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stuart moore

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by stephsl, Jul 11, 2001.

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  1. stephsl
    Rough_Rock

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    by stephsl » Jul 11, 2001
    I am in the market for a diamond ring. I live in New York and have been looking around. I feel that Tiffany's is way over priced for what it is. I went into Stuart Moore and they had beautiful settings. They do not sell their settings w/o diamonds. Have you heard anything about them? They advertise that they sell 20% below retail. Does anyone know how true this is?
     
    


    


  2. pricescope
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    by pricescope » Jul 11, 2001
    Hi Stephsl,Ask them to quote you a loose diamond with known carat, color, clarity and proportions. Then we'll be able to say whether their prices are reasonable.Don't forget to ask whether their diamonds are certifyed.
     
  3. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pricescope » Aug 2, 2001
    Stephsl,In order to compare prices more accurately it is also important to know the cut of the diamonds (proportions, girdle, culet, polish and symmetry) and whether they have a grading report from major lab like GIA or AGS.Since they didn't mention it I assume the diamonds are not ideal cut.1.53-F-SI1 GIA certified non-ideal cut diamond would cost about $11,500 in the Internet. Almost $4k difference with what you've been quoted! Same with 1.48 carat diamond - the internet price will be about $2.5k less.The third diamond, 1.53-F-VS2 for $16,300... you can get ideal Hearts and Arrows stone for less than $14k with this carat color and clarity.Obviously the prices above are rather high. However, the store might provide some special services that worth the difference... It's up to you to decide.As for 20% markup, it might be reasonable for brick-and-mortar store. Internet dealers are working for 5%-8% markups.
     
  4. stephsl
    Rough_Rock

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    by stephsl » Aug 2, 2001
    I went to see the diamonds yesterday. Here is the info I wrote down (I hope I got the right stuff)#1
    Carat: 1.48
    Color: F
    Clarity: SI1
    Dimension: 7.51-7.59 x 4.36
    Price: $11,970#2
    Carat: 1.53
    Color: F
    Clarity: SI1
    Dimension: 7.53-7.59 x 4.48
    Price: $15,210#3
    Carat: 1.53
    Color: F
    Clarity: VS2
    Dimension: 7.40-7.46 x 4.52
    Price: $16,300#4
    Carat: 1.50
    Color: E
    Clarity: VS2
    Dimension: 7.30-7.40 x 4.51
    Price: $16,300The deal is they say they do a straight 20% mark-up on the cost of the diamond (which they get directly from a site holder). They were all beautiful stone (to my untrained eye). So how fair do these prices seem?
     
    


    


  5. stephsl
    Rough_Rock

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    by stephsl » Aug 2, 2001
    thanks for your speedy reply.
     
  6. pricescope
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    by pricescope » Aug 2, 2001
    There are many reliable internet sources big and small. All of them offer money back period from 7 to 30 days. So if you don't like the diamond you ship it back within this period that can be different for each vendor.Check vendors, which we confident to recommend here: www.pricescope.com/isitsafe.asp Some of them will send a diamond to an independent appraiser for checkup before you pay for it.
     
  7. lawmax
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    by lawmax » Aug 2, 2001
    Remember to figure in that NY sales tax too. It can really add up.
     
  8. stephsl
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    by stephsl » Aug 2, 2001
    Are there more reputable internet dealers? Who is the "best"? What are the return policies? Ie: I receive the stone and don't like it? What if you feel you have not received what you have paid for?
     
  9. pricescope
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    by pricescope » Aug 2, 2001
    Good point Lawmax. Although many people don't want buying sight unseen and rather pay more for the comfort of seeing the diamonds and talking to the life person, which is rather understandable.
     
  10. stuartmoore
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    by stuartmoore » May 30, 2003
    Topic: Stuart Moore

    May 30, 2003

    Author: Stuart Moore
    Of
    Stuart Moore LTD.





    Hi Stephsl and Leonid,

    I’m a latecomer to the Internet so have just come across your communications about my company of August 2001 and would like to respond to give you the full picture.

