NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane Past Times Newsletter for September 2004
Past Times __________________________________________________________________ Andrew Puckering of Ottowa, Ontario, Canada specializes mostly Singly refractive. Grows in the cubic system. Specific gravity: Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
The monthly newsletter from Ruby Lane Antiques, Collectibles,
Fine Art, and Artisans
Welcome to Past Times!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o September HOT SHOP: Welcome to Puckering's!
o Diamonds: A Wonder of Nature by Donald Ryan of Lee Ryan
Antiques and Estate Jewelry
o Share Past Times with A Friend
in items from England which include a quality collection of fine
antique smalls, boxes, inkstands, leather, crocodile, silver,
desk accessories, tortoiseshell, as well as Mauchline Ware.
Here you'll find such items as a Mauchline Tartanware Pin Wheel
- McPherson c.1880 ($220 USD), a Tortoise Shell Match Book Cover
($195 USD), a Domed Walnut Table/Sewing Box with Marquetry Inlay
($395 USD), and a Victorian English Miniature Sterling Bucket,
1899 ($225 USD).
An American citizen, Andrew is a native Englishman and was an
antiques dealer in London during the 1980's. He gladly
guarantees the authenticity of all of his fine items.
We invite you to visit Puckering's.
LEE RYAN ANTIQUES AND ESTATE JEWELRY
3.47-3.55. Displays no Pleochroism. Refractive index:
2.417-2.419. Strong absorption bands at 4780 & 4155 Angstrom
units. Wow! Now that's exciting. Who can look at a beautiful one
carat stone, shooting off rays of white light and dazzling
green, blue, and red flashes and not think of diamond's physical
and optical properties? Just about everyone. Heck, even
gemologists have a life.
Most of the world's production of diamond starts in the mines of
Africa, Russia, and Australia. The DeBeers organization, with
main offices in London, controls 80% of world supply.
Interestingly, since DeBeers is considered a monopoly, it cannot
operate in this country. After separating and sorting, the
diamond rough (uncut stones) is shipped to London where further
sorting takes place. Various sized parcels are then made up and
invitations extended to approximately 250 bidders or
sightholders. Selection as a sightholder is considered an
exceptional privilege in the diamond trade since these are the
true distributors of the uncut stones. Individuals shown a
parcel must either buy it whole or refuse it. Parcels may not be
broken up and payment is in cash. Additionally, too many
refusals result in no further invitations to buy. Harsh, but it
works. Most parcels will cost in the neighborhood of $45,000 or
so, with some ranging much higher and with better quality rough.
Individual buyers then sell the uncut stones to various diamond
cutting centers (or keep them for their own operations) in New
York, Antwerp, Israel, India, etc. It is here that the rough
(which at this stage looks like a frosted glass pebble) is cut,
shaped and polished into the gem with which we are all familiar.
The finished stones are then bought by wholesalers and jewelry
manufacturers, and then finally by the jeweler for public sale.
Diamonds are the hardest substance known. In fact, the word
comes from the Greek...admas--meaning unconquerable. What a
puzzle this stone must have been to the first would-be cutters,
until they discovered that they could polish it with the dust of
a pulverized diamond. The next hardest stone below diamond is
sapphire, but diamond is still anywhere from 125 to 1000 times
harder. NASA even had a camera window about the size of a
quarter installed in a spacecraft to withstand pressure and
heat. I bet that could pay off your mortgage! Only 20% of mined
diamonds are suitable for jewelry. The rest are used in industry
as polishing, boring, and grinding mediums. Because of its
tremendous thermal affinity it is also used as a heat sink in
expensive electronic applications, but not in TV's, VCR's or
stereo sets (so don't look!). Its hardness is the reason you
don't mix diamond jewelry loosely with other stone set jewelry.
It can easily leave scratches or marks on the other stones (even
Why does one 1/2 carat diamond ring cost $450.00 and another one
cost $3000.00? Apart from the setting (the gold or platinum ring
without the stone), the primary reason is quality, based on the
4C's: Cut; Carat; Color and Clarity.
Cut refers to how close the diamond comes to the ideal shape.
Are all the facets symmetrical? Is the table (the flat part on
top of the diamond) too wide? Too small? Is it off center?
Cutting a diamond close to ideal takes more time and labor; but
most importantly, it costs weight. This is acceptable since many
people would rather wear a one carat stone with a so-so cut than
a .90 carat stone with a better cut.
ï Carat simply refers to the weight of the loose stone and is
always stated in carats or points. There are 100 points to a
carat. A point is a unit of weight and does not refer to facets
on a diamond. For example: 50 points equal a half carat; 25
points equal a quarter carat, etc. Although cut and carat are
results of the polishing process, color and clarity are pretty
much decided upon by Mother Nature.
ï Color is an alphabetical designator (D through Z) that
describes how close a diamond's color approaches white; i.e.,
the total absence of any modifying color--usually yellow. The
gem is compared against the grader's master stone set under
specific lighting conditions. As the amount of yellow increases
by five or six levels (usually not discernible by the untrained
eye) the value per carat drops. Only one out of a hundred stones
approaches D color, demonstrating how truly rare a D color stone
is. Stones that surpass Z color are graded as Fancy and command
a substantial premium.
ï Clarity describes the absence or presence of internal
objects (inclusions) or growth patterns. A diamond with many
inclusions is less able to refract and reflect available light,
often making it appear dull and lifeless. The scale starts at
Flawless, through VVS, VS, SI, and finally to I. There are
several sub-categories making a total of 11 clarity grades (some
systems use 12 grades). Grading is done under ten power
magnification by highly experienced individuals. When even one
clarity grade can mean $1,000 more or less for a stone, you can
see how important the grader becomes.
Diamond's great affinity for grease and fats causes its surfaces
to dull over time. A five minute soak in some household ammonia
and warm water, followed by a mild scrub with an old toothbrush,
will restore its beauty and sparkle.
We invite you to visit Donald's shop: Lee Ryan Antiques and
others who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you forward this
issue on to others. Happy reading!
Andrew Puckering of Ottowa, Ontario, Canada specializes mostly
Singly refractive. Grows in the cubic system. Specific gravity:
Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
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