BTD’s 22nd Birthday on May 4th! I’m pleased to note that BTD will be celebrating it’s 22nd anniversary in a few days, and we’ll celebrate our 22nd with the best Amoras rolling out. Details below!
Soaring Hearts Ultra! In last month’s blog, I showed the Flying Hearts which was the winner of our optimization efforts. However, after another week of non-stop optimization and comparisons, we’ve moved to the new ‘Soaring Hearts’ design for our Ultra production going forward.
Here’s a computer video of the new Soaring Hearts design:
All future Ultras will be the Soaring Hearts cut.
We are planning to focus entirely on the Soaring Hearts Ultra, sizes 8mm – 6.5mm initially. We’ve yet to ever have enough 7.5mm and 6.5mm and so with our improved production, the first goal will be to much more robustly restock these. After that we’ll expand further into 6mm – 9mm Soaring Hearts and expand out from there.
Takaras will be discontinued: With all the excitement and momentum of the Amora Gem, it’s a bit disappointing to announce that we are officially cancelling the Takara lab diamonds.
Asha restock: The main sizes of Asha rounds have sold out again, and so we’ve got another run in process. Estimated restock time-frame is the end of May.
Quanza, our sponsored elephant, update! We’ve been getting monthly updates on one of our two sponsored elephants, Quanza. I’m happy to report that she’s doing extremely well and now has tusks! The orphanage always sends pretty small photos, but regardless it’s great to see her doing so well. Here’s the latest photo:
The full post with more news and TIGER updates can be found on our discussion board!
Friday updates posted! This month = our new, Flying Hearts Ultra H&A round, new Flanders H&A in progress, TIGER-2 and TIGER-3 in progress and more! Below are a few highlights and photos but the full post with all the details is available on our discussion board.
TIGER robot updates! We’ve had our first month of testing and production with TIGER and the results have been exceptional.
How do I know if an Amora is TIGER cut? All Amoras are now TIGER cut so all new production going forward are Tigers. However, you can also tell by any of the following:
1 – Cert number – all certs 2005101 and higher are TIGER cut.
2 – The cert itself, under comments section – TIGER cut Amora’s are now marked accordingly in the comments section:
New Ultra – Flying Hearts Ultra! After substantial optimization runs, I’m pleased to show you our new Amora Ultra – the Flying Hearts Ultra!
And most importantly, here’s a computer generated video to show you the light play of the Flying Hearts Ultra:
And for comparison, identical computer video of our current Ultra:
New Amora “Pure Hearts” Oval! Next up – I’m thrilled to show your our new Pure Hearts Oval! This is the first “near H&A” oval to ever be developed, and we have a patent application in progress for it!
Let’s start with a computer photo-realistic video of our Pure Hearts Oval in spotlighting so you can see what it’s all about:
The “Pure Hearts” name was developed for this new cut because it had a hearts pattern from the first model. The arrows came later as part of the extensive computer modeling.
Most importantly the new Pure Hearts Oval completely eliminates any type of bow-tie! The result is exceptional brilliance and fire, and the overall look and feel of an H&A round – never before seen in an oval cut!
Hearts pattern, bottom:
partial Arrows pattern, top:
Two more TIGER’s (TIGER-2 and TIGER-3) in progress: Based on our inability to meet demand, we’ve decided to accelerate TIGER production and are thus building two TIGER’s now for the scheduled Sept completion. This will be important for us to try and ensure more Amora production for the big Holiday Season!
TIGER robot complete, transported and installed… production starting next week! I’m very happy to announce that TIGER robot is now finished!
We’ve transported TIGER from Silicon Valley to our new WA cutting facility and it arrived safely yesterday morning.
Our robot engineers are flying out from Silicon Valley and will be working through the weekend to integrate TIGER and we expect to start TIGER production next week (March 1st – 4th)!
TIGER robot patent applications in progress: Note that during the R&D for TIGER, we developed many new key technologies to help us achieve our goal of 10 micron precision. We did review all of our breakthroughs with our patent attorney and will be filing 3 different patents for the TIGER robot.
Thus, our TIGER robot will soon be multi-patent-pending!
Amora Gem production schedule: With TIGER coming online next week, we will be focused on expanding the Ultra inventory first, from 4mm – 8mm sizes.
We’ll then start adding in Princess, OEC, Cushions, Asscher and AVC’s, Radiants, and yes – even Krupps.
