Hand-Matching Diamonds: True Quality is Revealed in the Details

It’s usually under closer examination that one understands the quality of a particular item.  At Shane Co. we encourage you to take a closer look when you are shopping for a diamond engagement ring.  In fact, we educate you as to the various qualities of diamonds and demonstrate the differences by way of examples.  Once you understand the various differences in diamond quality characteristics you are prepared to make an intelligent and informed decision.  I have worked for the company for over 20 years and my responsibilities include the purchasing of the smaller accent diamonds that are used in our diamond engagement rings.   These smaller diamonds are commonly referred to as diamond melee (pronounced mel-e).  While the larger center stones, be it diamond or colored stones enjoy “center stage”, I would like to call to attention the “supporting cast”, diamond melee.

The overall quality characteristics are the same as those in our larger center diamonds, so if you are a Shane Co. customer, then you already have the education and understanding to know the difference between high quality and poor quality.  (If you haven’t had the experience of having a trained professional show you diamond quality differences using loose diamonds to illustrate, I would encourage you to do so at our Nashville location. It’s an experience not equaled at other Nashville jewelry stores.  My primary consideration when purchasing our diamond melee is matching.  Many jewelry makers are content to match in shape and size range when implementing melee into a white gold engagement ring, or a platinum engagement ring.  At Shane Co. it is much more involved.  Let’s start with shape. A marquise, for example, can be long and slender, or short and wide; depth is also an issue.  We measure down to 1/10 of a millimeter in many cases.  Color is certainly an important consideration.  Clarity must be uniform as well.  The part of the matching process that requires more artistry is the consideration of make.  Make, for those of you who have not had the Shane Co. experience, refers to the overall quality of diamond cut and polish.  As those who have seen the difference can attest, the differences can be huge.  Not only does make affect the overall beauty, it also affects the overall value.  At Shane Co., our rigid standards mean I  select only the top quality makes, but they must match.  The number of stones required to meet all of the above mentioned criteria is tremendous.   Our sorters and graders review thousands of stones on a daily basis to achieve the final results that our standards demand.  I am glad to say that over the years we have established very good relationships with the world’s diamond manufacturers to help us meet our requirements.  Going to the source is important for getting the best price, but with regard to getting diamond melee that matches, it is a distinct advantage.  The reason is that there is uniformity. It starts with the rough diamonds that they acquire and continues through their finishing and polishing.

Shane Co. has a trade-in program.  Trades can be internal, meaning, for example, that a customer might want to upgrade a pair of diamond earrings that they purchased from us.  Or in some cases it might be an outside trade, meaning that a customer might want to trade-in a piece of jewelry purchased from another jeweler.  In many cases the stones that we acquire from the outside trades fall below our standards.  This leads me into another part of my responsibilities at Shane Co., that is liquidating the inferior diamonds.  Maybe I’ll save describing that process for another time.  Let it suffice for now to say that these diamonds are utilized by other jewelers, they are not thrown away.

I encourage you to spend time comparing the “side stones” (melee) as well as the center stone at Shane Co. and other Nashville or Louisville jewelers. You will be pleased that you have purchased true quality. If you compare our value with that of our competitors, will realize that Shane Co. truly offers the best value for your money.  Most importantly you will be able to make purchasing decisions based on first- hand knowledge.

Leave a Reply
You May Also Like