Posts Tagged 'Jewelry Buyers'

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

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

Knowing your product can spare one broken dreams


Knowing your product can spare one broken dreams

Written by Anne Johnson, Managing Director at MJ Gabel

When it comes to selling something, whether it’s a complex electronic or a chocolate chip muffin, it is critical to know what you’ve got. If you were at a local bake sale and asked if the chocolate chip muffins had nuts in them, and the baker replied, “I don’t know”, you likely would not take the dive to check yourself, especially if you had a nut allergy! Let’s say the baker said that there are no nuts, but you looked at the price and each muffin was $15- you would ask yourself where this baker parked their spaceship. In order to sell something properly, you not only need to have an idea of what your selling, but also need to ask an appropriate price that is reflective to what a buyer will pay. While diamonds are more complex than muffins, these same guidelines hold firm.

As discussed in previous posts, diamonds are more complex than just being a stone. Each diamond is unique, and commands it’s own value based on it’s carat weight, color, clarity, and shape. When selling a diamond, whether it is loose or mounted, it is important to know these four characteristics. Without these it would be nearly impossible to know how much you could sell your diamond for.

So how do you know what you have? Well, if your diamond is certified you will find LOADS of information listed right on the certification. Be sure to provide not only the four characteristics, but also any other information listed in order to give a potential buyer all the knowledge they need. Now you’re telling them that the muffin not only is nut-free, but also gluten-free and low-fat!

If you have an appraisal that was done on the diamond, you will find almost as much information as you would find on a certification there. Many people may have no paperwork that came with the diamond, or have lost track of it over the years. In this case, it would be important to consult a GIA certified diamond professional, like MJ Gabel, to look at the diamond to give you information on what you have.

When listing the information you have found on your stone, be sure to list where the information came from. This makes it easier for a potential buyer to gage that the information you are providing is reliable and credible.

So now you know what you have, what do you ask for it? This water can be muddier than finding out the characteristics of your diamond. Keep in mind that an appraisal, or certification may have either suggested retail values, or replacement values listed on them. These numbers are not realistic or reflective of what you could expect a private or other buyer to pay for your piece. The best was to know is to start price shopping your diamond on a wholesale level.

BlueNile.com is the leader in non-traditional diamond sales. They sell diamonds to the public close to what a jeweler could buy the same stone for. You can easily do a diamond search based on the information you have discovered about your stone, and automatically see what they are selling the exact same stone for new. Knowing that an individual can buy the same diamond you have for X amount, you now know you need to ask less than that to sell it properly. Back to the muffins; you know you can buy that gluten-free, nut-free, low-fat muffin down the street for $4, you would not spend $15 on the same product. Doing some basic research will go a long way when it comes to price negotiating during a sale.

Just like not everyone is a gifted baker, not everyone is a born seller. Simple steps though can make selling your used diamond a much easier task than one might think. Knowing your diamond gives you the confidence that you know what you’re speaking to. Also, having an idea of true market values help make the negotiating process less painful and prevents dreams of getting close to the appraisal value from being shattered. It can be somewhat of a reverse sticker shock when it becomes apparent that those appraisal values are nowhere near what someone is willing to pay. Keep in mind that it is a buyers market, and while you can ask whatever price you want for your diamond, it is the buyer who will dictate the price they are willing to pay.

More to come on selling and keeping an open mind to the process!

Be sure to check out www.mjgabel.com.  If you are in the market to buy a diamond, or selling a loose or mounted diamond get in touch with us and take advantage of our free consulting.

Taking a Step Back


Written by Anne Johnson, Managing Director at MJ Gabel

In our previous blog posts, I have written mostly about the process and mechanics behind the diamond industry. Truths about the actual value of diamonds, as well as how they reach their price tag value by the time they reach a woman’s finger. While our website sheds light onto our massive crush on diamonds and personal interaction with clients, I thought I would take the time to explain why we are different than other companies. Let’s spell it out.;

I often use a car analogy when speaking of diamonds because it is often the easiest for most people to relate to, so humor me once again. If you are in the market for a new car, you go to a car dealership and someone who specialized in selling cars- they do not make the cars, or for that matter buy them back (unless it’s a trade), sells one to you. Many times consumers will do LOADS of research on the right car for them, and how and where to get the best price.

