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Are we too elitist & doing 99% of newbies a disservice?

Are good at helping enough newbie buyers?


  • Total voters
    114

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 7, 2009
Messages
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Sledge posted his example of the woman who bought "good enough" diamonds, but was disappointed, until she received ideal cut stones, which she loved.
See here's the issue.
No one reading this actually saw the stones in question. They're called 60/60 by Sledge...maybe they are. Maybe I would not have like them either- who knows- but none of that is soley because they are 60/60
Sledge, a consumer, adores his Super Ideal Diamonds. Of course, he's free to rave about them all day long.
And to assist others in obtaining what he knows, from his personal experience are the best.
Cool.
He will find others with the same opinion.
Sellers of these stones, wow they must love it!!!
But say you have a different opinion about which is the very best cut. People do. It's not a "fact" that what any of us love is the best- no matter how much you love it.
Voice the opinion that there are other proportions that you love as much or better, and a chorus of fans will shout you down and even insult you.
Since I don't agree with thge PS suggested proportions, then I must ADORE horribly cut pieces of garbage.....
The sellers of SI stones must truly love it.
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Feb 11, 2006
Messages
2,680
Hi,

Pricescopers do not always recommend super ideal diamonds , and Texas Leager also has never said only buy super ideal diamonds" . But the case is made on here to buyers that ideal cut diamonds, like Expert selection are "good enough". Prosumers ,like Yissie, also suggest that consumers see the diamond. Others suggest persons go to jewelry stores to see what an ideal brand looks like vs other Gia stones. Many people do it, but many want a beautiful stone without the stress of doing too much work. So Pricescope works well for them.

I do believe someone like Rock Diamond can better evaluate a nice diamond than can Pricescopers who can't see the actual diamond. This is why I think Tiffany can evaluate their own diamonds well. But helpers have limitations, and so the guidelines are very useful. Prosumers get a lot of satisfaction from finding great diamonds for people. I doubt you would get the same feelings finding good enough diamonds.

I know, for myself, I wouldn't want a super ideal diamond, but an ideal cut I would like. Pricepoint is important to me. I do not know enough to recommend a diamond and I don't. But, the logic of this discussion escapes me.

Annette
 

gm89uk

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,449
It's worthwhile mentioning, superideals are not always at a premium. A friend recently bought a CBI 1.40 H SI2, he was delighted with it, and after a very thorough search, it could not be beaten on price for an eye clean well cut stone of similar size. In addition the SI2 was highly vetted.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Very true on all counts @smitcompton!

Remember though- the sellers themselves don't say their specific diamonds are the best- consumers do it for them.
But dedicated fans can tilt discussions easily in an echo chamber.
Then we get this built-in thought that an SI is the best- anything else is "less"
Annette- I'm sure you'd love an "Ideal" diamond as much as others love their Super Ideal diamonds. It's possible you'd find it to be more beautiful, and there's no way anyone else can make that decision for you.

BTW-I'm not making the case that there's anything nefarious going on.

Unfortunately, Bryan and I don't see eye to eye on some aspects of diamonds, and it makes for some heated debates between us.
A shame, as I have tremendous respect for Bryan- without a doubt he's one of the "good guys" in a business populated by a ton of shysters. ( Remember, I walk down 47th st daily so I get to see them firsthand...lol)
But those debates about fluorescence don't mean we can't see eye to eye on many other aspects.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Sledge, a consumer, adores his Super Ideal Diamonds. Of course, he's free to rave about them all day long.
And to assist others in obtaining what he knows, from his personal experience are the best.
Cool.
Hey dont pick on sledge he is learning this stuff like a house on fire and is moving beyond just this is best to really developing an understanding of this stuff.
That should be recognized and not talked about in this way.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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I very much respect Sledge! Without a doubt, he is absolutely like a vacuum in terms of new learning.
Sorry-it was not meant as a"pick on".

To draw an analogy- if this was a forum about cars, and we were discussing Ford versus Chevy ( or whatever)...each side will feel strongly, people get very attached to their beloved brands
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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Thank you @Karl_K.

In regards to the example I noted earlier, the stone I suggested was a GIA XXX from Yadav. Had a 55 table, 62 depth, 35 crown and 40.6 pavilion.

It wasn't a super ideal. But they did provide advanced images which was better than many XXX stones.

This stone was on the larger side of carat weight, increase in color from I to H and gave VVS2 clarity, all factors important to that buyer.

Several 60/60 styles were suggested and commented on. None were slammed. But it was pointed out there was a PERSONALITY difference and it was suggested to learn more or view them before committing.

I feel the community did a good job helping her. She still is not 100% decided and has another stone or two coming in for review.

The comments about the earlier stones being her "good enough" stones was based on HER comments that they just didn't thrill her. Compared to the comments on the Yadav stone that she saw a difference as soon as she opened the box.

If you'd like links I am happy to share.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,849
The recent push (also obvious to me @Texas Leaguer) isn't just about super ideals, but also about relaxing typical PS recommended proportions for XXX stones.

For simplicity, let's just say that PS recommended proportions align closely with AGS Ideal criteria. Then using a WF graphic I feel this is a decent representation of what is being asked/pushed. The exact edge of the pink line would vary depending on who you ask.

super-ideal-diamond.jpg


Recently I have been helping another user on this forum find a stone. She has a tight budget for the color, size and clarity she seeks. She looked at some 60/60 stones and ordered in a few. They didn't make her world go round. Dare I say these were her "good enough" stones?

I then suggested a slew of different stones, using typical PS parameters. She ordered one of them in and is rather ecstatic.
This illustration is perfect! This is exactly what I mean! Personally, I try to get that pink circle a little tighter when I'm looking. ;-)

I feel like a PS members' "good enough" is gonna be pretty fantastic when compared to what most people would end up buying without help from this forum. I can speak from experience, as my first diamond was "great" to me at first, then I really got into PS and tried to educate myself. My "great" diamond turned out to be just barely "good enough" for me after that. Now, my current diamond is not a super ideal, but it sparkles like crazy and is really great to me. I feel like I used the education I received here to navigate through a ton of GIA XXX stones to find one that was well cut and a great value.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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But dedicated fans can tilt discussions easily in an echo chamber.
I have no skin in this game. But
I think this is the crux of the past couple PS threads encompassing this same general idea of change.
Tapping into PS driven sales/notoriety geared towards lesser used vendors and slower moving stock, that /assume/ places like ED used to and RC does.
 
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Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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And they’d prefer it to be a grassroots movement.
Not change implemented by owner(s) of PS.
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 11, 2006
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2,680
Hi,

Yes RFisher, but this brings to mind the question of whether or not PS is looking to include more vendors which increases their ad income, which is where they get their revenue. Garry's altruism comes at a time when PS is shrinking. Perhaps follow the money is the reason.

I do believe PS is a wonderful service to the diamond community. I do not wish to limit income sources, but this change, which may be good, is perplexing.

Annette
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Really good point @smitcompton
But the trends- as I see them- are going in the wrong direction if we're looking at more trade involvement.
The trade itself is shrinking...at least in terms of how many businesses and personnel there are here in the US. It's quite possible that employment has increased in places like India- but those folks are not coming to PS.
And for many years, I've felt that the folks in our position ( tradespeople) were missing an awesome opportunity to participate here. Now there's so many less of us.....
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 27, 2009
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If you build it they will come.

The problem is not that people here are suddenly giving bad advice. It has always been a mix of opinions, priorities, agendas, and viewpoints. The competition of ideas is stimulating and helps make it an interesting and useful place for visitors. Discussions have always been moderated thoughtfully and reasonable rules put in place for tradespeople to be able to be involved in an educational way.

The problem is the website has not kept up with the times and traffic has been steadily lost to other sites. With the exception of a few threads here and there, no significant building or updating of content, website navigation, or look and feel has been done.

In the absence of such attention a decline is entirely predictable. Every business today is subject to intense competition, even educational portals.

But if the will is there to remain relevant and the proper strategy put in place, over time the trend can be reversed. Vendors and prosumers have common cause to want to see a return to a more robust pricescope. Thru a collective effort the necessary improvements could be made.

The essential thing necessary is for all stakeholders (virtual sellers, super ideal merchants, prosumers, newbies, and pricescope owners) to recognize that we all benefit in different ways from a healthy and robust forum. A rising tide will lift all boats.

To quote a couple of famous sayings, "Stronger Together" and "Yes We Can".
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Another point for consideration....
The discussion of cut, and how to assess- there's actually two totally different discussions.
Round Brilliant.
And everything else.

The idea proliferates that another cut, for example, square cushion, should look like an RBC. It needs to be if it wants to be "ideal".
AGSL goes along with this, to some degree.
Then, if you cut a rectangular diamond, it's never going to work the same way ( or be as good as) as a stone whose L=W ( or close to it)
That's one of the reasons why there was never cut grade, or an AGSL report for The Original Radiant ( may the ORC rest in peace)

My point is that the art of assessing cut has been lost, to a large degree, in RBC mentality.
GIA's been threatening cut grades on fancy shapes for at least 10 years ( I participated in a study they did back then)
But to this point, a Pear Brilliant, Cushion Brilliant, Oval Brilliant ( or any of the modified versions of these shapes), Emerald Cut- anything other than an RBS, if it's compared to an RBC on the basis of how we judge a round ( ASET for example) , many drippingly gorgeous in real life can be judged as inferior.
So what happens is that the discussion of Fancy Shape cut frequently is centered on stones that mimic an RBC.....
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
1,297
Enabler? :doh:

Nice.
Sorry @kenny I've been feeling uncomfortable about my use of that word ever since I posted. Lying in bed at 3:00 am this morning thinking about it, I realized crusader was the word I had been grasping for. Super ideal crusaders would have been a much more apt description for some of our more ardent prosumer cut experts. :)

Crusaders ably led into battle by the lionhearted King Bryan. :lol-2:
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,865
Thanks, no problem prs. :))

I've posted things here I wish I hadn't.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Perfect example....
 

amoline

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
341

Here's a completely and perfectly reasonable newbie post met with completely unreasonable response -- and perhaps we could be doing better (or at least more tactfully) in these scenarios.
 

Guy Willett

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
2
Regarding the concern about the 1%, it all depends on total volume. 1% of what?

1% could be a very healthy number making for robust forum activity, attracting more advertisers, more and varied inventories to select from,and more participating trade people, if the volume of traffic coming to the site is substantial.

Because the forum has so much keyword rich content from postings and knowledge base articles and information, Pricescope at one time ranked very high for hundreds of important diamond and jewelry related key words and phrases, often appearing on page one of search results and attracting tons of newbies clicking through.

Over the years changes in google algorithms combined with hyper competition for page rank on the most valuable keywords has diluted that traffic. The 1% of today is likely a much smaller number than in the past.

But fundamentally changing the nature of the forum, including implementing some of the ideas that have been floated in this thread, could have unintended negative consequences for the community and is unlikely to improve overall traffic to the site. A much more predictable approach to returning the forum to its former glory is a concerted effort to improve site SEO restoring page rank to high traffic keyword searches.

Elitism or an over emphasis on the technical did not seem to be a problem back in the hey day. And I doubt that it is a significant issue today.
Afternoon Texas Leaguer,

As regards the discussion bringing the site to its former glory I might be able to help. I've conducted some analysis of the site can see there are some opportunities to assist in this. I've attached an image of all the keywords that the site used to rank for and it looks like it has lost about 40% of the keywords it used to rank for in its heyday, 2017-18.

Pricescope Dwindling Keyword Rankings.png

Since I'm a newbie on the site and have gained some interesting insights into the gem trade from it I'd be more than happy to offer to undertake some work for free by means of thanks.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,268
Afternoon Texas Leaguer,

As regards the discussion bringing the site to its former glory I might be able to help. I've conducted some analysis of the site can see there are some opportunities to assist in this. I've attached an image of all the keywords that the site used to rank for and it looks like it has lost about 40% of the keywords it used to rank for in its heyday, 2017-18.

Pricescope Dwindling Keyword Rankings.png

Since I'm a newbie on the site and have gained some interesting insights into the gem trade from it I'd be more than happy to offer to undertake some work for free by means of thanks.
@Guy Willet,
You would want to contact the Pricescope admins directly with your offer. I am just a trademember user on the forum.
 

mommylawyer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
211
This statement is so very true. There are so many really well meaning and smart savvy folk contribute here on PriceScope to guide people in buying and selecting a top diamond, I think we have a huge problem.
1. Less than 1% of visitors ever sign up and post.
2. The advice we give here is often way over the top and complex for non rocket scientist woman/man in the street.
3. Many young people in love are worried about making the life time commitment choice. Working long hours etc in their new career. They just want to make a quick safe and simple OK selection.

