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4 Different: Halfway To Pi Day!


jginnane
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Yes, I KNOW it's just under 11 months away, but I'm happy because it looks like we'll have 2 of the 4 stones selected!  Presenting, ordered from Blue Nile today ...

 

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and

 

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This stone -- 2 points -- is normally intended to be worn on the same side of the head as the future 4-point selection.  (Princess, Asscher, etc.)  The trilliant previously bought is intended to align with a single point stone yet to come (Round, Radiant).  [The rare exception to this "Rule" is Pi Day, which of course, everyone knows is 3.1.2.4 (rounded up).]

 

By great good fortune, BN had a rock with very strong blue FL-, so that took care of one of my bugs,  Unlike a Marquise we examined a week ago, this stone was more battleship than fingernail clipping.  The visual scale, 9.65 x 4.93, was more proximate to the trilliant's distinctively different 8.46 x 7.49 spread.  So, as long as we keep the round and the princess on somewhat the same sense of scale -- hopefully, smaller -- it should be all work out OK.  (No more FL stones at this point.)

 

BTW this stone should have more fire and zazz because this time, we "obeyed the rules" on selecting a Marquis.  The feather/twinning wisp seems mostly confined to one end of the stone.  I'm projecting more than a little of my hopes here, but the BN sales associate said the stone was lacking the usual dreaded "bowtie" (which winds up in the crap selections I make to try to save a buck ;p ).

 

So now (or as of next week, after the holidays) we'll have a genuine premise to come into the City, at least to find someone to do the platinum metalwork for the two first earrings.  David, I'll be calling your cohorts a few days ahead to set up an appointment.  (Please tell them not to read anything I've posted here.)

 

 

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There's a thousand ways to skin a cat. Since an iPhone is significantly simpler and more symmetrical, I expect there are correspondingly more ways to skin that. A course makes sense.

 

Re: rounding of Ï€, the state of Indiana nearly passed legislation that would have set its value at either 3.2, 4 or √2 * 16/7 (~3.23), while the Bible goes the other way, giving indirectly a value of 3. So, on this account nothing surprises me any more... and there's always honest typos. (Plus at 1 am I was sleeping)

 

Actually, one thing that always surprises me is that eiÏ€ + 1 = 0, but that's another story altogether.

 

On the marquise - I hope it's second time lucky.

Edited by davidelevi
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There's a thousand ways to skin a cat. Since an iPhone is significantly simpler and more symmetrical, I expect there are correspondingly more ways to skin that. A course makes sense.

 

Well David, that just goes to show how old we're getting.  Because in 2014, "to skin" does not mean dismember, rather, to apply a pre-cut vinyl wrap over the external container for your electronica.  So a course would consist of -- (1) clean iDevice, (2) peel vinyl off backing piece, (3) apply to iThing (4) smooth out bubbles (5) par-TAYH!

 

I appreciate your expanded sense of pi-ness, and remind me sometime to tell you about Chinese timekeeping before Europeans arrived with their fancy ticktocks.  But I would like to warn that Euler is pronounced "OY-ler" on this side of the pond.  The full name is "the Houston Oilers".  They play a team sports exhibit we call football, but Euros are more likely to call "pussy headbutting".  What else can American college be good for, but to prep for a career in "sports" --?

 

As to the Marquise.  Disappointing.  I'm paying A- prices to Blue Nile for what I fear is a D+ to C- stone, but there doesn't seem to be anything better around.  That girdle is probably horribly thick and "chewy", and could be the basis for rejection even before I start looking at the feather / twinning wisp.

 

OTOH, I really haven't found much in good quality Marquise inventory.  Online inventories, at least in alternate stone cuts, seem to be increasingly the dregs of what stores want for themselves.  You wouldn't assemble an elaborate ring with glops of melee and put a lopsided, uneven Marquis in the center.  You couldn't sell it.  (Unless you were gluing things together in your garage to sell on etsy! or Ebay.)

 

Since I've always tried to short-list my choices by including strong fluorescence, that's reduced the list even further to a rather pathetic set of alternatives.  And unfortunately, this stone seems to be best of the bunch at the moment, yesterday's fake enthusiasm notwithstanding.

