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5 posts from June 2008

Hearts On Fire Lawsuit Against Blue Nile

Hearts On Fire, the Boston based diamond jewelry company, filed a lawsuit against Blue Nile asserting that the Seattle based online retailer infringes the Hearts On Fire® trademark.  Blue Nile is accused of using “Hearts On Fire” as a search term in its pay-for-click and sponsored link advertising on search engines.  Moreover, Blue Nile is alleged to also use the “Hearts On Fire” phrase in the text of those links implying it sells Hearts On Fire® diamonds.

One of many companies in the 1990s who created brands based on the Hearts and Arrows patterns, Glenn Rothman renamed his company after his trademarked “Hearts On Fire” brand.  Within the diamond industry, Glenn is known for his marketing success as he has promoted the Hearts On Fire® name to be one of the top brand names.

Jewelers are desperate for ways to differentiate their diamonds from the price competition of online retailers and the Hearts On Fire brand has benefited.  The power of Rothman’s marketing skill is evident in that consumers are willing to pay more than double for the brand.  Ironically, the Hearts and Arrows pattern not a requirement for brilliance and sparkle, but is more of a by-product.

HA Viewer The Hearts and Arrows pattern is a result of diamond cut with great optical symmetry when viewed under a Hearts and Arrows scope.  Many of the exceptionally cut round diamonds display the Hearts and Arrows pattern so there is nothing unique about the brands, other than the marketing.  In fact, cubic zirconia can be cut to display the Hearts and Arrows pattern so there is nothing intrinsically valuable about the pattern other than the consumer perceptions from the marketing.

RB 1.84 ct-1sm Clients of Diamond Source of Virginia are happy to find the majority of round diamonds sold by the company display the Hearts and Arrows pattern.  This is a result of only recommending round diamonds with at least Very Good GIA grades, Excellent Holloway Cut Adviser ratings, and at least Very Good proportional symmetry.  What makes Diamond Source of Virginia client even happier is that they do not have to pay extra for the Hearts and Arrows pattern.  They can get exceptional beauty for less than half the price of the brand name diamonds.

No doubt, the Hearts On Fire lawsuit against Blue Nile will generate considerable publicity for both companies.  Only time will tell how much diamond buyers will hear and learn about Hearts and Arrows patterns and if the increased awareness of generic Hearts and Arrows alternatives will lead to greater sales for Blue Nile and Diamond Source of Virginia.

Leo Ingwer Jewelry Designer

Leo-Ingwer-logo Online jewelry catalogs are a great place to get ring ideas when shopping for your engagement ring.  This is especially true if you have limited styles to view in local jewelry stores or just do not have the time to drive from store to store.

One of our favorite diamond ring and jewelry manufacturers, Leo Ingwer Inc., has an extensive selection of diamond engagement rings, anniversary rings, wedding bands, pendants, and necklaces displayed online.  Leo Ingwer is known for its workmanship, excellent quality and exceptional value.
While Leo Ingwer is a wholesale manufacturer and does not sell to the public, Diamond Source of Virginia can get you price quotes on item you see in online catalog.

Ladies Platinum Mountings
Ladies Engagement Rings
Ladies Remounts (ring except for center diamond)
Three Stone Rings
Diamond Wedding Rings
Antique Reproductions
Wedding Bands and Sets

You can also check out photos of some of the beautiful Leo Ingwer rings that clients have recently ordered from Diamond Source of Virginia.

Synthetic Diamond Terminology

Synthetic-diamond Consumers shopping for diamonds are often confused by some of the terms used to differentiate natural diamonds from diamond produced by man.  Part of the problem stems from marketing strategies that intentionally cloud the issue in an effort to position their project as being different and somehow better than other synthetic diamonds.

At a World Diamond Congress meeting in Shanghai recently, the three major international diamond and jewelry trade organizations agreed on standardized terminology that is acceptable to describe synthetic diamonds.  Those organizations included the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), and the International Diamond Council (IDC).

According to the new rules, laboratory created gem-quality diamonds can be described by the words: “synthetic”, “laboratory-grown”, “laboratory-created”, or “man-made”. The word “diamond” or “diamonds” must always follow these descriptors.  The term “cultured” is not acceptable to describe gem-quality synthetic diamonds.

With the quality and quantity of synthetic diamonds increasing, the diamond industry is adjusting its diamond grading and marketing processes to allow consumers to make informed decisions about whether to purchase natural or synthetic diamonds.

Diamond Investment Fund

RD 1.54-1sm The rising prices in high-end diamonds have not gone unnoticed by the financial markets.  On June 24, the first publicly traded polished diamond fund will be launched on the London Stock Exchange.  The closed-end investment fund, named Diamond Circle Capital plc, will consist of rare white and colored diamonds.

As mentioned in earlier blog articles, rare diamond prices are exploding as worldwide demand grows at a faster rate than production.  In the past, investors who wanted to profit from these increased diamond prices had to purchase shares in diamond mining companies or buy diamonds directly.  Diamond company profits are not necessarily growing as fast as prices of high-end diamonds.  Likewise, buying and selling diamonds is a risky proposition for the average investor.  The new diamond fund will provide investors an easy way to invest in diamonds without having to be a diamond expert or in the diamond industry.

While the upward trend in rare diamond prices seem to be a sure thing, every booming investment seems to be a sure thing just before it crashes.  Like any speculative investment, the potential for high rewards goes with very high risks.

The diamond investment fund will be one world-class diamond collections but it is doubtful that it will have any a significant impact on the market for diamonds.  However, the launch of this new fund is a clear sign that speculation in diamonds is rampant and speculation is driving a significant part of the current price increases.

Are Non-Certified Diamonds Cheaper?

 This week a local client told us that she was shopping at a jewelry store for diamond stud earrings.  She asked for certified diamonds and the jewelry storeowner told her not to get certified diamonds because they were so much more expensive.  He said it was his job to save her money and non-certified diamonds were the way to do that.

Gia-logo-box Here is what the jeweler forgot to tell the shopper.  The price difference between GIA graded diamonds and non-certified diamonds should only be the cost of getting the diamonds graded.  This is only about $50 to $100 for most diamonds and depends on the carat weight of the diamond.  Any remaining price difference can usually be attributed to the non-certified diamond being a different quality than the corresponding GIA graded diamond.  In other words, the true quality is not as advertised or there are attributes such as poor cut, laser drilling, fracture filling, or fluorescence that have not been disclosed.  Typically, it is the color and cut of the diamond that are lower because those tend to be harder for shoppers to identify under the intense jewelry store spotlights. 

Look at it from the jeweler’s perspective.  If they could price the diamonds a thousand dollars higher with a GIA grading report, they would.  Instead, they buy cheaper, lower quality diamonds and advertise them as being something better, or neglect to disclose all the characteristics of the diamond that impact value.  The jeweler is counting on the shopper wanting a “deal” rather than the truth.

If a client really wants to know the quality of the diamonds they are purchasing, we recommend they purchase a GIA grade diamond, which provides the most accurate description of color, clarity, cut, carat weight, measurements, fluorescence, and any treatments.