An engagement ring with a black diamond

Hi everyone!

It’s been quite some time that I have been selling diamonds as a supplier on a very prominent jewellery retail online store- you know, one of those that lets you choose the ring design and center stone and it’s a pretty awesome shopping experience.

When I just started I was hoping to sell some of my round fancy pink diamonds or perhaps a 1 carat yellow diamond, but in the first 6 months, I haven’t received any orders. I gathered customers are still sticking with traditional white diamonds for their engagement and anniversary gift rings.

I looked up and down my stock list and the only other round cuts that I had (it is quite rare to have fancy color diamonds in round shape, as the color saturation tends to be weaker in that cut compared to square and rectangular cuts) were a few natural GIA certified black diamonds that I had for a while.

I decided to give it a chance and listed some of them. I can’t recall if it was some holiday season or just a regular period. All I know is that I was astonished to receive an order within 48 hours! It’s not like those stones were sitting in my safe, hidden from the world. I had them listed both on eBay and our company website. And this was not kind of fluke or a one-time thing. I ended up selling the rest of the lot as well. Needless to say, some of my competitors caught on to this and listed similar black diamonds as well, so this was a short-lived bonanza for me but it was still a blessing to sell these diamonds at a good price.

fancy Black diamond ring

This just goes to show sometimes you need a very specific sales outlet for specific kind of stones. For example, these round black diamonds (GIA certified) were sold to USA buyers- since I haven’t met them I can only assume at least some of them are rather young people (as the main concept of the store is engagement diamond rings), and many young people in the US have an affinity to a kind of gothic style. Whether it’s piercing, tattoos, black clothes with knits etc or heavy metal music it’s not far fetched that these preferences stretch out towards diamonds and jewellery.

black diamond engagement ring

So this kind of thought process, especially if you don’t have any expensive insiders retail market research data to rely on (most of us don’t) is essential. Just use your general knowledge about the world and culture and try to connect the dots.

gothic fashion

Are you into black diamonds too?

Check out we have to offer-

https://www.reddiam.com/black-diamonds/

 

Our black diamonds on James Allen

A great time for buying fancy color diamonds

Back in the day, if you were a collector investor or just someone who wanted to make a unique jewelry piece for yourself or your loved one, you needed to know someone from the diamond industry in person in order to get a good bargain. The shroud over this industry used to be pretty heavy and price transparency wasn’t one of it’s strengths. However today, with hundreds of online stores and sales platforms it’s much easier to compare prices and research before you buy, and that is mostly important for fancy color diamonds.

Whether it’s on Jewelry retail sites James Allen, eBay and even manufacturer to end buyer stores such as reddiam.com you can find enough results for your desired diamond, even the rare ones that you can sort out to get the best deal. Obviously with fancy color there are always intangibles, and Two diamonds with identical GIA grading can appear very different, but with the easy return policy these platforms offer the risk is so small it really makes it worthwhile.

Sellers nowadays have began to accept the fact they must learn to operate with smaller profit margins and to optimize their operations for sustainability. So even as we look at charts showing pink diamonds have gained over 300% in value in the past 15 years if you are dedicated and patient you can find a great diamond at below retail prices that would be a good investment for you and your children.

I recommend to always buy a diamond with a certificate, and if you buy one without (for a cheaper price) get it certified by GIA because that is always more valuable. If you are operating on a 20k budget limit look for 0.40-0.60 Ct pink diamond with VS clarity or better these are always are hard to find and will be easy to sell when and if you need to (I would recommend holding on to that asset).

 

Vivid yellow diamond

Fancy Color Diamond Photography (Not for Dummies)

Over the years I have received numerous questions from colleagues and clients regarding diamond photography. “How do you guys do it”? “Do I need to buy a lightbox”? “Should I use a flash”?  And so on.

My answers varied and differed over the course of years. As I (along with my partner in crime Gidi Golan) have gone through a painstaking  process to be able to where we are today in terms of photography.

First I must add that none of us is a professional photographer, whatever that means.

But we’ve seen some pros at work, and tried out pretty much every piece of equipment there is available to be able to say, “we know a thing or Two”.

So here is the long version of the trials and tribulations of the amateur fancy color diamond photographer:

Note: Most of this applies to regular white diamonds as well…but not all.

 

The objective:

Producing high quality realistic photos that will both give the viewer a true representation of the diamond but will also display the beauty and the dazzling experience of looking at a diamond.

Sorry Segoma, but your idea of “realistic photo” is flawed. It may be useful for experienced diamond dealers who want to see the color of the diamond in it’s neutral and to be honest, lamest form, but not for the end client who needs to experience the diamond at it’s best. A diamond’s purest essence comes from it’s interaction with light. And light is dynamic (I’ll elaborate later).

