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Is It Time to Sell Your Jewelry?

Styles, fashion, finances, incomes, expenses, priorities all have undergone great changes over the past 10 years for nearly all of us. While life is still good here compared to most of the rest of the world, it may be now that jewelry sitting in a hiding place, a safe or a bank vault needs to come out into the market and to be sold. Every buyer tells you they are the biggest and the best, but consumers really do not have much of a clue about selling their jewelry properly. Help is here if you want to do the necessary job as well as you can.

When you want to sell jewelry you have owned or inherited most of you will hardly know where or how to start. You probably do not know the liquidation value of your items even if you have current Insurance appraisals. Most folks don’t even understand that insurance appraisals are not good indicators of what a consumer can sell their jewelry for. So many consumers falsely believe that whatever the item was appraised for insurance coverage that a dealer would be willing to pay such a retail price. Folks, it just isn’t so. When you want to sell jewelry and be paid upon delivery, a dealer will pay a fraction of the retail value even for fantastic and fine items. Items that are obsolete, damaged or out of fashion generally bring scrap value with very little for small diamonds and nearly zero for most common colored gems. You can’t sell a home for cash on any given day and get the full market value from a buyer. You can’t do it with jewelry, either.

Consignment of jewelry to a retail store is not the way to get paid with any speed or security. Do you know the jeweler well enough to leave the items with nothing but a receipt? How long will it take? Will the items ever sell? How and when might you be paid? Consignment to a well-known auction gallery is safer, but hardly the way to getting more money than in an outright, fair sale. Examine closely the long time it takes, along with all the associated costs charged to you and to whoever is the buyer. You’ll find the auction house takes a large share of the value as their commission. That’s money you will never see. Yes, the world’s finest and largest jewels sell at fabulous auctions, but jewelry belonging to members of the general public rarely rise to those world class levels of interest.

While I no longer actively buy jewelry, I have had 48 years of experience with buying and estate jewelry. I know how to help people understand how much they might obtain, how much to ask, how to hear what a buyer is saying, how to understand what the buyer is not saying, and to understand a question about your idea of value versus an authentic cash offer for purchase.

My long time associate, Steven Schiffman, owns a one-time subsidiary firm of mine named D. Atlas Estates, LLC. He is not an appraiser, but is a highly experienced and current buyer of estate jewelry. For many years we travelled together to buy estate jewelry. We still often work in consort with one another, but we are independent. Steven will make valid, competitive and fair offers for your jewelry, as many other dealers also claim to do. Not all dealers are the same. Not all try to be fair. Finding a legitimate buyer is a very important part of selling jewelry properly. Consumers must be prepared to use due diligence and patience in searching for what they will find to be the best price they can obtain. There is no shortcut to getting a best outcome. A consignment of jewelry to Mr. Schiffman is usually for only a two to five days, not for an unknown period of time.  His goal and yours is to maximize what you will be able to get from agreeing to finalize a sale.  Steven Schiffman may be reached at 610-245-3100. www.datlasestates.com

My services at D. Atlas & Co., Inc. are for those of you who would like to better understand the value of what they have and how to handle dealer transactions in a professional way. Sometimes our services include creation of a sales tool appraisal and advice about retail selling that might help achieve a larger share of the value trapped in your items. While I charge a fee for my time, buyers generally do not charge, but offer what they often term a “free appraisal”. Free often is worth exactly that amount, so regardless of the terminology, please understand there is likely a large difference between any buyer’s “free appraisal” and the appraisal and common sense advice D. Atlas & Co., Inc. is able and willing provide.  Advisory services provided by David Atlas are available at 610-245-3101. Right here at: www.datlas.com

Our coordinated phone numbers indicate how closely our two firms still operate. Both of us strive keep our objectivity and provide the best services we can to all sellers.

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The mostly false stigma of UV fluorescence in diamonds.

The common approach to the question of how UV fluorescence affects diamond pricing is that medium or greater tends to create a somewhat discounted asking price from the more common non-fluorescent and less than medium fluorescent diamonds. As a generalization, this is an acceptable statement, but does not begin to tell the full story.           

Right away, we need to separate blue UV fluorescent and some yellow fluorescent from the far more unusual fluorescent colors of white, peach, orange, greenish and red. 

