WHEN the island stores buy for less, it would be because of this
bulk buying, not because of some inate 'cheapness' of diamonds in
tourist areas. I'm sorry if I was unclear in my post.
As I said long ago, Lee doesn’t really disagree, he’s just taking it
farther - it is what it is.
The thing is that all of the people buying 1000 carat lots are STILL
all paying the same price as each other, in a big picture sort of
way. Someone can go to South America and buy 10 pounds of emeralds
that some guy dug up in his backyard, for cheap. Or a parcel of
amethyst from a little hut in the jungle. It’s still what the market
will bear, by and large. But the diamond business is different, and
much more tightly controlled. Goods are largely (almost entirely)
priced and sold on a uniform, percentage off “market” price. I may
get 40 off, somebody else might get 50 off, but it’s the “off” part
that counts - that there is a uniform pricing structure in place.
That’s partly the power of Rappaport, for better or worse.
When you get into real diamonds those differences just vanish, too.
If somebody is shopping a 5 carat D/Flawless, nobody is buying 1000
carat lots of those - we are each buying one stone. I can, and have
been competitive with anybody - Cartier, Boucheron - on a stone like
that. They are no doubt getting a better base price, or they own it,
but I (or you) have a much lower margin, so generally the bottom
line will be the same or less for me.
not because of some inate 'cheapness' of diamonds
Everything diamond I’ve ever seen from the venues we’ve been talking
about have been “innately cheap”, but that’s subjective and I’m not
trying to argue - just my own observation. I will also say that
every single piece of vacation jewelry I’ve ever seen was worth just
what was paid for it. “Look, I paid $1000 for this one carat
diamond!” Yes, and you got a $1000 (if not $750) diamond for your
I want to say, too, that Lee Cornelius has contributed on this
thread, and I for one appreciate his point of view. It may seem like
disagreement, but it’s not (for me, anyway) It’s just different ways
of looking at the elephant.