Dunkin's Diamonds
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Ask the Diamond Man

Some of the most common questions I hear when meeting new clients is “why should I buy from you, an independent private jeweler instead of a chain store that has locations all over the United States?” “Isn’t it true chain stores buy cheaper because they are a larger company? In turn they are able to sell cheaper? Don't they have huge discounts where you are forced to sell retail?” (My answer is not at all) I encourage these questions and love answering, and I believe these questions show how many misunderstandings there are about the diamond and jewelry business.

I made the decision to have an online store which is the opposite of the personal environment I have worked hard to create in my stores. How can I make this a more client friendly website with a personal touch? I thought about what happens in my stores and I realized you talk to me, you talk to our diamond and jewelry experts face to face and that is what is missing online, the personal touch. If you have questions, please fill out the form and I will personally contact you, if I am unavailable one of our trusted diamond jewelry experts will contact you to answer any and all questions. My goal online, just like in store, is to create an environment that you trust, with exceptional quality, amazing prices and personal service.

What do points mean on a diamond? Example 20-point diamond?

A big part of purchasing your diamond is deciding what carat weight of diamond is right for you. You may go in to your local jeweler and hear something like “this is a 76 point diamond, or this is a .76 carat diamond”. But what does this really mean? Your jeweler will determine what carat weight your diamond is by weighing it on a highly sensitive scale specifically for precious gems like diamonds and sapphires. In one carat of diamonds there are 100 points. So if the diamond is a half carat it will weigh 50 points and it will be listed as a .50 carat diamond.

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Are the prongs on a sterling silver ring strong enough to securely hold my diamond? Is the metal too soft?

Sterling silver is much softer than gold or platinum. We feel it is fine for multiple smaller stones, (fashion pieces). For larger stones I would not recommend setting into silver unless the piece will be worn infrequently.

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What tips can you give on finding her ring size without her knowing? I want to buy our engagement ring and want the ring perfect.

There are so many myths around finger size that it can be hard to know what to believe. Lets first dispel some of these common misconceptions. Fingers on the right and left hand are often different sizes, just because a ring fits one finger does not guarantee that it will fit the correct ring finger. Finger size has nothing to do with shoe size.

Two people of the same body type, i.e. same weight or height, can have vastly different finger sizes.

A very wide ring in a certain size does not fit in the same manner as a very thin ring of the same size.

Many people know their ring size and are willing to tell you. So if you are a very direct person… Just ASK! It is common for couples to visit jewelry stores to get an idea of what style they might like or dislike. If you have been ring shopping, make sure to be sized.

If you really do want to surprise your significant other consider enlisting one of a friend or family member to help you. If you have been thinking about marriage chances are they are going into stores with a trusted friend or family member trying rings on dreaming of the one you will present them with. Have that person get the ring size on one of those occasions and give it to you. Or perhaps “borrow” a ring (make sure it is worn on the correct finger and fits perfectly) and take it to a jeweler to be sized.

If none of this has worked, or you don’t have time to try let the jeweler you are working with know. Buy the ring and present it to your loved one and then bring them in to be professionally fitted. A good jeweler will stand behind their piece and size it for you then. If it can’t be sized they should be able to order the ring in the correct size and swap it out for you (as long as it is in its original condition).

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My soon-to-be husband works in construction, what would be the most durable metal for his wedding band?

metal has its pros and cons. There is no one size fits all approach to picking out the best metal for every lifestyle. We have a variety of metals available that offer you, the customer, the freedom to choose the perfect ring. It’s important to work with a good jeweler that will be able to explain the differences to you and help you pick the absolute best metal for your specific situation.

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What is an acceptable label of carat measurement? Is it ok for a .44ct. or .45ct. be considered a "half carat"?

Diamonds are just like people, no two are exactly alike. Diamond weight fluctuates and it is rare to get a diamond that is exactly half a carat. Industry standards state that a diamonds’ weight can fluctuate as long as it falls within a certain number of points.

