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December 1999

Diamonds Gemology

A Lie of the Heart

Beware of phony Hearts and Arrows diamonds

'Many diamond wholesalers sell pseudo Hearts and Arrows diamonds to uneducated retailers – who then sell them as Hearts and Arrows diamonds to consumers," says Dana Gavin, marketing director for Alpha Inc., Houston, TX.

Alpha is one of a small but elite group of manufacturers cutting diamonds to such exacting standards of symmetry that facet reflections show up in a startling alignment often referred to as a Hearts and Arrows pattern.

Several companies sell true Hearts and Arrows cuts, says Brian Gavin, Alpha Inc.'s president. Alpha trademarks its diamonds as A Cut Above™ and inscribes its logo on the girdle.

It's a big deal, then, when the company sees diamonds – even well-cut Ideal diamonds – incorrectly described and sold as Hearts and Arrows. Dana Gavin says Alpha spends a good deal of time perfecting the cutting detail and nuance of A Cut Above diamonds. They take twice as long to cut and, as a result, they cost more.

These diamonds appeal to a demanding consumer who wants excellence of cut and is willing to pay the difference in price. Hearts and arrows diamonds are 10%-15% more expensive than an Ideal cut diamond with an American Gem Society "0" grade, Gavin says.

Before stocking Hearts and Arrows diamonds, a jeweler should buy a diamond viewer. (Different Hearts and Arrows manufacturers market their own viewers, all of which work on a similar optical basis. Alpha's viewer is the Alphascope™). These cost less than $200 and are a good tool when buying (for quality assurance) and selling diamonds.

A quick glance through the eyepiece of these viewers shows customers the excellence of their choice. (In some cases, it might be best to show customers several diamonds so they can see the difference.)

Jewelers who sell Hearts and Arrows diamonds also should become well-versed in finding and describing the patterns seen in these stones. This will help customers see why these special diamonds command a premium.

by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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