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Buying Diamonds: Consumers’ Problems and a Solution

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oldminer

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Garry;

I read the article and am trying to grasp the concept correctly. It looks as if those retailers which might adopt such a program as Next Diamond will have a quite different approach for sale and delivery of those particular diamonds which could make some consumers happy. I''m not at all sure how many people have 4 weeks worth of patience for getting what they ordered, much less, how many consumers would have patience knowing they might get stones which only approximate what they ordered. Consumers are increasingly technical, selective and finicky as they become more educated buyers.

The idea of a standard light box with diamonds placed nearby and properly held as they are tilted is not new in itself. I see GOG has a video of such a device currently in someone''s thread on Pricescope. I believe the thread was started by Chrono. Of course, having the same light box with the same lighting and matching an Internet presentation goes much further. I''m not so sure competing retailers would readily adopt fair and equal business practices unless driven to doing it. While it works for Next Diamond, but do you see it working for them better than the free for all it now is? I don''t know if retailers want standardization of all fancy shapes, although AGS has succeed somewhat with square princess cuts, what models for shape will be available? Will every pear have a distinct length to width ratio, the same should profile, the same curvatures? The same question applies for marquise, oval, etc? What about girdle thickness, depth? These are business issues for the cutter and the market.

Maybe this system is something a diamond wholesaler could use to provide consistent inventory to selected retailers. Let the retailer order such diamonds and have the equipment such as the light box to demonstrate the system to consumers. Retailers could share actual inventory if they are not in competing markets, if such a database was established. A consumer fixated by ordering a specific diamond could then be handled as a special order, just like making a truly custom piece of jewelry.

The method proposed for adjusting the selling price based on discrepancies in grades implies a recognized inability to provide exactly the right diamond is more than a tiny fraction of cases. We still have industry wide issues of color grading, and clarity grading standardization. Without addressing these technically fixable issues, I don''t see how any firm can deliver a problem free product enough of the time. Maybe you have some cure for it which I am unaware of. I know all the big diamond cutters would claim they can produce faultlessly, but none actually do it. Until the tools are in place to pre-define color and clarity with bullet-proof standards, don''t you see problems of promising that a diamond ordered will be only an approximation of what ends up being delivered?

As far as publishing this as journal article, I see no harm at all. I have proposed difficult things in articles which I had little hope of seeing happen. Putting your names on record with a bold and potentially beneficial idea does no harm. Getting feedback from everyone who cares to comment can''t hurt anyone. You will get a small set of consumers determined to be early adopters. Do you have the light boxes and stones available for their use somewhere? Can their one of a kind requests now be met by a vendor? Even on a test basis this would be highly positive.

My regards to all of you. I remain ever the optimist despite my discouraging criticism. I respect the work and thought put into all of this.
 

Paul-Antwerp

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Just read the article and wondering what ASGO rounds are
11.gif


Live long,
 

oldminer

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ASG0 diamonds are a dyslexic brand.
 

Serg

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Date: 5/4/2009 9:03:48 AM
Author: Paul-Antwerp
Just read the article and wondering what ASGO rounds are
11.gif



Live long,


re:what ASGO rounds are

In ND we have plan to use AGS0 Platinum, H&A, Pavilion 40.75, T 57, without painting and dig-out
 

Regular Guy

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Thank goodness experts have come on board here to respond. I do think Dave has raised substantive questions.

I tried to respond yesterday, worried, it would just be me, and am gratified that Pricescope was down, leaving me unable to respond, and getting some good beefy comments up first.

