TOP 5 Reasons for Choosing Maharani Jewels

17 Jan

Each time a client makes a purchase from me, I am always curious to ask them what exactly it was that made them choose Maharani Jewels for their jewelry purchase instead of online purchasing, or any one of Vancouver’s other jewelers.

And as a result of the feedback from over 50 clients, I have been able to compile a TOP 5 list of why Maharani Jewels should be your #1 choice of jeweler:

1)   Phenomenal Pricing: Maharani Jewels has a direct-buy relationship with diamond and jewelry manufacturers in Belgium and New York which eliminates the middle man, and allows for Maharani Jewels to sell the highest quality of diamonds and designer jewelry at up to 70% off retail pricing.  Furthermore, Maharani Jewels operates out of a small showroom, where overhead costs are negligible when compared to the elaborate and lavish showrooms of most jewelry retailers.

2)   Knowledge and Education:  When working with Maharani Jewels, you are working with highly experienced, trained, and knowledgeable experts.  Not only does Maharani have an in-house graduate gemologist, but also an accredited jewelry professional, a jewelry designer, and an appraiser who goes through a meticulous diamond education to ensure that you understand exactly what you are dealing with, and are truly comfortable making a purchase.

3)   Exceptional one-on-one service:  Have you ever stood in line or waited a long time just to be served by a sales associate in a jewelry store?  You will never have to face this situation at Maharani Jewels because you are booked into a 1 hr time slot with the expert where all aspects of your celebration are discussed in utmost detail and with utmost professionalism and patience.

4)   Transparency: Have you ever wondered whether the diamond you hand selected for your engagement ring was not the same one that got set into the ring that you paid thousands of dollars for?  Maharani Jewels completely eliminates the possibility of this ever occurring not only because it is a company that is built on the foundation of integrity, but also because the showroom is equipped with professional gemological equipment.  For example, when you select a diamond for an engagement ring, both the gemologist and the client examine the diamond under a gemological microscope to identify the key characteristics, which are unique to that gem.  Then at the time of pick-up, the gem is re-examined, which is now in a setting, for those same characteristics to ensure that the gem is one and the same.  Furthermore, Maharani Jewels only deals with certified diamonds, which gives clients the piece of mind that they are purchasing a piece that has been backed up by the world’s most renowned gemological laboratories.

5)   The Maharani process: Have you ever been curious to know what happens between the time you come in for a consultation for a jewelry customization to the time you pick up your finished product? At Maharani jewels, you are an integral part of the creative process!  This process begins with a consultation, which involves diamond and jewelry education, as well as a design survey which leads to a preliminary sketch of a design you may have in mind.  After a follow-up process, which may involve some changes and modifications, that sketch is transformed into a 3-D computer CAD image, as well as a physical wax of the piece so you can get one step closer to envisioning the finished product.  And last but not least is the finished product!

Blog by Sheetal Gupta, president, gemologist, and accredited jewelry professional at Maharani Jewels.  Visit www.maharanijewels.com for diamond education and information on jewelry Vancouver

Part 4—Clarity: How Understanding the 4 C’s can Save you Thousands of Dollars!

30 Jul

When my clients come to see me in my Maharani Jewels showroom, they are often marveled by all the gemological equipment and

Gemscope

instruments that are set up.  As a gemologist, such instruments are imperative to my understanding and grading of diamond quality.  One particular piece of equipment which attracts the most attention is a gemological microscope, which is also called a ‘gemscope.’   A portable version which I keep around my neck

Diamond Loupe

at all times is called a ‘loupe’.  A ‘gemscope’ or loupe helps to identify a diamond’s internal characteristics, also known as its clarity.

By definition, clarity is a gemstone’s relative freedom from inclusions and blemishes.  Blemishes are clarity characteristics that are confined to a gemstone’s surface, while an inclusion is enclosed within a gemstone or may even extend into the gemstone from the surface.  Both of these types of clarity characteristics are easier to identify under magnification.

As we move towards the right of the clarity scale, the inclusions within a diamond go from non-existent, to minute, to minor, to noticeable, and finally to obvious

Diamonds are graded using 10x magnification.  The rarest diamonds of all are those that exhibit no blemishes and inclusions under 10x magnification and are rated Flawless or Internally Flawless.  The most common and abundant diamonds in nature are those that exhibit obvious blemishes and inclusions under 10x magnification and are rated Included.  With all other variables kept constant, a 1.00 ct round brilliant cut diamond of the highest clarity (Flawless) is approximately 17x more valuable than a 1.00 ct diamond of the lowest clarity (I3).

