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Prices of diamonds with very large inclusions?


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Caveat Emptor.

No, no! I don't mean stones deceptively sold as flawless, I mean stones whose dubious charm includes the inclusion, one visible to the naked eye. That's three billion year old dirt, after all. I'm talking about a stone which would be an orphan in the trade, ordinarily viewed as too flawed to be used as anything but grit because the inclusion precludes cutting it as a gem or using it as an industrial point, but which has a potential buyer somewhere in the world. (I am reminded of a 1950- or 1960-something Mad Magazine parody ad: "Paying for a diamond is forever." It describes how any jeweller can tell you that a diamond's value depends on this and that factor, then follows with an admonition to buy a big stone with small inclusions, " because it's the SIZE that's impressive. After all, who is going to look at it with a jeweller's eyepiece, anyway?")

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Usually this kind of thing is pretty inexpensive. I remember working in a jewelry store that had a diamond with a huge black inclusion right under the table that was shaped like the state of Texas. It was an I-2 at best. Obviously the right customer (presumably a Texan) would find this interesting while everyone else thought it was hideous. It did finally sell but it sat around for quite a while and provided quite a bit of entertainment for the staff and customers while it was there. Whatever else you could say about it, it WAS interesting. I can’t say I remember the price but it wasn't especially high.


Valuing this kind of thing is a problem. If you decided that you wanted to find a stone like that and called up all of the dealers, they would be hellbent to find you one at any price. If you had one and wanted to sell it, you would probably find it extremely difficult to meet up with the right customer who would be willing to pay you more than industrial prices for it.


Neil Beaty


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