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ben

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    Physics, gemology, finance, musings.

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  1. Thanks Neil, it's good to be back. I was on sabbatical during the summer, in a place far away from civilization. Just got back a few days ago. You make some good points. I would also add that the variance in price due to grading would also weigh in as the average characterization of the world inventory changes over time. For example, if there are more E-rated stones this year vs. last year, that factor alone would likely have more impact on the average price than basic appreciation by itself.
  2. It would be interesting to see historical diamond prices, esp. relative to the 10-year T-bill or the S&P500. I would venture to guess that the chart I describe would be a sure-fire deterrent to any would-be so-called "diamond investors".
  3. Interesting question. My take is that I would never pay $8,000 for an irradiated, enhanced, or otherwise unnatural diamond. If I'm willing to live with enhancements and treatments, then I may as well purchase a $50 CZ and be done with it.
  4. ben

    wife cheating

    I agree, even if you knew the jeweler where this came from, s/he has an obligation to maintain the identity of his/her customers confidential in order to protect their privacy. If you control or have access to the family finances, you might be able to see the charge on a credit card or bank statement. We're going a bit off-topic now, but why not just ask her in a non-confrontational way? If your wife is indeed cheating, there will be other tell-tale signs... phone records, long nights 'at work', etc. Is it possible she's safeguarding the ring for a friend? Some other logical and innocent explanation?
  5. ben

    wife cheating

    The quickest way to determine whether it's expensive or not is simply to take it to your friendly neighborhood jeweler. Ask them if it's a real diamond, and roughly how much they think it's worth (no need for any kind of formal appraisal here). Most if not all jewelers will do this for free, so be sure to thank them for their time. This is obviously the least of your problems... good luck dealing with this situation.
  6. I like this site the way it is. The questions have gotten much more focused lately. And though any website can always use a little more activity, I like the cordial community feel that exists here (except for that unpleasant recent exchange with ddlingo!). Keep up the good work!
  7. The price of the diamond, by itself, should have fairly low variance from one jeweler to the next. Diamond is a commodity. Try the 'find online jeweler' link on this website to compare diamonds among many different jewelers. As for the setting, you are paying for much more than just the material. You are paying for a designer, just as you can pay anywhere between $10 to $1000 for a shirt with essentially the same amount of fabric, with the price difference being based on the design and styling.
  8. Pretty strong words, ddlingo. You've gotten some very solid, free advice here. On what basis are you calling me or anyone else here "unscrupulous"? Just to clear any conflict of interest, I am not at all involved in the jewelry industry. I'm just a physicist with an interest in the diamond market. The others here, many who are in the industry, have been around this forum forever and have served many consumers like you well, at absolutely no charge and without any type of expectations. And, just rereading Neil's reply to you, it is exactly what you asked for, a rundown of all the laws that may have been broken by the jeweler and appraiser. I hope you realize that this unexpected and uncalled-for accusation lowers your credibility even more than before.
  9. There's no question that the jeweler broke some laws. However, I'm with everyone here -- don't go following in his footsteps by you breaking laws as well. It's not an eye for an eye here. This is also not a question of being "pro jeweler" or not. It's simply a matter of doing what's right and lawful.
  10. Think of it this way -- every time you see your beloved fiancee/wife wearing that ring, do you want to remember this bitter experience? Do you want her to wear a ring you did not pay for (and some would argue that you stole)? This website is filled with reputable and honest jewelers. Return that clarity-enhanced piece of junk you didn't pay for, and find someone here that will help you start anew with a ring that you will both cherish forever.
  11. Wow, interesting turn of events. First and foremost, you need to make the jeweler whole somehow. You need to either return the ring or pay him (even if a renegotiated price to account for the fact that it is clarity enhanced). Although the jeweler was probably not completely straightforward/honest with you, you still have a ring you did not pay for. You need to take the high road and make that jeweler whole. As for what to do next, I would strongly consider telling the story to your fiancee, and asking her what she'd like to do. Perhaps she would like to go ring shopping with you, pick out something you both like. It certainly sounds like she is less than thrilled. Or perhaps she loves the setting, but you both want to replace the clarity-enhanced diamond with something else. It's up to you, but I would discuss it with her -- hey, one of your first serious discussions with your wife to be! I'll be curious to find out how you resolve this pickle.
  12. Any thought how this might affect the jewelry industry? ----- JWANENG MINE, Botswana (Reuters) - The U.S. jewelry industry is gearing up to counter any negative effects from the upcoming film "The Blood Diamond" which shows how illicit gem trade fueled bloody civil wars, a trade group said. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a South African mercenary jailed for smuggling in Sierra Leone, ravaged during a brutal civil war lasting until 2002 that killed 50,000 people. The picture started filming in February, but Warner Brothers has not said when it will be released. "The danger is that people will think the situation in the film is continuing today," said Peggy Jo Donahue, public affairs director of trade group Jewelers of America. "We're going to educate our jewelers about the issue. There's lots that's not understood," she told Reuters this week during a tour of diamond giant De Beers' operations in Botswana. A new web site on diamonds is being set up to answer queries from consumers. Rebel groups in countries including Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Liberia have used billions of dollars from the sale of diamonds to fund wars, but the industry and human rights groups differ on how much the practice persists. Amnesty International said in February in launching a Valentine's Day campaign against so-called conflict diamonds that diamonds mined in rebel-held areas of West Africa's Ivory Coast were still reaching the international market. Sierra Leone's Mineral Resources Minister told Reuters last year that the country had boosted legitimate exports, but was still trying to stamp out smuggling. MORE TRANSPARENCY The Kimberley Process, an international certification program set up in 2000, says the vast majority of the world's rough diamond trade is now under its strict controls. The chairman of the Kimberley Process, Kago Mashashane of Botswana, wrote earlier this year to the producers of "The Blood Diamond" asking that it include an epilogue explaining the measures taken to stem the illicit trade. He said Botswana, the world's biggest producer of diamonds, was worried that a consumer boycott could damage its efforts to boost education and healthcare since the diamond sector accounted for around half of government revenue. The diamond trade was working hard to shed the secretive nature of the business, Donahue said. "The industry must be much more transparent now, it can't be as secretive," she said. Currently the Kimberley Process regulates the trade in rough diamonds, but a new group is seeking to extend scrutiny all the way to the retail level, she said. The Council for Responsible Jewelry Practices hopes to set up a certification program for gold and diamonds within a couple of years from the mine to the consumer. In the diamond sector, the U.S. jewelry industry has a voluntary system of warranties that try to ensure that only gems from the Kimberley Process are used in products, Donahue added. Jewelers of America has 11,000 members, including the largest U.S. retailer, Zales, and luxury groups Tiffany and Co and Cartier. De Beers, 45 percent owned by mining group Anglo American plc, is the world's largest diamond producing group.
  13. A good starting point might be to post your rough budget, so that the knowledgeable folks here can propose a few options near your working range. Fortunately for consumers on limited budgets, as most are, there are numerous size vs. quality tradeoffs available.
  14. A "platinum family"? This must be a jewelry term. As far as I know, ruthenium and iridium are merely other elements. They are not associated with or derivatives of platinum. Which metals are considered "precious"? Again, this must be another term of the industry. I'm just a dumb physicist
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