diamonds qualify for Lazare’s perfection rating.
"Let’s take a 1-carat diamond – 1 carat equals a dollar, every point equals penny, so 100 points equal a dollar. 50 points is half of a 1-carat diamond. Roughly 20 tonnes of earth has to be dugged to obtain a rough crystal that will give you a 1-carat polished gem.
The rough diamond at that stage would be 2.5 carats; you keep about 40%of the rough material that makes up the polished gem. So you could say that a 1-carat diamond is considered 1 in a million. A 1-carat diamond with such small parameters is also 1 in a million. Therefore, a 1-carat Lazare diamond is actually less than 1 in a 100 million diamonds, in consideration of the number of diamonds produced worldwide."
4. Distinguishing Lazare diamonds from Preferred Diamonds.
Lazare has a very specific formula for angles and proportion. The ideal diamond table needs to be 57.4% to 53% in size and diameter. 57.4% is Lazare; 57.5 is not. It’s not just the table but every measurement point, too, that has to fall within parameters. These measurements are like a pilot’s checklist. Preferred is anything that’s not Lazare’s standard. Subpar quality happens on occasion or when it doesn’t measure up to exact proportions nor economically valuable to fix, it’s a Preferred Diamond.
5. Honing a trade with rough diamonds.
It’s the hardest job in diamond industry. A rough crystal comes in 20,000 different forms and the value of that knowledge plays a part in your ability to conduct 3-dimensional checks. You must view rough crystal like a transparent bowl, and you have to be able to visualise what a polished diamond will look like inside. Sometime’s it’s opaque, sometimes it has flaws you have to work around. The rough evaluation has to look at the natural crystal in whatever shape and form it is and try figure out what the polished gem is going to look like, and how you maximise it. Are you better off cutting in 2 or making 1 big one? It takes years of study on how to polish the diamond before the rough evaluation on how to shave it, tilt it, saw it or cut it.
6. Are there still a lot of diamonds out there? The truth is…
It’s estimated that within the next 20-25 years, supply will start to diminish. At certain point, it won’t be worth digging for the yield, even in diamond mining countries like Botswana, Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Russia. On the short term though, there’s enough diamonds going around.
7. The fine number of diamond grades.
There are a very fine number of grades as classified by the GIA, ranging from D (colourless) to Z (light coloured). For fancy colour ranges, you’ll have vivid, very intense, intense, faint, and poor. Colours can go across the rainbow. For clarity, 0 being flawless, and 10 yields a pebbly texture. Rough diamond gems have 14,000 categories. They come in so many shapes and forms that there are 300 more of the popular ones.
8. How to purchase a diamond of true value.
Do your research, and consult with the Lazare Diamond 4C’s app. You probably have better answers on this interactive and educational guide than the counter. Ask questions, challenge information and if you feel like you're not getting 100% of the answer, get the jeweller. Serious diamond buyers will do their homework and wind up at a place like DeGem.