I recently sold a nice diamond engagement ring to a young couple I had never met before that day. They had told me I was highly recommended, a welcome compliment. The “perfect” diamond was set into one of my classic diamond halo mountings, and was presented to his lady during a complimentary romantic dinner that very evening.
What made this young couple stand out from most was that they did not have sheaves of printed information they had downloaded from doing “research” on the internet. Honestly, when someone requests that they would like to show me the results of their searches, and would really appreciate it if I could narrow down their searches so they could pick out the perfect diamond from all these choices…I politely decline. Besides, most of the time they have already made up their minds. Yet these cyber-scholars, who now think they know all there is to know about diamonds, still need reassurance from someone like myself?
Hello! I sell diamonds. I’m certainly not going to go through a competitor’s ghost inventory and spend my valuable time picking out their perfect diamond that does not exist, because it is never in stock. And get this – they then PayPal it for thousands of dollars, buying it sight unseen. Not very smart.
Back to the intelligent young couple. There were no sheaves of paper, just honest, intelligent questions about diamonds. Within ten minutes I knew what they were in the market for, no need to waste time showing them diamonds that cost way beyond their budget. Just the facts, no theatrics or smoke and mirrors. I procured several diamonds to choose from that were in their price range. Their choice was high color and size.
Big and brilliant! That would be my choice! Not only were they thrilled with the diamond they chose, they also returned the next day to thank me for the wonderful dining experience they had at Davide’s Italian Restaurant that was included with their purchase.
When the subject is diamonds, you are in my element. I sold my first diamonds, a pair of one carat total weight diamond stud earrings to be exact, before I could even see over a showcase. I think I was eleven.
Working for my uncles in the Jeweler’s Building in Boston, we sold a lot of diamonds. By the time I was eighteen I actually lost count of how many sales I made. My uncles were very proud of my sales ability at a young age. I rarely had a diamond customer walk out without that perfect diamond in a box or on his or her finger.
My uncles were talented goldsmiths, not professional salesmen. I learned at an early age to listen and not be pushy. Ask anyone who knows me – I’m not the least bit pushy! In fact the word lackadaisical comes to mind (I’m kidding!). I try to understand what the customer is looking for and the approximate price range of their budget for that perfect diamond. The parameters are different for each person.
So what is a perfect diamond? You can look at this two ways, in actuality a perfect diamond is triple X quality, a flawless “D” color with an ideal cut. It’s that simple! Only one problem… putting a one carat round diamond withthis pedigree on your main squeeze’s finger can cost close to $30,000.
So as you can imagine, the cost of this diamond is out of the question for well… most everyone! My point is that a “perfect” one carat diamond can cost far less than the one above. It’s the one that is perfect for you and yours, and one’s budget.
I explained to the couple that what makes a diamond cost so much or so little is sort of like a sliding scale. For example, a one carat “K” color “I 2” clarity is a highly included or flawed diamond. It can also have a horrendous cut, and you could spend 3,500 Benjamins on this dog of a diamond, something one should avoid, because down the road of life in the future, it will have no trade-in value.
From day one I have found that color is everything, and if you choose a diamond with color above a “J” you have an awesome diamond. Keep the inclusions to a minimum, and you have an incredibly awesome diamond.
The lower down the color or clarity scale, the less expensive the diamond becomes. The trick is not being duped into paying more for less quality.
Another example: a one carat “H” color and SI2 clarity can very often face up beautifully and within budget, and look fantastic for $4,800 or so.
I refuse to sell anything below SI2 clarity. Every diamond that leaves my store will include a definite “WOW” effect, guaranteed.
Purchase a “Clarity Enhanced” diamond and save at least 30% more. I have often written about the enhancing process in my past columns. It’s an intelligent option with brilliant results. Most of the clarity enhanced diamonds I sell are “G” and above. Like I said, color is everything. I am more impressed by seeing a ½ carat “G” color VS diamond that costs $4,000 than I am looking at a three carat “M”color I1clarity diamond. Put a leash on that $20,000 ugly dog!
Diamond color can also be gray or brown. That can cause the diamond to be listless and lack scintillation (brilliance). In other words, a very unhappy diamond. A diamond with innumerous flaws will also cut down brilliance to nil.
This is where the power of the magnifying loupe comes in handy. This tool will strike fear into any jeweler who is trying to pull the wool over a diamond buyer’s eyes. It’s hard to deny flaws when the diamond is magnified 10X. Ask for one.
The difference between good, better and best should be seen with your own eyes. Comparing them with a professional, you will see that they will be graded according to the four C’s: Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut.
In addition to the 4 C’s, I like to add one more “C” – Cost.
If any of my readers are interested in owning that “Perfect” diamond I will be offering summer specials on all fine diamond jewelry. Please ask about our “Diamond & Dinner” promotion. A romantic evening of dining that includes a special four-course dinner for two, including a nice bottle of wine at Davide’s Italian Restaurant .
Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and a purveyor of fine diamonds and precious gemstones. The owner of the Harbor Goldsmith of Marco Island for over 21 years, he welcomes your comments and questions about “All That Glitters.” 239.394.9274 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website @ www.harborgoldsmith.com