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#841870 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter ***** [Re: lessw]
Tanukiko Offline

Posts: 146
Loc: Austin, TX
It just took all the willpower in my entire being to resist buying the 8.2 mm VS2 G color. I'm going to hold out a little bit longer for a 7 mm.

#842505 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
lessw Offline

The Florentine Diamond

Posts: 5448
Hi All,
Very Happy Friday to you! We've got one of the longest updates this month, so you'll definitely want to grab something to drink and get comfortable - lots of news awaits!

BTD 1Q Sales = 45%+ Increase over 1Q 2014: While we are not a public company, I thought it might be good to start posting our sales growth each quarter so you can track our progress.

For this first quarter, BTD sales grew over 45% vs the same quarter a year ago. Related to that, I'm also happy to report that BTD has paid off it's last equipment loan, two years ahead of schedule, so BTD is now 100% debt free.

Again, I view sales growth as increasing "votes" that we are supplying lab grown gems that make our customers happy, and thus sales growth reinforces that our product focus is on the correct path.

Amora Gem Updates:

Amora Gem grading reports now specify Amora Gem as the crystal type: I'm extremely happy to note that all grading reports, as of this week, now specify Amora Gem as the crystal type.
Previously the grading reports simply listed "Lab Grown Silicon Carbide" as the crystal, but with customer feedback and the growing awareness of the fact that Amora Gem is it's own crystal type within the 200+ Silicon Carbide family, all grading reports going forward now specify it as "Lab Grown Silicon Carbide - Amora Gem".
Here's an example of a new report showing Amora Gem in the title:

Amora Gem graded/appraised as a $50K+ mined diamond: A customer recently took their Amora Gem in to have it independently appraised. It came back appraised as a mined diamond with an estimated retail value in excess of $50,000+. This appraisal was not from a 'back woods' grading lab either.
We won't divulge details on this since it's not our goal to embarrass a grading lab, but it is obviously a high compliment to the beauty of the Amora Gem smile

Production updates - continued focus on 1ct - 2ct sizes: We've been steadily able to increase the amount of mid-range size Amora Gem's we are cutting, though many of them have sold out quite rapidly since supply has been low for so long. We've just stocked the first ever 6.5mm Asschers for example, and restocked 6.5mm Cushions, and have been restocking 7mm (1.25ct) - 8mm(2ct) Ultra H&A rounds. We do have .75ct and 1.00ct Ultra's in progress, though they have been pushed back from their expected completion date repeatedly…but we do hope to have these out soon, enabling some new items like Ultra stud earrings for example.

New Amora H&A Cushion video: We sent in a 4.39ct D/IF Amora Gem cushion along with some other items to have the Cushion video redone with a D/IF Amora. Thus, here's the latest Amora Gem cushion video!

Amora Gem Princess cuts! Our first ever Amora Gem Princess cuts have been released and are now available. This first batch was 8mm size (3.60ct) so on the larger side, but as noted, we are working to increase the availability of more 'mid-size' Amoras.

Various enhancements to the Amora Gem Inventory page: Our Amora Gem inventory page has had various color tweaks and layout tweaks to make it both easier to read, as well as to help ensure the grid portion is fully available on tablets. Here's a screen shot of the new look:

All of the cuts are available on the inventory page, making it the best spot for one stop viewing of our entire current Amora Gem inventory.
Here's a direct link, and it's always available directly under the Amora Gem menu:

One new fancy light blue Amora this month:Of interest, we had one and only one, Amora Gem Fancy Light Blue in this month's production. It is a stunning 1.23ct Ultra H&A Cushion cut. Because we have not had any for some time, and all the previous fancy light blues have long since sold out, our staff unamiously decided that instead of selling it we will keep it as a company gem. The reason is that we're planning to slowly build up a small 'Amora Gem museum collection' for display in the future, and this Fancy Light Blue is the first to be voted in for that new project.

On a related note - extensive SIMS testing has confirmed that the Fancy Light Blue Amora's are not due to impurities. Rather it's some kind of rare phenonmenon where the crystal has a slightly different twist or angle to it during growth, causing it to scatter the shorter blue waves found in light and thus creating the light blue color. This is effectively the same effect (Rayleigh scattering) that makes the sky blue. It has also, very rarely, been noted in a few extremely pure natural diamonds.

