Saturday, 3 November 2012

Holloway Cut Advisor (HCA): PART 1

Holloway Cut Advisor (HCA): PART 1


   HCA is the short abbreviation for The Holloway Cut Advisor (U.S. Patent 7,251,619), invented by Garry Holloway. The HCA is used to estimate a round diamond’s appeal based on its potential Light Return, Fire, Scintillation and Spread, in other words, to estimate the effectiveness of light return from a diamond’s cut. This tool is wonderful not just because it can estimate a diamond’s appeal but because it is also a free! :) (

   The HCA is designed to aid a novice consumer or an experienced trade buyer in selecting diamonds they have not seen. To get a diamond’s HCA score, you need to input the figures for Total Depth %, Table %, the diamond’s Crown degree angle/% and Pavilion degree angle/%.

   It is best to input Crown and Pavilion angles than percentages because percentages are often rounded; for example, a 13.3% can be rounded off to 13%. Likewise, some certificates list less accurate rounded Crown percentages and Pavilion percentages, therefore if you want to be sure that the diamond has excellent light return, you may ask the vendor to get you a Helium, Sarin or Ogi report to give you better accuracy with the specifications of the diamond.

   After inputting the diamond specifications in the formulae provided, you will receive a HCA Score. A score under 2 (Excellent) means you have eliminated known poor performers, which is more than 95% of all diamonds. Most people prefer diamonds that rate 1-2 on the scale where: 0-2 Excellent, 2-4 Very Good, 4-6 Good, 6-8 Fair, and 8-10 Poor. Zero is almost impossible because of conflicting factors; your personal preference may be for a diamond with an HCA score of 1.5 than one with a lower HCA score of 0.5.

   The Ideal range of diamonds is 1% of the worlds’ diamond supply and here at JANNPAUL, all diamonds go through a stringent process of filtration. To ensure and maintain this standard of quality to customers, we only accept and stock diamonds with a HCA score of 1.4 and below, which is equivalent to less than 0.01% of the worlds’ diamond supply.

   Although the HCA is wonderful for calculating the effectiveness of light return in a diamond, we must stress that there are limitations to the HCA as well. Keep an eye out for our next entry, where we will describe the limitations of the HCA and why it should only be used as an elimination tool and not solely as a quality measurement.

Find out your score today!

Friday, 12 October 2012

JP Wedding Bands: James Phua

JP Wedding Bands: James Phua

We would like to introduce JANNPAUL’s semi-customized wedding bands! 

All marriages hope for an eternal love and not surprisingly, the eternity ring, set with a continuous line of identically cut gemstones or diamonds, started off as a marketing ploy directed to symbolize never-ending love from a husband to wife. Due to the discomfort of a “full-eternity”, from the abrasion of stones on the inner fingers and palm, the design has evolved to be more comfortable with a “half-eternity”, where a line of continuous stones cover the face of band only.

The beauty of JANNPAUL’s is illustrated in James Phua’s wedding bands. Both wedding bands are set in 18K white gold, customized to each respective ring size. 

Wedding bands come in pairs and are usually similar in design to emphasize union. As seen, James Phua’s band design has two tracks on the surface, almost as though to show how his partner’s eternity ring is part of his band, strengthening a sense of togetherness; the diameter of the diamond of his partner’s band is mirrored to the width of the tracks on James Phua’s band.

As the usual Chinese saying goes, all good things come in pairs... Congratulations to James Phua! We hope you enjoy your wedding bands!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Ring Tracking: Luo Wei Xiang

Luo Wei Xiang The Super Ideal Solitaire

Let’s bring the diamond into the 3D World!

The Super Ideal Cut diamond that Wei Xiang purchased is then placed into the diamond scanner, where a laser traces the entire diamond, down to each proportion and facet. This is done so that the ring can be modeled around the diamond. The advantage is that we have a greater accuracy of how the finished ring product would look like with his own diamond in the 3D world!

3D Model creation..

Wei Xiang’s 3D model is created; the diamond in the 3D environment is the exact diamond Wei Xiang purchased. This means we have full control of the entire ring in contrast to his diamond. And as for the tray of the setting, we modified the design of it. Instead of a usual straight tray, we had it design into an ”ARROW” like shape, so it makes the entire diamond ring showcases the classic yet modern age look. 

Creating the Wax Model

Once the 3D model is finalized, the wax model is produced, where we check for the proportions and safety of the ring in the real world.

Final Product

The final ring is then produced in white gold for another check, and then we initiate the process of setting the diamond into the ring. 

We created an 18kt white gold classic 4 prongs set with one of our ultimate brilliance diamond, “The Super Ideal”.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Ring Tracking: Lim Shao Wei

Lim Shao Wei The Super Ideal Solitaire

Scanning the diamond into the 3D World!

The Super Ideal Cut diamond that Shao Wei purchased is then placed into the diamond scanner (SARIN Machine), where a laser traces the entire diamond, down to each facet.
This allows us to have an accurate structure of the diamond, such that the 3D render of the diamond, would be close to the exact proportion as the actual diamond.

