Is there someone out there who knows about this Rappaport
method? Does the cut effect price that drastically? Are there any
other pieces of I haven't even considered that he
should know when shopping around?
Rappaport is merely a price guide, not a method of evaluating how
well or poorly a diamond has been cut. More to the point, "Rap"
sheets give prices more tailored to the type of cut, or shape of the
diamond's outline, along with color and clarity grades. At the
moment, round, princess and step cuts are the most popular and will
cost more per carat than marquise, pear and other fancy shapes.
Also, Rap is a wholesale price guide that gives advice to retailers
concerning what their cost should be from a dealer. Retail pricing
can be anywhere from 40 percent under Rap to 100 percent above,
depending on your retailers' source and other factors.
Another factor to be considered is proportions. Table size, depth
percentage, crown angle, pavilion angle, etc., will usually make a
difference in the amount that a dealer will want for a diamond, with
all other characteristics being the same. Rap sheets don't contain
this info. But most price guides have a section with guidance about
adding or subtracting for ideal cuts and poor proportions. Often, a
lab cert can bump the price up a bit. GIA, EGL and others may have
provided a cert for stones, usually over one carat, and the labs
don't do that for free.
If you really trust your jeweler, the best way for the person who
has not studied diamond grading is to look at every stone in your
price range, pick the one that looks best and buy it. If, on the
other hand, you don't trust your jeweler, find one that you do trust
and conduct your business with that one. I understand that most
people want to be able to go to a website these days and learn all
there is to know about gemology and diamond buying so they can make
informed decisions about their purchases, how to buy gems to make
jewelry, etc., but the truth is that it takes specialized education
to be good enough at it to where you don't make costly mistakes. As
in finding a professional doctor you trust, find the professional
jeweler you also trust. Make sure (s)he has the academic credentials
(s)he needs to serve your purpose. After all, you wouldn't want an
M.D. who hasn't made a study of anatomy to operate on you, would
Some of our clientele are receptive to estate diamonds, which can
often be a very big savings to them. Many, however, do not want a
"used" diamond. I never have understood the problem with it, but I
do understand that a lot of people are superstitious. If your friend
can get over it, an estate stone in a new mounting may be a very
cost effective alternative.
James S. Duncan, G.G.
(AKA James in SoFl)