Tag: diamonds (page 1 of 5)

Out of the Blue

By: Emily Duke
Finesse Diamonds Corp.
NCDIA Co-chair Marketing Committee

Blue diamonds have been making and breaking records at auction for a few years now. In November 2014, Sotheby’s New York set an auction record for a blue diamond when the Zoe Diamond garnered $32.6 million. Then, in November 2015, the 12.03-carat Blue Moon (a fancy vivid blue) sold at Sotheby’s Geneva for $48.5 million, setting an auction record for any gemstone.

This auction season we saw some spectacular natural blue diamonds sell for incredible sums.

In April, Sotheby’s Hong Kong offered the 10.10 carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, an internally flawless fancy vivid blue oval, and saw it sell for $31.8 million.

The 24.18-carat fancy intense blue diamond nicknamed the “Cullinan Dream” sold for $25.4 million at Christie’s in June and is now the largest, most expensive fancy intense blue diamond ever offered at auction.

The largest and finest fancy vivid blue diamond ever seen at auction, the Oppenheimer Blue, is also now a record-setter. The emerald cut, 14.62-carat stone sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva, setting a new world record price for any jewel sold at auction, surpassing the Blue Moon.

oppenheimer blue diamond ring

The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond Photo: Telegraph.co.uk

Jewelry loving consumers are paying attention. They’re curious, intrigued by the staggering price tags and the history of the stones. So what do you do when they come to your store looking for a blue diamond?

I doubt they’re coming to spend millions. Maybe a 5-figure budget, if you’re lucky. Fortunately, not all colored diamonds are crazy expensive. It’s smart to stock an assortment of colors and price points so you can satisfy each unique customer.

When it comes to blues, there’s a modifier that will bring the price down but not the beauty. Gray. It’s more common for blues to have a gray tint so it tends to make the diamond much more budget friendly. A grayish-blue, gray-blue, or blue-gray could be a really lovely alternative to a straight blue without sacrificing attractiveness. Remember, whatever color is at the end of the grade is the dominant hue. So a grayish-blue or gray-blue will be more expensive than a blue-gray or blueish gray.

grayish blue diamond emerald cut

Fancy grayish blue diamond sold by Bonhams in 2015

Keep in mind, like all colored diamonds, blues are not created equal. Two stones could have the same color grade on the cert, but one could be much nicer than another so reviewing them in person is ideal. It’s also important to consider the setting. Rose gold and pink diamond accents will bring out the blue in the diamond, strengthening the color. If you aren’t familiar with color theory, you should check this out and pay attention to complementary colors.

blue diamond ring with pink diamond halo in rose gold

Rose gold cup and pink diamond halo enhance the color of the blue diamond center. Photo: Finesse Diamonds

greyish blue diamond ring

Fancy Grayish Blue diamond surrounded by Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamonds to make the color pop. Photo: Hartmann’s

Modifying colors are your best friend. You just have to make sure you appreciate the beauty of the stone, not the grade on the certificate. If you fall in love with the diamond, so will your customer.


(Cover Photo: Leibish & Co.)

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NCDIA Las Vegas Reception: Crazy About Color

We offer a huge thank you to our sponsors for the Crazy About Color reception in Las Vegas.

Nilesh Sheth, president of Nice Diamond, donated a 0.54 carat natural color brown diamond valued at $2,000 for the champagne toast.

The winner of the champagne diamond toast was Kanae Fukuhara. She is in the process of creating her first line of jewelry and the diamond she won will be part of that new line. The piece she designs will then be donated to the NCDIA.

From left Kalpesh; Nilesh Sheth, Nice Diamond; Greg Neely, Greg Neeley Design; Kanae Fukuhara, winner of the champagne diamond toast; and Samir, also from Nice Diamond.

From left Kalpesh; Nilesh Sheth, Nice Diamond; Greg Neely, Greg Neeley Design; Kanae Fukuhara, winner of the champagne diamond toast; and Samir, also from Nice Diamond.


tom gelb las vegas

Tom Gelb, member of NCDIA’s Education Committee, was on hand with a diamond tester donated for the occasion by Kassoy. Kanae Fukuhara, on the right, just got the good news that she was the winner of the champagne toast.


Thank you to all of our reception sponsors:


Nice Diamond – Premier Sponsor

Brinks Global Services

Grandeur International

IGS Creative


Julius Klein Group

System Eickhorst


Kanae is a native born Japanese from Osaka, Japan. She has many accomplishments including working on a team with Panasonic Corp. marketing and training for the Technics musical instrument division. Kanae was on a team that traveled worldwide organizing world music festivals for Technics. She also demonstrated and instructed piano and other keyboard instruments and electric organ. She is an accomplished pianist. Kanae also directed the design and production for Technics and Panasonic catalogs.

In 2007 Kanae began to pursue stone sculpture and began attending a sculpture symposium in Marble, Colorado each summer. Kanae attended 8 consecutive symposium sculpting marble on the old Marble mill site. This high mountain mill is where most of the marble for the Lincoln Memorial was quarried and milled. It is now abandoned for almost 100 years. Madeline Weiner, a highly regarded Colorado marble sculptor organized a symposium in the mountains almost 30 years ago. This symposium now has over 50 attendees at most sessions, all sculpting, learning, teaching, and camping out together at 8000 feet altitude.

In 2014 Greg Neeley attended his first symposium at Marble. There Kanae and Greg met. They began to communicate via Skype and email and developed a very close, loving relationship. In 2015 they moved to Austin Texas where they were married. The couple has side by side studios in south, downtown Austin where we both design jewelry and sculpt. Kanae is presently in the process of creating her first line of jewelry and the diamond she won will be part of that new line. It will then be donated to the NCDIA.

