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Dick
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This is the first time I have found an Online store that does so many things so well. The sort function actually works (on more than one site it was broken), you can pull up the actual GIA report (or whatever for each particular stone); but most importantly you can actually look at an actual image of the stone using a virtual 22x loop! I feel that I have learned more about the various characteristics of, say, a VS1 or a SI2 in one hour of playing around with the virtual loop than I have in the several hours that I have been in a brick and mortar trying to use the loop the store provides under questionable lighting. Here is a link. http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-SI2-I...ond-1211280.asp

 

BTW, I have email at least 4 or 5 Online stores requesting actual images, etc. and have yet received one reply back.

 

Dick

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Good to know. :huh:

 

It starts telling you who's confident of what they sell and who is far less so...

 

Yep. Here's something else. Now I can begin to have an intelligent conversation with a sales rep. I haven't done it yet, but I can envision a scenario where I go to this site, call the company, direct the sales rep to the specific page/stone that I am interested in and use the virtual loop in order to have a discussion. I know it is not the end all, but it would be a start. I am surprised other Online stores are not using this method. It suggest to me that places like Blue Nile probably have a Tiger Direct business model. You order from them and the product gets shipped from its point of origination.

 

Dick

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You are totally correct about Blue Nile - they are well known as drop-shippers. Nothing wrong with that, but given the relative scarcity of information available, the variability of the actual quality (particularly cut) and the price of diamonds, it's a bit of a risk for the consumer (albeit limited to shipping and appraisal costs).

 

There are a number of vendors that provide that type of info, or at the very least good quality high-magnification photographs of the diamond. In no particular order - and without wanting to exclude or recommend anyone: Whiteflash, GoodOldGold, DiamondsByLauren, CraftedByInfinity, Diamond Brokers of Florida (DBOF) all provide the info online; others like EngagementRingsDirect and ExcelDiamonds have information available on request.

 

The mystery to me is how the typical 47th street vendor manages to survive and even prosper.

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I agree. At the same time, considering the purely luxury nature of diamonds and jewellery, they would be expected to do pretty badly given the economy's overall performance. Yet, apart from Shenoa, business failures still seem to be thin on the ground compared to car makers and banks, and 47th street was pretty full of people buying and selling last time I was there (six months ago, admittedly).

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You are totally correct about Blue Nile - they are well known as drop-shippers. Nothing wrong with that, but given the relative scarcity of information available, the variability of the actual quality (particularly cut) and the price of diamonds, it's a bit of a risk for the consumer (albeit limited to shipping and appraisal costs).

 

There are a number of vendors that provide that type of info, or at the very least good quality high-magnification photographs of the diamond. In no particular order - and without wanting to exclude or recommend anyone: Whiteflash, GoodOldGold, DiamondsByLauren, CraftedByInfinity, Diamond Brokers of Florida (DBOF) all provide the info online; others like EngagementRingsDirect and ExcelDiamonds have information available on request.

 

The mystery to me is how the typical 47th street vendor manages to survive and even prosper.

 

Comments:

 

1. GoodOldGold...Absolutely the best site so far. Great tutorials. And how did I miss the page related to the actual images?! Much more exhaustive information. Also seems to be a bit pricier per stone..

2. Diamond Brokers of Florida....Search function clunky, unresponsive. paucity of information. Images questionable.

3. Crafted by Infinity...Once again, clunky search function. Search hardly yielded anything. Great images with loop tool. No prices! You are boxed into doing an email or calling for a 'quote'.

4. Diamonds by Lauren... Sort function a joke. Sort by highest price or by lowest... A sort by lowest came up with an image of what appeared to be a fractured piece of glass posing as a diamond - a 1.29c beauty for only $1999. 'Still Sparkles' is the evaluation. No grading report available...duh. I really don't know what to make of this site when I read the following: "we are known for the slightly unusual diamond. Sure, I love a D colored diamond. Sure, I love a fancy intense yellow diamond. But I also have an open mind to other types of diamonds that are not necessarily traditional."

 

I am not sure if this is a mea culpa or what.

 

5. Engagement Rings Direct...Emailed twice to get information. No response

6. Excel Diamonds.... Ditto.

 

Thanks David. I spend some more time on Good Old Gold. I still like the James Allen site as well.

 

Dick

 

 

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Prices are also a function of service... and Jon is providing top flight service in many many ways.

