Diamond pricing

I’m at that point in life where I have to pick out a diamond for an
engagement ring :o) and I was wondering if anyone could help me out.
I’ve received such differring quotes for prices that I’m not sure
whether I’m being charged out the wazoo or not (well, it’s my fiance
that’s paying for it of course, but…) I also have a couple of other
questions that I’d appreciate being answered.

Anywho, what I’m looking at is an emerald cut, probably VS1-2 and G
color. Can anyone give me an idea of what a good retail price for a
stone of this quality at 1.25 and 1.5 cts should be?

The stone that is currently on hold for me is one that I fell in love
with, but after thinking about things for a while, I’ve decided that I
should go for a better stone. It’s an emerald cut, but it’s almost
completely square (something like 5.5mmx6.5mm. It’s 1.09 cts, but I
wanted them to find a bigger one, but they can’t find one from any of
their cutters. Is this shape less valuable because of it’s odd shape?
The reason I loved it so much is because of the lengths of the sides,
the facets refract differently from a normally shaped emerald cut, and
it sparkled beautifully. What I’m unhappy about is that the first time
I went in that store, the gentleman helping us told me that the stone
had a G color. However, when I went back in a few days later, that guy
was out of town, so I was helped by another gentleman, who told me
that there was no way that it was a G stone. When he placed it next to
a G, the color difference was obvious. I feel offended that the first
guy gave me the wrong on the stone. My fiance also agreed
to pay the same price quoted to him when we thought it was a G stone,
without thinking about the fact that there’s no good way of knowing
the actual value of it. Any advice for me?

I also am thinking of getting one they have that’s VVS2, G color, and
1.14 cts. Truly a beautiful stone. I’m going to see if they can get in
1.25 and 1.5 ct VS clarity, G-color stones for me and see if I like
any of them more than the beautiful VVS2 one.

Also, is it worth the extra money to get a stone GIA-certified if a
stone doens’t have one already (for insurance and general value

I just wish my ring would come in already! grin

Thanks for all your help!
-Cortney in Pittsburgh, PA

Log onto http://www.diamondtalk.com and read some of the discussions
there about diamond purchases, cut grades, lab reports etc. It’s a
good place to get info


Hi! Considering the size and quality of diamond you are buying, you
MUST have a GIA certification!!! This is for the reasons you
mentioned and others you didn’t. For the amount of money you are
spending, you must know for certain that the diamond you get is, in
fact, everything they say it is. Getting a GIA certification is
standard procedure. Be wise, be proper, just do it. Rebeca NYC

Courtney, I don’t have my “Rapp” sheet with me it is at my shop but I
would sell you that diamond “at Rapp”.At rapp means the wholesale
price which is quoted on the Rappaport sheet for a stone that size,cut
and clarity.You should call jewelers in your area and see if they will
sell you that particular stone at rapp.In our area it is common to
obtain diamonds at rapp or 10% above rapp(Retail).It is to your
advantage to educate yourself as to the pricing in your area.Some
jewelers and stone dealers will mark up from rapp @ key which means
they double the price and some triple key or more which is too bad for
the buisness.If you can look at a rapp sheet and educate yourself to
the pricing structure in your area it will help you in your quest for
a stone. Good shopping J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio

Cortney, What’s the value is a question I proposed a while back. Do
not go to GIA. Get a certified stone from the American Gemological
Labratories. They will stand behind their identification and
grading. GIA will only give you an opinion. The best way to protect
yourself when buying quality genstones is to become a knowledgeable
buyer. Get some education. Do not take for granted what is being
offerred is exactly as represented. Get it in writing with a
gaurantee. Make sure it is signed by the company owner, not a
representative. The staff gemologist has little to risk in signing a
certificate. The store owner has everything to risk. Otherwise
buying for value is like gambling in a Casino. The odds are way
against you. I would suggest that if you can not do any of these.
Buy a stone that is pleasing to you, within your budget, and carries
the meaning of an engagement. Forget about the value.

Gerry Galarneau

Courtney hello! I am not sure how many responses you will get or how
others will handle your request. At any rate your experience so far
sounds fairly standard. I will say, you maybe looking for the wrong
item first. Use the need for a center stone to help you find what you
really need. You need an honest, qualified, knowledgeable, person or
business to work with. Use the need for the stone to visit (or
revisit, in your case) several jewelers. Find the person or business
you trust! Now, be patient. It is easy to rush the process and wind
up fairly happy. You should be jazzed with your chosen center stone
and ring choice!

