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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let Me Sell Your Giant Diamonds for You!

yellow gold rectangular pin with purplish garnets
14k and 22k yellow gold pin with garnets
Any of you who have been regular readers know that while I am happy to give gold scrap credits for old gold pieces that are broken or you no longer want towards new pieces, I won't buy gemstones or diamonds from anyone. The primary reason for this is that so few stones I see actually are in the quality range of goods that I sell.  Another reason is that anything that has been worn over a period of time inevitably needs work done on it to get it back into shape for resale and usually it's simply not worth my time or effort to deal with the piece.

However what many of you don't know is that occasionally I will work on a commission basis to resell significant stones for my customers.  What do I mean by significant?  In the case of diamonds they have to be over 2 cts, and, unless there is something else interesting about them, preferably of fairly high quality.  In the case of colored stones they have to be larger and high quality no matter what.  The reason for this is that I work on a commission basis on these items and I need to make enough to make it worth my while to take time out from making and selling my jewelry. 

I recently had a customer come in with just such a project.  When the customer first told me about the stone, I assumed when he told me that it was a 20 ct. diamond that he had no idea of what he was talking about in terms of the size.  However it sounded like a project I might be interested in (even if it was nowhere near 20 ct) so I told him that I was happy to look at the stone.  When they actually came in with the stone however, I was a little taken aback at the size of it.  It was a pear shape and the stone was so large that the Leveridge gauge I use to measure stones wouldn’t actually measure the length of it, making it difficult to estimate the size.  The customer claimed she had been told that it was 25 ct.---it was her mother’s originally—but there was no way for me to know for sure as long as it was in the setting.  Now mind you the quality of this stone is nowhere near my quality range.  It was an I1 clarity and it had strong fluorescence.  The color grade was good however and it was most assuredly big---so big that I had never held a diamond that large in my hands---which qualified it for the "interesting" part of my criteria.
17.68 ct. pear shaped diamond ring next to a .75 ct. (center stone) ring
17.68 ct. pear shaped diamond
The customer and his wife had gone downtown to a local, very high end and big name jewelry store where they had been made an offer on the stone but they complained they didn’t like the gentleman they were talking to (who I believe was the owner of the company) and refused his offer of $50,000.    I told them I had no idea what the stone might really generate because it was out of my normal range of goods (both in terms of the clarity grade and the size) and that because of the size there were no diamond price charts one could look at to get an idea of the value.  But I discussed with them what the minimum amount they might like was and the fee I would charge for my work on selling it. 

In working with one of the dealers I sell to occasionally the initial price he was talking about was far above the initial offers but we still didn’t know what the actual weight was and our measurements were yielding estimates much lower than the customer’s belief that it was 25 ct.  So while we were initially thinking it was at least 20 ct. we knew we had to find out the actual weight.  So we popped out the stone finally.  It weighed out at 17.68 ct.  Still the biggest stone I’ve ever held! 

Unfortunately the price came down a bit once we realized it wasn’t over 20 ct., but for this stone I was able to get $80,000 ($30,000 more than the other offer made) for my customers after my commission, which they have happily accepted. 

Now I won’t do this kind of thing for people for ordinary smaller diamonds because, quite frankly, it isn’t worth my time unless the piece is unusual and I can make a reasonable commission.  But if you happen to have a larger diamond you have inherited or an unusual colored gemstone, please come by and see me. Perhaps we can all make some money together.  

The picture of the piece of mine at the top of the page was a very old piece of mine which is why it was made with 14k gold instead of my usual 18k.  

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