Monday, June 9, 2008

Lee Hwa's Dazzling Summer Sales

Lee Hwa is having their Summer Sales and solitaires are on discounts too..

GIA/HRD Diamonds

0.30 - 0.37 from $818

0.38 - 0.45 from $1,198

0.50 - 0.59 from $2,228

0.70 - 0.79 from $4,188

For 0.80 and above, the prices were not stated, best to check in store for their latest deals.

Tag Box

Hi guys, i have created a Tag Box on the right side of the page, please kindly offer me your comments and if there's any ideas to contribute. Will try to look into them and improve on my blog. Once again, thanks for viewing my blog.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The 4Cs - Clarity

The 3rd C i'm going to share about is Clarity. Clarity is often the most neglected C as most people would feel that, clarity is not of importance as it can't be seen with the naked eyes. Well, there's nothing wrong with this statement, but if the clarity is so bad that it can be seen with the naked eyes, then it shouldn't even be sold as a jewelry. ( There are jewelers in Singapore who are selling diamonds of such quality, so beware. )

Clarity refers to the location and amount of inclusions there are in a diamond when graded under 10x magnification. A piece of Flawless diamond, might not be flawless under 20x, or 30x magnification. But under GIA standards, as long as inclusions are not visible, internally and externally under 10x magnification, its considered Flawless.

Commonly sold in Singapore, are diamonds which are graded VVS, VS, and SI clarity diamonds. VVS meaning Very Very Slightly Included, VS meaning Very Slightly and SI, being Slightly Included. People often have the misconception that VVS equals to Very, very small.

There are different types of Inclusions, the more commonly seen ones would be feathers, needles, pinpoints and blemishes. They are also some that are chipped or have extra facets on the diamonds which are not so favorable. When purchasing a diamond, always take a look at the appraisal first before making a decision. I will go into more details of choosing a diamond in later posts.


Personally, i would choose to go for a diamond that is at least of VS quality and if my budget permits, a VVS. I would not go for a Flawless or Internally Flawless piece unless its for investment purposes. Diamonds of VS clarity and above, are in fact, hard for a layman to even notice any differences under 10x magnification. But not a piece which is graded SI or I, whereby the inclusions are usually on the surface of the diamond and could pose a threat to the diamond. A diamond with a fracture on the girdle or table of the diamond could easily chip or break if its hit on the right angle. Always remember, a diamond is the hardest material, but not the toughest. A right hit on the right spot, will still leave you with a broken diamond and we have seen it with our own eyes, happening to customers diamonds.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The 4Cs - Color

Another very important factor to consider when purchasing a diamond, is to consider the color of the diamond. A lot of people have the wrong perception that Diamonds are graded from A onwards and i often hear people saying that D color is not so good when it's already the whitest grading, as they thought that there's an A grading. This will only bring muffled giggles from the salespersons.

Diamonds are generally graded into 5 different categories, ranging from D-Z under GIA standards. D being colorless and Z, Fancy Yellow.

In local jewelry stores, we would commonly see diamonds which are of Near Colorless gradings, as they do not appear too yellowish under the naked eyes. In Europe and America, consumers would seldom go for anything better than a G if it's for wearing, as they prefer to set their diamonds on rings made of Yellow Gold, and the diamond would in fact appear whiter than its supposed to be. Whereas in Singapore, the preferred material is White Gold, if a diamond which is graded a J or K color, and set on to a White Gold setting, the color of the diamond would look obviously yellow even to the naked eyes, due to the contrast in colors.

For some customers, they would ask for the best color there is available, but personally, for wearing purposes, a G or F color is good enough. If i were to have a choice between a F color diamond with an excellent Cut vs a D colored diamond with only a Good cut, for the same price, i would choose the F colored one. Reason being, if the diamond is well cut, with good return of light and brilliancy, the slight tinge of yellowness would not even be noticeable to the naked eyes.


