Using diamonds from purchased bracelets

Hello All,

Until this time I have not used diamonds in my work but I recently
noticed some department store ads that showed a sale price of $250
(regularly $576) for a tennis bracelet that has 2 CT.T.W (their
description) of stones in 10KY. Would they be diamonds? I don’t know
what CT.T.W means.

If so, have any of you bought such a bracelet just to use the stones
out of it? I thought that might be a good way to have a few small
ones on hand to use in my work, and just melt down the gold part to
embellish my silver work. Any would be helpful.

Sue Danehy
Williamsburg, VA


Your idea sounds great. The problem is that the stones in the
tennis bracelet may indeed weigh as advertised – CT T.W. means
carat, total weight, or the total weight in carats of all the stones
in the piece-- but they are probably of fairly low clarity, color and
cut. If this is what you are using or wish to use, (stones w/
clarities probably below I1 and color down below H) then it may
indeed pay to buy such a piece and you get the gold to boot. But in
my experience small diamonds are used to best effect when they are
bright and lively: the appearance of a well cut stone of decent color
and clarity.

Take care,
Andy cooperman


The term 2 CT.T.W means 2 cts total weight.

Remember the old addage…you don’t get something for nothing?
Well, these stones are most likely in the M-N color range (brown)
and are usually badly included (I-3 at least). The only good thing
one can say about them is they are probably pretty well matched.
But that is because there are millions of cts of very poor diamonds
out there. They are usually cut off shore…India is a heavy
producer…by cutters who earn pennies a day. In short, you should
be able obtain much better quality stones for reasonable prices and
use them to make lovely jewelry!

Just MHO…cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL
where simple elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

CT T.W. means that is the total weight of the stones in the piece.
If you like working with industrial bort, as opposed to diamonds with
some sparkle, you could buy the bracelet and use the “diamonds” but
you could also find them cheaper from a wholesaler conceivably. The
stuff in this kind of merchandise is usually barely above industrial
grade (if it even is). In this case you really do get what you pay

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Even at 80% off the cost is still above buying the same grade stones
loose sometimes. I use a good rule I only pay for the current gold
value of a piece that way if no matter what at least I know my
investment is sound.

They are saying CT.T.W. Carat Total Weight so 10 …one carat stones
= 10 CT.T.W.

Sometimes you can get jewelry for less than gold value. This is how
I bought settings for my cameos at first. I still sometimes buy a
cameo at flea markets to use the setting. Some antique settings are
beautil …while some antique cameos are not so beautiful lol

America’s Only Cameo Artist


“CT. T.W.” means carat total weight. They might be diamonds but I
doubt that you would want to use them just because they are
diamonds. These types of diamonds are often described as
“promotional”. They are not anything that most people would want to
use. It is hard to say it any other way, they are garbage. I always
get a laugh out of seeing advertisements for jewelry using this type
of diamond. These advertisements are usually from department stores
and other mass marketers of low end junk. My advice is to buy your
diamonds from a reputable dealer.

Joel Schwalb

    Would they be diamonds? I don't know what CT.T.W means. 

You’re going to have to go to the store and see whether they are
diamonds. CT. T.W. means “carats total weight” or how much all of
the diamonds in the bracelet weigh together.

     If so, have any of you bought such a bracelet just to use the
stones out of it? 

Never. Usually, most department store tennis bracelets contain low
quality, highly included yellow diamonds that are lucky they
survived the setting process. Most are I1 - I3 clarity stones that
may break when you remove them from their mountings. Unless you know
how to grade diamonds, I’d recommend that you pass on them.

You may occasionally find a piece of retail jewelry containing
gemstones that are worth breaking out for your own use, but don’t
count on it. Very few department store retail pieces ever do.

James in SoFl

Dear Sue,

A seven inch bracelet will likely have a minimum of twenty diamonds,
and more likely up to twenty-six stones, depending on link size.
For a two carat total weight, this means that each diamond will
average between 0.07 and 0.10 carat each. For excellent quality
diamonds in this size range, I expect to pay $500+ per carat
wholesale, pretty good quality around $400 per carat, and anything
below that price I wouldn’t use. Even assuming that the bracelet will
be under the stated carat weight (very common in "promotional"
jewelry of this type) you can figure you are paying about $100 per
carat, with the balance made up of labor and metal, and you must
remember that these stores are making a small profit on each item, so
the wholesale value is less than that.

I would expect that the diamonds would have the appearance of
"frozen spit", and if this is the appearance that you are looking
for, then by all means go for it. They are probably technically
diamond, but better suited for the end of a drill.

When I first began my journey into the jewelry industry, one of my
first purchases was twenty carats of emeralds at the unbelievable low
price of a dollar a carat, and I still have them to remind me that
there really are no bargains in the jewelry business. I am still
looking for a fish tank to place them, might add a nice green color
to the bottom.

Jon Michael Fuja


the 2 ct.t.w. means 2 carats of diamonds total weight.

I would think that if you would be using the diamonds in your work,
you would want better stones. typically stones like this that are
sold very cheap (and I see them in for repair all the time) I usually
refer to these types of diamonds as either frozen spit (they are
usually crackly looking, tan, and unclear) or drill bit diamonds
(black or grey with the frozen spit thing going on too) many are
poorly cut and just don’t shine due to fractures and coloring.

there is a reason these things are so cheap…if it’s too good to be
true, it usually is not right. You would probably be better off
buying them wholesale, or buying from an auction (not ebay but one
you could go and look at the clarity.) that is my best advice, but I
would stay away from the 2cts. for $250…a solid gold bracelet
mounting should run a mininum of $250, and with diamonds? (good
diamonds at least would be ALOT more)

julia potts
julia potts studios

Continue from:

If you have any idea what you are doing, pawn shops or coin dealers
who buy off the public have jewelry or “breakout stones” (make sure
they are not broken) for sale. You can buy rings, pendants, bracelets
cheap, if you know what you are doing.

