Are your diamonds ethically sourced?
All Pieter Andries’ diamonds are guaranteed to be conflict-free and acquired from cutters participating in the Kimberly Process. Because we buy direct from the world’s most skilled cutters, no brokers or “middle-men” interfere with our verification and purchase process.
How does the “custom” process work and how long will it take to complete a custom piece?
We have clients come in with everything from their own sketches to magazine pages and downloaded images. We will start with whatever concepts you have, or our design team can suggest different possibilities. We also have a tremendous inventory on hand and in our design library. (Pieter has been compiling it for nearly 50 years!). You are welcome to be as involved as you want throughout the entire process. We can provide sketches and computer “CAD” models of the design as well as wax or silver prototypes for you to look at. Here’s the great news; because all pieces are designed and created 100% in-house, we can usually accommodate our production to fit your schedule. Typically, our lead time is 7 to 10 working days.
What is the difference between white gold and platinum?
We have the ability to produce most any design in 14 karat or 18 karat, white, yellow, or rose gold, platinum or our special “Elite” sterling silver alloy (most tarnish resistant). There are two main differences between white gold alloys and platinum. First, platinum comes out of the ground as a natural white metal. It will always keep its white color, therefore does not require plating. All white gold is made white by adding certain metals to yellow gold; therefore most white gold will have a yellowish tint to it. Consequently, all white gold in the jewelry industry is rhodium plated. Rhodium is a member of the platinum family, and gives the white gold piece a bright white finish. The plating will wear to varying degrees, and after time the yellowish tint will begin to re-appear. Because of this there will be some occasional maintenance to re-polish and apply fresh rhodium to your piece, adding to the expense over time. Secondly, platinum is a rarer and denser (heavier) metal than gold. Because a piece made in platinum requires more metal weight than the same piece made in gold, the initial investment will be higher. However, the density of the platinum translates into a more durable piece. For example, prongs will last much longer if they are made in platinum as opposed to white gold. Although it requires more upfront cost, the benefits of platinum will be reaped over time.
Are all diamond grading certificates/lab reports the same? And are they a reliable method for determining the quality of the diamond I am purchasing?
Generally speaking, we recognize only the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or the AGS (American Gem Society) diamond grading standards. These are the two largest, most reputable gemological laboratories in the world today.
Virtually everyone uses the same diamond grading system for cut, color, and clarity. At Pieter Andries we feel the difference is what standards are being applied when grading the stone. Diamond grading is to some degree subjective, no two diamonds are identical. Liberal standards used in grading potentially lead to misleading results in terms of a stones true value.
Additionally, the AGS and GIA labs are the only ones grading for cut performance. The Pieter Andries diamond grading lab uses the same grading software that these two labs utilize. All of our diamonds above 0.50 carats are supplied with a Pieter Andries Diamond Grading Certificate guaranteeing the quality of the diamond. We have an AGS accredited gem lab on the sales floor so that you may see the process first hand.
Regardless if a diamond has an AGS or GIA report, this document is still an opinion, not a warranty or guarantee of its quality.
As a Certified Gemologist Appraiser with the American Gem Society, Pieter still reviews and signs the Pieter Andries Diamond Grading Certificate for every diamond we sell, guaranteeing the quality.
What is the difference between buying a diamond on the internet and buying a diamond at Pieter Andries?
First, no two diamonds are alike. The quality of the cut can mean the difference between a diamond that has the kind of brilliance that will make you (and your friends) say “Wow!” and a diamond that is basically an expensive rock. This is not something you can decipher from looking at a diamond’s lab report on-line. To make sure you are purchasing a diamond that is both beautiful and valuable, you must compare diamonds side-by-side and see the difference with your own eyes. At Pieter Andries we have an incredible inventory of beautiful diamonds in all price ranges for you to compare.
Second, because this is not something most people do every day, it is important to have a relationship with a jeweler who can educate you about your purchase and take care of any needs that may arise afterwards. At Pieter Andries, our knowledgeable and professional staff will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable during the diamond buying process by giving you all the information you need to make the right decision based on your parameters. It is always about you!
What is the best way to get educated about diamonds and the various qualities available?
Both the AGS and the GIA have accurate and informative websites (www.americangemsociety.org, www.gia.edu), and are good sources for you to get a basic understanding of how diamonds are graded. However, nothing online can compare to the knowledge gained when evaluating different diamonds in person. We are happy to spend time answering your questions, and to show you different combinations of cut, color, clarity, and carat weight in a professional diamond presentation. You are under absolutely no pressure to buy. If you have the time, we are happy to educate you so that when the time is right you have the tools to make the best selection.