Tuesday, December 20, 2005

GIA Manhattan Diamond Grading Lab Faces Bribery Inquiry

Federal prosecutors are gathering information about a bribery scandal at a diamond-grading laboratory in Manhattan that is known as the nation's most trusted evaluator of the quality of precious gems, sources close to the inquiry said.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) said it reported to federal law enforcement officials that "a small community" of diamond dealers had been trying to improperly influence employees of its Midtown laboratory, which assigns grades to diamonds for their clarity and color. The institute replaced the executive who oversaw the lab and fired four employees who worked there, but has declined to say how many dealers were offering bribes or how many diamonds may have been fraudulently rated.

Ralph Destino, chairman of the institute, confirmed last night that the institute's lawyers had turned over information to prosecutors about violations of its code of conduct by the four unidentified employees who were dismissed and a "handful" of the lab's customers. He said the employees had "improper contact" with dealers who had submitted diamonds for grading. The violations involved only a "handful of stones" he said, though he declined to provide a specific number.

Jewelry dealers in the diamond district have been buzzing about the matter for weeks. The Diamond Dealers Club, a group of prominent brokers, has called on the institute to define the scope of the problems it uncovered and release the names of those it suspects of offering bribes, but Mr. Destino declined.

"I'm sure diamond dealers are curious, but the G.I.A. is not a law enforcement agency," Mr. Destino said. "We don't accuse, we don't indict, we don't subpoena."

Mr. Destino said members of the diamond-trading industry had "grossly exaggerated" the size of the problems at the lab. "I can assure people that there is no reason to question the integrity of any G.I.A. report that's out there."

The internal investigation was spurred by a rare lawsuit against the institute brought by an iconoclastic gem broker who once managed the diamond room at the Harry Winston jewelry store on Fifth Avenue. The broker, Max Pincione, alleged in the suit that two large diamonds he sold to members of the Saudi royal family in 2001 had been given inflated grades in certificates issued by the Midtown lab.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Diamond Prices Update - December 9, 2005

With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, loose diamond prices continue to remain steady with no apparent increases in sight. With only 2 weeks left in the season we do not expect any price spikes at this point.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Diamond Exhibition Closes Early Because of Robbery Threats

A major diamond exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London was closed early after the organizers were warned of a potential robbery plot. Scotland Yard reported public safety was at risk if the exhibition stayed open for another three months as planned.

One of the major attractions at the event was the De Beers Millennium Star - a stunning 203 carat Pear Shape diamond. The Millenium Star was once the target of thieves during the famous Millennium Dome heist in 2000.

Scotland Yard sources said the most substantial difference between the two robbery plans was that in 2000, detectives were following the gang and were able to isolate the area of the Dome when they struck. The robbers were caught red-handed. This time the police did not know the time or details of the planned robbery.

"At the Dome we were always in control," a Yard source said. "But if we don't know the time or method, we can't take the gang out at our agreed and controlled location. There is therefore an unacceptable risk. We would be very strongly criticised if we had let it happen and, say, a child died in the cross-fire. We can watch everyone entering but we don't know whether the next one will be a robber. We could have had a hostage situation."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Cheap Diamonds – How To Find the Best Deal On A Diamond Online

Don’t be embarrassed by the word “cheap”, especially when it comes to diamonds. Finding a low price for a diamond is now easier than ever with the Loose Diamonds Search Engine. This fantastic tool brings loose diamond inventories together from jewelers around the web and gives consumers an easy way to search and compare without the need to hop around from one diamond site to another.

You will be amazed at the range of prices you can find for similar or identical diamonds. If your budget is $1,000 or $10,000 this tool can help you save. Give it a try and search the database for a cheap diamond.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Diamond Prices Update - 11/04/2005

Diamond prices moved slightly lower this week, 9 price points in our index fell representing just under a 1% drop.

We still believe prices will rise as we move closer to the holidays, but this small drop is encouraging and will reward those who start shopping early.

Our loose diamonds search engine has now reached a new inventory milestone. We have over 200,000 diamonds available to search in our comparison database. As this number continues to grow, this tool will become invaluable to consumers interested in buying a diamond or engagement ring online.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Breathtaking Diamonds Auctioned at Christie's

Christie's recent "Magnificent Jewels" auction net approximately $36 million in sales. Among the most notable transactions, the "Rose of Dubai", a Pear shape 25.02 carat Fancy Pink diamond which sold for more than $6 million. With fierce competition among 4 bidders, the diamond realized a staggering $240,000 per carat price. The winner of this bidding competition was Amer Radwan of Dubai.

Among other top items was a Pear shape 33.11 carat D Flawless diamond which sold to diamond jeweler Laurence Graff for $2.48 million, and an Oval 4.24-carat Fancy Vivid Blue, Internally Flawless diamond ring by Harry Winston, which went for $1.8 million to an anonymous buyer.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Loose Diamonds Search Engine Launches for 2005 Holiday Shopping Season

(PRWEB) November 1, 2005 -- As more people embrace shopping online, especially for higher priced luxury goods such as diamonds and jewelry, a need has been filled to provide consumers with an easy to use tool to compare diamond inventories from jewelers around the web. Until now, large shopping aggregation sites have been the only option when comparison shopping online. While these sites prove a useful resource for some products, for diamonds they lack the detailed information needed to form an accurate comparison.

