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Marcus_P

Loose diamonds value and usage ?

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  Good day folks. Forgive me for asking what is probably the most annoying question in a forum, what is it worth and what can I do with them ?  However that is exactly the position I am in. I inherited a small lot of loose diamonds and I've been sitting on them since, with the intent of either selling or making something out of it myself that can add value.  Can anyone provide a starting ground as to what do with loose diamonds, either for sale or possibly usage that may turn it in to some value.. I believe this is what you guys call melee or small stuff but I have a good amount and the quality and clarity is presumed very good since they came form a multi million dollar estate and the pieces that were accompanying this had prices tags of $50,000.  I didn't inherit those pieces but its an indication of the quality and wealth of the couple it came from, some of their earings had $10k appraisal letters. .

So basically I have a bag of what looks like 3mm give or take round brilliant

When I first got them 10 or so years ago I thought about ebay but now ebay has eroded and I can't make sense of pricing, in one ad I see $10 a piece, yet in another I see $70 - $100.

Any help would appreciated.

Thanks

Marc

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Hello Marc, welcome to Diamond Review!

Small diamonds are difficult to resell; they can be used in making jewellery, but whether that's "value" to you is a different question.

Part of the problem is that diameter is only a small part of what determines value - the fact that they came from a high value estate (or even a high value piece of jewellery) means very little; colour, clarity and cut quality are by far more important, and we (you?) know nothing about it. Just to clarify:

1. The fact that there were several important pieces in a collection does not mean that all the pieces are of excellent quality

2. There are many important pieces of jewellery that have what would be considered poor quality stones.

Leaving aside all sorts of non-gemmological considerations as to why two 3 mm diamonds may be priced differently on eBay, a factor of 3-4 is possible due to colour, clarity and cut grading. 

Edited by davidelevi
Added clarifying points on "provenance"

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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I did have them checked out when I first got them but he was a pro and was only interested in buying as a lot on the low end, he was honest enough to tell me that and he said they were very nice, genuine, and they just fit a 3mm sizer, so presumably that means they're a decent quality and this is what I expected since the lady was no stranger to fine things and she wouldn't have gone on ebay to buy diamonds.  It still doesn't say much about a starting point so I guess I'll just dump a few on ebay and see where it goes.

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As you point out, ebay is problematic at best. Much of the problem is that SO many of the sellers are liars. They don’t know what they have, they don’t know what the value characteristics are, and they occasionally are just crooks outright. The result is that I don’t know a single serious jeweler who would buy a parcel of melee (small diamonds) off of ebay at pretty much any price. It just doesn’t matter.  $50/carat?  Forget it.  It’s not worth the risks.  The result is you are left selling to idiots who don’t know any better or you are selling so cheaply that none of it really matters.  That’s a tough market to say the least. Another general ebay note: Asking $100 apiece isn't the same as getting it.  If you're going to use ebay for comps, be sure to use only completed auctions and to even do that carefully. It's easy to be misled. Pay attention to the details. 

Be wary of ‘appraisal letters’, even if they're for the correct item (which it sounds like these are not). They're normally describing what an item would be reasonably expected to cost to replace at retail, new, locally.  They may or may not answer that question correctly, and that may or may not be the question they're answering at all, but it doesn’t sound like it applies to your situation in any case. They might not even be relevant for those items. It’s like valuing your car based on the idea that Honda sells new ones for $30,000.  Maybe so, but what does that have to do with yours? If you're going to rely on an appraisal report, read the whole report, not just the value conclusion. 

The usual strategy here is to use them to make something you or someone else actually wants. They're not really much of a financial asset but a lot of things use little diamonds as a component and if you have to buy them in small quantity 'retail new locally', they can be sort of expensive. 

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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So am I to assume a 3mm round is .10 or .010 ?  If that's the case then 10 of these would be 1 karat ? 

I know the things you're saying about ebay and that's why I stopped buying things there and haven't sold there since 2008. I did see a lot that says xx already sold so that's a good sign that at least someone is buying.. I'm not concerned about idiots and troubles since I'm not a dealer and it wouldn't bother me to deal with newbies or returns if someone was unhappy.

I know about appraisals as well. I recently had my truck appraised and the guy asked me what I wanted it to be worth. I know they write you nice letters on the high end so you can put in your safe for insurance purposes when they're lost or stolen.  Most of these small issues don't bother me since I'm a one time seller.