X1 WhiteGold now available for our Timeless Rings: We are always trying to offer the very best available metals for our jewelry and thus we’re now making our Timeless rings available in X1 White Gold.
The one negative – white gold can trigger skin issues with some people. This is because of the nickel content. X1 has even higher nickel content, so it does not resolve that issue for those affected.
Palladium of course is both natively white and no allergy issues, but as many customers have noted, finding a jeweler who will work on palladium for resizing or other can be tricky,esp. outside of the US.
Thus, we’re pleased to start making X1 White gold available as a new option for customers around the world.
This is our first monthly update for 2016, and since we skipped December due to the Holidays, we’ve got a lot to go over!
Amora Gem Updates:
New Amora Gem production facility: We are all moved in to our new manufacturing facility and the larger size and customizations done prior to moving in are paying off.
New photos for Amora Gems: As I mentioned in the December updates, we’d been working to have our Amora Gems photoed in some very high end photos. I’m thus pleased to show you all the photos for the Amora Ultra, Cushion, OEC and Asscher.
First, the Amora Gem Ultra which you likely saw in December – the ‘draft’ photo simply became the final photo:
Of interest, after posting this photo on our Facebook page in early December it spread rapidly and received nearly 32,000 likes!
Next, the Amora Gem OEC:
The Amora Gem Cushion:
and finally the Amora Gem Asscher:
Missing of course is the Amora Gem Princess and the AVC and Oval – we have no inventory of those and so didn’t have any to send for photos.
Amora Gem Inventory situation: Unfortunately we continue to have insufficent production currently to meet demand. Demand seems to have increased so that we are actually facing near all time lows in terms of total inventory available.
We are working as hard as possible to get TIGER completed and into production as that will be the key for increasing total production.
For reference, here’s our Amora Gem Ultra inventory page.
Amora Gem melee sizes: There have been more inquiries about this so a quick update – we do have a nice range of rough sizes for melee (i.e. 3mm or .10ct sizes, .15ct, etc). Unfortunately only TIGER can process these small sizes so I’m not expecting we’ll be able to cut this rough into finished Amora’s until early Summer. However, it is very much on our planned production as soon as we can get TIGER in and get caught up on center stone size production.
Nice customer feedback on the Amora Ultra:
Thanks very much to this customer for taking the time to write! I forwarded this review to our staff as well since it’s nice for everyone involved to see your work making other people happy!
Big changes for our message boards – moved to talk.jewelry! We’ve upgraded our message boards to all new software and spun it off into it’s own website – talk.jewelry.
The talk.jewelry address may look a bit odd, since you are probably only familiar with .com or .net. The .jewelry is a new extension for jewelry related sites that just became available in April of last year. It functions the same as the .com in the web address.
BetterThanDiamond.com now has extended SSL certificate: As we steadily grow, we’re going through and improving every aspect of our website. One of these improvements was to obtain what is known as an “Extended SSL certificate”. This is visible as a green highlighted section in the browser bar showing the company name and country, rather than just the standard lock icon.
To get this, you go through a series of various checks where they verify among other things – are you located where you claim, do you really have a company, do you really own this website, etc. etc. Basically you have to provide independent verification for many aspects of your company.
After working on that in January, I’m pleased to note that we have obtained our extended SSL cert and when you visit our site you’ll see the green bar showing it’s an extended cert:
Progress continues on BTD’s new website: We’re continuing to work on an all new website for our ecommerce site. We’ve currently setup a system with arguably the world’s fastest server stack and are currently moving over all our data and products into the new site and store. Ideally we’ll have this ready to go live in March. Lots more to do but it is being very actively worked on!
Good news for Elephants – price of ivory drops 50% in China, poaching in Kenya drops by over 50%: While I don’t have any new photos of our sponsored Elephants Amora or Quanza, I am happy to report that the overall environment for elephants is improving from what were terrible poaching stats for the past five years.
Two drivers of that change – the price for Ivory in China, the world’s largest consumer of poached Ivory, has crashed over 50% this past year. High prices of course provide high incentive for people to poach elephants.
And related, poaching in Kenya has declined over 50% the past two years due to increased policing, sniffer dogs, harsher jail sentences and as noted, the large decrease in price for Ivory.
Thus, overall very good news for elephants and the world! Of interest, it appears that part of the price bubble was not fully consumer demand, but investors using ivory to speculate much like they would in gold or other commodities in China: