RAP Diamond Prices and Internet Diamond Dealers

Question about RAP Diamond Prices:

How is it possible for you to sell diamonds so cheap? When running a Pricescope search for diamond prices, I see excellent quality stones (clarity + cut + color) going for like 20% under RAP; (I have access to the current RAP sheets so I've compared).

Now, don't get me wrong, you're doing a great job, and my hat is off to you for providing such great prices to the consumer, but if you're selling so much below published RAP diamond prices I can't even imagine what you picked them up at wholesale, and 'still' are able to make a profit.

Obviously it's a business, and like any other you wouldn't be 'in' business unless you can make some sort of profit. So, either your margins are 'razor' thin, or you're getting incredibly great deals on quality diamonds from your suppliers.

If you 'are' able to buy say at 40% back, that still gives you a 20% margin, which I guess is 'okay', but that's nowhere near what the mall stores are making off the general public with their inflated prices.

This inquiry was instigated by the fact that I have recently made a diamond ring purchase (engagement ring to be presented Christmas Day), and eventhough I have been on this board for a while and learned plenty, I had to go with a big name 'Mall Store' because the return policy was 90 days vs. the 10 days most online retailers allow. (Not to dive into the personal issues here, but the reason I need the 90 days is because we have geographical location issues that I am hoping we can resolve (east coast/west coast), but we need time, more than 10 days, to figure all that out.)

So the stone I got was a 2.02 ct Princess, G, SI2. I wanted the 2ct size in a good color, so I decided to save money by allowing inclusions that I can't see without a loupe, (She 'really' wanted a 2 ct).

It's a beautiful diamond, but of course they wanted a fortune for it at the Mall store. After I pulled out my Price Scope printouts of all similar stones for sale online, and pulled out my PScope Princess quality cut chart, and the RAP Diamond Pricesc sheets, they nearly fell over.

So the VP / district manager had to come out to renegotiate the price and close the deal. but not before knocking $4K off their original price of the diamond. I still can't believe people actually pay those rediculous prices.

Now I settled for the Rappaport diamond price, knowing I still could have saved another few thousand on-line, but like I said, I didn't mind paying more knowing I had a few extra months to work on our geographical issues.

So in conclusion, thanks to Pricescope for being here, great job to the vendors. But, back to my original point; how do you guys do it for so cheap?


Answer:

Rap Diamond Prices on the Rap sheet are a fiction and not technical in some mysterious way. While these numbers relate to diamonds of the particular color and clarity there are several other factors which greatly affect the value of any individual diamond which Rap only vaguely mentions or does not address at all. Regardless, these factors are quite complex, and they lead to a huge actual range of values for any given stone of a specific color, clarity, weight and shape.

For consumers the Rap Sheet prices are way more misleading than useful. Reliance upon those numbers without a whole lot more knowledge is going to burn anyone, dealer or consumer, who buys or sells based solely on them.

Martin Rapaport helped to bring a needed and useful degree of order to the diamond market in a time of rapid price change 25 years ago. Over time the Rap sheet has proven worthwhile to diamond dealers and has become highly misused and misunderstood by many, including consumers. I still subscribe to Rapaport and make use of the Rap sheet, but in a careful way, not blindly. I almost never tell consumers what it says about their choice of diamond because it means so little about any single stone. It is a market monitor, not a value calculator.

David S. Atlas
GG(GIA), ASG, Sr. Mbr. NAJA
Accredited Gem Appraisers


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