In a busy season that has been filled with client appointments, phone consultations, and auctions this past week has stuck out above all others. I had two appointments this week that resulted in some reflection and a new drive that I feel is important to share!
As I entered this business, I thought I would be putting my bachelor’s degree in social work into my bag of tricks, but not really ever using it – I was quickly proven wrong! I realized quickly that having my social work degree only helped me interact on a daily basis with my clients.
As a diamond buyer, buying from the public, I often only get the opportunity to speak with clients who are going through some life-changing event. Sometimes they are upgrading a diamond for an anniversary but more often than not their visit tends to be a result of a broken relationship, divorce, or financial difficulties. It has always been apparent to me that most clients are not only trying to navigate the difficult waters of selling their diamond, but also trying to keep their head above water while dealing with all of the emotional turmoil the sale of that diamond can represent. Keep in mind that most diamonds represent an emotion, and were given at a time of great happiness and love.
What pains me, is when those difficulties are compounded by the fact that a client was given inaccurate information from their jeweler about their diamond. Small variations in the way a jeweler graded a diamond all the way to how much a jeweler inflated a diamond’s value are not uncommon occurrences in my daily discussions with clients. What struck me about my two clients this week was that although the circumstances were different the extent to which the information I provided affected them the same way.
One of the cases was a former client who had come to the difficult decision to sell another diamond that she had been reluctant to part with. She returned to work with me again because I had been able to give her more for the sale of her original diamond then she had been offered by others. Upon viewing the current stone in question however, I quickly realized it had been clarity enhanced.
A clarity enhanced diamond is one that has been laser drilled and then either filled with a compound, or bleached in an attempt to diminish the inferior clarity characteristics it displays. Since part of a diamond’s value is based entirely on the fact that it is natural, once altered, much of the diamond’s value has all but disappeared.
As many of you can appreciate, my client was devastated when I showed her and explained what this meant to the diamond’s value. What bothered her and myself the most was the fact that the jeweler she had purchased the diamond from had not disclosed this information to her at the time of the sale. She graciously thanked me for letting her know the truth, and was going to attempt some recourse with the jeweler. She left knowing that we were available as an alternative, and that we would happily assist her in selling the diamond specifically to buyers who work with clarity enhanced stones.
The second occasion was a new client who was a single parent selling the ring to pay for a down payment on her new home. A local jewelers had appraised the diamond as a Round Brilliant SI1, G-H diamond and valued it as $21,000. Upon grading the diamond in our lab, I determined that is was truly a VS1 (two clarity grades better), and a K (three color grades below) color. While the clarity grade was actually better than reported, the color ended up hurting the value of the diamond. I showed her how I came to my conclusion, and her response turned out to be one of relief.
While disappointed with the truth, she was glad to know what she had and happy that she had not sold the diamond privately. She felt she would have been devastated if she had sold it to someone under the false pretense of a poor appraisal only to have them return unhappy and wanting their money back.
It occurred to me that while I take great pride in our company’s ability to retrieve the highest amount possible for a client’s diamond, I also strongly believe in our consulting services. In both cases, while the truth can be disappointing to hear, both clients were grateful and appreciative in knowing that we had taken the time to view their diamond and to report the truth back to them. Both clients now know what they have, as well as all of their options for selling their pieces.
I, or any of our representatives, will happily take the time to not only evaluate your diamond FREE OF CHARGE, but also discuss ALL options available to you should you decide to sell it. Even if a client does not use our services immediately and attempts to sell their diamond privately only to return to us at a later date, it is still time well spent.
My job is not only to help you to get the most out of the sale of your diamond, but also to provide the information you need to make an informed decision. As long as I, or any of us at MJ Gabel, can help make this moment in time a little easier, it is worth our time.