The means:

Camera and Lens:

Any decent DSLR camera should do. Some prefer Cannon, some Nikon to be honest I just had a great opportunity to get the Cannon 5D MKII for half price and then I added the Cannon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro lens. I’m pretty sure there are others that will do the job.

Software:

I use Cannon’s EOS utility for remote shooting. It’s easy to use and gives me great control of the shot.

Lighting:

This is probably the most important part. I’ve tested and used numerous set ups and devices. From a simple light tent to advanced lighting boxes with hundreds of LEDs and knobs and what not. What we’ve learned is that in order to capture the beauty of a color diamond you must combine various types of light (including natural sunlight), at various angles and diffusion levels. The more the uniform the light is the more bland the diamond will appear. This means you should have a flexible set-up, and tweak it for every diamond type. Light Pink diamonds for example, are extremely hard to shoot (they are very reflective) and you need to work hard to show the beauty of their color. On the other hand, fancy vivid yellow canary diamonds are usually so saturated you don’t need to worry about it and can use your time to create natural lighting effects etc.

Generally speaking there are Two categories of lighting you should address- Ambient light and enhancement light. The ambient light is the general continuous surrounding light which is multi directional and can be generated by 2 or more fixtures like in this B&H kit. The enhancement light should be a more directional and warm color bulb that work magic with 360 videos (for sparkle effects etc).

Backgrounds:

White matte and Black reflective  are the most useful but in todays instagram influenced visual era you should also look for more interesting and artistic backgrounds as well. It can be anything for a piece of fabric to a rock or a gift box. The more texture the more fascinating the close up image will be.

Surroundings:

Obviously you don’t want too much noise to be reflected in the diamond! try and keep the immediate perimeter object free. But of course you can place stuff (like glass and crystal artifacts) that can enhance even more the light effects.

 

Conclusion:

My most important advise is to be patient and try over and over again. When I compare my recent photos with ones I made 5 years ago there’s a huge difference. Also you don’t need to invest so much money into this. If you have a set of good hands and a creative mind you can work out many solutions on your own.

 

Enjoy your quest and feel free to share your images with me!

 

Reddiam_diamond_collage

 

 

Urgent message to Rapnet members and the diamond community

Hi.

I want to share with you all a very unpleasant experience I’ve had lately with Rapnet, Rapaport’s leading diamond trading platform. I work as an online marketing and sales manager for a respected company that has been a loyal member of Rapnet for the past 10 years.

This might be a little long but I encourage you to read this entirely.

I’m writing this for Two reasons:

  1. To warn other members from potential fraudulent acts.
  2. To warn other members from Rapnet management’s immoral business conduct.

A few months ago I have noticed that I stopped receiving member inquiries to my personal email. It was right after Rapnet announced they were changing the platform, and has already updated a few sections of it. I logged in to my account and saw that on the settings page (see screen shot) of the member area the email address was wrong. It was similar to mine but kind of in backwards order, which made me assume that it was some technical glitch on Rapnet. I changed it to my correct address and thought that the problem is solved.

member_1

A few days went by, and I still didn’t receive any notifications to my email. Logged in again and saw that the email there was correct.

At this point I contacted Rapnet’s customer service (both by mail and phone) for assistance.

Their representative sent me a test message in Rapnet, on March 14th, which I didn’t receive and then asked me to wait for their technical team to look into it.

It took them 16 days (until March 30th) and 3 emails from me to reply, and they said that everything seems okay and showed me the address that Is getting the notifications. I was very alarmed to see that it was again that wrong address I have encountered before and immediately told them this is not my address, I already changed it once and now it appears again and I’m afraid it’s some kind of security break or fraud going on.

Again they have not replied to this, did not advise me to take any preemptive actions (like changing passwords etc) and I waited a few more weeks (While calling them and emailing them several times to speed things up).

On April 20th, I received a message to my private email from a client that I had made a transaction with in the past. Haven’t heard from him in months. His message was that he sent funds for the bluish green diamond and asked me to check my bank if I received the funds. He also attached bank details that I don’t recognize and are not associated with my company (but the account name had a company name resembling ours)

I immediately contacted him and told him I have no idea what this about and he told me “but I contacted you about this diamond of yours on Rapnet and you agreed to sell it to me for X amount”. I felt terrible, and reluctantly understood that my client was scammed into sending money to someone else, for a stone of ours that he saw on Rapnet.  Someone has broken into our Rapnet account and diverted correspondence to their fake email and by making it seem like he is me convinced this unfortunate Rapnet member who thought he was lucky to get a nice diamond for a great discount to send a wire transfer.

It was too late and impossible to reverse the transfer. I again contacted Rapnet to notify them and the client also filed a complaint in Rapnet’s European branch. The client showed me transcript of his correspondence with the fraud, which took place between April 18th – 20th. This means the fraud happened after I told Rapnet I suspect something.