Anyway, Dave's thoughts might be addressed first, Serg's response:



Date: 5/4/2009 11:28:12 AM
Author: Serg


Date: 5/4/2009 9:03:48 AM
Author: Paul-Antwerp
Just read the article and wondering what ASGO rounds are
11.gif



Live long,


re:what ASGO rounds are

In ND we have plan to use AGS0 Platinum, H&A, Pavilion 40.75, T 57, without painting and dig-out
and this idea I think is consistent with what I've seen reported here about an "ideal set of diamonds" being developed for some time (though good to read about its proportion set), and so, my piece to add here is just this...

again, thank goodness experts can weigh in, because clearly, a re-engineering of the current sales model, in a big way, is being proposed, and my own little re-engineer, which could clearly help many, without argument, I think, ran into lots of snags, when proposed, so hopefully this will fare better.
 

strmrdr

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Let me see if I can simplify the program a little as I understand it…

In today’s diamond market diamonds are cut based on what the industry thinks the consumer may want to buy.
This leads to an inefficient marketplace, as diamonds can stay offered for sale on lists for years or buried in a safe someplace never to see the light of day.
In the ideal marketplace a consumer would be able to see a variety of diamond cuts under real world conditions and select the cut they want.
They would then select the size, color and clarity they would like to have based on their budget.
The diamond would then be custom cut to the exact specifications and appearance the customer selected.
This would lead to greater efficiency in the market and greater customer satisfaction.
The added efficiency would lead to higher profits without raising prices too much and the higher customer satisfaction would lead to more sales.
 

strmrdr

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I think cut on demand has tremendous potential.
There are some people here at PS that already offer it but not on that scale.
Paul has offered for a long time that if anyone wanted a specific size and color/clarity range of a Cut By Infinity he would try and source the rough and cut them.
GOG offers a similar service with his signature cushions and upcoming chunky rounds.
The problem with such programs is the time to find the rough if it can be found at all.
This would take that to the next level by having prescreened offerings with guaranteed availability in rough form and a reduced time line.

This actually would be a program that has the potential to make me want to go pro.
As a designer my concerns will be:

1: Cutting: can the cutters consistently cut the designs the way I intended.

2: Selling: Can the vendors sell the concept, what is the training program for dealers going to be like?

3: Marketing: Would I be allowed to provide marketing material for my designs?

4: Market: can I tap the online market? I feel the online market and the mixed market (b&m with a strong online presence) are a much larger market for this type of program than a traditional b&m.
I don’t see this working for low or med. end chain stores, a high end chain may be able to keep the staff retention level high enough to make it work.
This could be a good thing for the family business type b&m’s where the family is involved and the turn over of core staff is low.

5: Quality Control: could a program be put into place where a helium dmc file of the stone is sent to the designer for approval of the finished stones performance?

6: Money: there is always the issue of $$$ for the designer including a tracking system, the design fee and protection costs.

I can see this working for what I would term my semi-exotic designs.
Exotic designs would take a much more hands on marketing and sometimes a cutting approach that is best done in a more direct manner.
Which does bring up another interesting concept to piggyback on the program and that is the ability to provide designers a manufacturing base to draw on for direct marketing.
For some of my designs I feel that I am the best person to market them with the aid of selected vendors.
 

oldminer

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Strmrdr;

For special facet designs this might be a really good way to showcase tham and get real world orders up and running. No one can make enough specialty cuts to have any impact on the market as it stands now. The cost and time issues are way too great. I think you have a good idea there.

Such a program could be just what family owned jewelry stores might want to pursue. They are not all going to be mass marketers, but family owned firms retain their staff long enough to train them properly and retain clients long enough to get them to place an order for something that just won''t come in within a week.

The biggest fear I have remains the accuracy of the finished job. WIll it be the right color, clarity, weight, and design? Will it look like the sample? It can, but how much will it take behind the scenes to pull it off at a pre-determined cost?
 

Serg

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re:1: Cutting: can the cutters consistently cut the designs the way I intended.

Yes, in 2010 year

We are developing now CNC cold bruting and draft faceting machine for any convex 3D model with accuracy better than 0.2 degree ( slope and Azimuth).
 

oldminer

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Sergey;

With the fact that you can offer exact cutting, can you offer an opinion on how such arbitrary cutting will work with the unique financial costs of individual rough? Is arbitrary cutting ability compatible financially with naturally occuring diamond rough? What range of cost variance will happen when the ordered item varies from what would otherwise have been the recommended cut configuration? How wide a disparity is reasonable for cost and weight loss situations? Would arbitrary cutting automatically raise the average cost of such items to make up for less efficient parameters?
 

strmrdr

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Date: 5/4/2009 1:26:04 PM
Author: oldminer
Strmrdr;


For special facet designs this might be a really good way to showcase tham and get real world orders up and running. No one can make enough specialty cuts to have any impact on the market as it stands now. The cost and time issues are way too great. I think you have a good idea there.