If one is not convinced of the color of the diamond, what you can do easily is to use a piece of white colored name card, fold it into 2 and create a valley, put the diamond in between the the 2 folds and compare the whiteness of the name card against the diamond. This way, you would be able to see the color contrast without bringing any equipments.

To see how much difference there is between a D color and a F, ask for 2 rings of these color grading and put them side by side against a dark background and compare without the influence of strong showroom lights, preferably, under the counters. Make sure you ask for permission from the salesperson to do so, just in case they are worried of the rings being switched. You will notice that there's hardly much difference between D and F as they are only 2 grades difference and both are under the colorless range.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The 4Cs - Cut

Most people are well aware of the 4Cs when purchasing a diamond, but what really are the 4Cs and other than the 4Cs, what else should i look out for??

I will first go into explaining the basic 4Cs.

When we talk about the 4Cs, we are talking about the Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. This should be the correct order we should look at when purchasing a diamond, and not starting with the Carat first, which most people would do.

A bigger diamond, doesn't equates a better diamond. In fact, the bigger the diamond, the more important the other factors are. Cut of a diamond, refers to the proportion and angles a diamond cutter, crafts a piece of rough diamond into a polished, end product, sold in the market. The Cut of a diamond, will result in how well a diamond would sparkle, revealing the brilliance and scintillation of it, and showing its true beauty.

A diamond which is poorly cut, would not be able to show its full potential . No matter how white the diamond is, or how clean it is, the brilliancy of the diamond would not perform to its maximum. How well a piece of diamond is cut, would determine, the return of light (Sparkle) one would see when looking at their diamond under lighting.

In Singapore, there are currently a few jewelers who carries their own brand of Ideal Cut diamonds, namely Lee Hwa Jewelry (Destinee), Soo Kee Jewelry (Fuego), Tian Poh Jewelry (Hearts on Fire) and Larry's Jewelry (Lazare).

They will market the diamonds under different names like Hearts&Arrows, Ideal Cut, Perfect Cut and any other names they can come up with, but in fact, they are all the same diamonds which falls within the set of proportions calculated by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. he had calculated that if diamonds are cut within this set of proportions, they will be the most ideal, giving off the most ideal brilliancy and scintillation.

The Ideal Cut (Tolkowsky Cut)

You can take the proportions on top as a guide when getting a diamond, but rest assured that most diamonds which are 0.30ct and above, comes with an appraisal by respectable labs now and you do not have to copy the proportions down. Just a note, insist that the diamond comes with an appraisal, if not, its probably appraised by their own in house gemologists, which more than often are biased when appraising.

In Singapore, the more commonly seen appraisals that we see are, GIA, HRD, IGI and AGS, etc. These are the bigger labs around and are considered as reputable and respectable in their grading. In a report, one would commonly see the grading done on the Cut of the Diamond, whether it's Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor. Bear in mind that some labs do not use Ideal, but only Excellent. You can refer to the back of the report or ask from the salesperson for the guide.

For GIA certified diamonds, those that were appraised after year 2006, would come with the Cut Grade as well. But for other laboratories, they do not insist on the Cut Grade as yet.
If the Cut of the diamond is not shown, then look out for the Proportions, Symmetry and Polish.

The Cut of a diamond, affects the price and value of a diamond greatly as this is the only factor which is controlled by Man, whereas the other 3Cs, are natural. What Cut grade should i look for then, would depend on individual's preference and of course, his budget. Personally, i would only go for one, which is at least of a Good Cut.


Is Ideal Cut, really the Ideal one? A lot of times, jewelers will try to sell you their premium diamonds, their Ideal Cut or Fancy Cut diamonds. But if you look carefully at the proportions of the diamonds, a GIA appraised Diamond with Excellent Cut, is in fact no far from a Ideal Cut diamond graded by AGS (AGS is a lab which grades diamonds up to Ideal for its cut grade.) Therefore, one should consider the price difference between the 2 diamonds before making the decision. If the price difference is great and there's visibly not much difference, i would suggest getting a bigger diamond than getting one which is an Ideal Cut.