For a good store to find you a fine stone you will likely need plenty
of patience. Wouldn’t it be nice if a store had a stellar stone in
stock! Some stores do! A call like that could be Fedex’d overnight
and be perfect, or require several sources (wholesale), and
exhaustive proportion comparisons by your jeweler. That is what you
put your trust in them to do.

Emerald cuts as a group routinely are shallow crowns. They can be too
deep, or shallow pavilion as well. Off cuts (are sometimes discounted
as much as 30% below the same size, clarity, and color, a stone that
is well cut. A diamond well proportioned (compared with one of equal
or even better color and clarity) will outshine the rest. That is
what your really paying for. The clarity and color help define the
price; what you enjoy, is its’ shape and brilliance! Proceed slowly!

So you see, what you need is a store you can trust to evaluate what
to show you within your budget. I am not sure you are where you
should be. Concerning the misquote on the color, ask the salesperson
for an explanation. If the reason given is plausible, overlook it. I
don’t find it a huge problem; it could be an honest mistake. If it is
not handled well, I would consider looking elsewhere.

I could quote you prices but being on the West coast, uninvolved in
the sale, hardly seems of any value to you. Your pricing is likely
different from here. Maybe even better! Hope I helped!


Cortney, My first question is: why are you shopping in retail stores?
If your an Orchidian, you should have sources right here that could
help you,and probably at near cost prices,And not go through the game
some retailers with salesman of WHAT kind of gemstone training ,play.
If the store your at can’t find the exact cut and type of stone your
looking for, your in the wrong place!(‘can’t find one from thier
cutter’) And you obviously are if one guy tells you one thing and the
next day in the same store another tells you somthing else! Are they
working on commission? Sounds like a used car lot! If a store sells
somthing as a ‘blank’ the HAVE to stand by that or they are in
jeopardy of crossing FTC trade regulations and can be sued(I’ve seen
it happen). Enough about that store,GO AWAY from there. I believe cut
and color are most important. A VVS1 stone is great, but usually only
a jeweler with a loupe can tell this . If a stone is reasonably clean
with the loupe will save you $$ over a perfectly clean one. I’d put my
money on color, that anyone can see, if it is off-color. And I’ve seen
some H-I SI2 stones that have been remarkable with the proper cut. But
emerald cut is one cut that will show inclusions unlike a round or
princess because of it long facets. Have you considered a radiant? It
has the emerald shape( rectangular or squarish) but much more
brilliant due to the pavillion faceting. Certification is nice , but
you pay a bit for that too. And being in the trade, it shoudn’t be too
important, if where you purchase the stone puts in writing all
particulars of the stone , and SIGNS that paper. Well, I could go on
and on, but one quick thing that happened this week . I
customer(actually an old aquaintence) came to my store to have the
diamond ring he just purchased at the mall, sized. He said he would
have come to me but I didn’t do financing. The 1.00 princess,cut
diamond looked like the cutter had put the stone in the “jig” slightly
off center becuase the culet and all facets were off to one side!I’ve
never seen a stone so badly cut . The girdle was about 1.5 millimeters
thick and about as uneven as it could be!!.This is why jewelers get a
bad reputation! This stone should never have been sold, AND for
$3,500.00. Anyway ,the next week he left my store very satisfied with
a fine stone and spent less. I’m not trying to make a sale but if you
need any more info I’d be glad to help you with a diamond as many of
of here would. Thomas

