Saturday, August 29, 2009

Paul Slegers of Infinity Diamonds on Consistency

In a discussion on Pricescope today Paul Slegers of Infinity Diamonds responded with the following post that I thought worthy of being posted separately.

I am a vendor of Infinity Diamonds and this is the type of reason why I enjoy working with Paul.

Going back to the original topic of Sara, I think that Sara and others are only touching part of the positive aspects of consistency.

In order to understand this, you need to think with a different mindset. Most contributors here are used to thinking about the product and the product only, where I think that processes are most important. Some of these processes involve the choice of retailers selling a line, and the level of service that they provide (Sara touched this aspect also), but also the production-process which delivers the final product is extremely important.

Here on Pricescope and on other consumer-forums before that, I have learned important aspects of product. Some of these aspects are the choice of the lab-report, the need for photographs of the actual stone, the ideal-scope, the hearts-and-arrows, later on also of the ASET, and the disclosure of maximum information about the stone, available at all times.

What many do not realise, is that all these features of the product do not define the product. They describe certain aspects of the product, with great tools, but all these tools have their limitations. In our attempts to educate people, we have a lot of tools to cover, but we often forget to emphasize the limitations of each tool. As such, the mistaken idea arises that the combination of these tools accurately describe the diamond.

The reality is different however. If a stone passes the test of a tool, it indicates that the stone is better than a certain minimum-level. For example, if a stone has an Ideal cut-grade by AGS, this only means that the stone has passed the minimum-level chosen by AGS to describe the stone as Ideal. Within that grade, there are still a number of variations.

Also, if a stone passes the minimum standards of H&A, this is not complete information, since the crispness of the H&A-pattern is an important differentiator between stones, but is not part of the minimum standards of H&A. From my side, I have not only learned from these minimum-levels of information on PS, but I combine this with the experience and common sense of generations of the best diamond-cutters in the world. This is necessary, because science has not yet completely cracked the formula that makes a diamond work. As such, I do not have objective data to prove what works, but I guess that I do have the experience to make it work.

In this regard, we are proud that we did not have to change our formula when AGS and GIA introduced new cut-grades, and the ongoing scintillation-studies by AGS will also have no effect on our formula. What I am trying to say in a complicated way, is that our formula for cutting our diamonds is ahead of its time, where the majority of cutters is only adapting (constantly) to newly arising needs.

Back to process.

In our operation, we spend a lot of energy in the particulars of the cutting-process. This approach is totally different to one of product-quality-control. In the latter, one compares the final product (or at a sub-step in production) with a quality-level that needs to be achieved. The result is that everything that passes the minimally needed quality-level passes, since it is good enough. In our approach, I may have been influenced by my father, who used to be working at Ford Motor Company, where he was part of a quality-improvement-team. This team introduced the then new Japanese quality-improvement-methods into Ford's manufacturing process, and, there, I learned that quality is not a matter of checking it afterwards only, it is much more a matter of adapting production-processes so that quality is an automatic result.

It is our attention to the process that creates our Infinity-brand with diamonds that dazzle consumers and that our retailers are proud to carry. I am often surprised how some consumers describe certain unique aspects of our stones. I know that these aspects are a result of our process and they can only be observed in real-life, as the currently available tools cannot show these.Actually, that is why I think that consistency is important. Our consistent process guarantees a product that also delivers benefits beyond the abilities of the current cut-assessment-tools.

Live long,

Paul SlegersInfinity

I found this fascinating and I hope you enjoyed it also. You can read the entire thread on Pricescope by clicking on the title. As always, the discussions there are lively!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Facebook | Justice for Campbell Bridges

I received this from a friend of mine, Jacques Vorhees, former owner of Polygon. I met Campbell many many years ago and was sad to learn of his death. I would want this passed on even had I not known him.


