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Unusual colored diamond prices


Greetings to you all,

I am wondering if any among you have experience with unusual colored
diamonds. Recently I was sent some diamonds on memo which are quite
beautiful but they are off color. They have lab certs and one was
given an “x” rating for color and the other was “n”. They are fairly
large – 3 and 5 cts. I am not quite sure how to price them. I am
fairly familiar with pricing on diamonds in the more "desirable"
color range – these are definitely something different. In general I
really like diamonds that are different in various ways. I like
unusual shapes and cuts and I sell browns and also yellows both
natural and lab grown. So I am interested in developing this
direction and wondering about establishing a pricing guideline for
these stones. If any of you have experience with these kinds of
diamonds – diamonds that don’t look good on paper but are gorgeous
in the material world – I would greatly appreciate your input.
Please write me offline if you are uncomfortable discussing your
pricing strategy on the public forum.

Thank you for your far flung wealth of

Janet Alix
Alix and Company
55 Throckmorton Ave.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

diamonds that don't look good on paper but are gorgeous in the
material world 

Janet, I’ve seen and worked with many beautiful stones - diamonds
that would just curl your hair, emeralds you could swim in, Kashmir
sapphires, opals, on and on, and even some “cheap” stones that were
just plain beautiful in their own right. The most extraordinary stone
I’ve worked with, and the only one that ever crossed my mind to put
in my own pocket (not that I would, just covetousness) was a diamond
of around 10 carats that was probably I3 in clarity, if not I4. It
was D color and flawless otherwise, and then within the crystal was a
3 dimensional lattice of (probably) garnet crystals that were exactly
sized and exactly spaced in the diamond crystal, like a 3D
chessboard. This is something you could see from 3 feet away. It was
beautifully cut, as it was clear the cutter knew what he had. It was
extraordinarily unique and extraordiarily beautiful, and a joy to
work with. My feeling is that most X colors, especially if they are
pique, are going to be borderline drillbits, but as you say there are
some that have a unique beauty, and yes the industry does have a
fixation on G/SI - It’s always the make that counts, too. Just a good
story, really… As for pricing - I told somebody else the same,
too. I, for one, don’t price diamonds or pearls or rubies, I price
money. If it costs me $1,000, I’ll price it $X, if it costs me
$10,000, I’ll price it $XX, whatever “the thing” is, always keeping
what I call “the zap value” in mind. If it’s some price to me, but I
feel it’s a big mover or really fine, I’ll nudge the price some or a
lot, maybe.


Hi Janet.

I don’t know who has performed the lab certification but I have found
there is definitely some variation between labs. With larger more
valuable stones it is definitely worth getting second opinions from
specialists. Valuers are only as good as the info they get from other
people. I’m sure I will upset some valuers with this and I don’t
really care. Most valuers have never made a piece of jewellery and
never had to source hard to find or rare stones. Its not meant as a
criticism of them, just reality that a valuer will not always know
how to value top end goods. How would they know if there are 200 or
350 hours in making a 500 stone necklace, a difference of $30,000.
Larger, rarer and more expensive stones are more like a piece of art
than jewellery and can be worth whatever someone is prepared to pay.
Get the opinion of various valuers and do a bit of your own research
on the internet. Anything from Christies catalogues, Garrards etc or
other jewellers can help with pricing. Most people would have no
idea what a 70 carat flawless spinel, Tsavorite of padparadscha
sapphire is worth let alone how hard they are to find. All you can do
is try to find evidence of previous sales of similar goods.

Good luck