Blue fluorescence may cause diamonds with some tint of yellow color to appear more colorless. This is a potentially positive effect on asking price.  So long as a diamond does not take on a cloudy or oily appearance due to UV fluorescence, it has little if any effect on what a consumer will choose, but dealers are far more inclined to haggle over the details, even when the details in question are not of much importance to an end user.  The GIA allows some amount of UV light into their grading of diamond body color which does change the grading that GIA does from what might happen if no UV light was put into the mix.  In the colorless, D-F range, blue fluorescence can’t produce any desired effect.  If the fluorescence is not strong enough to be eye-visible in normal wear, then the effect on value is negligible, but if cloudiness or oiliness is visible in normal lighting, then there will be a reason for discounting the asking price.   

Yellow UV fluorescence is usually associated with a negative effect on asking price, but it can help the color of a light to strong fancy yellow color diamond to be even more yellow and visible. This is rare, but it is a possibility we should not fail to mention.  Truthfully, UV fluorescence of any color which matches, or coordinates in a beauty creating manner, the body color of a diamond may serve to enhance the visual color appearance of the diamond.  When this rare but beneficial event occurs, the asking price might be increased.  Most UV fluorescence just gives dealers an opportunity to argue over a detail of the value of a particular diamond.  It is the free market at work, but it may mean very little to most consumers either in their cost or the appearance of the stone.  One thing for sure, UV fluorescence is something that can make the choice of a diamond just a bit more difficult. 

In the second hand market diamond dealers will try to offer less for any diamond with any discernible problem or potential issue. UV fluorescence easily fits into this arena since it can be readily shown to the seller and you don’t need to trust the buyer that it is present.  That’s how haggling over the buying price is done all over the world, but it is far less common in the USA.  Quibbling over the details is how most of the world operates.  Fluorescence is just one of many minor and more major small details which diamond dealers suffer over.  Other issues are black inclusions, open inclusions, blemishes on the surface, ships, nicks, naturals, symmetry, polish, culet size, girdle thickness, old lab reports, HTHP, laser drilling and several more.  The consumer just can’t begin to get into these tiny details in a fully informed way.  Sufficient to say is that UV fluorescence of medium or more usually creates an opportunity for the buyer to make a somewhat reduced offer.  You may have gotten the right price already, but how can you tell if you don’t ask? 

This is the reality of the stigma surrounding diamond’s UV fluorescence. Sometimes any reduction in cost when the diamond enters the market is passed along right to the eventual end user.  Many times, this is not the case and the potential discount is taken in by the dealers and retailer as added profit.  May consumers find a medium to highly fluorescent diamond very attractive.  Dealers may like them a lot, as well, but since they are the kind of folks trained to haggle, that’s what they do.  Even when it is not meaningful, haggling is part of the life blood of the diamond trade. 

Rapaport and other price guide publishers report minor ranges of premiums and discounts in value for differing degrees and colors of UV fluorescence depending on the color and clarity of particular diamonds. The range is from a few percentage points plus to a few percentage points minus.  The reality is that a very few diamonds might gain a bit in value for fluorescence when it improves the way they look, but many have no change or a reduced asking price because of such an effect.  We hear of dealers who will not even buy a UV fluorescent diamond simply because it creates a problem in re-selling.  We see other dealers who buy diamonds of all types and appear to have little problem with most UV fluorescent diamonds.   If you choose to buy a diamond with medium to strong UV fluorescence and ever wish to sell it back into the trade, you should be prepared to have a more difficult time in finding a buyer than if the stone had little to no fluorescence.  That’s why it is important to know this before you buy, not years from now.  You buy what you like, but you should understand the facts when you choose.  My wife has a good sized diamond which does not fluoresce but the 3/4ct side diamonds are strongly blue UV fluorescent.  Both of us like the effect sunlight has on them as they turn bluish in bright daylight. 

The discount on initial bids for diamonds with strong UV fluorescence can be more than 25% less than for a diamond with no fluorescence.  Rapaport does not publish this high a discount in his monthly news magazine.  What we get are very nominal indicators of discounts from 0% to about 8% for the most part.  I would speculate Rapaport chooses to make these discounts as “minimum discount offer prices” just as the main “highest asking prices” on his Rap Sheet do not reflect the best prices, but the highest range.  It is all very logical, but might escape the consumer who is not so well aware of how the Rap pricing guide is a coded sheet for which outsiders have no key to full understand.  Even highly experienced estate dealers do not have the complete key to the pricing in the diamond market.  The key is earned knowledge by working daily in the diamond business.  There is no other way to be kept current.  The best we can do is to generalize and to keep the consumer aware of the issues.  The diamond business may seem somewhat simple on the surface, but underneath the glitter there is a complex free market trading and moving 24/7 all over the world. 