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NCDIA Seminar at JA New York

By: Michael Hakimian Senior Sales Manager, Almor Designs NCDIA Co-chair Marketing Committee

Michael Hakimian, Senior Manager, Fancy Color Diamond Division, Almor Design and co-chair of NCDIA’s Marketing Committee, gave a presentation at the JA Show on:

Natural Color Diamond Jewelry: An Affordable Solution to Low Margins

Michael prepared this summary of his presentation:

I had the honor of speaking about Natural Color Diamonds at the JA New York Summer Jewelry Show. The topic was “Natural Color Diamond Jewelry: An Affordable Solution to Low Margins.” After Barbara Wheat spoke about the benefits of joining NCDIA, I spoke about the main topic, along with advice on how jewelry retailers can get involved and grow their Natural Color Diamond business, also covered was some basics of Natural Color Diamond.

Currently, the jewelry industry is plagued with the problem of low margins, especially when it comes to white diamonds. There are many factors at play that can explain why there are such low margins in white diamonds. I decided to cover some of the most important ones, such as a pricing structure that is already in place to value them, the familiarity with white diamonds due to their wide use in the industry, diamond trading websites inside the trade and websites outside of the trade, and dumping by diamond dealers struggling for liquidity.

At the same time that the industry is struggling for margins in white diamonds, in the Natural Color Diamond business, there are high margins, customer excitement, and affordable selections.

There are a variety of reasons why there are higher margins in Natural Color Diamonds than in white diamonds. These include: No industry accepted pricing structure for natural color diamonds, Lack of market familiarity with Natural Color Diamond pricing and value, Rarity of Natural Color Diamonds (Supply), Customer Excitement that is powered by Hollywood Stars, Auctions, and heavy advertising by important jewelry companies (Demand), the One-of-a-kind feel of each Natural Color Diamond, and the Allure of Luxury that Natural Color Diamond jewelry provides. Together, these factors along with others, have laid a foundation for higher margins in Natural Color Diamonds than in white diamonds.

Though jewelry retailers are showing increased interest in Natural Color Diamond jewelry, some believe that affordability is a barrier to entry. Some of this is due to the record auction sales of Natural Color Diamonds, and extravagant celebrity color diamond purchases. However, there are jewelry manufacturers that only manufacture Natural Color Diamond jewelry or have large selections of Natural Color Diamond jewelry, and they do carry pieces at affordable price points.

NCDIA research indicates that the “Sweet Spot” for jewelry retailers is between the Retail Price of $2,500 and $50,000. Pictures of pieces from NCDIA Wholesale Members were shown at the affordable retail price points of $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000. The fact that there are affordable selections within the Natural Color Diamond Market, allows jewelry retailers to purchase a selection for their store without breaking their budget and lays a foundation for selling higher-end pieces in the future. Consequently, Natural Color Diamond jewelry is an affordable solution to low margins.

For retailers interested in getting started and/or growing their Natural Color Diamond business, some advice given was to join the NCDIA as a Retail Member which will help with education, advertising, and sourcing; educating yourself and your staff, promoting the Natural Color Diamond inventory constantly and in visible places, building a respectable inventory (Variety of Colors, Price Points, Sources), to do trunk shows, and to stress to employees to show the new Natural Color Diamond inventory to all the store’s customers.

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Natural Yellow Diamonds: A Special Opportunity for Jewelry Retailers


By: Michael Hakimian Senior Sales Manager, Almor Designs NCDIA Co-chair Marketing Committee

By: Michael Hakimian
Senior Sales Manager, Almor Designs
NCDIA Co-chair Marketing Committee


One of the reasons why natural fancy color diamonds have so much value is their rarity. Out of each 10,000 carats of diamonds, only 1 carat is considered to be a natural fancy color diamond. Although natural color diamonds are very rare, Yellow diamonds are less rare than their natural Pink, Blue, Green, Red, Purple, and Orange counterparts, as seen below. One of the results of a higher supply and past customer demand have been that natural color diamond dealers have stocked a much higher supply of yellows than any of the rarer natural fancy color diamonds. Although this means that they are priced less than the more rare color diamonds, this provides a special opportunity for jewelry retailers.

color diamond rarity chart

Although every jewelry retailer would like to sell the most high-end of the natural color diamonds, often these stones may be hard to source.  Also, even when they are sourced, they may not be able to give many options to show to their customers. Without being able to source or to source enough of a particular stone to give customers options, the chances of making a color diamond sale decline dramatically. No matter how high-end the color diamond call is, if the retailer cannot source the stone or be able to give the customer enough options to choose from; the retailer will not be able to make any money if they cannot make the sale.

However, due to their higher supply in the market, calls for natural yellow diamonds have a much higher chance of being sourced. Also, they give a much higher chance for the retailer to be able to source enough to give their customers some options. Consequently, the retailer has a higher chance of making a sale, and it is only when they make a sale, that they can make money. This is one reason why natural yellow diamonds provide retailers with the opportunity to make money in natural color diamonds.

Another reason why natural yellow diamonds provide retailers a special opportunity to make money is the fact that yellow diamonds of 3-10 carats are moving well in the market right now, especially Fancy to Vivid Color. The demand for yellows in these sizes is boosted by Hollywood stars, auctions, and heavy advertising by prestigious jewelry companies. Although not as rare as other color diamonds, these yellows do have a high market value and given that the supply is there, retailers are able make a lot of money if they play their cards right. Consequently, retailers should definitely take advantage of the special opportunity of selling natural yellow diamonds.


(Cover Photo: Finesse Diamonds)

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