So given this vast difference in value, what is the best choice of clarity?  To help guide you to make informed and educated decisions about your choice of a diamond’s clarity,  I have made a list of the TOP 4 most important things to know when it comes to a diamond’s clarity: 

GIA’s color scale goes from Flawless to the far left, to Included on the far right

1.  The primary difference between an SI2 clarity diamond, and a VVS2 clarity diamond, for example, is rarity.  Though under a microscope at 10x magnification the inclusions of the SI2 diamond are noticeable, they are not visible to the naked eye.  This becomes important when trying to decide on which clarity grade to choose, because SI2 diamonds are just as beautiful as VS or VVS graded diamonds, but not nearly as expensive.

2.  Each of the clarity characteristics of a diamond have been given a term to describe and identify it.  These inclusions and blemishes are marked down on the diamond plot which is found on a GIA certificate.  This plot helps us identify the diamond, as every diamond has a plot that is unique to it.

3.  There are 5 factors that determine the overall effect of the characteristics on a clarity grade:

a)  Size: The effect of size is obvious since larger inclusions affect clarity more than smaller ones.

b) Number: The number of inclusions is important; however it is possible to have several small unnoticeable inclusions which don’t affect the clarity as much as 1 or 2 larger inclusions which can set the grade.

c)   Position: Where an inclusion is located is important because one that is located right in the centre of the stone will be much more visible than one that is located towards the edge.

d)  Nature: Certain inclusions are more hazardous than others based on how deep and far the extend in the diamond, and therefore impact the grading.

e)  Relief: The darker the inclusions, the more visible they are, and will therefore have a greater impact on clarity.

4.  Though assigned the same clarity grade, some diamonds can be classified as ‘top’ clarity stones, or ‘lucky’ clarity stones.  A ‘top’ clarity stones is one that may have been assigned an SI1 grading, but is actually very close to a VS2, whereas a ‘lucky’ clarity stone is one that has also been assigned an SI1 clarity, but is actually closer to an SI2 grading.

As a gemologist who has worked with thousands of diamonds over the years, I am sensitive and knowledgeable about these slight differences and am always striving to provide my clients wit the top-most quality diamonds in their grade.  Therefore, my diamond inventory will always have an abundance of ‘top’ clarity stones.

With the information above, you will certainly be in a better position to make an informed purchase, as well as one that can potentially save you a lot of money!

With this ends my blog series on the 4 C’s which I hope you have found both educational and useful.

Blog by Sheetal Gupta, president, gemologist, and accredited jewelry professional at Maharani Jewels.  Visit www.maharanijewels.com for diamond education and information on jewelry Vancouver

Part 3—Color: How Understanding the 4 C’s can Save you Thousands of Dollars!

19 Jun

Recently I had a client who came to my Maharani Jewels showroom inquiring about engagement rings.

Maharani Jewels is equipped with a Diamondlite which creates an ideal color-grading environment with its daylight-equivalent light and neutral display tray

After doing a lot of research and meeting with several jewelers, he was certain that he wanted to purchase an ‘E’ colored diamond. When I asked him why, he told me that he didn’t want to see

In the normal color range, the closer a diamond gets to colorless, the higher its price per-carat

any yellow in the diamond, and he felt that anything below an  ‘E’ color  would show a tint

of yellow.  So, I showed him a series of diamonds under my professional DiamondLite

ranging from the color D to L. I simply asked him that at which point did he start to see a tint of yellow.  He pointed at the ‘K’ colored diamond and was shocked when I told him so because in his mind a diamond started showing a tint of yellow at an F or G.  This revelation saved him nearly $6000.00 because he opted for an ‘I’ colored diamond!  As one can imagine, he was delighted with the savings!

So to help guide you to make informed and educated decisions about your choice of a diamond’s color,  I have made a list of the TOP 5 most important things to know when it comes to a diamond’s color:

1.  Diamonds in the D-Z color scale fall in the normal color range in which the colorless diamonds are the most rare and hence more valuable, while the ones that have tints of light yellow or brown are more common and much less valuable.  Diamonds that

fall outside of this normal color range are called fancy colored diamonds.  Examples would be pink, blue, orange, yellow, green, and etc.  Diamonds in this fancy colored category are more rare, and hence much more valuable than diamonds that fall in the normal color range.