Consumers may find a UV fluorescent diamond is the one they most prefer. Often there is no visual basis for any discount and on occasion the right color of fluorescence and a particularly well matching body color may create a meaningful premium value.  The free market will always act to create the minimum of buying costs when a consumer wishes to sell back to the trade.  In the several steps a diamond takes to get back to the next consumer that discount may be mitigated.  The final asking price may be adjusted for the particular issues of the diamond, or may be priced based simply on shape, cut quality, weight, color and clarity.  We can’t know until each stone comes back to the end user exactly how it will be priced  The consumer is best left to understand that UV fluorescence and pricing differences make sense, but don’t always occur in apparent and simplistic ways in the final retail asking price.  In the end, you must select what pleases you the best.  Knowing the facts can give you a lot more comfort in your decision process.

 

David Atlas, GG, Certified Senior Member, NAJA

 

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Grading the Light Behavior of Ideal Cushion Cuts

Recently I had the opportunity to use a Verigem® device, an objective light behavior tool specifically created for diamond light return grading, to examine two Branded Cushion cut diamonds which happen to have the AGSL blessing of Ideal make.  These are diamonds designed and marketed by one of many popular vendors on Pricescope.  When you first see them you hardly can tell they are cushion cuts because their brilliancy makes your eye see what might be a round shape.  Upon closer inspection, of course, the rounded corners and flatter sides do show themselves to be present.  Like every other Ideal Cut which AGSL has developed cut grading standards for, these diamonds show all the design characteristics of finely cut diamonds.  And, sure enough, both a Hearts and Arrows effect are perfectly displayed with a viewer.

I have often stated that the occurrence of H&A is a happy accident, in that the two phenomena both work well with romance.  However, hearts and arrows, when perfectly formed, do confirm a great deal of time and effort has been spent on creating exacting symmetry in a diamond.

Although I do not have access to the database of diamonds at Imagem, Inc, (www.imageminc.com) the firm CEO, Dr. Aggarwal, assured me that the results of this limited test placed these diamonds in the top 20% of the “Excellent” cut grade scale.  Since thousands of diamonds are in this database, the comparison is on firm footing between the objectivity of the Imagem technical process for light behavior and the consistency of the AGSL techniques of measurement and assessment of cut quality. There are several other competing high performance cushion cuts in the market which have not yet crossed my desk or been put into a Verigem® light measuring device, but the availability of rather poor cut quality cushion shaped diamonds is far more commonplace.  Ideal, cut cushion diamonds which are finely cut, perform excellently with light and have consistency, let alone the blessing of AGSL techniques are quite rare at this time, but the market potential for such beautiful diamonds will encourage more production.  An Ideal variety of cushion cuts competes very favorably with round diamonds.  They are likely among the highest performing of all diamond shapes, and have increased weight retention from their rough crystal which makes for a somewhat lower cost per carat.  I’d think a cushion shape with a modified round brilliant facet design will allow a maximization of light return unlike other square outline fancy shaped diamonds.

Any vendors interested in testing their cushion cut stones would be most welcome and the results will be shared with you alone.  I will not make comparisons of one brand to another since the samples are not random and too small.  Fairness and knowledge is the highest goal.

 

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Divorce appraisals of jewelry. A necessary evil for many soon to be ex-couples.

 

For many years I refused to do this kind of work preferring to let others handle this unfortunate, inconvenient and often somewhat ugly matter surrounding a divorce.   Maturity, more patience and understanding, has led me back into the fray in these contests.  Most of the time, it seems the wife intends to keep the jewelry as part of the division of marital property.  Often, the items have a huge amount of negative sentimental value by that time, but one expects the wife to keep the jewels in most cases regardless of the mixed emotions.  What is the right “value” to place on such settlements?  Should the decision as to who takes the jewelry have anything to do with the value?  I think not.  Whichever party takes all or part of the jewelry ought to get it at a value that they can liquidate it in a fairly rapid yet orderly manner and not at some wildly high “retail” value that no consumer could sell it for.

To me, it is fair that either party who takes jewelry as part of a property settlement in these matters gets those items at a value that can be obtained in orderly liquidation and with reasonable effort to get a fair price.  Truthfully, if that always happened there would be little argument over the jewelry, but sadly this is rarely the case.  Jewelry is so different than cars or real estate when it comes to the difference between retail and liquidation market values.