Jump a few years, and it’s time to upgrade or your just ready for a change. You may opt not to take the car to the dealer because you know they a) will not buy it back with cash and b) if you trade it in, you will take a massive hit. Your choice becomes selling it on your own, or trading it and taking less for it than both you and them know its worth.

Most people do not do nearly as much research on how to sell their used car, as what they put into finding the best price when purchasing it. If we were in the car business, this is where we would come in! Even though our love is diamonds, we can still apply this same scenario to the diamond marketplace.

The majority of individuals do not to nearly as much research on diamonds as they do with cars before they buy. In fact, the majority of customers know very little about their diamond when they buy it, and only when it comes time to sell it does the research begin. Like a car, consumers know what they paid for their diamond. This becomes usually one of two pieces of weaponry in their knowledge arsenal. The second piece is an appraisal that has been done on their diamond. With these two numbers in mind, most consumers believe that they must be able to get at least half or more of these two values.

In contrast to selling a car, the jeweler is often the first place a consumer might stop to sell their diamond back. Like a car dealer however, the jeweler really only sells diamonds, and their offers tend to be similar to a trade in value since they will need to make a profit again if they buy the diamond back. Thus, individuals tend to travel around looking for what different sources will offer them for their pieces. They hear a low number, and move on to the next stop.

This is precisely where we differ from others. Instead of just giving you a number, we walk you through exactly how we came up with that number. We take the time to illustrate for our customers how every aspect of their diamond has played a role in the price we have calculated. In addition, instead of just shooting a low offer out, we are happy to give you alternatives if we believe we can help you get more for the piece. The value of the stone is nothing compared to the consumer feeling valued as a client and that their best interest is our priority.

In the car market, consumers utilize Kelley Blue Book, or Edmunds as a resource to tell them what their car’s value is and what they can expect to get for it. We are to diamonds what those companies are to cars! The only difference is, we value the connection you have to the piece, how much you spent on it, the importance of educating the consumer, and the basic human interaction involved in selling it. The other difference is, unlike Edmunds or KBB, with MJ Gabel we will pay you the price we acknowledge your piece to be worth, or happily broker a transaction that will.

MJ Gabel / Diamond Buyers

www.mjgabel.com

800-804-1980

The Diamond Pipeline. A breakdown of the world travels of Diamonds, and who pays the bill.

 

The Diamond Pipeline:

A breakdown of the world travels of diamonds, and who pays the bill

Written by Anne Johnson, Managing Director at MJ Gabel

The fine jewelry industry seems to be perpetually filled with notorious mark-ups and yet what appear to be constant blow out sales. Diamonds fall directly into this mysterious game of price shopping, and sale hunting. How is it that a jewelry sales person seems to always be able to pull out a calculator and knock down the already 60% off price of a diamond engagement ring another few notches? Who is getting the good deal: are diamonds truly as expensive as they appear?

At the retail end of the diamond spectrum, diamonds truly are as expensive as they appear, but why? If a diamond’s market value is less than it’s retail value, where is the money going? In order to get an idea of what goes into the price ticket on a diamond at your local jeweler, it is important to understand how a diamond gets into the showcase to begin with.

By the time a diamond reaches your local jeweler, it has already traveled around the world. The majority of diamonds are mined in only six of the world’s countries: Botswana, Russia, South Africa, Angola, Namibia and Australia. Rough diamonds are immediately graded for their value when they initially are extracted from the mine by a “diamond valuator” (Diamond Consultants, 2012). The valuator looks at each rough diamond for their size, color, quality, shape, and cuttability. Each rough diamond has the potential to be cut into a multitude of different polished diamonds, and thus are separated into up to “12,000 different categories in preparation for sale” (Diamond Consultants, 2012).

Continue reading ‘The Diamond Pipeline. A breakdown of the world travels of Diamonds, and who pays the bill.’