    Leonid, you gave Stephsl exactly the right guidance about selecting and buying a loose diamond, so, first, let’s get the easy stuff out of the way so we can focus on the real questions. At Stuart Moore, we only sell G.I.A. certified diamonds, of Ideal to “Hearts and Arrows” cut and, on diamonds over one carat, we make only 20% profit (at least 35% less than retail).

    Now let’s look at Leonid’s points that “20% profit might be reasonable for a bricks and mortar store, but Internet dealers are working for 5% - 8%, yet the store might provide some special services that are worth the difference. It’s up to you to decide.”
    Leonid, while your 5% - 8% is too low (it’s usually more like 10% - 12% for finer stones), you were right about special services making the difference, and this difference is a big part of our website (stuartmoore.com). On our site, go to Stuart Moore Collection and click on, no kidding, “The Difference”. It is a little text heavy but there’s no way I know of to transmit all the information with fewer words. (The site will be under construction until August 03 so please forgive any glitches until then).

    Stephsl recognized this difference in his very first transmission (8.02.2001), where he said “I went into Stuart Moore and they have beautiful settings”. He’s right, we do. My exclusive (and copyrighted) series of Bauhaus-inspired designs, totaling 80 rings, available nowhere else, fabricated from sheet platinum or 18kt gold, never cast.

    To give some perspective, let me describe the engagement market and how Stuart Moore Ltd fits into it. In our 35 years in this business, we’ve found there are two kinds of customers:

    1) Those only interested in the stone, the ring is there just as a “holder”. The design is not important. (Not usually our customer).
    2) Those interested in the total ring, (of course, including the stone), but wanting the design and quality of the ring to reflect their individual taste. (Our customer).
    Customer No. 1, if they can determine that the Internet dealer isn’t one of those using forged G.I.A certificates or a “bucket shop”, should negotiate and buy the stone on the Internet, and (often) the dealer will throw in a stamped out, standard mounting for nothing. As Leonid says, this can save money, our experience is it’s usually 5% - 10% at most. The problem is, if the recipient of this ring doesn’t like the design (they are pretty ordinary), none of the top Brands or Designers will mount this diamond, as it was newly purchased elsewhere. (Imagine walking into Armani with a bolt of cloth you bought from “a friend in the business” and telling them “I love your suits, please make that style with my cloth”). We all know how they would respond and all top jewelers react in the same way.

    This leaves the person who buys a loose stone from the Internet, looking for a ring in which to have it set but, since none of the top companies will do the job, he will be forced to drop down to a second tier company who will provide what they can, a lesser quality ring. And, just like buying a Grey Market BMW, the fun starts when you want to have it taken care of, the Service Department is closed. As Leonid said, “it’s up to you to decide”.

    From our point of view, this customer doesn’t get “a deal” at all. He may save a few percent in price on the diamond, but he ends up with a compromise on one of the most important, emotionally symbolic purchases of his life. His fiancée will always know her engagement ring is second best.

    There is a better way – the Stuart Moore “package”.

    For customer No. 2 (and many customers No. 1 as described above), we at Stuart Moore believe we provide the best “package” in the Engagement Ring market:

    1) Copyrighted designs, of a simplicity available nowhere else, which are hand-fabricated or milled from solid blocks of metal (never cast). This means our platinum or gold is twice as hard with twice the tensile strength as almost all competitors (99% of jewelers cast their rings). This is the best quality product on the market, bar none.
    2) G.I.A. certified diamonds at least 35% less than retail.
    3) Galleries that carry not only my collection but the work of thirty other top designers, including both who make patented Tension Set rings.

    For anyone reading all this and intending to buy a diamond engagement ring, may I again suggest a visit to stuartmoore.com, with particular focus on the four parts of “The Difference”. It will be a half-hour wisely spent.
     
    


    


  11. homer_j
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    by homer_j » May 30, 2003
    Welcome to the forum[​IMG] .