As a solution to the problem of divorce settlement, I suggest having the two parties mutually agree to use my services jointly so that there is no hint of favoritism in the conclusions made in the appraisal.  This can cut the cost of the appraisal in half for each party if they are willing to split the expense, or if one party is paying the other does not need to pay.  Having dual appraisals simply leads to further expense in courtroom arguments over which appraisal to accept.  Lawyers are the prime beneficiary of disagreement and courtroom time.  Divorcing couples are best served by getting the final ruling and going on with their lives.

If I can be of service to you in a divorce, please contact me.  I am willing to work for either party as well as under mutual agreement.  That is a suggestion, but not a requirement.

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The “right” way to do a trade-in.

It is simple, but you need to follow these steps to know what sort of deal you are making.

#1.  Shop and discover what you want, what you can afford, and where you feel most comfortable in buying.  See what their return policy is.  Find out about any warranty or trade-back policies.

#2.  Find out the amount you can get outright, for immediate payment, on the item you wish to trade-in.  This is the item you no longer wish to own.  Shop around until you are satisfied that you understand the situation no matter how little the offers may be.  Now that part is done.

#3.  Determine the final item you wish to purchase.  Do your research to discover the best asking price for the item and make every effort to have a vendor who you feel most comfortable with actually do the deal with you.  Even if it costs a few bucks more, relationships and emotions have value that can’t be exactly measured.  Be sure you are at the price which totally makes it work for you.  Price is important, but not the only consideration.

#3.  From out of nowhere, pull out your trade-in and ask what the item is worth in order to make the deal.  You already know exactly what you can sell it for outright, and you also know exactly what you must pay.  If your vendor wants to over allow a bit in order to tempt you into the sale, now is the time for you to get the benefit of trading in by making the vendor give you a “liberal” trade-in. A liberal trade-in will result it you getting the new item for less.  They may or may not wish to trade, but you know exactly where you stand and when to say yes or no.  If the trade-in benefits the bottom line cost, then go forward, if not, you can decide to sell to your other bidder or not to make the trade.

One must be aware that if any mention of a trade-in is made in advance of the final asking price on a new item, there may be no way to get to the exact asking price.  If you don’t have the asking price settled, then any trade-in allowance is a mystery that you cannot later figure out and you will have more or less ruined the potential extra value of the trade-in.

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Advice to vacationers who want to buy jewelry or a diamonds when travelling

Pretend for a moment you are on a wonderful trip somewhere with your spouse or loved one.  In your busy lives, you never have enough time to do as much with one another as you would love to do, so you decide to shop together for a gift for one or both of you at your next destination.  You may have attended a great “informational” sales pitch on a cruise ship or you may be headed to one of the many destinations where shopping is “duty free” or supposedly at a large discount.  You are happy, peaceful and optimistic and have put your daily worries aside for a few hours or days.  The sky is blue and life is good.  You have turned off your warning radar and are about to become a victim.

You shop, but you find there is quite a bit of pressure to decide on the spot.  You see things you like, but you really have no way to comparison shop as you normally might do at home   You forget yourself and just wing it.  You take a chance and don’t realize what you might have done to you and your wallet until later that night or even until you get home.   Then, you read the return instructions and discover how very difficult it will be to get this purchase reversed, exchanged or adjusted.  Many find themselves in exactly this position.

You will find that had you been more aware of the pitfalls you might have bought the same items at home from a trusted source who would work out any and all kinks in the deal just to keep you happy, but now you have bought something where getting it made right will be nearly impossible.

Please, don’t become a needless victim of impulsive buying when you are not in your comfort zone.  Since it is very much like gambling when you are really uninformed, never spend more than you can afford to lose.  You can still buy a trinket or little gift that is sentimental and meaningful, but why would you buy something really costly and risky when you may have no recourse to have any issue straightened out later?

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Selling jewelry or diamonds? What do you ask a buyer for?

When you have jewelry or diamonds to sell, you don’t need to ask for an “appraisal”.  Many appraisers and gemologists will immediately sell you an appraisal report which will add nothing to the secondary market value of your items and create yet another expense for you to pay out good money.  Instead, when you want to sell jewelry or diamonds, go to people or firms who advertise they are “buyers” and simply ask them to tell you what they would be willing to pay you.  Ask for an “offer” or a “bid”, not an “appraisal”.  Unless you have a large quantity of items and/or show an attitude of unwillingness to do business, a buyer will give you their offer or bid for no cost.  Once you have collected a few bids, then you are in an excellent position to know what the items are actually worth to those who you have found willing to exchange cash for your items.  In this process, you will likely also find those who would offer to take your items on a long term consignment in order to offer them for sale to their customers, but who won’t pay you anything unless and until the item(s) are sold.  If you have time, this may be a bit better for you.  Remember, you will have to put your trust in the firm and person you are making a consignment with.  They have everything and all you’ll have is a receipt.  It may take considerable time and may never result in a sale.