They state that anything between .47 Points and .50 Points is considered a Half-Carat (1/2 Carat – also called “Light-Half“).

3/4 Carats are between .70 Points and .75 Points.

One carat diamonds (Light-Carat) are given a range between .93 Points to 1.00 Points.

Since it’s still in the “acceptable diamond range”, they can be rounded up to the next nearest carat weight and sold as that.

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What type of paperwork should I expect to receive from a jeweler to authenticate my diamond?

Most diamond retailers sell diamonds with diamond grading reports or appraisals that will authenticate the diamond you are purchasing with them. A Diamond Grading Report documents the specific characteristics of a diamond and is done by a third party. It is a statement attesting to the authenticity of a diamond and provides a reliable and accurate report of its identity and grade based on an internationally recognized system. An appraisal is done by a licensed and insured appraiser and will list all the characteristics of not only the diamond, but of the mounting as well. While not all diamonds come with a grading report, all reputable jewelers should be able to offer an appraisal.

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I have been considering selling my gold jewelry. How will I know I’m getting a fair price quoted to me?

There are many outlets for selling gold jewelry these days. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to go to a reputable jeweler. Never be afraid to ask how they are coming to the price being offered to you. A reputable jeweler will be happy to explain to you what the market price of gold is and what the breakdown on your price is.

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Is it ok to wear my wedding ring in the shower? It is 14k yellow gold with diamonds.

Yes, you can wear your wedding ring in the shower. However, it is not recommended. Chemicals like chlorine can adversely affect your karat gold causing what is known as porosity. Also, you may notice your diamond does not shine as much as it did before your shower. The same hard water calcium build up and soap scum that accumulates on your shower walls will build up on your diamond. To avoid this simply remove your ring before you shower.

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My fear is getting hustled when buying a diamond, what should I look for when making a diamond purchase?

The best way to protect yourself is to deal with a reputable jeweler. Visit one that has experts on staff that will take the time to sit with you and help you get to know the diamond you are purchasing. Everyone can price check diamonds on the internet these days, not everyone has the luxury of visiting with an expert that can explain the fine points of the diamond they are buying.

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How do I clean sterling silver jewelry?

Sterling silver jewelry is easy to care if you follow a few simple steps that require a minimum of time effort. Sterling silver is a soft, malleable metal and can be easily scratched or damaged. Cleaning silver jewelry requires the use of polishes that are specifically formulated to remove tarnish from silver jewelry. Options include polishing cloths and silver storage pouches, which are designed to keep your silver jewelry tarnish free.

Another great way to clean your sterling silver jewelry is with Windex. You can either spray the Windex directly on the item to be cleaned or on a soft-bristled toothbrush or soft cloth. Gently brush the item to clean and then rinse under lukewarm water and dry the item with a soft cloth. Use a silver polishing cloth once the item is completely dry to help restore the luster and shine.

Use extreme caution when cleaning with harsh chemicals, bleach and chlorine while wearing your sterling silver jewelry. These cleaners can damage the silver.

When in doubt about the methods or materials you use to remove tarnish, clean or polish your silver jewelry, please take it to a Professional Jeweler.

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What is the difference between “vintage” jewelry and “antique” jewelry?

The main difference between antique and vintage jewelry is primarily one of age. By strict definition, an antique is an object that is 100 or more years old. Vintage pieces are generally greater than 20 years old.

Vintage jewelry is younger than 100 years old - but typically older than 50, and it's considered to still be recent enough to be in style even if it is a bit outmoded. In order to technically consider something vintage, it must have a production date of at least twenty years ago and not have been mass produced.

Antique Jewelry are those items that are greater than a century old (100 years + old). The majority of all antique jewelry is made of high-quality materials – these pieces would have stood the test of time. Combine the level of workmanship with the notion that it's already valuable based on its age alone, and it's easy to understand why antique jewelry sells for the highest prices around.

