No one wants to pay full price for their diamond, and for those savvy buyers who know their 4C’s, buying loose diamonds wholesale is not difficult if you know basic facts, and most importantly understand the name of the game: “let’s make a deal.”
First the facts:
When you buy from a diamond wholesaler he (or she) will have dozens of diamonds that look pretty much the same. They may want you to believe that yours is unique, and may only show you one or two before they magically find the perfect third, but 24 billion dollars worth of diamonds runs through the NYC diamond district every year. This means there are many, many, more just like it, “upstairs.” To put this in perspective, if the average price of a wholesale diamond is $5000, 4.80 million diamonds run through Jewelers Row in any given 12 month period.
DeBeers knew they could generate massive profit in the diamond market if they owned all the supply and then limited the output. This created the illusion that diamonds were scarce and that owning one was a privilege very few could afford. This shell game mentality permeated its way through the entire NY diamond industry causing something called 47th Street Business Improvement District or BID. 47th Street BID was an effort to clean up the street, its reputation and its safety and security. It has worked to some degree but many operators still believe they can charge as much as they can get away with if the customer is uneducated.
When a jeweler references this week’s pricing sheet to know what price to charge you, an astute buyer might ask themselves: “wouldn’t these experts know everything about a diamond’s price without having to look it up? Of course… That sheet is to show you “what a great deal you’re getting.” When yielding to a higher power (the pricing sheet), the diamond dealer is taking all responsibility out of their hands for the price you are being charged. Yes diamond prices do move, but a volatile month might be 1.5%. If the diamond dealer is using the pricing sheets for anything more than fine-tuning, then you should be suspect.
If you look at our chart below, you will see the 5 stages that a diamond progresses through before it finds its way to a retail buyer. Most industries have one middleman-the diamond industry has three! This means if you eliminate two of the three you get a “wholesale diamond price.” That is the entire secret to getting a good price on NYC Jewelers Row.
Diamond dealers will “poo-poo” a diamond grading lab report. They “know better value than the diamond lab.” The problem is that if you can’t personally tell the difference between a G and an H color diamond, between a VS1 and a VS2 clarity stone and/or an ideal cut and a very good cut, then you could get picked off in the diamond district. Diamond grading labs are there for those who are not trained in the business. And when you buy wholesale diamonds you are dealing with people that can eyeball a diamond and within a few seconds know all 4C’s without looking at the report – i.e. the opposite of you! Also, specific diamond-grading labs are important. Stick with the Gemological Institute of America (“GIA”) and you’ll be fine. Yes there are other good ones, but if you’re going to do price due diligence at an wholesale online diamond store (discussed below) then consistency across the 4Cs AND the diamond lab is important. If you choose a one carat VS1, H color, ideal cut round diamond graded by GIA online from James Allen then try to compare that to a one carat VS1, H color, ideal cut round diamond graded by EGL, you’ll be convinced that the EGL diamond is a better value. The reality is that diamond grades are an opinion, not an irrefutable fact. So if EGL grades their diamond more loosely that GIA, what would pass for a great diamond by EGL standards could very well be average at GIA. Stick with GIA, they are the most consistent, online or on foot
Before you ever meet with your diamond wholesaler you need to have done two things:
James Allen is the internet’s most well respected diamonds wholesaler (in our humble opinion). They are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau, have a massive selection of loose diamonds, wholesale to you and me. And when you buy from them you get extreme price and quality transparency. They even tell you which lab the certificate comes from and they let you read a digital copy right there on the webpage. They also offer a 3D HD view of the actual diamond you’re buying – enlarged up to 20X – twice as large as a jeweler’s loupe. Most importantly they are consistently about 40% less than retail. 40% off is a great price outcome for anyone who wants to buy wholesale diamonds in a brick and mortar store in jeweler’s row, so this a good starting point. Click here to play with their loose diamond web-tool – no sign in or registration required.
Which stores to visit for the best wholesale diamond inventory…
How do you find the right store? One that is both safe and has wholesale diamond prices? We’ve done that for you too! Read Jewelers.NYC’s article:
This will take you 10 minutes and will narrow 1348 wholesale jewelers down to 10 very reputable operators. A few even have inventory on their website so that you can price compare right then and there (we highlight which ones offer this in the article). Then call them and tell them you would like to compare their prices to others that you have researched (we recommend not disclosing your source).
This should give you everything you need to begin your loose diamond search! Walking in you’ll know the maximum price of your diamond before you sit down. Also, if you find what you like at James Allen, and want to learn more about them, read our Online Diamond Store Review to see why they are our #1 rated online discount diamond store for 2017!