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May
07

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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This coming Sunday, May 12th will mark the annual Mother’s Day celebration. Not surprisingly the millions of mothers across the country are not the only ones who look forward to this day. The Jewelry industry has seized this day as yet another excuse to market by playing on the emotions of their consumers. This year, according a recently published survey, the industry expects to see a jump of 11 percent in spending on jewelry related gifts during this mother’s day season.

Diamonds.net quotes the National Retail Federation’s Mother’s Day Survey saying “The average amount shoppers expect to spend on jewelry was $100.55, up from $97.19 one year ago and the highest average so far. Those consumers who earn less than $50,000 per year expect to spend an average of $74.94 on jewelry, while those earning more than $50,000 plan to spend an average of $122.86 on their jewelry purchase for Mother’s Day.”

So if you are in the market for some nice gifts for mom check out some of these great gift ideas:

14k White Gold Fresh Water Pearl Stud Earrings – $110

14k White Gold Polished Heart Pendant – $135

Classic 1/4ctw 18K White Gold Stud Earrings – $340

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Rapaport Diamond news site is reporting that India has seen a huge drop off in it’s polished diamond exports for the month of September. This is bad news for US retailers as India is now a major factor in the diamond industry and the fact that these numbers are down could reflect a weakening of demand heading into the major US retail season. Most US retailers see about 80% of their annual revenue during the next 3 months and we could see a softening of pricing if this low demand keeps up.

You can read the full article here: http://www.diamonds.net/News/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=41317&ArticleTitle=Indias%2bPolished%2bExports%2b-39%2525%2bin%2bSeptember

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With the JCK trade show going on this weekend I have been waiting for some interesting news to report. One interesting piece I came a across was about a settlement between retailer giant Zales and  and Gemex Systems.

For those of you new to Gemex, they hold a patent on a device that measures the Return of Light of a diamond. The Return of Light is a way to measure the brilliance of a diamond by shining light at various angles in a BrillianceScope Viewer. By measuring the amount of light reflected back into the BrillianceScope gemex is able to predict how brilliant the diamond will be in a real life setting.  Diamonds that are certified by Gemex come with a Light Performance certificate.  The Return of Light is important because it is a way to measure the visible brilliance of a diamond.  When looking at a diamond the fire and sparkle that you see is a result of the return of light.

Apparently Zales was selling diamonds certified by a company called GS Systems which were claiming to be actual return of light certificates when in reality they were not. Under the settlement Zales will cease to market diamonds with the GS Return of Light certificate and will use more honest language.

According to the press release located on diamonds.net “Zale Corporation and GS Laboratories have agreed to change their behavior regarding diamonds and certificates in their stores, including the Celebration Diamond.  The defendants agree to cease and hereafter refrain from making characterizations or statements that would indicate that a non-GemEx certificate reflects an actual measurement of light when it does not.  The defendants will no longer suggest that ray-tracing technologies measure actual light as opposed to making a mathematical prediction of what might be observed.”

I am all for more honesty when it comes to marketing and selling diamonds so I feel that Gemex was in the right in this case!

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I am often asked my opinion of different diamond and jewelry sites, everything from James Allen to BlueNile and Whiteflash to ice.com. In an effort to better answer your questions I decided to start a new section called Site Review. In each site review I will give you the advantages and disadvantages of the site (as I see them).  There are so many sites out there today and I won’t be able to cover them all but I will do my best.

Since BlueNile is the largest and most well known out there I decided to start with my BlueNile site review. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any feedback.

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Rappaort.Net is reporting that US based Jewelry stores recorded strong February sales with an increase of nearly 19% in year over year sales compared to 2011. Te report also predicts a strong March and April sales.

“Consumers have demonstrated the desire and ability to spend on discretionary items, further helping to spur economic and retail sales growth in the first quarter of 2012,” said NRF’s president Matthew Shay. “While retailers will wait until the end of April to gauge the success of the spring shopping season, it’s evident that consumers are holding their own against rising gas prices and other economic concerns.”

Click here for full aritcle

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A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit New York on a vacation. Of course I couldn’t miss the opportunity to do at least some work on the trip and I decided to visit the famed 47th Street Diamond District and do some window shopping. On more than one occasion I have had readers asking about buying diamonds in the district and I figured it was time for a real survey of the prices and selection so that I can give better answers to my readers. Before I get into the results, let’s have a quick refresher on diamond pricing. For more information on this topic see my full page that I have dedicated to this.

Retailers all sell diamonds based on a price called “Rapp”. This is named after the Rappaport Diamond Report which on a monthly bases surveys the various merchants in the diamond district and complies a list of average “asking prices”. The list is divided by shape, clarity and color and grouped into a size range. For example you will see a listing for 0.5 to 0.99 carat H-SI1 diamonds for $1000. The price given is price per carat in thousands of dollars.  When negotiating for a diamond price you will often hear the price quoted as a “% off Rapp” So, if a diamond should sell for $10,000 according to the Rapp, 10% off would mean a $1,000 discount. While any price off Rapp sounds like a good deal you have to realize that the Rapp list is base doff High Asking prices! What this means is that they are averaging the highest prices found in the most expensive place to shop. Never, and I mean never, buy a diamond for Rapp price!

And now the results….

Read More→
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One of the questions that I often get is deciding between a gold and platinum setting for a ring. It’s a tough choice and one I usually leave up to the preference of the buyer- I don’t have a strong preference one way or the other. For those of you who are really stuck you should check out this ring being reported on in the Huffington Post. It’s a 150 carat pure diamond ring – that’s right, there is no setting! According to the report the diamond, weighing in at 150 carats, is valued at a whopping $68 million dollars. Apparently this particular ring is already sold – but if you are interested in something on a bit of a smaller budget – drop me a note and I am happy to help you out.

 

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Idexonline is reporting that 4 diamond graders in the
Antwerp office of HRD labs have been arrested for apparent “mistakes”
in grading diamonds. I don’t review HRD specifically in my diamond
certification page but I do stress how important it is to understand that not
all labs are created equal.

I get emails daily from people telling me they found a great
buy on a diamond and they want to understand why the diamonds I recommend on
James Allen, Whiteflash and others are more costly. When I ask for a copy of
the certificate 9 times out of 10 they send me an EGL cert. I can’t stress
enough that EGL certs are just not the same as a GIA or AGS cert. Comparing an
EGL vs. GIA is comparing apples to oranges.

Before buying an EGL certified diamond and thinking that you
are getting a great buy – please read my diamond certification pages and specifically
my page  dedicated to EGL.

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Idex Online is reporting that Christie’s is set to auction 17 Jewels from the  Copper Heiresses’ estate. The highlight of the auction will be the 9 carat purple\pink cushion cut diamond with an esitmated price range of $6-$8 million dollars.

Check out the full article here.

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Feb
27

Another happy reader!

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Randy

Thanks for your help in my recent purchase of an engagement ring. I appreciate your expertise and patience. The final choice was this three stone platinum ring. I told her the side stones represented her children and my children. The center stone represents us. Her first response was, “Is this real?” I’ve lost count of how many times she told me, “This is the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen.” Oh, and she said , “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.”

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