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There's a thousand ways to skin a cat. Since an iPhone is significantly simpler and more symmetrical, I expect there are correspondingly more ways to skin that. A course makes sense.

 

Well David, that just goes to show how old we're getting. 

Actually, it shows that irony doesn't travel well on electronic media. Previous paragraph was firmly tongue-in-cheek. :)

 

On the marquise: I think that what you are experiencing is called "fashion" - or rather out-of-fashion. It's not so much that what's left online are the dregs; it is that there are very few marquises being cut, because relatively few people want them. This is particularly apparent in near-colourless stones (where rough is abundant, and it can usually be cut to another more fashionable shape - even if it means loss of weight, better a smaller stone that sells than something that sticks around forever). In the 1980s, marquises were trading at a premium... so if you wait long enough, they'll be back.

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On the marquise: I think that what you are experiencing is called "fashion" - or rather out-of-fashion. It's not so much that what's left online are the dregs; it is that there are very few marquises being cut, because relatively few people want them. This is particularly apparent in near-colourless stones (where rough is abundant, and it can usually be cut to another more fashionable shape - even if it means loss of weight, better a smaller stone that sells than something that sticks around forever). In the 1980s, marquises were trading at a premium... so if you wait long enough, they'll be back.

 

So if the only thing that sells, now and forever, is a 1+ ct, probably with store branding ... would that indicate poor health for the industry?  All I saw at that Hong Kong show was everything-BUT diamonds.  Except for HTPT diamonds and melee, which shouldn't count.  Thousands of exhibitors, and when they closed the stalls each evening, the most valuable items to be protected were their tradeshow kits -- not the actual jewelry!

 

Meanwhile there's earnest young men like MrRev, who VERY typically spend an extra $3K or so for the necessary bit of bling to start their married lives.  That's basic sustenance for an entire industry.  Or to put it in a little more stark terms, it's vampirism.

 

Perhaps glowing diamond earrings are a bridge too far (perhaps?), but the whole argument driving the industry toward branding deals to sell identical product just doesn't make any sense.  Walk down the streets of Hong Kong, Shanghai -- there are literally hundreds of "new" brands you haven't heard of in the West, and they're all following the marketing plan of some worthless crap like Swarovski crystals.  Meanwhile, the really established brands flaunt it; Chanel raises bag prices so LV has to follow suit, again; LV builds an artificial island in front of Adelson's Marina Bay masterpiece in Singapore ... simply because they can.  They put more effort into the design of the building than the last 15 years of Louis Vuitton products.

 

Now the point of this particular tirade is that if a particular diamond cut is unpopular, shouldn't efforts be made to bring it back?  Shouldn't this be done before you release another me-too Happy Meal product line?  I know, it's more inventory to carry.  Maybe all we deserve is 1-carat rounds, after all.

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Interesting post... not that I have answers, but some comments to your observations perhaps can keep the conversation alive.

 

1) It depends on what you mean by "poor health". Innovation in gem cutting - and particularly in diamonds - is very slow. I'd say there have been only half a dozen truly innovative cut/shape-related innovations in diamonds, yet people have been picking diamonds up and (trying) to cut them for a few thousands years. At the same time, the value (in real terms) of diamond jewellery traded keeps increasing - not so much because diamond quality and/or average prices improve (if at all!), but because more and more people want it and can afford it.

 

Mercedes-Benz makes more cars now than it ever did, and they are by no means bad cars, but some of the exclusivity has gone with the introduction of the later,smaller models: A-series, B-series and so on. Are they in "poor health"? Not by any accounts (stock trading close to its 14-years high), but the cars (at least in public perception) are no longer the totally-bombproof things that they were, nor do many Janis Joplins sing about getting one of them as a special wish (even if she meant it quite another way).