They may not have time to learn our jargon or the desire to spend scarce spare brain power.

We can be way too elitist.

I think we could help 50 times more people get a good enough diamond and setting at a considerable saving without getting 'enchanted' out of their money.
I would like to offer a slightly different perspective, especially because you helped me so much when I first joined PS to solve a problem with my ring. I commissioned a bespoke diamond ring from my wonderful jeweler, and he promised to find me the best diamond in my price range. He sent me a video of the diamond, a super ideal cut, and I loved it. When I picked it up, I thought it looked beautiful in the store. But when I got home, I was disappointed. It looked too perfect, almost fake, and it went dark in direct sunlight. I was going to return it, but decided to search online to learn more about super ideal cuts. Thanks to @Garry H (Cut Nut) and the PS team, I learned that I have a top notch diamond, which makes me very happy. Personally, I just don't like super ideal cuts (as much as I thought I would). But I feel good about my purchase, and I didn't undo all my jeweler's hard work. =)2
 
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Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
5,679
There was a lady just recently looking for a dark (twlight?) blue saphire and something got lost in translation :(2
It was very sad :(2
The advice was mostly aganist a too dark saphire as it would be even darker when set -( i mean me, myself have a too dark saphire ring so im always interested in dark saphire threads and we have had quite a number of late)
But unfortunatly the lady took some of the advice as being elitist and i think the advice was absolutly offered in good faith but that's not how she read it
 

mommylawyer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
211
There was a lady just recently looking for a dark (twlight?) blue saphire and something got lost in translation :(2
It was very sad :(2
The advice was mostly aganist a too dark saphire as it would be even darker when set -( i mean me, myself have a too dark saphire ring so im always interested in dark saphire threads and we have had quite a number of late)
But unfortunatly the lady took some of the advice as being elitist and i think the advice was absolutly offered in good faith but that's not how she read it
That's unfortunate. But, like you said, something must have gotten lost in translation. Everyone was wonderfully helpful with my sapphire purchase yesterday, and this feels like a supportive community to me. I am still on cloud nine about my ring, BTW. :D
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
928
Having been on PS maybe too long...

Remember that for most people, their exposure to diamonds is only to mall jewelry stores and whatever their relatives and maybe their friends or coworkers have. This has a strong bias towards things that can be purchased in person, because that's where most people purchase in reality.

Maybe they've been given a link by their intended, who also has that same exposure.

We have a tendency to react very strongly to these suggestions and use pretty polarizing language, saying that ring is terrible, frozen spit, and you can do so much better. Unfortunately, what we've just done is inadvertently insulted their taste, so that's where we have started the conversation from.

Where this usually ends up is effectively saying "what you really want is a round brilliant from these specific places and in this six prong setting because that is how you get the most for your money." And by one definition that is true - if you want the biggest round brilliant for the budget. That might not have been the question asked.

On the other hand, if they didn't want a round brilliant, we've just really done the wrong thing. But when someone asks for the nicest emerald cut in the budget or whatever, we tend to tell them that it just will never look as good as a round. So basically, what you want is bad, and we know better than you what you want.

I saw a thread recently where someone posted a stone they liked, and that person was trying to hit a carat mark. It wasn't a great stone, and several people said so gently and explained why. Unfortunately some of our more prolific members said things like "this is terrible" and "weird looking stone." I think we need to be conscious that people aren't being deliberately obtuse, usually. They don't know, and they're trying. There's a nice way and a not-so-nice way to go about this.

Similarly, just because what someone is looking for is not, according to classic advice, "good" doesn't mean that their personal taste is bad (see re: the dark sapphire thread referenced above). Someone might want a huge, spready, vg stone. Some people really like radiants (and the response is always "radiants don't have good light return, did you know that?"). I do think we need to be more respectful of poster's actual preferences without applying our own standards to them. Unless, of course, the poster is buying it for you.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Aug 15, 2000
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15,647
Having been on PS maybe too long...

