I imported and wholesaled diamonds from Belgium and Israel for decades.
Quick comment about diamond prices and synthetics and their "value".
Don’t buy synthetic, man-made diamonds that Kessler’s, Kay’s and others are touting as “the same thing”.
THEY ARE NOT the same thing. Dick Powers is correct when he says they will become virtually worthless, eventually. (I've known Rick Kessler and Dick Powers for decades, both nice and honest guys) Eventually is already here. Prices upon introduction were in the thousands of dollars per carat. Today, they are under $1,000 and only supported by ads directed at millennials. I get ads from the manufacturers, in my email box. They talk about the environment, miners and mining, and touted as THE opportunity for retailers to get young women into their stores.
Don’t be fooled. While the synthetics mimic crystal carbon, they ARE detectable. I remember when synthetic rubies hit the markets in the early ‘80s. Same thing… hundreds of dollars per carat, today, you can buy them on the wholesale market for $15-$20 per carat, which basically, reflects the cost of cutting, electricity, etc.
GIA, EGL and non “certified” diamonds. Note that there’s no such thing as a “certificate”, they are lab “reports”, giving an independent and professional opinion of the grade and cut of the diamond from an independent source, having no conflict of interest in that part of the sales equation. I was the first jeweler to certify every stone sold at my retail stores back in the early '80's. I only certify better grades and larger stones.
The most important part of buying a diamond, whether in the retail or wholesale market is that the price should match the grade. EXAMPLE: If a diamond with no report is being touted as an I color and SI1 clarity, but, upon report, is an I color SI2, based on another opinion, but is priced as an I or J SI2, it’s of no consequence. The price matches the stone.
I set up a couple dozen or more solitaire Tiffany style engagement rings. I wanted to see what the “competition” was doing and went online to see. Even I was surprised. When a jeweler advertises “We don’t negotiate, you get the lowest price, right away.” It really means, the lowest price THEY give. It’s not necessarily THE lowest price. Even their sales are not the lowest price in town, or anywhere. That's determined by comparison. I did a comparison.
So, what did I find?? I did a spread sheet. Here it is.