 

2) On the vampirism: far fewer undeads around recently. The retail diamond market has never been so transparent - or wanting to continue the bloody analogy, sunlit: prices all over the place, vendors that compete on the basis of how much they can tell you about their diamonds, elimination of much of the De Beers cartel structure up the chain. Not to say that there aren't ripoffs - still too numerous for my liking (not least because they make selling tougher even for the most honest vendors), but there are definitely far fewer than there used to be, at least from my point of view.

 

3) Branding: you've hit the nail on the head... since the market for "common" shapes has gone towards transparency, people are trying to regain some of the "exclusivity" by introducing all sorts of branded elements. In some cases, the branding is done effectively on the basis of vendor reputation: "we" sell you only the best cut diamonds - whether "we" is Tiffany or Whiteflash, and it's not in my opinion any different than competition in any other market for relatively standardised goods or services: some people spend a lot on product development, others prefer pure advertising.

 

In other cases the claim for differentiation sits with the cutting pattern/style, and this is where things get difficult. I am yet to see some "non traditional"/branded diamond cut that I definitely prefer to a traditional cut; the Ashoka gets close (repeat - for me!), but at the end of the day it's pretty similar if not identical to a scissor cut which is quite widespread in coloured stones. My personal preferences notwithstanding, there is money invested in cut development but much larger amounts are invested in marketing and promotion. 

 

On the other hand, in coloured gems, the introduction of concave cutting and of free-form "gem sculpture" are in my view significant innovations (both very unlikely to be introduced or become common in diamonds) - but they aren't particularly successful commercially, and remain a small niche for connoisseurs/amateurs/fools (I am part of the latter category). Very little marketing, but considerable word of mouth. My only consolation is that this is the way in which (some) Art Déco jewellery went, and nowadays works by Modernist artists such as the Fouquets, Templier, Maison Boivin and Déspres are hugely valuable and regarded as museum pieces. It only took 90 years.

 

3) Two weeks ago I went to Baselworld, and had the same impression as you did: the jewellery/luxury industry is spending much more on marketing than it is on product development, but it seems to work - from a financial perspective at least. The era of the jewel as something exclusive has come to an end, for good or for bad - if it ever existed: Cartier was making more money from its "S" department (silver and decorative objects) than it was making out of important jewellery - and this was between 1910 and 1939... Tiffany too has usually done better (financially) out of ceramics, cutlery and house furnishings than out of jewellery.

 

4) Resurrecting "old fashions" - why? I don't see too many people going around with crinolines or stovepipe hats... but also I think you are overestimating the ability of the industry (specifically the diamond cutting industry) to set fashions: Asscher cuts were out and on the way to extinction by the year 2000 - within 7-8 years they were "hot" because a TV show resurrected them. 5 years later, and I won't say they are dead again, but far less interesting to hold. The industry was a complete game follower.

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It’s very hard to make any money on diamonds.   Landing deals with aggressive customers leaves a margin in the single digits, if that, and the amount of work required is as much or more than it’s ever been.   Modern wholesale diamonds is more a financial service than ever before where everything is wrapped up into a memo service.  Don’t want that?  Who needs a wholesaler?   That’s true of Internet dealers too by the way.  Don’t assume that the much maligned middleman is being eliminated here.    If you buy a diamond and return it for 100% refund on day 29, that costs the dealer money.  If it’s a virtual stone, they send it back to their supplier and it costs THEM money.  That’s ok, as a consumer I would insist on this as an option, but it’s not a ‘free’ service.  The cost comes out of the profit they make on the ones that actually sell.  So how do you sell this?
 

Trade shows?  Exhibitors need to pack up a giant load of stuff, travel with it to a destination that’s rather far away along with several staff members, pay significant fees, and work long hours for days or even weeks to get new clients.  A lot of these shows are cash and carry deals where you pick out what you want, pay, and take it away.  If we’re talking about real wholesale shows catering to jewelers who are populating their stores, that’s a dumb way to buy diamonds.  It’s even dumber as a seller.  You don’t get clients, they take on significant risks, they can’t sell ‘virtual’ inventory (meaning goods located somewhere else), and the margins aren’t there.  Of course they don’t like it.  Who would?

Edited by denverappraiser
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Interesting post... not that I have answers, but some comments to your observations perhaps can keep the conversation alive.

