Archive for the 'Selling a Diamond' Category

Chocolate, Champagne, Cognac – Better to eat & drink, or to wear?

December, 13 2012

Chocolate, Champagne, Cognac – Better to eat & drink, or to wear?

Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, I thought I should shed some light onto a few things I have noticed. Granted I started seeing holiday shopping guides, commercials, and advertisements the day after Halloween, but now that we are mid-December, it seems the jewelry industry especially is pouring on the deals and bargains for “luxury” and high end items.

The most common commercial I have seen is one involving chocolate diamonds, and how to “upgrade her craving for chocolate” by purchasing an exclusive and rare chocolate diamond ring, necklace, or bracelet.

I find these commercials, like most marketing, to be misleading. By the same token, I recognize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that many people like the look of chocolate, champagne, or cognac diamonds. My goal for this article is just to give the rest of the story – you know, the one the jewelry industry sometimes leaves out.

As a quick refresher, diamonds are typically graded for their absence of color in the D-Z color range. Any diamond that displays a hue of color found in a rainbow, other than yellow or brown, is graded as a fancy color. Diamonds that display a yellow hue that is outside the Z color range is still considered a fancy color, while brown is not. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) recognizes 27 hues, or the basic impression of color, for color-grading diamonds brown is not one of them.

Circ Graph

Legend for Graph

Note: The predominate hue is stated last. Source: GIA – Winter 1994 Gems and Gemology Article.

Brown diamonds are considered to be low quality, and until the 1980’s were considered industrial quality only.  It was during this time that abundant quantities of them appeared from the Argyle mines in Australia.

Given the diamond’s poor quality, and that the diamond market did not recognize brown as a fancy color, the Australians took a creative route. They began setting these diamonds in jewelry and gave them names like “champagne” and “chocolate” – words that evoke ideas of luxury.  Needless to say the marketing worked and brown diamonds are not only the least rare, but are also the most common diamond color to be found in medium-priced jewelry designs today.

So, if the one you love is perhaps “craving” something a little different, and is interested in having a brown diamond, just keep these things in mind when shopping:

1)   Brown diamonds range greatly in tone, or their relative amount of lightness or darkness. You want to look for one that has a medium to dark tone, with a warm, golden to reddish appearance.  These look the most vibrant when used in jewelry, and still maintain some of the brilliance that is expected of a diamond.

2)   Brown diamonds should be sold at a considerably lower price point than their colorless counterparts. If you think you are paying too much, you probably are. There are other gemstones that have a similar appearance to a brown diamond, but are sold at a fraction of the price. – Consider a Smoky Quartz, Imperial Topaz, or Brown Tourmaline as some alternatives.

Regardless of the amount of marketing, advertising, and sales that are going on this holiday shopping season, being an informed consumer is the most important thing. Always do your own research, and ask questions! MJ Gabel is ALWAYS available to answer questions, or address concerns that people have about a jewelry purchase. We are happy to guide, educate, and consult with consumers so they can make an informed decision.

As the holiday approaches, please remember what this season is truly about – it’s not about the gifts, the money, or the diamonds! This season is about spending time with the ones you love, giving back to your community, and be thankful for all the things, small or large, that you are already blessed with. Happy Holidays!

If you are unaware of what your diamonds characteristics are, contact MJ Gabel and take advantage of a free diamond evaluation.

www.MJGabel.com

800-804-1980

When a Diamond isn’t Forever

When a Diamond isn't Forever

MJ Gabel understands the value of your diamond pieces, and respect the importance of feeling valued as a customer.

November, 16 2012

Diamond Déjà-vu

Written by Anne Johnson, 
Managing Director at MJ Gabel

Three times last week I felt like I was having déjà-vu. That feeling like you have already been somewhere before, or had a similar conversation but you cannot place it. I quickly realized that it was not déjà-vu but rather I actually was having the same conversation multiple times. They all went something like this:

Anne – “Can you give me an idea of the amount you would like to see out of your diamond?”

