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Buying is a lot easier than selling, isn’t it?

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San Francisco

Rough_Rock
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In April 2005 I purchased a RB, 1.23 ct, G, VSI, ideal cut for a pendant for my wife from Robin Gray, a beloved former regular here at Pricescope.com. It has that very special “glow” that only a high quality cut stone possesses, at least in the eyes of someone who loves diamonds.

We are now hooked on ideal cuts and I want to find a way to upgrade her stud earrings. For a private party to purchase high quality diamonds seems easy enough thanks to places like Pricescope.com, but to find a way to sell a couple of pretty decent diamonds appears to be a much more difficult task. So I am asking for a little advice on how to go about it and what a proper method of determining a fair value for them would be.

Here are the stats on the current studs I own. Both are RB and have American EGL certificates dated in 2000, which is when I purchased them.

1.51 ct, F, SI2, Depth 59.50, Table 56.00%, Crown 13.00%, Pavilion 43%, Grdl Th to Tk, Clt 0, Polish and Sym both Good, 7.52 - 7.47x4.46

1.59 ct, E, SI2, Depth 60.90, Table 61.00%, Crown 13.60% Pavilion 44%, Grdl Th to Sl Tk, Clt 0, Polish and Sym both Good, 7.60 - 7.55x4.61.

This is what I have discovered so far. The current Rap price per carat for an F stone of that size and clarity is $7,000 per ct, so 1.51 x 7,000 = $10,570. The Rap price per carat for the E stone of its size and clarity is $7,500 per ct, so 1.51 x 7500 = $11,925. Thus, the Rap price for the two stones is $22,495.

What I have been told is that because they are EGL certificated they will trade at a dealer level for about 35% less than current Rap prices. This is a much deeper discount than if they were GIA or AGS certified stones because of the more lenient grading standards of EGL, a fact that I do not quibble with. Thus, the “dealer cost” for the pair of stones would be about $14,600. I also understand that most Internet dealers would add a 5% to 6% markup on that dealer cost number, or their actual acquisition price, when they would attempt to resell the stones in the retail market. A retail store would add a much higher markup.

Perhaps I would probably be willing to sell them for an even deeper discount of their Rap price but I do not want to get taken to the cleaners simply because I am a naïve private party, not a dealer, with all the facts and contacts uniquely available to them.

My questions are, is the above a proper method of determining the current value of this pair of diamonds to a professional diamond dealer? Secondly, how does a private party go about finding a reputable dealer, either on the Internet or a city like San Francisco, who would be willing to purchase them at a price that is fair for both of us?

Sorry for the length of this post but I believe the more detail I provide the easier it is for others to be concise and accurate with their reply.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Don
 

AlyceC

Rough_Rock
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I sympathize with your dilemma. Have you asked the store/dealer from which you purchased the earrings if you can upgrade? When I upgraded my earrings, I got lucky and was able to return them for a credit of my full purchase price toward the new pair. With other diamonds, I have always just resorted to having them re-set versus losing so much money on a re-sale.
 

JohnQuixote

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 11/18/2005 10:47:52 AM
Author:San Francisco

My questions are, is the above a proper method of determining the current value of this pair of diamonds to a professional diamond dealer? Secondly, how does a private party go about finding a reputable dealer, either on the Internet or a city like San Francisco, who would be willing to purchase them at a price that is fair for both of us?

Sorry for the length of this post but I believe the more detail I provide the easier it is for others to be concise and accurate with their reply.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Don
If you can find dealers willing to buy them from you the terms will likely vary. You may happen into a situation that is fair and reasonable to you. One way of determining what's to be expected might be to find several dealers willing to negotiate with you, and see if their offers are comparable.

Here is a thread by Rich Sherwood, one of our PS appraisers, that gives different scenarios for resale.

Best wishes,
 

perry

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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I wish you the best of luck selling your diamonds.

Might I point out that Todd is still operating NiceIce and I am sure would be thrilled to help you with your new studs, which would in my opinion be a suitable way of honoring the memory of Robin. Tell him your story about Robin - you will make his day.

Currently Todd is limiting his business while he recoups from the death of Robin - but for those who are in the market: You will not find better diamonds in any of the other high quality cut diamond vendors. Nor will you find any argument from the Pricescope vendor regulars if you tell them that you are going to buy from Todd.

I know that Todd does not currently often post; but, I can tell all of you who know him how much he appreciates the people and other pricescope vendors who have and continue to supported him.