//continued below to avoid the picture per post limit//
Recipient: GIA Diamonds Certificate


#842506 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
lessw Offline

The Florentine Diamond

Posts: 5448
Amazing Amora Gem Rings: We've had several stunning Amora Gem rings being posted this month and so in no particular order, I wanted to highlight a few and provide links to their respective threads if you want to see more photos of them.

1 - Kheep's dazzling Amora Gem Asscher ring, with 1.44ct surrounding natural diamonds:


2 - Wink's Vatche Swan ring in rose gold with a center Amora Gem Ultra:


3 - Another Wink creation, 2.86ct Amora Gem in Kanata solitaire:


BTD News:

Takara Ultra-pure Lab Diamonds now available! D and E color! I'm thrilled to be able to report that we have our first batch of Takara lab grown diamonds now available for immediate sale. The first batch all graded as D or E color, including two that are E color, Internally Flawless! Sizes range from .53ct to 1.52ct.
These were all graded at NAGL and their graders provided some interesting feedback, as they noted that the 'clearness' of the Takara's is apparent when compared against a typical mined diamond. This clearness is because atomically, the Takara's are ultra-pure and also ultra-hard when compared to most mined diamonds.
Diamonds are classified based on their impurities, and Takara's are 'Type IIa' or ultra-pure. Less than 2% of mined diamonds are this pure and because of the purity they are both clearer and harder than most mined diamonds.
Long ago in the 16th Century, there was a source of mined Type IIa diamonds from the Golconda region of India, which were renown for their 'clear as water' appearance. Takara's are the same Type IIa.
Thus, Takara's are not simply equivalent to a mined diamond, but are purer and harder than almost all mined diamonds - in essence, atomically a more perfect diamond.

Here's a studio photo of a D/VVS2, 1.07ct:

And a grading Report:

And cushion video:

And a round video:

Our Takara inventory also has it's own inventory search page, similar to the Amora Gem Inventory page, but with one difference.
The Takara's are all hand cut, so each diamond will have it's own set of Brilliance/Fire/Scintillation/Cut Grade/Table %, etc. info.
Thus, when you hover over a specific Takara, all the individual details will then be shown.
Currently we have rounds from .53ct - 1.24ct, and a single 1.52ct Cushion cut as well.
Here's the Takara inventory page where you can see more details:

GIA only offering 'dumbed down' grading reports for lab grown white diamonds: Previously I had noted that we planned to ship some of our Takara lab white diamonds to also get a GIA grading report to further boost the reputation of our Takara lab white diamonds. That however, will not be happening as I recently learned that the while the GIA will grade lab grown diamonds, their 'synthetic white diamond report' is completely dumbed down compared to how they grade mined diamonds.
Specifically, instead of grading them using the normal letter grades, ala D/E/F for colorless, they will simply mark it as "colorless". Similarly, for clarity - instead of the proper VVS1 or VVS2, or VS1, VS2,etc. they will only grade clarity as "VVS" or "VS"…in short, it's largely a worthless report and certainly not worth the price they are trying to charge.
The GIA Synthetic Diamond Grading Report offers the same information as the GIA Diamond Grading Report for natural diamonds, using a more general description of color and clarity.

That's a shame as it feels like GIA is going out of their way to put down the lab grown diamond industry by dumbing down their reports for lab grown vs. mined. But as others have noted, the GIA is all about mined diamonds in terms of where it gets paid from, not lab grown, and so there is an inherent conflict of interest.
As such, we will be sending all our Takara's solely to NAGL for grading, but did want to clarify why the change from the previous plan to send some to GIA.

//continued below, again to avoid the picture per post limit //
Recipient: GIA Diamonds Certificate


#842507 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
lessw Offline

The Florentine Diamond

Posts: 5448
Amora Enhanced Mossanite - 7mm restocked, 95% G color!: We recently finished the last batch of 7mm rounds from an earlier pre-screening, and had the highest rate of G color to date - 95% were G color! The remainder were H color. We don't have any firm ideas on the reason why it was so high, but this was a record color improvement result.

Amora Enhanced Mossanite - pre-screening rejections skyrocketing: We're currently working on getting more Moissanite to process, but lately the rejection rate has been skyrocketing due to declining cutting standards in the moissanite.

265 8mm were brought in. A whopping 26 passed..or 10:1 rejection to pass rate.

100 6.5mm were then brought in. *Every single one* was rejected. 0 passed cutting screening. I don't recall that ever happening in the 3 years of Amora enhanced Moissanite - previous rejection rates were more 40-60% average.