Such a program could be just what family owned jewelry stores might want to pursue. They are not all going to be mass marketers, but family owned firms retain their staff long enough to train them properly and retain clients long enough to get them to place an order for something that just won''t come in within a week.


The biggest fear I have remains the accuracy of the finished job. WIll it be the right color, clarity, weight, and design? Will it look like the sample? It can, but how much will it take behind the scenes to pull it off at a pre-determined cost?

You are right there are a lot of challenges.

One of the huge problems for designer diamonds today is getting them cut and funding.
With the proper funding I can have cut out to maybe 50 stones a year.
Beyond that the time spent trying to get rough for the small specialty cutters would be higher than the time spent cutting them.
What this would do is allow a designer entry into the 50 to 500 diamond a year market and a step up into a even higher level of sales.

What this would also do is put some resources behind the designer to be able to get off the ground.
For example I have..
1: designs
2: a cutter, maybe 2 for some designs
3: customers who would buy them
4: a market to reach those customers.
5: vendors I could get to sell them.

What I don''t have is funding.
 

Serg

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Date: 5/4/2009 1:46:48 PM
Author: oldminer
Sergey;


With the fact that you can offer exact cutting, can you offer an opinion on how such arbitrary cutting will work with the unique financial costs of individual rough? Is arbitrary cutting ability compatible financially with naturally occuring diamond rough? What range of cost variance will happen when the ordered item varies from what would otherwise have been the recommended cut configuration? How wide a disparity is reasonable for cost and weight loss situations? Would arbitrary cutting automatically raise the average cost of such items to make up for less efficient parameters?


Dave,

we will not work with individual rough of course. It is too expensive( huge yield lost)
We change polish stock to semi-polish stock(3-6 months stock).
for each rough cutters open window , do allocation plans for 10-20 cuts, select profitable solutions, wait order.
More stock( semi-polish stock), less yield lost, more profit.
From semi-polish stock Final liquidity and profitability should be bigger than from polish stock for several reasons.

"Rough Holding
If 10 manufactures each held only 100 rough stones with 10 promising plans then 10,000 virtual diamonds with their colour and clarity 3D models would be available for consumers to select from in their local store. If 100 retailers each sold one diamond every trading day the manufacturers would achieve an average 20 stock turns PA and receive immediate payment and a good margin. Naturally they would then hold back even more rough from their regular current business.
 

oldminer

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I think the largest factor to overcome with marketing "different" diamonds is the finding a sufficient number of people willing to take the plunge into buying a diamond they have to explain to all their friends. People gravitate to the safe and unoriginal in droves, but we don''t see many brave guys willing to take a chance on a relatively unknown or not already popular alternative. With the cost of diamonds, I can''t say I blame them for their caution. My wife''s initial engagement ring, 40 years ago later this year, was a fancy intense yellow 1 carat round which was most unusual back then. Of course she wore it, but I don''t think she ever really liked it as she had to explain it over and over and over. She didn''t knwo what it was when I gave it to her. It was just too deep a mystery for her. After many years, I bought her a big, white round, which she definitely loves. I love the fact that she is happy about it and that''s what counts.