Perry
 

robinow

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2005
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Hi San Francisco! I just went through upgrading and trading in a stone in the Bay Area and it was a long process. My original engagement stone was never certified so I sent it to GIA. I can dig up the pricing structure, but it's probably about $300 to $400 per stone to get them re-certified. Worth it if EGL stones are discounted that much more than GIA. The jeweler I bought the stone from was only going to give us about 60% of Rap for a trade in so we decided to sell on our own. We listed a few times on Craigslist, but buyers were low-balling us and the ones who weren't were a little sketchy. We finally found a new jeweler who had a stone we wanted to upgrade to and she offered to buy the original diamond back from us. She only gave us about 55% of Rap, but it was 70% of what we paid for the stone 11 years ago. The stone was not as well-cut as we thought before it was certified and we needed the trade-in value to afford to upgrade so we didn't keep for a pendant, RHR, etc. If things don't work out with Nice Ice, I highly recommend contacting:

Jessica James
San Francisco Diamond Exchange
868 Brannan Street, Suite 309
SF, CA 94103
415.255.0999


Best of Luck,
Wendy
 

robinow

Rough_Rock
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26
I''ve been thinking since I posted above. If you do decide to get the stones GIA certified, the stones might come back graded lower, which might impact their pricing even more than just taking a hit for the EGL pricing. Good luck trying to recoup as much as you can!
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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1,374
SF,


Actually, its not that hard. You just need to know what market to sell them in. Your market is not to a jewelery store or pawn shop. Your market is not a yardsale or the paperboy next door to sell your diamond. Your market is willing buyer willing seller. If jewelers sell these diamonds on a daily basis for a high price you should be able to sell them as well.

Remember your markets

Its too much to type on giving advice to you on how to do this , but I wish you luck.
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
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If you send them to GIA , expect to add about $300 to your bill of getting rid of them. If you dont have a cert then people that want to buy it will take it to an appraiser for his thoughts on the diamond.

Just my 2 cents
 

San Francisco

Rough_Rock
Joined
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Messages
16
I feel fortunate to have found The Pricescope community through Nancy Stacy’s website last winter. It helped me find the ideal cut diamond for my wife’s pendant and your comments to the thread I began yesterday have been helpful

Let me reply to a couple of your comments.

Perry,

I have been in touch with Todd but as most of you know he does not deal in EGL’s. He recommended I inquire of the Pricescope community for ideas of selling the ones I own. He also recommend a couple Internet dealers that I could contact directly who buy and sell EGL certificated diamonds.

Robinow,

I do expect that GIA would likely drop each of my diamonds a grade in color and clarity from the ones given them by EGL. It is for this reason I have been told that an EGL’s certificated diamonds will sell at a much deeper discount from their Rap price than either a GIA or AGS. It is a rationale that I understand and except and the reason why I would not likely go through the time and expense of having them re-certified. I believe a professional buyer will insist on knowing exactly what quality the diamonds are by seeing for themselves before they buy them, regardless of what their certification might be, and offer their price to me accordingly.

John, AlyceC and Iceman,

Thanks for your words of encouragement. While I will likely give Todd first crack at trying to find the ideal cut upgrades I seek, John, I have witnessed many very favorable comments about the ACA diamonds you carry and I will give them a fair look as well.

Which brings me to another question about my strategy to upgrade the studs. That is my assumption that doing an “upgrade trade-in” is like doing a trade-in when buying a car, it only complicates the evaluation for the consumer of what is a fair price for each side of the transaction. Would a consumer more likely be served by conducting each transaction separately, if they have the resources to go ahead and buy the upgrades even before selling the old item? Anyone disagree?

Finally, my payback to the Pricescope community for their assistance is that my wife is a very prominent investment adviser. She has over 75 female clients who are all millionaires and who have all been greatly admiring her new wonderful ideal cut diamond pendant. (I should send a picture of it since it has been mounted in a Jean-Francois Albert setting and looks spectacular.) When they inquire of us as to where they can find such beautiful diamonds, we will send them to Pricescope.com to find out.

Don
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
9,153

Yes, selling is considerably more difficult than buying.


As Iceman says, remember your market and cater to it. I’m not so sure I agree that it’s not the paperboy but I suppose it depends on how the newspaper business doing. I made pretty good money when I was a paperboy. Your friends is often a wonderful place to start if you travel in the right circles, which it sounds like you do. They don’t want to be buying from a stranger and so you’ve got something of an advantage over other private sellers if you know someone who is interest in the stones. A dealer will be buying a stone with the expectation that they will need to own it for a while, perhaps pay for some different grading documents, advertise it, pay a bunch of expenses associated with putting a deal together and otherwise mess around with it in order to make a sale. After all of this, they still expect to make a profit and they will make their offer accordingly. This leaves some room for you to offer a good deal to a friend where you are realizing more than you would if you sold to a dealer and they are buying for less than they would otherwise expect to pay. Everybody wins. Both of these numbers are easy to get. Use the PS search engine and the various dealers here to decide what a similarly graded EGL stone would cost at one of the dealers here. Then hit the street and see what kind of offers you get for your stones. There will be several diamond buyers in S.F. Use Google, Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth referrals to find them. When a jeweler tells you that they don’t buy (most don’t), ask them if they know someone who does and then call them up and talk with them. I think your hope of 35% back of rap is overly optimistic but I’m sure you can arrange to get some firm offers and it will depend on the details of the stones. What you describe sounds like pretty saleable goods for the right dealer.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
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Your paperboy must have a large route :)
 

Eightball

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
11
Low dealer offer $6500
High dealer offer $9500

That''s for both diamonds.
 