    I think you may be a little too harsh on the on-line vendors. Some of them offer very high quality products and service. But, I'm not here to knock you. I checked out your site. Flashy and not the most user friendly, but the designs are fabulous and look to be of very high quality. They are very unique, attractive and yes, very Bauhaus. In a case like this, you are catering to a very specific type of customer (upscale metropolitan type#2) and rightfully so can demand a higher premium. If your service is outstanding then a 20-30% markup is very reasonable. But does the 20-35% profit include your overhead markup. That could easily bump your overall markup to over 50%. A mere 20% doesn't account for the 40%+ difference in prices posted by leonid 2 years ago. The fantastic locations, design of your store and staff must command a fair amount and frankly is probably worth it. For the right customer. You made some excellent points in your post, but can I recommend that instead of knocking your competitors as frauds and 2nd tier, emphasize the benefits of your product and service without banging on the othetr guys too hard. There are a lot of other jewelers who are fantastic and are reasonable and professional enough to not refuse to work with a client who provides their own stone. Do you flat out refuse all requests like this? What if it is an heirloom stone, would you turn away a client then?

    I think your ring and jewelry design command respect, but a diamond is a diamond is a diamond. If someone can get an equal or better stone elsewhere through someone who doesn't need to mark-up as high, why not honor that decision and help them accentuate their diamond with your designs. Just my 2 cents. Again I think your designs are great if I am ever near one of your shops I'll have to check them out.
     
  12. Nate
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    by Nate » May 30, 2003
    Well said homer.

    [​IMG]

    This is the *last* place marketing mumbo jumbo will ever work. Sure there are pros and cons to both buying on the internet and buying from a local B&M store. But to rant about your own high points and then dismiss those of your competition leaves you in a bad light.
     
  13. stuartmoore
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    by stuartmoore » May 31, 2003
    Dear Homer,

    Thank you for your (fast) mostly positive comments on my letter. Since we seem to have opened up a dialogue which might cover some potentially important developments in the jewelry business (particularly Casting versus Fabrication), I think it vital that all readers of our communications know the employer and affiliations of all participants. Mine are clear, so far Leonid’s and yours are not.

    For example, you could be an online Diamond Dealer or a jeweler, both carrying a “position” so if any of our contributions are to be taken seriously, this is a necessary foundation step to ensure “journalistic integrity”.

    A couple of notes in response to your points. Regarding the three diamonds Leonid offered quotations for. The first and second quotes were for non ideal cut stones, easily 15%-20% less valuable than the actual ideal cut, Excellent/Excellent stones we showed, while his “Hearts and Arrows” stone would require an identical stone in my hands before I would accept his quote (which I feel is at least 10% too low). Homer, our 20% profit is straight. We have no “overhead profit”, we just sell only top certified stones, exactly like our jewelry.

    So that our position on the quality of Jewelry is clear, let me use cars as a metaphor. While there is nothing wrong with a Pontiac and it is probably good value for money, no one would argue that it is of the same quality (tier) as a B.M.W. We sell “B.M.W.s”.

    Stuart Moore
     
  14. stuartmoore
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    by stuartmoore » May 31, 2003
    Dear Nate,

    I assume from your response that you’re “in the business” and, not surprisingly, don’t like being criticized by inference. Sorry, let’s discuss the reality sometime. However, if you would like to continue this dialogue, it will be necessary, if I’m to participate, that all participants have “journalistic integrity” so your employment and affiliations must be made as clear as mine. Then the reader can decide what’s right.

    Stuart Moore
     
  15. stuartmoore
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    by stuartmoore » May 31, 2003
    Dear Homer,
    I forgot. Our website is "under consrtuction" to make it faster and more user friendly. We're adding "movement". Check it out in August.

    Stuart Moore
     
    


    


  16. Adrienne
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Adrienne » May 31, 2003
    StuartMoore -

    I believe Nate is a consumer working on his engagement ring purchase, with no ties to the industry.

    So am I, and I found your post to be offensive and not of the caliber of the other vendors on this board.

    Most jewelers that I have run into are willing to set a diamond that was not purchased through them.

