Sourcing Your Own Diamonds

Sourcing Your Own Diamonds

Written by Alice Rochester on 22 August 2011

Harriet wrote a really interesting article a while ago about how we can work with customer’s own gemstones and it is something I particularly enjoy, especially when the stones have come out of an old piece of jewellery... in fact, my own engagement ring is being made by our lovely goldsmiths using the diamond from my grandma’s engagement ring!! Sometimes people buy a gemstone when they’re on holiday or occasionally they will buy a stone online and whilst we are more than happy to work with these we do need some assurances to be able to do this. I thought I’d write a little bit about what we need and why, so if this is something you decide to do you know what to look out for.

Buying gemstones at any time is something where there is an element of trust involved – you have to know that the people you are dealing with are trustworthy and are describing the stones to you accurately to ensure you actually know what it is you’re buying. You don’t want to spend money on buying a stunning stone only to find later that it’s not what you thought it was. This is why buying gemstones when you’re on holiday can be so difficult, especially when you’ve got the problem of language barriers to deal with! Imagine, then, how much more difficult and how much more trust is involved if you were to buy a gemstone online, without even having seen it first. If the stone you’re buying is a diamond, then you should also have the assurance that it is conflict free.

If the gem dealer is trustworthy they will easily be able to provide you with a statement about the fact that the diamond you have bought is Kimberley Process certified and therefore that it has been bought from a legitimate source. If you are buying through a website then they should say somewhere on the site that their stones are Kimberley Process certified and if you ask them they should be able to tell you more about what this means. If they can’t give you this information then I would be deeply suspicious of the provenance of the stone, however shiny their website looks or how much positive feedback they’ve got. It is not enough for a seller to say ‘the diamonds are from (country) and therefore should be ok’ as even if the diamonds do come out of that country how do we know how they got there? They could have been traded illegally to then be sold onwards... and how would any of the seller’s customers know this to give them anything other than positive feedback?

This is precisely the reason that we at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery require that if a diamond has been bought elsewhere that the people you buy the stone from give you these assurances in writing before we work with it, and we have a form which we ask you to sign to attest to this. If the diamonds are ones which we are re-using from an heirloom then the form goes on to say that as far as you know the diamonds have always been in this piece and that because it is so old you cannot verify the provenance of the gems. Although we are under no legal obligation to ask this from you we feel that it is only the right thing to do as we would hate to think that we could be using diamonds which have been traded to fund war or abuse of human rights... and our customers agree. For some this can mean a bit of extra research if they haven’t asked for the information when they bought the stone, but when these points are raised we find that people would much rather see what they can find out rather than use something they are at all unsure about.

We price our stones exceptionally competitively and of course we work with some fantastic dealers to ensure that you are buying something you can be happy about wearing. We’re also more than happy to source a small selection of stones for you to see and choose between if you would like to, which makes the ring design process even more exciting. We have even got a selection of ‘recycled’ diamonds which have come out of old pieces of jewellery so no new mining has taken place, so we are bound to be able to find the perfect stone for you. Just give us a call and have a chat to one of the designers about what you’re looking for!