Diamond Advice

A diamond is the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. It signifies a couple’s everlasting devotion to each other. Its rarity, perfection, clarity and brilliance reflect the unique connection and intimacy of a romance. It is once in a lifetime, every time.

Whether acquiring that one special diamond ring, or expanding a jewelry collection, there is much to consider and the help of expert advice is priceless. To guide you in your quest for a flawless future together, Long Island’s leading jewelers offer their valuable insights and gemology wisdom here. As the foremost experts in their field, they collectively constitute hundreds of years of experience and knowledge; the pieces shown on these pages represent the larger collections at their retail locations.

A couple’s moment of forever is pure and the diamonds you choose to symbolize that precious, unbreakable love are the heirlooms you’ll share all your lives. When you’re ready to find your perfect “forever,” these quality retailers will be there to help.


A custom designed engagement ring is a special piece of jewelry. It’s a unique piece that is perfectly fabricated to a couple’s wants, tastes and lifestyle, and of course, suits any budget desired. In order to design the right custom engagement ring for a couple, it’s important to consider several things, treating each interaction with care and attention. First, I sit down and interview the customer(s) and get a feel for individual personality and taste. I have the couple look at our large collection of rings and settings and browse our catalog photos. After we’ve discussed the direction, I begin sketching up an image to present. Once that is approved, I begin making a mold, again involving the customer in the process—never taking the next step until the last meets approval. From that point, the casting is done followed by the polish and setting of the ring.

The reason customers trust Marinelli Jewelers in making their custom engagement rings is they can expect exemplary service from our kind and courteous staff, as well as 30 years of experience. Marinelli Jewelers has been in business since 1980, and I take the business personally: I began working for the company in 1988 and purchased the store in 1990. I get my inspiration for making custom pieces from the jewelry shows I attend, which feature designs from all over the world. Customers can trust Marinelli Jewelers to design the ring of their dreams. I wouldn’t want to provide my customers with anything less than perfection.

Visit Rich and the whole team at Marinelli Jewelers, 7 Eastport Manor Road in Eastport. Phone: (631) 325-1812, marinellijewelers.com.

imageCut is the KEY factor that determines a diamond’s ability to disperse light, distribute flashes of light and display overall brilliance. Of all the characteristics that determine diamond quality and value, cut is the only one that we completely control. Just as a poorly cut diamond can detract from the allure of a D Flawless, an exquisite cut can make a diamond of lower color and clarity much more appealing to the eye. Diamond cutting techniques vary based upon the shape of a diamond, however the most traditional shape is the round brilliant, which features 57 facets. And occasionally, some stones are cut with a culet (extra facet) on the bottom, serving as a 58th facet.

Although proportion, symmetry and polish are the three main factors of cut that determine the value of a diamond, each facet serves as a window allowing a clear view of the diamond’s interior and also allows for light refraction and reflection. The most skilled diamond cutters are able to enhance each of these characteristics while retaining the greatest possible carat weight. At Ambalu Jewelers, we regularly purchase large quantities of diamonds of varying shape and size, and cut plays a very prominent role in our decision to purchase a diamond or pass on it. The taste of our clientele varies greatly, from a 1.00 carat Round Brilliant to a 15.00 carat Emerald Cut, but what they all share is their preference for diamonds that are cut precisely and with care. And we share our passion for diamond cutting with each of them.

Ambalu Jewelers, Manhattan’s finest jewelry designer and manufacturer since 1974, recently opened their flagship location in East Hills. Ambalu jewelers is renowned for one of a kind designs and extraordinary personal service. Visit the Ambalu Diamond Experts at 36 Glen Cove Road in East Hills, 11577. Email info@nullambalujewelers.com or call (516) 626-3595.

What lady doesn’t want a stone that reflects the perfection and clarity of her true love? Diamonds are valued for a variety of reasons, both technical and emotional, but clarity is the one characteristic that occurs explicitly through the natural process and refers to the absence of internal and/or external features (ie: feathers, crystals, cavities, indented naturals, etc.).

Clarity of a stone is measured by the size, nature, position, color and quantity of the internal or external identifying features, though the average consumer will not see a difference in clarity from one stone to another. imageAs the stone gets larger, stones are graded with more leniency. When working with rough or uncut stones, a cutter will optimize the size of the diamond and work in harmony with any identifying flaws to obtain the best clarity grade. However, a specialist can improve a diamond’s clarity by either laser drilling an identifying feature (usually a dark “crystal”) or fracture fill cavities with a glass like substance (sometimes called Yehuda Treatment). Thus, buyers should carefully scrutinize the credentials of both the stone and the jeweler (and ask for a report from a recognized laboratory ie: GIA).