Client – “ I did not have an exact figure in mind, but I know what the diamond is worth because of what I paid for it, and it was appraised for even more than that.”

This seems to be one of the most common conversations I have with clients and where I happily began to give all three clients an insight into the diamond market.

If you were to sell your current vehicle, what would you do to determine what price to ask for it? Would you just go by what you paid for it, take 50% off that price and hope for the best? Or would you do some research into what a realistic number would be to be competitive in the market?

Most would use the prices of other cars for sale locally as a guide as well as looking at the Kelly Blue Book value to find an estimate.  The problem with re-selling a diamond is that while there is a similar reference guide to the Kelly Blue Book for diamonds, it is not available to the public. This leaves only two numbers that consumers know about their pieces; the price they paid for it, and how much the piece was appraised for.

The problem with both of those numbers is that they are retail values. An appraisal value is only reflective of what the diamond is worth in a retail environment and NOT representative of what an individual could assume to sell the piece for. Moreover, as discussed in previous posts, the retail value of a diamond includes all of the jewelers mark-ups, and profit but when you go to sell that diamond, you are only working with the value of the stone itself.

So how is someone supposed to know what a realistic asking price for his or her diamond would be? The simple answer is to call MJ Gabel and speak to one of our representatives who will happily consult with you FREE OF CHARGE!

In order to get a feel for what similar pieces are currently priced and and to start to become familiar with the resale marketplace; here are some observations.

Number one: Go to Bluenile.com and find a diamond similar to the one you own by using their diamond search. Blue Nile is the largest e-retailer of certified diamonds. Their price points are lower than any brick and mortar jeweler, and only slightly higher than wholesale prices. This would be the equivalent of finding out what car dealers are asking for your car.

A good starting asking price for your diamond would be about 30% below the BlueNile price. This is because although BlueNile prices are less than those of your local jeweler, they are still retail prices.

Number two: Look at what other people are trying to sell their similar diamonds for on places like Craigslist – Check out your competition!

I speak with many clients who have already gone to a local jeweler only to find that the jeweler is uninterested in purchasing the diamond, will only give the client a trade value towards new jewelry or whose cash offer is insultingly low. On the other hand, on more than one occasion I have had this conversation:

Client: “My jeweler told me my diamond was worth XYZ”

Anne: “Is XYZ what the jeweler offered to purchase the diamond from you for?”

Client: “No, they do not buy back diamonds.”

As discussed in previous Blogs, the reason why many jewelers choose not to buy diamonds back from the public is because they would have to disclose their own mark-ups. Consider this in light of the numbers jewelers throw around; they are in the business of selling jewelry and are the ones who made between 200-400% profit on the original sale of your diamond. Therefore, unless the price they quote you is what they will actually purchase the diamond for, it is irrelevant. Always make sure they are specific, that the price is a cash offer and that it is:

NOT what they think you can sell the diamond for

NOT what they would sell the diamond for

NOT what they would appraise the diamond for

Diamonds are forever may be true; regardless of what the jeweler may lead you to believe, diamonds are not a good investment. Unfortunately you may never be able to recoup the full amount you paid for the diamond. In order to get the most back from your diamond, do your research. Know not only what you have, but also what a realistic amount to expect is going to be. Consultations and answers to questions are ALWAYS available at MJ Gabel.  It will only cost you the time it takes for a phone conversation, or to type an email to obtain information that could mean the difference of thousands of dollars in your pocket. MJ Gabel is always available to help clients navigate the diamond industry, and to recoup the maximum amount from the sale of their diamond.

If you are unaware of what your diamonds characteristics are, contact MJ Gabel and take advantage of a free diamond evaluation.

www.MJGabel.com

800-804-1980

 

The Power of the Diamond Consult

The Power of the Diamond Consult

Written by Anne Johnson, 
Managing Director at MJ Gabel

In a busy season that has been filled with client appointments, phone consultations, and auctions this past week has stuck out above all others. I had two appointments this week that resulted in some reflection and a new drive that I feel is important to share!