 

On CraftedByInfinity - they are really the wholesaler; prices are on their retailers' sites (which I think are all linked, but not all have the loupe tool, which is why I pointed you at the "master" site). The reason has to do with Belgian tax law which would otherwise force prices to be quoted inclusive of Belgian VAT at 20%.

 

DBL is mostly a coloured diamonds site - and it IS quirky. It does have great photos, though - which for coloured are even more important.

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Prices are also a function of service... and Jon is providing top flight service in many many ways.

 

Sorry, who is Jon with? You are right of course about service. I'll pay attention to that.

 

DBL is mostly a coloured diamonds site - and it IS quirky. It does have great photos, though - which for coloured are even more important.

 

Actually, it looks like a entertaining site. I am going to go back an re-visit it later on.

Thanks.

 

Dick

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HI Dick,

Thanks for stopping in!

 

Sorry if our search function was not helpful- for sure there's sites with far better search functions- and also sites that carry a lot more round diamonds. I suppose the decision to spend a lot on a search function, or to have more diamonds in stock was easy for me.....

 

The sites you mentioned are all well thought of- but if you want the best search options ( IMO) use Blue Nile.

Of course I'd never want to buy a diamond from a place with no photos, that's never even seen the stone they are selling.

 

The diamond you mentioned, 1.29 is described by me as....CaCa.

I know that's probably not a grade you'll see on any GIA or AGSL chart....but hey, what can one expect for a 1.29ct diamond under $2k?

Here's the CaCa diamond...

r1674a.JPG

 

By the way, if you did search today for our lowest priced polished diamond, you'd see this one

r2858c.jpg

.49cts for $695

 

 

Although we do try to carry diamonds in all price ranges, rest assured that all the finer stones we carry come with GIA reports.

 

 

As far as "quirky"- hell, life's too short to be serious all the time! Thankfully we've found many people enjoy a lighter hearted look at diamonds......

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HI Dick,

Thanks for stopping in!

 

Sorry if our search function was not helpful- for sure there's sites with far better search functions- and also sites that carry a lot more round diamonds. I suppose the decision to spend a lot on a search function, or to have more diamonds in stock was easy for me.....

 

I apologize if I came off too raw about your site. I'll give it a better look!

 

The diamond you mentioned, 1.29 is described by me as....CaCa.

I know that's probably not a grade you'll see on any GIA or AGSL chart....but hey, what can one expect for a 1.29ct diamond under $2k?

Here's the CaCa diamond...

r1674a.JPG

 

By the way, if you did search today for our lowest priced polished diamond, you'd see this one

r2858c.jpg

.49cts for $695

 

 

Although we do try to carry diamonds in all price ranges, rest assured that all the finer stones we carry come with GIA reports.

I'd prefer stones with a GIA report. I'll see what you have.

 

As far as "quirky"- hell, life's too short to be serious all the time! Thankfully we've found many people enjoy a lighter hearted look at diamonds......

 

Okay. Understood. Thanks.

 

Dick

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No problem at all Dick- I did not see it as a knock!

 

I agree- don't even consider a stone without a GIA report ( unless you're looking for CaCa...heheh)

 

If it's a round you're after, I can tell you we don't show many on the site ( other than some really off beat ones such as Y-Z color)

 

 

What color clartiy and size were you seeking?

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No mention of UnionDiamond. What's your experience, if any? I am currently shopping with them. I would like some feedback on them.

 

You are totally correct about Blue Nile - they are well known as drop-shippers. Nothing wrong with that, but given the relative scarcity of information available, the variability of the actual quality (particularly cut) and the price of diamonds, it's a bit of a risk for the consumer (albeit limited to shipping and appraisal costs).

 

There are a number of vendors that provide that type of info, or at the very least good quality high-magnification photographs of the diamond. In no particular order - and without wanting to exclude or recommend anyone: Whiteflash, GoodOldGold, DiamondsByLauren, CraftedByInfinity, Diamond Brokers of Florida (DBOF) all provide the info online; others like EngagementRingsDirect and ExcelDiamonds have information available on request.

 

The mystery to me is how the typical 47th street vendor manages to survive and even prosper.

 

Comments:

 

1. GoodOldGold...Absolutely the best site so far. Great tutorials. And how did I miss the page related to the actual images?! Much more exhaustive information. Also seems to be a bit pricier per stone..

2. Diamond Brokers of Florida....Search function clunky, unresponsive. paucity of information. Images questionable.

3. Crafted by Infinity...Once again, clunky search function. Search hardly yielded anything. Great images with loop tool. No prices! You are boxed into doing an email or calling for a 'quote'.