 

Sorry, I didn't mean ... I was just bloviating.  When someone says Lets Get Serious, that means I'll have to put on my thinking cap.

 

DL >> 1) It depends on what you mean by "poor health". Innovation in gem cutting - and particularly in diamonds - is very slow. I'd say there have been only half a dozen truly innovative cut/shape-related innovations in diamonds, yet people have been picking diamonds up and (trying) to cut them for a few thousands years.

 

Innovation: In the emerald-donut thread, I googled "diamond fresnel" to see if anyone'd ever tried to put fresnel-shaped lenses on a diamond.  Turns out they just use diamonds to cut fresnel glass, of course.  (Thing is -- we're all calling that stone a light hole.  They need to put a light behind the stone and figure out how to repurpose it.)

 

If I was trying to treat diamond as a serious investment object, I'd stockpile rough, in the hopes future cutting technique improvements would increase my yield.

 

DL >> At the same time, the value (in real terms) of diamond jewellery traded keeps increasing - not so much because diamond quality and/or average prices improve (if at all!), but because more and more people want it and can afford it.

 

But retail seems increasingly confined to the 1-carat round market, unless I'm looking at this too easily as a symptom of the post-2009 Hunger Games.

 

DL >> Mercedes-Benz makes more cars now ...

 

A favorite target of mine.  We had the first-year (98) ML flatbedded to our home (because my wife was initially afraid to drive it).  The local MB dealer sniffed that this was "a truck" rather than a real MB.  During the warranty period, we noticed every oil change would be accompanied by 4-7 pages of listed "warranty repairs" for stuff we didn't think was wrong.  When the warranty ran out, the local dealer started charging US for this spurious junk -- averaging $700 per visit.  We quickly got rid of that car.  We wouldn't buy another MB mostly because of our local dealer in Little Silver, NJ.

 

I know over in Europe MBs make fair taxis.  I've driven an A-Class diesel and wish they'd brought it over, but apparently they can't make it posh enough to maintain the faux American image.

 

DL >> 2) On the vampirism: far fewer undeads around recently. The retail diamond market has never been so transparent - or wanting to continue the bloody analogy, sunlit: prices all over the place, vendors that compete on the basis of how much they can tell you about their diamonds...

 

This was one of my peeves.  It's not just $3000 but that's perhaps the size of the average pad on top of whatever a young American male buys, often in his local suburban mall.  Plus finance charges.  The full price is probably closer to $15-20K.

 

Assuming the normal sale is a 40% markup, there's already $4-6K in profit per transaction.  The extra $3K is gravy for vampires (which has the distinct effect of depressing all future transactions).

 

Transparency might improve in terms of the entire constellation of diamond products, but you normally no longer get plot charts with GIA grading reports unless you a$k for the extra work. ASET images are low-tech hokey, but they're a simple to understand way to see how light is being refracted, or lost.  The funny thing is, an automated HD video tour of each cut stone could do a world of good, but it's not automatically offered to buyers.  Instead, we get ...

 

DL >> Branding (long discussion)

 

If I was a young man starting over, I'd give attention to this field. As my Wall Street mentor shrugged, you can always buy brains -- it's the connections that make things work.  There's actually too much to be said on this subject to try to shoehorn it into this thread, but --

 

DL >> overestimating the ability of the industry (specifically the diamond cutting industry) to set fashions: Asscher cuts were out and on the way to extinction by the year 2000 - within 7-8 years they were "hot" because a TV show resurrected them.

 

Actually, this is exactly how "setting fashion" is supposed to work, utilizing popular media.  Few people heard of Vespa (scooters) before Gina Lollobrigida rode sidesaddle behind Rock Hudson, yet that inspired a generation of followers.  (This came up recently when we were in Ho Chi Mih City, because everyone commutes on a scooter, and yes, Vespas are still being made.)

 

The biggest fashion initiative out of the diamond industry in the last 15 years is the notion of the right-hand ring.  But WHY are they still just producing rings, earrings, pendants and brooches?  Particularly when young people are piercing all their soft tissues and/or inking large swaths of epedermis?  Shouldn't the industry be trying to reach further?