When paired with the right classic outfits, vintage jewelry items can make definite throwback fashion statements or add some higher class flair to a more contemporary look. Antique jewelry, on the other hand, is often so valuable that it's rarely worn or displayed.

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How are gold rings resized?

Ring resizing is a common practice where a professional jeweler will cut the band to either increase or decrease the size to make the ring fit correctly. To increase the size of your ring, the jeweler will spread it as much as needed after cutting it and will then add a new piece of metal to fill the gap. Decreasing a ring’s size works in a similar fashion: The jeweler will remove a strip from the ring and narrow the band by joining the two ends together. After the resizing is complete, the jeweler will put your ring back together by soldering the band where it was cut.

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What is the most popular diamond shape?

The round cut diamond is the most popular diamond shape, representing approximately 75% of all diamonds sold. Due to the mechanics of its shape, the round diamond is generally superior to fancy shapes at the proper reflection of light, maximizing potential brightness. Virtually all round diamonds are brilliant-cut, meaning they have 58 facets.

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What is the difference between 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k gold?

Karat is a method to measure the purity of gold; pure gold being 24 karats. The number of Karats (K) in a piece of gold indicates the percentage of pure gold in the piece. The higher the number, the more gold the piece contains.

  • 24 Karat gold → 100% gold aka ‘pure gold’
  • 18 Karat gold → 75% gold and 25% base metal. 18k is strong enough to secure diamonds and gems in place. It is the softest of the three alloys, and the most luxurious looking.
  • 14 Karat gold → 58.5% gold 41.5% base metal. 14k is the most commonly used alloy for jewelry in the United States due its cost effectiveness, durability, and rich gold luster.
  • 10 Karat gold → 41.7% gold and 58.3% base metal. 10k is the most durable of all alloys because its composition is made up with the high percentage of base metals. Due to the low gold percentage, 10k is also the most affordable.

Pure Gold (24 karat) is extremely soft and is easily bent, stretched, scratched, and worn down when over handled. Pure gold is rarely used in crafting jewelry, with the primary purpose in making gold bullion bars and ceremonial type jewelry.
Pure gold is naturally an intense shade of yellow.
White gold is an alloy of gold and at least one white metal – normally nickel, manganese, or palladium.

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How do you keep white gold sparkling and looking new?

In order to keep your white gold sparkling and looking new, you should understand that white gold is really yellow gold that has been mixed with one or more metals, resulting in a white alloy. The white alloy is then dipped in a white rhodium plating which gives it the dazzling, white chrome like appearance.

Rhodium plating is not intended to be eternal, and your jewelry is exposed to friction and stress every day, which will slowly wear away the finish. Additionally, individual chemical makeup (oils and acidity) in each person’s body is completely unique and will alter the length of time before the plating will begin to fade.

The best way to preserve the color of your white gold jewelry is to have it re-plated. Replating is a procedure through which a jeweler will add a new layer of rhodium to your jewelry.

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Why should I buy from DunkinsDiamonds.com instead of a larger online jewelry company?

I have been buying diamonds for 60 years. I have trained diamond buyers for major jewelry companies in America. When it comes to obtaining the best prices from the diamond cutters of the world, I get it. Why? I have dealt with the grandfathers, fathers and children of the best and largest diamond cutting companies in the world. We go back generations and are like family. When they get a good buy, I get called before anyone else. I am first to take advantage of the best buys in the diamond business because of these great relationships created in the 60 years that I have been buying diamonds. I pass these savings on to my customers at Dunkin’s Diamonds. All of my customers are like family and I take care of them like family. No one anywhere can beat my pricing and quality.

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How long have you been in the jewelry business?

My family has been in the jewelry business for over 3 generations. Personally, I have been working in the jewelry business for over 60 years. I don’t know anyone who has more experience than me. I use all that experience to bring the best service, selection and value to our customers at Dunkin's Diamonds.

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Stuart Dunkin

Stuart Dunkin
"The Diamond Man"

Ask the Diamond Man

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