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Help Needed! Second Hand Diamonds??


naremburn
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Hi guys,

 

Firstly I'd like to say this forum is great. And thanks for some of the feeback I've already had.

 

I'm in Australia. Can you recommend the cheapest place to get a GIA cert diamond? I'm happy to go overseas or buy from Australia.

Which country is known for the cheapest Diamonds?

 

Also is there a place to buy second hand diamonds?

 

Below is a quote I've had from a supplier in Hong Kong. What are your thoughts?

 

Is there a big difference between VS2 and SI1??

 

 

F VS2 Round 1.51ct, Ex / Ex / Ex, None, GIA Certificate

USD21,600.00 --> USD20,500.00

 

F VS2 Round 1.81ct, Ex / Ex / Ex, None, GIA Certificate, Laser Number Engraved

USD28,300.00 (Remain the same price)

 

F VS2 Round 2.07ct, Ex / Ex / Ex, None, GIA Certificate, Laser Number Engraved

USD44,000.00 --> USD42,500.00

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In general the US market is the most competitive for diamonds. It is the largest, and it has some of the lowest transaction costs. That doesn't mean that necessarily you will find the best deal in the US, but it is definitely worth a try!

 

There are some fine diamond dealers in Australia, but if price is a major deciding factor, bear in mind that often the same stone is available to dealers on a worldwide basis.

 

Place(s) to buy second-hand diamonds: as far as I know, there are no specific "second hand diamond hubs", other than perhaps idonowidont.com - which I would not recommend (read their T&C and you'll figure out why). The second hand market is very thinly spread across eBay, Craigslist and similar sites, individual sellers (e.g. the "classified section on this and other forums), pawnbrokers, estate/antique specialist jewellers and new jewellery stores that may have a small or not so small section for not-new pieces.

 

Buying a piece of jewellery second hand can be extremely rewarding (financially and otherwise), but it does take a lot of patience. Bargains are out there, even in Oz. Read this story... http://www.diamondre...love-your-help/

 

ETA: difference between VS2 and SI1: yes, it is a significant difference in price, particularly in largish stones. Does it make a difference in what they look like? Not necessarily, but it depends on each particular diamond's inclusions, the setting and the observer.

 

FWIW, the prices you got from HK are within the bounds of reasonable/competitive; the devil however is in the detail, and there isn't enough info there to go further than that. GIA "excellent" cut covers a very wide ground.

Edited by davidelevi
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There are lots of secondhand dealers and they are not all the same. Nearly every jeweler out there is at least partially involved in it. Diamonds further complicate this because nearly every diamond ever mined is still in circulation and there’s not a meaningful difference between ‘new’ and ‘used’. Things get bought and sold, things get recut, they get recertified etc. A decent amount of what you see in the typical dealers wasn’t particularly recently mined.

 

Presumably the reason you’re looking for secondhand is that you’re looking for a bargain and the key to that is to eliminate the dealers. Buy from an individual. Along with the cheaper prices, that comes with a fair number of potential pitfalls. You have no recourse if it goes badly. You have no assurance on the grading and condition. The selection is small and usually odd. The logistics of the transaction, like how to pay and ship can be a pain. It’s usually significantly more time consuming. Whether it’s worth it to you to involve a dealer in order to get the price down is up to you but these are the reasons dealers exist despite their prices. It’s not about new vs. used.

 

Logistically, if I were buying from an individual, I would want to do it as close to home as possible and doing an international deal with an unknown private party would scare me to death. ‘Hey buddy, wanna buy a diamond?’ is bad enough by itself. Trying to do that overseas strikes me as a serious risk.

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Countries are about taxes and financial, legal and transaction costs. The US tends to do well on these areas but we certainly have competitors. Australia is pretty good except for the VAT and a slightly complicated import tax that seems to apply to certain things and not others. As an Aussie, you're going to get hit with this anyway but if you buy from an Aussie dealer it'll be included in the cost and if you buy overseas, you will be responsible for taxes separately. The same general concept applies pretty much everywhere. European and Asian customers buying in the US are responsible for their own home country taxes but you can't blame this on either the diamond or the dealer.

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You might want to try/investigate a web site called www.idonowidont.com which takes on consignment and re-sells engagement rings from broken engagements. These diamonds are lab graded and reviewed by their in-house diamond grader. I believe there is another such .com out in California.

 

Worth a look.

Edited by barry
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You might want to try/investigate a web site called www.idonowidont.com which takes on consignment and re-sells engagement rings from broken engagements. These diamonds are lab graded and reviewed by their in-house diamond grader. I believe there is another such .com out in California.

 

Worth a look.

Barry,

 

There are dozens of these sorts of virtual consignment shops and dozens more that are a combination of virtual and storefront presentation. Frankly, I count these guys as among the worst for buyers, even though they have the most extensive advertising. Consigners are reasonably well protected but buyers have no option but to rely 100% on the seller's gemologist, there's NO discussion of craftsmanship or condition and the recourse if you don't like what you get after you see it is terrible.

 

Here's their buyer 'guarantee' copied straight from the idonowidont website.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Our Diamond Guarantee

 

 

Our Promise to You

 

There are no buy-back guarantees on auction sites or Craig’s List.

We're different.

