Author Topic: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?  (Read 8417 times)

Offline flyingdiamonds

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« on: August 13, 2011, 02:54:26 PM »
Hi there,
I have a question about two stones taht were both listed under the sold page.

http://rockdiamond.com/index.php/jewelry/loose-diamond-93ct-cushion-cut-fancy-light-yellow-si2-gia-strong-color-cool-cut-r4124

and

http://rockdiamond.com/index.php/jewelry/loose-diamond-91ct-cushion-cut-gsi2-gia-laser-inscribed-eye-clean-r4039

One is a yellow at .93 ct SI2 and there is a G SI2... both similar cuts and grading and yet there is around an 850 dollar price difference.  I thought Fancy colored yellows were supposed to be worth more then a G colored stone?  In this case the white was worth more....

Any insight on how something like this is priced?
Thanks
FD

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 03:28:10 PM »
I can think of a number of reasons:

First of all, it is true that there is a U-shaped curve that describes the price/carat of diamonds depending on colour, and that G and FY are both on the "uprights" of the curve rather than on the bottom of the U, but it is quite difficult to take this generalisation and say that all (e.g.) G are worth more than (e.g.) FY or vice versa. And the prices on D-Z - particularly D-K - diamonds are much more stable (all else being equal) than those for fancy colours. For example, you can find on DBL's site well cut Vivid Yellow/SI clarity cushions/radiants around 1.00 ct ranging from just under $10k to nearly $20k. You won't find the same degree of variation in D colour stones, just based on colour.

Secondly, the yellow stone is "Fancy Light Yellow", and that makes a potentially significant difference to the price. I cannot find a FY 0.9x right now, but I think it may well be priced 15-20% above a FLY, all else being equal.

Thirdly, there are differences in cut - the G colour faces about 10% larger than the FLY, and this makes it more prized, considering that both are well cut in terms of sparkle and liveliness.

And fourthly there are differences in the cost of rough (which - remember - is priced based on what the mine thinks you can get out of the stone, but not on what comes out) and the cost structures of the various suppliers that David uses (wholesalers vs. cutters vs. sight-holders) that can drive easily 20-25% differences at this level.

In particular, diamonds have increased significantly in price at all the levels in the chain over the last 18 months or so - and the G colour seems to be a much more recent stone (GIA report dated Jan 2011) than the FLY (GIA dated July 2008), and David may have been able to negotiate a better price on the older stone than on the newer one. Or perhaps he's had it in the safe for 3 years and has only put it on the site now.

These are some of the reasons that I can think of; there may well be others, but the fact that they both sold rather quickly (judging from the R numbers) makes me think they were both competitively priced...
« Last Edit: August 13, 2011, 03:28:40 PM by oldmancoyote »

Offline lovecolor

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1104
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 04:48:33 PM »
OMC gave great reasons for why the white diamond might have been priced higher...the bell chart that you mentioned is displayed on R1711.   And according to this diagram, the fancy light yellow is valued almost like a J color stone...so the G color stone could very well be higher priced than the light yellow stone, providing all else remains the same.    
« Last Edit: August 13, 2011, 04:49:49 PM by lovecolor »

Offline flyingdiamonds

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 10:29:57 PM »
Wow that is all pretty interesting!
Thanks for the insight.... I had no idea the cost of diamonds had risen so much over the last 18 months.  What is the main cause of this?  I guess it's like everything else around us these days.

Thanks again
FD

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 05:06:57 AM »
Supply restrictions, great(er) demand from Asia (China and above all India) and the US dollar weakness all contributing...

LC - Be careful in treating that chart as gospel. The general principle is absolutely correct, but the details change.

First of all, even if it was correctly calibrated when created (quite a few years ago), relative price movements may have happened that make parts of it incorrect now. Secondly, high clarity boosts D-H prices a lot more than it does on Fancy Yellow colours, so the curve shifts up on the left side with increasing clarity. Thirdly, size has a similar effect, up to a point, because the nitrogen causing the yellow colour also facilitates crystal growth, so larger yellows are relatively more common than larger whites. In other words - each stone needs to be evaluated on its own merits.

Offline DiamondsAreForever

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1623
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 07:57:23 AM »
Thanks for the lesson today, OMC.  Very interesting.

Offline lovecolor

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1104
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 08:03:50 AM »
. Thirdly, size has a similar effect, up to a point, because the nitrogen causing the yellow colour also facilitates crystal growth, so larger yellows are relatively more common than larger whites. In other words - each stone needs to be evaluated on its own merits.