San Francisco

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2005
Messages
16
Eightball,

Thanks for your price quote. But do I have it right that you are saying I should not expect to find a dealer willing to pay more than $9,500, what you term a “high dealer offer,” for diamonds that have a combined wholesale Rap price of $22,495? That would be only about 40% of their Rap value. Is that what the professionals here think I should expect to be able to sell these diamonds for?

When I compare my diamonds to listings in the diamond search at Pricescope it tells me very similar EGL 1.5 diamonds are being offered un-mounted for around $14,000 for the pair. That would be 45% more than what you are telling me is the high dealer offer I should expect to be the best I will likely be able to sell them for. Isn’t that a pretty stiff markup for an Internet dealer to be looking to achieve?

I am really not trying to be rude or challenge how the regulars here do business, but it is not what I was led to expect.

Any clarification that folks here can offer will be very helpful in getting me on my way to upgrading these studs.

Thanks,

Don
 

perry

Ideal_Rock
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Eightball probably has it right - unless you find someone who has an immediate need for the size and quality of diamonds you are offering.

The key problem is that Diamonds are not a conventional "investment." First, you buy diamonds at a considerable markup. It would not surprise me to find out that you paid a 100% markup on these diamonds when you purchased them (which means that they would only be worth 1/2 of what you paid for them if you sold them back into stock right away). Then, you need to find someone who wants your size and quality of diamonds now in order to get a decent value for them - and who has the cash to spend.

Diamond vendors try to stock diamonds that move in a reasonable amount of time. Having a diamond sit for several years ties up too much cash (and they get enough of those even when they try to pick items that should move).

I am not going to say that considering diamonds as investments are a bad idea. Just something that takes a lot of thought - and an understanding of how you will dispose of the diamonds and for how much under what circumstances. Should you be fleeing a country; diamonds and other gemstones can be a great investment in the fact that you can actually take something of value with you and convert it into cash wherever you get out (and who cares if you only get 1/3 to 1/2 of you initial price when the other most likely option was to loose everything).

I am also convinced that dimaonds can be an long term investment vehicle if done right, but only after you have the other basics in place (3 months salary in ready access, 6-12 months salary in 6 month term investments, etc). But you better know what you are doing.

In the end, my advice is to sell for what you can get and add cash to get the diamond studs you want. Look at it this way, if all it cost you is cash - its a cheap lesson to learn.

Perry
 

valeria101

Super_Ideal_Rock
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15,808
Would these things become more desirable if recut H&A?

Either for you to keep,'SanFran', or for someone to accept as trade in...
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Date: 11/22/2005 10:44:14 AM
Author: San Francisco



Eightball,

Thanks for your price quote. But do I have it right that you are saying I should not expect to find a dealer willing to pay more than $9,500, what you term a “high dealer offer,” for diamonds that have a combined wholesale Rap price of $22,495? That would be only about 40% of their Rap value. Is that what the professionals here think I should expect to be able to sell these diamonds for?

When I compare my diamonds to listings in the diamond search at Pricescope it tells me very similar EGL 1.5 diamonds are being offered un-mounted for around $14,000 for the pair. That would be 45% more than what you are telling me is the high dealer offer I should expect to be the best I will likely be able to sell them for. Isn’t that a pretty stiff markup for an Internet dealer to be looking to achieve?

I am really not trying to be rude or challenge how the regulars here do business, but it is not what I was led to expect.

Any clarification that folks here can offer will be very helpful in getting me on my way to upgrading these studs.

Thanks,

Don
How did you decide that 'wholesale' is $22,495? Rap is not wholesale.

For correctly graded stones with decent cuts, I see buyers offering between 40%-50% of Rap listing prices to people off the street. They will resell it to the dealers on the virtual lists for about 35%-40% back. The dealers will resell it to a consumer for about 25%-35% back. If you are willing to consign it, pay some or all of the of the grading costs or otherwise participate in the sale you can get a little bit more of this pie. All of this, of course, assumes that the grading is valid, that the stone is undamaged from the date it was graded, that the report is in good condition and that the cutting is as described. Changing any one of the assumptions can make a considerable difference. You mentioned that Nancy Stacy has seen and graded these stones. Her opinions carry some good weight if she has confirmed that the stones are indeed correctly described. Did she give you any advice on finding a buyer?