Periodically, I get excited by some innovation I discover somewhere, but it is most difficult to bring new things to a meaningful level in the conservative market which we exist in. Even before this "recession" innovation was secondary to smoke and mirrors. It isn''t better yet. Still, the potential to bring new ideas to a reasonaly large audience without the huge previous expense is a definite step in the right direction.
 

strmrdr

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Date: 5/4/2009 2:02:28 PM
Author: oldminer
I think the largest factor to overcome with marketing ''different'' diamonds is the finding a sufficient number of people willing to take the plunge into buying a diamond they have to explain to all their friends. People gravitate to the safe and unoriginal in droves, but we don''t see many brave guys willing to take a chance on a relatively unknown or not already popular alternative. With the cost of diamonds, I can''t say I blame them for their caution. My wife''s initial engagement ring, 40 years ago later this year, was a fancy intense yellow 1 carat round which was most unusual back then. Of course she wore it, but I don''t think she ever really liked it as she had to explain it over and over and over. She didn''t knwo what it was when I gave it to her. It was just too deep a mystery for her. After many years, I bought her a big, white round, which she definitely loves. I love the fact that she is happy about it and that''s what counts.


Periodically, I get excited by some innovation I discover somewhere, but it is most difficult to bring new things to a meaningful level in the conservative market which we exist in. Even before this ''recession'' innovation was secondary to smoke and mirrors. It isn''t better yet. Still, the potential to bring new ideas to a reasonaly large audience without the huge previous expense is a definite step in the right direction.

I view it just the opposite it is the diamond industry that is holding back unique designs not the consumers.
There will always be a large portion of the population that will want something different.
The biggest thing holding them down is that most of the traditional industry does not know how to market anything beyond buzz words and diamonds are forever.
Mainly this is because DeBeers has controlled the marketing for diamonds for so long.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 5/4/2009 2:02:28 PM
Author: oldminer
I think the largest factor to overcome with marketing ''different'' diamonds is the finding a sufficient number of people willing to take the plunge into buying a diamond they have to explain to all their friends. People gravitate to the safe and unoriginal in droves, but we don''t see many brave guys willing to take a chance on a relatively unknown or not already popular alternative. With the cost of diamonds, I can''t say I blame them for their caution. My wife''s initial engagement ring, 40 years ago later this year, was a fancy intense yellow 1 carat round which was most unusual back then. Of course she wore it, but I don''t think she ever really liked it as she had to explain it over and over and over. She didn''t knwo what it was when I gave it to her. It was just too deep a mystery for her. After many years, I bought her a big, white round, which she definitely loves. I love the fact that she is happy about it and that''s what counts.

Periodically, I get excited by some innovation I discover somewhere, but it is most difficult to bring new things to a meaningful level in the conservative market which we exist in. Even before this ''recession'' innovation was secondary to smoke and mirrors. It isn''t better yet. Still, the potential to bring new ideas to a reasonaly large audience without the huge previous expense is a definite step in the right direction.
Thanks for your great insight, questions and input Dave (and Storm and Ira).

There will be nothing at all wrong with selling orders from the round, princess and other generic shpaes that will be in the master stone suite. And normal competition will exist with other stock that the store buys in or has on memo.

The difference is that the buyer can see and compare for themselves and make a cost benefit analysis. And the stores own buyers will also be able to compare goods from other sources.

But the next Diamond management will monitor all sales and pick new up and coming ''monsters'' and introduce more new masters replacing slow selling dogs. There will be 3 spots for non generic new stones and these may not be the same in each store so we can watch for natural Darwinian evolution - and that should lead to some new winners each year.

It is a bold plan
 

Diamond Explorer

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This is a very interesting thread for me. Being able to provide clients custom cut diamonds could be huge. However, I can see how logistical and supply issues could be troublesome. I am curious to see if this idea takes off.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 5/5/2009 2:16:54 AM
Author: Diamond Explorer
This is a very interesting thread for me. Being able to provide clients custom cut diamonds could be huge. However, I can see how logistical and supply issues could be troublesome. I am curious to see if this idea takes off.
Hi Jonathon,
Yes, there are many problems. Fortunately Sergey has been aware of them for many years and this idea has evolved out of applying the technology to solve many problems.

The scanners that Sergey has in many factories plot the inclusions inside the rough and enable many different plans to be made from the same piece of rough.
http://diamondscope.pricescope.com/ here is a 1.5year old video that is the type of thing consumers will be able to make and see on their own computer.