 

Let me throw out another wacky idea.  Kanye West.  OK, he's not the perfect messenger, but diamond teeth have at least a semblance of a notion of practicality.  IIn 2005 I was in discussion with my dentist about installing memory chips in tooth crowns, the idea being a person could eventually retain petabytes of personal data.  (In 2014, we have Google Glass and the Cloud... so we've gone backwards a little.)

 

This has gone a little far from my initial kvetch, which is that when I put in a modest set of criteria for marquise stones, the online list of acceptable pieces is too short. Oh well...

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It’s very hard to make any money on diamonds.   Landing deals with aggressive customers leaves a margin in the single digits, if that, and the amount of work required is as much or more than it’s ever been.

 

Well, in retail it's 5% of customers who give 95% of the problem.  It has always been this way. But the other 19/20 customers make up for the bad ones.  So the trick is to try to avoid bad apples, or cut your losses when they become evident.  The thread we had about a Jared store in southern NJ a few weeks ago?  The local store measured up the customer and decided he was a complete rube. The only catch was his being a local police officer, which actually didn't do anything to protect his rights as a consumer.  (Hope he at least got a decent Learning Experience out if it.)

 

DA >> Modern wholesale diamonds is more a financial service than ever before where everything is wrapped up into a memo service.

 

On the first part -- your friendly local bank (which is neither) appreciates your generating all the loan paperwork for them.  Or -- that line of credit they give you?  It's secured by the loans you make.  Same difference. (In auto loans, they call it floorplanning.)

 

It's not a memo service if the customer has to put up money.  The stone I should see next Wednesday from Blue Nile won't ship unless it's on my credit card.  If I reject it, I expect BN to take full advantage of returning credit to my account after they get it back in good order.  Between the jeweler and supplier is where the memo takes place, and that's built into the trade price.

 

DA >> Trade shows?  Exhibitors need to pack up a giant load of stuff, travel with it to a destination that’s rather far away along with several staff members, pay significant fees, and work long hours for days or even weeks to get new clients.

 

The Hong Kong one is so successful -- we're talking trade show standards here, not participants -- that they split it in two this year, with the "raw materials" part held out past the airport instead of in Central.  Apparently though, everyone who could afford to be there was:  ":You've got to be in it to win it."

 

This is a vestigial thing.  Something very curious to the jewelry industry -- like everyone returning annually to the hive.  They used to do similar trade shows for electronica in NY (PC Expo) and Vegas (Comdex) but the shows got so big, elaborate, and expensive, you really couldn't do your fair share of business in the allotted time.  So nowadays, most intratrade business is (just) online.  Trade shows are primarily for the trade press.

 

DA >> A lot of these shows are cash and carry deals where you pick out what you want, pay, and take it away.  If we’re talking about real wholesale shows catering to jewelers who are populating their stores, that’s a dumb way to buy diamonds.

 

Direct sales at the HK show were being done by <10% of vendors, and since they allowed in the general public, prices were worse (higher) than market, because Novelty.  An awful scene, with mobs crowding display cases. Not surprisingly, these weren't diamonds. :)

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Just picking up a couple of points...

 

Innovation: In the emerald-donut thread, I googled "diamond fresnel" to see if anyone'd ever tried to put fresnel-shaped lenses on a diamond.  Turns out they just use diamonds to cut fresnel glass, of course.  (Thing is -- we're all calling that stone a light hole.  They need to put a light behind the stone and figure out how to repurpose it.)

if you put a light behind a window, it shines through the window. Although the image of Elwing getting through to Earendil lost in the fogs surrounding Aman while carrying the Silmaril on her chest may be poetic, it is hardly what people want to do at a party...

 

If I was trying to treat diamond as a serious investment object, I'd stockpile rough, in the hopes future cutting technique improvements would increase my yield.

You need serious amounts of capital. Some guys called De Beers have been at it for a century or so... The problem with stockpiling rough is that you need to buy a lot of it at a time; no-one sells facetable (diamond) rough one piece at a time, or if they do you pay very much through the nose (or are being led by the same).

