Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The pricing of loose diamonds

It all started because I had been commissioned to work on a couple of very special rings, primarily engagement ones: Lately, I’ve been tasked to help source for diamonds for clients and non-clients alike. I’ve learnt, through those experiences, that diamond buying is almost like a currency trade (albeit with a little more leeway) where the rapaport has resulted in very clear expectations of what one should pay for a diamond. (I’ve come to realise that few retailers actually practise open rapaport pricing though. Do try to ask for the rapaport from them if you can – I think you’re entitled to know this.)

It’s a little unorthodox to come up front and say this, given that I’m in the fine jewellery industry, but I have huge personal issues with the way diamonds are priced. A little research will show how the supply of rough diamonds has been artificially controlled such that the market prices of diamonds would be priced in such a way that wouldn’t reflect true supply. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t buy diamonds – I’d be a hypocrite to say that, because I have to confess that I’m a huge fan of how they sparkle and gleam; their refractive index is like no other. The point is though: the mark-up on diamonds is high enough and in an ideal world, their prices should more accurately reflect their actual supply.

As such, it’s been a great pleasure of mine to help source for the best-priced diamonds out there; each diamond hunt has turned out to be an exciting challenge for us to decide which diamond would best fit each client’s needs. So far, we’ve found no other Singaporean source that’s more competitively priced than bluenile (we're on the continuous search to better this though so let us know). It turns out that because I work with suppliers that are at the beginning of the supply chain for loose diamonds, we were able to match, or even beat, bluenile.

What’s been a surprising pleasure has been the actual hunt for each diamond itself – they’ve turned out to be adrenaline rushes where excitement peaks as we try to decide what works best in a short amount of time. I’ll be writing a little about these actual hunts and what actually goes on in a later post. In the meantime, check out diamond helpers. It’s an invaluable resource in demonstrating how diamonds are priced on the rapaport – no other gemstone has this kind of detailed, systematic breakdown in terms of pricing and it'll be a fascinating read for those who want to understand the objective considerations of diamond pricing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here you can compare prices on diamonds and get some figures for your article!