    Also - saying that people who buy online are just interested in the stone and not the setting is absurd. I would guess that a majority of the consumers who post to this board are looking for the best diamond, and the best setting, that they can find within their budget. A place like Pricescope allows the consumer to get ideas from vendors and other consumers, so that they can end up with a handpicked ring instead of a "bought off the rack" ring. Most of these consumers aren't looking for the standard setting that is "thrown in" with the diamond, but are taking the opportunity to peruse many websites in search of the one setting that makes their heart jump (without the fancy store lighting).

    In stating that purchasing online is a compromise, and that the ring will be "second best" is wrong. That is a very conceited, close minded, and incorrect statement.

    I would more think that someone who walked into your store and quickly picked out a diamond and a ring would be settling for second best, for they wouldn't have put in the time/energy to locate the perfect ring - it would just be what was easiest, and what was the best from the limited amount of jewelry you supply.

    So - as a consumer who is handpicking her diamond from one vendor and her setting from a different vendor (and completely in love with both the diamond and the setting) - your advertising and negativity are not wanted.

    ***edited to add***

    While your advertising and negativity are not wanted, your thoughts and opinions are!
     
  17. homer_j
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    by homer_j » May 31, 2003
    Not in the business. Just a consumer. I'm a Scientist by trade and have no affiliation with anyone in the jewelry business. That being said, I'm not knocking your quality. I think the way you do business probably does command a premium and I don't think you are one of those guys that are gouging us. I understand the difference between casting and fabrication and appreciate your position. I was asking about profit vs. overhead costs because the way I see it you could be saying you take a 20% profit, but your overhead costs beyond the cost of the diamond alone could drive the total cost for a (let's assume super ideal cut) diamond by more than 50%. My position: if I'm a guy in his 20's who can't afford your BMW, I need to do my own research and leg work to find a great stone. For me it is worth it to spend my own time in lieu of money to find an excellent diamond at the best price. On-line vendors are able to accomodate my needs because I can get a price closer to what you are paying when you buy them rather then when you sell them. But, I am a person who believes in the whole package and would want to then find a great setting and be willing to spend a little more in that arena. Basically it sucks that some dealers refuse to offer me their services unless I buy the whole package from them. But that's their choice and if that's how they choose to do business for whatever reason including increased sales revenue and a higher standard of product integrity, I respect that.

    When you said you don't make "overhead profit" that confused me a little. Profit is made after overhead costs are covered. Is your 20% the total mark-up on what it cost you to buy that diamond or is it the amount of profit you clear after accounting for overhead costs such as rent, insurance, employee salaries, equipment, etc...

    Also, what does 'top certified' mean. To me that means nothing. GIA grades dogs as well as winners. Excellent/Excellent doesn't mean anything. It means you likely have a well cut stone, but not guaranteed without having more information. You clearly are an artisan, and if you demand that your clients buy the whole package from you then great. But, it doesn't warrant the negative attacks on the other guys. I really don't want this to deteriorate into a petty squabble, I just wanted to say I thought the allegations you made regarding on-line vendors was unfair. Also, I seriously doubt Nate "is in the business." Check out his postings and I think it will become clear he is also just a consumer who had great experience and is willing to provide a glowing testimonial. That's how we, the consumers, like to do business. If a retailer advocates for us well, then we will do the same.

    I hope you stick around and tell us more about your trade, especially the casting vs. fabrication. I'd also like to hear the opinions of some other experts on this method. It seems to make sense to me that fabrication would be more durable, but how does it affect the overall end-cost to the client. I'm guessing that it is more labor intensive and probably may fall outside of most people's budgets. Not to say there aren't others out there that would appreciate the artistry.
     
  18. Nate
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    by Nate » May 31, 2003
    As Adrienne and homer mentioned, I'm simply a consumer here researching my engagement ring purchase. Did you think that a simple consumer would be unable to see right through the marketing mumbo jumbo that you have laid on so thick?

    Truth is, anyone can find both a diamond and a setting on the internet. The consumer can be assured of the diamonds' quality on the internet, while you only provide a GIA certificate which is NOT enough to determine the cut, and therefore the quality, of the stones. There is a wider vareity of high quality and designer settings available on the internet that you can't compete with. The consumer can make their purchase through one of the many highly reputable online vendors who provide a warranty, 30 day no-questions-asked refund, and a lifetime upgrade and buyback policy. Consumers on the internet can get all of these benefits and spend less money.

