Custom Jewelry by Seattle Diamonds

The finest custom jewelry pieces are true works of art. Some of our most impressive rings and pendants are designed and manufactured here in Seattle, and are customized for the client. Creating custom jewelry is an artistic process that takes time, but is well worth the wait.

The first step in creating a custom piece is purchasing the center stone. Diamond engagement rings are the most common pieces we design and manufacture, but we also create extraordinary rings and pendants with sapphires, emeralds, tanzanite and other colored stones.

Once the center is selected, the client meets with our designer, and together they discuss ideas and options, and create a rough sketch with manufacturing notes. A more elaborate drawing is then provided for client to approval.

Most custom jewelry requires carving a wax mold for casting. With rings, the prongs, bezel and shank are sized exclusively for the center stone and finger size. Clients occasionally need to approve the wax mold before casting. All accompanying diamonds are hand-set in our Seattle lab where the final polish is applied.

An independent appraiser then evaluates and photographs the piece to determine replacement value for insurance purposes. Most insurance companies require an independent appraisal for coverage of expensive jewelry, not an appraisal by the retailer.

If you are interested in having a custom ring or pendant designed and manufactured, please call (206) 625-0105 to discuss the process further.

Conflict Free Diamonds and Fair Trade Gold Jewelry

In 1998 the first Canadian diamond mine opened in the Northwest Territories, producing high quality gemstones. The news was exciting because the diamonds were excellent color and clarity, and the deposits were significant. Having a North American diamond industry would bring more stability to the US jewelry business, especially as armed conflict in several African diamond-producing countries had increased.

The Kimberly Process was adopted by the United Nations and the world-wide diamond industry in 2003 in response to the illicit African diamond trade. It created a certification process to remove conflict diamonds from the market. The “Big Three” diamond mining companies—De Beers, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto—who controlled nearly all the rough diamonds entering the supply chain, became fully compliant with the Kimberly Process. Soon 99% of the new diamonds entering the market were guaranteed conflict-free, and remain so today.

Shortly after clients began requesting conflict-free Canadian diamonds, which are mined, cut and polished in the Northwest Territories (NWT). They are certified conflict-free by the provincial government; the stones never leave North America. In 2005 Seattle Diamonds added certified Canadian-origin diamonds to our regular inventory, and they have been a strong seller since. Importing NWT-certified diamonds directly from cutters in Canada to our showroom in Seattle guarantees they are conflict-free.

With the success of Canadian diamonds, we decided to take the “ethical jewelry” idea one step further and started sourcing designers dedicated to fair trade gold and gemstones. That is when we found Toby Pomeroy, a master goldsmith from Corvallis, Oregon who carefully sources his gemstones and precious metals with the highest ethical standards. He is an industry leader in fair trade and fair-mined jewelry, and uses Canadian diamonds exclusively.

Pomeroy designs creative, timeless pieces by hand. The final products are works of art, and are in high demand. Few companies specialize in using reclaimed gold like Pomeroy. The company manufactures gold fashion jewelry including earrings, pendants and bracelets. A complete line of engagement and wedding rings are also available.

If “buying local” is important to you, consider a piece by Toby Pomeroy sold by Seattle Diamonds. The diamonds are from Canada, and the jewelry is designed and manufactured in Oregon and Seattle Diamonds is a locally-owned independent business who supports and contributes back to our community.

Big Diamond: $27 Million Paid for 101.73 Carat D Flawless

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At Seattle Diamonds we love big diamonds. Last week we were particularly impressed with a stone sold at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva, a spectacular 101.73 ct. D flawless diamond that sold for $26.7 million. This was a record price for a colorless diamond sold at auction. Legendary jeweler Harry Winston made the purchase, and we are excited to see the finished piece. The entire industry will be a-buzz.

Occasionally we have requests for particularly large stones for custom pieces. Several years ago we purchased an outstanding 8.0+ carat, pear-shaped center stone for a custom ring. It was a GIA certified diamond, VS2 clarity and G in color, and was truly astonishing.

Locating diamonds above five carats can be challenging when a fancy shape of specific color and clarity is required. We contact cutters world-wide to find the right diamond.  When potential candidates are located, we will ship them to Seattle for gemological examination and appraisal. With larger diamonds, one small feature or aspect can affect the value by thousands of dollars, so strict due diligence is required when it comes to gemological grading.

We typically have round shaped diamonds 3 carats and above in inventory. If you are considering a large diamond, we are happy to discuss the different options, prices and process for purchasing a large keep-sake.

More information about this record-setting diamond can be found here.

SeattleDiamonds.com and Gemology

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How can two near-identical diamonds—the same color, clarity, cut and carat weight—look the same online, but vary so much in cost? Both diamonds are certified by the same lab, but one is priced higher.  Is buying the cheaper stone the best option?

We hear these questions regularly, especially from men purchasing their first diamonds. The internet has made searching for diamonds more complicated, not easier. With online diamond databases, shoppers now have access to thousands of stones within their criteria, and the options can be overwhelming.  Some retailers and shoppers approach diamonds as a commodity, and since no two diamonds are the same, commoditization is truly not possible.

The key is to find the best value/quality relationship. Not all aspects of individual diamonds are spelled out in the certificate. The less expensive stone may have integrity issues or the more expensive diamond maybe overpriced.

The value of a diamond is based on the gemological characteristics of the stone, reaching beyond the basic 4C’s of diamond grading. At Gemological Trading Corporation, we have two GIA Graduate Gemologists on staff, and they analyze the finer details of each diamond, ensuring value beyond color, clarity, cut and carat weight. They scrutinize the inclusion type, size and location, as well as girdle thickness, cut proportions and fluorescence. Gemology makes the difference between buying an average stone and purchasing an exceptional diamond.

The GIA Graduate Gemologist degree is the most prestigious credential in the industry, and having two staff members to evaluate diamonds is a luxury few jewelers have.  The majority of fine jewelry stores do not have GIA Graduate Gemologists on staff. At Gemological Trading, we have the technical expertise and practical skills to evaluate gemstones by the 4C’s (color, clarity, cut and carat weight), the International Diamond Grading System and the Colored Stone Grading System.

Graduate Gemologists are also experts in identifying and valuing common and unusual gemstones, as well as pearls. We understand the short-comings of emeralds, and how to buy them properly. Natural sapphires and rubies are the most valuable, and we can identify heat-treated or lab-created stones. Similar to diamonds, the value of a colored stone is in the gemological details, and we only purchase the finest gemstones.

If you have questions about diamond grading, or want to know why two near-identical diamonds are priced differently, call Gemological Trading Corporation at (206) 625-0105. We enjoy discussing gemology and helping people buy exceptional diamonds and colored stones.