As I entered this business, I thought I would be putting my bachelor’s degree in social work into my bag of tricks, but not really ever using it – I was quickly proven wrong! I realized quickly that having my social work degree only helped me interact on a daily basis with my clients.

As a diamond buyer, buying from the public, I often only get the opportunity to speak with clients who are going through some life-changing event. Sometimes they are upgrading a diamond for an anniversary but more often than not their visit tends to be a result of  a broken relationship, divorce, or financial difficulties. It has always been apparent to me that most clients are not only trying to navigate the difficult waters of selling their diamond, but also trying to keep their head above water while dealing with all of the emotional turmoil the sale of that diamond can represent. Keep in mind that most diamonds represent an emotion, and were given at a time of great happiness and love.

What pains me, is when those difficulties are compounded by the fact that a client was given inaccurate information from their jeweler about their diamond. Small variations in the way a jeweler graded a diamond all the way to how much a jeweler inflated a diamond’s value are not uncommon occurrences in my daily discussions with clients. What struck me about my two clients this week was that although the circumstances were different the extent to which the information I provided affected them the same way.

One of the cases was a former client who had come to the difficult decision to sell another diamond that she had been reluctant to part with. She returned to work with me again because I had been able to give her more for the sale of her original diamond then she had been offered by others. Upon viewing the current stone in question however, I quickly realized it had been clarity enhanced.

A clarity enhanced diamond is one that has been laser drilled and then either filled with a compound, or bleached in an attempt to diminish the inferior clarity characteristics it displays. Since part of a diamond’s value is based entirely on the fact that it is natural, once altered, much of the diamond’s value has all but disappeared.

As many of you can appreciate, my client was devastated when I showed her and explained what this meant to the diamond’s value. What bothered her and myself the most was the fact that the jeweler she had purchased the diamond from had not disclosed this information to her at the time of the sale.  She graciously thanked me for letting her know the truth, and was going to attempt some recourse with the jeweler. She left knowing that we were available as an alternative, and that we would happily assist her in selling the diamond specifically to buyers who work with clarity enhanced stones.

The second occasion was a new client who was a single parent selling the ring to pay for a down payment on her new home. A local jewelers had appraised the diamond as a Round Brilliant SI1, G-H diamond and valued it as $21,000.  Upon grading the diamond in our lab, I determined that is was truly a VS1 (two clarity grades better), and a K (three color grades below) color. While the clarity grade was actually better than reported, the color ended up hurting the value of the diamond. I showed her how I came to my conclusion, and her response turned out to be one of relief.

While disappointed with the truth, she was glad to know what she had and happy that she had not sold the diamond privately. She felt she would have been devastated if she had sold it to someone under the false pretense of a poor appraisal only to have them return unhappy and wanting their money back.

It occurred to me that while I take great pride in our company’s ability to retrieve the highest amount possible for a client’s diamond, I also strongly believe in our consulting services.  In both cases, while the truth can be disappointing to hear, both clients were grateful and appreciative in knowing that we had taken the time to view their diamond and to report the truth back to them. Both clients now know what they have, as well as all of their options for selling their pieces.

I, or any of our representatives, will happily take the time to not only evaluate your diamond FREE OF CHARGE, but also discuss ALL options available to you should you decide to sell it. Even if a client does not use our services immediately and attempts to sell their diamond privately only to return to us at a later date, it is still time well spent.

My job is not only to help you to get the most out of the sale of your diamond, but also to provide the information you need to make an informed decision. As long as I, or any of us at MJ Gabel, can help make this moment in time a little easier, it is worth our time.

If you are unaware of what your diamonds characteristics are, contact MJ Gabel and take advantage of a free diamond evaluation.

www.MJGabel.com

800-804-1980

Louis Vuitton vs Target

Louis Vuitton vs Target..