The cutters have a lot of experiance with the clarity accuracy from using these scanners and plotting inclusions over quite a few years - the risks are essentially shifted away from the consumer and back to Next Diamond and the manufacturer.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 5/4/2009 8:45:41 AM
Author: oldminer
Garry;

Thanks Dave for the rich and thoughtful contribution
I read the article and am trying to grasp the concept correctly. It looks as if those retailers which might adopt such a program as Next Diamond will have a quite different approach for sale and delivery of those particular diamonds which could make some consumers happy. I''m not at all sure how many people have 4 weeks worth of patience for getting what they ordered, much less, how many consumers would have patience knowing they might get stones which only approximate what they ordered.
It is the biggest issue I think too Dave, hopefully most would start designing and making the mount because they will have an accurate stone model – so it might only add a week to the entire process.

Consumers are increasingly technical, selective and finicky as they become more educated buyers.

The idea of a standard light box with diamonds placed nearby and properly held as they are tilted is not new in itself. I see GOG has a video of such a device currently in someone''s thread on Pricescope. There are many refinements that we would bring to what Rhino has been doing I believe the thread was started by Chrono. Of course, having the same light box with the same lighting and matching an Internet presentation goes much further. I''m not so sure competing retailers would readily adopt fair and equal business practices unless driven to doing it. While it works for Next Diamond, but do you see it working for them better than the free for all it now is? I don''t know if retailers want standardization of all fancy shapes, although AGS has succeed somewhat with square princess cuts, what models for shape will be available? Will every pear have a distinct length to width ratio, the same should profile, the same curvatures? The same question applies for marquise, oval, etc? What about girdle thickness, depth? These are business issues for the cutter and the market.
Next Diamond would choose the master stones as described in Storms post - the shapes would be pre-selected because the plans would already be made by several diamond cutters in the rough they have set aside - however later on special custom designed variants could be offered, but lets use the KISS rule to star (it is already ''not simple'')

Maybe this system is something a diamond wholesaler could use to provide consistent inventory to selected retailers. Let the retailer order such diamonds and have the equipment such as the light box to demonstrate the system to consumers. Retailers could share actual inventory if they are not in competing markets, if such a database was established. A consumer fixated by ordering a specific diamond could then be handled as a special order, just like making a truly custom piece of jewelry. The greater value is that the diamonds do not need to be spoiled by cutting until they are sold - better stock turns and little to no $ risk or outlays.

The method proposed for adjusting the selling price based on discrepancies in grades implies a recognized inability to provide exactly the right diamond is more than a tiny fraction of cases. We still have industry wide issues of color grading, and clarity grading standardization. Without addressing these technically fixable issues, I don''t see how any firm can deliver a problem free product enough of the time. Maybe you have some cure for it which I am unaware of. I know all the big diamond cutters would claim they can produce faultlessly, but none actually do it. Until the tools are in place to pre-define color and clarity with bullet-proof standards, don''t you see problems of promising that a diamond ordered will be only an approximation of what ends up being delivered? Of course these logistics issues are critical, but we do have leading edge tech solutions, and we would also like to introduce some consumer friendly grading services that I know you would love Dave - more later.

As far as publishing this as journal article, I see no harm at all. I have proposed difficult things in articles which I had little hope of seeing happen. Putting your names on record with a bold and potentially beneficial idea does no harm. Getting feedback from everyone who cares to comment can''t hurt anyone. You will get a small set of consumers determined to be early adopters. Do you have the light boxes and stones available for their use somewhere? Can their one of a kind requests now be met by a vendor? Even on a test basis this would be highly positive. We have prototypes and WIP - my assistant toni and I have been building ''dolls houses'' with all sorts of lights LED, Fluoro''s etc - and testing testing testing. My pereference lies with a system that uses one type of light and different filters. Sergey is expolring an idea with cutting edge LED technology.