4. Diamonds by Lauren... Sort function a joke. Sort by highest price or by lowest... A sort by lowest came up with an image of what appeared to be a fractured piece of glass posing as a diamond - a 1.29c beauty for only $1999. 'Still Sparkles' is the evaluation. No grading report available...duh. I really don't know what to make of this site when I read the following: "we are known for the slightly unusual diamond. Sure, I love a D colored diamond. Sure, I love a fancy intense yellow diamond. But I also have an open mind to other types of diamonds that are not necessarily traditional."

 

I am not sure if this is a mea culpa or what.

 

5. Engagement Rings Direct...Emailed twice to get information. No response

6. Excel Diamonds.... Ditto.

 

Thanks David. I spend some more time on Good Old Gold. I still like the James Allen site as well.

 

Dick

 

 

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There's no info beyond the grading report and the price. Stock photo only. Not to take anything away from them, but they seem to be "just another list-based internet dealer". I am also wary of anyone who grades diamonds on cut (particularly fancy shapes) but does not disclose how the grading has been determined and does not provide any information beyond what's on a grading report.

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There's no info beyond the grading report and the price. Stock photo only. Not to take anything away from them, but they seem to be "just another list-based internet dealer". I am also wary of anyone who grades diamonds on cut (particularly fancy shapes) but does not disclose how the grading has been determined and does not provide any information beyond what's on a grading report.

 

I agree with respect to your comments about Union and the paucity of information some sites have about grading. I am beginning to think as well that many of these web sites have the same or similar lists of diamonds that are available and that they are not much more than appendages to the primary function which is the brick and motor. That being the case, my list is really narrowing down now to only those on-line sites in which I can access a GIA report and virtual loop.

 

What I thought was revealing was only twice did someone contact me back after I made an inquiry by way of the on-line email tool. That suggests to me that some of these sites are not even being taken seriously by the managers. One person down in Florida who has a brick and motor did say he would get back to me with a fleshed out report on a particular stone. We even chatted on the phone for a good 30 minutes. That was enough time for him to know more about me than I do.. But he never did call or email me back. Even locally here, I email 3 different stores about prices, etc. and they never got back to me. They must be tearing it up inside the store..or they sense that all I am doing is kicking tires. I dunno.

 

Dick

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Retailers, both online and off, are in the business of selling things and one of the key skills is to devote their energies to clients that they consider likely to buy. You may have simply failed this cut. It’s surely true that email requests for further information have a far lower chance of consummation than a client walking into a showroom or even one who takes the trouble to make a phone call. You’re correct that many of these sites are pretty lean operations and one of the ways to save money is to cut back on the time the staff spends interacting with folks they see as unlikely prospects. I’m not sure I agree with this business model but it does seem to be working and the traditional jewelers seem to be suffering for lack of customers. Obviously they're getting something right. The successful online shops seem to work out a compromise where they respond quickly if briefly to inquiries and they draw a line on how much time they are willing to devote to distributing ‘free’ information. It's the nature of the Internet that they often only command a buyers attention for a few seconds before they click away, never to return and a busy site will have thousands who do this but the reverse is also true. The merchant needs to budget their own attention and how they do this is one of the key skills to running a successful business. I'm not making an excuse for them being rude or blowing you off, just explaining why you might be observing the behavior you're seeing.

 

Neil

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Retailers, both online and off, are in the business of selling things and one of the key skills is to devote their energies to clients that they consider likely to buy. You may have simply failed this cut.

 

Interesting way of describing the situation. Does this email I sent to an online store sound like it would make the cut?

'Hi, I'm looking at item #470678 because it falls within my price range. You mention that an evaluation and photos are available upon request. Would you please send these things at your earliest convenience?'

 

It’s surely true that email requests for further information have a far lower chance of consummation than a client walking into a showroom or even one who takes the trouble to make a phone call. You’re correct that many of these sites are pretty lean operations and one of the ways to save money is to cut back on the time the staff spends interacting with folks they see as unlikely prospects.

