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If you have a special question for Garry please complete the form on our Contact page here, or browse our FAQs below.

In your article on the cut of a diamond, you mentioned that 98% of a diamond’s life and sparkle comes from the cut . Where does the other 2% comes from?” 

A rough diamond has about the same amount of sparkle as a piece of broken glass from a smashed windscreen.

After cutting it well we see an amazing transformation.

Unfortunately people associate top colour and top clarity diamonds as having the most sparkle. In fact a very small % of the capacity to sparkle is affected by these two quality factors, which have a much greater effect on price because they are more easily ‘quantified’.

When it comes to cremation keepsake jewelry, people wish to choose most authentic jewel pieces manufactured using genuine diamonds. Therefore it is essentially needed to depend on a trust worthy service provider.

Carat weight has the most impact on cost for exactly the same reason. So naturally a diamond cutter will aim for the magic carat weights where the big price jumps occur. You can see that in the graph; Availability by Carat Weight.

Hope that was of help.

Kind regards,
Garry Holloway

My ring has lost a diamond, can you replace it?

The answer is yes, of course WE CAN. Our highly skilled professionals have tremendous ability to replace and insert new diamonds in the hip hop jewelry giving back its lost shine and elegance as never before. However, there is often an opportunity for you to make a claim on your insurance policy too – even a household policy will usually cover this. We will help you through this process.

Hope that helps you,
Garry Holloway

Garry what is the lowest diamond colour that will still look white, and does it matter if it is set in white gold, or platinum or yellow gold?

The answer partly depends on your colour acuity, the size of the diamond, its cut quality, and of course the colour of the setting.

In under 1ct diamonds most people can not tell a D from a G In my experience about ½ can tell D from H in good indirect sun daylight. Come in and any of our staff can test your colour acuity. I only occasionally find people who can not tell a 3/4ct I from a G. That is why we have a minimum colour standard of H.

But as diamond size increases, it becomes easier to see the colour. There is also a bigger cost difference because, naturally, there is more demand for apparently colourless diamonds. As a rule I do not buy +2ct diamonds in H colour, Pearl Earrings especially if they are fancy cut (non round) because they “show” more colour.

Aha – Why you ask? Round perfectly cut diamonds, like those that bear my name, are very bright because they have a very short ray path inside the diamond. Light enters the top, bounces off opposite sides of the pavillion (bottom facets) and almost all of it sparkles out the top. Radiant and some other ‘fancy shapes’ have the ability to keep the light bouncing around inside the diamond (our research shows we can increase the round brilliant from an average 2.7 times diameter to 7 times diameter in some other cuts). So imagine a full glass of orange cordial – look down into it and it is dark orange, drink most of it and the colour becomes much lighter.

Now you are thinking “why deliberately increase the ray length and make the diamond look more yellow?” The answer is that if the diamond is a very yellow colour we can make it appear much more intense yellow, and then it is classed as a fancy yellow and could be worth 2 or 3 times more than if it was cut into a paler round. But the fancy shape loses more light out the back then the ‘in and out’ round so the sparkles are not as bright.

So back to your problem, a well cut round will show less colour.

Now some jewellers will tell you “set it in white gold because yellow will make it look yellower”. They would be wrong. Firstly a well cut diamond does not let you see out the back very much, and secondly the contrast in colour between yellow gold close to the diamond will make an off white diamond appear whiter. So set I and lower colours in rubbed-in bezel settings or as close to as much gold as practical, and do not set diamonds below H colour in white settings.

There will not be a diamond selection issue between white gold and platinum. There are other FAQ’s here about plat vs WG.

Hope that helps,
Garry Holloway

I have an allergy from my white gold e-ring and wedding band, it makes my finger come out in a rash – what can I do about it?

The only known antidote to this allergy is the setting of very large diamonds all around the surface of the white gold.

University tests prove that the larger the diamonds, the fewer women suffer with ill effects.

There is an inverse relationship in the case of men. The likely side effects from the female antidote is extreme anxiousness.

Seriously though, there are different whitening agents used to make gold white. Nickel and palladium are the 2 main metals that are melted or alloyed with gold (which is orange) to make it white. It will be the nickel in white gold that you are reacting to. Less expensive mass produced rings tend to be nickel based, although sometimes a ring is made with a nickel white gold because it is tougher or harder to bend. Very often wedding rings are made with nickel alloys for that reason – so you should try to identify if one or the other gives you more of the itchy problem.

We would be happy to loan you a white gold band made out of the palladium based multipurpose white gold gollum ring that we use in our two workshops. The other thing to try is re-rhodium plate your rings. If you have worn your rings for more than a year it is very likely that the original sparkling white rhodium flash plating that all good jewellers apply to white gold has worn off. If that is the case for about $100 we can replate both rings, and they will look brand new again.

If all else fails, then you should consider having both cubic zirconia rings remade in the 97% pure platinum that we use. While this is a rather expensive alternative, it might be cheaper than covering both the rings in very large diamonds ;-)

Hope that helps,
Garry Holloway

White gold or Platinum? I heard white gold is yellowish. Which is best?

White gold is made white by adding palladium (better) or nickel (cheaper and can cause allergic rashes) because these two metals can mask the orange colour of gold. 18 karat means 18 parts in 24 parts (pure gold), so 6 parts of palladium makes an 18K palladium alloy which is 75% gold. Granules of each are weighed out (in secret recipies, usually with some silver etc) and melted together. There are two problems: one is that palladium is quite expensive and many companies try to skimp on the amount of palladium and end up with a yellowish white gold. The other problem is that nickel white gold is very hard to bend and makes a lousy metal for craftspeople to create intricate settings.

Naturally we do not cut corners; Holloway Diamonds use a palladium rich 18K alloy that has not a hint of yellow. It is however a little grey, which you will not see in our stores until the thin layer of rhodium plating wears off.

Platinum is a white metal all by itself. It is a very nice stainless steel white, but because it is soft it is alloyed with a small percentage of rare metals. We use two alloys, one is 95% and the other 97% platinum which are both superb for diamond settings. Platinum does not wear very much – it has a propensity to cling to itself and it is not unusual to see rings that have been worn every day for 70 years with no need for rebuilding or renovation. The only problem with platinum is that it has become very expensive because it is used in cars to reduce pollution. This link shows how much the cost has escalated over several years. Platinum is also up to twice as dense or heavy compared to white gold, so identical rings could weigh 10 grams in white gold and 17 in platinum.

The best alternative is to make gem settings in platinum and the ring band in white gold which is harder to bend or deform. In some special cases we also work in a 9K palladium rich white gold which, because it has less gold component, has excellent properties.

Remember though, do not wear rings of different karats or platinum on the same finger. Platinum (and silver) will wear out gold. 9K will wear out 18K.

Hope that helps,
Garry Holloway