Diamonds: Quality vs. Price – The 50% question??

Today, more than ever before, there is a significant difference in diamond pricing between GIA graded diamonds of similar GIA grades. Within the diamond trade, this is often referred to as the difference between a “good” GIA report and a “bad” GIA report. Though two diamonds may be graded as “H/SI1”, one may be an exceptionally beautiful diamond and the other may contain a big black carbon inclusion located in the center of the table.

I evaluate several hundred diamonds with GIA grading reports every week. Some are priced at 45%, and 50% discounts.  On the other hand, the “nicer” diamonds are priced at 20% – 30% discounts. On a 1.00 carat Round diamond, GIA H/SI1, the difference in actual dollars is $4875.00 (wholesale) for the nice diamond as opposed to $3250.00 (wholesale) for the “cheaper” diamond. Quite simply, the nicer diamond is 50% more expensive than the other.

These are diamonds with the same GIA grade with a 50% pricing differential!!

This pricing differential among diamonds of the same GIA grade is even more extreme when dealing with fancy shape diamonds – Emerald Cut, Cushion Cut, Ovals, Radiant Cut and others. Some fancy shapes may trade at discounts of 50% to 60% or more. Other well-made fancy shapes may trade at a discount of 20% or less. In the case of a beautiful Oval or an ugly Oval of the same GIA grade, the difference in actual dollars can be significantly more than 50%!

I recently  viewed a parcel of 1.00 carat round diamonds costing $600.00 (wholesale) per carat. On the other hand, a 1.00 carat Round D/Flawless diamond trades for $17,000.00 (wholesale). In this instance, one 1.00 carat Round diamond is 2800% more expensive than another!! Obviously, the $600.00 1.00 carat diamond is 1000% ugly junk. It has no beauty other than a “cheap” price which may be beautiful to someone. The 1.00 carat D / Flawless diamond is something that is spectacular – a magnificent work of nature!

As a wholesale diamond dealer, I, as well as the diamond industry as a whole, am faced with a dilemma. We are living in an internet world where everything is being reduced to the lowest common denominator – that of price. There are many who only understand “price” and do not understand “value”. The Internet is wonderful for these buyers who care nothing about the beauty of a diamond..

On the other hand, as a professional within our industry, it is my belief that it should be our mission to provide expertise and knowledge – and, most importantly, to assist a fine jewelry buyer in purchasing a beautiful diamond.

I understand that a D / Flawless diamond is extraordinarily  expensive – and much finer than what a typical consumer should purchase. I also know that price point diamonds are nothing more than price-point garbage that have no real beauty or value.

There are many beautiful diamonds that fall within the spectrum in between low price garbage and exceptionally fine.

A reputable diamond merchant and/or a fine jeweler understands this. His mission should be to guide a prospective buyer to understanding and appreciateing the value of a beautiful diamond or fine diamond jewelry. It should also be his purpose to assist a prospective buyer in acquiring something that will always be valued and appreciated for its beauty and magnificence.

I have a quotation on my wall above my desk in my office that says it all:




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