    Some people go into a big store and talk to the salespeople there, believe everything they are told, and purchase at a higher price without being sure of the quality of the diamond they are getting. The people that frequent this forum are much too well informed to go that route, so no point wasting your breath.
     
  19. optimized
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    by optimized » May 31, 2003
    I'd like to take a quick moment to just call a bit of a "time out" for everyone here, if I may be so bold. Being new to the forums (and new to Internet message boards, by the sound of his initial post), Stuart may well not be terribly familiar with the etiquette of this type of place. He's still learning that PS vendors try very hard to be helpful but not wildly self-promotional in their posts. I'm sure there are many venues where the sort of promotional contributions he's made here are the norm, so maybe we might cut him a little slack.

    Stuart,

    First of all, welcome to the forums! I think I speak for everyone when I say we always welcome another knowledgeable member of the industry. Good to have you sharing your time with us! As I guess you're starting to realize, you've stepped into the land of the online diamond shopper here, and we can be a sensitive bunch! [​IMG] While I have no doubt you indeed do have very fine merchandise, you'll find that many of us have combed the Internet for quite a while and found some pretty nice online alternatives that are hard to knock. I don't think any of us begrudge the bricks & mortar crowd (many of whom hang out and contribute here as well), but, as a friendly word of advice, you might want to broaden your horizons a bit and check out some of the very fine jewelers that deal online before deciding you're comfortable making blanket judgments about "type 1" and "type 2" customers, etc. You may well find that the Internet has created a third type (type 3???) that doesn't fit well into your formula. Take a look around and see what's happening in this "brave new world" of online diamonds and jewelry. You might be surprised at what you find. [​IMG]

    Btw, I don't want to become hypocritical after my sermon above, but as much as I had wanted to resist, I just HAVE to say: I purchased my sweetie's diamond over the Internet AND used the Internet to help me choose a setting, and NOBODY is going to tell me that my fiancé's ring is "second best." It's ALL just carbon and metal, for Pete's sake, and no amount of "fabrication" is going to change that. That one particular "second best" line in your initial post really irked me, and I needed to get that off my chest. Sorry for the digression. [​IMG]

    Homer,

    I don't want to get into a "Econ 101" lesson here, but I think what you're talking about is the difference between "gross" versus "net" profit, gross being the amount between cost and sale price ($1000 cost, $2000 sale = $1000 GROSS profit), while net profit will account for overhead (expenses) ($1000 cost, $2000 sale = $1000 gross - $600 overhead/expenses = $400 NET profit). It's also worth noting that, sometimes counter-intuitively, the "%" numbers given are "percent of final sale price that is profit," meaning that a $1000 cost, $2000 sale = 50% profit margin. I mention this only because a lot of people I've talked with who aren't in retail would assume that the scenario I just pointed out would be a profit margin of "100%" (since the sale price is fully 100% more than the cost). Having said all that, I think it stands to reason that we're talking about NET profit here, as I would imagine the overhead of an upscale urban jeweler would swallow that 20% pretty quickly if it were gross. I hasten to add that's just a guess though...

    Oh, and for the record, I'm not in "the industry" at all (I run a hardware store), but I'm open to the possibility of a career change if an enticing opportunity presents itself. [​IMG]

    -Tim
    (Hoping we can keep this thread out of "The Steam Room") [​IMG]
     
  20. Cassandra
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    by Cassandra » Jun 1, 2003
    I will word my post carefully, as I do not want to be attacked for my comments.

    And before we get into a conversation, Yes, Stuart, I am a very new, novice (and independent) designer in the trade. I come up with the concepts, but I am not the physical creator of my designs. Now that that's out of the way...