My regards to all of you. I remain ever the optimist despite my discouraging criticism. I respect the work and thought put into all of this. Thanks Dave, we need to overcome many problems and the more that others can identify, the better
20.gif
 

WHJI147

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I am wondering, Who will absorb the cost if the customer does not like the finished product? As you all know customer''s can be very difficult. Also many private jewelers may not have the ability to do such a thing.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 5/5/2009 9:00:26 PM
Author: WHJI147
I am wondering, Who will absorb the cost if the customer does not like the finished product? As you all know customer''s can be very difficult. Also many private jewelers may not have the ability to do such a thing.
A good question WHJ.
If the customer disagrees with the grade given then they have the right to send it to another lab.

We will need a fine balance of fairness and firmness in the rules.

Here is the relevant section with the parts highlighted that cover this issue as we have the rules so far:
Grading and Final Price Variations

A third party grading lab will confirm the inclusions and if required it will re-plot them in OctoNus Helium Polish and Mbox. A grading report will be issued and the stone is laser inscribed. Next Diamond™ will audit the lab focusing on cut quality. After payment and receipt of the diamond the consumer has the right at any time within 30 days to send the diamond to any lab at their own cost.


Real consumer confidence will be assured as Next Diamond itself will guarantee grades and services. If the final polished diamonds colour and clarity grade varies by one grade lower from the planned estimate Next Diamond will make a refund against the open pricelist. For 2 grades lower a penalty refund of double the grade difference will be made. If the polish or symmetry grades fall below Very Good a price reduction will result on each count or the consumer may reject the stone and start again.


Most rejection decisions will be made before the diamond is shipped based on the grading report and the final Gem Adviser Inclusion model which will be emailed to both the retailer and the consumer.


If the diamond has a lower weight within a price category the consumer should accept the stone with a proportional price adjustment. If the weight category drops (from say 1.00ct to 0.99ct) the consumer may reject the stone and start again, or keep it at the much lower price against the list.

As for shipping costs back from the retailer, I expect the retailer could cover that, and then there is a small additional penalty for him. Of course there will be retailers who will try to convince the consumer that one of his stones (perhaps with a bigger margin etc) is a better stone. It would soon become apparent, and that retailer might have his set up taken away and given to another retailer in his region. Remember this system will be provided free of charge to the retailers in our Next Diamond biz model. It can save them hundreds of thousands of investment in inventory. We imagine the 4 week delay will mean they will still sell other goods, there might even be some mark downs as for the first time ever - consumers will be able to see for themselves in better than any lab environment - the differences in cut quality.


So back to your question - we have a 20% deposit - it may be part of that is non refundable to cover restocking at the manufacturers end. Perhaps such stones could even become availablle to other buyers at a discount based on the retained deposit?
 

strmrdr

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Date: 5/6/2009 4:29:38 PM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)

So back to your question - we have a 20% deposit - it may be part of that is non refundable to cover restocking at the manufacturers end. Perhaps such stones could even become availablle to other buyers at a discount based on the retained deposit?
Restocking fees are going to hurt the take up of the program.
Once it takes off maybe.
I would go no more than return shipping.
What you can do is have a list of precut stones that returns will go on and people in a hurry will buy them if they are close to what they want. You could even off trade ups at a percentage of current list price.
This actually adds value to the program.

Based on market I would specify which labs are covered on the money back offer or you might get scammed by house of scam gem lab.
The lab report is the weakest area of the program.
 

WHJI147

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Date: 5/6/2009 4:45:34 PM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 5/6/2009 4:29:38 PM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)

So back to your question - we have a 20% deposit - it may be part of that is non refundable to cover restocking at the manufacturers end. Perhaps such stones could even become availablle to other buyers at a discount based on the retained deposit?
Restocking fees are going to hurt the take up of the program.
Once it takes off maybe.
I would go no more than return shipping.
What you can do is have a list of precut stones that returns will go on and people in a hurry will buy them if they are close to what they want. You could even off trade ups at a percentage of current list price.
This actually adds value to the program.

Based on market I would specify which labs are covered on the money back offer or you might get scammed by house of scam gem lab.
The lab report is the weakest area of the program.
Good point on the restocking fees.
 