Speaking of size...did you see the 43.51 carat FIY, IF clarity going up for auction for the U.S Marshal Service?  It has a beginning bid of $900,000 with increments of $110,000.  Apparently, it was seized in some drug and money laundry sting...if you're interested, you only have to put up $180,000 of a deposit for viewing and bidding...refundable of course!   ;)     

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 08:10:23 AM »
I'm curious to see where the bidding stops on that one...

Offline flyingdiamonds

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 08:12:19 AM »
OMC,

SO all of this said how does one know they are paying a fair price for a diamond?  There are so many factors to consider, many you might not even be aware of (like how long the diamond has been sitting in the vault and what the dealer paid for it)  
I recently bought a set of small FY stones from Israel and when i took them to the jeweler who was a friend of the family he thought I really over paid.  I was happy with the price and from what I could see from my research it was a fair price.  He admitted i didn't get totally hosed but I sure didn't get a deal.   I realize many people don't deal much with fancy stones and therefore it might be his lack of knowledge of what a good price is or what a good price is Wholesale - Since that is how he would buy it and I can't!  (although i would love to)  

So even on this DBL website when you see a price how do you know its a good price?  Is it completely rude to offer something less and barter on the price of a diamond?  Is there a rule of thumb to know what the approximate mark up is?  You don't want  to be insulting but since the prices of diamonds seem so fluid there has to be some room for negotiation in there?  

Many of the DBL diamond I see you can't really find comparisons on other sites as many don't sell any thing between an I J color and FY.  

Thanks again OMC look forward to more insight!
Thanks
FD

Offline DiamondsAreForever

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1623
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2011, 08:31:45 AM »
I would assume that in some instances negotiating the price is acceptable.  I would have never thought to negotiate with David on the price of my rings, though, because part if the price is the SERVICE (and guarantee of quality) you receive.  Maybe negotiating for loose stones would be doable, however, I would assume that would be OK if you're dealing with a cutting house or a broker.  What does everyone else think?

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 09:11:22 AM »
OMC,

SO all of this said how does one know they are paying a fair price for a diamond?
Good question. Which unfortunately does not have a unique answer. Part of the answer is price comparison - but especially with fancy colours that is fraught with difficulty, because the market is much thinner, the grades are broader (D to E to F to G to H covers less ground than FLY from just-above-Y-Z to just-below-FY) and the cutting follows different rules - or pursues different goals, which is the same.

Another part of the answer is the level of trust that you can put in the dealer, considering their track record with you and others.

A third aspect to consider is what - if anything - you are getting in addition to the diamond. One of the larger sites - which offers a very limited selection of Fancy colours - offers very little service: no photos on the site, cannot take photos, does not allow comparison shopping (you cannot "buy" three stones, return two), does not offer custom settings. I value all of these things, and am prepared to pay a reasonable premium on the stone to get them. Curiously enough, I don't even need to pay a premium to get all this from DBL, but don't tell David.

Quote
There are so many factors to consider, many you might not even be aware of (like how long the diamond has been sitting in the vault and what the dealer paid for it)  
I recently bought a set of small FY stones from Israel and when i took them to the jeweler who was a friend of the family he thought I really over paid.  I was happy with the price and from what I could see from my research it was a fair price.  He admitted i didn't get totally hosed but I sure didn't get a deal.   I realize many people don't deal much with fancy stones and therefore it might be his lack of knowledge of what a good price is or what a good price is Wholesale - Since that is how he would buy it and I can't!  (although i would love to)
It could be either. Particularly if your friend does not buy yellows frequently, he may be surprised by how much he has to pay now as opposed to a year ago. And it may well be that, even factoring price rises in, you were still overpaying.

Another factor to bear in mind is that with unique goods (as opposed to standardised ones like consumer electronics) every competitor will always claim they could have found you something better, or at a lower price, or both. My experience is they seldom can - much of my jewellery collection has been purchased through four or five dealers, including DBL, because I have found that they keep that promise or strive very hard to.

Quote
So even on this DBL website when you see a price how do you know its a good price?
See discussion above. Is DBL always the lowest price? Possibly not, but to me the value of added services, the access to excellent bench jewellers, and the trust I have in David (who has often told me "don't buy this, buy that") more than compensate the small premium that sometimes is there - and often is not.

Quote
Is it completely rude to offer something less and barter on the price of a diamond?
Not any more than it is to do it for any other thing. If done with good grace and within reasonable bounds, the worst that happens is you are told "thanks, but no thanks".

Bazaar-style negotiation starting at 10% of the stated price doesn't work too well in most jewellery selling places, and in those where it does, you still end up losing out. They know a lot more about the piece they are selling than you do, and sleight of hand (e.g. replacing loose gemstones with loose pieces of cut glass) is not above them.