Facebook Justice for Campbell Bridges: "Campbell Bridges, discoverer of Tsavorite and renowned gemologist was murdered on August 11th, 2009. He was ambushed and killed by known claim jumpers and bandits on his mining concession in Tsavo. Many of the killers names are known by his son, Bruce Bridges, by their first and last names; yet the Kenyan government has been providing little support in apprehending the criminals involved. The Kenyan media is stonewalling the media coverage locally and attempting to bury the story. We need to rally people together to promote this story in major media outlets and demand a US led investigation, since Campbell was a US citizen. We want the criminals that perpetrated this brought to Justice so that his family can find peace.
Please sign our petition here -

Thank you,
Karl Channell"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gem Trace

A friend of mine is about to open a really cool service. Gemtrace.

Here is a copy of the text on his front page.

What is GemTrace

GemTrace creates a correlation between the diamond registry numbers laser inscribed on the girdle edge of diamonds with their registered owners. Until now it was not possible to identify the owner of a diamond or colored gem by the lab report number which is routinely inscribed on the girdle edge of many diamonds.

By registering your laser inscribed diamond with GemTrace you increase the odds of your diamond being returned to you in the event that it is recovered by a law enforcement agency. Our database of registered diamonds may be searched by law enforcement agencies, retail jewelers, pawn shops and the public without cost.

In the event that a search is conducted and a diamond is identified as being registered in our database, the diamond will be identified as existing in our database and the person or agency who initiated the search may contact us to arrange for return of the diamond to the registered owner. The identity and personal information of registered owners is not released, we act as the intermediary agent to expedite the return of the recovered diamond, colored gem, or jewelry item.

Until now it was not possible for a law enforcement agency to quickly identify the registered owner of a diamond based on the inscription of a lab report number on the girdle edge of a diamond. The lab report number inscribed along the girdle edge of a diamond was merely intended to provide a correlation between the diamond and the diamond grading report which was issued for it. GemTrace makes it possible to quickly identify the registered owner of a laser inscribed diamond. Register your laser inscribed diamond with GemTrace today!

I really hope that this takes off for him, I believe that it provides an incredibly useful service for diamond owners.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Facebook | HighPerformanceDiamonds

Facebook HighPerformanceDiamonds: "HighPerformanceDiamonds We had our first client come in and order a pendant and earring set from her gems purchased at the Judith Whitehead round table. I am very excited to see how these look mounted. It turns out that one of Judiths friends who sets a LOT of her gems lives thirty miles from me in a city called Caldwell, Idaho.

You can see some of her wonderful work at"

When I have time I will post a picture of the gems and the drawings that Lisette did.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Recut diamond from 1.66cts to 1.47cts.

Facebook HighPerformanceDiamonds: "Here are three diamonds. The one on the top is as it was, a 1.66ct diamond that was well cut for when I bought it in 1978. But now we know more about cutting and have so much more brilliance available to us than we did before. The two photos on the bottom show it as it is now. One was taken at 1/30th of a second with f22 aperature, the other at 1/30th with f32. As you can see, it is much more spectalar now!" I also posted this on my Facebook page where you can see many other fun things about diamonds.
You can see the video there, or also here:

Monday, July 13, 2009


My wife sent me this, as a former Marine it made me cry.

Thank you Mr. Clemente for posting this.


We're hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.

I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell "Shifty" Powers.

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle", the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, and then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . " at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.

I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he said "I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . And then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said "Yes. And it's real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat and I didn't know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in coach.

He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.

No big event in Staples Center.

No wall to wall back to back 24x7 news coverage.

No weeping fans on television.

And that's not right.

Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

Rest in peace, Shifty.

"A nation without heroes is nothing."

Roberto Clemente

Friday, June 19, 2009

1.17ct E-VS1 video

So, seen any incredible diamonds lately? How about this one?? It is an incredible Crafted by Infinity Diamond. 1.17 E-VS1.

Enjoy the sparkle!


Crowning Glory

I thought you might enjoy this video of a particularly nice ring we recently finished.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Leaving for Antwerp

I will be going to Antwerp on June 15th courtesy of my diamond supplier, Infinity Diamonds.  I was selected as their retailer of the year for my outstanding contribution to the Infinity Brand and for my sales of their wonderful product.


I will be tweeting under the name HPDiamonds and adding a lot of videos to the blog as I travel.