Posts Tagged 'sell my diamond'

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

 

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?”

Ethical Standards in the Diamond Retail Industry

Written by Anne Johnson, Managing Director at MJ Gabel

I want to start off by pointing out that these are blanket observations, and are my own. There are many loyal, trustworthy, and honest individuals in the diamond retail business and it is important to give them credit for their efforts to keep the industry ethical, and to keep hard earned consumer confidence.

Ethics. They seem simple enough to understand, but somehow are easily passed over, forgotten, or slipped.  Every sector of business, education, religion, even our lives has it’s own set and variety of ethics. Many overlap, and are fairly standard “rules” or moral principles of conducting oneself in a socially agreed upon way. As a quick example; just as most individuals would not take a cookie out of a small child’s hand, a business owner should not misrepresent a piece of merchandise to a potential client.

It has unfortunately been my experience lately to work with clients who have been misinformed regarding a diamond they were sold. Whether the color or clarity was not clearly explained (or worse was misrepresented), to carat weight being discussed in very general terms such as fractions. In the diamond industry, as with any sector of business, it is unethical to misrepresent the value, characteristics, or performance of any item. This includes misrepresenting or misleading a diamond’s characteristics in any way to the consumer.

As with any industry there have been growing pains and learning curves that the diamond industry has needed to over come. One of which was how to represent the characteristics of a diamond consistently and accurately in a way that was universal to everyone in the business and could be translated easily to consumers. These are now known as the Gem0logical Institute of America (GIA) color scale of D-Z, and the 11 grades that make up the GIA clarity grading scale. In addition to these scales, the standard of practice is to represent the carat weight of a diamond in decimal form to the nearest hundredth of a carat.

A diamond that was sold as “a carat” may in fact end up weighing 0.97cts, and stating it as being a carat is just plain wrong. While this distinction may seem slight to many, it is unethical to the industry, and will translate to a decrease in value upon resale. All things being equal, there is a fairly large value difference in value between a 1.00ct diamond and anything below that “magic number”. In regards to this common selling practice, Section 23.12 of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries clearly states that giving carat weight in such general terms without further explanation of the exact carat weight is “unfair and deceptive.”

The same is true with misrepresentation of a diamond’s clarity characteristics and color grade. More often than not, most individuals were told when they purchased a diamond that it was “flawless”, “near flawless”, or “perfect.” To be direct, very few diamonds have a clarity grade of “internally flawless”, and even fewer have a grading of “flawless.” Again, the FTC in the same publication, section 23.17 states in regards to describing clarity:

“It is unfair or deceptive to use the word ‘flawless’ to describe any diamond that discloses flaws…[and] is unfair and deceptive to use the word ‘perfect,’ or any representation of similar meaning, to describe any diamond unless the diamond meets the definition of ‘flawless’ and is not of inferior color or make.”

Using such general descriptions of a diamonds characteristic’s is not only extremely misleading, but gives an unfair representation of the diamond’s value.

Education and knowledge about what you are buying is the only way to know for sure that what you are paying for is what you are getting. When shopping for a stone, it is important to ask clear questions to what you are purchasing.

“What is the exact carat weight?”

“What is the diamond’s color grade?”

“What is the diamond’s clarity grade?”

Asking specific and direct questions helps to ensure that the information you are receiving is correct, and not just general terms to describe the diamond. Keep in mind that purchasing a GIA certified stone (one that has undergone independent GIA lab verification of it’s characteristics) is the only sure way of knowing that without a doubt your one-carat, colorless, flawless diamond is in fact a 1.00ct, D Flawless 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

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.