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Shane Decker

At 1 Billion Years Old, You Better Believe Mined Diamonds Are “Worth It”

If you’re encountering price objections, you’re not using enough facts about diamonds to build value.





IMAGINE THIS: Under perfect conditions, hundreds of miles beneath the surface of the Earth, under tremendous heat and pressure, with all the right chemicals and minerals in place, diamonds form — the hardest (and arguably most beautiful) material on the planet.

If you were to go to an antique store and buy a 200-year-old dresser from Belgium, it might cost you $7,000. By contrast, we’re told that mined diamonds — the newest ones — are about 1 billion years old, while the oldest are 3.4 billion years old. What if we put an antique value on diamonds? I’ve personally collected dinosaur bones and eggs, and they’re 65 million years old — young compared to diamonds.

Now, let’s talk about rarity. Mining experts tell us that it takes 1 million diamonds mined to get one gem-quality 1-carat stone. (Approximately 80% of all diamonds mined are industrial grade.) They also tell us it takes 5 million diamonds mined to obtain a gem-quality 2-carat (I don’t know the odds on a 3-carat).


It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to find mined diamonds. Over the last 30-40 years, diamond production is down 30%, but diamond demand is up 300%. Only around one thousand kimberlite pipes contain diamonds. Of those, only around 60 are rich enough in diamonds to make them economically viable to mine. And of those, only 7 are responsible for most of the world’s diamonds.

Mined diamonds are the smallest form of transferable, negotiable wealth known to man. When you get your first engagement ring, you can wear it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 40 years and pass it down to the next generation to wear. Nothing else can take that kind of punishment for that long.

Not only does a diamond have sentimental value, but it also goes up in value while you wear it.
And consider the diamond cutter’s skill set. They apprentice 5-10 years under a master cutter before they are allowed to touch a 1-carat.

If you total all this up, what should the real price of a mined 1-carat diamond be? The price we sell them for is a joke, and it’s on us. Some of you even negotiate the price because your salespeople don’t know how to prove its worth it. One day, possibly soon, mined diamonds will be mined out. What will the price be then?

Salespeople need to learn when selling mined diamonds how to sell the beauty and the real value and understand what a special product they have in their hand. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world.


When presenting diamonds, always start with mined diamonds first. (Don’t turn away clients who want a lab-grown diamond — they’re very important also — but start with mined first.) Your inventory should be 60-70% mined and 30-40% lab. Have your lab-grown diamonds on the left, mined on the right and bridal in the middle.

When selling mined diamonds, always romance the reason they want it, the beauty of the item and its value. Never make it about price. And diamonds are not a lot of money.

Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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