WHJI147

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Do you feel this will appeal to the general diamond buyer or is this targeted towards a special diamond customer? What I am asking, will a Mall or Chain Jeweler be able to market and sell this to their customers? I know all of this depends on the seller and location.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 5/6/2009 9:47:19 PM
Author: WHJI147
Do you feel this will appeal to the general diamond buyer or is this targeted towards a special diamond customer? What I am asking, will a Mall or Chain Jeweler be able to market and sell this to their customers? I know all of this depends on the seller and location.
I feel it is most appropriate for middle and upper market chains in the America''s as well as Asia and the Far east.

In europe large diamonds never ever really took off for any other than the uber-rich.

I did some ''straw polling'' among a dozen or so people I skied with last month in Switzerland and France and the general feeling was one of very low levels of trust about buying expensive diamonds.
It is rare to see suburban jewelers with +1/2ct diamonds in stock.

Down market stores with a lot of stock of not so well cut diamonds would find this very bad (or good?) for their staff because the staff might not sell as much of the old inventory - we all know that many sales people think that CUT is a descritpion of shape - so imagine they learn, as those who stock HoF and Infinity etc do - that cut is what makes the diamond sing.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Date: 5/4/2009 12:48:40 PM
Author: strmrdr

This actually would be a program that has the potential to make me want to go pro.
As a designer my concerns will be:

1: Cutting: can the cutters consistently cut the designs the way I intended.
As Sergey mentioned, and I saw the prototype first hand, a radically new approach to bruting and faceting that will enable a stone to be finished with a CAD-CAM system that will be far less costly and have less risk of damage than laser shaping. although I am told by someone who works with Lasers that they too believe they can cut and roughly facet with lasers to the required accuracy. The stone position will not be set by an operator - with the best intentions they are so well trained to scrimp a bit of extra yeild here and there that fancies often allow, that this option means stones can be cut to plan.

2: Selling: Can the vendors sell the concept, what is the training program for dealers going to be like?
There will be no dealers - this is direct Maunufacturer to retailer via lab. Next Diamond(tm) will be a seperate company that will be run as the controller and distributor.

3: Marketing: Would I be allowed to provide marketing material for my designs? Of course anyone can do whatever they want to promte their designs of stones, but the chance of an individual buyer in one of hundreds of stores in different countries ever having come across yours or others ad''s is remote. But always the designer and the final manufacturer will be known, and their profiles etc will be available on nextdiamond.org

4: Market: can I tap the online market? I feel the online market and the mixed market (b&m with a strong online presence) are a much larger market for this type of program than a traditional b&m. Our focus is B&M''s because there is clear evidence that more than 1/2 the population want to see, feel, touch and find someone "they can buy from". But rest assured there will be other web sales focused services facilitated by the Cut Group.
I don’t see this working for low or med. end chain stores, a high end chain may be able to keep the staff retention level high enough to make it work.
This could be a good thing for the family business type b&m’s where the family is involved and the turn over of core staff is low. Staff will be trained by ND - it will be an important part of the system. And staff will learn a lot more from the video tutorials and the fact that consumers will have a lot of learning in this tutorial with the same actual stones in the light box and on the screen - the actual real stones with their inclusions and push button microscope views etc all on the comp screen.

5: Quality Control: could a program be put into place where a helium dmc file of the stone is sent to the designer for approval of the finished stones performance? ND will striclty supervise these issues for all cuts - generic pearshape or designers baby. But certainly designers can recieve the GAI files of each and every stone that has been cut to their design.

6: Money: there is always the issue of $$$ for the designer including a tracking system, the design fee and protection costs. ND controls all orders from retailers and selects the manufacturer or manufacturers that have an agreement with the designer. ND has every desire to ensure designers succeed and we would even like to see people develop patenatable or copyrighted variants of generic cuts. The Cut group would seperately like to offer intellectual protection services and OctoNus has on its site a huge number of facet styles as .dmc or .gem files as a way of building the data base of who developed and owns what so that new designs can be easily compared and originality established. this is something Gabi Tolkowsky has mentioned before too. If your design is clearly different then ND will protect it within the confines of this mode of sales and distribution. For protection outside you would need patents or whatever, but currently any rip offs would be unlikely to come even close to the quality of beauty that you know we will demand and achieve Storm.