    Not too long ago I was "just" the consumer. I still am as I plan to make another diamond purchase in the near future. And you know... Now that I have purchased a diamond over the internet, I wouldn't ever walk into another brick and mortar store again to consider a diamond purchase. Except Good Old Gold. [​IMG] But it's because of the service and stellar price he provided to me over the internet that hooked me on his store. He is kind, courteous and helpful in every way.

    I think what some of these on-line vendors have created is the "Cut Consumer". A vast majority of us search for the most brilliantly cut ideal Hearts & Arrows, AGS Ideals, or EightStars out there that suit our needs in both clarity and color. GIA or AGS certed, of course. I consider on-line shoppers much more informed than your average shopper. And sure, there are some yucky places on the internet. But, there are also some GREAT places. Good Old Gold, Diamond Brokers of Florida, Nice Ice, The Ice Store, White Flash... And quite a few I haven't remembered to name. And a lot of these guys are not just internet based. They've had brick and mortar stores for far longer. Like you, they decided to put up a website.

    The other reason that I, as a consumer, prefer to search online for my diamonds is because I do not have sales reps trying to pressure sell me on anything. I can look at a hundred stones in just a few hours rather than sitting through a showing with the sales rep that allows me time to see only a few stones. I can get more information about a stone regarding cut and proportions online than I could ever get in a store. As a business person, I have decided that I will not conduct business, even in person, by trying to say that my designs are "The Best and there's no better out there anywhere." Every store will say that. It's nothing new for a customer to hear. So what makes us truly different? What may be "the best" for one person may not be "the best" for the next. Everyone's tastes are very diverse, so much so that there can be no "perfect" place for everyone to shop. You cater to consumers who like a specific style. I checked out your site... I also do Web Design. Might I suggest that you use HTML, with some flash animations so that people can easily go back and forth on your site? Also, folks can't bookmark a certain section they may want to for future reference because it's all done in flash. Plus, if a consumer tries to visit your site that does not have flash installed, they won't see anything at all. At least if you have an HTML page with flash animations, the flash animations may not be there, but they can still read the text and see the still JPG images. A total Flash site can be impressive, for those that can view it. But even though I can, I find it aggravating that if I want to show someone something specific in the site, I can't just send a direct link. I have to give them step by step instructions as to how to get through the site to get to what it was I was trying to show them in the first place.
     
  21. homer_j
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    by homer_j » Jun 1, 2003
    Optimized-
    Yes, net profit. Thanks for the explanation. As I am not in a retail industry, I was just trying to get some clarification on that as a side point.
    Ok. The points have been made, and I too would like to keep this from deteriorating. Stuart, Welcome to the forum. Check in from time to time and share some of your knowledge with us. After all that's the point of this forum, knowledge sharing.
     
  22. Nate
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    by Nate » Jun 1, 2003
    Agreed, we've gotten our points across. Welcome to the forum Stuart.
     
  23. Hest88
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Hest88 » Jun 1, 2003
    Welcome Stuart!
     
  24. Adrienne
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Adrienne » Jun 1, 2003
    Please continue to post, Stuart, we are a nice bunch - really!

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Nate
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Nate » Jun 1, 2003
    [​IMG]
     
  26. caratgirl
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by caratgirl » Jun 2, 2003
    Nate, you little spammer, you! [​IMG]
     
  27. Nate
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Nate » Jun 2, 2003
    Me?
    [​IMG]
     
  28. stuartmoore
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    by stuartmoore » Jun 6, 2003
    Thank you all for your various contributions. As one of you noted, this is a new forum for me and it has been interesting.

    Since my original purpose in joining this forum was only to put the record straight on a web posting I found under my name that I felt didn’t accurately cover my company’s diamond pricing policy, this letter will be my last to the forum. In it I will attempt to clear up any remaining questions or misunderstandings you’ve raised. As I read your input, I see these remaining points that need to be clarified:

    1) where I agree with those of you who prefer the Internet to bricks and mortar,
    2) where I disagree and why,
    3) to clear up what I mean by “better”, and
    4) to clear up what I mean by 20% profit.

