Storefront on Jeweler's Row in Philadelphia

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

GIA Laboratory Tour

Last week while visiting New York, I got an exclusive tour of the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) diamond grading lab.  It is a three story complex with over 200 professional graders evaluating the cut, color and clarity of diamonds, colored gemstones, and pearls.  Everyday, thousands of precious gems are sent to the GIA Lab to be evaluated by their staff of experienced graders.  The lab itself is extremely high tech.  Some of their more precise equipment is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Not to be confused with the millions of dollars in diamonds circulating their halls on a daily basis.  Everything in the building is a neutral gray color in order to maintain a standardized light environment for grading.  Even the smallest amont of colored light can pollute the lab and produce inaccurate results that could affect the accuracy of grading reports.

The most interesting area of the tour was easily the colored diamond grading area.  Here, they have master stone sets of the rarest colors of diamonds including yellows, pinks and blues.  Just one of these fancy colored stones is worth a fortune, let alone a standardized set of them used for grading purposes.  Another interesting area was where they grade diamonds based on their proportions.  Instead of spending countless hours grading each individual stone for its various angles, depth and height percentages, they have a sophisticated machine that can calculate all this information in seconds.  This machine shines a special light through the stone, and a computer analyzes its shadow and measures its proportions.  They also have special lasers that are capable of inscribing serial numbers on the girdles of diamonds.  This machine was even more impressive considering that each one of these numbers are a fraction of a millimeter in size.  However, despite the extreme sophistication of the lab's technology, the vast majority of grading is done by individual graders under a 10x power microscope.  10x magnification is the GIA standard for grading.  If a characteristic can't be seen under 10 power, then the GIA does not plot it on the grading report.

The distribution system at the GIA lab was also very interesting.  In the past, graders would simply pass off stones to the person next to them for further evaluation, which caused some issues with anonymity and subjectivity in grading reports.  Now, diamonds are sent to a distribution office within the lab each time the stone changes hands for further evaluation.  This ensures that once a diamond enters the lab, it is essentially anonymous which allows for a less biased report.  It is these types of ethical standards that set the GIA apart as the premier authority on gemstones in the world.  The lab takes exhaustive procedures to ensure consistency within their laboratory grading procedures.  

Here at Sydney Rosen Company, we deal extensively with GIA certified diamonds and gemstones.  A report from the GIA is the simplest and most accurate way to ensure that you are getting a quality diamond for you money.  A GIA report, as well as a detailed appraisal accompanies every purchase made at our store.  

For more information on diamonds and other gemstones, visit  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Bling Factor: American Gem Society's Latest Evaluation Technology

As proud members of the American Gem Society the staff at the Sydney Rosen Company are trained in the use of assessing a diamonds cut using the latest gemological technology.  Cut is what makes a diamond sparkle and most diamonds are not well cut.  This is simply because the diamond cutter made compromises to get more weight retention from the rough crystal. The typical jewelry showroom uses high intensity lighting that is very confusing and makes it almost impossible for the consumers to judge the true sparkle factor of their diamond.  It’s why many customers are disappointed that when they get their diamond home it doesn’t look the same as it did in the store.  Sydney Rosen Company is different.  The lighting that we use is full spectrum fluorescent day light.  These lights duplicate a gemstones appearance as it would look in natural daylight.  Most stores use either harsh halogen incandescent lighting or  intense LED lights that reflect off the surface of the diamond that make even the most poorly cut diamonds have an exaggerated  sparkle effect that is unnatural. 

Using the newest technology called ASET (Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology) and the “Presentation ASET tool” The diamond experts at the Sydney Rosen Company will show you exactly how well your diamond will sparkle.  It’s called a diamonds “Light Performance” and it’s only available to American Gem Society member jewelers.  For more information be sure to call or email David Rosen.  David is a Graduate Gemologist, Master Gemologist Appraiser of the American Society of Appraiser and a Registered Jeweler of the American Gem Society. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Website

Sydney Rosen Company is proud to announce the successful launch of our new and improved e-commerce enabled website.  Our revamped web address is still a useful source of information on diamonds and precious gems, but with the capability for you to purchase merchandise as well.  Everything from diamond rings, earrings, bracelets and pendants, to pearl jewelry, gemstone jewelry, gold and loose diamonds can be purchased from our secure site. We also give you the option to design your own diamond jewelry!  Just select a stone from our extensive diamond inventory and choose the piece of jewelry you want to put it in.  Many items are also available to be viewed in-store before a purchase is made.  The new has thousands of items available for purchase, including many recognized watch brands such as Rolex, Movado, Hamilton, Swiss Army, and Polanti.  Or you can browse our in-store brands available at our showroom in Philadelphia.  Don't delay, visit us online at, or at our flagship store, the largest fine gem and jewelry showroom on Philadelphia's Jeweler's Row.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Precise White Gold

White gold, which is one of the most popular precious metals used in fine jewelry, is actually created by combining yellow gold with some other white metal (usually nickel) to create an alloy.  However, the white gold jewelry you see in many showrooms does not start out looking pure white.  Most white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium to enhance its color, and give it a vibrant chrome look.  The downside to this process is that the thin layer of rhodium is not permanent.  In fact, to maintain its appearance, most white gold jewelry needs to be re-dipped in rhodium every 6-12 months.  This can become very inconvenient and expensive for consumers. 
Recently, a new alloy has become available that goes by the trade name Precise WhiteÒ Gold.  Although it’s exact material ingredients are a proprietary secret, this material retains its shine and luster better than any other white alloy on the market today.  It is safe for people with nickel allergies, and best of all it never needs to be re-plated.  Precise Whiteâ is used in our Promesaä collection of white gold settings, available at Sydney Rosen Company.