Posts Tagged 'Selling your diamond'

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

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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

The reveal of a Diamond Appraisal…

The reveal of a Diamond Appraisal…

Written by Anne Johnson, Managing Director at MJ Gabel

Many diamonds today come with handy paperwork known as an appraisal. It is explained to many that the dollar amount on the appraisal is the “value” of your diamond. It is important to understand fully what an appraisal is for, and what the value of the appraisal represents when it comes time to sell your diamond.

An appraisal of a diamond is like any other appraisal done on a piece that carries value and may be covered under ones insurance. The appraised amount of a diamond is one that has been assigned to the piece in the event that it needs to be replaced.  In other words it is a slightly inflated reflection of the retail value of the piece.  If the diamond was lost, stolen, damaged and it was covered under one’s insurance, the appraisal amount is what would be covered. Consumers must keep in mind that the appraisal amount of their diamond is really only beneficial under these circumstances.

The resale and liquidation values are more important to keep in mind when selling a diamond. A resale value is one that a consumer could expect to receive from a private buyer. This is an individual who is looking for a diamond that you may have. This person understands how much they would expect to pay for the diamond in a retail setting, and therefore is willing to pay below the retail price, but above the liquidation price of a diamond.

A liquidation value of a diamond is one that represents what the polished diamond is actually worth within the diamond marketplace. As discussed in previous articles, diamonds go through various phases before reaching the retail counter. These are the mining, production, sorting, cutting/polishing, distribution/wholesale, and retail phases. The diamond’s value increases as it climbs through each step. The liquidation value refers to the diamond’s worth at the cutting/polishing phase. This is the typical amount one could expect to receive from a jeweler or pawn shop for their diamond.

At MJ Gabel, we have the ability to give amounts to our customers that are reflective of the distribution/wholesale phase of the diamond pipeline. This is why our amounts are higher than a jeweler. Our ability to give a more competitive amount is directly related to our belief that the consumer should get as mush as the market will command for their diamond.

Keep in mind that between the phases of distribution and retail is where the majority of profit is made on a diamond, which goes directly to the jewelers. This is a rough breakdown reflected in billions of dollars of the diamond pipeline.

( “The Conflict-Free Diamond Council,” 2009)

It is clear to see that the highest potential for profit remains in the retail sales portion of the pipeline. When you go to sell your diamond, unfortunately you cannot ask the new buyer to pay for the profits you originally paid the jeweler.

Most individuals recognize that while diamonds may never be worth exactly what they paid for them, often times they rely of the values and amounts they are told their diamond is worth at the time of purchase per their appraisal paperwork. It can be difficult to walk straight in a hazy cloud of retail values, appraisal values, liquidation values and everything in between. This is why at MJ Gabel we do our best to educate the consumer the entire way through the process, and help to obtain the highest amounts possible for our client’s diamonds.

References

O’Neill, Sean. “Clicks & STONES.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 60.2 (2006): 102-105. Academic Search Alumni Edition. Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

“The Conflict-Free Diamond Council.” The Conflict-Free Diamond Council. 2004-2009. Web. 03 Apr. 2012. <http://www.conflictfreediamonds.org/home.html&gt;.

MJ Gabel

www.mjgabel.com

800-804-1980

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.’