Learning curve

October 22, 2010

Not a whole lot has happened on the diamond front. The guys are back from their trip to India, but unfortunately no joy. So the search continues, but I thought I would share this with you.

Last year I spent a week and a half in Antwerp doing a diamond grading course with IGI. The main reason for doing this course was to polish up on what I knew already about diamonds and to learn how to properly look at a diamond when I’m presented with one.

I was already most of the way there, I knew how to look at the colour and clarity of a diamond, but I wasn’t too clued up on the cut, what is a well cut diamond??

So off I went to Belgium, not somewhere I had ever really spent any time. Passing through on the motorway to get to France doesn’t count. (quick update here for those who don’t know me, I’m irish, but grew up in Holland from the age of 7)

Antwerp is a lovely city, and I was quite excited about going down to the diamond trade area. Turned out to be not that exciting, what was more exciting were the swanky chocolate shops!

Back to the course. It was an 8 day course and it was brilliant. There was a lovely group of people on it, from those who had never held tweezers or a loupe to those in the trade and needed to brush up on their skills like me. Although I was the only one who made jewellery. It was very interesting and actually quite tiring. Concentrating and staring into a diamond for 6 hours a day takes it out of you.

The course has been invaluable, and I took away some interesting bits of knowledge about diamonds and myself. I now know how to properly evaluate a stone with or without a certificate. And that sometimes you don’t need a cert to tell you if a stone is wel cut, experience will tell you that too, although I have to say the tutor we had didn’t agree with me at all on that one. But then she was all about fact and not about selling diamonds to someone who was going to have it in their engagement ring! Something can look good on paper, but it has to appeal to you on an emotional level too.

The course has taught me something very important about myself too. That despite thinking I’m not the most creative person around, I actually am. Before I headed off to Antwerp I had half thought that maybe doing something with stones would be an option, but after 8 days I was starting to go a bit stir crazy. I needed to make something, do something with my hands, anything. And that makes total sense. I make jewellery for a living, so I don’t see that everyday creativity as anything special, its part of my day to day life, and it’s not even a chore, and hard to call work sometimes.

What didn’t help either was that for nearly 2 weeks I had to eat out. There was no cooking, no making my lunch. I could think about what I would like for dinner, but it was out of my control to make it. Now I did have some lovely meals, but sometines. your own cooking is just a total pleasure!