Remember that for most people, their exposure to diamonds is only to mall jewelry stores and whatever their relatives and maybe their friends or coworkers have. This has a strong bias towards things that can be purchased in person, because that's where most people purchase in reality.

Maybe they've been given a link by their intended, who also has that same exposure.

We have a tendency to react very strongly to these suggestions and use pretty polarizing language, saying that ring is terrible, frozen spit, and you can do so much better. Unfortunately, what we've just done is inadvertently insulted their taste, so that's where we have started the conversation from.

Where this usually ends up is effectively saying "what you really want is a round brilliant from these specific places and in this six prong setting because that is how you get the most for your money." And by one definition that is true - if you want the biggest round brilliant for the budget. That might not have been the question asked.

On the other hand, if they didn't want a round brilliant, we've just really done the wrong thing. But when someone asks for the nicest emerald cut in the budget or whatever, we tend to tell them that it just will never look as good as a round. So basically, what you want is bad, and we know better than you what you want.

I saw a thread recently where someone posted a stone they liked, and that person was trying to hit a carat mark. It wasn't a great stone, and several people said so gently and explained why. Unfortunately some of our more prolific members said things like "this is terrible" and "weird looking stone." I think we need to be conscious that people aren't being deliberately obtuse, usually. They don't know, and they're trying. There's a nice way and a not-so-nice way to go about this.

Similarly, just because what someone is looking for is not, according to classic advice, "good" doesn't mean that their personal taste is bad (see re: the dark sapphire thread referenced above). Someone might want a huge, spready, vg stone. Some people really like radiants (and the response is always "radiants don't have good light return, did you know that?"). I do think we need to be more respectful of poster's actual preferences without applying our own standards to them. Unless, of course, the poster is buying it for you.
Thanks - a lovely post.
Case in point there a thread today
Lady bought an EGL G VS2 1.44ct and is happy with it but being told its rubbish.
What do we do?
How should we respond?
It is difficult to be always right for every person and every diamond.
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
928
Thanks - a lovely post.
Case in point there a thread today
Lady bought an EGL G VS2 1.44ct and is happy with it but being told its rubbish.
What do we do?
How should we respond?
It is difficult to be always right for every person and every diamond.
Well, the question asked is "did I make a mistake?"

That could mean many things - did I overpay? Is this diamond more fragile than another?

But the answer is, if, given all the information available, you're still happy with it - then no, it was not a mistake. Even if we personally wouldn't buy it, even if it's not something we personally like.

I do think it's funny that we have a heart attack about EGL certs and assume every stone must be a dog but some of the most loved stones on PS are old cuts with some degree of defect or wonkiness. These stones are praised but the buyer purchasing a modern cut that, even if off by a little bit, is almost certainly objectively "better" from a light return perspective - they should return the stone because there is no way it is any good. The double standard lives!

There are some things on PS that I have issue with due to this double standard and I just don't open those threads. For example, a longtime poster purchases a very low color stone that is huge and there is a many pages long thread praising her. If a new poster appeared and asked about buying an identical stone, but 1ct, you know what the responses would be: not visually large enough, the color will look very yellow, you really should buy something smaller. Even if the cut is lovely, that small stone isn't good enough - but if it were 5ct, omg so amazing you found such a good buy!
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,608
There is a difference too depending on a seasoned diamond buyer vs someone buying their first stone. People that are buying large diamonds are generally not buying for the first time. People who have bought multiples are aware of what they like and what they don’t and if they choose a lower color or whatever it is because it is what they want - not because they made a mistake. One size fits all generally doesn’t apply to buying diamonds. I would prefer to have the cold hard facts laid out for me and I can decide to use the advice or discard it. There is not a way to tell someone that the diamond that they are considering or have recently purchased is not the best in a super nice way. If they are asking for advice beforehand, it might come in a more direct fashion. If they have already purchased and love it, then you can point some things out but just ‘congrats and enjoy’ might be more in line. The time to ask is before you plunk down your money but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen that way and sometimes folks are dealing with a no return situation. All depends.
However, I still give hats off to those that invest their time here to help or advise others. They don’t have to do it at all - and then there might not be a PS!
 
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