Katrina Mercado sits down with Rahila Refaaq, owner of DB-based jeweller Zaha et Cetera, to find out why diamonds are so desirable.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, love is definitely in the air. And what do we associate most with romantic love? Why diamonds, of course. But why is that? What is it with these sparkly rocks that makes every woman swoon?
“Regardless of the size of the bling, diamonds up the feel-good factor,” says Rahila Refaaq, owner of Zaha et Cetera. “They are more than just long-term investments. There is an emotional connection between a woman and her diamonds.”
One of the main reasons for this is that diamonds have long been the symbol of marital love and commitment. This century-old association was boosted by De Beers in 1947 when copywriter Frances Gerety came up with the ad slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever,’ essentially inventing the modern concept of an engagement ring. “80% of marriage proposals involve the giving of a diamond engagement ring,” says Rahila, whose bestselling rock is a solitaire diamond ring.
Diamonds are, of course, a girl’s best friend, and not only on her engagement day. “We are seeing a trend where diamond jewellery is given during family celebrations like the birth of a child, an anniversary or birthday, and especially for a girl’s 16th or 21st. And it doesn’t stop with family, friends are now giving each other diamonds to show they value each other deeply.”
So, when shopping for diamonds, how do you know which to pick? “Take note of the 4Cs: colour, clarity, cut and carat,” Rahila advises. “The Gemological Institute of America invented this way of grading diamonds in 1955 and it’s now globally accepted.
“The GIA grading system is part science and part art. No two diamonds are alike and each one is graded based on its individual merits,” Rahila adds. “For this reason, the price of diamonds varies greatly. Lowgrade diamonds are in fact much cheaper than investment grade rubies, sapphires or even emeralds. We can’t assume that just because we’re dealing with diamonds, they are all super expensive.”
Interestingly too, diamonds come in virtually every colour of the rainbow. “The blacks and browns are the least expensive in the fancy coloured diamond range,” says Rahila. “Rare red diamonds are the most expensive followed by blues, pinks, purples and greens. There’s a natural human tendency to want something that’s so rare no one else has it.”
CUT refers to the quality of a diamond’s angles, proportions, symmetrical facets, brilliance, fire, scintillation and finishing details. The GIA grades diamond cut on the scale of ideal, excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.
COLOUR is graded in terms of how colourless a diamond is. The GIA grades white diamonds from D to Z, with D being the most colourless and Z containing a brown or yellow tint.
CLARITY grading evaluates how clean a diamond is from inclusions and blemishes. The GIA grade scale moves from FL (flawless) through to 13 (included).
CARAT refers to the weight of the diamond. Roughly speaking, 5 carats is equal to 1 gram.
Contact Zaha et Cetera at 9656 0414, [email protected], www.zahaetcetera.com