We want you to be completely happy with your diamond purchase. If you buy a diamond ring on I Do Now I Don't and decide it's not for you, we'll buy it back based on the following:

  1. You return the diamond ring to I Do Now I Don't within ten days of receipt by you.
  2. Our gemologist confirms that the diamond and setting are identical to the ring we sent you.
  3. We provide you with a one-time credit that can be used to make another purchase exclusively on I Do Now I Don't within 30 days. The credit will be calculated as the wholesale price for the diamond per the industry-standard Rappaport Diamond Report minus 45%. For example, a diamond valued at $5,000 by Rappaport would entitle you to a $2,750 credit on I Do Now I Don’t.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

Can you imagine the level of grief if YOU (or any other serious dealer) had refund terms like that?

Edited by denverappraiser
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[snip]

Presumably the reason you’re looking for secondhand is that you’re looking for a bargain and the key to that is to eliminate the dealers. Buy from an individual.

[snip].

 

Well - yes and no. While a loose diamond is unlikely to be significantly discounted by a diamond dealer just because it is "used" (as you point out, Neil, it is pretty difficult to tell that a diamond has been used), a complete piece of jewellery will sometimes sell at a discount compared not only to the same item when new, but to the price of its constituent parts at "new retail" prices, even from a dealer.

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Neil;

 

Thanks for this information. Lousy policy, indeed.

 

Bottom line appears to indicate that there are really no good options on the second-hand market.

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There are some good dealers out there. They just don't get the media exposure that some others do. It's rather like the problem of Internet diamond dealers finding that a fair fraction of the public thinks the only choice out there is Blue Nile.

 

pearlmans. singlestone. langs antiques. topazery. These are all examples of quality dealers who sell secondhand goods as something of a specialty. Some of the mainline dealers take consignment deals. i think USA certed does this for example.

 

It's much more problematic when buying from individuals. You can cross paths using ebay, craigslist, newspapers, even flyers posted on lamp posts. When it comes time to actually do the deal, I strongly recommend involving a professional appraisal.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi,

 

I am a diamond dealer in Chicago and buy a lot of diamonds for re sale in my store. I think the website idonowidont.com has a lot of great buys. I probably have bought around 30 diamonds form them this year because of the great prices. In fact the prices are so good that my dealer friends have started scouting the site everyday for good deals and there are many especially for consumer buyers. All rings on there are sold from individual buyers similar to ebay. What I like about idonowidont,com is that they have an independent gemologist check all rings to make sure they are as described, the gemologist is not in house and does not work for the company and there have been times where I did buy a ring and it was not as described and they refunded the money. The sites main job is to make sure buyers are not getting scammed and sellers receive their money. They are not a store and do not own any of the inventory and thats why their buy back is structured the way it is. They are buying back with there own money and have to try to resell. Its there as an extra option but sure no one expects to use it. If you buy an item from an individual seller on ebay there are no returns. A lot GIA diamonds on there for 50% below or more of rap prices.

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Hi Jason.

 

Thanks for the endorsement of IDNID. There are several things in you post that I take exception to. I’ll just take a few since several are discussed above:

 

All rings on there are sold from individual buyers similar to ebay.

Untrue. Anyone who wants to can sell there (rather like ebay). In the case of ebay, MOST are dealers. It’s not clear with IDNID but there obviously are ‘new’ items and they make no claim otherwise. I don't actually count this as a problem but you seem to see lack of it as an important feature so I thought I would address it.

 

What I like about idonowidont,com is that they have an independent gemologist check all rings to make sure they are as described, the gemologist is not in house and does not work for the company and there have been times where I did buy a ring and it was not as described and they refunded the money.

 

Whether or not they are using an employee or a contractor is irrelevant. It’s THEIR guy. That’s not ‘independent’ in any but the most technical IRS type of description. More importantly, the inspection occurs before the buyer ever sees it and they have only the lamest recourse if the buyer, or their own expert, disagrees or has some problem other than what appears on the lab report for the center stone.

 

The sites main job is to make sure buyers are not getting scammed and sellers receive their money. They are not a store and do not own any of the inventory and thats why their buy back is structured the way it is. They are buying back with there own money and have to try to resell. Its there as an extra option but sure no one expects to use it. If you buy an item from an individual seller on ebay there are no returns.

 

They ARE a store, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The fact that they are using mostly consignment merchandise is between them and their sellers. There’s nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t make them not a store. I know several consignment stores, and every one has more generous return policies than that. They just don’t pay the sellers until the return policy expires. I agree, the default policy at ebay is terrible and that’s a reason to avoid certain sellers there. A fair number of ebay sellers are much better but it’s up to the individual sellers. Unlike IDNID, ebay is selling nothing but advertising. They’re NOT a store any more than the yellow pages is a store. Like the yellow pages, a fair amount of the sellers who advertise there are. By the way, I recommend against buying from sellers on ebay with no recourse as well. No refunds = no sale.

 

A lot GIA diamonds on there for 50% below or more of rap prices.

Maybe, but so what? Discount from rap is not a reasonable way to evaluate a deal but the majority of their diamonds AREN’T 50% back. Even if that was a valid metric it can’t be applied blanketly. Sellers set their own prices and some are more motivated than others. I don’t’ have a problem with that by the way. As you point out, there are dealers who haunt the site, and others like it, and look to buy up the most obvious bargains.

Edited by denverappraiser
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[snip] there have been times where I did buy a ring and it was not as described and they refunded the money.[snip]

Neil has addressed the other main points, but this is actually an important one as a consumer. Money refund is not what IDNID say they do - see post #6 above. In fact, they have the worst "refund" policy this side of "no refund": one time, short-lived store credit based not on what you paid but on Rap value (which may or may not be relevant). As a dealer, I may be willing to accept these terms if I think I spot a bargain. At worst, I can resell at a lower or no margin. As a consumer, these are frankly appalling conditions under which to trade.

Edited by davidelevi
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