Quote
Is there a rule of thumb to know what the approximate mark up is?
Mark up varies wildly from goods category to goods category and from one store/dealer type to another. Blue Nile has mark up in the region of 20-25% as can be seen from their published accounts; Tiffany goes over 70% on average (and has a broader line - the highest mark up is on things like cutlery and porcelain, not on jewellery). They both end up with a net margin in the low tens. Which one is better value? And since neither will bargain, does it make them bad places to go?

Quote
You don't want  to be insulting but since the prices of diamonds seem so fluid there has to be some room for negotiation in there?
It's not so much that the price is fluid; it is rather rigid, actually, because the market is very highly competitive and the margins on diamonds themselves for the retailers are not all that great. The problem is that very small differences, imperceptible without precision instruments, controlled observation conditions and training, can make huge differences in price. For example:

1.03 RBC D/IF, EX/EX/EX, No fluorescence: $31,800
0.98 RBC, E/VVS1, EX/EX/EX, Med blue: $15,300

Can you see the difference? Once set, even with a loupe, no-one - and I mean no-one - can, except for the fluorescence or a diameter difference of 0.05 mm which is only measurable with a precision calliper. But the differences are "worth" $16,500. Look at it another way: with one of the D/IF you can buy two E/VVS1. Earrings anyone?

Quote
Many of the DBL diamond I see you can't really find comparisons on other sites as many don't sell any thing between an I J color and FY.
There are places to find price comparisons. The issue I have with most listing engines is that with fancy colours and fancy cuts (and even with faint yellows from say M to Y-Z) there are the good, the bad and the ugly. Since the majority of vendors can't be bothered - or their business model doesn't allow - to take multiple good quality pictures and allow me to know what is what, I end up more often wondering "what is wrong with this cheaper stone?" than I end up thinking "wow, what a bargain!"

Quote
Thanks again OMC look forward to more insight!
Thanks
FD
Hope this helps...
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 09:24:43 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline flyingdiamonds

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 11:41:02 AM »
Wow what great info OMC.

I really appreciate you taking the time to answer all those questions.  I have to admit besides DBL i really can't find other sites that take the time to take multiple pictures, videos and explain lots about the diamond.  For someone like me just new to this whole diamond world its important to feel educated about what I am buying as well to understand why things are the way they are. 

Thanks again.
FD 

Offline saqsay1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4018
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2011, 09:53:23 AM »
FD, Thats why we like to keep OMC around...... brilliant observations and a razor sharp wit........... ;)
"If the US government were placed in control of the Sahara Desert, it would run out of sand in 25 years."

Offline ah2bqat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3445
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2011, 12:38:01 PM »
yeah, and he generally uses little words so folks like me can follow along. (thank goodness!)   ;D

Thanks for a very informative discussion OMC and FD.

Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline GIAGirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 11:38:41 PM »
I hope you aren't an engineer.  We might need sleeping bags and tents because we will be camped here for a while. 

Offline PtyMom

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2011, 04:32:53 PM »
Very interesting discussion!
Thanks for all the info OMC  :) Itīs really cool the way you take the time to educate, gracias!
Have a nice day! :-)

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2011, 04:58:58 PM »
 :geni:

I enjoy it - I think there is a failed college teacher, somewhere inside me.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 04:59:37 PM by oldmancoyote »

Offline ah2bqat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3445
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2011, 09:54:18 PM »
Not a failed college prof, OMC.  More an unfulfilled one.   :Flowers2:

My absolute favorite uncle, for all my young life, was a Culligan man.  He made his fortune, quit the business, and became the only economics professor i could ever understand.  He was so wonderful with kids, that he'd do one day a week at the local high school, one at 2 JR highs, and one at the elementary level.  Everybody loved him from the 5th grade thru grad school.  Amazing man.  You remind me quite a bit of him.  Always a fresh and frequently punny point of view, not to mention eminently comprehensible. 
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2011, 03:03:39 AM »
I need the first part (making a fortune)... ;)

The rest would be fine, though around here I'd also have to learn Ostrogothic before I can teach.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 03:05:31 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline saqsay1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4018
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2011, 05:25:09 PM »
Take heart OMC.... At least if the dollar tanks, and the world economy collapses, you have all the jewels.... thus making you a rich man  ;D


Oops, Thought for a minute I was on the conspiracy forum  >:D
"If the US government were placed in control of the Sahara Desert, it would run out of sand in 25 years."

runner20

  • Guest
Re: Diamond Value and Price Comparison?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2011, 12:56:24 AM »
Nice Thread for diamond lovers. Great discussion is going here.