Auctions will take your items for consignment to to place on sale at upcoming auction dates.  At least you have a hoped for sale date, but please look at the amount of fees the auction loads onto any amount you will obtain.  There are buyers fees, sellers fees and sometimes insurance and photo fees which will come out of the total value the auction can get for your pieces.  You may get less than 2/3 of the money the items brought at the auction and be no better off than selling such items outright to a dealer and have been paid months sooner.  You have to make this judgment about time, money and trust.

The point of all of this is that you do not need to request an “appraisal” when you want to sell.  What you need to request is an “offer”.  Be sure to get assurance that you have a few days to a couple weeks to “make up your mind” or to “consult with your family members” before the offer expires.  Also, if a buyer says “Will you take $xxxx for these items?” be certain to respond, “Are you offering to buy these pieces at that price or are you just asking me a question and not making a firm offer?”  You will find many buyers are not going to be straight about making a bid until you get past this tricky question they often like to ask.

These words and techniques will help to give you time to make sure you are accepting the best available offer, to eliminate mis-understanding fake offers which really were just probing questions and not offers, and to have no regrets later on about choosing to sell your jewelry or diamonds.

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Don’t dump your gold, silver and platinum at the street-side buyer!!

Many people have thousands of dollars worth of precious metal jewelry, flatware and holloware in their homes that gets virtually no use, yet these high value assets are at risk for loss.  If you are insuring them, the last thing you will want are replacements of items you never use and every year you pay out premiums to cover their loss.  Why?  Wouldn’t you be far better off selling unused and pretty much unwanted and unappreciated items that cost you needless expense to insure, put you more at risk for crime, and risk losing substantial dollars that you might have easily obtained without suffering any harm or pain?

If you have theft of precious items, you will never replace the sentimental attachment you might have for the lost items.  In this regard, no amount of insurance truly covers such losses.  Wouldn’t it be better for you and your heirs to consider selling off assets of substantial value that will only make your estate a much more complex matter than money in the bank or normal stocks and bonds?  I have seen many older folks get a far greater pleasure by helping out their children and grandchildren now, rather than after they have passed away.  The smiles and seeing how your gift has been received can give you much real pleasure that you would miss if you waited until it was an inheritance.

For younger potential sellers, we understand that many older items of jewelry are just not at all in fashion and will never come back in style.  The world has changed since 1960 and it is not going back, but rapidly forward to some new future and fashion period.  You may have items you want to sell, but simply going to the convenient store with the “WE BUY GOLD” banner out front is likely the worst way to sell.  Please look at our gold prices and compare to your local buyer BEFORE YOU DECIDE.  You often can double what some “buyers” offer to pay the public if you are well informed.

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Are you considering selling jewelry and diamonds? Please read further.

When you decide that it is time to sell a major diamond or a fine collection of jewelry, why would you ship it to our firm instead of selling it locally? If you live in a major metropolitan area, such as LA, Miami, New York City, Chicago, Dallas, we may agree that you will find many buyers and auction galleries that can do whatever any other firm can do for you. However, if you are lucky enough to be living in less crowded areas of the USA, then you will undoubtedly need to travel quite a bit to know you are getting the best possible price. In those cases, you will need to get recommendations and more or less keep your fingers crossed since you are a lot less likely to really know the buyer you are about to visit.
My family firm is one that has been around since 1898. While I work alone, my office is currently in a substantial jewelry manufacturing facility in the suburbs of Philadelphia. All our business comes from recommendations whether we are appraising for insurance, mediating value and quality issues, or when we are buying. While we do not sell to the public, we have been active buyers of jewelry and diamonds from both dealers and the public. My own experience dates back to December 1967 when I joined my father in our wholesale jewelry business.

The reason I decided to post this topic is to assure people who wish to sell a diamond, a piece of fine jewelry or a collection of fine items, that my firm is a rather well known business with a long, long track record. Some of my larger competitors have rapidly bought their rather new reputations while D. Atlas & Co., Inc. has earned it over many decades. It is simple enough to understand the latter is a safer reputation than those who have tossed millions out to obtain notoriety or credibility.