Creating the 3D Model

Once we have the 3D model of the diamond, we proceed in creating the setting. Having the diamonds exact proportions is crucial as the setting is done proportional to the size of the diamond. This is a feature which most people tend to neglect. The trick to a beautiful diamond ring is all in the proportion! Heart shape prongs were made to add an extra twist to the ring, making it more unique and special.

Creating the Wax Model & Ring Cast

Once the 3D model is finalized, the wax model is created in accordance to its dimension for it to be casted.

Final Product

Finally, the ring would then be produced in white gold, after the ring cast is done and with the diamond mounted, safety checks are conducted to ensure the diamond is placed securely.

This is the final outcome, of Shao Wei’s Super Ideal diamond, customized fine curvy band with side diamonds and to top it off, with specially design lovely heart shape 4 prongs to make the whole outlook of her solitaire ring unforgettable.  

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Ring Tracking: Shawn Huang

Scanning the diamond into the 3D World!

The Brellia that Shawn purchased is then placed into the diamond scanner, where a laser traces the entire diamond, down to each proportion and facet. This is done so that the ring can be modeled around the diamond. The advantage is that we have a clear view up to 95% accuracy of how the finished ring product would look like with his own diamond in a 3D world!

Creating the 3D Model

As you can see, the diamond in the 3D environment is the exact diamond Shawn purchased, the 3D model is designed around the diamond, as you can see in the video linked at the top of the blog page. This means we have full control of the entire ring in contrast to Shawn's diamond. The width is adjusted to create the slender look of the ring, the prongs is adjusted to a safe and secure size, not too big nor small.

Creating the Wax Model

After the 3D model is finalized, the wax model is produced, where we check for the proportions and safety of the ring in the real world.

Final Product

The final ring is produced in white gold for another check, before the diamond is then set into the ring.

And there we have it, Shawn's double prong 18kt white gold solitaire ring, set with one of the rarest diamond beauties, the Cushion Brellia.

Monday, 9 July 2012

A Royal Customization

This blog was created to informally update you of what's going on and to share our views.
Besides talking about diamonds and, we would also be talking about ourselves and our past experiences. 
If you don't mind :)

Some of you may have already known, before I joined Jann Paul, I helped out with my family business, which is also in the jewelry trade. One of our main clients was the Brunei Royal Family. We manage all kinds of customizations, from tissue boxes decorated with diamonds to golden walking sticks.
These are a few of the many items that was customized.

Golden Cannon Sitting on Blue Quartz

White Gold Tally Counter

 Door Gifts that was used in Weddings and other Ceremonies

I’ve travelled to the Brunei Istana several times, where we would personally assist the Royal Family. In my first visit, I remembered being chauffeured to the Istana, and passing through their basement car park. There was about 2 -3 levels of basements, which was filled with cars parked back to back. Most of the cars were Rolls Royces. I asked the driver how many Rolls Royce did the Sultan have, and he said there were over 200... They had a very impressive collection of cars.

Inside the Istanta, everything was designed in fine detail, from the thick carpets to the decorated ceilings. It seemed that every piece in the room was customized to fit the room. Almost every furniture had a gold feature in them. These picture was taken around 2005. 

Currently, they are constructing a new Istana, next to the old one. I heard it's even more bigger and grander than the old one.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Solitaire Customization: All in the Tray?

Solitaire rings can be simple yet very different most of the time. However when a client says "I want a classic 4 prong design, but i want it different", this always ends up as more of a challenge than bombastic organic designs.
There is only so much that can be done in a classic ring. Let's take a look at what makes a Classic Solitaire.

Most of the time we can dissect a classic 4 prong ring into 3 sections:

1. Prongs: These come in various sizes, shapes and orientations. Most of the time the classic ones would look as simple as this.


Small or Large?

Small prongs allow more visibility to the diamond, however the trade-off is the security of the diamond naturally. Clients usually ask us to go as small as possible, to a point where security is not affected. Prongs that are too large may look too bulky and cover up too much of the diamond. However, provides high security for the diamond.

Single or Double?This is not entirely aesthetic. Double prongs provide higher security for the diamond, the trade-off once again is that it does cover up more of the diamond. However, specific diamond shapes such as cushions or radiants flush well with double prongs. Double Prongs are not easy tasks for craftsmen, and average skilled ones would end up creating more of a hideous concoction.

There is always cases where some clients want to play with color within their ring, changing some parts to rose gold or yellow, just to create that extra "oomph". However, it may sometimes look too "forced" and result in a ring design that may be attracting the wrong attention. Another consideration is such: Rose gold and Yellow gold prongs may cause the color to "leak" into the diamond and cause certain parts of the diamond to appear "reddish brown" if rose gold, or "yellowish" if yellow gold prongs are set. Hence, when purchasing a high colored diamond, we always try to recommend not doing this.

2.Tray: The tray adds as a security bench, allowing the diamond to not simply "drop" and wriggle out if ever the prongs loosen over time. This also provides aesthetic beauty!

