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Sarin analysis at jewelers

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dcgent

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
6
Do most jewelery stores have Sarin instruments hidden in the back? i.e. can I request that they do one on a stone I''m considering. I ask because it seems very difficult for a customer looking at GIA stones to know enough to evaluate a cut. So, it seems like I''m left with viewing GIA stones directly but not having pavillion dept, angle, etc or ordering diamonds online I haven''t seen.

dcgent
 

rbjd

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
154
Ah, there's the catch. I haven't found ANY jewelers at local stores who were willing to provide Sarin information for stones prior to purchase. The reason is becoming more and more clear to me:

Most dealers don't stock stones that are really high quality because they can get better mark-up value from lower quality stones. For instance, "Joe Consumer", who doesn't know shit about diamonds, will happily pay a double or triple key (2 to 3 times the value) on a junky stone after being told it is great, so what incentive does the dealer have to provide Sarin info? None. Why? Because she knows she's dealing CRAP and the Sarin info will just prove it.

Look at it this way: IF A DEALER WON'T PROVIDE SARIN INFO BEFORE YOU BUY THE STONE, YOU CAN BASICALLY ASSUME THE STONE IS CRAP! Otherwise they'd be happy to provide the info BECAUSE IT WOULD HELP THEM MAKE THE SALE IF THE INFO WAS FAVORABLE. The truth is there is a lower markup on high quality stones (they tend to sell closer to their wholesale value) and most jewelers just don't deal in them. After months of research, and many visits to all kinds of real stores, I've figured out that of the few B&M jewelers you can find (even in big markets like L.A.) who actually have quality stock on hand, their price points are simply too high.

Here's a perfect example:

I recently went to a local jeweler in Orange County, California that advertises itself as a "Direct Diamond Importer". (For those of you keeping track, this was NOT the "Engagement Ring Store" I wrote about in my thread "The Art of the Hard Sell" available somewhere here on PS.)

This local TV advertiser very clearly had dozens of employees working there. They also have a ridiculous policy of showing only one diamond at a time (probably for security reasons, but it sure cost them any chance of getting my business). Everytime my "diamond consultant" went to the glass-boothed front office to pull a diamond from the safe for me to look at, it was obvious from the number of envelopes he and his managers were flipping through that this place had just dozens and dozens of stones available in stock. Despite their apparent large selection, they only had one non-AGS stone that came even remotely close to my specs of a 1 carat ideal cut colorless. It was a D, SI1 58.5 DEPTH, 61 TABLE, GIA VG, VG stone that they wanted approx. $3500 MORE than what I could get a stone with the same specs for on the internet.

Oh and they had exactly ONE AGS-0 E color stone in my carat range and they wanted close to $3000 MORE than I could get it for on the internet. The only other AGS-0 stone they would show me in my range was an I color (also available at a SERIOUS markup over internet prices) and they knew I was looking for colorless, so I would venture to say they had no other AGS0 stones than the two they showed me.

And do you think I could get Sarin numbers for the non-AGS stones they showed me? Are you kidding?! They didn't want to leave the stones out long enough for me to even look at them before putting them away and then giving me the hardest pressure sales tactics I've seen yet to try to get me to put a deposit down without even letting me have time to digest the BS they were throwing at me. (This guy actually had the NERVE to tell me that an inclusion I COULD SEE WITH MY NAKED EYE, which was LISTED ON THE GRADING REPORT, wasn't even there!!!! "I don't see it. There's nothing there.")

And then it struck me like lightning. Jewelers get more profit from crappy diamonds. It's not in their interest to discount truly ideal cut stones because they can't move volume and get a great markup in a B&M store on ideal cut stones. Internet vendors that deal ideal cuts have less overhead and deal in more volume and they can make a profit so they can afford to sell the best stones for less.