 

On the improvement of future cutting techniques: I somehow doubt it. The laws of optics have been understood (to the extent needed to cut diamonds) pretty well for over 150 years, and nowadays between CAD/CAM, laser cutting and all that you pretty much can cut anything you want in the shape you want it.

 

But retail seems increasingly confined to the 1-carat round market, unless I'm looking at this too easily as a symptom of the post-2009 Hunger Games.

For that matter, "retail" is typically a lot less than one carat... Don't count yourself as a typical retail customer or as someone with a typical "retail buyer" income.

 

This was one of my peeves.  It's not just $3000 but that's perhaps the size of the average pad on top of whatever a young American male buys, often in his local suburban mall.  Plus finance charges.  The full price is probably closer to $15-20K.

 

Assuming the normal sale is a 40% markup, there's already $4-6K in profit per transaction.  The extra $3K is gravy for vampires (which has the distinct effect of depressing all future transactions).

The average bloke spends far, far less than $15-20k on an engagement ring, which is typically the major jewellery purchase for a family. Various sources quote between $4 and $5k as average (median?) in the US, and other countries are usually below that.

 

Where did you get a "40% markup" as a normal sale margin? It's hugely far from that, unfortunately, particularly if the sale is of a loose stone(s). And if a vendor has 40% recharges, it is typically a mall store: those rooms don't come for free, and neither does staff (though I'd rather have fewer but better prepared ones, as a customer).

 

BTW - I'm not arguing that people aren't getting ripped off; they are. But not on loose diamonds as long as they follow pretty basic "good shopping" practices.

 

Transparency might improve in terms of the entire constellation of diamond products, but you normally no longer get plot charts with GIA grading reports unless you a$k for the extra work. ASET images are low-tech hokey, but they're a simple to understand way to see how light is being refracted, or lost.  The funny thing is, an automated HD video tour of each cut stone could do a world of good, but it's not automatically offered to buyers.  Instead, we get ...

You get a plot with the report if the vendor asks for it (or if the stone is above 2 carats); in most cases consumers don't want to spend the time in understanding the plot; they want the laser inscription because they "get that" instantly (and wrongly think it's reliable protection against stone swapping). End result: same price (within $20), less information.

 

There are several vendors that provide videos "by default" (including our good selves). Some do it only on stones they stock, some do it on virtual inventory. If that's what you want... just shop with them.

 

DL >> overestimating the ability of theindustry (specifically the diamond cutting industry) to set fashions: Asscher cuts were out and on the way to extinction by the year 2000 - within 7-8 years they were "hot" because a TV show resurrected them.

 

Actually, this is exactly how "setting fashion" is supposed to work, utilizing popular media.  Few people heard of Vespa (scooters) before Gina Lollobrigida rode sidesaddle behind Rock Hudson, yet that inspired a generation of followers.  (This came up recently when we were in Ho Chi Mih City, because everyone commutes on a scooter, and yes, Vespas are still being made.)

I don't know if Piaggio paid for product placement back in the 1960s, but my point is that the brief resurgence of Asschers had nothing to do with the diamond industry - and I suspect it was successful because of that.

 

The biggest fashion initiative out of the diamond industry in the last 15 years is the notion of the right-hand ring.  But WHY are they still just producing rings, earrings, pendants and brooches?  Particularly when young people are piercing all their soft tissues and/or inking large swaths of epedermis?  Shouldn't the industry be trying to reach further?

Plenty of studs and piercing "adornments" being produced. However, budget is typically a factor, and suddenly giving $1000 (or whatever) to embellish what is typically a bit of a "rebel" statement starts sounding far less rebellious and much more conspicuous consumption... permanent stone implants are much more of a pain - we can't produce reliable (human lifetime) implants for real prosthetics where the need is functional, not aesthetic, and I don't think jewellery will get there before the medical industry does.

 

And since it's Good Friday, I'm not otherwise working and I can't keep my mouth shut, a comment about your response to Neil's post too.

 

DA >> Modern wholesale diamonds is more a financial service than ever before where everything is wrapped up into a memo service.

