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Daniel Dabakarov: At The Rarefied End Of The Spectrum

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Colored diamonds offer value, beauty and excitement.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INSTORE.


Selling colored diamonds
is a very different endeavor
from selling white or “colorless”
diamonds. It’s a privilege, differentiating
and potentially very
profitable. While colorless diamonds
have become a commodity,
colored diamonds, particularly the
pinks, blues and reds, are so rare
they have become highly sought
treasures and symbols of elite
wealth. By some estimates, these
three colors combined make up
less than 0.2 percent of annual
diamond output, allowing them to
command a growing premium.

Colored diamonds are commonly
explained via four categories:
affordable (gray, brown,
yellow), mid-range (vivid yellow
and orange), exclusive (pink, blue,
purple and green), and ultra exclusive
(red). Most customers will not
be aware of the variety of colors
available nor of the variation in
pricing that accompanies them.
Social media happenings, such as
Ben Affleck buying Jennifer Lopez
a 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement
ring, have offered a limited
view of what colored diamonds
are, yet the stones themselves
have actually enjoyed a long and
interesting history.

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Although values have varied,
it is safe to say that, per carat, the
most rare colored diamonds have
seen much greater appreciation
than white diamonds over the
centuries. And today the big auction
houses such as Christie’s are
commonly commanding over $2
million per carat for the fancy
Intense Pink diamonds.

Rarity is one of the greatest
drivers of interest in colored diamonds.
As such, it is impossible
to comparison shop colored diamonds.
Each gem is so unique that
it is highly unlikely that another
jeweler (or anyone online) will be
able to offer an almost identical
one. Simple possession of such
rarity sets you apart as a jeweler,
capturing certain customers’
attention. This simple supply/
demand equation also ensures you
will achieve a premium.

The GIA system measures saturation,
hue, tone and color distribution
of these gems. The rarer
the color attributes, the greater
the premium.

It is also important to understand
the origin of the colored
diamond as those from certain
preferred mines become even
rarer. For instance, the Argyle mine in Western Australia is
known for the quality of its pinks.
Origin paperwork that demonstrates
“preferred mines “ like
the Argyle assures buyers that
their diamond’s mine adheres to
regulations such as the Kimberley
Process and conflict-free mining.

Beyond rarity, a recent New
York Times article alluded to
another driver behind the 30-time
increase in the value of some colored
diamonds: investors’ need for
wealth safe havens.

But the appeal of colored diamonds
isn’t limited to $2 million
stones. Even your most unassuming
customer wants to differentiate
herself, protect wealth and tell
the world she’s special, so why not
suggest a pink or blue diamond?

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By empowering yourself with
knowledge of your offering, categories,
sources, and trends, you
can project confidence and trust.
I encourage you to read up on
colored diamonds and become
an advisor and confidante to your
customers. Look for designers
moving in this direction, particularly
the more rare pinks and
blues. If you truly want to close
bigger sales, colored diamonds
just may be the ticket.


Daniel Dabakarov is the designer and cofounder
of Luvente (fashion jewelry) and
Unavelo (bridal jewelry). See luvente.com and unavelo.comfor more information.

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