The above 5.50 ct Fancy Vivid Orange diamond is worth $1.3 million whereas the significantly larger 28 ct near colorless diamond is valud at $750,000

2.  The letters in the D to Z scale don’t describe actual colors; rather, each letter represents a range of color that is based on a

This color globe shows the relationship between hue, tone, and saturation

combination of its tone (darkness or lightness) and its saturation (intensity).  This combination of the two is referred to as the depth of color, which is a measure of how noticeable the color is.  This is important because although two stones could be assigned a ‘G’ color grade, for example, they can still differ slightly in their depth of color.  As an expert gemologist, I always examine several diamonds of the same color grade so I can pick the one which shows the least amount of color in order to provide my client with the best possible diamond for value.

3.  It is easier to see color in larger stones than smaller ones.  For example, a slight tint of yellow is not as easily visible in a 0.25 ct diamond as it is in a 1.50 ct diamond.  When purchasing a diamond, just keep this in mind if you are being shown significantly smaller sample diamonds to help you determine your choice of color.

Though the color of the above two diamonds is the same, the yellow gold setting masks the slight tint of yellow, whereas the one with the white metal makes the color more obvious

4.  The mounting of a diamond affects the apparent color of a diamond.  In a white gold setting, a diamond in the J-K range looks faint yellow, whereas that same diamond in a yellow gold setting looks nearly colorless. In addition, when judged under gemological equipment and perfect lighting conditions, loose diamonds will show more color than a diamond that has been mounted and is worn as a ring.

5.  Diamonds of different shapes project color differently.  For example, it is easier to see color in emerald or princess cut diamonds.  Again, this is important information because an ‘I’ colored diamond in a round brilliant shape may look nearly colorless, but when seen as an emerald cut, the tint of yellow is much more visible.

With the information above, you will certainly be in a better position to make an informed purchase, as well as one that can potentially save you a lot of money!

Stay tuned for the final part of my blog series on the 4 C’s in which I will take about clarity, and share many more industry secrets that can save you thousands of dollars!

Blog by Sheetal Gupta, president, gemologist, and accredited jewelry professional at Maharani Jewels.  Visit www.maharanijewels.com for diamond education and information on jewelry Vancouver

Part 2—Cut: How Understanding the 4 C’s can Save you Thousands of Dollars!

21 May

I recently had a client come into my business, Maharani Jewels to set his 1.01 carat round diamond into an engagement ring for his soon-to-be fiancée. He was delighted about the ‘deal’ he got on the diamond based on its high color, clarity, and carat weight.  Until he examined the diamond in proper lighting, where he quickly realized that something wasn’t right.  The diamond wasn’t as ‘sparkly’ as he always imagined diamonds to be.

Some combinations of diamond proportions result in superior displays of fire, brilliance, and scintillation.

The above example is of a client who purchased a diamond that was poorly cut.  The client had not been informed nor educated about the relationship of a diamond’s cut to its beauty and value.  What this meant for the client was that he paid nearly 30% more for a diamond he thought he was getting a great deal on, and that lacked the sparkle and brilliance associated with well cut diamonds.

So to help prevent you from making the mistake the above client made, I have made a list of the TOP 5 most important things to know when it comes to a diamond’s cut:

1)  The cut of any diamond has three attributes: brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond is moved).  All 3 of these attributes bring out the beauty of a diamond.

2)  A diamond can be cut into virtually any shape possible.  The standard round brilliant is the shape

A diamond can be cut into virtually any shape.

used in most diamond jewelry. All others are known as fancy shapes. Examples include the princess, marquise, pear, oval, emerald, hearts, cushions, triangles and etc.  It is important to understand how differently light interacts and behaves in diamonds of different shapes.  The round brilliant, in particular, delivers excellent brilliance, fire, and scintillation when compared to any other cut.

3) Cut also refers to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish. For example, if you look at a side

The crown, girdle, and pavilion make up the major components of a diamond.

view of the standard round brilliant, the major components, from top to bottom,

are the crown, girdle, and pavilion. A round brilliant cut diamond has 57 or 58 facets, with the 58th being a tiny flat facet at the bottom of the pavilion that’s known as the culet. The large, flat facet on the top is the table. The proportions of a diamond refer to the relationships between table size, crown angle and pavilion depth and ultimately affect the stone’s interaction with light.

4) In 2005, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) introduced a diamond cut grading system for round diamonds in the D-Z color range This system assigns an overall diamond cut grade ranging from Excellent to Poor.  And excellent cut diamond is one that has been cut to perfection, with maximum light return.

