Would you consider buying a 1 carat diamond without a certificate? Most folks wouldn’t. Consumers rely on the objectivity of a third-party gem lab to tell them the properties of the diamond they’re considering. So it is especially damaging to know that some diamond grading labs don’t do an ethical job when grading the diamonds. . .
Back in 1979 the infamous Hunt brothers largely cornered the market on silver, driving the price from $6 per ounce to an all-time high of $48.70. Their scheme unraveled when the COMEX intervened, and silver rapidly shrank back down to more accustomed prices.
But here we are in 2011, and silver prices are once again whipsawing – trading at prices well north of $40, and then dropping $10 in less than a week down to $37 or so. But our current situation is different from conditions back in 1979, and while no one knows for sure, it seems possible that silver may have enduring higher prices going forward.
The jeweler’s saw is a fundamental jewelry-making tool. It’s one of the first and most important tools found on every jeweler’s bench. At the same time this tool is different for each jeweler. If you take a quick look at the Rio Tools catalog you’ll see over two pages of jeweler’s saw frames, and a veritable sea of saw blades. How is a jeweler to decide?
“BAM!” is what Emeril the chef says on his cooking show. And “BAM!” is what I felt when I saw the price of silver top the $30 mark on Monday. Lately, listening to the news has seemed surreal. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, has been quoted about “fears of deflation”. Yet here is $30 silver, where just a couple months ago it was half that price. What is a jeweler supposed to do?
Back in 1995 I became the precious materials product manager at Rio Grande. As a new manager, I began reading National Jeweler magazine, and one day, I came across an article about a new jewelry-making material from Japan, Precious Metal Plasticene. It was invented by Dr. Morikawa of Mitsubishi Materials Corp. By 1996, it had been renamed Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and Rio Grande began sales to the USA…
As you know, diamonds are sold by weight. I think we’ve all been trained to want a 1-carat diamond. But nature doesn’t care about our desires. Diamond crystals form independent of any market demand. The supply of diamonds tends to be plentiful for small stones, but extremely tight on really big diamonds. Nature is going to produce that exceptionally large crystal only once in a while.