MiaDonna & Company nominated for “Service To Beaverton” Awards
(MiaDonna® CEO Anna-Mieke Anderson with the “Service to Beaverton” Award.)
We are incredibly honored to be nominated by our home town for the “Service to Beaverton” Award. Over the past few years we have been involved with many local charities such as The Oregon Food Bank, The March of Dimes, Dornbecher’s Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Cancer Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Union Gospel Mission and many more. We strongly believe in creating a better local community just as much as we believe in creating a better global society through our efforts with The Greener Diamond Foundation.
Thank you to the City of Beaverton, Oregon for recognizing our contribution to this fantastic community in which we live and love.
About the Award
The City of Beaverton believes in the importance of recognizing and honoring those who help make our community such a wonderful place to live, work and play. Sponsored by the City and the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, the 2012 Service to Beaverton Awards are presented to those who have made positive contributions to our city and neighborhoods.
on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
7 Reasons Why Diamonds Are a Waste of Your Money
(by Ira Weissman)
I’ve been in the diamond business for over 10 years. I’ve traveled all over the world buying and selling diamonds. I’ve passed through most of the major airports across the United States with about a million dollars worth of diamonds in a leather wallet stuffed inside my pants. I’ve bought and sold diamonds in Dubai, Mumbai, Moscow, Hong Kong, Paris, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Madrid and Barcelona. Even today I am involved on the fringe of the diamond business, running a diamond education site helping would-be buyers.
Considering my deep personal involvement in the diamond business, my opinion might surprise you — diamonds are a terrible waste of your money.
Here are seven reasons why:
1) The most common misconception about engagement rings is that they’re some kind of ancient tradition that’s deeply embedded in human history in societies around the world. This is completely false. The idea of a diamond engagement ring is roughly a century old. Guess who invented the concept? Not surprisingly, it’s the same people who mined the diamonds — the De Beers diamond syndicate. How far did De Beers go in their quest to create demand for diamonds? Edward Jay Epstein notes in his famous investigative article:
“In its 1947 strategy plan, the advertising agency strongly emphasized a psychological approach. “We are dealing with a problem in mass psychology. We seek to … strengthen the tradition of the diamond engagement ring — to make it a psychological necessity capable of competing successfully at the retail level with utility goods and services….” It defined as its target audience “some 70 million people 15 years and over whose opinion we hope to influence in support of our objectives.” N. W. Ayer outlined a subtle program that included arranging for lecturers to visit high schools across the country. “All of these lectures revolve around the diamond engagement ring, and are reaching thousands of girls in their assemblies, classes and informal meetings in our leading educational institutions,” the agency explained in a memorandum to De Beers.”
I have nothing against clever marketing campaigns, but this is different. It’s not like with cars, for example. You know you need a car, so the car companies compete for your attention with their ads.
In this case De Beers spent millions upon millions convincing the public that they needed to buy a product that they basically created out of thin air (thin air that they alone controlled).
2) Diamonds are not an investment — they are a retail product like any other. People explain away spending thousands of dollars on a little stone because they mistakenly believe that the diamond is a solid investment. Are there any other investment classes where the person selling you the asset makes a minimum 10 percent profit margin (usually much more)? Most people would be lucky to get half of what they paid if they tried to sell a ring the day after they bought it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that buying a diamond is a safe place to put away money for a rainy day.
3) The diamond jewelry market is a shark tank. Even consumers that spend hours online learning about diamonds can easily get screwed by one of the many unscrupulous dealers out there (both online and bricks & mortar). There’s virtually no end to the various games dealers can play to help them eke out a higher return (and therefore giving you less value).
4) Spending a month’s (or two!) salary on something so impractical — at the exact same time you are beginning your new life together as a budding family — is a very poor financial decision. I’m not only a very experienced diamond dealer, I’m also a father of six, married for 13 years. The expenses only grow with time, they don’t get easier! Believe me, five years later, you’ll be wishing you had a spare five grand lying around.