 

It is true that you cannot be all things to all people. My thought is if things are that lean then why not simply take down the site entirely. I'll make a guess here that the real problem is that many of these sites have a cookie cutter look to them and that is why they are not functioning properly. It's like one operation sees that another operation has an online store front even though they really make their dough through the brick and mortar route -still they feel compelled to do what Joe is doing

 

 

I’m not sure I agree with this business model but it does seem to be working and the traditional jewelers seem to be suffering for lack of customers. Obviously they're getting something right. The successful online shops seem to work out a compromise where they respond quickly if briefly to inquiries and they draw a line on how much time they are willing to devote to distributing ‘free’ information. It's the nature of the Internet that they often only command a buyers attention for a few seconds before they click away, never to return and a busy site will have thousands who do this but the reverse is also true. The merchant needs to budget their own attention and how they do this is one of the key skills to running a successful business. I'm not making an excuse for them being rude or blowing you off, just explaining why you might be observing the behavior you're seeing.

 

I appreciate your perspective. It's not like I am really upset about someone getting back to me. Puzzled maybe... I do high-end juried art/craft shows throughout the country - maybe eight a year. When someone comes in my booth and asks a lot questions about how I do what I do, I know that there is no sale there and I get into a sort of mechanical mode. I understand that this is an allocation of resource issue. Here are a couple of images of my work. If you click on them they blow up. Dick

 

post-117242-1233414295_thumb.jpg post-117242-1233414232_thumb.jpg

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I would count that as a pretty straightforward request and I would expect a straightforward answer, especially if it’s promised in the advertisement.

 

A huge number of the Internet ‘jewelers’ are just interactive catalogs that are republishing data on stones that they can get from one source or another and are hoping to flip it to you for a profit. This is especially true for the ones that are listing a fantastic number of stones for sale. They have no inventory, no location, no staff and basically no expenses beyond the advertising that brought you in in the first place. My gut feeling is that this is a crappy business model because that nitch is so price competitive and those ads can get pretty expensive. My gut also tells me that sales from such sites are likely pretty low. That is to say, they may not know much more about business than they do about diamonds. ;)

 

They routinely don’t have any more information available than they already have given you but why they would promise pictures or other data if they don’t have and can’t get them is beyond me. I agree that it’s peculiar that they would spend all of that money to get a customer to find them and then blow them off when they get asked a simple question. Be it good or bad, the phone really does seem to command better attention but by all means, if they aren't going to respond to you they have tons of competitors who will. Frankly I"m a little surprised you're having trouble with the folks you've listed but a Google search for 'discount certified diamonds' produces something like 2,000,000 hits and you can bet that a fair amount of them will be dogs.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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Hi Dick Nice art work. Sorry you didn`t locate what you were looking for on our search. We do have others available that aren`t listed too. If you have a specific request send us an e-mail and we will answer ;) Jan`s the fastest e-mailer on the internet.

 

Also since you are in Florida you could stop by and see them in person.

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Dick,

 

Apologies for the thread-jacking. If this does not get into the "how do you do what you do" category, what are Blue Mahoe and Prima Vera? Exotic woods? ("From the Yucatan" does seem wood, but I can't figure out the texture in "Preforming the Earth")

 

Whoops. Sorry about the lack of information there. You guessed correctly. These are made out of rare woods from around the world. They begin their journey as logs. Some initially may weigh as much as 1500 pounds. The Prima Vera comes from the Yucatan. The details in the top are made out of Cape Hope ebony. I turn the logs on a lathe and create the outside shape first. Then I hollow them out through an opening that I make where the rim details now reside. This is the time consuming part as they are thinned out to around 3/16". Thus the finished vessel is a fraction of its original mass. The Blue Mahoe comes from Jamaica. It is just an absolutely evil wood to work with. The outside texturing was a sort of after thought, which extended the process an addtional 3 weeks. All my vessels then go in a finishing room and stay there about a month while I apply coat after coat of lacquer. In the end, I do a sort of French Polish thing with them. The Blue Mahoe vessel is around 22" high x 20" in diameter. The Prima Vera vessel is around 20"h. x 9"w. I never got a GIA report on either one of them.

 

Dick

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Hi Dick Nice art work. Sorry you didn`t locate what you were looking for on our search. We do have others available that aren`t listed too. If you have a specific request send us an e-mail and we will answer ;) Jan`s the fastest e-mailer on the internet.

 

Also since you are in Florida you could stop by and see them in person.

 

Hi Bradley,

 

I might take you up on that. I will be down in Florida the first two weeks in March. I have two shows scheduled to do. I also have a long time collector of my work that lives on the Intercoastal at Sebastian Inlet and he wants to get together. Here is an image of several pieces of mine he owns. I hope I did the right thing by selecting 'Insert attachment using text editor'. I'm not too good at this stuff! Dick

 

post-117242-1233491395_thumb.jpg

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