They told me they were "nice" diamonds


5th August 2017

Let`s look at some diamonds described by a salesperson as "Nice" that I recently remodelled into a new ring.

The design

My wife`s friend in Japan asked us to remake one of her rings.  The plan was to use some diamonds from an existing ring to create a pendant and ring set.  I had a rough idea of diamond sizes from a photo emailed to me and my wife designed this ring.


The golden rule of remodel quoting broken

We had designed and quoted on a ring using materials that were, other than an unclear photo,  unseen.

I do not do quotes  for remodelling jobs where I cannot physically see and measure the materials. It leads to problems and is really a waste of time in many cases for the customer and myself......but.......I made an exception for my wife`s friend.

You can see where this is heading. As my granddaughter would say "silly Grandpa!".

The unsetting

The quote was accepted and the ring made it`s way from Japan to me and as soon as I saw the ring I noticed two things:

  1. The diamonds varied in both shape and size by more than 20%
  2. The diamonds were I1/I2 or lower clarity
Visible spots of black carbon in the diamonds

Visible spots of black carbon in the diamonds

The variance in diamond sizes meant that we would need to modify the settings a little. Not such a big deal but extra work that I would not need to do with calibrated sets of diamonds that I would normally supply myself. 

Nice = obviously flawed diamonds

The second and more concerning issue was the clarity of the diamonds. The customer had been told that the diamonds were "nice". Everything is relative but "nice" is not a word I would use to describe these diamonds.

The diamonds had some clouds, feathers, needles and surface cavities that were clearly visible to me with the naked eye. The most obvious flaws were the spots of black carbon. They were quite white in colour but all the inclusions made them look cloudy.

The next photo taken on a black background hides the carbon spots but highlights the other inclusions in the diamonds. In the second diamond from the left you can see that there is a large flaw in the side of it.

Clouds, feathers, needles and surface cavities.

Clouds, feathers, needles and surface cavities.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) defines I2 grade clarity diamonds as follows:

  • Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

Making the ring

After passing on this news to my customer she now believes that she was told by another jeweller that the diamonds were "Nice" (rather than the truth) in an attempt to get her to remake the unwanted ring with them.

People generally like to think the best of others and she had trusted their "professional" description, which was really sales talk.

If she had known the truth about the diamond quality she may or may not have proceeded with the remodel but she would have been able to make an informed decision. Something I like my customers to be able to do.

For the ring I selected the two best diamonds of the seven. It was created in 18ct yellow and Palladium white gold alloys. Low profile overlapping hearts wrapped in a diamond set band.


She loves the ring despite the diamond flaws. That said there will be no more quoting on remodels using materials that I cannot see or measure.

I would have really loved this customer to have had the option to not proceed way before we had done all the work on the design and quoting, something that often takes longer than actually making the piece of jewellery.

Rings, Remodel, InfoDavid Taylor