Sunday, September 5, 2010

How to Sell A Diamond

A scattering of "brilliant" cut diam...Image via Wikipedia
There are many reasons why you may want to sell a diamond that you own. Perhaps you’ve gotten divorced, or you are strapped for cash. The reasons why don’t really matter – getting the best possible price is what counts! The way to obtain the best price for the diamond is to not be in a rush. Slow down, and carefully consider all of your options – there are many.

First, have the diamond appraised. In fact, have it appraised by two or three jewelers to get an accurate idea of the diamonds value. Tell the appraiser that you want the Rapaport Value. This is the wholesale value of the diamond, and it basically tells you the highest price that you can sell your diamond for. If your diamond has no certificate, you should consider getting a certificate from GIA. This may help you get a better price for the diamond as well.

First, try to sell the diamond yourself, to people you know. Friends and family members may be interested. If you don’t have any luck with friends or family members, you should turn to outside sources. Absolutely avoid pawn shops! A pawn shop will only offer you about 10% of what the diamond is worth! Also avoid offers of selling the ring on consignment. There are many things that can go wrong, and there is no shortage of diamond scams – even in well known jewelry stores.

If the diamond is important, you should strongly consider auctioning it off through one of the famous auction houses, such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s. If it isn’t what is considered an ‘important’ diamond or a high-end diamond, you should try to sell it to an individual using classified ads, or even eBay. However, selling to an individual that you do not know could put you in danger – especially if the diamond is worth a lot of money.

Your final option should be a jewelry store. It is vital that you not let your diamond out of your sight while in the jewelry store – you might find that the diamond you walked in with is not the same diamond that you walk out with! The jeweler will try to tell you that your diamond is of poor quality or low weight. Inevitably, there will be some problem with the diamond. This is where your appraisal and/or certificate will come in handy. If the jeweler is fair, they will offer you between 60% and 80% of the value of the Rapaport Value. Do not accept anything less than this. Again, do not let the diamond out ofyour sight until you have been paid for it.

Famous Diamonds

Among the most well known diamonds is the Hope. This 45.52 carat steel blue diamond is currently on display at the Smithsonian. The legends of the ill-fortune and curse bestowed on the possessor of the Hope Diamond are many. This diamond was donated to the Smithsonian in 1958. The Hope was originally a rather flat, blocky 110-carat rough.

The Dresden Green stands out among the natural colored diamonds. It is the largest green diamond in the world weighing 40.70 carats. This diamond is historic, large and has a natural green color with a slight blue overtone. These facts make it virtually priceless. 

The Conde Pink is a pear shaped and weighs 9.01-carats. This pink diamond was once owned by Louis XIII. 

The Tiffany Yellow diamond a beautiful canary-yellow octahedron weighing 287.42 in the rough (metric) carats discovered in either 1877 or 1878 in South Africa. 

The gem after cutting boasts the extraordinary weight of 128.54 carats. And until recently, was the largest golden-yellow in the world.

The Koh-I-Noor ( Mountain of Light ) is now among the British Crown Jewels. This diamond weighs 105.60 carats. First mentioned in 1304, it is believed to have been once set in Shah Jehan‘s famous peacock throne as one of the peacocks eyes.

The Agra is graded as a naturally colored Fancy Light Pink and weighs 32.34 carats. It was sold for about 6.9 million in 1990. Since this sale, it has been modified to a cushion shape weighing about 28.15 carats.

The Transvaal Blue is pear cut. This blue diamond weighs 25 carats. It was found in the Premier Diamond Mine in Transvaal, South Africa.

The Great Chrysanthemum was discovered in the summer of 1963, in a South African diamond field. This 198.28-carat fancy brown diamond appeared to be a light honey color in its rough state. However, after cutting, it proved to be a rich golden brown, with overtones of sienna and burnt orange.

The Taylor-Burton Diamond is a pear-shaped 69.42 carat diamond. Cartier of New York purchased this diamond at an auction in 1969 and christened it "Cartier." The next day Richard Burton bought the diamond for Elizabeth Taylor. He renamed it the "Taylor-Burton”. In 1978, Elizabeth Taylor put the diamond up for sale. Prospective buyers had to pay $2,500 each to view the diamond to cover the costs of showing it. Finally, in June of 1979, the diamond was sold for nearly $3 million dollars.

Buying Diamonds Online

Jewellery Design and Management International ...Image via Wikipedia

With all of the potential for scams concerning diamonds, buying diamonds online almost seems unthinkable! However, you actually can purchase diamonds online, without any problems – as long as you are careful.

First, think about your reasons for wanting to purchase the diamond online, as opposed to making a purchase from a local jewelry store. The most common reason is price. Due to low overhead costs, online jewelers and wholesalers are able to offer lower prices. However, you must be careful – sometimes a price that is too low is a sure indication of a scam.

One of the best things about purchasing online is the unlimited selection. When shopping offline, you are limited to the selection in the stores in your general area. Online, there are no limits. But again, you must use a great deal of care and consideration before handing your money over to someone that you cannot see and have never met!