5) The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A

In a well-proportioned diamond, a high percentage of the light rays reflect back into the eye as brightness. If the diamond is too shallow or too deep, a high percentage of the light rays exit through the pavilion without contributing to brightness.pavilion depth that’s too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through

pavilion depth that’s too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through

the sides or the bottom of the stone. A well-cut diamond, however, will direct light in and out of the diamond in the most optimal manner.

When purchasing a diamond, it is crucial that you understand the impact of cut on both the value and beauty of a diamond.

Stay tuned for the upcoming parts of my blog series on the 4 C’s in which I will take about color, and clarity, and share many more industry secrets that will save you thousands of dollars!

Blog by Sheetal Gupta, president, gemologist, and accredited jewelry professional at Maharani Jewels.  Visit www.maharanijewels.com for diamond education and information on jewelry Vancouver

Part 1—Carat Weight: How Understanding the 4 C’s can Save you Thousands of Dollars!

2 Apr

When I took my first course on Diamond grading many years ago, I thought that understanding carat weight would be a complete no-brainer.  The bigger the diamond looked to my eye, the higher the carat weight, and therefore the more expensive it must be.  However, I soon found out that carat is actually a measure of weight, rather than size, and a larger diamond doesn’t necessary mean that it is more expensive.  Surprising isn’t it?

One carat equals 0.20 grams, and therefore a 5 carat diamond weighs 1.00 grams.  Also, for the ease of measurement, a carat is divided into 100 equal units called points.  Therefore, 50 points is equal to ½ a carat, and 75 points is equal to ¾ of a carat.

Electronic scales are extremely accurate and sensitive and measure diamonds to the nearest thousandth of a carat

Diamonds are weighed using an electronic microbalance that captures their weight to the fifth decimal place. It is imperative that you know the exact carat weight of a diamond you purchase, because even a small difference in carat weight can make a big difference in price.  This is often tricky because most jewelers will sell you a ready-made ring, which makes it impossible to weigh the diamond by itself unless it is taken out of the setting. At Maharani Jewels each diamond is weighed on a professional microbalance to ensure accurate measurement and complete transparency and disclosure of a diamond’s characteristics.

Though one may think that the larger diamonds is worth more than the smaller one, the smaller one is actually 5 x greater in value due to its higher color and clarity

It is a common misconception that the larger a diamond is, the more expensive it is.  Differences in color and clarity, which I will talk about in my next blogs, can make a small diamond much more valuable than a large one.

Furthermore, certain diamonds of the exact same carat weight may look bigger or smaller in size when you look at them side by side. This is because of the way the weight is distributed in the diamond while it was being cut.  And since we always tend to look at diamonds from the top view, diamonds that are cut with a larger circumference (but a shallower depth) will look bigger than diamonds that are cut with a smaller circumference (but a deeper depth) even though their carat weight is exactly the same.  However, having a disproportionate cut will have an adverse affect on both the diamond’s beauty and value. I will be talking more about this in my next blog on Diamond Cut.

The ring with the 23.34 ct centre stone is worth over $350,000, whereas the necklace which contains 25 cts of diamonds is valued at $25,000

Most jewelers sell jewelry based on the total carat weight of a piece, which means the weight of all the individual diamonds put together.  However, large diamonds are much more rare than small ones, so two jewelry items with similar total weights might have very different prices. For example, with the quality being the same, an engagement ring that consists of a 0.75 carat centre stone and 0.26 carats of side diamonds (but is stated by the jeweler as being 1.01 carats of diamonds), is completely different from an engagement ring that consists of just a centre stone weighing 1.01 carats.  The engagement ring that consists of just the 1.01 carat diamond is worth almost 50% higher than the first!  Another example is featured in the image to the left.

Though you can hardly see the difference in size between these diamonds which all weigh around 1.00 ct, their prices are very different. The ones that weigh just over a carat are worth much more than the ones that weigh just under a carat

Lastly, though the visible difference between a diamond that is slightly under a carat and one that is slightly over a carat is very minute, the difference in value (given the same quality) can be up to 20%!  Such diamonds of incredible value are known as ‘magic sizes.’  This can certainly help those of you that have a specific price range in mind and want the look of a bigger diamond, but do not want to alter the color, clarity, and cut.

Stay tuned for the upcoming parts of my blog series on the 4 C’s in which I will take about cut, color, and clarity, and share many more industry secrets that will save you thousands of dollars!