 

On the first part -- your friendly local bank (which is neither) appreciates your generating all the loan paperwork for them.  Or -- that line of credit they give you?  It's secured by the loans you make.  Same difference. (In auto loans, they call it floorplanning.)

 

It's not a memo service if the customer has to put up money.  The stone I should see next Wednesday from Blue Nile won't ship unless it's on my credit card.  If I reject it, I expect BN to take full advantage of returning credit to my account after they get it back in good order.  Between the jeweler and supplier is where the memo takes place, and that's built into the trade price.

Neil is speaking of wholesaling, not retailing as a "memo service". No matter how many times one writes about oneself as a "diamond wholesaler", when one is selling one stone at a time to one-off customers, one is retailing.

 

(Incidentally, as long as it is on your credit card, you aren't putting up money either; the credit card circuit is. Which is precisely what allows Blue Nile et al. to survive and prosper.)

Edited by davidelevi
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A fascinating thread -- so many loose ends. :) 

 

I'm sure we'll revisit many of these points but I've hijacked my own topic, at this point.  The Marquise from BN arrives in 24 hours, and I honestly don't know which way the decision will go on it.  It's not enough to say I could get 95% the same for 25-30% less, because that's dropping or devaluing something in the equation (4 C's) that I have to pretend isn't as important to my "earring" criteria right now.

 

If anything, I "win" by identifying a set of stones that meet my own needs more than they do the general market with "perfect" pricing.  I win by not paying extra for the dead weight of a fat girdle -- unless there are other things about the stone that makes it more suitable for our intended use, versus a nominal discount.

 

But since these are intended as discrete disposables, rather than investments, the Win invariably incorporates structure of a mythos, a storyline of how/why/when we chose a particular piece.  Between a trip spanning 14 timezones away and meeting some of the keenest ethical intellects on the Web, I think we've already been well served in this regard.

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But since these are intended as discrete disposables, rather than investments, the Win invariably incorporates structure of a mythos, a storyline of how/why/when we chose a particular piece.  Between a trip spanning 14 timezones away and meeting some of the keenest ethical intellects on the Web, I think we've already been well served in this regard.

[my emphasis]

Well, if you want Mythos, how about: 

 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one's diamond to exceed the parameters set by someone as ideal, and to assume among them fluorescence, shape and colour different from those to which the Laws of Fashion and Optics would compel a buyer to strive for, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that the chooser should declare the causes which impel them to the selection.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all diamonds are created different, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Characteristics, that among these are Clarity, Colour and the pursuit of weight retention when cut.

  

Or is it too serious?

Edited by davidelevi
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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one's diamond to exceed the parameters set by someone as ideal, and to assume among them fluorescence, shape and colour different from those to which the Laws of Fashion and Optics would compel a buyer to strive for, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that the chooser should declare the causes which impel them to the selection.

 

That's what it is, in a nutshell.  When she picked the Headlight, I deferred my (slightly) more informed choices for the sake of her greater Happyness.  And it's still an impressive-looking chunk, regardless of whether it could have been chosen better.

 

In this case, though, the Marquise is still only another 25% through the selection process.  (BN called late in the day to say delivery is now Thursday rather than Weds... it seems this rock may have traveled from NYC to Washington, to be examined and sent back to me in NJ.)

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Brief update, only --

 

We're keeping the Marquise from Blue Nile, as well as the shallow Trilliant from Union Diamond.  Neither stone is going to win any awards in this forum, but they're comparatively evenly matched.  Since we're on a mission to replace two .43 studs and two .32 studs, the spread on these two stones is impressive.

 

Also, we've been spending a lot of time learning more about diamonds in general, and think we can make better choices on the two more popular shapes that we've saved for last.  (Ironically, these stones will be a lot smaller than what we've already bought, so their sparkle/fire/brilliance are going to have to carry the weight versus the odd geometric shape.  This was intentional from the beginning, but e have yet to see how it's playing out.

 

Personal note -- I'm currently in the hospital on an unscheduled stay, so output may be down for a few days. :)

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