Before shopping, learn as much as you can about diamonds – especially cut, color, clarity and carat weights. When you are knowledgeable about diamonds, it will be harder for a con artist to rip you off. Once you know more about diamonds, you will be ready to start shopping.

Take your time. Don’t purchase the first diamond that you see that interests you. Instead, look for similar diamonds for sale. Do some comparison shopping to find the lowest prices. Once you have found the lowest price, start doing your investigation. You know about diamonds, you’ve found a diamond that you love, and you’ve found the lowest price – but you are still quite a ways away from actually purchasing that diamond!

Ask about the seller’s credentials, such as professional jewelry associations that they belong to. View and print the seller’s return, refund, and upgrade policies. Also inquire about additional services, such as settings and mountings, sizing, and free shipping. Do a search for customer reviews on this particular company around the Internet. Also check with the BBB Online to see if there have been any complaints.

Ask for a diamond grading report from an independent laboratory such as GIA, HRD, EGL or AGS. You should see this before making a purchase. Finally, use a reputable escrow service for high dollar diamonds – preferably one that will have the diamond appraised while it is in their possession. The seller sends the diamond to the escrow service, and you send the money to pay for the diamond to the escrow service. The escrow service has the diamond appraised, sends the diamond to you, and sends the money to the seller. This is the surest way to protect yourself…again, make sure that you use a reputable escrow service!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What Are Dirty Diamonds?

A dirty diamond is one of two things: a rough diamond, or a diamond that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Rough diamonds are uncut and unpolished – hence, they are dirty. But that type of dirty diamond will soon be cut and polished and sitting in a beautiful jewel box in a display case. Then someone will purchase it, and before long, it will become a dirty diamond once again.

Diamonds become dirty. When you wash your hands with a diamond ring on, soap scum clings to it. When you put on hand lotion, it gets grease on it. Shower with your diamond earrings or necklace, and again, you get soap scum. In one short day, your brand new diamond could be dirty!

Purchase an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner the same day that you purchase your diamond jewelry, and use it every single day, without fail. The clarity of the diamond changes when the diamond is dirty – it loses its sparkle. By taking one minute each day to clean your diamond jewelry, you can avoid this, and your diamonds will never be dirty!

Bonded Diamonds

Before you start shopping for diamonds, consider dealing with a bonded jeweler. Bonded jewelers sell bonded diamonds, and there are very few bonded jewelers in the world. In fact, out of all of the jeweler’s in the world, only about 5% of them are bonded. Buying a bonded diamond will cost more than buying a non-bonded diamond, but when you look at what you get with the bonded option, you will see that it is well worth the extra expense.

First, bonded diamonds have a buy back policy for the life of the diamond. No matter how long you have had the diamond, you can take it back to the bonded jeweler and sell it back to him or her, for a 100% refund. If a jeweler does not offer a 100% buy back guarantee, for the life of the diamond, then you should take a closer look at the diamond to see what is wrong with it.

Bonded diamonds also have a breakage policy. If the stone breaks or chips, the bonded jeweler will replace it with a new one – one time. No jeweler would ever offer such a policy on any stone that was not 100% natural, so just the offer of such a policy should give you piece of mind concerning the quality of the diamond. Bonded diamonds are natural and untreated. Bonded diamonds increase in value, with a fixed appreciation rate that is designed to keep up with inflation. This means that a diamond that is worth a certain amount of money today will be worth more in the future, as the price of diamonds continues to rise.

This generally does not apply to buy backs, however. It typically applies to trade-ins. Alternately, by purchasing a bonded diamond, you are protected against the possibility of a market crash. If a market crash occurs, the value of diamonds will drop. However, the bonded jeweler guarantees to refund you the difference between what the diamond is now worth and what you paid for it before the market crash.

It may be difficult to find a bonded jeweler in your area, but if you can, this is who you want to deal with, as opposed to dealing with an un-bonded jeweler. Specifically tell the jeweler that you are only interested in bonded diamonds. You can find a bonded jeweler in your area by using various online resources, or by calling the local jewelry stores.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Conflict Diamonds

What are Conflict Diamonds?

Conflict diamonds are gems mined illegally by rebel groups and sold to buy weapons. As such, conflict diamonds help fuel wars and add to instability in regions with fragile governments, particularly in Western and Central Africa.

Avoid Purchasing Conflict Diamonds

As of 2009, more than 99% of the world's diamonds are conflict-free, according to the World Diamond Council (, viewed on November 13, 2009). However, the sale of even a few conflict diamonds causes great human suffering and helps undermine governments in struggling regions. Therefore, it is important for consumers to ensure that the diamonds they purchase are certified by the Kimberly Process, the U.N.-mandated system for tracking diamond shipments from suppliers to buyers which ensures the diamonds are obtained from a legitimate source.

Use the Four Cs to Select Diamond Jewelry

Cut, color, clarity, and carat are the four major criteria used to assess diamond quality. Although the majority of the world's diamonds are now conflict-free, consumers should determine whether their jeweler's diamonds are covered by the Kimberly Process Certification System, ensuring that these gems do not originate from war-torn countries.

Article By Molly Markey

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