I can see this working for what I would term my semi-exotic designs.
Exotic designs would take a much more hands on marketing and sometimes a cutting approach that is best done in a more direct manner. Do you see there is no need to market - only produce a diamond that can outperform one of the other 8 fancy master stones. and be produced economically with room for your designer margin.
Which does bring up another interesting concept to piggyback on the program and that is the ability to provide designers a manufacturing base to draw on for direct marketing.
For some of my designs I feel that I am the best person to market them with the aid of selected vendors. you can do that on the side, and refer to hopefully the success that you achieved in Next Diamond sales. And after you have had several best sellers and learned to pick the evolving fashions that we expect to occurr, your name will become well known. We have another plan to assist in that too.... but we will save that for later....
Thanks for the great questions Storm - hope I did them justice
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
23,295
Date: 5/7/2009 4:29:47 AM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)

3: Marketing: Would I be allowed to provide marketing material for my designs? Of course anyone can do whatever they want to promte their designs of stones, but the chance of an individual buyer in one of hundreds of stores in different countries ever having come across yours or others ad's is remote. But always the designer and the final manufacturer will be known, and their profiles etc will be available on nextdiamond.org
Garry, each design is going to need marketing material printable by the retailer so they have talking points and it will need to be on the website.
What I would like to see is the designer being able to create that material.
example:
customer: wow I really love this design what is it?
Retailer: here is a print out about that design, then discuss it.

If the retailer goes.. duh I dunno it isn't going to sell.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
23,295
What I''m getting at Garry is that I don''t want to throw a design into the lot and hope it sells.
I want to do work to make sure it sells.
I am sure there will be other designers who feel the same way and some that will be happy with whatever they can get without the added work.

How does such a designer fit into the program?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
18,559
Date: 5/7/2009 5:49:16 AM
Author: strmrdr
What I''m getting at Garry is that I don''t want to throw a design into the lot and hope it sells.
I want to do work to make sure it sells.
I am sure there will be other designers who feel the same way and some that will be happy with whatever they can get without the added work.

How does such a designer fit into the program?
One of my favourite towns in the world is a place called Darwin
21.gif

When you are there you really experiance evolution and understand survivial of the fitest.

Today "fitness" is quite different. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet may not be every womens dream to look at, but ...
20.gif
.. well, you might get my drift.

Storm the world could care less about designers feelings
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, and the amount of work
34.gif
they do behind the scenes - but if they like what they see then you will succeed
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as a designer.

You must compete. But right now you are in an elite group of people with exceptional tools and a huge following.
In 10 years time you will have established a brand following, or been swamped by johnny cum latelys. It depends more on you - if your designs will swim in this new competitive format, then you will be one of the fittest
1.gif
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
18,559
Date: 5/7/2009 5:30:51 AM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 5/7/2009 4:29:47 AM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)

3: Marketing: Would I be allowed to provide marketing material for my designs? Of course anyone can do whatever they want to promte their designs of stones, but the chance of an individual buyer in one of hundreds of stores in different countries ever having come across yours or others ad''s is remote. But always the designer and the final manufacturer will be known, and their profiles etc will be available on nextdiamond.org
Garry, each design is going to need marketing material printable by the retailer so they have talking points and it will need to be on the website.
What I would like to see is the designer being able to create that material.
example:
customer: wow I really love this design what is it?
Retailer: here is a print out about that design, then discuss it.

If the retailer goes.. duh I dunno it isn''t going to sell.
Storm the cost of design, printing and distribution for all the designers (remember we will have an alternate of an additional 100 at any one time) is going to fell a few forests.
And each retailer is going to have ever changine new stones and bombardment from 105 cut designs???

No baby, it will be all able to be encapsulated in the computer web connection.

It could be that you as a designer have a certain space to use with whatever txt or graphics you desire to lace in the search and display fields. o trees. Info on demand.

does that work for you?
 
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