Apr 3rd, 2019

High Standards: How Melanie Sources Diamonds

High Standards: How Melanie Sources Diamonds
We get a lot of questions about how we source our diamonds. Other than working with suppliers who abide by the Kimberley Process (a standard of ethical sourcing), Melanie prioritizes both the beauty and the value of each and every diamond that she hand-selects for our collection. After working with diamonds for many years, and viewing many varied stones, she has some specific things she looks for when choosing stones.
We want to be transparent with our clients in all aspects of our business. So, we share here the nitty-gritty about how Melanie selects the beautiful diamonds you will find in your Melanie Casey piece.
Her first priority is that the diamond is completely clean inside to the naked eye.  There is nothing worse than a black dot or imperfection that can ruin an otherwise beautiful stone! Because of this, she keeps clarity at VS2 or higher on most designs, and if the stone is SI1/2, she is very, very critical. In fact, even the tiny diamond accents we use are of higher quality and beauty than most melee stones used in the fine jewelry world.
Next, she likes to keep the color rating over G.  The higher the better, here, but G and higher look like a glowing bright white once set in yellow gold.  She usually pushes diamonds that will be set in white gold and platinum up to F or higher.  
So, her top two criteria are the most "value-oriented" clarity and color ratings. She doesn't go to extremes because of the next consideration, which is pricepoint.  She wants to find the most beautiful diamond without wasting money for no reason on IF clarity (which looks the same as most VS clarity stones to the naked eye).
Next, she tries to find the largest millimeter size. She wants the diamond to look substantial and not waste all of the carat weight in the underbelly of the stone.  She doesn't go for "flat" diamonds, but she avoids deep diamonds because it's not helping the overall impact. She's seen 1ct. and 1.5cts. that look very, very similar in size and quality, and it's a waste of money for the client to buy the heavier diamond that otherwise looks exactly the same.
Then, she considers cut.  She'd rather her client have a spectacular VS1/2 clarity, F color diamond with "good" cut ratings that is 1.5ct. and looks like a 2ct. stone instead of an equal quality diamond with "excellent" cut ratings on all three categories that looks like a 1ct.  The cut ratings just don't have the same impact on the stone as the other qualities do. In addition, diamonds are cut so precisely these days that they are all really, really reflective and beautiful even at a "good" rating!
Once a diamond meets all of these criteria, Melanie herself chooses which diamond will be set in each design. Her designs are deceptively complicated in their daintiness, and each require a very careful eye to choose the correct stones for each placement. This is a big reason that we choose to still create each piece in-house at the hands of experienced, expert jewelers. It would be more cost-effective for us to outsource this process like many fine jewelry brands do, but we could then not control the quality of each piece of jewelry we put our name on. Our jewelers are trained extensively in the art of setting tiny stones and perfecting each prong. Melanie herself quality-checks each piece before it heads out the door to you.
We want you to love your jewelry forever, and that's why we are committed not only to sourcing the best diamonds available, but also to making each piece with love, from our hands to yours.