    Before I get to these issues, let me say I’m sorry if, in making my points, I have offended some of you. It was not my intention to do so. I was probably reacting to the fact that, when I typed in my own name to the web, an entry about my company’s diamond pricing, written by someone else, was the very first item I came to. However, if you read our entire series of communications in this forum, you’ll see that many of you wrote quite aggressively in defense of your positions, so don’t be surprised when a guy who’s played it straight for forty years acts the same way about his operation. After all, you’re never going to convince me that the few percentage points of price that an internet diamond broker might save a client on a loose stone, can replace the kind of product and personal service we give, and I’m never going to convince you of the opposite. Fortunately there are enough buyers out there who agree with either your position or mine (because both have validity for different buyers) to keep us all happy. So, as one of you suggested, let’s get past this bickering and deal with the points.

    1) I agree that the Internet can often be a less expensive source for a loose diamond than normal bricks and mortar operations. It is a particularly good source if the client has found the place that will sell a mounting they love without supplying the diamond, before they buy that diamond, as many designers and stores won’t supply their ring for a diamond newly purchased elsewhere. (Homer: in answer to one of your questions: yes we do set heirloom stones in our rings, once they’ve proven to be heirloom).

    2) I disagree on several issues:
    a) I disagree first with your over easy dismissals of any point I raise that is not about your selected subject, (price to certificate), as “self promoting” or “mumbo jumbo”. You cannot so lightly dismiss a lifetime of experience with every conceivable scenario of an engagement ring buyer. And, to be fair, remember, none of you were shy to “promote” your preferences.
    I will always recommend to any young man contemplating this purchase, to ask the woman he wants to marry, if there is a particular designer, store, website or ring she would most like, then get it for her and not to forget, this isn’t a stock market trade. This ring is the symbol of your wish to spend your life together, and that’s not “mumbo jumbo”.

    b) I disagree with the premise raised that the web offers “hundreds of stones’ not possible to view in a store. Let us be clear, both internet and mortar brokers have access to exactly the same lists of available diamonds, it is just a database of selected sight holders’ and diamond cutters’ inventory. We’ve been working from these lists for more than 15 years, first by mail, then by fax, now by computer. None of us brokers carries a lot of inventory, that’s why all of us can work on much lower margins than traditional, inventory carrying, retailers. So, at least at Stuart Moore, the selection is both the same and better. First, same because the inventory database is the same, so we will search this database with or for the client. They choose. But then, better because, in contrast to the Internet, we’ll bring in the best 6 to 8 stones, with their certificates, to our “bricks and mortar” stores for the client to touch and see under the microscope. They can also place each stone on the ring they want so they can see if one looks better than another. There are times when “bricks and mortar” has decided advantages.

    c) Finally, Another difference between Internet based and bricks and mortar based brokers is that the potential for several types of fraud is increased because an Internet company can so easily be gone (or change identity) overnight. Probably, as you all say, most of the Internet guys are great, but for the few that aren’t, it’s a lot easier to defraud a buyer and be gone than it is for the same crook who’s stuck in a store. These facts don’t weaken your point, it’s just more necessary to know what you’re doing, especially if you’re new to this subject.


    3) What do I mean by “better”?
    I didn’t write that our Bauhaus-inspired designs are better (I believe they are but, as you say, it’s a subjective, individual choice). Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough that there is an objective difference in the materials used and the workmanship needed to form our rings.
    A bit of background: in the last 50 years, apprenticeships have been disposed of, so the world’s pool of top skilled labour (in most trades) has drastically reduced. This has happened at the same time as demand has skyrocketed, so what to do? Almost everyone now uses a fast method of production called casting and, for anyone under 40, it’s probable that they’ve never been exposed to anything else, so, right or wrong, they believe that’s the highest standard of material quality and workmanship. The problem is, casting is (mostly) used to hold down production time and make it possible for the available labour force to finish pieces of jewelry easily, not to maximize quality or strength. Since it’s a fact that pouring gold or platinum as a liquid (casting) reduces the hardness and tensile strength by at least 50%, there can be no question that a ring cut or forged from a cold-rolled bar is better. The problem is, it requires a whole different level of skills to make the ring, so it’s very rare to find anyone these days who can do this kind of work well.
    I’m an engineer and a designer, and I found, years ago, that the simple “architectural” designs I favour weren’t strong enough (and the edges I like wore off) if I used a casting. So I used my engineering background to fabricate the rings from sheets or bars, welding joints instead of soldering them. The result is, objectively, our metal is twice as hard, with twice the tensile strength of almost all or our competitor’s, allowing us to make rings that wouldn’t “work” if cast.
    I believe that should meet anyone’s criteria for “better”. (For more detail see “The Difference” on our website). In August we’ll be providing links to the metallurgical labs that did the analysis, the equivalent for metal to the GIA for diamonds, applying the same standard of independent judgement to the ring as to the diamond. To the best of my knowledge we are the first to do this.

