Diamond Handbook 

                   A Practical Guide to Diamond Evaluation

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Packed with close-up photos, this new full-color guide shows you how to judge diamonds on the basis of how they look, rather than just on how they're graded. The Diamond Handbook is a comprehensive guide to evaluating and identifying diamonds, which is aimed at trade professionals, gemology students, serious diamond buyers, and people who want more diamond evaluation information than they can get on the Internet. Besides providing in-depth information on diamond grading, it compares the new cut grading systems and diamond light performance reports of various gem laboratories. It also discusses and illustrates new diamond treatments and lab-grown diamonds. An entire chapter is devoted to the recutting of diamonds, and another chapter covers the history of diamond cuts and illustrates antique and estate diamond jewelry styles. The first chapter gives a brief overview of diamond formation, sources, diamond properties, lighting and diamond examination techniques. Chapters on fancy-colored diamonds, fluorescence, branded diamonds and diamond grading reports are also included.

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Diamond Handbook: A Practical Guide to Diamond Evaluation, 2nd Edition

by Renťe Newman

Publisher: International Jewelry Publications

$19.95, trade paperback, 186 pages, ISBN 978-0-929975-39-9

 207 color photos, 113 b/w photos, glossary, index, 6" x 9", copyright 2008

  Reviews: 

   "Gives the trade reader virtually all the essential information needed to buy and sell diamonds. . .The book is an advance of the same authorís Diamond Ring Buying Guide (6th edition, 2002).

    The text covers everything the buyer needs to know, with useful comments on lighting and first-class black and white images that show up features better than those in colour. At all relevant points the author gives an up-to-date list of references.

    No other text in current circulation discusses re-cutting and its possible effects, and the authorís discussion of the new topic of branded diamonds conveniently brings together a number of examples of particular cuts peculiar to different firms. . . . Brief and useful notes describe the present position of synthetic gem diamond and treated diamond. Rip-offs are soberly described and sensation avoided. This is a must for anyone buying testing or valuing a polished diamond and for students in many fields."

      Journal of Gemmology  

     Impressively comprehensive. . . . a practical, well-organized and concisely written volume, packed with valuable information. . . . Newman familiarizes us with some diamond-district jargon and supplies us with a survival kit for our journey into the jewellery jungle. And of course, she walks us through the 4 Cs. In fact, Newman has given us a fifth C: Cut quality. She explains the importance of proportions and finish to the brilliance, fire and overall beauty of a diamond, and how these factors can affect the price of a stone by as much as 50%.

     As a facetor, I am always pleased to see the critical importance of good cutting not only acknowledged but emphasized. In this respect, Newman has made me very happy. She covers the history of diamond cuts and cutting styles, and even devotes an entire chapter to the re-cutting of diamonds (information I have not seen elsewhere) and how the cutter works his magic. Even more valuable, however, are two chapters about how to judge the cut of fancy shapes and round brilliants. Here the reader learns about the consequences of bad cutting (bow ties, windows, fisheyes and nailheads) and how to recognize them. The "anatomy" and proper proportions of a round brilliant are discussed in detail, along with symmetry and polish.

In addition to his fifth C, we are also given two Tís: transparency and Treatment status. Newman feels that these three factors, taken in conjunction with the traditional 4 Cís, supply us with a more complete and reliable set of pricing parameters. I agree. In particular, transparency (and its relation to clarity) has been little understood and seldom addressed in most popular publications.

     The Diamond Handbook, is subtitled How to Look at Diamonds & Avoid Ripoffs. This phrase neatly summarizes a major theme of the bookĖa theme that is both sound and refreshing. Learn to use your own eyes when judging a diamond! Donít rely overly much on lab reports. Get to know what you like (and dislike) in a diamond. Discover your own sense of beauty. She reminds us that we are buying a gemstones and not a lab report: "We need to strike a balance between using our hearts and our minds. We also should realize that our opinion of a diamond is just as important as that of a gem laboratory." Just do your homework, compare, and know what you are paying for.

     As you have probably gathered by now, I like this book a great deal. . . .The Diamond Handbook is destined to become an indispensable reference for the consumer and trade professional alike.

       Canadian Gemmologist  

    Excellent value . . . this is a handbook in a convenient size that displays clear photographs. . . It is a great grab-it-off-the-shelf-book to share with clients. . . Curious customers seeking facts and details will find the information and photographs to be organized and helpful.

The Jewelry Appraiser   

How the Diamond Handbook differs

from the Diamond Ring Buying Guide

  • Most of the photos and explanations of diamond quality are different, and there are more photos illustrating diamond cut and clarity. 

  • Thereís a chapter on diamond grading certificates and reports.

  • A chapter on antique cuts and jewelry discusses the history of diamond cuts and describes the various jewelry periods, using photo examples of diamond jewelry.

  • Thereís an entire chapter on diamond fluorescence.

  • The chapter on synthetic diamonds describes the new lab-grown diamonds and explains how fluorescence can be used to distinguish them from natural mined diamonds as well as other identification techniques. It also explains the characteristics of types 1a & b and types 2a & b diamonds.

  • A chapter on fancy colored diamonds has been included.

  • It compares the new cut grading systems and diamond light performance reports of various gem laboratories.

  • Diamond recutting is discussed, and before and after photos are provided

  • A chapter on branded diamonds shows and describes many of the branded fancy shape diamonds on the market.

  • The discussion of cut quality has been divided into two chapters, one that focuses on judging the brilliance of fancy-shaped diamonds and another that discusses how to evaluate the pavilion, crown, table, girdle, culet, symmetry and polish of round diamonds.

  • A glossary is included.

  • Overall, the Diamond Handbook is more advanced and has more in-depth information on diamond evaluation than the Diamond Ring Buying Guide.

For information on gold, platinum, settings styles, ring mountings, diamond care and detecting imitation diamonds, consult the Diamond Ring Buying Guide.

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