Here we come to the disillusion part of the story. The Rapnet representative sounded very remorseful when I spoke with him about the incident, and was sorry he didn’t advise me earlier to change passwords and that he didn’t take the matter more seriously. He said he also thought it’s just some technical bug.  From their investigation they have learned that the fraud has later changed the notification settings on our account in another, less known menu (see screen shot) in the “manage settings” tab in the inbox of Rapnet message center.

inbox_1

After a few days they replied to my client that it is all my fault and they are not responsible for anything because the fraud somehow logged into my account with password. How he got access to password no one can tell, it is as possible that he broke into Rapnet servers as it is that he broke into my computer/email etc.  The latter doesn’t seem likely to me because in that case he would have easy access to Bank, Paypal account etc and steal money directly from us but no such thing happened.

My client accepted their side of the story, and then began to pressure me to compensate him for his losses. Needless to say we are also damaged by the fraud as it resulted in a missed sale for us! The client intended to buy our stone so essentially we lost the same amount of money (and even more as we wouldn’t have sold it so cheap as the fraud).

From there on it has been 6 weeks now that I repeatedly ask Rapnet to take responsibility for the negligence of their customer service, which by being slow and unprofessional assisted the fraud to carry out his scam. They either ignore me, or send me the same response that there’s nothing they can do.  The amount of money my client transferred is a big deal to him (he is a small local jeweler) but little deal for Rapaport (especially now when they changed the subscription levels on Rapnet).

My conclusions are:

  1. Be careful! Switch passwords constantly and keep them safe.
  2. Don’t expect to be treated as a valued customer, you will need to fight hard and even then there’s little chance you will get a fair resolution.

There’s probably very small chance for us in the legal aspect to go against such a financial giant. The least I can hope is that someone else won’t get hurt.

Sincerely,

Gidon Lev Eli.handshake

Blue Diamonds are blowing up the spot

All it takes is one major sale, one headline that sends the market into a frenzy.

It was this piece of news from November 11th, 2015 that started it.

“Flawless 12 ct Blue Moon Diamond sold for world record $48.4m in Geneva auction.

Hong Kong buyer purchases diamond, which has the top grading of fancy vivid blue and was found in South Africa’s famed Cullinan mine in 2014”

BLue-Moon-Diamond

Now it is known as the “Blue Moon of Josephine”, Josephine being the 7 year old daughter of the buyer.

Once the news broke out, I must say I was quite shocked. After all, only several months earlier the famous “Premier Blue” 7.59 ct vivid blue diamond failed to sell at Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction.

premier_blue

Within hours, representatives of  every Sheikh, Oligarch and just plain Hi-tech multi-millionaire I know started calling in to find out what kind of interesting and expensive blue diamonds we have to offer.

“Sorry fellas…too late. We just sold a 3 ct flawless intense blue diamond just a few days ago”, was my reluctant response.

A smart buyer knows that when it comes to ultra rare assets such as a flawless blue diamonds, you must act fast when you have an opportunity, and of course you must work constantly to create such opportunity. That means keeping in touch with suppliers such as Red Diam Ltd that have access to such pieces. That’s simply because once we have one, it will not remain available for too long.

The hype hasn’t died out nearly 2 months later. There are still a few amazing blue diamonds somewhat available in the market, but as demand increases the owners become more and more comfortable just keeping those rare stones locked away in their vaults and wait for the value to increase.

So my advice- for those who want my help getting one – be willing and ready to overpay! in the short term it might sting a bit, and from the ego standpoint no one wants to feel he was ripped off. But in the long term- It’s a mean lean money making machine.

 

RED DIAM LTD SPONSORS THE HERMITAGE MUSEUM 250TH ANNIVERSARY

Reddiam owner Elad Zohar joined others in Israel this year in becoming proud sponsors of the Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel and he has created two pieces of unique diamond jewelry for a gala event in this month at the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel. The event is in honor of the 250th birthday of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

Israel’s large and culture loving Russian population makes the creation of such links between Israel and Russia a natural outcome,  and Amir Gross Kabiri, a famous Israeli art collector, was happily appointed to head the Israel Friends of the Hermitage by the Hermitage’s legendary current director, Mikhail Piotrovsky. The Foundation’s objective is to tighten the bond with one of Russia’s and the world’s top cultural institutions, the Hermitage Museum, founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 and opened to the public in 1852.

The two pieces that were designed and crafted by Reddiam LTD

Men’s yellow gold cuff links designed by Reddiam LTD
Men’s yellow gold cuff links designed by Reddiam LTD
Pink diamond brooch
A pink diamond brooch by Red diam LTD
museum_night
The Hermitage Museum