When procuring a diamond, jewelers look to strike a balance between all the four C’s, hoping for the best cut (to bring out the best brilliancy, scintillation, and light dispersion), the greatest carat (the best weight for the value) and of course, the highest color and clarity levels, which never change over time.

Since 1979, Le Joaillier has served discriminating clientele with exclusive collections of fine designer jewelry, found nowhere else on Long Island. The full service jewelry shop features an unprecedented selection, knowledgeable sales staff, a GIA Graduate Gemologist, and a specialized Watch Repairman. Le Joaillier focuses on making each customer’s experience a positive and memorable one. Visit their two distinctive locations: The Plaza at Locust Valley, (516) 759-1133, and in Garden City on Franklin Ave, (516) 746-2304, or at lejoaillier.com. Appointments available.

imageColored diamonds are miracles of nature, formed deep within the Earth billions of years ago. Rare and renowned for their beauty, they present a stunning array of brilliance and color. The physical conditions necessary to color a diamond naturally occur extremely scarcely, hence the rarity.

Historically, colored diamonds were worn mainly by royalty, celebrities and wealthy aristocrats; the most famous being the Hope diamond (45.52 carats). Today, these rare creations of nature appeal to a much broader audience of jewelry connoisseurs who seek fancy diamonds in all hues from champagne to orange to purple. The red diamonds, however, are the most rare of all the colored stones. Color intensity, the deepness or richness of color, is the most important consideration when purchasing a fancy colored diamond. The more intense the color, the more rare and valuable the diamond will be.

The best way to mix diamonds with other gems is to find the natural balance between the stones, designs, proportions, and colors. The same is true of settings. For example, fancy yellow diamonds are often set in yellow gold, while pink diamonds look best when set in rose gold. Before buying a colored diamond, it is recommended to do a bit of research and always request to see a report from a GIA laboratory (Gemological Institute of America).

Marek Ostasz and Dmitriy Klimov opened Ostasz Studio to create unique, technically perfect, timeless, one-of-a-kind designs in gold, platinum and genuine fancy colored diamonds. Their forte is working with clients to develop carefully architectured jewelry fashioned in whimsical, artful designs. Visit ostaszstudio.com or call (212) 278-8262 to set an appointment.

The “Four C’s” have been the standard in measuring the value of diamonds and comparing them since the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) began developing the system in the 1940s. Opinions vary on which “C” is most important, but most experts agree the best way to evaluate a stone is by considering the sum of the parts.

Carat, however, tends to be buyers’ favorite characteristic, because it measures the weight of the stone. And of course, most people believe bigger is better. One metric carat is the composite of one hundred points, thus a .50 carat diamond is equal to 50 points. But what does it weigh? A one-carat stone, or 100 points, is actually equal to only 0.2 grams (the weight of a paperclip). So it’s easy to see why the desire for larger stones quickly escalates above 3.0 carats.

Based on industry statistics, the average size diamond used in engagement rings nationwide is approx .75 carat. On Long Island, I’d say the average is a bit higher, about 1 to 1.25 carat. At H. L. Gross & Bro, we cater to clientele seeking a wide range of stones and are happy to meet whatever expectations are set. The thing to remember is two stones at equal carat might be priced drastically differently due to overall gem quality, which is based on all the four C’s. Also, typically the larger the stone, the harder it is to find higher levels of the other characteristics, thus two 2 carat stones can easily differ in price by $15,000 and more.

The largest polished diamond is the Golden Jubilee Diamond at 545.67 carats. Although that was discovered in just 1985, it is trumped in celebrity by the Hope Diamond at 45.52 carats because of the intrigue surrounding the Hope. It goes to show that diamond jewelry is often pursued by an emotional response so ultimately, the most important thing is to find a piece that will speak to the wearer.

H.L .Gross & Bro. is a family owned business serving Long Island for five generations. We carry a wide range of quality brands, have a full service repair shop, do custom designs and will reset your diamonds in front of you. We look forward to serving you at our Garden City location at the corner of Franklin & Stewart Avenues. Call us at (516) 747-6666 or visit hlgross.com today.

Marinelli and Le Joaillier photo by Antfarm Photography, Ambalu photo courtesy of Ambalu Jewelers. Ostasz Photo Courtesy of Ostasz Studios.