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5 posts from August 2007

Diamond Advertising Deception: Wholesale to the Public

Jvclogo Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has prepared a new consumer brochure entitled “Buying Jewelry? Do Not Be Fooled By The Word ‘Wholesale” In Advertising.”  The brochure is available online as a downloadable PDF file.

Numerous online and brick-and-mortar jewelry stores mislead consumers by advertising themselves as a wholesaler to the public.  The law is very clear that if sales are to the end user (consumer), the business is retail, not wholesale.  When a retailer utilizes the word wholesale in advertising, the consumer is mislead to believe they are getting a better deal than from a retailer who does not have the word wholesale in their advertisements.

Even if the business has a wholesale division, when selling to a consumer the transaction is a retail sale and the price is a retail price.  While state laws vary on what constitutes a criminal offense in the misuse of the word wholesale, this deceptive advertising is not an acceptable business practice anywhere.

If a jeweler advertises as selling at wholesale prices, they must sell at wholesale prices.  Some states interrupt this strictly such that the jeweler has to sell at the price they purchased the diamond and you cannot sustain a business by selling at the price you paid for merchandise.

Consumers need to be aware that jewelers advertising “wholesale to the public” are not adhering to legal standards and that those jewelers’ prices are not necessarily lower than other retailers.

At Diamond Source of Virginia, we have had numerous clients say they were going to buy from a friend or relative in the diamond wholesale business that was going to sell to them at the wholesale price, only to discover that price was more than our regular retail price. Just saying a price is wholesale does not make it so. The bottom line is to focus on the price of the actual price of the diamond and not be deceived misleading claims of being wholesale prices to the public.


Rare Green Diamonds Found in Australia

Ellendale_diamond_mineBlina Diamonds, a diamond exploration company, announced today that three rare green diamonds were recovered from the Ellendale field located 2,000 km north of Perth in Western Australia.  These were the first green diamonds found in the Ellendale area.  The largest of the three diamonds weighed 2.72 carats.

Natural fancy colored green diamonds are very rare and expensive.  Most green diamonds seen on the market are heat treated and irradiated to produce the green color.

One of the challenges with green diamonds is that the green color tends to occur in patches in the diamond, not even throughout the stone.  As a result, when a green diamond is cut and facetted, it has the potential of losing its green color if the patches of green color are not left intact or in the right location.  The risk with green diamonds is that the cutter can easily destroy the high value of the diamond.


Biggest Diamond Every Found?

South_africa_mapA news report from Johannesburg, South Africa says that the largest diamond every found has been discovered at a mine in the North West part of the country.  The diamond is reported to be twice the size of the Cullinan Diamond, which at 31.06.75 carats was the largest gem quality rough diamond ever found.

This latest large diamond is traveling under heavy guard to Johannesburg from the mine.  We will continue to monitor this new find and follow up with more specifics and pictures after the diamond has been documented.


US Patent for Holloway Cut Adviser

Australian diamond appraiser, Garry Holloway, developed the Holloway Cut Adviser (HCA) system in 2000 as a tool for assessing diamond cut in terms of Brilliance, Fire, Scintillation, and Spread (size relative to weight).  On July 31, the United States’ Patent & Trademark Office issued patent No. 7,251,619 to Holloway for his computer-implemented method for evaluating loose round diamonds.

The Holloway Cut Adviser has become a useful tool for diamond shoppers trying to determine which loose round diamonds have the best cut based on a few diamond specifications.  The tool is particularly useful for online diamond shoppers who are trying to sort through a large number of diamond specifications to determine which one to order.

Cutdiagram The HCA system takes four input factors (typically Depth Percentage, Table Percentage, Crown Angle, and Pavilion Angle) and returns ratings for Light Return, Fire, Scintillation, Spread, and a composite rating for Total Visual Performance.  While the HCA system only accounts for 17 of the round diamonds’ 58 facets, these are the most important for the diamonds light performance and appearance.

At Diamond Source of Virginia, we use the Holloway Cut Adviser as a final filter in recommending round brilliant cut diamonds to our clients.  First, we seek diamonds that meet our client’s requirements for color, clarity and budget.  Then we seek GIA cut grades of Excellent or Very Good.  Finally, we use the HCA to find the best of the best before we order the diamond in for our inspection.  Since we started using the combination of GIA and HCA grades, we have not been disappointed with a single diamond in terms of brilliance and sparkle.

The diamond shopper’s quest for the best round diamond requires a careful balancing of many factors including color, clarity, millimeter size, cut and price.  The cut aspect is critical to a diamond’s appearance and is often the most difficult for a shopper to evaluate.  The Holloway Cut Adviser has proven to be a valuable tool for filtering out underachieving diamonds based on specification available in advance of purchasing.


International Diamond Laboratories Launches New Grading System

Idl_logoAugust 30 is the launch date for the International Diamond Laboratories® (IDL), the newest diamond-grading laboratory.  Headquartered in Dubai and with branches in Antwerp and Mumbai, IDL is the result of a government initiative to make Dubai a leading diamond-trading hub in the Middle East region.

The International Diamond Laboratories will utilize the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) standards for color, clarity and the GIA’s patented cut grading system.  What sets the IDL apart from other diamond grading laboratories is the exceptional use of technology to provide accurate and consistent results.

For color grading, the IDL is using new technology that will grade diamond color in an automated process.  Most laboratories like the GIA, utilize human graders comparing color of diamonds to a set of master stones of known color.  The new automated process promises to improve accuracy and consistency of color grading.  Color grading has been the weak link in most laboratory grading processes with many laboratories off 1 to 3 color grades compared to the GIA standards.

In terms of clarity, the IDL will still manually determine clarity but departs from GIA standards by adopting the SI3 clarity grade currently utilized by the European Gemological Laboratories (EGL USA).  International Diamond Laboratories redefines the SI3 clarity grade.  The SI3 clarity grade represents diamonds at the low end of the SI2 clarity and the high end of the I1 clarity grades as defined by the GIA, which does not recognize the SI3 clarity grade.

The GIA has granted IDL a free license to use the GIA’s patented cut grade system that GIA introduced in January 2006.  The GIA’s cut grade system assigns five cut grades (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor) based on Brightness, Fire, Scintillation, Weight Ratio, Durability, Polish and Symmetry.

Because of its location in the Middle East, International Diamond Laboratories offers grading reports in English and Arabic.  Turnaround time for the new IDL reports is 48 hours from the time the lab receives the diamond.  IDL offers four products.

  • IDL Diamond Certificate is a tri-fold document including a detailed plot map of inclusions and blemishes.
  • IDL Compact Diamond Certificate is a bi-fold document that does not contain the plot map.
  • IDL Digicert is a digital that contains images of the inclusions and other features of the clarity grade.  This report can be emailed to the diamond’s owner in advance of the hardcopy document.
  • IDL Sealing is a product that displays the diamond in a tamper-proof container.

This diamond-grading laboratory in Dubai is expected to have impacts on diamond grading globally, especially with the automated color grading process.  Each year the competition increases between the diamond grading laboratories and the launch of the IDL introduces some new uses of technology that will raise the stakes for new product development and be the catalyst for even more changes in the diamond industry.