Consider a consignment to the dealer that you've chosen to help you with the replacement stones.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
9,153
I do not generally recommend that submitting the stone to GIA as being worth the trouble in your situation but it will depend on the details. It's true that many consumers dislike EGL graded stones and the GIA documentation will make the market bigger but it carries with it some risks as well. For starters, they expect to be paid for their service whether or not you end up happy with the results. It also ties up time and has the very real possibility of producing a lower published grade. One of the reasons that dealers use second tier labs is that a E-SI2-EGL at 40% back is still a lot more money than the same stone described as a F-I1-GIA at 20% back. This is not always the case and there are other reasons to use EGL-USA but if you aren't prepared and equpped to do the grading yourself it's very difficult to make this decision and it becomes a bit of a crapshoot. Let the dealer make this call.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

valeria101

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Date: 11/18/2005 10:47:52 AM
Author:San Francisco


Thus, the Rap price for the two stones is $22,495.

I am not so sure about the meaning of this... someone around here once called these Rap quotes 'the price one may sell his best diamond to his worst enemy'
2.gif


Quote for these on the list on top of the page go between $5000 to $7500 - surely you've seen them. I hope you didn't pay allot more than that either.
 

San Francisco

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2005
Messages
16
I am the originator of this thread. My story has a happy ending. Let me share it with the rest of you and offer a little advice to retail buyers who visit this site.

As you will note in the above thread, I had a pair of diamond stud earrings totaling 3.1 carets. Pricescope.com is NOT the Website for retail folks like me to try and sell their diamonds at and I was not attempting to do so. However, I did want some advice on how I could go about determining their resale value and I so inquired of the community here at Pricescope.com. I will let their responses above speak for themselves on the helpful advice I received.

To make a long story short, I was successful last week in selling them to a gentleman in Florida for his wife. He paid $10,000 for them. Interestingly, even though neither us is a specialist in diamonds, we completed the sale without ever speaking to each other over the telephone and conducted all our negotiations by email. What made this possible was that we had a “diamond specialist par excellence” in the middle assisting both of us.


This is the bit of advice I have to share with retail buyers who visit Pricescope.com. Spend a few extra dollars on your diamond purchase and have an Independent Certified Gemologist examine your potential purchase for you BEFORE you buy. It needs to be someone who does not either buy or sell diamonds nor get a commission from anyone else for doing so. He/she will be able to thoroughly evaluate the gemstone and give you their expert advice on its true value in the marketplace, including the Internet marketplace. In my case it was Rockdoc, a longtime regular at this forum I understand.


While Rockdoc’s services were being paid for by the buyer, his completely independent role in evaluating my diamonds and giving frank advice on what he thought their true color, clarity and cut grading were was an invaluable service to both me as the novice seller and the gentleman in Florida, who, with confidence, was comfortable buying them even though he was a novice buyer. We both trusted Rockdoc’s independence and thus could do business together as we did.


Finally, as I said in my original post to this thread, I was planning to upgrade my wife’s studs. Now that her old ones have been sold, I am on the hunt for the perfect replacements. For me that will mean something very special in the super ideal cut category. I will no doubt be using Rockdoc to assist me in that quest. Here is Rockdoc’s site http://www.consumersgemlab.com/ for anyone else interested in that kind of help.


Thanks to everyone for their help and advice,


San Francisco
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
4,255
Interesting, SF....thanks for the update.

Curious: How did you and that guy in FL find each other initially?

Congrats on the happy ending!
widget
 

San Francisco

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2005
Messages
16
Date: 4/1/2006 2:17:35 PM
Author: widget
Interesting, SF....thanks for the update.

Curious: How did you and that guy in FL find each other initially?

Congrats on the happy ending!
widget

Widget,

We met via this forum. We are both professionals in different fields so we visited each other’s websites and discussed via email our wives mutual interest in diamond stud earrings. But we could not agree on a price for my studs so that is where Rockdoc came in. The buyer lived near Rockdoc’s offices in Florida and he hired Rockdoc to evaluate my diamonds for him.

I never spoke to the buyer on the phone but I was able to talk to Rockdoc on the phone, as well as determine his reputation for honesty here at Pricescope.com and other websites, enough to become comfortable in sending my diamonds to him to evaluate for the buyer.


San Francisco
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
33,378
Civilians buy at retail, but sell at wholesale.
If you think a private individual is going to get anyhwere near retail price you are dreaming.


If I owned them and wanted a better cut, I'd just get them recut, especially if the major inclusions are near the girdles
 
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