Channel 6 ABC in Philadelphia discusses Diamond Prices.

Channel 6 ABC in Philadelphia discusses Diamond Prices.

It seems to be a time honored tradition that TV news does a story about diamonds every year or two before Valentine’s Day.

Nydia Han, the Consumer Reporter for 6ABC, did such a segment yesterday. In this story, she discussed diamond pricing among various diamond retail stores in the Philadelphia area.

Though I agree with her conclusion that consumers receive much better “value” in independent jewelry stores as opposed to mall type jewelry stores (e.g., Zale’s, Jared or Kay), I found this entire segment to be fallacious and misguided on many levels.

I have been involved in the wholesale diamond business for more than 40 years. In addition, my business dates back nearly 90 years. I understand diamonds as much as anyone in the world. I have been published in both US and international trade publications.

The Channel 6/ABC report on diamonds focused on retail diamond prices. There is perhaps no other product in the world like a diamond. A diamond is a unique and beautiful natural creation that is valued for its intrinsic beauty. No two diamonds are exactly alike. To base the news story on the “best” price for a diamond entirely ignores the concept of “value” which is a measure of quality in reference to its price.

In my wholesale business I buy and sell many diamonds. I look at many thousands of diamonds a year. I choose to reject approximately 98% of the diamonds that I evaluate because they fail to me the criteria that I have adopted in determining the beauty and value standards that I adhere to.

The 6 ABC diamond segments discussed the 4Cs of a diamond. The 4Cs refer to Cut, Carat (size), Color and Clarity. What the report failed to acknowledge is that within the universe of diamonds that may be similar with regard to the 4Cs, one diamond may be valued at more than 100% more than another.

In my wholesale business, I regularly discard cheap low price diamonds when selecting inventory. Though the price is low, these diamonds are not beautiful and, in my professional opinion, not worthy of the qualities that make a diamond valued. It is my professional duty to provide the retail jeweler/retail consumer not with the “best” or “lowest” price but to provide a beautiful diamond that will be admired and cherished and valued when it is worn in a ring or other jewelry for a lifetime.

The Channel 6/ ABC report was insufficiently researched, erroneous and misleading to the public.   The most important advice that I can give the retail diamond consumer is to avoid buying the “cheapest” or “best” price diamonds.   Buying a diamond for its low price fails to take into consideration the concept of beauty and value. Most importantly, the consumer must understand that a diamond is supposed to be about something that is spectacular and beautiful.

Neil Reiff

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