Hello up there, It lookes like you have a real problem.Let me give you
some about diamants.A mine in Namibie produces up to
30,000 carat a week and this one is not even the biggest.So,forget
about diamant being a rare stone.A diamant chemical structure is
cristalized carbon which is formed under very high pressure and heat
(2000 degrees celcius)and that’s it.Carbon is the material you use in
a pencil to write with.Elements like iron ,magnesium and others or
combinations of them color the diamant.Lots of them have being
irradiated for colorimprovement.Yes, it’s true diamant is known as
the hardest material on earth … but nothing made by nature or
mankind is made forever.A fact is you can find diamants allover the
world,it’s not a rare gem.A diamant is the most controlled item in
the gem industrie talking about keeping the price up.For that reason
new mines are blowen-up to controlle the quantity of diamant on the
worldscale untill the time comes to re-open that mine.I know that
lots of people freek-out when they see a big diamant.Diamants have a
very good cleavage in one direction and are very brittle making them
subject to ship or brake,specialy with square-,triangle-,emerald- or
other pointed cuts.Diamants are graduates as known by the four
"C’s"?standing for color,cut,clarity and carat.This sounds easy,but
only good jewellers know exactly how to graduate a diamond and I
don’t count myself in this group because it takes a lot of study and
money to get trained and even then you need to keep yourself updated
every year.By all means,a diamant of 1 or 1.5 carat means big money
fur the regular person,but it’s not big enough for an investment in
the long run.Why do I have to pay that much money for a diamant would
be a good question.In matter of fact,you’re paying for the labor to
produce a nice cut diamant and not for the diamant itself.It takes
roughly 24 hours to cut a diamant of 1 carat in two parts.You’re
paying for all the people and machinery needed to cut this stone.You
do not pay for the rarety of that gemstone.Now,do not think that I
can stand diamants,but I think it would be very nice to capture the
love of your fiance in a rare gemstone.If your fiance want to spend
thatmuch money for you in a gemstone,it better be a rare gemstone
because that’s exactly what he wants to tell you.You are unique for
him.To answer your question for the price of a diamant of size of 1
carat is approx 2500,-US$ here in Belgium.A diamant of 1,5 carat goes
up to 3500 and more depending on the cut.The color I’m talking about
is “G”.More about this gemstone you could find at next
website’s:gemstone.org or gemcal.com.Take a look at africagems.com. I
hope that you get what you want and really think about it twice
before buy.Take your time and get as much as as you
can.It would be a waste of money and a big desolution if you did not
answer the message of your fiance. Good luck and all the best, Pedro

All gem lab certificates are only an opinion. How does AGL stand
behind their id any differently than any other gem lab? GIA is still
the world’s foremost respected gem lab issuing the world’s foremost
respected Diamond Grading Reports.

Right on Daniel.AG who?The people I deal with (Stone Dealers)Sell
only GIA or EGL and the EGL labs can vary significantly from location
to location in their “opinion” J Morley:
J Morley Goldsmith Coyote Ridge Studio


Orchidians probably will not like this idea, but I have used the
local Pawn shops for a supply for diamonds… some know the value as
to VS…etc. other do not… doesn’t matter to me! . . I want a pretty
good buy not the greatest ever!!!.. Unfortunately, around here others
have picked up on this idea and have on-going arrangements with the
bigger shops… However, for a little time invested, and if you have
the time … a Saturday afternoon after a few calls, you visit the
shops, locate a stone you like, strike an agreement which suggest
that, "if the stone does not provide and GIA Appraisal as to CCCCs …
not $ value, then the pawn broker pays 1/2 of the appraisal cost and
they keep the appraisal and stone (assuming you are not interested in

Don’t know your area but it has worked for me … not much today
because of others but it any work for you… and you may get a
bargain… As a standard (What else do we have as a US standard for
the money??), it’s kind of the best that we can do for a 'One shot’
purchase (hopefully).

I am also looking for diamonds… any suggestions as to wholesalers
with good prices (1/2, VS2, G, Round… VS1 would be great), 5
matching 5 (+,-) pointer.

Jim Chambers

If you are going tp buy diamonds using a secondary source, you also
need to arm yourself with cut knowledge. A 1.00 carat VS1, G color
can have many different values due to the quality of cut (or lack of
quality). A GIA diamond grading report will confirm some of the
quality factors (Carat weight, Clarity and Color) but give little
on the cut quality. They mention Table percentage and
Total dept percentage, but this is not usually enough to determine
the rest of the cut proportions. Many combinations of cut can be
included within a 58 percent table and 60 percent total depth
percentage. Pavilion depth percentage and crown angle are not
mentioned in a GIA diamond grading report.

Just a note GIA does not do Appraisals, nor can a graduate from GIA
call their appraisal a “GIA Appraisal”. If you are not sure call
GIA, 1-800-421-7250.

I suggest that if you are having things appraised, get them done by
an accredited appraiser. GIA does not train appraisers, only
jewelers and gemologists. you can get appraisal accreditation and
appraisal training from: ASA (American Society of Appraisers), ISA
(International Society of Appraisers) and NAJA (National Association
of Jewelry Appraisers). There are others I did not mention. I
mentioned these because of their compliance with USPAP (Uniform
Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). USPAP is a set of
guidlines for appraisal put out by the Appraisal Foundation. The
Appraisal Foundation was authorized by Congress as the source of
appraisal standards and appraisal qualifications.

Good Luck,