5) Men, you don’t need to waste a ton of money to prove your manhood. If Mark Zuckerberg can forgo the diamond engagement ring, then you can too.
6) Women, you don’t need your man to waste a ton of money to prove that he loves you.
7) If your man buys you a diamond as a means to keep you quiet for another year about marriage, he probably should be dumped anyway. Find someone more grounded who is excited about building a life together with you — not someone who’s trying to continue being single while taking you along for the ride.
I have consciously left out of this list any arguments about immoral practices in the diamond business (i.e., blood diamonds, unfavorable working conditions, and child labor). The odds of buying an actual blood diamond in developed countries are extremely low. There are checks and balances in place that would make it extremely risky for a dealer to sneak something in illegally.
I don’t want to be perceived as hypocritical. If one takes a stance against poor working conditions, then I believe it should be done across the board. I don’t believe the diamond business is any more guilty than any other industry that does most of its production in poorer countries on the other side of the world.
Moral issues aside, there are enough reasons not to succumb to the greatest scam in history. If you hang around a group of diamond dealers for a day, there’s a word you’ll hear passed around quite a bit — “illusion.” As in “I lost my illusion in that diamond.” “He wouldn’t sell me the diamond at my asking price because he still has tons of illusion in that stone.” It’s diamond dealer jargon for a projection of high value onto something. When you “lose your illusion” in a diamond, it means you have succumbed to the reality that you will be selling it for less than you had hoped for. When you “have illusion” in a diamond, it means that you still believe you’re going to sell it for a great price because it’s such a knockout stone.
It’s rather amazing that the very people who buy and sell millions of dollars of diamonds a year acknowledge the ephemeral nature of their value at the same time that their lives are completely invested in them.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please take the red pill. Don’t believe in the illusion. Pass this article on to your friends. Share it, Like it, Tweet it. Lets start a new movement together.
If you find yourself not being able to fight the social pressure to get a diamond ring, it’s OK. There are many like you. It’s not a simple thing to resist. Just please do yourself a favor and speak to an expert who can help you make sure that at the very least you spend as little as possible on the illusion and still come away with something that serves its purpose.
Ira Weissman is a diamond industry veteran with a decade of experience at one of the world’s largest diamond polishers. He has traveled the world buying and selling diamonds and now dedicates his time to helping consumers make the most of their diamond buying decisions. He has been featured on Anderson Cooper, CNBC, and has been quoted by MarketWatch, The Village Voice, and BankRate. Visit Truth About Diamonds to educate yourself about diamonds.
on Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Khaliah Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, for MiaDonna®
Khaliah Ali has successfully carved out a diverse and well-defined path of her own, but like her father, heavyweight boxing icon and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali, is committed to helping people around the world.
In October 2009, Khaliah and her ten-year-old son Jacob celebrated the 35th anniversary of the historic “Rumble in the Jungle” bout between Ali and George Forman by embarking on a humanitarian visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This marked the first time an Ali family member returned to the country where one of sports most historic events took place.
on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
MiaDonna® has made it through a very competitive initial round of voting by Green America’s panel of expert judges*. From nearly 250 nominees, Green America’s judges narrowed the field to ten, and now it’s up to you (Green America members and the public at large) to decide who will win one of three $5,000 prizes.
The People & Planet Awards give a boost to small, innovative green businesses, with each round of our seasonal awards featuring a special theme. For summer, winners should represent both an overall green way of doing business, and also shine in their commitment to helping local communities thrive.
Green America will be running the voting for this contest through 5PM EST on Tuesday, Sept. 4, with winners announced later in September. Thanks to the very generous Green America donor who has made it possible for the People & Planet Awards to continue on a seasonal basis, you can look for Green America to launch the fall version of awards on September 21, when we’ll give away three MORE $5,000 prizes to deserving green businesses.
on Thursday, August 2, 2012
Man Made Diamonds also described as Synthetic Diamonds, Cultured Diamonds, Lab Created Diamonds or Lab Grown Diamonds are real diamonds that are optically, physically, atomically and chemically identical to a natural diamond. These diamonds are grown in a lab environment that replicates the earth’s natural growing process. Lab Grown Man Made Diamonds are identical to earth mined diamonds and are solid, pure carbon diamonds. MiaDonna’s® line of Man Made Diamonds will absolutely test positive on any jewelers diamond tester and all come with either EGLUSA, IGI or GIA certified grading reports.