If you want a safe connection to selling your jewelry, gems and diamonds at fair market prices, please contact us. We can easily arrange for no cost, insured shipping to us via overnight FedEx. You will not be under any pressure or obligation.

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Standardization of Diamond Grading

What it means to the trade
Why it is beneficial to the trade and the consumer

For as long time, 1967 to be more exact, I entered the family jewelry business. Since then I have been exposed to diamond trading, grading wholesaling and retailing. From cutter, to dealer, to retailer and to the consumer, the communication of a diamond’s quality is one of the most important parts of the entire jewelry business. This said, the trade is well aware of the shortcomings of the status quo. We rely on diamond grading reports, but understand the rather erratic nature of how these documents, related devices and human graders provide physical measurements, UV fluorescence strength, color and clarity grading.

If you show a diamond to a dealer with a secondary lab report they will only buy it for one color and/or one clarity grade lower in value. Even if they agree with the report, they won’t trust it or even trust their own knowledge. They know that even the source of the most trusted diamond grading is inconsistent enough to have cost them before. Burn me once, shame on you, but burn me twice, shame on me. That’s just the way it is.

If the world was a perfect place, we’d have no problem with making a living or trading diamonds. It would be better for the international nature of the diamond business to have documents for diamonds that made them more readily tradable. Accurate documents measurements that held up to strict control, correct UV strength, reliable and accurate color and clarity grading all would contribute to stability and trust. For those who like to gamble, there are plenty of diamonds without grading documents or with old documents. It isn’t as if everyone will immediately appreciate the change that is possible today, but one must not be close minded about the potential to do more and better business, either.

For the past 14 years, I have been privileged to have played a small role as a consultant to a future industry leader firm. This relatively small but rather well funded firm is now bringing to the diamond industry a rather complete system which does the job of diamond measurement and grading for the vast majority of diamonds in nearly a fully automated way. All technological changes “evolve”. No technology is perfect upon its first delivery to users, but we are on the third generation of improvements by now and it is being deployed in labs and cutting facilities to improve diamond grading accuracy with increased speed and efficiency unlike any product in the marketplace. There still is a role for a gemologist in the mix, but the presently subjective nature of color, clarity, symmetry and fluorescence grading is virtually reduced to an occasional adjustment by a knowledgeable gemologist to correct minor error due to the complex possibilities in the odd stone. One can spend several million dollars to create machines to grade 97% of diamonds and many more millions to grade 98.5%. When the potential for a return on investment is not there, one must be realistic in just how much to spend to grade certain strange diamonds with technology. It becomes the chief gemologist’s role to grade or adjust for the small number of diamonds that a machine won’t grade perfectly. This is standard for all technology and not an excuse No one will build a device or system where it is impossible to recapture the investment unless they are a well funded, non-profit R&D facility. While we think we have these sorts of facilities already in the diamond industry, we must examine why little has been done by any of them to make the grading of diamonds more efficient, less time consuming and more accurate. Could it be that they have a vested interest in the status quo? Do you think their very best clients, diamond dealers, might just prefer to leave subjectivity as an excuse or a bargaining tool? This is something we should ponder.

How will the trade and consumer benefit from new grading technology? Do we ever question the desirability of honesty and accuracy? Few of us would deny that honesty and accuracy are laudable and noble goals. What consumer would not willingly give up fear and doubt and wish to replace these feelings with trust and assurance? What legitimate retailer would not wish to provide correct grading to their customers? How many retailers are being hurt financially today by dishonest or ignorant competitors who offer phony “certs” with pumped up color and clarity grades? How many honest diamond dealers are amazed at competitor dealers who flog loads of diamonds accompanied by phony documents? Who could fail to be amazed at the amount of lucrative business being done with these bad documents? It is very difficult for honesty to prevail when dishonesty remains so defiantly profitable.

Consumers would be surprised the degree of honesty and integrity prevalent in the diamond trade. No, it isn’t just honesty among a den of thieves. There is true integrity within the business, in spite of all that I have stated here. To clarify my point, I am saying there are some truly rotten apples in the business willing to use poor diamond grading as the means to their own ends, getting rich fast. There is nothing wrong with earning your riches, but the get rich fast approach is unfair to everyone.

Being early is a lot better than being late when it comes to being recognized for taking a positive stand for accuracy. There is no downside for being a leader when it is obvious that the status quo is a failed strategy for moving into the future.