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James w


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Dear All,

I am new here, so very grateful in advance for any help. I am looking for a valuation for the following two diamonds, the Shop is in Qatar so no or little tax.

If you can value the 2.09 and the 2.50 in USD please that would be a great help. 

Many Thanks for your advice 




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Before we get to prices, a few points to bear in mind:

1. IGI Antwerp is not a bad lab, but it can be 1 or 2 grades off GIA: the "K / VVS2" could be an M / VS1 - which can mean 30% less money. And the I / SI2 could be a K / I1 which can mean 50% less. Of course it's possible that either stone is graded correctly (or that IGI is off on colour but not on clarity, or viceversa - and differently on either stone), but that's impossible to establish without having the stones in hand (and a few pieces of equipment).

2. Visibility of inclusions in the SI2 (?) will have a very significant effect on price. There is a big bunch of clouds (?) and crystals (?) right under the table, which is generally a "bad" place.

3. So will the proportions. While both stones are OK, the 2.09 is much more nicely cut (on paper) than the 2.50. You can see them, and this trumps any "paper-based" considerations as far as beauty goes; the 2.09 will be valued more by the market.

Add other imponderable/unknown factors (cost structure of the vendor, how much the rough cost in the first place, ...) and you will have a huge range of prices on offer for stones that are graded similarly - and more so when the grading is uncertain.

The Diamond Finder on this site is free to use; it lists more than half a million diamonds for sale from reputable online vendors. Here are some comparables for the 2.09


with prices from USD 17k to just below USD 9k. Median somewhere around 13k.

And some for the 2.50


with an even broader range from USD 21k to around $11k, median around 18.5k. Note that the two cheapest stones are graded I/SI2 by IGI... and are cheaper than some GIA-graded J-K/I1. The market will price based on the paper... if the paper is reliable: there is little uncertainty over angles and percentages; colour and clarity are a different story.

One final word of warning: diamonds are an internationally traded commodity, and especially in a rich country like Qatar there are no bargains. On the other hand there are plenty of options for a diamond like those two. Don't feel pressured into buying either one because the price seems attractive.

Edited by davidelevi
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Those are wildly different stones. May I ask why, of all the stones in all the world, you’ve come down to those two?

Assuming you aren’t a Qatari, there is very little reason to shop there for diamonds. The tax thing is an illusion. Although it’s true that they don’t charge direct sales taxes there, the merchants pay other taxes. It’s like the ‘duty free’ stops in the Caribbean in that regard. More importantly, and again assuming you aren’t a local, you will be required to pay the tax at the border when you go home. This may be a fine store, or not, but if their pitch is that tax evasion is easy, I’d shy away. 

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@David Levi - Many Thanks for the full and detailed response, it has given me a lot to review and thanks for the link.

@Denver - Many Thanks, I am resident in Qatar and currently non resident in the UK for Tax, however the stone is a gift for my spouse. The reason the two stones are different is I wanted a bigger stone primarily, but the prices seemed out of range without large compromise on inclusions, the larger stone was not in the store but on zoomed 360 image from the dealer in Antwerp. Frankly speaking the store, which is called SHINE has quite a few stores in the middle east and I have had them recommended to me by people who have purchased here and then had them revalued (for retail and insurance purposes) in the UK and they seemed very happy. I honestly thought the tax thing would make a big difference than buying in the UK or EU where it would attract a VAT (i may be wrong on this as I've only just started researching).


For readers interest I confirm the Manager's last price for the 2.09 Carat was 45,8000 QAR / 3.64 = 12,582 USD including a white gold ring as a solitaire. He admitted the bigger stone was not as good quality and may have a slight milky appearance as untrained I couldn't see it on the screen.

On initial checks from different databases I have seen comparable that make it appear good value and others that were not so favorable. I will spend a lot more time reviewing the database David Levi sent through.

Thanks for the tips and advice - much appreciated.

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3 hours ago, Jamesw said:

revalued (for retail and insurance purposes)

Be very careful. It's extremely common for "insurance purposes" valuations to be inflated way beyond the actual retail price of the item.

3 hours ago, Jamesw said:

I honestly thought the tax thing would make a big difference than buying in the UK or EU where it would attract a VAT (i may be wrong on this as I've only just started researching).

The value of shopping diamonds locally rather than remotely is to be able to see and compare stones. If all the shop is doing is to produce photos of a report and maybe of the diamond, you can get that from many places on the internet - in fact you can get significantly more information from some internet-based retailers than that - shipping diamonds globally is not a problem, and the same tax situation applies to you when importing as it does when shopping locally.

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Traditionally speaking, SI2-->VV2 on otherwise similar stones almost doubles the price.  H-->K nearly halves it.  2.09-->2.50 adds about 20% to the price.  These aren't really gemological questions, they're matters of taste.  I"m not going to give an answer to which is better because it's a bit like asking if you would be happier with a vintage Ferrari or a Tesla.  They're simply not the same things even if the price is similar.  Similarly, the right price on the wrong thing is no bargain. Is color more important to you than clarity or visa versa?

As Davide points out, the Diamond Finder utility at the top of the page is very useful for this. It's free and anonymous.  The market advertising here is the US Internet, which is one of the most competitive in the world.  Here's a dozen or so offers for comparable stones to the 2.09.  The prices are comparable enough.  All things being equal, I would prefer to buy from a local vendor although I"m not clear on whether they actually have these stones to show you or if they are just offering to buy them on the internet for you.  For me, that's not all that valuable but they may have trade-in programs, warranties, or just nice people that would tip the balance. 

If you buy in the UK, you will pay VAT, which is considerable, but if you take it out of the country within some reasonable amount of time, you can get a refund.  My understanding is that this is a pain although I've never personally done it. If you live in Qatar there is very little reason to seriously consider buying in the UK. 


Edited by denverappraiser
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