Compare MiaDonna® Man Made Diamonds to Natural Diamonds.
MiaDonna® Man Made Diamonds are type IIa diamonds. Less than 2% of all the natural diamonds harvested in the world are pure enough to be labeled type IIa diamonds.
1.02 carat Round Brilliant, I color, VS2 Clarity
1.0 carat Round Brilliant, Vivid Fancy Yellow, VS1 Clarity
White Man Made Diamonds are in very limited supply. The process used to create a white diamond is also the most time consuming and temperamental thus, MiaDonna® type IIa, White Man Made Diamonds are priced 12% to 17% cheaper than mined diamonds offered from larger online diamond retailers like BlueNile.
Both Orange and Yellow Man Made Diamonds are being produced in large quantities. Yellow and Yellow-Orange diamonds grow the fastest, typically taking 5 to 6 days in the growth cell and are priced 25% cheaper than their mined diamond equivalent.
Natural blue diamonds are incredibly rare in nature and can sell for anywhere between $200,000 to $500,000 per carat. A Blue Man Made Diamond costs about 10% of what a mined blue diamond retails for.
Natural pink diamonds are the rarest in the world. The vast majority of pink diamonds come from mines in Australia. The extreme limited availability puts the cost of these mined pink diamonds between $56,000 to $150,000 per carat. A treated Pink Man Made Diamond will cost between $5,000 and $10,000 per carat. The price per carat weighs heavily on the color of the diamond itself. On average, a Pink Man Made Diamond is about 20% the cost of a mined pink diamond.
0.70 carat Princess cut, Vivid Fancy Yellow, VS2 Clarity
1.27 carat Princess cut, I color, VS1 Clarity
How to grow a Man Made Diamond
MiaDonna’s® Man Made Diamonds are created using one of two different growing techniques that both result in a pure carbon diamond when complete.
High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) Diamond Growing Process
The growth cell itself contains all the elements needed to grow a diamond, including a tiny diamond seed, highly refined graphite and a catalyst consisting of a mixture of metals and powders. The growth cell is placed in the center of the HPHT machine. Very consistent temperatures reaching 1,300 degrees Celsius and over 50,000 atmospheres of pressure are applied to the growth cell. The catalysts inside the growth cell are the first to react to the added heat and pressure by changing from solid to molten form.
The catalyst molten solution now causes the graphite (carbon) also in the growth cell to dissolve. Once all the required conditions within the growth cell have been met, the cooling process begins. This highly controlled cooling process takes place over many days and allows the carbon atoms to build up on top of the diamond seed that was part of the original growth cell mixture. The growth cell is removed from the HPHT machine once the growth cycle is complete. The new rough diamond is cleaned and now ready for final cutting and polishing.
The entire HPHT growing process requires an incredibly controlled environment to produce a gem quality diamond. Any shift or change during growth can cause the diamond itself to stop growing or can cause any additional growth to be heavily included and become unusable. Every grown diamond must go through an entire growth cycle before the machine can be opened. It is only after the HPHT machine is opened that we are able to see the finished diamond along with the color, clarity and size that was produced. Currently the Bars Press is the most effective tool used for producing gem quality diamonds. The Bars Press uses a combination of inner and outer anvils to apply hydraulic pressure to the growth cell within the unit.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Diamond Growing Process
Chemical Vapor Deposition or CVD environments use a small percentage of one atmosphere of pressure. Carbon based gases like methane are heated until the gases inside the environment break apart and allow the carbon atoms within the gas to separate. These tiny carbon atoms fall onto a diamond substrate and over a few days build up layers resulting in a rough diamond crystal. The majority of diamonds produced from CVD are best used for semiconductors, but there are also many gem quality CVD diamonds entering the market.