I know a guy who sells all kinds of mixed up colors, shapes,
claritys, for $125 a carat by the scoop.

My good source sells to other jewelers, so it can be quite
competitive to buy what you need. The economy really affects what he
has to sell. This is a particularly a good source for matching for
repair, I bring the ring, and select from what he has. If it’s I or
SI, they are practically free

Dear Sue

The word CT. T.W. (Carat total weight)

My two cents

If you subtract the profit of the seller from $250 and from that
take off the acual manufacturer’s profit and then take off the gold
cost (including fabrication charges of the finding, plus the labor
of setting), then divide it by two.

Of course, thus what ever answer you get that is the price of the
diamonds in that bracelet and mind you includes the profit of the
broker of the diamond and the diamond seller.



Hope this will give you enough ammunition, if you plan to use these

Anil Gupta

Joel certainly hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that
much of the promotional jewelry is garbage…and, there is a
reason for it. When G.E. started meeting the needs of the metal
working industries with synthesized diamonds De Beers found itself
without a market for the bort that sometimes constitutes a major
portion of the product of a given mine. The foregoing reality
created an opportunity for marketing this junk as I 3 or promotional
grade whereas in a more ethical era the bottom grade was I 2.
Another negative aspect of this, depending on how you look at it, is
that a major portion of the million or so diamond cutters in India
are children. True, some of these child cutters might not eat with
this employment, but if we are to remain consistent with the issue
of conflict diamonds, the junk diamonds cut in India would have to
be characterized as being of regretable origin.

I often reflect on the dubious wisdom of marketing these junk
diamonds. They fly in the face of the basic concept of a stone
having value arising from the fact that they are supposed to be rare
and beautiful and, therefore, valuable. This kind of abuse is also
often encountered with emeralds and jade. Those of us who do
appraisals sometimes get into a sticky wicket when we call a spade a
spade. Most people don’t like to be reminded that they have screwed
up in making a purchase of something that has little or no value. It
behooves us to handle these situations with delicacy while at the
same time being forthright. In my opinion those who sell these junk
grades as gems ought to be prosecuted for fraud !

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


Ct. T. W. means total weight, These diamonds will be crap. You
really need to learn a little before you go buying diamonds. I am not
trying to be rude or snotty. Just reading a little will help a lot.
You can buy diamonds from Stuller or some other reputable dealer. You
always get what you pay for. the diamonds in that bracelet will most
likely be I1 or I 2 tlb This means included and tone light brown.
Don’t waste your money. There is a company in Atlanta called Namano
part of Southeastern findings, they sell nice goods. You should be
able to get really nice goods in the 550. per carat range. for
small stones Look around.

Good luck, Dennis

    often encountered with emeralds and jade. Those of us who do
appraisals sometimes get into a sticky wicket when we call a spade
a spade. Most people don't like to be reminded that they have
screwed up in making a purchase of something that has little or no

I am reminded of the inherited jewelry that was brought into our
store for appraisal last week. One (of many items) was a solitaire
engagement ring containing a 1.75 ct SI2 J-color stone. Another was
a tennis bracelet containing 30 “thirds” or .33 carat I1 - I3, R-S-T
color diamonds. The poor lady had the worst time trying to
understand why 9.9 carats of smaller, extremely low quality stones
were worth so much less than one much larger, half decent one.

Before appraisal, the customer (who is the executor of the inherited
estate) was fawning over the tennis bracelet, intending to keep it
in memory of her mother. After I finished the appraisal, she decided
that the solitaire ring had more “sentimental value” than the
bracelet. Go figure.

James in SoFl

Ok if there is a bracelet at a department store, hmmm…never buy
it. And the cttw. is 2 you still need to know that that’s 10k gold.
I’m thinking $30 to $100 maximum. I can see the white ball like
diamonds that make me confused of what they really are. Always be
skeptical about buying a diamond until you have a very good
understanding about the 4 C’s.

Color - Cut - Carat - Clarity. Not only knowing the four C’s will
help you. Looking at diamonds whether big or small, white or brown,
flawless to every stage of the differences in inclusions, and round,
fancy, ideal, thick or thin culet or girdle. Should I mention
surface polish. Carat weight and carat weight combined.

Every scale from clarities abbreviated scale, colores alphabetized
scale, cuts proportioned scale, and carats weighted scale. Carats
are not vegetables, and a point is not a sharp tip. One carat is
made up of one hundred points. { .25 ct = 1/4ct.= twenty-five
points. (Five individual .05ct. diamonds combined equal
.25ct.t.w.)}The scale is actually a weight that’s weighed as any
other object, but of another proportion. A carat is a fraction of a
gram. (.05ct is used in terms of points. like 5 points. Call it
Jewelers slang. one carat is 100 points, 20 single diamonds of 5
points in weight per piece equal 100 points=ONE carat total weight)
That was just breaking it down for anybody who hasn’t learned this.
Carat weight is the easy part.

Well I’m positive this could keep anyone busy. But, being able to
make a piece of jewelry is not the finish line in this never ending
jewelry course.

Honestly, given the quality of this kind of crap, and the hassle
involved in removing them, if you can’t afford decent diamonds, I
recommend investigating czs. At least you can get some decent "Cs"
for a minimal investment.