Successful brand names can help create an allure and the idea of high quality. A woman may choose to pay more for a leather handbag because it carries the name “Louis Vuitton” or she may choose to purchase a specific line of hair care products because she’s “worth it”.  Branding can help to distinguish products from their competitors while also creating the idea of consumer confidence. This is also a good way to increase profits as often times consumers are often willing to pay more for a name they know, recognize, and equate with high value or status.

Diamonds are no different. Is a “Leo” diamond better than a “Hearts on Fire”? And is either better than a GIA graded diamond with an Excellent cut, but no brand name? The idea of marketing a “brand-name” diamond is not a new concept, and is centered on simply a specific combination of proportions that were used to cut the diamond. When light interacts with a diamond, every angle, proportion and facet affects what is returned to the viewer’s eye – this is what gives a diamond a face-up appearance.

As shown above, these basic parts all have a relationship with each other, and their basic proportions in combination to the precision of the diamond’s facets are contributing to the interaction between the diamond and light. The bottom line is this, that every facet, every angle and their relationship to each other affect amount of light returned or lost in a diamond.

The majority of diamond brands focus on and promote the idea of an “ideal” cut diamond.  The claim is that their specific proportions create the maximum amount of fire (flashes of color seen within a diamond) and brilliance (reflections of white light).  For example, the “Leo” diamond is one that has 66 facets rather than the standard 57-58 of a Round Brilliant, while the “Hearts on Fire” diamond has “hearts and arrows” that can be seen in the table down position. Do the extra facets create a more brilliant diamond? What is more likely to create the most brilliance is a diamond with proportions that fall within certain limits, and all well cut diamonds will display “hearts and arrows,” not just the ones that are branded as such.

Modern diamond cutters have made an attempt to derive the “best” table size, pavilion angle, and crown angle for a Round Brilliant. They argue that the values of these three proportions will produce the most fire and brilliance in a diamond. While there are agreed upon standards for a well cut diamond, there is no positive proof that any one set of proportions will produce an “ideal” cut stone.

GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) does not recognize an “ideal” cut, but rather has created a standard cut grading system. This system assigns a cut grade as determined by that specific diamond’s proportions and the amount of fire, brilliance and scintillation or pattern the diamond displays: Excellent (Ex), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F), and Poor (P).

In addition to a cut grade, GIA also assigns a grade to the diamond’s overall finish. That grade describes its polish and symmetry as a reflection of the craftsmanship that went into the stone. Using the same scale from Excellent to Poor. These two grades combined reflect how much fire and brilliance a diamond displays.

Keep in mind that like the rest of the retail market, a brand name diamond may be more expensive even thought is the same grade as all the others on the shelf. What is important to understand is that not all diamonds are created equal and how well a diamond is cut has a large impact on its beauty. Remember, a diamond that is GIA certified as having an Excellent cut will shine, fire, and sparkle just as much as one that carries a brand name.

Every diamond is cut with extreme care and craftsmanship. Every facet in a well-cut diamond acts as a tiny mirror that interacts with the light to help create the stone’s face-up appearance. Two 1.00 carat diamonds with equal clarity and color characteristics set side by side both with Excellent cut grades will both display equal amounts of light. The only difference may be that one may have a brand name, and carry a higher price tag.

 

 

Be sure to check out www.mjgabel.com

If you are  selling a loose or mounted diamond get in touch with us and take advantage of our free consulting.

MJ Gabel Diamond Ring Buyers: 800-804-1980

 

References

“About the 4Cs.” About the 4Cs. Gemological Institute of America, 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.gia.edu/lab-reports-services/about-the-4cs/index.html>.

“Features.” Unsurpassed Diamond Brilliance. Leo Schachter Diamonds, LLC, 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.theleodiamond.com/theleodiamond/unsurpassedbrilliance.aspx>.

“The Cut Of Our Diamonds.” Diamond Story. N.p., 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.heartsonfire.com/learn-about-our-diamonds/the-story/the-cut.aspx>.

