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Amazon sells loose diamonds


#1

From the NJ Jewellery News:

Amazon sells loose diamonds MAY 04, 2005 – Amazon.com announced
Monday that it will begin selling loose

diamonds to consumers through its online “Jewelry & Watch” store.**

Wow, talk about ‘Walmartizing’ a product. Is consumer demand so
slack that big box and now big e-box stores need to push the product?
I’m sorry but it’s hard to swallow the luxury / one of a kind
branding with announcements like this. Just imagine DeBeer’s
miniscule product margins!

On the Brightside, if this keeps up the Jewellery industry is going
to naturally do what the Art & Crafts movement did in it’s time; turn
back into a cottage industry repelling big industry selling ‘art’ and
’one of a kind’ using cheap(er) alternative gems, metals and
materials rather than the expensive ordinary.

Cheers,
Taylor in Toronto


#2

Wow. That is unbelievable. The markup on diamonds is pretty high
generally speaking, so maybe they are trying to get in on some of the
$$. I wonder if they are all certifiably not ‘conflict diamonds’.

It’s a shame that the art of jewelry making is being turned into (as
you aptly said) walmartized items.

Craig
www.creativecutgems.com


#3
Is consumer demand so slack that big box and now big e-box stores
need to push the product? 

Actually this is an indication of just the opposite. If consumer
demand were slack then Amazon wouldn’t bother selling the product.

I'm sorry but it's hard to swallow the luxury / one of a kind
branding with announcements like this. 

Actually it won’t take Amazon long to learn the new lessons and I
wouldn’t be surprised if they started offering their own branded
diamonds (at a premium price of course) within a few years. Also,
selling loose diamonds on the web is not exactly a new idea.
They’re actually way behind the eight ball on this one.

So with a whole bunch of people selling loose diamonds on the web,
and all kinds of people predicting diamond price doomsday, it’s kind
of interesting to note that the price of better color and clarity
diamonds has continued to rise at a steady pace in the last year and
demand continues to be strong (and grow stronger) for higher
color/clarity, better cut and larger goods. Say what you want, but
there’s still good money to be made in a high quality product.

And here’s a little side note about diamond rarity. Diamonds, in and
of themselves, aren’t a particularly rare commodity. However higher
quality

diamonds are. I regularly appraise customer’s stones for them. No
more than 1 in 15-20 falls into the category that I sell in my shop
(D-E-F color, VS or better clarity) (and I am being generous with
that figure as about every fourth one of those that do fall into the
category are brought in by customers I’ve educated about what quality
to buy, but they’ve bought elsewhere). No more than 1 in 250-300
falls into a D-E-F color, VVS or better clarity. I have only
appraised one diamond I called flawless in 30 years and it’s color
wasn’t great. And when it gets to melee goods, no more than 1 in
3-400 stones falls into the category I sell in my shop (again D-E-F
color, VS clarity) and, outside of some Tiffany’s pieces I have
never seen the ideal cut melee that I sell. So while it’s easy to
claim that all diamonds aren’t really rare, high quality diamonds
definitely do fall into that category.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
@Daniel_R_Spirer
www.spirerjewelers.com


#4

Interesting way to think about it Daniel, however, if public
perception (marketing) is that ALL diamonds are precious and these
’tool tip’ grade stones are being sold by what are essentially
discount retailers along side higher quality ones - the long term
effects could actually be a price increase if people were turned off
diamonds. I think there is a lot of psycology behind what is
essntially price fixing in the diamond world.

What was percieved as unique and precious, to me atleast, now seems
cheapened. Much of the allure is lost each time I read one of these
annoucnments.

BTW I didn’t wanna start the Diamond debate again, just motivated in
a strange way. I’m happy to watch these big box stores focus time and
marketing on their junk while the rest of us carve out a new niche
in their wake.

I say “bu-bye” let Wallmart, Amazon, et all have the discount
bargain hunters.

Cheers,
Taylor in Toronto


#5

Not only is Amazon going into the loose diamond biz, but yesterday I
read an article in a new trade mag (either Jewelers Circular
Keystone or Modern Jeweler) that Sam’s Club (membership division of
Walmart) is making forrays into the high end jewelry business after
having already sold a piece of diamond jewelry in excess of
$200,000, and are now in negotiations to transact a single diamond
jewelry item in the range of $330,000. Until now, they have mostly
stayed in the realm of lowend to mid range mass produced grade
goods. It seems the big guys eventually muscle in on every category
that seems to bear any kind of respectable profit margin. So if we
all run and hide everytime a new big kid shows up on whatever
playground we play , then intime, only the big kids will own the
toys. The key is to continually position/ reposition yourself to
find the big guys’ weaknesses, since no one single player can do all
markets well, and especially all the time.

Ed in Kokomo


#6
that Sam's Club (membership division of Walmart) is making forrays
into the high end jewelry business after having already sold a
piece of diamond jewelry in excess of $200,000, 

Perhaps they’re trying to keep pace with Costco, which has been
doing that online for a while now. Costco has a number of very
costly single item pieces on their web site.

Peter