We're trying again with more batches, but thought these new numbers are relevant not only for Amora enhanced customers to explain why production will be light, but also anyone looking to buy regular moissanite.
You definitely do not want to play 'luck of the draw' with your purchase buying moissanite given the latest odds.

1895 'Seamless' reproduction video!One nice thing about doing a monthly blog like this is you can see the start and then later, finish, of various projects. You may recall that previously I showed the CAD work for the new 'Seamless' re-design for our 1895 Cartier reproduction. Now, with that ring in production I'm happy to show you a photo and video of that very ring in reality rather than simply CAD Drawings.

First, the studio photo:

and now the video!

The 1895 is climbing our sales chart in popularity.
Here's the official product page with more info and pricing:
1895 Seamless Reproduction Ring


No more tears - cutting an onion in a tear-free manner: Completely off topic, but I thought it might ensure some people finished up this month's blog with some 'eye-saving' info. If you've cut onions up before, you've no doubt encountered the teary eyes that normally result. Here's why onions make you cry and how to avoid it.

Why onions make you cry: The chemistry behind the tears is that onions contain sulfoxides. When you cut an onion, these are released as the cell walls are opened from the cutting. Enyzmes react with the sulfenic acids and make 'propanethiol S-oxide', a volatile sulfur gas that wafts up towards your eyes.
Once it hits the water resident in your eyes, it reacts to form sulfuric acid…and no surprise, you immediately start tearing up to flush out the acid now in your eye.

How to avoid it: The simplest tip of all is to refrigerate the onion the night before or even 30 minutes before cutting. By chilling the onion, the chemical reactions involved are greatly reduced, ideally to the point that little or no propanethiol S-oxide is produced and thus no eye irritation even you cut up your onions.

Some places will recommend you cut out the bulb of the growing onion (the part attached to where the roots are popping out) but that ends up wasting a lot of the onion you paid for. The reason though is that the majority of the sulfenic acid resides in the inner bulb and so by not cutting that, you also avoid the sulfenic acid->propanethiol S-oxide->sulfuric acid reaction.

100ct "perfect" diamond sells for $22 Million: As noted earlier, our Takara's are the ultra-pure Type IIa diamonds. A likely example of their natural counterpart is this 100ct, D color, internally flawless Emerald cut diamond that just sold via Sothebys for $22 Million last week. Naturally grown Type IIa's tend to be extremely large and of course, D or E color. The article link shows the rough, which likely confirms it is type IIa as those tend to be large chunks without an obvious growth habit. Most mined Type IIa's, while already quite large, are thought to be fractured off of even larger crystals deep underground that never made it to the surface.

Note just how large a 100ct diamond looks on the finger!

That's it for this months update! Hope you have a great weekend and upcoming month, and see you at the end of May!
Recipient: GIA Diamonds Certificate


#842510 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
Zephy Offline

Posts: 1
Loc: Maryland, USA
Thanks for the updates! I have really been looking forward to the 6.5mm H&A Ultra Round restock.

Once they're in I can finally have my engagement ring finished. Any idea how much further the release has been pushed back?

- Donald

#842511 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
diamondangel Offline
BTD Crown Jewel

Posts: 18880
Loc: Northwestern NJ
That's a great update, Less! The faceting on the Takara cushion is just droolworthy!!!
Email [email protected] for Fine custom jewelry, diamonds, gems, WinkCZs, Ashas & Amora!

#842517 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
Vanillabeanz Offline

Posts: 900
That Takara cushion is absolutely stunning.

#842519 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
Xtian Offline

Posts: 2
First post here and suppose I'll do it following your update.

This all sounds great! Congrats on paying off your tooling 2 years ahead of schedule, now it's time to just roll around in the profits! Great to here of your 45% increase in sales, that's music to your ears. Now let's get you on the stock exchange so I can get in on some of this action! I would certainly invest with numbers like that.

I just started the design of my GF's ring and will be getting your Amora Gem Ultra stone as the center. I'm excited to see how it turns out. I will also post pictures when I received it.

Again, congrats on your company's success.

#842526 - Re: The Amora Blog...the Amora Gem Chapter [Re: lessw]
gemcat Offline

The Florentine Diamond

Posts: 5218
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Thanks for the update, Less. I have to wonder what us up with GIA. It would be fun, I think, to send them a Takara, get the grading report, then tell them it was lab grown.
Ok, probably not ethical, but I'd like to see what they would grade it as. LOL!!
"Never try to outstubborn a cat." L. Long

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