I have a friend who wants to buy a diamond from South Africa but is worried about how to find a reputable and reliable dealer or exporter who is trustworthy. How can one go about finding these things out?
I don't know that many diamond dealers who operate out of South Africa, and personally I would not want to go through all this hassle to get a diamond when there are much easier ways of doing things. Why not just suggest to your friend to come and have a look at this site and they will probably find something even better than they expected.
Agreed. I have been here for over 10 years and I have never heard of anyone here buying a diamond from South Africa. I imagine the import taxes cancel out any advantage he expects to get (if that's his reasoning). As Razz said, have him come here and give his budget and the kind of stone he is looking for and people will help him search for an excellent one.
We bought my engagement ring in South Africa from Traceys diamonds in Franschhoek. They had great service and were able to source diamonds that fit our requirement within about 24 hours (just enough time for some wine tasting!)
I don't think it was significantly less than online prices, but significantly lower than buying from Hatton Garden or similar in the UK.
Long ago, when the ages were dark and I was a much younger man, I used to buy from a wholesaler in South Africa. The prices were competitive with prices from other wholesalers, and occasionally I could save a dollar or three on a diamond, but everyone, even then, knew the prices in New York, Antwerp, and Israel, so there were no "magic prices" on properly graded diamonds with GIA reports. The magic back then was to be had by traveling to various locations, Antwerp for me, and finding ungraded by any laboratory diamonds in the offices of the diamond cutters.
If one was careful and conservative, some of the borderline diamonds purchased came back with reports above the borderline, and some "only" came back as the quality purchased. I remember only one diamond from all of my trips that came back below what I was presented as the grading, but I rejected many out of hand when I disagreed with the grading. Others I knew who also traveled were not as "lucky," or perhaps not as strict in their rejection policies.
Due to the absurdly high price differences between grades, if one only had two or three come back above the purchased grade, the trip was basically free and the cache gained from the "straight from the source" buying was gravy. Of course, sitting down with my clients in my office with a new treasure trove of freshly arrived diamonds always caused an immediate increase in sales. Often I would leave for my next trip with presold orders for diamonds, which was also fun for both me and for my cients.
I could not blanket send an email in those days, it took real paper and ink and lots of postage to send out a mailing.
Anyway, I believe that the OP has received great advice that the savings are not likely to be worth the hassle of buying from South Africa, but his friend may have other reasons for wanting to do it so I wish him luck. Sometimes the journey is the best part of the experience, whether or not there were actually any savings.
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