With Valentine's Day closing in, diamond season is approaching. We sit down with gem expert, Select Jewelry's Yunan Louis Youssef who spills some insider gemmology beans.
We never quite understood why Egyptians celebrate Valentine’s Day in November, but we’ve always been a little different than the rest of the world. It must be Egyptian timing. However, if you’re part of the demographic of Egyptians that’s slowly putting the gawaz salonaat culture behind them and embracing the world of surprise proposals, we suggest you celebrate on February 14th with the rest of the world. But what does a guy get his girl for Valentine’s Day when she’s done receiving oversized teddy bears and when he realises all those boxes of chocolate really do spend a moment on the lips and forever on her hips? It’s time to put on your big kid pants, boys, and step into bolder territory: diamonds. Just don’t go buying her a bad diamond because that’s exactly how you get her mother to pester her father into chasing you away with a shoom. How do you identify just how good a diamond is? We went ahead and sat down with Yunan Louis Youssef of Select Jewelry to learn the ins and outs of the diamond world and put together this relationship-saving guide on how to select the perfect diamond. His family has been in the diamond business since 1939 and he has a Diamond Grading Degree, so he’s pretty legit.
Let’s assume I’m a guy walking in here to buy a diamond for my girl bas I don’t know the first thing about diamonds. How much do I really need to know?
If it is a jewellery piece you’re buying, it doesn’t require a lot of details, but if it is a shabka (like bridal jewellery and wedding rings), we have to get down to the nitty gritty.
What are the most common questions people ask you when they come in search of a diamond?
They usually ask about prices, budget is a big issue to most people and half a carat costs 15,000 pounds. The one thing they miss or the one thing they don’t understand is the cut, which is very very important, but they totally overlook it when they buy a certified stone.
What are the 4 Cs of diamonds? Why does each one matter? Are there any visible differences?
The 4 Cs are: clarity, colour, carat weight and cut and they are all equally important. The price of a stone depends on these four elements put together. In our store we deal in G to H colour grades (in diamonds, colour grades vary from D to Z where the yellow hue isn’t visible all the way to I and J and the further you go, the yellower it gets) so our diamonds are crystal clear. Carat depends on the customer’s budget. As for the cut, it is the standard at which a stone’s excellence is measured, in terms of polish, symmetry and proportions.
Would the girl be able to notice these differences?
You have to be quite into the craft to understand, but the average person would be able to tell from the colour if it’s lower colour grade (I or J) because the stone would look a bit yellowish.
When guys come in here to buy a diamond ring, for example, what’s usually their biggest worry?
They want to make sure they’re getting real diamonds, that’s why they ask for certificates. And of course, prices.
Grab your gal on February 14th, treat her to her favourite guilty pleasure – even if it’s Netflix and ice cream - and wrap it up by pulling out that perfect diamond and wishing her a seriously happy Valentine's Day.