Shopping for jewelry is often as simple as noticing a piece that’s “just right” – but sometimes, it takes additional steps. Maybe you found a stunning gem, but a separate ring band would suit it perfectly. Nowadays, such combinations can be achieved.
Or maybe you want to save loose diamonds for a later date, as an investment or a gift.
A diamond is an indisputable winner amongst gemstones when it comes to hardness – and can be damaged exclusively by another diamond.
But if that’s the case, why are diamonds wrapped in paper?
You might have seen them packaged in movies, but if you want to know if that’s the case in the real-life industry and if there’s a genuine reason for this practice – stay right here, we’ve wrapped the answers up, pun intended!
What Is Diamond Wrapping Paper And How Does It Look?
It’s exactly what you assume it is – a wrapping paper!
The Yiddish word is “brifka.” You can use it in reference to an envelope for wrapping diamonds or the envelope as a whole, including the stones it holds.
But you are more likely to come across the term parcel paper – as it’s more descriptive. The layering of a brifka depends on the number of diamonds and quality.
If it’s meant for fewer polished gemstones, it’s usually made from three paper layers – two thin and transparent papers for the first, one white and one colored piece for the second, and the third outer layer made of thick and opaque paper.
That is the one you might need!
The one colored paper in the lot is called a flute. It can be made of paper or sometimes plastic and is usually in a blue shade – but can be found in black, white, yellow, red, and turquoise, too.
Papers for rough diamonds contain two layers – the inner transparent one and the thicker outer one.
In both cases, the secret is in the actual folding, and it can be done by the jeweler if you bought diamonds or by you – if you already have them.
But be patient; we’ll get to how it’s done in just a moment!
The standard size of the paper is 80×45 mm, although there are somewhat greater dimensions, depending on the needed size.
By the way, if you’re interested in knowing more about diamond size, check out this article!
Is There A Specific Purpose For Diamond Wrapping Paper?
The answer is – just one!
Loose diamonds are the ones getting wrapped to go – and the reason for that is to save them from chipping if falling at an unfavorable angle.
What Are The Chances Of A Diamond Breaking?
There is a thing known as Mohs hardness – a rough measure of resistance for smooth surfaces when they’re scratched. A German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs devised this scale back in 1812 to illustrate such hardness in minerals.
One mineral of unknown hardness gets abraded by another with known and defined hardness. Then that mineral is ranked within a scale of arbitrary numerical values for minerals.
Those that have shown similar values to these are mentioned in the comprised table, as well.
But during this process, it’s essential to notice if an actual abrasion is made because some finer minerals tend to chalk – and the mark rubs off in a dusty form.
Even though today’s scientists have found this method somewhat impractical for use, it was vital as it ranked diamonds at the maximum worth of 10 – making them the hardest substance that’s known to humankind!
A diamond breaking is extremely rare, and it happens in a stone with such predispositions – so, there is a way for you to know what to expect from a gem!
How Can A Diamond Break?
First, you should know that diamonds are naturally formed deep within the Earth, and they came to light in molting lava rock a long time ago.
For that reason, scientists don’t know much about their genesis but can only examine those that emerged in one big volcano eruption – the ones you see and buy today!
There are two ways to get to them:
One is called open-pit mining – and it involves moving the layers above kimberlite. The other is underground mining, which means drilling tunnels through Earth’s crust to reach the kimberlite – known as the diamond zone.
But more on that topic here.
That means they come as formed, and there’s little the jewelers can do against their core. They have different characteristics known as inclusions that make every diamond unique – that’s why there are no two same stones!
But, these “fingerprint” impurities have a downside – they could compromise the gem’s structure and make it prone to fracture.
Why is that, you wonder?
Feathers and cleavages are inclusions representing preexisting, natural fractures in the crystal. The first one breaks against the grain of the atomic structure, and the second break is along the diamond grain.
That doesn’t mean you should decide against such an imprinted stone. But instead, be wary of the position of these impurities – they shouldn’t be near the edge and point of the gem or extend to the surface.
If subjected to impact, diamonds with prominent inclusions are far more likely to break. The size, position, and nature of the two are contained in the grading report for the buyer to know, though.
Also, there is the so-called diamond strain – a buildup of pressure inside the gemstone, which is understandable since they’re made through intense heat and pressure. It takes just a tap on the gem, and it will break to release the tension.
This flaw is virtually undetectable – but it’s extremely rare. Good news, huh?
So, be careful when choosing, wearing, or transporting your diamonds. Once broken, a diamond can never be restored and is permanently weakened and likely to break if hit again.
On the upside, some diamonds come insured against specific damage, so check for that info, as well!
Why Is Paper Chosen For Wrapping Diamonds Over Sturdier Materials?
