The Spence Education
If we know one thing in the world, it’s diamonds. Our Diamond Consultants are put through rigorous training, so they can provide educated and unbiased answers to any questions you might have.
Whereas many jewelers have you examine your diamond through a hand-held loupe, Spence’s diamond education presentation includes the use of Binocular microscopes, GIA Facetware Cut Estimate software and other specialty tools to show you the true colour, cut, and clarity of your diamond. We're trained to take the mystery out of your diamond hunt - and we're passionate about helping you find just the right diamond.
When you're finished at Spence, you'll know diamonds too.
How are our prices possible?
It took Doug Spence 11 years to earn the position that would allow us to deliver the world's most beautiful diamonds at the world’s lowest price. This is possible only because our Spence diamond buyers are the first to see the newly-cut diamonds each day. Put five hundred professional diamond buyers in a room full of diamonds and they'll all choose exactly the same stones. The best diamonds go to the buyer who gets "first look."
The Spence diamond buyer gets first look because Spence is the only company willing to provide a buyer who can pay on the spot. The diamonds we leave behind are sold to brokers who sell them to wholesalers who sell them to dealers who sell them to corporate diamond buyers who send them to their stores around the world. And each of the middlemen who touches the diamond adds a little markup. Spence eliminates all these middlemen so you can get first look diamonds at the lowest possible price. Our buying office in Antwerp buys our diamonds directly; we import and distribute them to Spence stores as needed; all our rings are manufactured in our Vancouver-based design studio.
Believe us, it isn't easy. If we had to supply a big chain of jewelry stores in malls, we couldn't do it either. Most of the big chains have at least 400 locations. The biggest has nearly 2,000 stores. The bureaucracy of these big organizations - and the sheer volume of diamonds they require - makes it impossible for them to buy like Spence. Quality for quality, our price is usually 16 to 19 percent better.
The 4 C's of Diamonds
When speaking of gold, Karat is spelled with a K.
When speaking of diamonds, Carat is spelled with a C.
Karat and Carat have no relationship. Confusing, huh?
24-Karat gold is pure gold. Much too soft for jewelry.
14-Karat gold 14/24ths gold and 10/24ths alloy.
18-Karat gold is 18/24ths gold and 6/24ths alloy.
Carat is a unit of weight used exclusively for weighing diamonds.
There are 141.747616 carats in an ounce.
Now that we've got that cleared up, let's talk about diamonds.
The ‘4-Cs’ of a diamond are: Carat weight, Cut, Color and Clarity.
There are five carats in a gram, and a “point” is 1/100th of a carat. For example, a 50-point diamond is half a carat. As a general rule, larger diamonds are more rare and therefore more valuable. But size does not determine beauty and brilliance. Two stones of the same carat weight can have very different values. Color and Clarity are also measurements of rarity, and Cut is extremely important when it comes to beauty. Note: Image size may vary depending on your browser and computer display and thus, may not reflect actual carat size.
The brilliance of your diamond will be determined by its cut. The geometry isn’t a secret, so don’t be misled by all the hyperbole about “master cutters” and other such nonsense. The simple reason that 99.71 percent of all diamonds are cut incorrectly is because diamonds are sold by weight and at $850,000 an ounce, there is powerful temptation to fudge the alignment of the facets so that the finished diamond will be heavier. The diamonds that are cut properly are the ones whose natural shape makes it possible for the diamond cutter to maximize their weight without misaligning any facets. The buyer who gets “first look” at the freshly-cut diamonds will always choose the ones whose natural shape made it possible for them to be cut for maximum brilliance. And that is the pedigree of every Spence diamond.
Diamonds are graded on the GIA color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). The most expensive diamonds are found at either end of the scale, due to their rarity. But don’t confuse rarity with beauty. Colorless is rare. Highly colored is more rare, and consequently, more valuable. Diamonds with a trace amount of color are just as beautiful, but less rare, making them a better value. Most people, when shown a series of diamonds from D to Z, choose the G-H-I-J range.
Under 10x magnification, most diamonds contain natural “inclusions,” microscopic crystals within the diamond. These are the birthmarks that make each stone unique. The number, size and position of these inclusions affects the value of the diamond. The clarity scale of the Gemological Institute of America ranges from Fl (flawless) to I3 (many inclusions visible without magnification.) Here’s where it gets interesting: Under 40x magnification, these microscopic crystals can be seen within every so-called “flawless” diamond. And without magnification, not even a jeweler can detect the clarity difference between a “flawless” diamond and the much-less-expensive SI1. Clarity, like color, is a measurement of rarity, not beauty. And in the absence of magnification, the less rare SI1 is visually identical to the higher clarity grades, but significantly less expensive, so…
To most people, the word ‘diamond’ conjures images of the ever-popular and always classic round stone. Going this route is almost guaranteed to get you the reaction you’re looking for, but you can also choose one of the more unique shapes collectively referred to as ‘fancy cuts’.
Shape does not affect the quality of the diamond. If your diamond is cut properly, its brilliance and value will be there. The shape of the rough diamond dictates the shape of the finished diamond. The diamond cutter's job is to maximize the weight, remember? So buy the shape you like best. Buy the shape that works with your favorite mounting. Or buy the mounting that works with your favorite diamond shape. Regardless of the criteria you use in making your choice, you can be absolutely certain that your Spence "first look" diamond is cut for maximum impact. Because Colorful Doug and Uptight Sean set out to find "the headwaters of the Nile" in 1986. And 11 years later, they got their "first look." And they've kept it ever since.
$850,000 an Ounce
If you owned a one-inch cube of pure, 24-karat gold and wanted to carve a beautiful shape out of it, but knew that all the shavings would be lost forever, what shape would you think most beautiful?
A cube, right?
That one-inch cube of pure, 24-karat gold would weigh 11.14 ounces and at gold's record-high price of $1,921 an ounce, would be worth $21,400.
But one ounce of 1-carat diamonds - at an average value of just $6,000 each - would be worth $850,500 dollars.
The record high price of pure gold is less than $2,000 an ounce.
But the current value of diamond material is more than $850,000 an ounce.
If you were a diamond cutter, how much diamond crystal would you want to cut away?
Keep in mind that diamonds are valued by their weight - Carat weight - but the beauty of a diamond is determined primarily by its Cut.
Sadly, most diamond crystals don't lend themselves to efficient cutting. Consequently, diamond cutters almost always make their diamonds a little too tall, or give them a too-thick girdle to increase their weight. This causes the facets to be misaligned so that the brilliance, the sparkle, the dazzle of that diamond is forever diminished. The diamond will still be pretty, yes, but only when there's no Spence diamond next to it.
Every Spence diamond is cut correctly - for maximum sparkle - because Spence diamond buyers always get "first look."
You definitely want a diamond from Spence.
Spence diamond jewelry is the clear choice of experts everywhere.
Side-by-side in the same light, Spence diamonds out-sparkle any other diamonds you can place beside them.
Quality. Taste. Style. Value. Spence.
Your satisfaction is guaranteed.