As I make more entries in my blog, you will notice we do alot of "play" with the tray customization. Reason being is that this portion is not visible from face up, which retains the overall simple classic look of a solitaire ring when viewed from the face of the diamond. However, take a 90 degree turn and you'd notice something special, a tray different from your usual straight prong to prong trays in all classic 4 prong rings.

Design and Color of tray?
Simply because our diamonds do not leak light, we have all possibilities to play around with the color of the tray, be it rose/yellow gold. The center diamond would not pick up these reflections because light enters and and goes out fully with all our super ideal ranged diamonds. Design is of course, up to each individual client, we have done really funky stuff with this portion of the ring! From symbols to alphabets to old European vintage filigrees, the options are limitless. Ultimately, when viewing the finished ring from the top view, this still retains the classic - 4 prong look. And the tray reveals a personal design.

Let's Take a look at one of our projects, and we decided to play around with the tray.

PROJECT 1 "i want a classic 4 prong solitaire, but i want something a little different"

Diamond: JP Super Ideal Hearts and Arrrows 57 facets

Here is the 3D CAD Picture of Irene's ring. We took the tray and modified it a little to look like an arrow pointing to the diamond. The band was tapered as she wanted the diamond to "appear" larger. The synergy in this design is that the band and tray look like arrows, pointing towards the centre diamond, giving an illusion of focus towards the diamond.

After the CAD was approved, we went ahead with the WAX model. This is to allow us to check for potential problems that may occur in the future in the ring such as; prongs being too small, weak attachments that may compromise the durability of the ring and the comfort level as well!

Here is the final ring!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

My Past Projects - Crocodile Skin and Diamonds?

This was one of my projects that I started, before I joined the Jann Paul team.

During my school days, I wanted to do something different. Something that stands out in the crowd, that no one has done before. I came up with this idea, of combining 2 luxurious goods together. Leather and Jewelry. I wanted to pick the top quality in both materials, and ended up using Crocodile skin and Diamonds! This was where this project was born.

In the beginning, I was met with many obstacles. No one has ever done this fusion before, of combining crocodile skin and diamonds. I wanted to keep this affordable and used Sterling Silver as my base metal, and had it white gold re-plated (This was out of the norm, as no one has set diamonds on silver). Another problem, was how am I going to fuse all these elements together into a single piece?

I sourced my crocodile skins from Heng Long Pte Ltd. It's a locally listed company and are one of the top 5 crocodile skin tanneries in the world. They provide the highest quality crocodile skins and exported their leather to big brand names, such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Hermes, and luxurious watch brands. Recently, the company has been bought over by Louis Vuitton. 

The problem with crocodile skin, is that you can't use just a small piece. The beauty of crocodile skin is the patterning on the leather. In order to appreciate the crocodile skin, a wider surface area is needed. Thus, the ring has to be wide.

This was what I came up with..

You can still appreciate the detailing of the crocodile skin. I also added a diamond in the middle of the ring, giving it a bit of sparkle :) However, a down side of this design, is that the ring cannot be re-sized.  Also, notice the edges of the leather has to be covered by a border. This is where I "tuck" the leather skin, so that you won't be able to view any gaps. If you notice, most crocodile skin jewelry products (like bangles), have gaps between the skin and the metal. This is because, they cut the skin and glue the skin directly on top of the metal. As crocodile skin is an organic material, it is extremely difficult to cut it perfectly to fit its slot.

When I started, no crafter was able to fuse the crocodile skin and the ring together for me as this was never done before. So I had to make each piece individually, myself. 

And I later moved on to make a men's version, without the diamond.

This project was also a finalist, in the Lee Kwan Yew Business Plan Competition in 2006. It was also featured in the Business Times Newspaper. 

The crocodile skin diamond ring took off very well and I received good responses.
Although I managed to overcome most of the technical difficulties in the ring. One problem that remains is that Crocodile skins are not water proof. This means that whenever you wash your hands, you must remember to take off your ring! (which people always forget to do). When the ring comes in contact with soap or detergent, it ruins the crocodile skin. As a result, most people ended up wearing it as a necklace pendant. 

I hope you guys had a good read :)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Casey Lai, An introduction

About Me 

Hi i'm Casey Lai and i'll be entering posts on this blog to show our clients what goes on behind the scenes at JANNPAUL! I'm a 2nd generation diamond expert born and bred in Singapore, my family has been in the trade for approximately 40 years. 

Currently, I'm a partner at JANNPAUL, Singapore's leading diamond team on Super Ideal Diamonds. I handle operations and management in the company, making sure each piece of jewelry purchased from our private clients meets the highest of standards that we are known for. After each client has picked their life partner diamond, I run the process of customization, manufacture and delivery with the JP team.

What to expect here

On a weekly basis, you will be able to track how rings are actually made, from the meticulous hands of a craftsman, to the quality control, to potential problems faced in jewelry that people never knew! New clients can personally request from me to showcase their rings on my section of the blog, if you'd like to see the birth of your jewelry piece. Just drop me an email!