When a Diamond Isn’t Forever

MJ Gabel specializes in personal attention. We are a family owned and operated business that specializes in appraising, purchasing, and evaluating loose or mounted diamonds. MJ Gabel believes in the importance of being simple, the beauty of uniqueness, and the details of the process.

Our diamond obsession has shed light on two other additional, yet equally important crushes;
1) working with clients so they understand the process of selling their diamond and 
2) the personal connection involved in the process, and the customer feeling valued

In a world full of big-box, all the glitters, and fast cash promotions, MJ Gabel dares to hold true to a slower, simpler pace of doing business. This pace values the importance of educating the consumer and the human connection involved in your diamond.

Our company provides a service that can be brought directly to you, in the comfort of your own home, one of our offices, or by securely sending us your diamond. We offer the opportunity to help make you an informed decision when it comes to selling your diamond.

We understand the value of your pieces, and respect the importance of feeling valued as a customer. It can be intimidating to bring valued family heirlooms, treasures rings, or anything of significance to a commercial location to have someone behind a counter discuss their worth. When working with MJ Gabel, the consumer is educated every step of the way and each diamond is looked at with great care, and evaluated for its highest value.

If you are looking for an inclusive experience when selling a diamond, you have come to the right place. Let us show you that you can sell with confidence without leaving wondering, “Did I do the right thing?”

Fancy Cut Diamonds: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Fancy Cut Diamonds: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Written by Anne Johnson, Managing Director at MJ Gabel

It seems that everywhere one turns there are new colors your supposed to wear this summer, the hottest shoes seen in store everywhere, right down to the newest engagement ring design Angelina Jolie is sporting. When it comes down to it though, these products only carry value if someone finds them appealing. The same bright orange shirt that looks amazing on one person may make another look like a pumpkin.

The same game applies to Fancy cut diamonds, or “fancies”. A fancy cut diamond is any shape other than a round brilliant and includes popular cuts like princess, marquise, emerald, radiant ect,. Many times jewelers will use Fancy shapes as an alternative to a round brilliant if the buyer is looking for something less traditional. Fancy cuts have their own unique beauty, and often carry eye-catching appeal to many. However, the same individual who prefers a pear shaped diamond may not like the look of a radiant cut. This is where fancies start to get tricky.

Since round brilliant cut diamonds have traditionally been the most sought after, recognized, and methodically cut they hold a much higher value than fancies. There are specific industry standards, and agreements in regards to what measurements, angles, and proportions produce the most brilliant rounds. Factors used to evaluate and assess round brilliants are quite precise, however with fancy cuts there are many more variations to keep in mind.

When someone grades a fancy cut they look at the same types of things they do for rounds- color, clarity, symmetry ect. However, unlike rounds there is no universal agreement about what makes a specific fancy cut beautiful: it is a matter of personal taste. For example, an emerald cut that is an elongated rectangle may appear too narrow and long for one individual, but elegant and slender to another.

The beautiful individuality that is associated with fancy cuts is also what can make them a challenge to sell. The ever changing past and present trends of the jewelry industry can also pose a challenge to a seller of a fancy cut. For example, marquise cut diamonds became quite popular in the 1970’s and while still available, their popularity and demand has declined, impacting their re-sale value.

If you have a fancy cut you are trying to sell, it is important to keep in mind that while the beauty of the fancy cut diamond is obvious to you, there may be difficulty in finding someone who feels the same; pricing the diamond appropriately can help. This can also lead to a long waiting game, which ultimately could never result in a sale. Often times our clients find it better to re-circulate their fancy cut stones directly back into the market rather than waiting for the perfect private buyer to come along.

While Angelina Jolie may adore the emerald cut diamond that now adorns her finger, others may look at it with distaste. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and nothing is more apparent than with fancy cut diamonds. Trends within the diamond industry will continue to change with the times; the only trend that has and will not receded is the beauty, elegance, sophistication, and desire of a diamond.

MJ Gabel

www.mjgabel.com

800-804-1980

Selling a Fancy Cut Diamond