The loose diamonds search engine was designed to give consumers an easy way to compare available diamonds with similar, and in many cases, identical specifications. Providing details such as carat weight, cut grade, color, clarity, dimensions and of course prices, gives the searcher a side by side comparison of diamonds available from around the web. No longer does one need to hop from site to site, search each one and try to remember what they found.

A prime example of the diversity in pricing for very similar diamonds can be seen in a sample search. Looking for a Round Brilliant, 1.00 carat, Ideal Cut, G color and SI1 clarity diamond returns 21 results from 4 different jewelers. All of the diamonds returned are nearly identical in their characteristics, yet the retail prices range from $3,900 up to $5,700. Armed with this information, visitors may decide which factors are most important to them, whether it be price or perhaps the jewelers return or upgrade policy.

The loose diamonds search engine gives consumers control over the factors that are important to them and to compare over 150,000 diamonds from around the web.Research has shown that most purchases made from online jewelers are from repeat visitors. Consumers are not likely to part ways with several thousand dollars the first time around. To facilitate those return visits, the loose diamonds search engine provides a personal comparison list feature which can be saved to visitors computers or sent via email to themselves or friends. The comparison list is created without asking for any personal information such as names, locations or email addresses thereby assuring a private and peaceful experience.

Estimates show that nearly 30% of engagements in the U.S. take place during the months of November and December. As more and more couples see the value and potential savings in purchasing diamonds online this holiday season, the loose diamonds search engine will become an essential tool in the research and buying process.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Diamond prices update 10/28/05

Nothing much to update again this week - all quiet in the diamond pricing world. It has now been 2 1/2 months since any measureable price changes have occurred.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Loose diamonds feature - 0.75 carat Princess Ideal Cut F VS2

Today's featured loose diamond is an amazing Ideal Cut Princess shape stone. It is part of Blue Nile's Signature Ideal collection and represents a remarkable value. GIA certified with the following data:

Depth %: 66.6%
Table %: 70%
Symmetry: Very good
Polish: Excellent
Girdle: Medium to slightly thick
Culet: None
Fluorescence: None
Measurements: 5.17x5.00x3.33 mm
Crown height: 9.6%
Length/width ratio: 1.03

View this loose diamonds detail.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Diamond pricing difference example

Here is an example of how wide the prices of loose diamonds can range between retailers:

A 1.00 carat, F, VS1, Ideal Cut, Round Brilliant diamond returns these results:

Round 1.00 Ideal F VS1 61.5 56.0 06.35 x 6.47 x 3.94 $6,667 USD VIEW
Round 1.00 Ideal F VS1 63.0 57.0 6.41 x 6.33 x 3.98 $6,720 USD VIEW
Round 1.00 Ideal F VS1 62.6 54.0 6.3 x 6.36 x 3.96 $7,638 USD VIEW
Round 1.00 Ideal F VS1 61.5 56.0 6.47 x 6.45 x 3.97 $7,812 USD VIEW
Round 1.00 Ideal F VS1 60.3 57.0 6.45 x 6.51 x 3.91 $7,996 USD VIEW

Almost a $1,300 difference amongst practically identical diamonds! Be sure to take the time and search around for the best diamond pricing.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Finally a move in the other direction

For the first time since January, diamond prices moved lower confirming our earlier prediction of a lull. Although only affecting diamonds below a half carat, this decrease should be taken as a good indication that this is the right time to buy online.

If you are planning a Christmas proposal and have the will power to hold on to a diamond ring until then, making a purchase now should save you a significant amount of money. The holiday season always brings increased demand and with that demand comes higher prices.

So go ahead and compare diamond prices from multiple jewelers and save yourself some cash now.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Diamond Prices Moved Higher

A small move up this week, just a 3% gain in our pricing index only affecting diamonds 1 carat and above, graded D-F color and IF-VVS2 clarity. Otherwise another quiet week which should continue until the fall when prices will start to spike as we approach the holiday season.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Diamond prices have been rising steadily during August

August has been a busy month for diamond prices. Our price index has risen by 51 points during the past month. This past week we finally saw a break in the price increases and hopefully this indicates a typical late summer slow down in sales which should stabilize prices for the moment.

If you are considering buying an engagement ring or other diamond jewelry this year, now may be the time to strike as prices will resume their upward trend in the fall as we approach the holiday season which is typically the strongest time of the year for diamond and jewelry sales.

So get out there and start shopping - use our loose diamonds search engine to compare prices from multiple jewelers all at once.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The most expensive diamond you can buy online

Just for fun and in case anybody was wondering, I decided to find the most expensive diamond you could buy online. Now if you have a spare $726,000 or that much available limit on your Visa :), you can have this beautiful 8.90 carat Round Brilliant D Flawless diamond from Mondera.

If you want to find some more moderately and reasonably priced diamonds, or some more ridiculously expensive ones, you should check out our loose diamonds search engine.

Happy hunting!!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Prices went up today - July 8, 2005

Diamond prices went up today...that's the bad news. The good news (for some of us) is that it only affected diamonds that are 2.00 carats and higher so if you couldn't afford a $25,000 rock before, you still can't! For diamonds below 2.00 carats there was no change in pricing.