Fun Diamonds Facts

It takes 250 tons of Earth to obtain a 1 carat Diamond.

Diamonds are not the hardest substance on the face of the earth. They are the hardest “natural” substance but man-made synthetics are harder.

98% of all Diamonds are NOT actually white in color.

It takes 1405 degrees of heat to burn a diamond.

Only a Diamond can scratch or polish another Diamond.

Some Diamonds actually glow in the dark (known as fluorescence). They glow blue.

85% of Diamonds mined are NOT used in jewelry.

Many skin care products on the market use Diamond Dust as an active ingredient.

The largest Diamond in the world is the Cullinan Diamond weighing 3,106 carats.

Diamonds were originally weighed against the seed of a carob tree.

The average Diamond size for an engagement ring is only 0.38 carats.

Diamonds come in wonderful fancy colors like pink, blue, green, champagne, black, chocolate, yellow, red, gray,and even purple. Red is the rarest!

Diamonds do NOT float in water. That’s why Diamonds are often found in river beds.

Diamonds Usually Have a Slight Tint of Yellow

As you are likely aware a true colorless diamond is quite rare.  Most diamonds have a slight tint of yellow.    In most case we don’t  see the color until the tint of yellow becomes pronounced.   Each of us see color differently.   What appears to be a diamond with a slight tint of yellow for one will appear colorless for another.  Diamonds mounted are more difficult to grade for color.  The contrast between the yellow color of a 14 K yellow gold or 18 K yellow mounting and a diamond tends to mask the diamond’s color.

A diamond is formed from carbon.  Trace amounts of nitrogen combined with carbon in the crystal color the diamond yellow.  These impurities may be as small as one part per million.  Imperfections in the crystal lattice can also alter the diamond’s color.   Deviations in the crystal lattice are believed to be caused when intense pressure is applied during the diamond forming process.


When you are in the market to purchase a loose diamond, a diamond pendant, diamond earrings, or diamond band please visit our alternate site where you can price these products!     [button link=”” window=”yes”]Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry[/button]

Brown Diamonds

In 1985 production from the Argyle Mine in Australia took the international diamond market by storm. Suddenly there was a large supply of brown tinted diamonds entering the supply chain. This created a problem. Prior to this event most of the diamonds bought and sold in the market had a tint of yellow. The few brown tinted diamonds sold were graded using the universally color grading system which was based on grading yellow tinted diamonds. This was an imperfect solution only acceptable because there were so few brown tinted diamonds. Suddenly there was a bountiful supply of brown diamonds and the diamond trade was coping with ways to grade these diamonds for color.

That brings us back to the Argyle mine. They were the owners of a large supply of strongly brown tinted diamonds and they, needless to say, wanted to sell them. The simplest approach would be to sell the diamonds for use in industrial applications. This of course would result in the lowest return. Instead they choose to market the color as as a benefit not a liability. Thus, the term “champagne color was born”. Today the phrase “chocolate diamond” is used as well. It seems in the diamond buying public there are more lovers of chocolate than champagne, I for one will admit to this fondness. Fortunately for Argyle the mine produce a ready supply of diamonds with more intense color . These fancy color diamonds have facilitate the adoption of the lighter tinted brown diamond in the marketplace.

The Argyle Mine introduced their own color grading system. I have attached a copy of their system here.


Brown diamond color chart

Brown Diamond color chart created by the Argyle Mine.

The scale is unfortunately too simplistic. These images should illustrate the problem.


From left to right - Fancy pink brown, fancy orange brown and fancy yellow brown

From left to right – Fancy pink brown, fancy orange brown and fancy yellow brown

The Gemological Institute of American chose to develop their own system . The GIA system has its own critics. Still it remains the preferred approach for grading fancy color diamonds.

So, that’s the story on brown diamonds, at least that is how I remember it.

Today we have a large selection of color from which to choose how could this be interpreted as anything other than good news?

Argyle Mine Diamonds

Color range of the fancy color diamonds found at the Argyle Mine in Australia.

Laney's Diamonds & Jewelry

Laney’s Serving the Williamsburg Community Since 1980!

Laney’s is a full service jewelry store.  We are members of the American Gem Society.  We are open Tues. – Fri.  11AM-6PM and Saturday 11AM-5PM.   5121 Center Street, Suite 103, Williamsburg, VA  (757) 229-7333.

Our Services

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  • Custom Jewelry Design
  • Jewelry Repair
  • Watch Repair
  • Gemstone Cutting and Polishing
  • Insurance Loss Replacement
  • Bead and Pearl Stringing
  • Jewelry Appraisals
  • Complimentary Gift Wraping



Diamond – April’s Birthstone

dia studs pic

For those of you lucky enough to be born in April, your birthstone is diamond. The rest of us can also enjoy diamonds as they have the greatest universal appeal of all gemstones. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone – rated 10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale- making them an excellent choice for everyday wear. A diamond reflects the rarity, brilliance, and breathtaking fire of a gem that has survived a journey of billions of years for the pleasure of adornment.
What lady doesn’t “need” diamond stud earrings? They are one of the basic necessities of life!

