Our grading system is unique because Celestial Diamonds (trademark pending) are not the industry norm. Color grading systems tell you what you cannot see with your naked eye with codes to classify their rareness. The grading system for clear white diamonds is important because you need to know what you are buying and cannot tell on your own. As you can see, our diamonds do not conform to standard grading. When sent to the GIA for certification, our diamonds come back with the word "fancy" as their grade. (They too think these diamonds are fancy!)
We have created our own chart and grading system that we call the Midwinter Co. Celestial Diamond Code Chart. Since you can clearly see the difference in our diamonds with the naked eye, you can look at our different codes and clearly communicate to us what you like best and share what we call your favorite coloring/clarity of diamond.
What are Celestial Diamonds?
They are normal, genuine, earth mined, untreated natural diamonds. We trademarked the name that we call the type of diamonds that we use - gray toned, and with inclusions we adore. These diamonds are found in the ground, made by nature, and completely untouched by any treatment.
These are called "Salt and Pepper" by the industry. We began using these diamonds before they had an industry name, and have always called them Celestial or Galaxy Diamonds.
Diamonds are made of a crystalline form of pure carbon, creating the hardest mineral known. They have a high surface luster, meaning that much light is reflected from their surface. They do not appear the same a your standard diamonds, but we assure you that they are strong and shimmery!
Are Midwinter Co. Celestial Diamonds real?
Yes. They are indeed genuine, real, natural, made of pure carbon from the earth like your classic diamonds. We only work with reliable sources with fair trade practices.
We often work with amazing and stunning natural diamonds that we call Celestial diamonds , which the industry sometimes calls salt and pepper diamonds, or galaxy diamonds. Everything about the diamond is a real diamond, and possibly even more real than your "standard" diamond that may have been heat treated or had it's inclusions microscopically removed. The perfectly imperfect stones are each unique, and since they are not your standard mass-purchased stone in our industry, isn't worth the effort to "bad guys" to make fakes that look like these.
You can buy a diamond tester and test any diamond at home.
What makes your diamonds more environmentally friendly?
The diamonds we use are less taxing on the earth to find, to mine, and to ship. To find the clear diamonds that the jewelry industry pushes, mining companies cause huge disturbances in the earth. They then ship off (causing so much polution) hundreds of tons of earth to another country to be sifted through to find just one carat of the clear perfectly clean diamonds the world wants. Mining the diamonds we use is very minimal in comparison. Yes, they are still shipped, yes they are still mined in the earth. Yet, the amount of ore that needs to be shipped is much less. Mining is much less deep causing less of a disturbance.
Why do the Celestial Diamonds look different?
They are unique looking because of their natural character. All genuine diamonds are mined from the earth and are made of carbon within ore. Because they are formed in the earth, all diamonds have birthmarks. Natural diamonds get their character from the traces of hematite, graphite, and magnetite that has not yet crystalized which creates the unique dark beauty within.
"Perfect" Diamonds are often treated to remove inclusions, or are thought of as less beautiful for having hidden inclusions. We simply chose not to conform to the mainstream idea of perfection, and believe our diamonds with their obvious inclusions are the epitome of true perfection: each is unique, real, and stunningly beautiful in it's own right... just like the person wearing it.
Are the diamonds as good as white clear diamonds?
Diamonds are made of a crystalline form of pure carbon, creating the hardest mineral known, whether they are see-through or not. The diamonds we use are internally filled with inclusions. That is why we love them. They also can have outer natural openings. These characteristics we personally embrace as beautiful, showing their nature.
Due to the inclusions, they are technically more weak on the inside than your high dollar clear white diamonds. To be fair, when hit with a hammer, every diamond in the world will shatter. All jewelers should suggest purchasing ring insurance in order to cover a lifetime of stone theft, loss, scratches, or breaks.
They are, however, still stronger than your strongest gemstones. They will scratch less than any gemstone because of their hardness, and sparkle more due to their higher refractive index. Our opinion is that they are not just 'as good' but overall better - better for the earth, unique for the wearer, and obviously not fake.
What can you share about your sourcing?
The majority of our diamonds and gems are sourced directly from mines in Canada, Botswana, and South Africa. They are often cut by our suppliers in India, where we have sourced diamonds cut the suppliers themselves. Because our suppliers do not tolerate conflict diamonds and/or human suffering in any way, all rough and polished diamonds comply with the Kimberley Process. The KP unites administrations, civil societies, and industry in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds - ‘rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments’ - around the world. If you just do not trust any diamond, we offer lab grown Moissanite.
The supplier of our smaller accent diamonds is also a part of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America, whose mission is to promote the highest standards of ethics, integrity and professionalism in the American marketplace.
Gemstones - Our supplier abides by strict policies when sourcing stones. Their experts visit mines to ensure that they maintain socially responsible practices and that they comply with the US Patriot Act. Our main gem supplier belongs to the American Gem Trade Association, which requires its members to uphold the highest ethical standards in their business practices.
Are they certified?
No. Certification is for those who cannot tell by the naked eye what they are buying. Certification helps you tell the difference between the $100,000 dollar diamond and $5,000 diamond that looks exactly the same to the naked eye. It is so that you don't overpay for what you cannot see in front of you due to microscopic differences. With our diamonds, the color and clarity is seen very clearly.
You can choose to get your diamond certified. Our stones can be certified upon request through the GIA before we set the stone. We charge $200-500 to insure your shipment both ways, and pay for your certification. You will receive digital certification and lasering of the certification number on the girdle of your diamond.
To put it simply, they just have not gone through the certification process because it is just not needed. You can see the inclusions with the naked eye, and trusted diamond testers are $15 online.
You may also want to get it independently appraised locally. These are all optional, and up to you to make a decision on what you feel is necessary for you.
How do I pick one?
You can look at our current stock of diamonds to create a custom ring. However, you are not limited to our stock if our options are just not hitting the mark. We can source something perfect for you. Customization is a simple process where we start by feeling out your budget, ideas, favorite stones you've seen us use, and we go from there. Our designer Samantha sends you images, videos, and/or virtual mockups of your diamond options. It's best to start by filling out our Custom Work Inquiry form, and let us know if there is a setting we have that you love!