If I did do anything with them like set them up it would be for the same thing, to sell. I'm a man in the electrical business and diamonds wouldn't look good on my chubby hands and most of family is too old and already has extensive jewelry collections.  I only got the loose diamonds because nobody knew what to do with them and they were after the finished valuable pieces so it would be pointless for me to pay to set them up and give it back to seniors who already have much better.

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1 minute ago, Marcus_P said:

So am I to assume a 3mm round is .10 or .010 ?  If that's the case then 10 of these would be 1 karat ? 

2

If the 3.0mm measurement is to be believed, yes.  Tiny differences matter.  2.50mm, for example, is about 0.05cts.  Half the size. 


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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I"m an appraiser, so I'm not inclined to say that appraisals are, by definition, BS.  Mine are not for example.  But even with those, if they're answering the wrong question or a question that doesn't apply, they can be irrelevant (and some are BS). 


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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No worries and thanks for the help. If anyone has something else to add or a source to sell besides ebay let me know.  These replies pretty much confirmed what I was expecting, that it all depends who's selling when and where and there is a large range due to quality and the integrity of the seller. I wasn't expecting to get what a dealer gets but I thought someone would at least say, if I had that I would ask for $20/pc or something like that..  I'm looking at them now through a 10x loupe and they look pretty clear to me

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Scales are cheap and easy to buy if you don't have one. They're even kind of a useful thing to have in any case. That's a much better way to get the weight than by estimating the diameter. Almost always these things are sold by weight. 

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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I never thought about that.. I do have a little scale that weighs in 0.1 gms. I'll see how many it takes to fill a 1gm

Since everybody likes pics I thought I would show them at least, this is the best I can do with my camera.

There's gotta about 50 of these and about 100 of the ones that are even smaller, like a grain of salt

 

 

DSCN1035.jpg

DSCN1036.jpg

DSCN1032.jpg

DSCN1033.jpg

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It doesn't get used often and I doubt it works all that well but there is a forum on this site for private parties selling things.  It's hard to beat the price (it's free).  You might try that. Craigslist is fast and easy.  Loupetroop.com is a place to advertise jewelry type things, also for free.  They all have similar sorts of issues to ebay but they are slightly different in flavor.  

I would not recommend trying to manufacture something with a plan to sell THAT unless you are in the jewelry business already. That's a way to throw good money after bad unless you're skilled at selling things and already have a marketplace. Selling jewelry is a lot harder than it looks. 

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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5 carats equals 1 gram, so 0.1 grams is half a carat. That's a pretty big margin for error but if you weigh them ALL and divide you'll have a decent number.  If you're friends with someone in a jewelry store or a pawn shop that has a better scale, you might want to pay them a visit. 


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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I weighed the larger ones and about 60 of them come to 0.6 gm.

When I put the smaller ones on with it (as total) it was 1.6 gm but I didn't take those out of the bag and instead weighed the bag after, which was .4. so its 1.2 gm. plus there gotta be another gm or so in tiny tiny ones as well as 10-15 pieces in a pendant.

Any idea what that's worth by the weight ? I know there is a large margin by maybe a from and to range .

I know the scale is very accurate, probably not as a jewelers scale but I can put a 1gm weight on and its 1gm exactly.

Edited by Marcus_P

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1g +/- 0.1g.  For some applications that's accurate.  For diamonds, not so much. 

60=0.6g is about 0.05cts. each. (1g = 5cts)

Again, this is a market problem more than a value problem.  Most pawn shops won't buy them at all for example.  They get some anyway as part of their scrapping business and they SELL the melee they pull out of the assorted things that they buy for the gold content for about $40/ct. to jewelers who use them in repairs. Whether you can get that, more, or less, has more to do with you than it does with the merchandise. In general, pawn people are pretty savvy folks. As mentioned above, this is not an easy sale to make. 

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Well thanks for these tips and advice denverapp.. I'm must be in a good area or the market dropped since I got them but I was getting much better prices from the dealer here. I wouldn't go to a pawn shop for anything so I was more or less looking for reasonable market on the low and not really pawn shop prices.. I think the best thing for me is to try ebay and do some price discovery and sell them in small lots, it looks to me like that would work out to a couple of bucks a diamond and I can probably get better than that anywhere. I'll keep you guys updated if I ever sell any or make my own rapper chain.

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5 hours ago, Marcus_P said:

make my own rapper chain

Now, that would be nice to see! 🤣

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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