Cobalt Wedding Bands Pros and Cons

cor168 Cobalt is a bright white metal that is harder and subsequently more scratch resistant that platinum, gold or silver. Only tungsten bands will be harder and more scratch resistance. A cobalt ring is truly white in color. !4 karat white gold, sterling silver, platinum, tungsten and titanium will all age slightly and appear slightly different in color. Cobalt rings are relatively inexpensive. You’ll find cobalt band are comparable in price to tungsten, titanium, silver and well below the price for 14K, 18K and platinum.

The major negative is cobalt bands can not be sized. Over time, just about everyone has to size their wedding bands. If you have a cobalt band the ring will have to be replaced with another wedding band. If you are likely to be sentimentally attached to your wedding band I would encourage you to consider sterling silver bands instead.

Another point to keep in mind bands that are made of a tough metals such as cobalt or tungsten can not be cut with a typically jeweler’s ring cutter. If you should ever hurt your hand and need to remove your cobalt or tungsten band you might find it difficult locating someone who can remove the ring. Typically this involves compressing the band until it shatters. Imagine putting the ring in a vice and squeezing.

For these reasons I encourage individuals interested in low cost white metal wedding bands to seriously consider sterling silver.

You will find examples of these alternative metal wedding bands here in the shop option on our website.  Other styles and options can be explored at our store at 5121 Center Street, Suite 103, Williamsburg, VA.  If you are in the area please visit and say hello!

Colored Stones Still Sizzling


Ruby and Diamond Ring. We can make one similar just for you!

Colored stones are still sizzling! The universe of colored gemstones is endlessly fascinating. For centuries, nearly every culture has held the belief that colored gemstones possess magical powers or the ability to provide the wearer with special attributes and protections or healing properties. This way of thinking has motivated the world of fashion. Natural gemstone jewelry is mystical in all of its beauty. Women feel not only glamorous but powerful as well. Colored gemstone jewelry will continue to dominate the fashion world into the fall. The trend is less saturated and more sophisticated. White, golden and earth tones lead the summer season. White is interesting in its own right with pearls making a huge splash this season. Mismatched stones add color, whimsy and character to jewelry, much as patina does for furniture and fine lines for faces. Mixing and matching needn’t apply only to clothing. For some jewelry designers – as colored stone pieces are still riding high in popularity – the mismatched and multicolored make colorful harmony. The contemporary and fashion forward way to go with accessories is in coordinating combinations with the colors of your outfit or as a single contrasting but complementary color or combination of colors with a black, white or neutral outfit. It is a sure fired way to add class and “wow” to any outfit. Colored gemstone jewelry is not just for birth stones any more. Accessorizing an outfit makes it unique and is how you can personalize your own look. Come on, Ladies – how is your color stone jewelry collection? Adding these natural pieces of gemstone jewelry to your wardrobe will definitely spark interest as well as pull your look together. From the young and fashion trendy to the mature exuding class and elegance, colored gemstone jewelry is an ageless style that is here to stay.

The 4 C’s – Color


Diamonds typically have a tint of yellow or brown color.

Most diamonds exhibit a tint of color. The color is usually yellow or brown. Diamonds, can also be tinted, blue, green, red and brown. These diamonds are called fancy colored and are extremely rare.

Diamonds with a light yellow or brown tint are the gemstone we commonly find in jewelry.
Today, diamonds are typically grade on a scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America. The scale runs from totally colorless to light yellow. A totally colorless diamond would be graded as a “D” At the opposite end, a light yellow diamond would be graded as “Z”.
Subtle differences in color have a profound impact on price. The less color, the rarer the gemstone and the higher its value.

The color in a faint yellow or faint brown diamond is often masked by mounting the gem in a yellow gold setting. White metal often enhances a fancy colored diamond. Cutters often leave a large culet on pear, oval and marquis shaped diamonds to enhance color.

The Gemological Institute of American has an impressive flash point presentation that illustrates the color range of diamonds typically found in jewelry. I would encourage you to visit the site and view the animation.

[button link=””]GIA – Diamond Color[/button]

GiA  color grading annimation

GiA color grading annimation

The 4 C’s – Clarity


The clarity grade of a diamond is assigned by trained professionals, based on their visual examination of the gemstone under 10 power magnification. The size, location, number and color of inclusions all impact on the clarity grade.

Some ask, “If you can’t see it why is it important.”
To answer this question properly we must first examine why we facet a gemstone in the first place. A diamond is cut to maximize the return of light.

Think of it like a house of mirrors. We want the light that enters the diamond through the top to to be reflected off the facets on the bottom of the stone and then returned to our eyes. Obviously anything that gets in the way of the transmission of this light will decrease the brilliance of a diamond. The more inclusions the less brilliance.
The fewer inclusions, the rarer the gemstone and the higher the value.