Post by jpdoane » June 11th, 2003, 10:10 am
I am looking at getting engaged soon, and am therefore in the market for a diamond. Both my girlfriend and I are concerned about the diamond market, however, due to conflict diamonds and the human rights concerns of most diamond sources (horrible conditions for miners, diamond cutting sweat shops, etc).

I have three questions therefore.

1) How significant are these issues? Do 60% or so of diamonds really come from child labor sweat shops in India? Are african miners really subjected to horrible conditions? I know ''conflict diamonds'' are only about 4% of the rocks out there, but how ''just'' are the rest of the diamonds?

2) How do I go about avoiding this? I know I can buy Canadian, but are there other options? Is there any way to be sure (or relatively sure) of a stones origin, and know that people were not taken advantage of?

3) I have had a very difficult time trying to price Canadian diamonds out. For this forum, people say that Canadian diamonds come with around 10-15% premium. I am willing to pay that if I have to, given the above concerns. However, all the prices I have gotten so far have been 40-60% higher than what I see on bluenile.com or on the price calculator at diamondreview.com (Yes, I figured in the conversion to USD and the 10% lux tax).

Quotes for canadian stones I have got:
.5ct ''ideal'' Princess g/vs1 $2380 USD (65% over $1444 from diamondreview.com)
.58ct ''ideal'' Princess f/vs2 $2580 USD(45% over $1778 from diamondreview.com)
.53ct ''ideal'' Princess e/vs2 $2478 USD(37% over $1808 from diamondreview.com)

Also, all the stones I have been quoted are supposadly ''ideal cut'' (I am looking for a princess cut), but when I ask what the criteria for that is, one jewler replied that she figured 60-75% table, and 65-75% depth was ideal. Although there''s no standard, according to gemappraisers.com, that goes down to a Class 2B pricess cut (hardly ''ideal''). I also was told that repudable jewlers don''t carry anything less than ideal. Is this just a Canadian thing? Are all canadian diamonds cut ''ideally''? And what exactly does this mean, given there''s no standard for Princess cut diamonds?

It seems like I''m being taken. Any help from out there? Am I just dealing with horribly overpriced dealers, or is this what I should expect for Canadian stones?