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From the experts

Damaged Goods

By Paul Slegers | Mar 31, 2019

The notion of a premium, versus a discount.


Have you ever purchased a fridge? Here are some perceptions, from a European view.


Permit me to explain how, in both fridges and diamonds, it's more beneficial for a seller to discount for deficits such as scratches (in fridges) or performance-reductions (in diamonds) than to repair the deficits. Please read on...

Fridges are sold in many places.

  • With varying degrees of quality, all fridges offered perform the way they are supposed to perform.
  • However, in Europe, some retailers specialize in offering slightly damaged goods. For instance, with dented or scratched doors.
  • Logically, such slightly damaged fridges sell at a discount.
  • ‘Damaged’ thereby translates to discount. But the ‘performance’ aspects of that fridge do not change.
  • Rest assured, the discount will be less than what it costs to repair the damage. Otherwise they’d repair and sell the fridge as ‘new’.

Now, how is this in diamonds?

  • Nearly all diamonds come to stores in ‘damaged’ form.
  • Here is what I mean. It’s nearly impossible to find diamonds with impeccable cut-quality. Producers have the ability to do better, but choose to permit deficits for a variety of reasons.
  • Thus, regardless of your personal definition, nearly all diamonds could have been produced with improved light return / spread / and more joyful performance.
  • Translated to cut-quality terms, this means nearly all diamonds being sold are 'damaged' in some way.
  • Like with fridges, all the ‘damaged’ diamonds get sold at a discount from impeccably cut diamonds.
  • But, unlike with fridges, the ‘damage’ in diamonds translates into lower performance.
  • Rest assured, the discount is less than what it would cost to repair the damage. You can explore recut estimates and see for yourself.

In both fridges and in diamonds:

It’s is more beneficial for the seller to discount for deficits (whether scratches on fridges or performance-reductions in diamonds) than to repair the damage. But when we understand this, the way the 4-Cs is taught must be reviewed.

 

  • The industry wants you to see the 4-Cs as separate from each other.
  • But this is not the case, since repairing performance deficits in Cut will automatically cause a reduction in Carat-weight. Those Cs are unavoidably related.
  • Thus, comparing an average cut 1.00 ct H-VS2 to another 1.00 ct H-VS2 with perfect cutting is crooked.
  • Why? Because that average stone, after repair, will be in the 0.90 carats, possibly even in the 0.80s.
  • Rest assured, repairing it to the lower weight would cost the retailer more than the discount being offered for its present 1.00 ct condition.

There is no judgment here. Many shoppers are open to considering damaged goods. And diamond buyers regularly purchase less than perfect-cutting.

But: There is no so-called “premium” for perfect cutting.

That is a mistaken notion. There are discounts for deficits away from perfect cutting. And, rest assured, that discount will not be enough to cover the cost of repair.

Definitively: Compromising on cut-quality comes at a cost.

Does this make sense?


Paul Slegers

Paul Slegers

Paul Slegers is the Founder and Managing Director of Crafted by Infinity diamonds. After obtaining a degree in Commercial Engineering he began working in the Antwerp diamond industry in 1989. In his original capacity as the COO of a DeBeers' sightholder, Mr. Slegers specialized in the manufacturing and trading of both rough and polished diamonds. Later, as COO of Adri Diamond Tools, a market leader in modern diamond-cutting equipment, he expanded his experience by innovating technical cutting solutions for mass-manufacturers in the Far East as well as niche-quality manufacturers in Antwerp. This unique combination of experiences led to the establishment of Crafted by Infinity; where his knowledge, experience and passion have come together.


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