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So you’ve recently been engaged, or just about to be, and planning that big overseas holiday? Fiji? Hawaii? Europe perhaps? Well it’s not uncommon to think about the potentially huge GST returns that are eligible to travellers leaving the country.
It’s a very common question on the minds of young starry eyed couples, and of cou
rse it should be. A 10 percent saving on a large purchase such as an engagement ring could very often be $1,500+. So it’s no surprise it’s something that is frequently asked.
So are Australians who are travelling overseas for a holiday eligible for the Tourist Refund Scheme? In short, no.
For example, one of the most common scenarios I hear is when a young man wishes to propose to his wife overseas, let’s just say in this case the ring cost is $10,000 inclusive of GST. The GST component of this amount is approximately $909, which is the amount that could be claimed.
Now let’s just assume that in this case the young man decided to claim the GST, he would receive $909 in his bank account. They go overseas, get engaged, all is well. NOW, upon returning to Australia they are now importing a piece that was intended to remain overseas in a tax free state. This, as would anything over $1,000, that is being imported into Australia would attract GST and perhaps duties (on finished jewellery this is 5%).
If they are Australian citizens and never intend on returning, then that’s fine, they can claim their GST and enjoy their $909 wherever they please.
But in the majority of instances this is simply not the case. I’ve heard far too many stories of people getting caught, getting a mark put against their name and having to pay the penalties associated. Customs officials are not stupid, they have seen this kind of thing hundreds of times before and know the game.
If you are an Australian, intending to return to Australia, don’t bother trying to claim the refund on your jewellery. Doesn’t matter what your jeweller tries to tell you, you’re not allowed to do it and you’re facing a hefty penalty for comparably little gain.
Unfortunately, tax is one of the certainties in life, and we all have to pay it. Best just to pay it and enjoy your beautiful jewellery!
For more information please see the official Department of Immigration website.
A rough diamond of 1,111 carat has been recently discovered at the Karowe mine in Botswana, currently being operated by Lucara Diamond Corp. That’s roughly the size of a tennis ball to give you a realistic guide.
To put that in perspective, the largest diamond ever found was the Cullinan at a mine in South Africa. Weighing in at 3,106ct this gem was then cut up into 9 major parts. The largest of this being mounted in the Sceptre of the Cross in the British crown jewels.
While this newly discovered may be quite substantially smaller, this is still an incredible find, making this the largest diamond found in over a century.
Lucara Diamond Corp have announced that this diamond is a Type IIa diamond. While the stone will still be heavily examined and analyzed before any bidding will take place, this can already tell us quite a lot about the stone. Being Type IIa it is a much more pure diamond, containing very little to no nitrogen, it will almost certainly yield a top colour, most likely D/Colourless.
The location of inclusions will be random through the stone, with any luck they will be small in number and easily removable during the cutting process. A series of computers will map the rough diamond and the best possible cutting route will be determined this way.
A stone like this can easily take well over a year to analyze and polish, so it might be a wait until the heart of this incredible diamond is brought to our eyes.
This is probably one of the most common questions I receive from customers, there seems to be too much conflicting information out there! Well allow me to put it to rest;
White Gold – Now while some may think that white gold is pulled from the ground like that, its not. It’s a mixture of pure gold(think gold bars!) and a very white metal such a palladium or iridium. The colour created is not pure white, so the piece is then Rhodium Plated, this will eventually wear off which is why lots of white gold rings look a different colour at the bottom.
Recommended for plain wedding bands or any piece of jewellery where no diamond is being set.
Platinum – Think of this as the big brother to white gold! Found naturally in that high white colour, for most jewellery it is 95% pure platinum, the other 5% usually a mixture of palladium and copper, solely for strength.
Platinum excels in holding diamonds, highly recommended for fine engagement rings. Platinum needs no rhodium plating and takes wear significantly better than white gold. However it is the more expensive option.
Make a booking and see the difference for yourself.
Being the ever so educated reader that you are (considering you’re smart enough to read my blog!), it would probably come as no surprise that diamonds are the hardest substance known to man.
So how is a Diamond cut and shaped if it is in fact the hardest material? Well it comes down to two main properties.
The first of that being Cleavage, this property which occurs in most gemstones is responsible for the first process of cutting a diamond. Although a diamond may be incredibly strong, they can be broken if enough force is placed in the right position.
Think of it as the grain in wood, one sharp hit down the centre and the wood can split in two. This is much like how diamonds are initially separated into crystals, although recently lasers have been a more common way of doing this.
Next comes the shaped and faceting of the diamond. A very careful process where only a skilled craftsman can ever so precisely add all the facets that will bring a diamond to life. These cutting tools of course have to be at least as hard as diamond, so what do we use? Other diamonds of course! Much like a record on a turntable, only covered in diamond dust, and doesn’t sound quite as pleasant.
Although before any tool is laid upon a rough diamond, every diamond is carefully study before any tool is laid on it to ensure the highest quality gem will be the end result. As you can see in the picture above(excuse the poor photography, quite nerve racking hold a gem like this!), this rough diamond has many markings on it, weighing in at over 100ct this gem went on to create two 30ct+ diamonds! Truly something remarkable.
Pink diamonds are one of the rarest colours of diamond available. Very few people will ever get the chance to hold a pink diamond let alone of one of exceptional size and colour.
The majority of pink diamonds are found in Western Australia’s Kimberly region, in particular the Argyle mine. Diamonds in this area were initially found as alluvial diamonds, meaning they were quite literally found in the riverbed and probably still are.
How the pink or red in a diamond is formed is actually not completely known. What is known however is that these particular diamonds are lacking a complete chemical structure and it is actually a flaw and combination of stress that creates the colour. Unlike other diamonds where the colour is a trace element, eg. Nitrogen for yellow diamonds, Boron for blue diamonds, Uranium for green…
Because of this ‘flaw’ if you will call it, the diamond actually becomes slightly weaker and is much more prone to flaws in the diamond. That’s why when we are looking at pink diamonds, especially from the Argyle region, we are not especially concerned with the clarity, we are simply looking at the diamond for it’s intense colour, which is most important. This is also the reason that it is incredibly hard to find a pink diamond over 1ct, and especially rare to see a pure red diamond of any size!
These diamonds, as with any other, are a gift from nature and cannot simply be ‘made to order’, but we can try our best. If you would like to see these diamonds it is best to make an appointment.
One of the diamond industry's leading figures, Martin Rapaport, has issued an industry wide statement calling for stricter standards amongst grading companies. Rapaport is host to the largest diamond trading platform.
Specifically naming EGL for their misleading reports, he has called upon jewellers worldwide to reject suppliers who are selling diamonds that could potentially mislead consumers.
While EGL are using nomenclature based upon GIA's very strict standards, they are certainly not nearly as tough with their grading and are very frequently over grading lower quality diamonds.
This really drums up repeatedly what I always say, you must view the diamond first hand! If all you look at is a piece of paper, then essentially that is all you are buying.
GIA continue with their strict standards which is why they are one of the very few diamond certificates I will accept.
A link to the full article from Rapaport can be found here.