There’s one simple reason why the paper is used here – and that’s space.
Boxes of any size take up a lot of space – not to mention the ecological waste – and “brifkas” are more practical for storing at a jeweler’s chambers or even in your home.
But if you’re still missing rough packaging, there are plastic shipping boxes for stones in parcel papers, too.
Is Paper Also Used For Transporting Diamonds? Tricks And Hacks
Transporting diamonds still requires plastic or other material boxes to put the brifkas in since the diamonds wrapped solely in the paper could get damaged by scratching each other, easily lost because of size, or stolen – since paper reveals shapes that aren’t flat.
So, if you’re heading on a trip, or sending diamonds on their own, make sure you secure them in a small box that’s placed inside a bigger one.
Moreover, glue it on the outer package wall and add your personal information on the small box, as well – in case the primary one gets damaged.
Read Also: Can You Bring Diamonds On A Plane?
Pros & Cons: Are There Better Solutions For Diamond Wrapping?
Sometimes a Diafix capsule with a cover is used for keeping a larger quantity of diamonds since it’s plastic and thin – so it doesn’t take up much space.
As mentioned, diamonds can only be scratched by another diamond; that’s why the Diafix has capsules for separating the stones to avoid abrasion, which is arguably the main downside of paper parcels!
It’s see-through so that the gems can be easily visualized. That can make handling them easy and quick, unlike when using brifkas. On the other hand, you might not want everybody to see your collection!
How To Wrap Diamonds At Home?
Buying a diamond at the jewelers is not the only way one can be gifted a lavish stone. Maybe you’ve inherited a gem – or just found out that a piece you own is valuable. Or perhaps you lost or damaged your diamond brifka.
Whatever the case might be, here’s some good news – you can make a DIY brifka at home! And this is where being acquainted with natural sciences can be of help:
If you know a biologist, ask them how entomology paper bags for the field are made or those for preserving Lichenes, fern spores, and plant parts in herbariums.
They’re all usually hand-made in the same – or a similar way – and it goes something like this:
- Take a square piece of paper, slightly taller than its width; crease the bottom third and fold it toward the top – this is the part that will hold the stones.
- Fold both sides evenly so that they meet in the middle.
- Fold the bottom third toward the top again, but this time fold the top third, too – making it go over the bottom fold, so it becomes a cover.
You can use this method if you prefer a rectangular shape and the lapidary solution, but you can also try using a letter-shaped pocket. When it comes to the paper of choice, crafting brown paper or a regular white one will work just fine. Some even use origami paper!
Can A Brifka Be Wrapped The Same Way?
For safety reasons, a manufactured paper parcel can be wrapped to be even more secure – with one side waxed and the other non-waxed. The folds are made using waxed sides, leaving the non-waxed one out, so it makes a template for describing the stones it holds.
Some even have cards explicitly added to mark the origin, number, and carats of the diamonds they’re meant to keep.
Should You Clean The Diamonds Before Wrapping?
The diamond 4C’s – as in, cut, color, clarity, and carat – are of the utmost importance; you likely know that. And the good news is – you can easily maintain some of these diamond properties at home, simply using a toothbrush to clean your gems. You can learn more about these skills here.
Skin oils and grime dim the shine of a gem, but since the brilliance will be hidden and the stones untouched for the time being, anyway, there is no need for a cleaning routine for now!
Can Diamond Parcel Papers Be Bought Individually?
The answer is yes! It would probably be wiser to buy diamond parcel papers instead of making your own since they have that additional layering we described earlier, making your gemstones extra safe.
You can order them online from shipping companies or directly from manufacturers specializing in gemology merchandise. Some of them have been perfecting the skill of making quality brifkas for almost half a century now.
They come in bags that usually contain 25 pieces, or you can buy them individually, usually at a ten-piece minimum. The price of the bags usually varies from 4$ to 15$, while the more expensive ones can cost up to 50$.
The cost depends on the quality, size, and the number of papers it contains, and, in this regard, the bags are ranked from standard to premium. You can also buy the paper and the flutes separately – but in a much higher quantity.
Diamonds are resilient but not indestructible, and that’s the answer to the question – why are diamonds wrapped in paper? So, if you have a treasured piece to hold or loose diamonds to store, make sure they’re safely kept – in a diamond parcel paper!
You can make it at home, but we’d recommend simply buying a few online since they’re layered and can be waxed for additional safety. In both cases, just fold those paper edges precisely and press them with your fingers so that they stay in place!
You don’t have to bother cleaning the gemstones since they’ll be stored for safekeeping, but you can boost the safety by using boxes for diamond paper parcels or Diafix capsules to make sure the stones stay apart.
And most important of all – make sure you don’t drop them since no paper can cushion the fall!