Blog by Sheetal Gupta, president, gemologist, and accredited jewelry professional at Maharani Jewels.  Visit www.maharanijewels.com for diamond education and information on jewelry Vancouver

Top 3 Things to Look for on a Diamond Certificate

12 Jan

For many individuals, purchasing a diamond is both the most romantic and nerve-racking purchase of their lives.  But most cannot differentiate between a real diamond versus a fake one or differentiate between qualities. To top it off, a glut of information, opinions and perspectives on the Internet confuses rather than clarifies the buying process. Consequently, it becomes all the more important to have proof of a diamond’s identity, authenticity, and value.  And this is where a diamond certificate, or diamond quality report comes into play.  A certificate precisely evaluates a diamond’s individual characteristics and is an important tool to identify a stone. Purchasing a diamond without a certificate can be a very risky proposal because unscrupulous jewelers will inflate the grade of a diamond to the uninformed buyer.  And for the other jewelers who do sell diamonds with certificates, there can be up to a 50% difference in the value of a diamond that has been graded by one lab, versus another. This is because there are dozens of gemological labs all over the world whose reputations as well as grading systems vary.  In other words, one lab may claim the grade of the same diamond to be considerably higher than another lab simply because one is less stringent than the other. One must also be aware of counterfeit certificates that are becoming more and more common, or being overly dependent on certificates. Much like the value of gold, all diamonds have a value that has been established by international trade networks and organizations. Therefore, be cautious of a ‘good deal’ when preparing to purchase a diamond because if a deal looks too good to be true, it may be because you are not purchasing the diamond that you think you are.

Below are the Top Three things every diamond buyer should look for on a diamond certificate:

1)   The Laboratory that the diamond has been graded by.  Below is the ranking and a brief description of North America’s most prominent gem laboratories:

i)              Founded in 1931, the Gemological Institute of America (also known as GIA) is an independent, non-profit research and

Example of GIA Diamond Certificate

educational institution that has been trusted internationally to provide accurate, consistent, and unbiased diamond evaluations. It is considered to be number one worldwide. GIA is credited with standardizing the grading industry by introducing widely used grading techniques including “the “4Cs” of diamond grading: carat, color, cut and clarity. Depending on the size of diamond, as many as 40 highly skilled and trained diamond graders/gemologists scrutinize each stone. [1]

Example of AGS Diamond Quality Certificate

ii)             Founded in 1996, the American Gem Society Laboratory (also known as AGS) is a not-for-profit trade organization that is known throughout the diamond industry for setting high standards in its cut grading and for grading round “ideal cut” or “triple zero cut” diamonds. AGS was also first to create an objective and repeatable cut grade method for both round and fancy shaped diamonds. Two graders evaluate each stone, and are required to be GIA diamond grading graduates to be employed by AGS.[2] Though reputable, AGS is slightly more lenient in its grading than GIA, particularly with its color and clarity grading.  It is also not as well-known, which results in a lower resale value internationally when compared with a GIA certified diamond.

iii)           Founded in Europe in 1974, EGL USA and EGL International are independent gemological laboratories.  EGL USA has locations within North America, while EGL International has locations internationally. EGL is known grading diamonds

Example of EGL USA Diamond Certificate

weighing less than one carat and for establishing the “SI3” rating for diamond clarity.  Lower cost of certification as well as its swift service proves it to be extremely popular.  It is, however, the least strict of certificates when compared to GIA or AGS.  Furthermore, differences in the guidelines used by EGL USA versus EGL International gives rise to inconsistency.  Overall, it is seen that diamonds graded by EGL are approximately least 2-3 color and clarity grades better than a GIA certified diamond.[3]

2)   Holograms, security screen, and other security features that confirm the authenticity of the diamond certificate.  Be certain to check for the diamond laboratory’s trademarks and security features to verify its authenticity.  Many certified diamonds have the certificate number inscribed on the

hologram, security screen, and micro-print lines on a GIA certificate

girdle (middle ridge of a diamond) so have the jeweler show you the inscription under the microscope for verification.  The last thing you want is to purchase a diamond that has a counterfeit certificate with an overly inflated grading.

3)   How the grading of 4 C’s (Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat) relates to the actual diamond being purchased.  In addition to having a diamond certificate by a reputable lab such as GIA, it is equally important to verify the information on the certificate by examining the diamond under professional gem instruments, and with the guidance of a gemologist.  For example, although a diamond certificate will make comments and show markings of a diamond’s internal characteristics (also called inclusions), it is a one-dimensional rendering that cannot compare with the actual viewing of the diamond under a professional gem microscope. Given the same overall clarity, cut and color grade, diamonds graded by GIA will still show differences that affect its value.  For example, if five diamonds have been given a SI1 clarity grading by GIA, each one will look different based on how the inclusions (internal characteristics) appear.  For example, one SI1 clarity and GIA certified diamond may have several smaller white markings spread along the edge of the diamond, whereas another SI1 clarity diamond may have a larger, centre black crystal inclusion that is considerably more unattractive than the former.  Such unattractive GIA certified diamonds are frequently rejected by high-quality jewelers and often end up being sold for a lower value through Online Diamond Sellers, or Diamond wholesalers.

Visit maharanijewels.com for diamond education or information on jewelry Vancouver

Maharani Jewels is front row and centre

21 Nov

image from countdown events

On November the 6th, 2011, Maharani Jewels exhibited at two of Vancouver’s most prestigious wedding shows, displaying her exquisite bridal and exclusive jewelry line.

At Crème de la Crème Grand Wedding Showcase, the vibe was oh so glamorous and delicious! Gorgeous fashion

Maharani Models wearing one-of-a-kind Maharani Jewelry

shows, celebrity guest Preston Bailey, cakes, cupcakes, and of coarse Maharani’s Oh La La collection of exquisite diamond and colored stones collections that were being unveiled in
Canada for the first time ever. Adorned by our gorgeous models, the pieces were a huge hit. And…a remarkable DRAW for a gorgeous diamond key necklace embedded with 0.13 cts of diamonds and

$1000 Diamond Key Necklace won by Suki Johal!

valued at $1000.00.  Congratulations to Suki Johal who is the lucky recipient of this incredible draw!

At the Urban Wedding Show, held at the Renaissance Hotel Vancouver, Maharani Jewels was the only jeweler in the entire show.  With over 1000 guests in attendance, we were busy, busy, busy!  A large LCD was on display with the Maharani collection being

Maharani Jewels at the Urban Wedding Fair

showcased, and the raffle for a $300 Maharani gift certificate was a huge attraction.  Congratulations to Tishia Baker who is the lucky draw winner!

Stay tuned for next month’s Maharani newsletter that will feature more prizes and exciting promotions and congratulations again to this month’s winners! Please visit www.maharanijewels.com for more information.

How I found my groove at the Diamond Dealer’s Club

18 Nov

After swiping my access card, I was ushered into an elevator with older, orthodox Jewish men wearing white dress shirts with all

photo by brett.wagner

black coats, trousers, hats, shoes and long beards.

I was in the elevator of New York’s renowned Diamond Dealer’s Club (DDC), the largest diamond trade organization in the U.S. and one of the leading diamond exchanges in the world.  Located in a one block radius between Fifth and Sixth Avenue of New York’s bustling diamond district on 47th Street, an average of $400M USD worth of diamonds are traded daily.

I stepped outside the elevator and into a room filled with dozens of tables where dealers sat hunched over showing parcel after parcel of diamonds to potential buyers. A mere mazel, or traditional blessing, along with a handshake is all it takes to finalize a deal.

And I was the only woman among thousands of men. They all looked the same, while I was the polar opposite. A young, South Asian woman with long wavy hair, a magenta blazer with matching lipstick and eye shadow—I was keenly aware of just how unusual my presence was at the DDC.

With my heart beating fast and my palms sweaty, I was sure that the look on my face betrayed my anxiety. After all, it had taken me several weeks of interviews and long applications with the board before I was officially accepted as a member at the DDC. But, in that moment, all I wanted was to turn around and run.

Just as I turned to do so, I heard someone calling out my name. It was Eli, one of New York’s top diamond brokers with whom my company did fantastic business.

Image by Adamantios

And then I was back in my element. Loupe and colour card in hand (these are gemological tools required for diamond grading), I sat at a table with Eli to begin dealing and negotiating.

image by kristofer y susana

At first, it was a huge challenge to overcome tradition and deal as an equal with orthodox men, such as Eli, who weren’t used to trading with a woman. But soon enough they all knew I meant business and thus began a wonderful business relationship.

For over two years, I worked out of a 150 square foot office that wasn’t much different than the factory downstairs of the world’s most remarkable cutter who had cut 5 out of the 7 rarest diamonds in the world featured at the Smithsonian one year that was valued at over $100M USD. Or of the sight holder across the hallway whose office holds an inventory of over 10,000 diamonds. I was in the middle of it all, and it was exhilarating!

Taking on a challenge, adapting to new situations and ways of conducting business, and understanding how to build new business relationships were all things I learned on that first day at the DDC.  And these were the experiences that helped prepare me to open up my own business, Maharani Jewels.


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