Queen of Color Diamonds

Where fascination and education about Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds meet

Month: September, 2013

GIA Alumni Gem Identification Event at The Bourse

Last night I attended GIA Alumni’s Gem Identification evening at the Diamond Bourse of Canada.  The concept of the event was to look at a number of gemstones up close and personal.  Some gems were marked and some weren’t and you had to figure out what they were based on a variety of equipment, charts and books as reference material.

It was so much fun to meet the gang from the Alumni Chapter and of course meeting Leila Haikonen, the General Manager of the Diamond Bourse of Canada.


Nicole with Leila Haikonen, General Manager of the Diamond Bourse of Canada


Here I am with Lanis Mosher

I will admit I am a novice when it comes to gemstones, so it was so it was quite nice to get to see new stones and of course the amazing equipment.   I think that for me, looking at stones in a new way was the best part.  For instance, I really enjoyed using the gem refractometer.


And here I am using a spectroscope for the first time.  Very cool to be able to see the different colors in a gemstone even though the colors are so close to one another.


And then there are the qualities used to determine a gemstone.  With diamonds, they are either real or treated so there isn’t much detection necessary.  Gems have the refractive index, and an array of variables to consider (doubling, descriptive elements).  All I could think about was – how hard is this lab course going to be when I go to GIA in the spring.?

Ok, so I have to be honest…. I enjoyed the evening, meeting everyone in person and being around other industry enthusiasts, but honestly I didn’t have the same fascination or appreciation of gemstones, that I do for a diamond, particularly a natural fancy color diamond.  I wanted to be as interested or as excited as the other GIA Alumni members but I lost a bit of interest after I looked at the first few gems (Garnet, Beryl and Zircon) .  Sure, I like rubies, sapphires  and emeralds as much as the next girl but there is something about the dispersion of a well cut diamond, the facet arrangement and the ray of spectral colors that bounce off of a diamond that is so beautiful and exciting to me particularly when it has a highly saturated hue. – not to mention modifying colors which is an entirely other subject that fascinates me.

I also found it interesting that I naturally gravitated towards smaller well cut gems with high concentration of body color: blues, pinks and greens.   It felt very comfortable for me to pick up a .26 vivid green Garnet and examine it under the microscope and jewelers loupe like I was sitting in my office at work.  I suppose I’ve been pretty spoiled by looking at the most magnificent diamonds every day that it’s just hard to look at anything else!

Having said that, it was a great night and I’m totally looking forward to the next GIA event!

My father – the color diamond perfectionist

In preparing for a seminar that I’m giving this evening, one of the topics is about how we select our color diamonds and about my training in the industry.  This really got me to thinking…

I am a GIA Diamonds Graduate and I’ve also had the privilege of being mentored by a Diamantaire in the industry who comes from a long line of cutters in Israel.  But the single most important influence and training I have acquired is by working closely with my father and President of Guildhall Diamonds Inc. for the past 10 years.

What I love about my father is not only his exceptional eye for beautiful diamonds but his incredible work ethic and unwavering commitment to only purchasing the highest quality Natural Fancy Color Diamonds for our clients.  It is this passion and unwavering dedication that is so inspiring to me.  He never settles for anything other than the most exceptional diamonds with the utmost brilliance, fire, symmetry and above all else, remarkable color.  He will only purchase Internally Flawless Yellows.  Pinks must be VS, Blues have to be Flawless or Internally Flawless and on and on.

Even when my father is offered “deals” in the industry, he will always pass if the diamond is less than top clarity grades.  If the color is a light fancy, he will pass too.  In fact, he has a way of finding diamonds with the most saturated hues possible.  The fancies he selects always seem to look intense, and the intense diamonds he finds tend to look vivid.  Vivid diamonds at Guildhall are naturally the most concentrated and saturated color possible.

I would like to think that having a keen eye and appreciation for beauty is innate and even inherited!  I know how a diamond calls me and how I can pick a Guildhall diamond out of a parcel of diamonds but I also know that this has a lot to do with working alongside my father every day and following his lead.

What I do know is that I will pass these exceptional values and passion on to my children who already at such a young age want to follow in the family business and I will  teach them in the same way my father has taught me – by doing and being exceptional.