    4) Profit. 20% profit means that, on every $1 million of diamond sales, we make $200,000 gross profit. After deducting operating overhead (averaging 13 - 14%) we end up with 6 - 7% net profit before income tax ($60,000 - $70,000).

    Finally, to your comments about our website, this is the first time I’ve built a site so some love it, others don’t. Wait until I’ve finished (August, I hope) when it should be more user friendly.

    I hope I’ve responded in a manner that, although differing in viewpoint, you will find clear, informative and acceptable. Thanks for the forum, I wish you all success in your chosen fields.

    Bye,


    Stuart
     
  29. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,537
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Jul 23, 2003
    Just caught up with all this.
    Welcome Stuart and thanks for defending your position openly.

    One of my customers liked your website and printed a picture of one of your rings.
    They told me you had gone to great lengths to stop people printing images. They got around it easily they said.

    "Locks are to keep honest people out"

    Had a look - it is hard to get around, but cool [​IMG]
     
  30. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    31,003
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    by Mara » Jul 23, 2003
    Don't know how I missed this intriguing thread...but anyway! [​IMG] I'm just a consumer...who's read alot, seen some stones, and done some research.

    On Stuart's note that all of the internet vendors access the same inventory and no one carries their own supply of stones..that is definitely incorrect as we know that GOG carries his own stones, as does SuperbCert as does WhiteFlash as does NiceIce. There are online vendors that use the virtual inventory for the non-branded H&A's or similar, such as WF's non-ideals, DCD's stones..etc. But there are also the other vendors who carry their own inventory and do massive amounts of reporting and picture taking of the stones in order to give the consumer the best 'virtual viewing' possible online.

    Another comment caught my eye:
    'After all, you’re never going to convince me that the few percentage points of price that an internet diamond broker might save a client on a loose stone, can replace the kind of product and personal service we give, and I’m never going to convince you of the opposite. '

    Well I'm not out to convince but I think it's also important to point out that personal service and top quality product is the trademark of some of the stellar vendors that we have frequenting this forum and selling online. Of course yes there are going to be the rotten apples that everyone remembers ('warped stones' anyone?), but we DO have members of the trade who sell top quality product, stones that rival if not beat out perceived top quality stones from the likes of a Tiffany or a Birks or a Harry Winston. We also have members of the trade here who give personal service and then some! Many of the vendors you'd actually want to spend your money with contribute to this forum on a regular basis and spend many hours helping their customers find the right stone. So yes, there may be the typical online vendors who carry a virtual inventory and treat you like you are shopping at Target for a diamond--but there are also vendors whose professionalism and service levels rival even the most reputable offline store. AND they do all of that for less $$ in their pockets when all is said and done than most B&M stores.

    I highly agree with Tim that a 3rd type of diamond buyer is emerging..and I also disagree with Stuart that you can only get a stone online and not find anyone to set it for you except a '2nd tier' jeweler. That is definitely misleading. In my many months on here I have maybe only seen a handful of people not be able to find a setting that they love offline OR online AND have that stone set into the setting of their choice. Plus my motto is if you can't find the setting you love, or you find one that is massively overpriced (like many designer settings out there), have it custom made. It's cheaper, you can handpick side stones and/or melee stones (ACA's anyone?) and you get a unique product. It happens all the time.

    [​IMG] My two cents!!
     
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