So how do you solve the problem of KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT and FINDING IT IN PERSON AT A GOOD PRICE? You MUST find a dealer who is HONEST and knows about the internet competition who will get the quality and the numbers and play fair. Any dealer who won't do that isn't worth your time. Trust me, I've met lots of them lately.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
-----------
Do most jewelery stores have Sarin instruments hidden in the back?
-----------

No, DCgent, most jewelry stores don't have Sarin instruments. The reason is, by and large, that the instruments are very expensive, and the majority of customers don't request that info.

That's beginning to change though, with the education that consumers are beginning to receive, like at this forum. Gradually you will see more and more jewelers shelling out the money to satisfy the consumer's growing demand for information. (A good sarin is a $20,000 investment).

In the meantime, if you want those proportions, you'll need to have the store send the diamond out for Sarin analysis or direct measurement by a gemologist. Perhaps you could wait until you've narrowed your choices down to 2 or 3 before requesting the service.

You might also consider ordering an IdealScope to help you in eliminating poor performers. It's a $30 investment (with the calibration cz), and works great in picking out the good from the bad. The info regarding it can be found on your menu at the top of the screen.
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,271
Good input.

rbdj, then there are consumers (albeit few) who feel that even those of us who make the investments in all the equipment, technologies, education etc. shouldn't make the measely profit we do on the diamonds we sell. I have to chuckle sometimes when I run into people like that becuase it shows me how little research they've actually done. You sound like you've beat the pavement a few times so I think you can relate to what I'm talking about.

Rhino
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Hi RBJD. A few comments on your comments:

-----------
For instance, "Joe Consumer", who doesn't know shit about diamonds,
will happily pay a double or triple key (2 to 3 times the value) on a
junky stone after being told it is great,
-----------

A double or triple key markup on a diamond is practically nonexistent in the vast majority of jewelry stores today.

-----------
IF A DEALER WON'T PROVIDE SARIN INFO BEFORE YOU BUY THE STONE, YOU CAN
BASICALLY ASSUME THE STONE IS CRAP!
-----------

This assumption would be incorrect in many cases. Many, many jewelers are not as "contemporary" as the dealers you are encountering on this forum. The are still operating in the "old mode" of cut analysis, using their eyes. I know many whose eyes I would trust far more than the finest of Sarin machines.

-----------
After months of research, and many visits to all kinds of real stores,
I've figured out that of the few B&M jewelers you can find (even in
big markets like L.A.) who actually have quality stock on hand, their
price points are simply too high.
----------

Markup usually correlates directly with a jeweler's cost of doing business. Bricks & mortar stores by and large have a much higher operating cost than an internet vendor. Hence their markup has to be more to stay in business. They're not necessarily "hosing" their customers, but charging a price that pays the rent, employees, utilities, insurance, security, pension plans, etc, etc, etc.

-----------
They also have a ridiculous policy of showing only one diamond at a
time (probably for security reasons, but it sure cost them any chance
of getting my business).
-----------

This policy is not ridiculous. You have no idea how many times a "grab and run" thief runs out the door with as many diamonds as he could get a naive salesclerk to put in his hand. It's the most common type of robbery.

-----------
Despite their apparent large selection, they only had one non-AGS
stone that came even remotely close to my specs of a 1 carat ideal cut
colorless. Oh and they had exactly ONE AGS-0 E color stone in my
carat range and they wanted close to $3000 MORE than I could get it
for on the internet. The only other AGS-0 stone they would show me in
my range was an I color (also available at a SERIOUS markup over
internet prices) and they knew I was looking for colorless, so I would
venture to say they had no other AGS0 stones than the two they showed
me.
-----------

It sounds to me like you were looking for ideal cut diamonds in a place that didn't specialize in them. Most jewelers don't. They are more "general practitioners" than the "specialists" that you see here in this forum. It's like going to a seafood house and ordering steak.

-----------
Internet vendors that deal ideal cuts have less overhead and deal in
more volume and they can make a profit so they can afford to sell the
best stones for less.
-----------

Exactly.

-----------
So how do you solve the problem of KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT and FINDING
IT IN PERSON AT A GOOD PRICE? You MUST find a dealer who is HONEST
and knows about the internet competition who will get the quality and
the numbers and play fair.
-----------

Agreed.
 
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