on Friday, July 27, 2012
Compare Charles and Colvard Moissanite side by side to the MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid®
We get a lot of inquiries about the difference, both visually and technically, between our Diamond Hybrid® and Moissanite. For a long time Moissanite was the only diamond alternative, other than CZ, available on the market. However, with advancements in technology, comes superior diamond simulant options, such as the MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid®. While both of these products are popular diamond alternatives among eco-friendly and price conscious consumers, when compared side by side, the difference in beauty between the two products is obvious. The Diamond Hybrid® is more beautiful and realistic when compared to a natural diamond, in all of the 4C categories, than Moissanite.
Here you can visually and technically compare the Diamond Hybrid® to Moissanite.
Color: The MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® is guaranteed to be lab graded at a D to F in color while Moissanite is lab graded at an I to J in color.
Cut: The MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® is cut by hand receiving ideal to excellent grades on the AGS cutting scale. Moissanite, because of its doubly refractive index, has a manipulated cut that shows more of a sunburst pattern instead of the highly faceted look you see in the Diamond Hybrid® and earth mined diamond alike.
Clarity: The MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® will not grade internally flawless like CZ. The natural feathering that occurs within the infused diamond layer gives the Diamond Hybrid® a more realistic, desirable and natural looking diamond like brilliance. The Diamond Hybrid® consistently receives lab grades of VVS1 to VS2. Moissanite is lab graded at an average of VS1 to VS2.
Internal Crystal Structure: The MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® has a face-centered-cubic, singly refractive internal structure as do natural diamonds giving the Diamond Hybrid® the ability to reflect light in the same manor as their natural cousins. Moissanite has a hexagonal-doubly-refractive index which gives a blurred or duplicated look called birefringence, a problem that splits light within the crystal giving it a blurry or fuzzy appearance, especially noticeable when placed next to a natural diamond.
Index of Refraction: Analysis shows the MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® has an index of refraction of 2.24 giving it a tested index closer to a natural diamond’s 2.42 than any other simulant available. Moissanite, which is synthetic silicon carbide, has an index of refraction of 2.67 and makes claims that it outshines a diamond. However, just as is the case with CZ, which has and index of refraction of 2.15 the visual appearance to the naked eye will not recognize the difference in these numbers. Moissanite will appear shiny and CZ will appear glassy when compared visually to a natural diamond.
on Thursday, July 19, 2012
Finding the perfect Engagement Ring can be a very complicated process for some of us. If you find yourself unable to choose between some of your favorite rings perhaps a combination of everything you like best about those rings would be the perfect way to create the engagement ring of your dreams. Designing your very own custom engagement ring at MiaDonna® is a very simple process that involves you from start to finish. Here is a recent MiaDonna® customer that designed her own ring by combining her favorite details from two separate ring designs she loved and left us a fantastic testimonial about her experience, that we would like to share with you.
Custom Engagement Ring Details:
Design Concept: Customer custom designed an Engagement Ring where she combined her love of the unique accented head of our Spicy Engagement Ring with the pavé set shank design from our Hayley Engagement Ring.
Center Stone: 2.0ct Round Brilliant, Hearts and Arrows cut MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid®
Accenting Stones: approx. 0.68ctw natural recycled diamonds
Eco-Friendly Metal: 14K White Gold
**Linda originally wanted a two-tone design with a Rose Gold shank and White Gold head, but after receiving the CAD renderings she decided that she preferred a more traditional look and went with solid 14K White Gold.
CAD Renderings (Computer Aided Design)
“I received my ring last week! Since it is a gift for our anniversary next week, my husband only let me look at it and try it on for one evening. He has since hidden it, and I have been looking for the ring so I can admire and wear it whenever he’s not around. No luck finding the hiding spot yet. :) I would really like to thank you both for all your help and professional advice in the decision making process! The ring is absolutely gorgeous!! …I am very pleased with MiaDonna! I am looking forward to purchasing my next ring! ;)
on Monday, July 9, 2012